February pairing

Could you explain what your philosophy is about handling new classes and promotions?

You neither followed the rules nor the idea that people should be classed by rank.

I played in the former H1 class, our winner was “promoted” to H2. The new H1 and H2 class contains new sign-ups most of whom are lower ranked than me and our winner. Our group loser was not demoted, but in return the winner of the class below us (H2) “jumped” our class to H2. The new players in our group do not have the rank of the current players in our group but the rank that was assigned to our group in the beginning of January which means that weaker new players are added by design above players who improved.

One member of our group resigned for February. When he returns in March he will probably play 3 or 4 classes above than me or our group winner which is clearly the only way to get promoted at all because just playing in the league you get classed lower and lower below new sign-ups of lower rank, for example from H1 to H3. This is ridiculous.

You cannot demote a group winner below groups of weaker rank.

Hello @Wulfenia,

Thanks for the feedback. Basically, this is a HUGE puzzle - there are players promoted, there are players demoted, and there are players joining.

  1. The top priority is to make sure that each class is relatively close-ranked, so that there will be good matches. Recall that the spirit of the league is to offer good competition.
  2. In addition, we have to regulate the class size. Since each class cannot contain more than 7 players, sometimes we have to bump players up or down. In your case, as many new 12-13k players signed up, I had to create a new class, F2. This is probably why you are at a “lower” class, but that doesn’t mean you are demoted.
  3. I try to fulfill the demands of 136 players - and sometimes, not everyone is 100% satisfied. However, most of the promotion/demotion was done successfully.
  4. Under extreme circumstances (e.g. one player in the next class was resigned or disqualified), we can consider bumping 1-2 top-placed players in the next class. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  5. If you feel your class placement is too low, we can relocate you to a higher class next month. This will override all promotion/demotion rules, but also needs to be looked at case-by-case.

Thanks so much for understanding! :smile:


Thanks Xhu, and thanks to everyone in the Nova League team for your work and your amazing patience towards people who could clearly be a little bit nicer and more polite :smile:


Dear hqrpie, it would be polite to address me directly if you have a problem with my post. Maybe you could even suggest how to say politely and nicely that the procedure had people jump from the class below you to the class above you and added weaker new players to two classes above you. I will certainly use your suggestions to improve my post.

Dear @Wulfenia,

I apologize for any confusions and disappointments. I try to appeal this response to a general public, while addressing your concerns. I will rearrange you to a rank-appropriate class upon your request; meanwhile, best of luck on all your games! :blush: :sunny:

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Dear @Wulfenia, here are some useful tips I’m sure you’ll be eager to follow next time :

  1. Acknowledge the fact that pairing so many people is a nightmare and understand that the league won’t run smoothly right away : it will need several adjustments in the upcoming months, some of them good, some of them bad, all of them leading us to the best equilibrium one can hope to reach ;

  2. Thank the admins for their amazing work and effort ;

  3. Avoid using peremptory comments, eg, “this is ridiculous” and, most of all ;

  4. Stop caring about ranks and classes. You’ll get wherever you “should” soon enough.


That is what I thought. You do not have any suggestion to say it politely or nicely. Instead, this was just your “polite” way of saying that I should not say it at all because it is good enough for me to play in whatever class I am assigned to.

I think it is more of a problem at the lower ranks because they are much more variable. Our class last term was called a “16kyu” class and the class above us 15/16kyu and the class above that 15kyu players, but by then end of the month all the players in our class were mostly 13 or 14kyu ranked except the player who dropped out. Because players at lower levels like us improve at quite different rates (and some players can improve even quicker, it seems like the person promoted from the 15-16kyu group is now 11kyu while the others are no stronger than the last class I was in) and if a true 16kyu player is put in with someone who is now 13kyu who did not get promoted I can see its difficult to make work!

But actually, it is a more general problem, the fact is people get stronger at playing go, not weaker and they get stronger at different rates, so there will always be more people who need to go up than come down.

I have 2 suggestions on how to make it work better in the future.

  1. Abandon promotion/relegation for 11-20kyu and redo the groups every month or 2 months based on current rank OR
  2. Promote / Relegate in bands - i.e All D classes (for example) are 15-16kyu all C Classes are 13-14kyu - being promoted means that you go up not 1 class but 1 band of classes. In this case I also think in this there should be more promotions in each group - since players typically get stronger in go but getting weaker is actually rare (well, except if like me you sometimes play with a drink :stuck_out_tongue: ). So 2 players would ideally get promoted each month and 1 demoted. This will mean there are more stronger groups over time - but counteracted a bit by new players entering

Ultimately, everyone wants the same thing - to have challenging games at the right level for them each month - hopefully my suggestions help you designing the league going forward…