Proper Handicap

   

PriorBlackPlays = Stones Black puts on the board before White moves.

For ease of comprehension we will assume a komi without tiebreaker (otherwise, add 0.5 to all komi values)

Traditional Handicap

 Rank Difference | PriorBlackPlays  | Komi | Effective Handicap
       0         |        1         |   6  |  0.0
       1         |        1         |   0  |  0.5
       2         |        2         |   0  |  1.5
       3         |        3         |   0  |  2.5

The discrepancy between Rankdifference and effective Handicap stems from the the irregularity in above table where the rankdifference switches from 0 to 1. To compensate for 1 stone of rank difference, komi is dropped and nothing else. Yet komi is tailored to be worth exactly half-a-stone. Thus instead of dropping komi it would be appropriate to allow Black to place one stone more on the board than with rank difference zero.

From playing with traditional handicap two issues may arise:

  • Games played with traditional handicap are biased towards White.
  • Rating systems ignorant of this irregularity will have inconsistent rankspacing. (luckily almost all contemporary Go-ratingsystems compensate for this)

Proper Handicap

 Rank Difference | PriorBlackPlays | Komi | Effective Handicap
       0         |        1        |   6  |  0.0
       1         |        2        |   6  |  1.0
       2         |        3        |   6  |  2.0
       3         |        4        |   6  |  3.0

Proper Handicap is nothing more than a try to fix Handicap by implementing above idea of giving Black one prior play more per stone of rankdifference.

Furthermore it is possible to reutilize the idea of 'dropping komi' to create proper handicap for fractional rank differences:

Proper Handicap with half-Ranks

 Rank Difference | PriorBlackPlays  | Komi | Effective Handicap
       0.0       |        1         |   6  |  0.0
       0.5       |        1         |   0  |  0.5
       1.0       |        2         |   6  |  1.0
       1.5       |        2         |   0  |  1.5
       2.0       |        3         |   6  |  2.0
       2.5       |        3         |   0  |  2.5
       3.0       |        4         |   6  |  3.0

See also


Proper Handicap last edited by Jewdan on May 6, 2010 - 07:41
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