Fox Weiqi (also known as Wild Fox or Foxy) is a China-based go server that supports kyu to professional rank players. As of January 2020, it is one of the most popular go servers in the world and offers a partially-translated English client.
Download the client software from https://www.foxwq.com/soft/foreign.html and install it. This is the English (international) version of the software. It is a Windows program, though Linux users can run it in Wine.
To get an account, start the client software and click on the "Register" button. This will open a web page. The registration page used to be in English, however recently there seems to be a problem with the localization. If the form appears in Chinese and you don't understand it, you can use Google Translate or just refer to this list, which describes the fields in order:
- User name
- English name (I suggest the same as your user name)
- Email address
- Confirm password
- Rank: See section about the ranking system. Think carefully about the rank you want to start with because it will take a large number of games to get to another rank. The highest rank to choose is 3D, which is similar to 1k on KGS. This does not mean that this is the highest rank you can achieve on this server.
Beware: only go to the registration page through the international version of the software. If you go to the registration page through https://www.foxwq.com/, you will get to the Chinese inland version of the registration page that will ask you for a (chinese) mobile phone number instead of an e-mail address.
To play a game, the simplest way is to hit the big green Fast Matching button. This is the Automatch button. If you want to change the automatch settings, the green "choice" button allows you to select between them. The default rules are Chinese and ranked only.
- 19,20m60s - a 19x19 game with 20 minutes main time and three 60 seconds byo-yomi periods
- 9,1m20s - a 9x9 game with 1 minute main time and three 20 seconds byo-yomi periods
- capture 3
- capture 5
Alternatively, you can set your own match settings by using the traditional "apply Match up" and negotiate the terms of the match e.g. time settings, ranked/free, nigiri, betting.
The automatching works very similar to Tygem. If you are not accustomed to this process, it might be confusing at first. The following will happen once you have pressed the automatch button:
- You automatically challenge all players with similar rank, one after another. A jingle sound tells you that a player accepted your challenge.
- You receive challenges from other players. Often they will be accepted automatically, but sometimes you get a prompt to accept or decline.
- After a challenge has been accepted, you and your potential opponent will be put into a new "room" together. You'll notice this when you see an empty goban and a new tab appears in the bottom bar.
- You are free to leave if you don't agree with the opponent or game settings. It is also possible to leave after the game has started. Resignations before the 10th move do not count as a lost game.
- To leave, use the button "Quit room" (after closing the negotiation window). Then use the green button again to find a new player.
To end the game, it is uncommon to pass. Instead just press the "Count" button when the game is finished. If the opponent refuses reasonable counting, you can use the AI counting button to force the game to end and be scored after 350 moves.
It is very rare to see errors from the scoring engine. If you do encounter a case where it gets the status of a group wrong, use the "mark dead" button instead of "count".
The ranking system is similar to Tygem. For many players, a Fox rank is typically 2 or 3 stones higher than in most western go communities (like KGS or EGF). However, it is difficult to compare the ranks because the styles are very different. The average Fox player has strengths and weaknesses that are different than average IGS players—especially in the kyu ranks, where the predominant style on Fox is very aggressive and chaotic. As such, players coming from a different server may experience an initial drop in rank, but once they learn how to handle aggressive invasions, an re-increase in rank is likely to occur.
The user profile tells how many games are required to rank up. For example:
14W ▲1 / 18W ▲2 / 13L ▼1 / 17L ▼2 (button レーティングルール)
This means 14 wins in 20 games ("Base Number of Games" for 3d+ players) are needed to go up one rank or 18 to go up two ranks. If 13 games in 20 games are lost, then a drop of one rank occurs; and if 17 lost, a drop of two ranks occurs.
The "Base Number of Games" are different for rank levels; 10 for 18k-16k, 12 for 13-15k, etc up to 20 for 3d+. Clicking the button on the right ("レーティングルール" Rating Rules) shows Base Number and required number of wins in table format.
Occasionally, winning 14 games in a row may not result in an immediate rank increase. Instead, Fox waits to see whether the player is able to win four more games before 20 games to jump immediately to a double rank-up.
After losing a couple games, players may see "-W ▲2" in their profile. The hyphen means that double rank-up is not possible any more.
The 9D rank is the typical rank for pro players. The highest rank on Fox is 10D, which can only be achieved by very strong pros or by bots.
- To open your profile, double-click on your user name. Usually your user name should be at the top of the user list on the right side.
- To review or download your games, click on "games" in your profile, then double click on one of the games.
- While the Automatch feature is similar to Tygem, Fox has one great advantage: In times when it is hard to find an opponent, and you restart the automatch after a failed negotiation, Tygem would start challenging all the same players in the same order again. Fox on the other hand remembers the ones you challenged, which makes the process a lot faster.