Go ranks vs chess ratings

8 kyu AGA (official, old, probably closer to 5 kyu, I’d guess)
4 kyu OGS
1516 Lichess at chess960 Aumpa - Chess960 stats • lichess.org

It’s hard to estimate how many games I’ve played. Chess could be more, but only because blitz chess is faster.

I learned chess as a child and played through my teens and into my 20s. Collected and studied a few chess books. I didn’t start playing go until my early 30s. I’ve continued to play both, but have spent a lot more time studying go. Now I’m in my 40s. I’m at about mean average strength on both OGS and Lichess, I think.

I’m aspiring to be stronger in go, solve tsumego, read books. With chess I enjoy variants, blitz, and do chess puzzles.

I think that I’ve put more time into studying go, but because I started chess younger, my skills are about similar.

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At peaks

1-2d OGS (~2000 glicks), 2k real life
1900-1950 lichess classical

Played too long to remember how much, but a lot of both. I guess I’m equally bad at both.

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This topic make me really think that we miss a kind of biathlon chess/go tournament

( i am out for chess, never played online. I don’t think to be better as 18k)

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I’m 5k EGF, 3k OGS, 1600 Lichess.
I started Go in January 2016 and chess in March 2017. I’ve played about 2,400 games of Go and 4,400 of chess.

It seems you and I are evenly matched in both go and chess, but I think you’re playing a lot more than I am. I would say that we’d make good rivals, but I think you’re improving a lot more rapidly, so you’ll probably surpass me in both over the next few years.

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A very rough analysis could be: on the Go forum, players are better at go than chess. :grin:
I believe on the “chess forum” (whatever) we should see the same but reversed. :innocent:


I think the interesting question is not which game someone is stronger at, but whether there’s any correspondence between relative chess skill and relative go skill. E.g., are players who are strong at chess also strong at go? does the strategic thinking of one lend some skill transfer to the other?

I think @bugcat’s poll above was prompted by discussion in this thread: When a Go player tries Chess

To summarize,
@Clossius1 posted a gif of himself making a blunder in chess, to which @Allerleirauh replied,

…with the implication that the strategic thinking gained from becoming a strong dan in go will make learning chess easy. bugcat said that he’d played thousands of games of chess, but was still a long ways from reaching 2000. Allerleirauh replied that that was because he wasn’t as strong as Clossius.

Is there any basis in the assertion that being a strong dan in go will help someone to easily reach a rating of 2000 in chess?


I can’t say for “real strong” but i am pretty sure you are going to skip a lot in the first stages. From chess to go and go to chess. Simply because being used to think, search for contradiction, use the pieces (stones) together, read, and so on.

Oh yeah, it’s helped me a lot. When I start learning a new game, I ask myself, "now which part of the board is the most important? corner, sides, or center? :sweat_smile: :rofl:


As soon as they grasp some basics, chess players i teached became really interesting to play because i wasn’t that strong (sdk) and they had a so fierce energy in finding moves to refute my plans, mostly by local reading.

2k real life


There has been at least one tournament like that.

:thinking: :open_mouth:

Off the cuff, I might have a format like this:

A Match between two players consists of the following:

  1. A game of chess, 1 pt for win, ½ pt for draw.
  2. A game of go, 2 pts for win.
  3. A game of chess with reversed colors from the first, 1 pt for win, ½ pt for draw.

However, I don’t know how matchups would be determined. If there are only a small number of players, it could be a round-robin format.

Here’s the hard data so far.

Player Go IRL OGS ch. IRL Lich. Ch .com Go st ch. st Go gm chess gm
terrific None 5d None 1700? None 7,000? 40
gennan 3d EGF 3d None 1100 None 1988 1975 8,000 100
mc2006 None 2d 1800 OSCF 2100 2000 2010 2011 500 2,000
Allerleirauh None 2d None 1900 Cl.
Sofia 1k EGF var. None 800 None 2013 40
civilian None 2k None None 1100 2021 2020 2,500 4,000
bugcat 5k EGF 3k None 1600 None 2016 2017 2,400 4,400
Aumpa 8k AGA 4k None 1500
benjito None 7k None 1000 None
Feijoa None 7k None 1300 None 940 37

I notice that so far, the only person (mc2006) who 1) has a dan rank and 2) declared at least 1,000 chess games is indeed over 2000 Elo (Lichess, Chess .com).

Though Allerleirauh didn’t say how many chess games he’d played.

So, the minimal “@Allerleirauh hypothesis” (if I’m not putting words in his mouth) that “a dan player with enough (eg. 1,000) games of chess will eventually reach 2000” seems to be supported by the data gathered thus far.

But the information is still very spotty.

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To seed discussion of a cross-game (eg. Go-chess) tournament, you might want to see the conversation started last May at Exploring other board games -- a challenge - #113 by bugcat.

It stops and starts a few times over the last fifty posts of the thread.

I remember that, but that suggestion was more about a long list of different games together (and the way to manage it.)

It was. Only linked on the off-chance it’d be useful.

I suppose that go reading skills would translate to other games, such as chess, and vice versa. But to reach dan level in go or 2000 chess rating, I think one needs more than reading ability alone. Without some amount of theoretical knowledge/guidance, I expect one gets stuck before reaching ~6k or ~1500 chess rating.

I’ve played some chess “teaching” games with a co-worker who is ~1800 lichess (he got some lessons when he was in a chess club in his youth). He did notice that unlike a regular chess novice, I have some reading ability: with sufficient time, I rarely hang my pieces and I can spot some basic tactics such as forks.
But my chess reading is not better than his. And besides reading ability, he has a fair amount of knowledge about the opening and the endgame. So I may keep a fairly even game until the late opening / early middle game, but I have no chance at all to win (or even draw).

I think chess is interesting, but I’m not interested enough to invest a lot of time in practice and study.

Played chess since childhood with chess school and everything, so probably a lot of games.

I assumed Clossy is like 3d, so lichess 2000 which is like 1d wouldn’t be too hard. Doesn’t mean he won’t need any learning but. But the brain is already used to this gamified thinking of alternating turns, initiative and so on, and to the relatively high level. Nothing stopping it from doing the same in chess. A normal regular person who might be unaccustomed to this type of thinking will have to reforge their brain to a great extent and maybe they aren’t built for this type at all, so they’ll be 9k forever, despite what all the “you can do it” crowd might say.

You can see that great players in one game can be decent in another game. Cho Chikun plays shogi, Nie Weiping - bridge or something,

Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich has EGF 1d, maybe it’s not too accurate but around there.

Grandmaster Tiger Hillarp Persson reached 1d KGS they say.

So at some point of proficiency, you can reach 1d in similar games.


A general fact is that if you are good at some subject X and take time to study subject Y, then you generally become good or at least decent at Y because you are used to putting intellectual effort.

X and Y can be absolutely unrelated subjects.

In my case: 5k EGF, 1d OGS, 2500 a bit less than 4000 go games, play go since 2016. I have never played much chess, maybe 100 games, and my chess level must be around 1000 on lichess (don’t have stable rank on any chess server).

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