Little Golem
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UESTIONS

Last Update:  July 15, 2013

 
 

What is Little Golem?   What games are available?   What are the different ways to begin a new game?   How long of a time limit do I have before I have to make a move?   Is there a limit on the number of games I can play at one time?  Is there a limit on the number of moves I'm allowed to make in one day?   Is there a place for me to keep personal notes of my games?   Am I allowed  to change the game graphics?   What is a rating?   How do I view my rating graphs?   Could you explain the different types of tournaments available?   Why hasn't the tournament I signed up for started yet?   What is the Waiting Room?   How long are messages in my Message Inbox stored?   What is Son?   What is the Forum?   Am I allowed to edit / change my screen name and other personal data?   What is the benefit of purchasing a paid membership?   How do I log off from the site?   How do I delete my account?   What is the Monster Tournament?   What is the swap rule?   Where is Little Golem "located?"   How long has the site been running?



 

What is Little Golem?

Little Golem is a turn-based game server!  A turn-based server allows you to play games against players who may not be online at the same time you are.  Games usually take several days or weeks to complete.  In fact, games lasting many months are not uncommon.

Most of the games available are two-player abstract strategy (perfect information) games.



What games are available?

Currently there are 22 different games.  Note that several games (Go, Havannah, Hex, Lines Of Action, Polyonimo, Reversi, Shogi, and WYPS) are available on more than one board size! 

The available games, listed alphabetically, are:


  • Amazons
  • Breakthrough
  • Connect 6
  • Chess and Chess960
  • Dots and Boxes
  • DVONN
  • EinStein würfelt nicht!
  • Empathy
  • Four In A Row
  • Go
  • Gomoku
  • Golem's Word Game
  • Havannah
  • Hex
  • Lines of Action
  • OSKI
  • Polyomino
  • Reversi
  • Shogi
  • Slither
  • StreetSoccer
  • TwixtPP
  • WYPS
 
A very brief description of each game follows.

Amazons - Played on a 10x10 board, players alternate turns which consist of moving one of their four "amazons" and shooting an arrow.  Arrows act as a type of a "blocker" for the remainder of the game - future moves and arrows cannot pass over arrows on the board.  The first person unable to move, loses!  

Amazons was invented in 1988 by Walter Zamkauskas of Argentina.



Breakthrough - Played on an 8x8 board, the object of the game is to be the first player to maneuver one of their pieces to their opponent's back row.  Each piece may move to any empty square that is either one space diagonally or straight ahead.  Pieces may capture opposing pieces just like a chess pawn - if the opposing piece is one space diagonally forward.

Breakthrough was invented in 2000 by Dan Troyka and won the 2001 8x8 Game Design Competition.



Connect 6 - The object is to get six or more or your stones in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.  Black begins the game by placing one Black stone on the board and then play alternates with each player placing two stones of their color on the board each turn.  Once placed, stones are never moved nor captured.  

Connect 6 was invented by Professor I-Chen Wu.



Chess - Arguably, chess is almost certainly the most popular board game on the planet during the past 200 years.  There is more literature on chess than all other games combined.  Checkmate your opponent's king and win the game!

Chess960, also known as FischerRandom Chess, is also available!




Dots and Boxes - This is the same popular pencil and paper game you probably played as a child.  Players take turns connecting lines on a 5x5 grid.  Complete the fourth side of a box and claim that box as your own!  After all of the boxes have been claimed, the player with the most boxes wins!



DVONN - Released in 2001 by Kris Burm as the fourth game of the GIPF project, DVONN is a challenging stacking game with very simple rules.  The object is to control more of the playing pieces than your opponent at the end of the game.  Players alternate turns by moving stacks of pieces they control.  During the game, pieces and stacks must remain linked to the red Dvonn pieces. If not, they are removed from the board. 

Note: Rated Tournament and non-rated games are played with a random start position - the opening "setup phase" is skipped.  Championship and Monthly Cup games all start with an empty board - the setup phase is not skipped.



EinStein würfelt nicht! - Played on a 5x5 grid, each player controls six cubes, numbered 1 through 6.  Players alternate rolling a six-sided die and then moving their appropriate cube.  If the matching cube is no longer on the board, the player moves a remaining cube whose number is next-highest or next-lowest to the rolled number.  You win a "leg" (or a "set") if you move one of your cubes to the far corner of the grid, or if your opponent is unable to move.  The first person to win three "legs" ("sets") wins the game.  Alternately, games can be the best of 1, 5 or 7 legs.  Variants include "Backwards Capture" and "Black Hole."

EinStein würfelt nicht! was invented by Professor Dr. Ingo Althofer.



Empathy - Empathy is currently the only multi-player game at this site.  In the past, more than 90 different players have taken part in each game!

With a given expression, you must list ten other words (or phrases) that you believe are in association with the given expression.  Points are awarded for each answer based upon how many other players answer identically!  The player with the most points is the winner.  A new game is currently played every three days.

Warning to parents!  There is no moderation.  Both the expressions and the answers might be considered inappropriate for young children.  (In an effort to answer identically, players often overlook the first rule - to list words or phrases that are in association with the given expression.  Answers often have nothing to do with the given expression.)

A countdown clock informs you when the next game will begin.  Please note that ANY discussion on the current game in the forums is strictly frowned upon.

Finally, an excellent record of Empathy statistics is kept by mongoose and can be found here.




Four In A Row - Players alternate dropping their own checkers into an 8x8 grid.  The object is to line up four or more of your checkers in a row in any direction; horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.  



Go - Now popular throughout the world, Go originated in ancient China, possibly as early as 500 B.C.  Despite the simple rules, it is said Go is many times deeper and more complex than chess.  Players alternate placing stones on a grid, attempting to control more territory than their opponent.  Go is available in three different board sizes; 9x9, 13x13, and 19x19.



Gomoku - Played on a standard 19x19 Go Board, the object is to form an unbroken row of five or more stones horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.  Once played, stones are never moved nor captured.  Opening restrictions reduce Black's first-move advantage.

Gomoku Pro (15x15 and 9x9)  Gomoku Pro begins differently than Gomoku and contains a no-draw rule.  The first player may play 1,2,3,4, or 5 moves.  The second player continues the game with the next stone, or may swap sides.  The first player who can pass all of his remaining moves is the winner.






The word list used for verification 
is the SOWPODS word list.
Golem's Word Game - A game unique to this site.  After bidding for the right to go first, players alternate turns by finding words in a 5x5 letter-grid.  Points are scored for each word, based upon the specific letters in the word, the length of the word, and the location of the word on the grid.  Letters used are replaced with letters from an open and known pool of existing letters.  The object is to score more points than your opponent after all of the letters have been used.  

To help speed up the initial stage of the game, the bidding process, the game has an autobidding feature.  (The bidding process is necessary because if a very high-scoring word was found in the initial grid, the first-player would, of course, have a decisive advantage.)

Because bids are in half-point increments and the remaining scoring in full-point increments, a Golem Word Game can never end in a tie!  





The above board is a base-8 size board,
but Rated Tournament Games are also
available with a base-10 size board.  
Havannah - Invented by Christian Freeling, Havannah is a "connection game" and can be considered a 'cousin' to both Hex and Twixt.

Players alternate placing stones of their own color on a hexagonal board.  Once placed, stones are never moved nor captured.  Each player attempts to be the first to form any of three different types of "chains" - a ring, a bridge, or a fork.  All of these chains are closed connections of the same color.

A ring is a continuous loop around one or more occupied or unoccupied cells.  (The occupied cells can be of either color.)   A bridge is a connection involving any two of the six corners.  A fork is a connection involving three of the board's edges.  (Note that a corner is not considered part of an edge.)  The diagram to the left shows examples all three of these different types of winning conditions.

