KGS Tips

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Most-wanted answers about KGS

Table of contents

If you're a [ext] KGS newbie and you have a question about the server, check this list. It is very likely that the answer is here.

New users

Ratings and ranks

  • Any rating with a ? is just a completely unreliable guess and you shouldn't be surprised if it changes suddenly.
  • Your rating is computed from the current rating of your past opponents. If they go up, you go up with them. If you don't play, that makes KGS assume that you are progressing at the same rate as everyone (which is reasonable if you are still playing off-line).
  • In order to get a rating without a ? you must have at least 2 rated games won and 2 lost against solidly-rated opponents. Typically about a dozen rated games are enough.
    • Important note: Even if you're only after a solid ranking, don't turn down games from ? players. When they get a solid ranking, your games against them count as much as games against people who had solid rankings when you played them.
  • Only the result of a rated game matters to your rating. The score is irrelevant, and it doesn't matter if it's a win on time or a win by resignation. A win is a win, as far as the rating system is concerned.
  • Ratings (ranks) are computed very frequently (every minute or so), but the graph is updated only once a day.

If your opponent leaves the game (escaping)

  • If your opponent leaves in the middle of a game, assume that he will come back. You should wait at least 5 or 10 minutes, in case he has to reboot his computer and reconnect to KGS. If he doesn't come back, you can close the game window. You will be able to resume the game later with the resume button.
  • If your opponent's time has run out, KGS will send a message to the opponent's client. If the client responds it means the connection is still valid and the game will be ended. If the client does not respond then the server assumes that the connection is lost: it will not grant the win and just marks the player as escaper. You can leave the game and resume it when he returns.
  • KGS is equipped to deal with people who deliberately leave rated games to avoid losing. Read the [ext] KGS escaper policy to learn what happens to them. If your opponent does it, just get over it and play a new game with someone else. In particular, it is useless to announce your opinion of the escaper in the English Game Room.

Game records

  • All games are stored on the server for 6 months. All games are stored in the [ext] KGS archives indefinitely.
  • If an unfinished game has fewer than 10 moves, then it is automatically deleted by the server, on the assumption that the players screwed up the setup and don't want to play the game after all.
    • Not quite true. White has the option to save the game.


  • The requirements for pictures submitted for your account information are: 141x200 pixel dimensions, JPEG or PNG format, 7 kilobytes maximum size. The picture has to be approved by an admin, which is normally fairly quick but can take up to a day during quiet periods. You are not notified if your picture is rejected.
revo: Does anybody know how I can remove my picture? (Not that I want to now, but maybe someday I don't want to have it anymore). I think I've read this question somewhere else long time ago, but I can't remember any answer. Do I have to ask an admin to do that?
  • It cannot be done under the normal course of events. You have to replace it with another (possibly blank). If an inappropriate picture is inadvertently approved a superadmin can remove it, but that is not done on request - only in exceptional circumstances - as it is nontrivial. DrStraw


  • When you are scoring the game (after both players have passed) if some stones are accidentally marked dead you can shift-click the stones that were marked dead by mistake, it will bring them back to life.
  • If you have lost your password, you can reset it from the [ext] KGS password reset page.
  • The people who have a (gold or silver) star next to their names are admins. They can kick you out if you misbehave, but most importantly they are there to help you when you have a problem with the server.
  • If you have a question not answered here, use the Help menu and read the [ext] KGS help files, and the KGS User's Guide. You are very likely to find the answer there.

If you still can't find your answer here, you should ask for help in the KGS Help Room or in English Game Room. You can then add the answer to this list to help other newbies.



Thanks for that. For the sake of clarity, please supply the questions for your answers, especially the second to fifth.

You're missing the point. It's much more fun without the questions. And shorter, too.

Neil: Clarifications added. Planar: added section titles.

KGS Tips last edited by on August 12, 2009 - 23:47
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