So I got to play some ranked games with the new system today. Honestly…I really am at a breaking point. If it wasn’t for the fact that I teach on OGS, I probably wouldn’t play on it.
So let me explain my experience today and my perspective.
I got deranked to 1D, that’s fine. I don’t mind working my way back up and it is kind of encouraging to get me to play as it makes me want to reach a goal. I then played a 2D and boy was he really strong. (Relative) I felt I was playing a very tough game and at the end according to ai I was down by 2.5 until I missed a simple tesuji because of dame. Oh well, that’s the kind of game I was seeking for practice anyway. I teach way too much and need a good beat down.
So I play another game. I’m limiting the ranks to +/-1 to play even games because this is my preference of rated play, even if I have to wait 5-10 minutes to get a game. I want to study the new ai openings and work on my play while getting a rank.
I play against a 1D and this game was MUCH easier. I think I only made 1 mistake (for my level) and he gained the lead for 10-15 moves before I took it back pretty easily. I think the mistake came from my bad habits I’m forming from teaching too much lol. (Playing too fast and shallow reading.) I won. Then I ranked down…
So now I am 1k and I think maybe it’s because I had a game worth more points 16 games ago. I check and I had a win against a 3D. I think, fine that’s reasonable, until I look at it and it was handicap. Which would mean that a handicap win is worth more than an even win…
A little bit of perspective now. I’ve been playing Go for 13 years and have been teaching professionally (for money) most of that time and developing my teaching skills. Having a 1k rank instead of my Fox 5D or Tygem 5D doesn’t work very strongly for me for advertising. So this literally effects my living and ability to get students.
I try not to get mad because maybe this server is harder. I try to think “what if this is my level?” Then I should just improve and study right? But when a 2D feels like a 6D Fox but a 1D feels like a 3D fox and me playing even games is worth less than if I had played handicap games AND I’m a 1k, (which I haven’t been for almost a decade in any rating system) then all of that together is incredibly frustrating.
I want to play even games against a certain reliable level and work my way up and master my opening and basics to improve. I could accept being a 1k if the opponent’s were my level but it’s different game to game and the fact that handicap is worth more (in today’s case at least) than even games, then I’m being punished for playing my level instead of playing handicap.
Since this also effect my image as a Go instructor, I feel this is an incredibly frustrating server to play ranked games on. I love teaching on OGS and the people I’ve met are great; but if it wasn’t for my dedication to teaching, I would go play on another server with more consistent ranks and a ranking system that was easier for me to understand.
I write this not to criticize OGS, but to give the perspective of a user of the server. This is just one experience among many other users, but I hope it is a valid case for reflection.