Currently, all base-8 size boards are being played with the swap rule.






The board above shows a 13x13 game in 
progress but Hex is also available 
with a 19
x19 board.

Hex - Invented independently by mathematician Piet Hein and then later by mathematician John Nash, Hex is a "connection" game.  Players alternate placing stones on a board consisting of hexagons, each attempting to connect their two sides together.  Once placed, a stone is never moved nor captured.  

Because the player moving first has an advantage, the swap rule (in effect) is used to help equalize the game.  Hex can never end in a tie.  

If a game's worth can be estimated by its strategic depth versus rule complexity, then hex provides excellent value.  It's extraordinarily complex, yet with a rule set among the simplest of any game possible!



The board above shows the initial position but games can also be played with the Scrambled Eggs Start variation (all 32 checkers alternate in color) or the Quick Start variation (just eight pieces per color, four on each side).

Lines of Action - Invented by Claude Soucie, Lines of Action is played on an 8x8 board.  Each player controls 12 checkers of their own color.  

The object is to bring all of your checkers together into one continuous body, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.  This is done by repositioning them on the board via moving and jumping, capturing opposing checkers, etc.

Championship 15 is being played on a 9x9 board size, with the center square a black hole!  When a stone lands on the black hole, it disappears!




  OSKI - OSKI is a word game played on a board consisting of 19 hexagons.  Players alternate turns by placing a letter on the board, forming new words.  The number of letters in the length of the new word you formed is the number of points you earned for that move.  The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. 

Since the initial word always consists of three letters, all games last exactly 16 moves.




  Polyomino - Golem's latest game, Polyomino, can be played on four different board sizes!  Players alternate turns, placing their pieces, polyominos, on the board.  Pieces played must touch other pieces of their own color but only at the corners, not the edges. 

If a player cannot play any pieces, they must pass, and after two consecutive passes the game is finished.  The player with the most squares on the board is declared the winner.

To offset any possible first person advantage, the game is played with a swap rule.

The graphic to the left depicts a finished game, on a 14x14 board.  Blue won, the game, with 70 squares to Orange's 66 squares.



Reversi - Reversi, (known commercially as Othello) is available on both an 8x8 and 10x10 board.  Players alternate moves by placing a disc of their own color on the board, and "flipping" opposing discs, turning these discs into discs of your own color.  The object is to have more of your discs than that of your opponent at the end of the game.  The initial position is shown in the diagram.



  Shogi - Also known as Japanese chess, Shogi is a two-player board game belonging to the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, and Chinese Xiangqi. 

Perhaps the enduring popularity of Shogi can be attributed to the 'drop rule' - captured pieces can later be returned to the board to be used as one's own!

The image shown to the left is the official size board, but Mini-Shogi is also available. 

Note that alternate board images are available to players using the Chrome browser.




  Slither - Invented by Corey Clark, Slither is a connection game and can be considered a cousin to Hex.  Player's alternate placing and/or moving stones on the board in an attempt to connect their two sides orthogonally.  Black attempts to connect the top and bottom edges, while White attempts to connect the left and right edges.

A game of Slither cannot end in a draw.




StreetSoccer - As the name implies, StreetSoccer simulates a soccer game.  Players alternate rolling a die, moving their soccer players on the field appropriately, attempting to score more goals than their opponent.  

StreetSoccer was invented by Corné van Moorsel.



TwixtPP - The game Twixt was invented by Alex Randolph and like Hex, is a "connection" game.  Players alternate placing pegs on the board.  Pegs placed "a knight's move apart" are linked together.  Each player attempts to connect both his sides together, while preventing his opponent from doing the same.  

Unlike Hex, it is possible for a Twixt game to end in a draw.  

Unlike Twixt, TwixtPP, as played here, does not support link removal and your own links are allowed to cross each other.  (The PP stands for Paper-Pencil.)

