Welcome to KGS
Downloading and Installing CGoban, the KGS Client
CGoban Main Window
Introduction to KGS
KGS Plus
KGS on Androidâ„¢
Terms of Service
Admin Announcements
Newbie FAQ
Main KGS Window
Set Preferences
Server Stats
"New Game" Window
Game Window
Playing Games
Game Types
Supported Rule Sets
Supported Time Systems
Tagged Games
Rating System
Rating System Math
Main FAQ

Information for Help Editors
Resources for Help Editors
Help Discussion
Recent Changes
Translations Available (click a flag to view):
German (Germany) English (United States) Turkish (Turkey) Vietnamese (Vietnam)

Short Help Texts

This text should become a short text, around one sheet A4, but has become more. Sorry!
It's only text for the 'hardcoded' pages, as they are directly linked from the client or the KGS-mainpage.
I tried to make them as complete as possible and as needed for the normal KGS user.
What is missing? A collection of the important FAQ content (coming), shortcuts (there are many), the teaching page

*  /help/toc.html
*  /help/index.html
*  /help/app/main.html
*  /help/setPrefsWin.html
*  /help/main.html
*  /help/newGameWin.html
*  /help/serverStatsWin.html
*  /help/gameWin.html
*  /help/app/editor.html
*  /help/app/gameInfoWin.html

You can use the source of this page as templates.

This part for: /help/toc.html

KGS Mainpage

Overview KGS

Start window
Rooms Window
Game window
New game setup
Editor (online and offline)


Please help translating
Edit tricks
Recent changes

This part for: /help/index.html

KGS - Help overview

The KGS Go-server (formerly Igoweb and Kiseido Go-server) exists since April 2000 and has become a lively meeting place for Go players from all around the world.

With KGS you can
* - play go online (play now!) as guest or registered user
* - view games of strong players and discuss moves
* - meet friends, chat
* - learn, join KGS-Plus lessons
* - play teaching games (many options)
* - set up demonstration games
* - join a KGS-Plus tournament

* - FAQ (not yet ready)
* - Terms of Service

Besides playing online, the offline version of the client program , CGoban (download), allowes you to create and edit game record files (sgf-format).

This part for: /help/app/main.html

Start Window (6 Buttons)

* - switch to the login window for the KGS Go-server
* - edit or create a game record file (sgf-format, CGoban)
* - change settings for the KGS-Client and offline editor CGoban
* - Quit the program; all client and editor windows will be closed at once (no question 'save file?').

Login Window

Chose a name for logging in as a guest (no password needed); (already registered, but forgot password?)
name rules: 10 characters maximum, a..z, A..Z, 0..9, no spaces, ! - . % & etc., first character must be a letter.

Sometimes the client looses the connection to the server, but doesn't take notice of this and seems to hang.
Click 'Quit' and restart the program. If your game has been aborted, click the 'Resume' button at the top left of a room tab in the rooms window.

This part for: /help/setPrefsWin.html

Set Preferences

The preferences mainly concern the KGS-client.
It's usually enough (and default) to set language to 'System default'. (KGS help pages adress to browser default, see Editor's FAQ - Switch Language)
Host, Port:
Do not change this, unless you know exactly, why you do it!
Save client password:
Uncheck, if you are not the only person to use that computer.
Mouse anti-slip:
against accidential wrong moves by nervous fingers: mouse needs to hover over one place for a minimum of 1 second to let the click place a stone.
Board coordinates:
also possible to switch in the game with ctrl-L
Texture graphics:
With an old (slow) computer, you may want to display board and stones with simple graphics.
Kos as squares?:
As a reminder where you cannot play with your next move
test microphone:
for teacher accounts

This part for: /help/main.html

The main window of the client

The KGS main window is the first thing you see after logging in. It has chat rooms, game lists, and options, that let you set up games.


If you are new to KGS, you will be logged in as a guest. You may play as much as you want - no restrictions.

But as registered user you can
* - change your user info,
* - upload a picture to your user info,
* - have a friends list
* - have all played games in your personal games list and - most important -
* - see the development of your playing strength ('rating graph').

Registering is easy: go to the user menue, chose 'Register', enter a valid email address (don't use msn/hotmail: problems). We will send you a temporary password, which you must use within 24 hours.
In case of problems please look on the english troubleshoot page

Add a chatroom to your rooms window:

menue 'Rooms', -> 'Roomlist'; doubleclick on a room of your choice (the 'English Game Room' is probably most interesting).

The tabs 'Open Games' and 'Ongoing Games' collect game requests and ongoing games from all chatrooms of KGS.

The games list of a chatroom and the list of the tab ongoing games lets you join a game to watch by simply clicking on the game.

Set up a Game

To set up a game, click the 'manually chose opponent'-button or 'automatch' from the 'Play Go' menue.
Also you can answer to a game request of another player. In the games list of a chat room the requests are displayed with bold letters. If there are none because of wrong daytime, select the tab 'Open Games' (tab closed? -> menue 'Rooms', check 'Open Games').

Chat, Send Message

Besides the room chat in every chatroom you can talk to a special person:
Click on a name to the right to chat with this person.
Send a message to a person who is not online: menue 'User' -> 'Leave Message'.

View players info or add a player to your friends list (see the friends list in the user menue) with a right click.

In all text fields of the KGS client and CGoban (editor) the shortcuts ctrl-c (copy) and ctrl-v (paste) can be used to copy marked text to the clipboard and paste it whereever.

This part for: /help/newGameWin.html

Set up a Game
(Possible settings for a manually set up game)

To start a game, you you should first set your preferences (reduced settings for the automatch feature).

The white line at the top for remarks: extra information for interested players

Game types:

rated: registered users only, 19x19 only, up to 6 stones handicap, game result influence the displayed rank (rank graph: updated once per day)
free: no influence on the displayed rank
rengo: is Pair-Go, is two players against two (fun!),
simul: as stronger player: play two or more games at the same time
demo: set up position, problem or game for yourself or pupils / observers
teach: play and stop for discussion and continue play (time needs to be set)
demo and teach are editable game types (editor)

Private: you decide, who can join the game, not for rated games.
Main list: players from all chatrooms can join your game
Before accepting another players game setup, you can chat with him to make things clear.

Time System:

None - no time pressure
Absolute - ('Sudden Death') finish before the time runs out or you lose
Byo-Yomi - (Japanese overtime) means fixed extra time for every move; this extra time may run out 1 time, two times, ...
Canadian - after basic time ran out: fixed count of stones before a set time runs out or you loose, then next fixed count of stones ...
Board size: 9, 13, 19 is normal (beginners take 9x9), for other sizes: type in!


Japanese - mostly used (territory counts)
Chinese - easiest for beginners, bots (programs running on KGS) mostly use chinese rules; area covered by stones plus surrounded territory counts, you may capture closed in stones without changing the result!
New Zealand - similar to chinese, two ore more stones may play self capture
AGA - American Go Accociation, uses japanese and chinese counting (don't mind - the server does the counting for you).

Handicap: up to 6 stones for a rated game. When you are the weaker player, make sure, that you take the black stones!
Komi: black has the advantage to begin. To compensate, white is given some points.

Before you accept a game challenge, you can chat with the challenger and make some settings: handicap, komi, who plays white/black or to draw lots for black/white ('nigiri').


In the 'Play Go'-menue you can switch the automatch feature on. Now the server will find an opponent for you. Before you switch automatch on, you can change the settings for automatch: 'bot' means a computerprogram, which is connected to KGS by an interface. Rated means, that the result has influence on your rating (not possible, when you are guest or hide your rank).
Estimated rank: if you don't know, chose 25k (=kyu), if you are a real beginner, take 30k.
The ranks are as follows: beginner = 30k ... 1k = strong = 1d (dan) ... 7d =very strong = 1p (profi-dan with license) ... 9p = Mount Everest

Time allotment:

Medium: 25 minutes + overtime (5x30 sec.)
Fast: 10 minutes + overtime (5x20 sec.)
Blitz: 1 minute + overtime (3x10 sec.)
(overtime: allways japanese 'byoyomi', move before seconds run out and you don't lose on time)

Boardsize: 19x19 only possible
Rules: always japanese

As soon as an automatch game begins, you cannot abort it: this will be seen as escaped and you lose, even if no stone has been placed yet.

