Equal games are not equal?

Often times when I’m a certain rank and play equally ranked opponent, I don’t feel like the game is equal at all. Usually my opponents play stronger than me but lose because of silly blunders, and that allows me to maintain my rank. And the games are pretty bad too. Because I often end up behind, I either overplay or get into ugly fights to win. These games are frustrating because I’m clawing my way to victory by any means possible while my opponent plays kinda effortlessly (hence blunders). This style is also bad because dirty play becomes my second nature.

So how can I change to enjoy games again?

Why not play people you know, whose games you think represent good, solid go of the kind you aspire to? Or watch some games to find opponents who play without blunders in a way that you are seeking.


It simply means your rank is over-inflated. Probably in the weird gap of ‘stronger than the rank below you but still weaker than the rank you are at’. A 0.5 rank difference if you will.How to not play dirty? Uhh…by having morals and resigning.

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Don’t trust rank.
I fear the only way is to play against a lot of opponents and then play again with those you like best.


I wish I could play as well as you!

One thing I recommend is checking out / joining the OSR (openstudyroom.org) group here on OGS (or just registering at openstudyroom.org). See if you find “quality” opponents and (through mutual reviews and reviews by their dan-level players of your games) perhaps your issue will begin to find some resolution.

I have a feeling (based upon my experience with Go and chess, where I was much better than I am at Go) that the better you play, the more you notice that “silly blunders” end up deciding many games rather than the clash of solid strategies, philosophies of playing, and other esthetically appealing and truly beautiful aspects of the game.

“Silly blunders” also occur in professional games, but much more rarely than in games by “mere mortals” like us. And when the “silly blunders” become rare in our own games, then we have reason to believe that we have really become stronger players – or that we are not yet at the new level of recognizing the “high level silly blunders” that are occuring!!


– Musash1


Preservation is also a strength/weakness, which lets you win games. So of course it is also calculated in your rank.

The Skill to turn around a game is crucial :slight_smile:


Keep in mind, unlike dan ranks, kyu ranks are often unbalanced by nature.
When you play a 3 dan, their whole game is roughly 3 dan strength.
When you play a 15 kyu, maybe their opening strategy and direction of play are 12 kyu and so they get an early lead, but maybe they have only 20 kyu mid game or end game and so they often lose games in which they once had an advantage.
Likewise, the opposite is true… thus there are equally as many players who are particularly skilled at turning lost games around due to their superior reading or endgame knowledge.


A good thing to remember in go - especially low kyu and low dan players. (Like 5kyu - 3dan) We tend to learn and master very different aspects of the game. Some are supreme fuseki players, some are fighters and are really good at reading, some just know pro plays and imitate them as much as possible and some might be so good at calculating the endgame that they’ll get like 30 points back in the yose alone.
In go, a win is a win however it is achieved. If they do blunders that also means they missed them and you didn’t - Doesn’t that make you stronger? :slight_smile: