Problem Creation Lifecycle

Check for duplicates

The first step before adding a problem is to make sure it doesn’t already exist on the site. The easiest way to do this is to run a pattern search. Make sure you’re searching for the minimum set of stones that really defines the problem. If you include extra stones around the edge, they can often be in different configurations for what is essentially the same problem. (Note: currently there’s no way to search for problems in the middle of the board; they have to be near an edge.)

Add the problem

Create the problem in your favorite SGF editor according to the best practices. (Note: on-site creation coming back soon!)

If you aren’t sure if you want the problem live on the site yet, you can select to make it part of your “sandbox”. This is your private area for problems you are still working on.

Watch for issues

Pay attention to site feedback on your problem, especially in the first several days after posting it. Watch:

  • Comments users leave. These will often explain missing variations or mistakes, or sometimes confusion on how the problem is meant to work.
  • Flags. Users may flag the problem as Invalid or Needs Fixing, and hopefully provide useful feedback. After incorporating this feedback, it’s important to clear these flags.
  • Difficulty ratings. If people are failing to solve a problem more than you expect, this may indicate issues with problem construction.
  • Attempt paths. Looking at the actual paths users are taking, you can see where you may need to add more variations to properly refute at the right times.

Long term

Continue to watch for flags on your problems as they may arise over time. You shouldn’t have to manually load the problem – these will be automatically surfaced to you.