This part for: /help/serverStatsWin.html

Server Status and Statistics

The KGS Server Stats window provides information mainly for the admins and the programmer of the KGS server and client. A 'ping' (-> wikipedia) is built in. It shows the response time between server and client.

This part for: /help/gameWin.html

The Game window

(Extra page for tools and options while editing a game!)

Besides making moves, passing, resigning and making comments,
all users can [ctrl]-[click] on a board position to send the coordinates to the chat line.
Players cannot see observers' comments before the game ends (teaching and demo game: all comments visible).
Players can review the game after it has ended.
Observers may chose to save the game to their local HD (players: after the game has ended) or to open a copy ('clone') of the game to try variations. Later moves become added to the clone window.

The content of the options menue:
View rules of this game (players and observers)
Use score estimator 'SE' (observers)
Save (to disk, observers, after the game also players)
Review (players, afer the game)
Clone (observers)
add 1 minute or 5 minutes (to opponents clock, players)
Ask opponent for takeback a move (players)

This part for: /help/app/editor.html

Editor: Tools and Options

Ways to edit a game record:

* Offline create or edit an sgf-file from your harddisk
* Online create a game record by setting up a demo game
* Play a teaching game, stop game for discussing moves and variations and later play on
* Upload an sgf-file to KGS for a demo game
* Review a game with your opponent or observers after the game has ended or load it from a player's games list for review
* Clone an ongoing game from the game window to try out and discuss, without disturbing players and observers (later moves from the game become added to the game tree)
* View an ongoing game offline (later moves do not become added)

Available tools are:

Move (F1): ctrl-shift-click on the board changes actual colour
Edit (F2) (crosscut-icon): Set up a position, shift-click for white stones
Score (F3) (yinyang-icon): mark territory (only for exactly fenced in territory) click on stones to mark as dead, shift-click to unmark from dead; unmark territory with ctrl-shift-click on one marker
Markers (F4-F6): triangle, square, circle
Labels (F7): A...Z as sequence, free labels with shift-click (abc, 123, !, %, ?,...) restrict yourself to 2 characters per label
Number (F8): 1-80 as sequence, move number with shift-click
(online:) give (ctrl-g) / take (ctrl-t) editing control, set players
(offline:) cut and paste parts of the game tree, up and down changes hierarchy of variations (actual stone needs to be first of the variation)

Options are:

edit the game info (offline)
estimate score
view named nodes (related to sgf game record format: every move and set up position is a node and can get a name, offline)
print the actual position (offline)
merge files (e.g. problems to a collection, offline)
number moves (offline)
mark variations (offline)

Teaching issues are described in detail.

As example the typical view of a game file in sgf-format, seen in a text editor:
(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[5.00]TM[10800]OT[10x120 byo-yomi] PW[Old Master]PB[Grand Master]WR[6d]BR[5d]DT[1963-04-03]GC[exceptionel!]EV[Garden Games]RE[W+1.00];B[od];W[qp];B[de];W[cp];B[qd])

Remark for loading a game file: if the game result has been written with another program, CGoban may display an error message, when the result doesn't have a fixed format.
Shown by a text editor (sgf is a text-only format):

RE[W+0.50] is o.k., but not RE[W+0,5], not RE[W + 0.5], not RE[White+0.5])
RE[W+resign] (o.k.)
RE[?] (is o.k., but not RE[unknown])
RE[0] (is o.k., but not RE[jigo])
RE[void], RE[no result] ( both o.k.)
RE[W+Forfeit] (o.k.)
RE[W+Time] (o.k.)

Extensive info on the sgf file format can be found at

This part for: /help/app/gameInfoWin.html

Game Information Window

While editing, you can change nearly all main info of a loaded game

Edit this page (requires admin or translator privilege)