TwixtPP is played here with the swap rule.






In the above position, Black won the game by placing the letters R-I-T next to an existing E, forming the word RITE.  The E was a White letter prior to the move, but when Black used it to help form his word, it became a Black letter and helped to form a connection to all three sides of the board.

The above board is a base-10 size board, but WYPS can also be played on several other board sizes.

WYPS - Invented by Richard Malaschitz, two players, Black and White, alternate turns by placing letter tiles from a common 'rack' on a triangular board made up of hexagons.  Letters used from the rack are replaced from a known pool of four existing letters.  Random letters from a bag replace the four pool letters.

The letters placed on the board must help form a new word.  The word list used for verification is the SOWPODS word list.  Unlike Scrabble, letters that touch existing letters already on the board do not have to form a word.

All letters placed on the board from the rack become that player's color.  Also, if the player on move used one or more of his opponent's colored letters to help form a word, that player can choose one of these letters to turn into his own color!

The first player to connect all three sides of the board with their color letters is the winner.  (Drawn games are impossible.)  In the full-board variant, the game continues until every cell is filled in.  When the last cell has been filled in, the player who has three sides connected is the winner.

 

Several of the above games can be played on different board sizes.  For example, Havannah is available on a seven different size boards.  (Base 4 through Base-10.)  Dots and Boxes can be played on a four different size boards.  

WYPS has a variation which involve numbers instead of letters.  The variation involves placing down a sequence of numbers.  Each number in the sequence makes an arithmetic progression in which successive numbers must be all greater than 0 or all greater than 1 than the previous number in the sequence.  Two examples:  5,5,5 is valid.  Each number is 0 greater than the previous number.  1,2,3,4 is also valid.  Each number is 1 greater than the previous number.

WYPS can also be played with a Czech, Dutch, French, Germany, Greek, Italian, or Spanish word list!

Gomoku has two variants - Gomoku 9x9 and Gomoku 15x15.  Both of these games begin differently than Gomoku, and contain a special no-draw rule.

 

In addition to all of the above games, you can also play a new word game called Quentin, also invented by Richard Malaschitz.  

Currently, Quentin is played against a computer opponent.  Both you and your opponent alternate turns adding one letter at a time to a 'stack' of letters and attempting to form a word with all of these letters on the stack.  If either player cannot form a word, they must cross out one or more letters from the stack, and then add a letter to create a new word.  Each player, at most, can cross out eight letters.  The first person forced to cross out the 9th letter loses the game.

 



What are the different ways to begin a new game?

You can...

  • send an invitation to a specific player
  • accept an invitation sent to you from another player
  • accept a rated of unrated challenge from someone in the Waiting Room
  • post your own rated or unrated challenge in the Waiting Room
  • enter a tournament (Championship Tournament, Monthly Cup Tournament, or User Tournament)



How long of a time limit do I have before I have to make a move?

The time limit is usually expressed as 240/36.  This means you initially have 240 hours (ten days) to make each move.  After each move you make, an additional 36 hours is added to your time, up to a maximum of 240 hours.  

Example:  A new game begins.  Each player has 240 hours for each move.  Your opponent was online when the game began and moved immediately.  You sign on four hours later.  Your time available to make a move has dropped to 236 hours (240 minus 4).  If you move now, you will again have 240 hours to make your next move.  (36 hours are added to your time, with a max of 240.)

If you wait a full week to make your move, your available time will have dropped to 72 hours (240 initial hours minus 168 hours).  After making your move, 36 hours will be added to your time, bringing it up to 108 hours. (72+36)

In addition, each player also has vacation days, which kick in automatically if a player's available time runs out.  Each player has the equivalent of 20 vacation days each year.  (Paid members have more.)  Each player's vacation days are reset on January 1st of each year.  You can view the number of vacation days you have remaining by clicking on the MYGAMES link from the main menu, and then clicking on VACATION.

