25kyu to SDK Level: A new series

Hey guys! Using an account at the TPK range from a year ago, I will go from 25kyu to SDK level, pointing out the differences between each rank or set of ranks, as well as seeing when common mistakes are no longer played. I will also go through each rank, getting a better sense of idea of what players are going through. Feel free to track my progress and look at my reviews at https://online-go.com/group/4227.
Let’s break those barriers!


I visited your group page. It breaks down 30k to 20k, stating what people learn at different levels. However, OGS starts at 25k, so this is hard to relate. Furthermore, I’m not sure i agree with your analysis. I feel that in the beginning a person can consistently wobble between 20k and 25k, as they have not learned any lessons through and through yet.

In the very beginning, it takes a good while for the average newcomer’s rank to stabilize, as they are beginning to put things together, but do not yet have a firm grasp on the tenets you have pointed out in each level grouping. I think it is rather difficult to quantify what a person knows or doesn’t know in those first five levels (21k to 25k).

There is also the aspect that some people figure out a winning strategy (like walling down the middle when opponents don’t yet understand how to invade), without actually firmly understanding certain tenets of strategy. One of the fun parts of growth in Go is that there are different areas you can get good at, but others you may be rubbish at. So when you face an opponent who is weak in your strengths, you win. However, if they are strong in your weaknesses, then they win.

I’ve met 11k’s that play more consistently like SDK’s and I’ve met 11k’s that surely must have hit a winning streak, because they are making, what I consider to be, obvious mistakes other players at their rating level rarely make. Nailing down what people know and do not know by a certain level is going to be very difficult. To be really accurate you’d need a large sampling of players under observation, utilizing feedback forms along the way.

I do not mean to sound discouraging. Rather, I’ve paid close attention to my own progress, especially concerning how I felt emotionally and how I’ve developed certain skills along the way. So I wanted to share some observations with you to make the point that real progress is hard to nail down to a tidy little box, like a level range. Just something to be aware of and food for thought.

I personally think this is very cool and wish I had done more to record my own progress along the way. This project sounds like “A Journal Of My Go Journey”, which is deeply interesting and cool :heart:. I absolutely wish you the best of luck on your new journey! Should you need any help of any kind, please consider dropping me a PM here on the forum :wink:


Usually at these kinds of lower levels its hard to dictate what people know or don’t know as intuition from other board games and strategies come into play. Just playing enough games is really the main point, getting used to how the stones form and the basic rules dominate the TPK section.

Also don’t worry, I will go into DDK more in depth, separating ranks from what I observe in the games I play. As players can range in various skill levels even in the same rank, I’ll spend around 5 games or more in each rank, looking at what players miss overall and not really a list of dos and don’ts.
But thanks for joining, hope you learn a lot!

People also discussed this topic in this thread:

The funny thing is, I was also reminded of this old thread just the other day: Guess rank game

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In the group, you say:

People that know where the biggest move is. (23k - 20k)

I don’t think identifying the biggest move is that easy. I think even SDK and strong will struggle with this type of positional judgment.


Wait… are you already SDK? Or even more?
Or is it just your resolution for the new year? :slightly_smiling_face:


The original poster, @seminyoon11, is possibly also associated with this account, which is already at the SDK level:

I’m not sure if I understand the premise of the group/project? It just seems a bit like sandbagging with an audience.


I think it’s “Sandbagging with an audience” in the same way that Dwyrin does that.

Some people find it to be “very useful teaching”, others find it offensive.

The difference here (as I understand it) is that there is no intent to play below the person’s ability (wheras Dwyrin actively sandbags the rank of his accounts by not playing to his ability).

So it is “ranking up with an audience for teaching and informative purposes”.

As with Dwyrin, the community is welcome to discuss/debate whether this is OK, or should be considered “alt-account sandbagging”, which is “moderated”.

Unlike Dwyrin’s basic series (which he now does unranked here at OGS, specifically out of consideration of not sandbagging) this particular exercise obviously could not take place unranked :slight_smile:

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Sure it could, you just need to factor into the experiment how people change their play depending on whether they perceive their opponent to be weaker, same strength, or stronger

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I specifically said 9x9 within the group.

Actually, that’s true.

This might be fundamentally better approach: create a new account, which will remain at [?], and play an unranked game at each of the target ranks with it!

I think youll understand a bit better now

@syoon What’s the status of your group, Breakthrough TPK!?

I see there was a newspost a year ago, but is it now abandoned?

sadly due to the rank changes, the information is no longer valid.