GGS Othello Server Introduction
This is an introduction to the Generic Game Server (GGS) and its Othello
server (/os), where many of the world's top Othello players hang out. It
has a huge number of features but its power makes it hard to navigate at
first; this page is to help you get started. It will not teach you all
the features; for that visit http://external.nj.nec.com/homepages/igord/usrman.htm
To Play A Game
Server - bodo1.cs.ualberta.ca 5000
(c) Igor Durdanovic
(c) Michael Buro
: Enter login (yours, or one you'd like to use).
: Enter your password.
It is important to enter a password even if you're not registered.
This will be followed by a lot of text. You can read it all later using
the help command.
Type the following commands:
'make server othello' - tells GGS you want to play Othello rather than
checkers or amazons.
ts open 1
ts stands for 'tell server' - this tells the GGS to direct the following
command to the Othello server.
The 'open 1' command tells the computer you are available to play 1
game at a time. If you want to watch but not play, type 'ts open 0'.
ts who 8
The 'who' command asks who is available to play Othello. '8' means
standard Othello on an 8x8 board; many variants
of Othello are also available.
Find a likely opponent. A good first opponent is ant, a computer program
which will play anybody anytime. 'ts who 8' can be abbreviated 'tw 8'.
If you are not used to GGS ratings, ant is better than most humans.
ts ask 8 ant
Ask ant to play a game. This uses the default time controls: 15 minutes
per side. Again '8' means an 8x8 board. 'ts ask' can be abbreviated 'ta'
You should get a message like /os: start .7 ( ant vs. NewGuy ) unrated
8. If you are listed first you drew black and make the first move.
If you are listed second you are white.
The initial board will show up. In this case we are white (O) so we wait
for the second board to show up, telling us our opponent's move
/os: update .7 8 K?
| 1: F5/-1.00
|ant (1460.7 *) 15:00//02:00
|NewGuy (1720.0 O) 15:00//02:00
| A B C D E F G H
| 1 - - - - - - - - 1
| 2 - - - - - - - - 2
| 3 - - - - - - - - 3
| 4 - - - O * - - - 4
| 5 - - - * * * - - 5
| 6 - - - - - - - - 6
| 7 - - - - - - - - 7
| 8 - - - - - - - - 8
| A B C D E F G H
|O to move
Make your move, and wait for your opponent's move
'ts play d6' - Play d6 to lead into the perpendicular opening
Late in the game you may need to pass a move; this is how you do it.
Now all you have to do is win.
Talking to people
If you are a human you may wish to talk to people. Use the who
command to see all the people on GGS, or type ts who 8
to see who's available for a game of Othello.
If you see OldGuy, you can talk to him by saying
t OldGuy hello! It's nice to see you.
OldGuy: It's nice to see you too.
't' is short for 'tell'.
The '.' command repeats talking to the last person you talked to
. I'm still talking to you, OldGuy
You can also talk to everyone on GGS by using the .chat channel:
y hi everyone
'y' is short for 'yell' which is the same thing as 't .chat'.
Generic and specific game servers
The GGS is a completely separate program from the specific game servers.
To communicate with GGS, you simply type the command, e.g. 'who'. To communicate
with your specific game server (the othello server /os, since you typed
'mso'), you prefix the command by ts, e.g. 'ts who 8'. Since GGS and /os
are separate programs, they have separate commands and help files.
To get GGS help type 'help help'; you can see a list of GGS commands
by typing 'help cmds'.
To get /os help type 'ts help help'; you can see a list of /os commands
by typing 'ts help cmds'.
Registering and getting a rating
In order to get a rating (necessary to play some of the tougher players
on GGS, and fun anyway) you need to register. Your password will be the
same as the one you logged in with; make sure you remember it before registering.
First you need to find an administrator:
This lists the administrators currently on-line. Don't bother root
if you can help it; anyone else is fair game
t zardoz I would like to register please
He will respond if he's around, probably with a request for your name
and email address.
t zardoz My name is Clark Kent and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
You should be registered. Among other benefits you can now play rated
games by saying
ts rated +
Or you might want to play an unrated practice game by saying
ts rated -
Learning about your opponent
The finger command (abbreviated f) tells you about someone. GGS has a finger
Which tells you a little about OO7 (his name, for instance). The othello
server has a finger command too
ts f OO7
Which tells you Othello-specific things about OO7. This includes his
rating and his decline formula:
|decline: size!=8 | anti | mc!=? | (rand & (discs<14
| discs>24)) | mt < 20 | ot > 1800 | ((stored > 0) & !saved) | !rated
OO7 automatically declines any game in which any of the following is
||played on a nonstandard (8x8) board
||player with the most discs loses
||The colors aren't random
|(rand & (discs<14 | discs>24))
||The game has a random starting position with fewer than 14 or more
than 24 discs
|mt < 20
||OO7 has fewer than 20 seconds
|ot > 1800
||OO7's opponent has more than 30 minutes
|((stored > 0) & !saved)
||There is a stored game between you and you want to play a brand new
||The game is unrated
If someone challenges you to a game you will get a line like this:
/os: + .18 2155.4 OldGuy 15:00//02:00
8 R 1720.0 NewGuy
(.18 is the challenge id, 15:00//2:00 means standard time control; 8
R means standard 8x8 Othello, rated).
Type ts accept .18 to play or ts decline .18
to turn down the challenge