Many years ago, when "auction komi" was tried out at a London Open Go
tournament, I collected statistics on what the winning komi bid was among
players of various strengths. There was a positive correlation between
playing strength and komi.  Of course this does not answer the question, it
just shows that strong humans valued the right to play first more than weak
humans did.

I find Hideki Kato's argument intuitively convincing. Suppose "God's komi"
is *n*, so a game between two perfect players using *n* komi ends in jigo.
But when two imperfect players use *n* komi, they will make imperfect
moves, which will reduce the value of sente, and of komi, and Black won't
(on average) be able to recover the *n* points he has paid.

However, there's a powerful counterargument to the above  I can put the
first black stone on the board as well as any professional can. And now,
assuming I am playing an equally weak human, it's White who suffers most
from the imperfection of our subsequent moves.


On 5 November 2015 at 11:39, Petr Baudis <> wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 05, 2015 at 09:03:38AM +0200, Petri Pitkanen wrote:
> > 2015-11-05 0:04 GMT+02:00 Hideki Kato <>:
> >
> > > The correct komi value assuming both players are perfect.  Or, black
> > > utilize his advantage (maybe in an early stage) perfectly.  Actual
> > > players, even strong pros, are not perfect and cannot fully utilize
> > > their advantages.  As a conclusion, white is favored.
> >
> > Let alone we do not have even sufficient understanding of perfect play to
> > say what is correct komi in absolute sense. Nor it is it even meaningful
> > concept. Correct komi is a komi that produces about 50/50 result.
> Obviously
> > komi that will result in 50/50 for professionals will probably favour
> white
> > in your average weekend tournaments. Just like in chess 1st move
> advantage
> > is clearly less meanigfull for weaker players than top professionals.
> I find the notion above really counterintuitive, personally.
> Do you have any statistical evidence for this?  I.e. increasing portions
> of white wins in even games as the player rating decreases?
>                                 Petr Baudis
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