How far will my rank drop?

Yesterday I helped explaining go to primary school pupils. It was absolutely delightful to see their enthusiasm. They had so much fun, regardless of having fully grasped the rules (of capture go) or not. Who cares if a few stones didn’t have any liberties for a dozen moves? What’s the big deal about whose move it is? They so much wanted to place that next stone on that cool spot, they surely can’t wait if the opponent thinks for soooo long (like 3 seconds).

I thought about how I can try to get into that spirit myself again. Not so easy, being nearly 50 years older. But I decided to at least make an attempt, so I decided to:

  • play less seriously, care even less about losing
  • stop looking up josekis
  • stop using the analysis feature (which I have used excessively so far)

From this you may already have guessed that I play correspondence exclusively. I’ll stick with that though, better fits into my life.

Now I’m asking myself (and you!): How far will my rank drop because of this? As a starting point I’ll take 6k, though my current rank is 5k (and recently was 4k), since I’m pretty sure this was just a fluctuation caused by a winning streak and I have some games lined up that don’t look so good currently.

So where will my rank be by the end of the year?

  • it will go up
  • stay the same, 6k
  • down 1 rank, 7k
  • down 2 ranks, 8k
  • down 3 ranks, 9k
  • down 4 ranks, 10k
  • down 5 ranks, 11k
  • down 6 ranks, 12k
  • down 7 ranks, 13k
  • down 8 ranks, 14k
  • down 9 ranks, 15k
  • down 10 or more ranks

0 voters


Rank doesn’t matter. If you enjoy the game more this way, then it’s the right way to play.

I found myself enjoying the game a lot less as I focused more and more on my rank.


I don’t know about the analysis feature, but dropping the joseki dictionary will increase your strength for sure!

I feel better not using either of them because I’m more independently standing on my own two feet, so to speak. I hope you can discover this feeling of more genuine victories (and defeats) for yourself.

Good luck and keep us posted :slight_smile:


I also voted for “it will go up”. I think dropping the analysis feature will also help in increasing your strength in the long run. It might be a bit of an adjustment at first, but it will ultimately improve your reading ability (and ability to keep thinking about correspondence games away from the computer).


Totally agreed. I think ranks are useful rather than important. And I didn’t ask this question because I fear getting a worse rank, I just think such radical switching as have have done today (and plan to keep up) is an interesting experiment.


You’ll probably drop two or three ranks at first but end up higher than you started. I suspect it will depend more on whether or not you look back over your games and can remember your thought process… Not using analysis and joseki dictionary makes you think about your moves and have your own reason for playing them. Then it’s a question of if your reasoning was sound or not!


As predicted I have dropped to 6k now, which has nothing to do with the changes in my playing method, I just finally lost 2 games that had looked bad already.

Of course it’s still far too early to tell how it will end, but I already enjoy my more relaxed attitude. In some, more complex cases I now just go with intuition where before I would have analysed a lot. Also I enjoy it a lot when I actually manage to read short sequences correctly. Of course the moment will come when I find out I only THOUGHT I had read something correctly.


I’m about 7 months into this experiment right now. Admittedly I have not 100% followed my rule of not looking up josekis any more, but I have reduced that by at least 95%.

Before I started my rank fluctuated between 4k and 7k, now it’s between 6k and 9k.

I can’t tell if my reading got any better. What I can say is that I feel a bit more confident about short reads.


Maybe time to solve “tesuji” (the book by Ishi press, not to read it but solve it)?


That’s next on my list, after I am through ‘Life and Death’. I’m at two thirds in that, but progress is slow.

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Take your time. Tesuji did boost my level by +5k (well not only this book, played a lot of tournaments too) just after a step at 10k. Of course everyone is specific and I didn’t go through life and death at that time.


How far did your fun in go rise?

It rose significantly initially. The effect of doing it differently wore off a bit since, but I still have more fun playing online than before. Having said that, I do miss playing face to face a lot. Yeah, a pretty minor issue caused by the pandemic, I know, but I can’t not mention it when you ask about my fun in go.


I miss the face to face thing in go and other things also a lot, the talk, the beers after a game, the fun, etc.
Hope that it all will return one day.


Now this question can be answered.

First I should note that I managed to stick to my decisions. Well, I may have used the joseki dictionary a couple of times since, but that’s all the ‘sins’ I can remember.

My rank dropped to 9k in between. Now I’m back in the 6k-7k range, roughly where I started.

Has my reading improved by now? TBH I still don’t know. But while I don’t know if I can read any deeper than before, I certainly feel more confident when reading short sequences. Maybe I could do the same before, but I remember I always doubted my results until I checked them with the analysis feature. Now I often know with confidence that I got it right. (Remember: I’m talking about short reads here. Actually, make that very short reads.)

I still think there is nothing wrong with using the analysis feature in correspondence. But there’s also nothing wrong in NOT using it. So if you are an analysis feature addict, like I have been, consider giving it up.


It’s great that you stuck with a year-long experiment!


Besides having recovered your level, you have much better bases to go ahead next so bravo!

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