Double Blind Ranking

I honestly do not enjoy rank. I try playing on new sites to meet new Go players, then I have trouble getting games because of my ? or ~.

There are times in which I am too strong or too weak to accept a challenge. I believe that the restrictive attitude towards players of lesser ranks is damaging the growth of new players.

I know that rank is an important aspect of Go. In fact the handicap system is one of the reasons that I enjoy Go more than Chess.

I wish there was a site in which all ranks were double blind, in this way we can achieve even games without the discrimination.

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Oh. Yes. Me neither. Sometimes I rather torture myself with it.

I think rank itself is not intended for our enjoyment. I think it is (as you say further down) “just” a base for the handicap system which again is to make the game enjoyable for players with a significant difference in strength.

To me it is like … medicine, which in and for itself is not enjoyable—and not INTENDED to be enjoyable!—but getting and being healthy is :slight_smile:

Mh… have you tried creating challenges of your own? And there are lots of tournaments, live as well as correspondence. Perhaps join a few groups? Ladders?

Yes, an important aspect of Go, but I think it shouldn’t be an important aspect (as in motivating or demotivating) for us players :slight_smile: I know it may sound a bit schizophrenic (cf. above re: torturing myself) but there is a difference between The Game of Go and playing it.

Nevertheless I find your idea of double blind ranking interesting, but I have no idea whatsoever whether and how it may be possible to implement.

Have you thought of creating a UserVoice entry for your idea?


I like this idea a lot! as long as i could still restrict rank on my challenges, it would be cool to not know what rank someone was, or what rank i was.

I think it would be easy to do, since the players need not know the rank for the rank to be restricted. I could create a challenge, and still say i only want to play others who are within 2 ranks of me, without knowing my rank or their rank. the challenge is accepted, and now i am playing someone without knowing if they are stronger or weaker than me, but at least knowing they are somewhat similar.

the only problem i would see is one of reporting sandbaggers, because you wouldnt know what people had set their rank as.

I think it would be such a relief to be able to play without seeing my rank go up or down. So much less pressure!

LOL, but no rank —> no sandbagger, or what am I misunderstanding here? :smiley:

well there would still be a rank measured by the site, or that would be no fun at all for anyone. just the players themselves wouldnt be able to see it. i suppose taking away the ability to set innitial rank would solve that problem though

I’m all for beginners being able to play games (high handicap or not) against strong players, But both parties should know that this is happening, because it leads to very different kinds of games, that work best when reviewed by the stronger player.

But you can’t know that this kind of game is happening unless you have ranking!

Let’s find the kinds of games we want by tailoring our challenges, and improving the software here to help, if possible.

But let’s not make rank the scapegoat. Not knowing rank is not helpful in any situation. The main advantage of rank is managing balance between players, which, along with balance within each game, is at the heart of what makes go a great game.

This thread has changed my mind. Currently, I create challenges specifying a narrow range of opponents with rank similar to mine (the software is buggy for this, though). Now, I will begin allowing very weak players to play me, so they can learn more quickly.


You may find that playing against high handicap, at least in the beginning of the game, is like in this meme I once created:

… at least for me it is so :smiley: but often, as the game progresses, I feel feel increasingly better. IMHO it’s definitely good exercise and a good test of one’s skills.

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@xhu98 once recommended that I post even challenges with no rank restrictions. His claim is that you can learn as much from a weaker opponent as you can from a stronger one, if you are paying attention.


Ranks are just arbitrary numbers. It is the moves that matter :smiley:


I enjoy go whether I am winning or losing, although the ‘feel’ of these two situations is different, In my one week of issuing challenges to any beginner of any rank, I have found that there is a bit of frustration when I win big, and the possibility of misunderstandings during scoring, when dead groups are not obvious to many beginners.

Also, unfortunately, this website doesn’t seem to allow automatic calculation and placement of handicap stones, so I never specify handicaps. When accepting a challenge, there is simply no time to change the challenge to something more appropriate to the two players.

I don’t feel like the handicap stones are vicious raptors, because I know that my opponent is likely to make many poor moves, especially near the end of the game.

I hope that the 25k player who loses against me has learned something. For myself, I don’t really mind the big wins, except that there is no good teaching tradition on this website in spite of the existence of the Review tool. No one has yet accepted my offer to review a game so they can learn from their mistakes (but I do it by myself so I can).

@david265 OGS does support automatic handicaps. It is an option that you have to select when you create a game challenge (an open challenge, or challenging a specific user). The person who creates the challenge has to specify the handicap (either fixed or automatic), not the person accepting the challenge. Unlike other servers (such as IGS and KGS), the default option on OGS is no handicap, which is why most open challenges don’t have handicap stones.


mikemc, Sorry if I gave the impression that I didn’t know any of that. I try not to compare with KGS, which in some ways is more user-friendly, because I really am grateful for the nice features of OGS. When I prepare a challenge, I have no idea what handicap will be needed. Even if I knew that my next opponent would be exactly 28k, with no history of playing him/her I have no idea what handicap is appropriate, especially since I prefer 9x9 games (because I don’t usually have an hour or more to play go). That’s why, like most folks here, I never specify a handicap. I’d like to, especially on larger boards, but it’s just not practical here at OGS.

Selecting “automatic” as handicap will automagically put correct handicap on the playing board. One doesn’t have to think about the future opponent at all. The ranks are defined in a way that works in tandem with the handicap stones.

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Pempu, The Automatic selection will not work for any size game board on challenges I create. There must be some interaction with other specifications I make that inhibits it. I do specify my color as white. I don’t have time to investigate this, sorry. If you are interested and have time, I would be interested in what you can learn about this limitation.

Last time (long long time ago) I checked the colour needed to be also “automatic” for the system to give the handicap to the weaker rank.
What is the problem with your 9x9 games and handicap? You don’t see handicap stones at all?

Pempu, Changing the color to automatic does not fix the problem.

The problem is that the “automatic” selection on the handicap drop-down is grayed out and cannot be selected. The challenge cannot be created for this reason.

I’m probably doing something wrong, but I don’t have the time to write any more posts here, sorry.

I apologize for my delay in responding. I appreciate all of your input and I see that you have all put some quality thought into your posts. I am not sure that I was able to adequately communicate my concerns.

Perhaps a more thorough approach to my message.

I respect the utility of rank in the Go community. I respect everyone’s desire to enjoy a delightful game of Go. However, I do not like how perception of rank hinders the number of games played. I understand the desire to play strong opponents. However, if those opponents only wish to play stronger opponents, then hubris wins and the number of games being played stagnates.

Before the next phase of this discussion, I would like to remind readers that this Theoretical Go Site (TGS) will not be suitable for all players. I respect their right to play on a server that suits their preferences. Also, I welcome constructive criticism. Furthermore, I hope to engage in conversation with everyone. In order to keep this discussion flowing I will not be able to respond to everyone. If your post is not responded to directly, feel free to send me a PM and we can talk more about your post. If at any time there is a lull in the conversation, then I will try to respond to remaining posts.

Now, regarding this TGS, I suppose we could alter the concept of double blind ranking. The intent is to increase the number of games played. As well as the number of interactions with the eager meager ranked. TGS could run a semi-random community match, where you play a game with/without handicaps and with or without komi/reverse komi. In this way one could face a person three stones stronger than you, while they receive 4 stones, yet you receive a reverse komi. (Sorry, I am rushing this last paragraph. I will try to speak more clearly at a later time.) Remember the goal is to create more games, so that everyone can grow.

That is all I have for now, thank you again for your comments and suggestions. Until next time, happy gaming.

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