If the player on move does not move, and this player has all of their vacation time remaining, a game can last approximately one month... an initial 240 hours to make a move (10 days) + 20 vacation days.  At this point the system will automatically end the game.

There are times when a player may have more than 240 hours to make a move.  For example, if a vacation day is triggered, 24 hours are added to each game that player is playing.  However, once that player makes a move, no matter how much time he has, his move-clock will drop back to, at most, 240.



Is there a limit on the number of games I can play at one time?  
Is there a limit on the number of moves I'm allowed to make in one day?

No to both questions.  There is no limit on the number of games you can play at one time, but new players are advised to begin slowly and not take on more games than they can handle.  You can make as many moves per day as you want.  Unlike other turn-based sites, there is no limit!.



Is there a place for me to keep personal notes of my games?

Yes.  When it is your move and prior to submitting your move, below each game board you will see a personal info text box, as shown below, that can be used to enter personal notes.  Any information typed here will be completely private - your opponent will not see the contents of this box.



After making your move (but before sending it) a similar looking box appears that allows you to enter a message to your opponent.  Be sure not to get the two boxes mixed up!  You probably don't want to accidentally send your personal notes about the game to your opponent!



Am I allowed  to change the game graphics?

Two games, Twixt and Hex, do have other board choices you may prefer.  From the menu click on MAIN and then EDIT USER PROPERTIES.  




What is a rating?

A rating is an estimate, usually expressed as a number, of a player's past performance/skill for a particular game. You can usually get an idea of the comparable strength of two players by comparing their ratings.  A player rated several hundred points higher than the other player, for example, will usually be the stronger of the two players.

All tournament games are rated.  (Exception:  It's possible a User Tournament may not be rated, if the user who created this tournament set it up that way.)  Games posted in the waiting room may be either rated or unrated, depending upon the choice of the player who posted the request for a game.

To help prevent a player from manipulating his or her own rating, if you and your opponent are both using the same IP address, or if you have previously logged in using your opponent's IP address, the game will not be rated.

Generally speaking, if you win a game your rating goes up.  If you lose a game your rating goes down.  If you defeat a player with a much higher rating than yours, your rating will increase more than if you defeat a player with a rating lower than yours.  The reverse is also true.  If you lose to a player who has a rating much higher than yours, your rating will not decrease as much as if you lost to a player with a lower rating than yours.

It is possible to win or lose a game and see no rating adjustment at all, if there is a large difference between your rating and that of your opponent's.

Note: In any game, defeating an opponent by a large margin, or winning quickly, does not result in a higher rating.  For example, your rating would increase by the same amount whether you checkmated your opponent in a chess game in five moves, or fifty moves.  As far as your rating is concerned, how you win or how quickly you win makes no difference.

If you resign a game on your first move, your rating and that of your opponent is unchanged.


The exact rating formula is NewRating1 = Rating1 + K *
{ Result - [ 1 + 10 (Rating2 - Rating1) / 400 ] - 1 }
 

For all games here, the "K" in the formula equals 32.  "Result" equals your game result.  For most games, that's 1 for a win, .5 for a draw, and 0 for a loss.  The "Result" for StreetSoccer, however, is slightly different.  With StreetSoccer it's 1 when you win the game by the score of 5:0, 0.8 when you win 4:1, 0.6 when you win 3:2, 0.4 when it's 2:2 or you lose 2:3, 0.2 when you lose 1:4 and 0 when you lose 0:5.  

Ratings in Go are expressed differently than that of other games.  Specifically, players are given the rank of kyu and dan.  A difference of 50 "ordinary" rating points correspond to a difference of 1 kyu (or 1 dan).  More about Go ranks and ratings can be found here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_ranks_and_ratings.

The following table will help determine your expected rating gain/loss, based upon the difference between your rating, the rating of your opponent, and the outcome of the game:





How do I view my rating graphs?

