Western Server Challenge

    Keywords: Online Go

The Western Server Challenge (WSC) and the Western Dan Challenge (WDC) are / were online community events, organised by long-time American Go teacher Clossius (Shawn Ray), perhaps the largest ever when tournaments are excluded.

Western Dan Challenge

The Western Dan Challenge took place in 2021.

Its goal was to encourage activity amongst dan players on Western servers, in response to the large number of Western dans playing on the Oriental servers (Fox, IGS, Tygem and WBaduk). This issue was correctly perceived as self-reinforcing, with dan players not using Western servers due to an insufficient availability of high level opponents.

The challenge, which offered cash prizes, was initially for dans to play at least a hundred games (and, beyond that, as many as possible) 19x19 games on Western servers over the course of March. These servers were defined as KGS, OGS and the young CGS. However, interest grew amongst kyu players as well, leading to their incorporation into the event.

Players who had achieved the goal of completing at least a hundred games were given an OGS profile badge, featuring the Clossius elf.

Western Server Challenge

The WDC proved so popular that Clossius was asked to revive it for the following year, 2022. This edition was planned from the offset to have no particular emphasis on dans, and so was simply called the Western Server Challenge. Due to difficulties that Clossius had had with processing results from KGS, and because CGS had not become popular, participation was this time restricted to OGS. Again, the challenge month is March.


The following are taken from Clossius' post in the [ext] official thread, on the OGS forum.

  • Only games played in March will count.
  • Must be a ranked or rengo game.
  • Must be on OGS.
  • Must be on the same account. (Makes it easier to track)
  • Must not use AI. I will be having people check.
  • Minimum time settings of 1min 10sec x 5
  • Must use an overtime clock equivalent to the minimum time settings if not using byo yomi.
  • No Sudden Death (Only main time and no over time.)
  • Only 19x19 games
  • Bot games will not count.
  • For Fischer someone has suggested the more or less equivalent will be Fischer 5/5. 5 min +5s per move with no cap.
  • For draws there will be a tie breaker. The one with the most wins. If this number is the same we will offer a split prize or a play off.
  • For OGS the time zone will start on UTC. (pending how OGS handles this)
  • Do NOT resign games too early just to quickly move on. This defeats the spirit of the event.
  • Prizes will be given via Paypal. If this does not work for you, we will donate the funds to a charity or streamer of your choice. (If possible.)
  • Do not violate OGS’s TOS.
  • Do not find flaws with the rules that defeat the spirit of the challenge.

WSC ranking

The ranking of WSC participants can be viewed [ext] here.

WSC results

Of the 258 players who signed up the challenge, 162 played at least ten games in the month of March.

108 participants played at least 25 games, 77 played at least 50 games, and 61 played at least 75 games.

52 people completed the challenge, by playing at least a hundred games.

There were three strength categories: Dan (which was really 3k+), SDK and DDK. Here are the top five finishers in each bracket, plus the rest of the top twenty.

#1 Mardipaev            (523, overall #3)
#2 SupraticGupta        (443, overall #5)
#3 Brandebouc           (189, overall #9)
#4 Christoph-AIX        (178, overall #10)
#5 "Fighting Dolphins"  (113, overall #19) [1]
#1 Sofia                (1758, overall #1)
#2 ehomba               (800, overall #2)
#3 _zaki_               (262, overall #6)
#4 SirMortimer          (232, overall #7)
#5 WynKas               (196, overall #8)
#1 Vacatari             (450, overall #4)
#2 godachoi             (148, overall #11)
#3 NinjaKitty           (120, overall #17)
#4 Amarantz99           (117, overall #18) [2]
Rest of the top twenty:
#12 fmansa              (146)
#13 He Walks in Shadows (114)
#14 EntropicalDisorder  (128)
#15 vali_osa            (126)
#16 slimebird           (124)
#20 LeaSaco             (112)
Everyone else who reached a hundred games:
#21 (121) bugcat,    Russian guy [3]
#23 (109) Unit27
#24 (108) euler,     Tilwen
#26 (107) bani,      michiakig
#29 (106) Kdar,      annikiya, katapliksi,
#31 (105) slc.817,   ziziwuwu, OnoKakafeniks
#34 (104) lecw,      buzzsaw,  bluetiles,  Varakopiovastaava
#38 (103) marrar,    zimosana, Avery Wang, PopcornCzar, Sketchy omen, drunk fmansa [4]
#44 (102) Keb,       Seren,    pagman,     obloong,     Itarios
#49 (101) Naxe,      Clossius
#51 (100) Chitatapu, FireScourge

[1] His name is made up of emoji.

[2] It's a bit complicated to determine who was the fifth highest DDK. There could be several claimants, depending on how one interprets the data.

[3] Андрей Голомыздо. SL doesn't play very nice with Unicode.

[4] Yes, this is also fmansa.

Western Server Challenge last edited by bugcat on April 2, 2022 - 16:40
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