Stored the old discussion
Jasonred: I think I finally got it. Going first, is worth half a stone, and every rank is worth one stone. And, komi is half a stone, because if A goes first, the advantage is x, B going first advantage is x, and the difference between the "who goes first" is one stone, i.e. the stone which was placed. So, we should always have komi, cause it's the only way to make up that half stone advantage.
exswoo: Proper Handicap = (Rank Difference) handicaps stones + 1 additional stone + komi for White.
Jasonred: I dunno... I think that Black should be given an "easier" handicap, by giving (rank diff) stones + reverse komi. It might seem like about the same, but in my humble opinion, now Black not only has a territorial advantage, but also can play defensively. "Forcing" Black to make up the komi by playing aggressively seems bad to me. I dunno for sure though.
Charles: In my view, one should never lose sight of the purpose of handicaps, which is to make teaching games more interesting and instructive. I don't think Go handicaps really lend themselves to tournament systems of any kind (they were used in the Oteai, but eventually phased out). Just about all known handicap systems do favour White; those with suspicious minds will ask Cui bono? about a given system, and will come up with the answer 'stronger players'. That being said, a handicap system that is a little light provides a reasonable environment for the rapidly-improving player. The spacing between ranks is a more serious issue than this one of first-play advantage.
If we were to put it into a chart...
1-rank = 1/2 stone 1 stone 2-ranks = 1 1/2 stones 2 stones 3-ranks = 2 1/2 stones 3 stones 4-ranks = 3 1/2 stones 4 stones 5-ranks = 4 1/2 stones 5 stones 6-ranks = 5 1/2 stones 6 stones 7-ranks = 6 1/2 stones 7 stones 8-ranks = 7 1/2 stones 8 stones 9-ranks = 8 1/2 stones 9 stones
(You know, I looked at the chart under this after I wrote all this out and it looks like it does the same thing :) )
TakeNGive: Bill, is there a table somewhere that spells out handicap and komi combinations that give players of different strengths an even chance? The traditional scheme is the only one I'm familiar with
Skelley: This is the table we use at the Amsterdam Go Club, it works fine.
Strength difference Black White dan/kyu class EGF rating stones komi 0 0 0-49 1 w + 6,5 1 50-99 1 w + 0,5 1 2 100-149 2 w + 6,5 3 150-199 2 w + 0,5 2 4 200-249 3 w + 6,5 5 250-299 3 w + 0,5 3 6 300-349 4 w + 6,5 7 350-399 4 w + 0,5 4 8 400-449 5 w + 6,5 9 450-499 5 w + 0,5 5 10 500-549 6 w + 6,5 11 550-599 6 w + 0,5 6 12 600-649 7 w + 6,5 13 650-699 7 w + 0,5 7 14 700-749 8 w + 6,5 15 750-799 8 w + 0,5 8 16 800-849 9 w + 6,5 17 850-899 9 w + 0,5
 The strength difference system that used to be used in Europe, and can still be found in the Netherlands on club level.
Sektor? I assume this entire discussion only explains the situation for a 19x19 game, so what about a 13x13, or even a 9x9 game? How is the number of necessary handicap stones calculated from ranks here? Or is there no 'official formula' for these situations? See handicap for smaller boardsizes
Malweth I'd imagine there's no "official" formula because there are no official games. I'm sure there's a best use formula out there, though I'm not sure what it might be... I do know that as a 12k playing my 7d teacher I was able to win with 4 stones on 9x9 - so I think that the smaller the board, the more subjective handicap stones become (especially as it becomes more and more about tactics).
jfc: I recommend throwing these formula out the window and sticking to the Kadoban system. If you have no idea of the correct handicap then guess, play some quick games and change the handicap with each game. Once you think you know the correct handicap then switch back to the traditional 3 wins in a row changes the handicap.
Bill: Hmmm. TakeNGive asked me a question on this page, but I do not see anything I wrote here. Also, the page history gives no clue as to what I wrote or where it might now be. Whatever I wrote seems to have disappeared. Now, maybe it was not worth saving, but its disappearance is disquieting.