Every player has a rating graph for every game they've played, similar to the example shown below, that gives a history of how their rating has changed over time.  To view the rating graph for you or any other player, click the tiny graph icon    in the Player's statistics box for that player.

 



Could you explain the different types of tournaments available?

There are three different types of tournaments:

  • Monthly Cup Tournaments
  • Championship Tournaments
  • User Tournaments

The three tournaments are not related to each other.  Winning a game or a tournament in one type does not advance you to another.  All three  tournaments use a Round Robin format... you play against everyone else in that tournament.  In the case of Monthly Cup and Championship Tournaments, you play one game against everyone else.  In a User Tournament, you may play two games against each player, if that tournament was set up that way.


When competing in a Monthly Cup Tournament you might find yourself playing against opponents with a much higher or much lower rating than yours.  These tournaments usually consist of five players - meaning you'll play four games... one game each against each of your four opponents.

Each Monthly Cup Tournament consists of several rounds.  If you finish first in a round you will advance to the next round.  Monthly Cup Tournament games are held all month long.  You can enter as many first-rounds during the month as you like, but winning just one of these rounds is sufficient to advance you to the next round.  (And winning more than one first-round does not give you more entries in the second round.)  

At the end of the month, no more entries into that month's Cup are accepted.  Winners from each round keep advancing until a winner is determined.  That player is crowned that month's Monthly Cup Champion for that particular game.  

Because of the additional rounds, Monthly Cup Tournaments take much longer to finish than Rated Tournaments, often many months to complete.  Depending upon the game and the number of players, the Monthly Cup Champion for the month of, for example, February, might not be determined until August!

Note: 19
x19 Go Monthly Cup Tournament games are played with a handicap.  Havannah Monthly Cup Tournament games are played with the base-8 size board.



A Championship Tournament consists of different leagues.  Each league usually consists of nine to eleven players.  The ratings of the players in each league will usually be similar.  Every player plays one game against every other player in that league.  After all games have finished, the player with the most points wins that league.  The player winning the top league, League #1, is crowned the champion!

Generally...

   ...players who finish 1st or 2nd in their league will advance and 
              compete in the next highest league in the next Championship Tournament.  
   ...players who finish 3rd, 4th, or 5th compete at the same level in the next 
              Championship Tournament.  
   ...players who come in 6th place or lower, will compete in next lowest league in 
              the next Championship Tournament.  

Each Championship Tournament begins one week after all games from all leagues have been played in the previous Championship.  There is no notice given when a new Championship Tournament is about to start.  Once you register and play, you're automatically signed up for the next one, whenever it may start, unless you remove yourself.  (To remove yourself, click on REMOVE ME from the Championship section of that game's page.)  It's possible you may sign up for a Championship Tournament, and that tournament might not start for many months!  Again, the next tournament will begin one week after all games from all leagues have played in the previous Championship!

As mentioned above, if you finish 1st or 2nd in your league you will compete in the next highest league in the next Championship.  However, if you decide to skip and not play in that next Championship, you will probably not advance to the next highest league when do decide to resume the Championship Tournament.  Skipping a tournament results in "starting over again" if and when you ever do wish to resume.

If you're entering a Championship Tournament for the first time, the league you are seeded in initially is based upon both your rating and the needs of that particular tournament.  For example, a player may be initially seeded in League #2 and yet have a higher rating than some of the players in League #1.  The reason is these players with the lower rating in League #1 may have earned their right to be there by placing high in League #2 in the previous Championship.

Because some games move along faster than other games, (because the average number of moves per game is less) some games have had more Championship Tournaments than other games.



A User Tournament is created by you or your fellow players.  The player creating the tournament can set the variant size, give the tournament a name, set the start date, set a minimum or maximum rating requirement, etc.



Why hasn't the tournament I signed up for started yet?

