This article is from the Go FAQ, by Morten PAHLE email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Playing against an opponent whom you cannot see and who may be on the
other side of the world is a little bit different from playing face to
An excellent etiquette guide for play on the Go servers is posted on
Ken WARKENTYNE's pages. <http://nngs.cosmic.org/hmkw/etiquette>
Some of the main points bear repeating:
Your opponent and you may not share a language, indeed, you may be
conversing in a language foreign to both of you. It is therefore
essential that one is careful in the use of slang or expressions which
may not be known by everyone.
Also, your opponent may be the grandmother next door or an 8-year old
boy in Taiwan. Do not be surprised or short with an opponent who is
slow in responding or seems to misunderstand you.
Due to the intricacies of the internet, there is a phenomenon known as
netlag which affects play, and in severe circumstances, can even stop
play. Netlag is a function of the internet connection between your
opponent and the server, and between the server and you. Netlag means
that it may seem that your opponent takes a long time over his moves,
whereas in reality it is the net which takes time.
Most clients can compensate for this, so you may see your opponents
time left on the clock increase, once his move is registered.
Netlag cannot be blamed on your opponent, nor on the server, nor on
anyone, really. Sometimes it is there, other times it is not. With the
state of the internet, it is something we have to live with.
In extreme cases, netlag may mean that a player is cut off and unable
to continue play. On the servers, the games thus involved are normally
stored and can be restarted at a later date. In the case of
disconnection, please hang around for a while and wait for your
opponent to come back.
If it happens to you, try to get back on, or, failing that, send a
message or email to your opponent to let him know what happened.
Needless to say, it is extremely rude to disconnect from a lost game
in an attempt to save face ('escaping'). Most servers will be able to
tell whether a disconnection is net related or user related. Most
servers have a policy which, after a certain time, gives the game to
the party which did not disconnect.