Shinji-kun wrote:Are there any manditory commitments to using KGS, or can you play whenever you want?
It's free, but in order to maintain your ranking, you have to have a certain number of ranked games within the last few months. You don't even need to sign up, there's people in the IRC channel that I play against from time to time and they're logged in as guests. A guest won't be able to play ranked games (games that goes into the calculation of your ranking), and you're less likely to find people to play against since you don't have a rank, but you can at least play games. Most people on KGS will only play against someone with a rank because that gives them an idea of skill level. Ranks in Go start from maybe 30 kyu and go up to 1 kyu (lowest to highest), then from there, 1 dan to 9 dan (again lowest from highest). The difference between ranks are considered "1 stone". So if a 5k plays a 8k, the 5k person usually gives a 3 stone handicap, meaning black (the 8k ranked person) gets 3 stones on the board at the start of the game. Ranked games on KGS will only allow at most a 6 stone handicap.