KGS Go Server
The KGS Go Server, or simply KGS, is a Go server that can be accessed at http://www.gokgs.com/. Its popularity is declining but it is common to have more than 500 people logged in at any time. Tournament games from Europe and North America are sometimes relayed on KGS. KGS is generally deemed to be user friendly.
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The KGS Go Server first opened under the name Igoweb in April 2000. The original rec.games.go announcement can be found here. Just a month later, the author made an agreement with Kiseido and it was renamed to the Kiseido Go Server. It was renamed to KGS Go Server in 2006. William M. Shubert was the original developer of KGS and in 2017 he donated it to the American Go Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to spreading Go. Soon after ShinKGS, an HTML client, became available and people can finally enjoy KGS through any web-enabled device.
Besides its obvious use as online Go-playing software, it also has special features for teaching purposes. It is very easy to go through the game once it is finished to add variations and comments. You can ask an observer to add their own variations and you can save everything in SGF files. You can also upload games from your hard disk and review them on the server with your friends.
The client (known as CGoban3) has been written in English, and has been translated to Japanese, French, Italian, German, Chinese and other languages. More translations are welcome! The main "room" is called the English Game Room, but it is really an international room. There are also rooms where speakers of Chinese, Dutch, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish are encouraged to meet. In addition, there are many, many other rooms from which you can choose, and you can also create new rooms if you so desire.
Playing on KGS
Two HTML5 clients exist for KGS. Although they have fewer features, they are simpler to use.
- GoUniverse an extension for the Chrome browser.
- ShinKGS is available for any browser.
You can can also download the original clientCGoban3, which is also a good SGF editor / viewer. The client is written in Java, so providing your OS doesn't object to installing it, in theory you can use it under Windows, Linux, Solaris, and MacOSX.
- To install it for Windows, MacosX, Linux: http://www.gokgs.com -> download link -> "CGoban with Java web start" link. See the download page for more information.
- To install it for Windows while being offline: CGoban3 Offline Installation.
- Linux users with a recent Sun java can also run the command: /path/to/java/bin/javaws http://files.gokgs.com/javaBin/cgoban.jnlp
There are no commands on KGS. You can do nearly everything from top line menus, buttons or using right-click menus.
(For those who may need it, the default server settings are host: goserver.gokgs.com, port: 2379.)
An example of getting KGS working on Windows 10 64bit
From the Oracle java page choose the JRE link and then use the 'Windows x64' link, to download and install the 'jre-8u66-windows-x64.exe', which is the latest Java Runtime Environment. ( This slightly unusual choice is attempting to avoid Oracle's advertising supported version that tries to install toolbars or other trial software. )
At the bottom left of the Windows 10 desktop screen, use the main start button to get the 'All apps' menu.
- Scroll down to 'Java', and use 'Configure Java'.
- In the 'Java Control Panel' choose the 'Security' tab and 'Edit Site List' button.
- Click 'Add' and put the text line " http://files.gokgs.com" in without the double quotes.
- For the 'HTTP location' warning, choose 'continue'.
- Then click 'OK' to close the 'Java Control Panel'.
From the KGS download page use the link 'CGoban for Java Web Start' to download and install 'cgoban.jnlp'.
- This produces a 'Security Warning' dialog box for application ' Name: CGoban3 Location: http://files.gokgs.com '.
- Click the text 'Show Options'.
- Tick the two check boxes for 'I accept the risk and want to run this application' and 'Do not show this again for apps from the publisher and location above'.
You will now be able to use the newly created desktop icon 'CGoban 3' to play Go on KGS.
Four rule sets are available: you can choose between Japanese, Chinese, AGA, and New Zealand rules.
You also have choice of four time systems:
- no time limit,
- sudden death,
- Canadian overtime, or
- Japanese overtime.
- KGS supports Unicode and is translated to 30 languages. Fonts from nearly all languages are displayed.
- There are several rooms for various languages.
- Several KGS Foreign Language Pages contain help and discussions in languages other than English.
- Bill Shubert (original KGS developer)
- Oren current KGS developer
- KGS Admins
- KGS Teachers
- KGS Tutors
- KGS High Dan Players
- KGS Rank Histogram
KGS Social Systems
- KGS Help Room
- KGS Team Tournament
- KGS Teaching Ladder
- KGS Rooms
- KGS Events
- There is a Sensei's Library room on KGS (under Social Rooms).
- KGS Server Status
- KGS Issues (including escapers)
- Great Moments in KGS Chat
- KGS High-dan Game Network
- KGS Tournament Broadcasts
- KGS Pic
- Use the Discussion page to report outages
- KGS news
- A list of KGS+ lectures
- Fuseki Info for KGS Go Server
- The KGS Archives
- KGS can be run in Nokia N900
- KGS Ranked Game Networks
- KGS Score estimator refers only to java client
Pages which describe things which no longer exist, or are so completely out of date as to be useless for reference purposes
- KGS Clans
- KGS Lectures gives the content of old KGS+ lectures and reviews of the teachers
- KGS Spectator Statistics
- KGS Worst Admin
- KGS Rooms / Texas Go Players
- KGS Rooms / The Dan Study Room this merged with KGS Rooms / Advanced Study Room
- KGS Rooms / Florida Scholastic Room
- KGS Rooms / Tsumego Lounge
- KGS Rooms / Van Go Room
The KGS Client is available on Android: http://www.androidzoom.com/android_games/brain_puzzle/kgs-client_dxnk.html?related
 Users of some Asian languages (e.g. Bengali) may have to install additional fonts in their Java environment. OpenJDK Java displays some more fonts than Java SE