KGS Go Server

    Keywords: Online Go

The [ext] KGS Go Server (KGS) is a Go server. 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 logo

Table of contents

The KGS Go Server first opened under the name Igoweb in April 2000. The original announcement can be found [ext] 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.

  1. [ext] Shin KGS - Initially developed by [ext] Justin K. Kramer, the author of eidogo. As of February 2024, still in beta.
  2. [ext] GoUniverse - a Google Chrome extension. Its source code can be obtained from [ext] here.

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.

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:, port: 2379.)

An example of getting KGS working on Windows 10 64bit

From the [ext] Oracle java page choose the [ext] 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 "[ext]" in without the double quotes.
  • For the 'HTTP location' warning, choose 'continue'.
  • Then click 'OK' to close the 'Java Control Panel'.

From the [ext] 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: [ext] '.
  • 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.

Rule sets

Four rule sets are available: you can choose between Japanese, Chinese, AGA, and New Zealand rules.

Time systems

You also have choice of four time systems:

Multilingual support

  • KGS supports Unicode and is translated to 30 languages. Fonts from nearly all languages are displayed.[2]
  • There are several rooms for various languages.
  • Several KGS Foreign Language Pages contain help and discussions in languages other than English.

KGS Usage

KGS People

KGS Social Systems

KGS Development



Pages which describe things which no longer exist, or are so completely out of date as to be useless for reference purposes

Other languages


There is an official [ext] KGS Client for Android also.


[2] 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

KGS Go Server last edited by on March 1, 2024 - 21:42
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