Alternatives to newcomers choosing their own rank

I’ve just played several games with people claiming to be around 18k who admitted they knew nothing about Go.

Instead of all newcomers chosing their own rank, when they have no idea what rank means, why not ask newcomers if they are also new to go itself. If they are, give them a more realistic rank, like the standard 35k for someone who doesn’t know how to play. Let them increase their rank over time, instead of decreasing it. Don’t you agree that makes more sense?

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Alternatively, new players could be allowed to choose to have no rank which, if I am not mistaken, is pretty similar to what a provisional rank is anyway.

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Agree wih timuzhti. This is how some other go sites do it. Behind the scenes, the system could assign a 35 or 30 as the initial rank, so the program ranking function doesn’t have to change much. I wish the program were open source, in github, so go players with software experience could make such improvements ourselves (with approval from the owners of this site). Program improvements seem to come slowly these days. Sorry for the criticism, but it does seem that way. Don’t know why.


The issue with this is that it completely ignores the idea that anyone could start on OGS who isn’t a beginner. Then, you have a sandbaggy account for quite some time, looking like you’re 15k when you’re really 1k+.

Also, the rating algorithm is slightly modified ELO (modified to inject additional rating points, especially at lower ratings, to combat depressed ratings), which is very open and well known. I believe someone posted the specific algorithm used on the site, but I don’t remember where.

If someone picked 19k when they didn’t know how to play, that’s because they basically lied about their experience. This can happen regardless of allowing them to say “I’m a beginner”. Additionally, the site corresponds time playing Go to rank when you pick at sign-up, saying things like 25k is never played before, 24k is played a few days, 23k is played about a week, etc.

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Our proposals above ignore non-beginners because they propose no change for non-beginners.

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Yes, anyone can lie. Would you prefer that the Web enforced putting everyone’s life into the public domain?

Most beginners I play with did not lie. They just don’t understand ranking and picked a number. They admit without being asked that they know nothing about go.

People in general do not lie. A beginner will say they are a beginner. Beginners should be given a (hidden or not) rating of something between 35 and 30 kyu, so they can work their way up from there. Advanced players should give their actual rating (this is currently implemented).

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I’d say the OP has to speak privately with a moderator about the player in question.

From my understanding the ranking system is a zero sum thing. So when one player gains rank another player is losing rank. So if there were only two players who start out at 25k they can never both gain rank. So really it depends upon players with a ranking outside OGS to make things work, and I assume occasional adjustments by moderators.

The system in place depends on experienced players being honest. Even with that there is variation depending on where their outside rank is coming from. It’s not perfect, but changing it because we expect people to be dishonest doesn’t seem like a good idea.

ajventi, I’m afraid youi misunderstood my posting.I’m not having any problem with anyone, so I don’t need to speak privately to anyone.

I’m pointing out a problem with OGS that has been pointed out before, I and others are offering solutions that should be easy for the OGS programmer(s) to implement.

Your issues are off-topic. As far as being zero-sum, you are of course correct. The simple algorithm for adjusting the ranks works only relative to the distribution of scores in the current website. That is why all rank adjusting algorithms are much more complicated.

The issue of this thread, again, has to do only with how the ranking of beginners is handled by the software, in general.

I believe you may have taken my comments to be far more aggressive than they were intended to be. I suppose “misrepresented” may have been a less combative word. Or perhaps describing it as misunderstanding the verbiage beneath the slider. Regardless, this sort of feature is already there with the verbiage under the slider, and is being ignored anyway, as evidenced by your concerns. I fail to see how modifying the process with a checkbox instead would vastly change the process. Ranks are corrected quickly enough that I don’t see this being a major issue anyway, to be honest.

ELO is zero-sum, but OGS accounts for this by injecting additional rating points. It starts by injecting quite a few at the lower end, decreasing as you go up. This combats rating depression.

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how do i get in on this? i’m getting pretty depressed about my rating.

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You’re automatically 'in’
It just means that if you lose one game and then win the second (both against someone if equal rank) you’ll have a higher rank than before the two games. If it was zero sum, you’d end up with the same rank as before.

@ David265
Last time I checked it was kind of this way. You didnt know what your rank is (or what rank means) you could say for how long do you playing go (few days, one week,etc.).

I think this is quit a good solution for players they dont know their rank yet.

AND: it takes not many games to adjust your rank. The calculation of the system adapts the rank very fast to the real deal.
And like pbgarden said, when someones rank is to high, then he overestimate his expirience in the question-seqtion and has to live with rank decreasing…but only for a few games. I think this is fair enough.

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sTan, I think you missed my point entirely. Please read the first posting in this thread again. Beginners, who do not even understand ranking, should not be asked to set their own rank. I offered a good solution.

I read it again, I want to understand, but I dont see your point (yet?).

New Player on OGS can already answer that they are new to Go. They will get the lowest rank on OGS wich is 25K. (This rank is provisional and affects not the rank of their opponents for a while. ) It will adjust while playing like a human controler would do.



Perhaps my memory of my signup with OGS is faulty. I don’t recall what you are describing. But whatever the current sign up procedure, it isn’t working. Many beginners have a much better rank than 25k. Perhaps OGS could take a look at a sampling of beginners’ rank graphs and figure out what the problem is. Beginners, with little knowledge of go (by their own admission) should not be increasing their score in their early days up to 18k or better, and still be playing at a 28k level!

Okay, all you doubters out there, what is YOUR explanation for many 28k players being rated at 18k here?

Did you ever play on KGS? 18K on KGS is A LOT weaker than here. Anybody who had a look there could very well assume to be 18K. On other servers, 18K is the absolute minimum rank (IGS)
I don’t see this to be a big issue. If the rank is that wrong, it will either get corrected by mods or correct itself because if that player is indeed as weak as you say he should lose all the time.

I just had a look at the game you’re probably talking about ( ), that player has more than 400 games on his account so his rank should be quite established. On 9x9 a small mistake can make you lose the whole board so I find it a bit weird to judge that he is 30K because you won that game against him.


Kabootle, Did I ever say this was about one player or one game? I was generalizing from maybe 5 players.

Yes,I have played lots at KGS, a long time ago. But not enough to see the difference between there and here. I will accept your statements.

I think I should stop insisting now, and acquire some more data. If I find more people who claim not to know what they are doing ranked around 18k, I will return here. There is a very big difference between a 32k barely knows the rules beginner and 18k, wherever one does the ranking, in my opinion. Bye for now.

If you find people who claim to not know anything but are ranked 18k, I would suggest contacting a mod in chat. If they claimed their rank when they registered a mod should fix that. There really is no reason to call out individuals on these forums.