Monthly Cup Tournaments will start approximately ten minutes after the fifth person signs up.  And as mentioned above, Championship Tournaments begin one week after all games from all leagues have been played in the previous Championship.  User Tournaments will start at the scheduled start date, as set by the member who created the tournament.



What is the Waiting Room?

If you're interested in playing a single game you can post a request for a game, or respond to someone else's request for a game, in the Waiting Room.  The Waiting Room consists of both rated and unrated games.

If you see an unrated game you'd like to play, click the word ACCEPT next to the player's name.  If you'd like to post your own request for a game, click the ADD link in the far right column.  If you post a game to the waiting room and wish to remove it, click the REMOVE link next to your request.



How long are messages in my Message Inbox stored?

For many years each message was stored for exactly two months.  At the end of two months, the message was automatically be deleted by the system.  Currently, messages are being stored for a longer period of time.



What is Son?  (When viewing tournament results, the far right column is labeled Son.)

Son is short for Sonneborn-Berger.  It's a scoring system used to break ties.

As an example of how this tie-breaking system works, please note the results for League #1 of the 9th Chess Championship Tournament, located in this cross table:



Notice that both kali and Horst DOG finished the tournament with five wins, three draws, and zero losses, for a total of 13 points.  (In all games, each win scores two points and each draw scores one point.)   However, kali, with 90 Son points, had the better Son tiebreaker, and thus was declared the tournament champion.  

A player's Son total can be arrived at in the following manner:  Add up the final point total of all the players he defeated, add up one-half of the final point total of all the players he drew, add these two figures together and then multiply the entire result by 2.  

Here's an example:  By the crosstable above you can see that joerg defeated Players 7, 8, and 9 who finished the tournament with 6, 4, and 0 points respectively.  Adding these three points gives us 10 points.  (6 + 4 + 0 = 10 points.)   

Joerg drew with players 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, who finished the tournament with 13, 13, 12, 7, and 6 points respectively.  Adding one-half of each of these points gives us 25.5 points.  (6.5 + 6.5 + 6 + 3.5 + 3 = 25.5 points.)  

10 points + 25.5 points = 35.5 points.  35.5 points multiplied by 2 = a Son score for joerg of 71.


It is important to realize a player's Son score is only used to break ties.  Even though joerg had a higher Son score than BigChicken, BigChicken finished in 3rd place, with 12 points, which was higher than joerg's 4th place finish, with 11 points.


Sonneborn-Berger is actually something of a misnomer.  William Sonneborn and Johann Berger were actually strong critics of the scoring system!  The system really should be called the Neustadtl score!  More about how the Sonneborn-Berger tie-breaking system can be found here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonneborn-Berger.



What is the Forum?

Little Golem would not be the wonderful site it is if it were not for the Forum Section.  This is place to post questions, post topics for discussion, get to know some of your fellow players, etc.  

Each game has its own forum section.  If you have a question of comment about a specific game you should post it in that game's forum.  If you have a general question or comment about the server, or a question or comment not related to any specific game, you should post it in the main forum.

To help prevent spambots from automatically posting ads in the forum, a player is now required to play approximately ten games before being allowed to post in the forum.

Player's can delete their own forum posts.

Including a game position or a tournament table in a forum post is easy.  All of the following are valid:

[game;id:123456]
[game;id:123456;move:20]
[game;id:123456;move:20;title:some text]

To include a tournament table use this syntax:

[tournament;id:chess.ch.10.2.1]



Am I allowed to edit / change my screen name and other personal data?

Yes.  From the menu in the left column, click on MAIN and then EDIT USER PROFILE.   

Note:  Regarding your user profile... for awhile it was recommended you save to a text file any information you submit in the MORE INFO text box.  There was a time when the system would regularly "reset/reboot" itself and when it did the user profile information was retrieved from an earlier source... meaning recent changes you may have made to your user profile were now lost and would not be seen.  If you saved your information to a text file you could easily submit it again the next time the system was reset/rebooted.  However, this tip is no longer necessary... the "reset bug" appears to be fixed.  (Still, it's not a bad idea to save this information anyway.)



