Go handicaps

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Within most systems and at most levels, handicap is given to offset the strength difference between players of different ranks in the game of Go.

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Forms of handicaps

In the game of Go, handicap is given by means of stones and compensation points. In contrast to an even game, in which black plays first, white plays the first move in a game with handicap (after black's handicap stones have been placed).

Handicap stones

The rank difference within a given amateur ranking system is one guide to how many handicap stones should be given to make the game a more equal contest. As a general rule, each rank represents the value of one stone. (In points terms, one stone is considered to be 13-16 points, but this figure is not constant over levels: the more skillful a player, the greater the usefulness of each stone.)

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