Kropki (Dots) - frequently asked questions
I am playing against the computer, but it doesn't seem to respond. Why is it 'thinking' for so long?
The computer rarely takes more than a few seconds to make its move. Nevertheless, there may be a lag caused by communication latency between our server and your PC. Occasionally the game might 'hang' (the computer move sent from our server might get lost). In that case refreshing the web page usually helps (Ctrl-R in Firefox).
How can I download the software to play games against the computer?
The computer program can be downloaded here.
Can I resign, or do I have to play to the end?
There is no need to play to the end. At any time during the given game you can press the 'end the game' button either to resign, or to start again if the game has been played against the computer.
How can I play against other people?
Just click on a person's screen name to invite them to play. You may also try another website: http://www.szkrab.net.pl.
If I accept someone's invitation to play, will my current game against the computer be lost?
No, it won't. You can resume the game at any time by clicking the 'play against the computer' button.
Why has my game with 'foo' (a human player) disappeared?
The games between people disappear if one of the following happens:
- Nobody has kept a browser tab with a particular game open for over a minute.
- Neither Blue nor Red has been at the game table for over a minute, and there has been no activity at the game table for over 15 minutes.
- The game has already ended, and there has been no activity at the game table for over 1 hour.
What does a star symbol in front of a screen name mean?
A star symbol in front of a screen name designates a guest player (i.e., an unregistered player, who, as such, is not required to log in) as opposed to a registered player (without a star symbol). (Note that many options in the game such as choosing various rule sets or playing rated games are available only to the registered players.)
A caution is advised when dealing with players who use familiar or well-known screen names preceded with a star symbol as they might happen to be some shady individuals, who pretend to be someone they are not.
What is the outcome of banning a kibitzer?
Banned kibitzers will not be able to use the chat room to comment on the current game, but they can still follow it and read other people's comments. All games and chat rooms are public, and no one can be forced to leave the table.
An option of a private chat room between players might be added in the future.
How is my rating computed?
A player's rating is computed according to the formula presented in the table at http://szkrab.kropki.legion.pl/wiki/index.php/Calculating_of_the_ranking.
How can I get access to a past or recently played game?
Click '>' below the board to open a window where you can review the current game. After the game has ended, click on the link to eidokropki generated by the system. Another option would be to access eidokropki directly via http://eidokropki.reaktywni.pl/games.phtml to search for and view the game. Note, however, that all games played on a given day will be available at eidokropki on the following day!
How is the patial score for yet unused pools computed?
To make a long story short, it is estimated by means of a computer simulation during which the game is played out to the end.
Under the standard rules the following assumptions are made: 1) no pools will be destroyed or reduced, 2) the pools bigger than two squares are worth as much as the two-square pools.
The second assumption may lead to an inaccurate final score. Indeed, this may happen if there are big pools on the board (bigger than 3 squares) which can be partially salvaged even after an opponent has placed a dot in them. In such cases the players are advised to continue playing until there are only small pools left on the board. If one side has a considerable advantage the above phenomenon should not significantly affect the computation of the final score via the simulation.
Under the szkrab rules the final score is computed almost exactly as on szkrab. The only difference is that the possibility of capturing an opponent's dot is taken into account even if there is no more room to place a dot. This may lead to a one point difference in the final score as compared with that of szkrab.
Why is the private chat not always working?
One cannot talk (privately) with somebody who plays with someone else. That means, in particular, that if one plays with somebody, then one is allowed to privately talk only with the opponent (provided the opponent does not play simultanously with someone else).
Why do I get private messages (PM) from people who are not logged in?
A registered user may send PMs to another registered user even if the latter is logged out. The PMs will be delivered by the next login. Warning: do not trust too much that the messages to offline users will be delivered -- they should be, but we do not guarantee it. In particular, the messages will be lost when the server is restarted.
Guests can neither get PM from nor send PM to people who are not logged in.
I talk privately with a guest. If the guest logs out and then someone else logs in using the same nick, will that person see our conversation?
No. When one of the interlocutors is a guest, then the chat will be deleted (on the server side) immediately after any of the interlocutors logs out.
That is why guests usually do not appear on the list of interlocutors after clicking ''(load last)''.
How private are private chats?
Chats are not encrypted, so they can be easily eavesdropped when one of the interlocutors uses unencrypted WiFi network; chats can be also read by people controlling a host between the client and the server.
Chats can be read by anyone, who is able to guess the password of a user.
The last 64 lines of the chat may survive quite long on the server. One may see what is possible to recover by clicking ''load all'' and loading the chats. One may delete the chat using a link ''delete chat'' above chat area. Talks between guests disappear immediately after one of the interlocutors logs out.
Administrators of zagram.org do not read the chats, but they may gather and publish statistical info concerning the use of the chats (for example, total number of lines sent during a day by all users).
Are there any other websites dedicated to the game of Kropki (Dots)?
Of course there are, for example:
- kropki.legion.pl - a forum for players of the game,
- szkrab.net.pl - another website where you can play Kropki online,
- eidokropki.reaktywni.pl - a game archive, annotated games, exercises,
- www.tochki.org/lesson/pol/index.html - interactive lessons in the game of Kropki,
- tochki.org - a website for Russian-speaking players.
- pointsgame.net - a large website for Russian/Ukrainian-speaking players with forum.