What is the benefit of purchasing a paid membership?

Paid members receive extra vacation days, the ability to post longer blogs, the ability to post a larger number of Waiting Room game requests, and the ability to create User Tournaments.  In the future, paid members may receive additional benefits.  In the forum section, members can be identified by the star next to their name.

Yearly membership is currently 19 EUR.  (Approximately $27.39 USD, as of 6/21/2011.)   Payments can be sent via PayPal.  To initiate the process, click MEMBERSHIP from the main menu.



How do I log off from the site?

From the menu in the left column, click on MAIN and then LOG OFF.   It is only necessary to log off if you are using a public computer or otherwise share your computer with others.  If you are the only one who uses your computer, logging off is not required or necessary. 

If you wish to quit the site completely or if circumstances dictate you are unable to continue making moves in your games for an extended period of time, you should...

   1)  ...resign all of your current games and 
   2)  ...remove yourself from an automatic signup of all future Championship Tournaments.  (From the menu in the left column, click TOURNAMENTS and then in the Championship column click REMOVE ME.)

Your name and password will remain valid if you wish to play games in the future.

 

How do I delete my account?

There is no way to delete your own account.  If you're tired of playing games here, you can simply choose to stop logging in and stop making moves.  If you currently have games in progress, you will eventually timeout on these games and your opponents will be awarded the victory.  (Obviously, out of respect for your opponents, you should try to finish all of your games first or at least take the time to resign.)

There are several reasons why it might be beneficial to keep your account.  For example you may be tired of playing games here now, but it's certainly possible you might wish to play again in the future.  It's also possible the server might some day implement a new game you are interested in.  If so, you can resume playing with your old account and you won't have to create a new one.  Finally, by keeping your account you can continue to read and post questions in the forum section.

Please note that if you decided you don't like your screen name, you can choose another one!  To do this, from the Main Menu click on MAIN and then EDIT USER PROFILE and then enter a new name in the box marked Your real name (visible for others):

 



What is the Monster Tournament?

In 2006, several players decided to create and participate in a Little Golem tournament of their own.  The tournament was a round robin format... every player would play every game offered at Little Golem against everyone else in the tournament!  Discussions were held in the forum section on the tournament format, length of tournament, rules, etc.  The winner would be given the title of Monster of Little Golem.

The first tournament took almost a full year to complete and was won by Ray Garrison.  The second tournament recently finished and Ray Garrison was again the winner.

A couple of players created websites with stats and results about the tournament.  ypercube's website can be found here and tasuki's website can be found here.




What is the swap rule?

The swap rule, also often referred to as the pie rule, is the name given for a method to help negate the advantage of moving first. 
Without the pie rule, games with too large of a first-move advantage would be unfair and thus unplayable.

The name comes from the classic example of two people who want to split the last piece of pie. One person cuts the piece into two pieces and the other person gets to choose which of these two pieces they want. This ensures the player who cut the piece of pie will cut it into two halves that are as equal in size as possible.

In board games the method is similar. The player to move first makes a move on the board and the second player has the option of either a) swapping sides, so the move made by the first player thus becomes his/her move, or b) continuing the game from this position and making his/her own move.  

This equalization method ensures the first player won't make too strong of an opening move.  If he did, of course, the second player would definitely swap sides!

Games that use the pie rule here are Hex, Twixt, Havannah with all board sizes that are base-8 or lower, WYPS, Slither, and Polyomino.




Where is Little Golem "located?"

The server running Little Golem is located in Europe in the country of Slovakia.  All date and times are stamped with the server's local time.  Slovakia is in the Central European Time Zone which is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +1).  (Two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2) when Daylight Saving Time is being observed.)



How long has the site been running?

With a minor exception or two, Little Golem has been up continuously since March of 2002.

 

 

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