The ASR league is a uniquely concept in the Western Go world to fill a valuable niche in the amateur Go playing community. Worldwide we count more than 60 million Go players (Source: BritGo – British Go Association).

The historical roots of ASR – Advanced Study Room can be dated back to ~ 2002-2006.

The latest statistics the ASR Team is colleting since February 2016 counted 1,092 nominations in all five league divisions by now >330 registered Go players. – 512 of these nominations became actively players (= 46.89 %) with status on 15th October 2016. The latest update on 28th Febr 2017 counted 1,409 nominations in all 5 divisions by 455 registered Go players. – 744 of these nomitations became actively players = 52.80 %. The activity rate (active players / month) increased from 46.89% to 52.80 % = 12.6% growth.

The new ASR team (which overtook ASR – Advanced Study Room and the ASR league on 29th June 2016 as reported) is steadily working on developing a highly competitive system, accessible to all levels of abilities & skills (~ Go ranks), yet with something to offer and to motivate each player to enjoy his/her time competing in the ASR league… and to simplify his/her indiviually Go studies.

The ASR league is the essentially tool of the ASR – Advanced Study Room. Following short clip (3:10 min) with shooting on 17th September 2016 in Hangzhou (China) gives you quickly an orientation about the ASR – Advanced Study Room by the ASR manager Guillaume Douron (4 Dan CGF).

By its self understanding “ASR” is a global Cooperative and collaborative Learning Community for GO… by sharing knowledge and experiences – in an environment of dedication, pleasure and enjoyment.

How is this possible? – There are two main tools for this purpose:

The ASR Rookie Challenge gives head start to newcomers…


…and the monthly ASR league services for qualified players  – see participation guidelines.

Core tenets of the ASR league

Teaching and Learning:

With a spread of ability in the majority of the five (5) divisions (formerly known as classes) there will always be stronger players to play that can be learned from, and weaker players that can be taught.

At the end of each game, it is highly encouraged that the stronger player will take the time to review the game for the weaker player. If the players are of even strength, much can be learned by reviewing the game together. Get orientation about our essentially princips of “Advanced Go Studieshere.

The ASR league is supported by guest lecturers and qualified Go teachers from around the globe to give live teachings (via audio/video stream). Please visit the archive and get access free of charge to some interesting topics you can progress with your Go studies easily.


Interactivity and involvement:

ASR league manager Guillaume Douron (4 Dan) playing a strong 6 Dan in China (Teahouse in Huang Zhou) in June 2016
ASR league manager Guillaume Douron (4 Dan) playing a strong 6 Dan in China (Teahouse in Hangzhou, June 2016)

The ASR Team encourages anything that involves any players more in the league.

Ask for stronger players to look at your games, join other games and offer reviews if you have the time, and be friendly to those in the league. Feel free to visit the specific review section in the ASR Forum.

Also, the points system strongly rewards activity – you get half as many points for losing as you do for winning, so you can easily achieve a good position with a poor record just by playing a lot of games – the reason for this? We want people to improve as quickly as possible, and the motivation to play more games helps to achieve it.

Match rules

board rules

  1. Games must have a minimum of 25 mins main time and at least 5×30 byo-yomi. Japanese time settings only ! They can be longer games, however this is the minimum amount of time we require.
  2. Games must use Japanese rules with NO handicap stones and 6.5 komi.
  3. Only games played against members of the same league division are counted in the results.
  4. Only the first 2 games per month will be count against the same player.
  5. One Player at least must write “#ASR ” in the game chat within the first 100 moves ! – It’s very important to do it. We have a script that checks for “#ASR ” every hour and adds league games to the results. If its not there, the game won’t be updated !

On your “personal navigation page”  (we like to name it “Kaizen Deck“) you get access after registration and safe login, you find a “yellow sticker” to remind you these five (5) essential rules.


ASR (Chat) Room + Gaming Room:

Games must be played in the ASR – Advanced Study Room of KGS GO server (see Room list under “Lessons”). This server is free for use 24h x 7d within a Go community of more than 48,000 players around the globe (status: 01/2017). You can download the KGS client here. – Read carefully ASR’s “Chat Policy” as we like to ensure an atmosphere of joyfully gaming – with fair sportiness.

Detailled instruction how to start your first ASR game here: “Easy game setup in 4 steps“.


The league is nice to play in if it’s easy to find a game. This is why we strongly encourage activity. Every match you play grant you some points.

You must play at least four (4) games in a month to remain in the league, and can play each player in your league division up to a maximum of two (2) times in any given month. If you didn’t play four (4) games in a month, you will be considered as inactive and get dropped from the league. You will still be able to sign-up again the next month but you will start again from Placement league.

system for calculating points

Scoring Table - Alpha division (ASR league month 02/2017)
Scoring Table – Alpha division (extract from ASR league month 02/2017)

For the Rookie Challenge Contest and monthly ASR league exist an own scoring system, independently from personal rank.

Each player can challenge an opponent maximum two times. The points awarded for a win depend on whether it is the first or second win against an opponent.  For the ASR league the points are reset to zero (0) at the beginning of each month.

1 win = 2 points ( blue-dot-0 )
2 wins against same opponent = 3.5 points ( blue-dot-0 blue-dot-0 )
1 loss = 0.75 points ( blue-dot-1 )
2 losses against same opponent = 1.5 points ( blue-dot-1 blue-dot-1 )
1 win + 1 loss against same opponent = 2.75 points ( blue-dot-0 blue-dot-1 )


League design

ASR-League-scheme-Promotion-Demotion-062017-vD-1Layers: The league is made out of multiple layers. We call them league divisions: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Placement league.The league system itself has a layer structure. It loosely looks like this:

  • Divisions (formerly known as classes): The Alpha division consists of eight (8) players; Beta consists of 12 players; the Gamma division consists of 16 players. The Delta division does not have a player-limit… and neither does the Placement league.

Layer sizes might vary according to the number of entrants and inactives on the latest month. Sometimes we will have a different amount of players in one division, see monthly statistics.

Promotion/demotion: You will need to play at least four (4) games – every month – to be considered as “active player” and be eligible for promotion.

We are demoting four (4) players in total from Alpha to Beta, which means that the top four (4) players from Beta will be promoted to Alpha. From Beta, we demote seven (7) players in total, and promote top six (6) players from Gamma. From Gamma, we demote eight (8) players in total. Then the top six (6) of Delta will be promoted to Gamma. The first month you join the league, you will be seeded into the Placement league. In this layer, the first one will be promoted directly to Beta, the 2nd and 3rd to Gamma and all other active players into Delta.

For the sake of a better overview here the table (as shown in the upper graph):

ASR league system: rotation by monthly promotion (+) and demotion (-)

league divisions
4 -
4 +
7 -
6 +
8 -
6 +
placement league
all actives +

As a rule we first kick all players who have not reached the minimum amount of at least four (4) games to stay in the league, then do demotions.

If a player decides to quit the league but has played the minimum amount of games in that month we will count him as an active player and remove him after promotion/demotion. It can happen that we need to promote extra players from a layer to fill up the layer(s) above to the specified number. With these extra promotions we look at the activity (points) of the players.

There are months where we will slightly deviate from the system above according to circumstances, for instance more or less player joining and more or less inactive players. In that case we will make a post about the changes for that month.


Every month the top players of each layer will be rewarded with a prize. Winners will have two (2) weeks to claim their prizes by contacting an ASR admin on our room on KGS Go Server, or by sending a direct message, using our contact form on the website here

The winner is-prizes-for-August-league-black-yellow2-short

Please take good notice that after the 15th of the month, we will consider the prize to be lost. A prize can’t be given away by the winner to another Go fellow in the ASR league. A winner can  give the prize back = donate it and the ASR Team will declare the recipient based on the results of the relevant month.

Any questions ?

Pleas have a look at the FAQ.

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