How to become a 20 kyu?

I’ve been playing GO at the OGS during the last 3 months, but I’m a 25 kyu yet… Now I’m winning 50% of the games, but I’m always at the same rank level… Sometimes I win a game and my score lows a bit… What’s the best strategy to increase my score? Should I play more 19x19 games? Should I try more experienced opponents?


Play a lot and do a bit of Tsumego.

Also don’t worry about your rank not having changed yet. OGS doesn’t support ranks weaker than 25k, there is a discussion going on about that. Most likely you have improved from 30k to 25 k already. Just keep going.


Hello Fabiano,

first of - the good news: you are now extremely close to breaking the 25k barrier, a few more games will probably do the trick :slight_smile:

Now the explanations:
OGS displays 25k as the lowest rank, but in actuality (behind the scenes) there is no lowest boundary, so technically until now, you were at even a lower rank than 25k and was making your way up to the actual 25k by your victories, it was just not appareantly obvious (but in your profile you can see the graph rising).

Best strategy is a relative term. In terms of mathematics, beating stronger opponents, would give you a bigger boost and thus a faster climb, but the question remains whether you would already have the skill to beat those. If not, you cannot climb anywhere without winning. So the obligatory “wise-man” routine :smiley: would urge me to suggest: just play like you normally would and have fun, the rank will sort itself out on its own. You’re almost there :slight_smile:


Making a new account is a good option. That way your initial point is not 25-30k and you don’t mysteriously stay same rank over and over after wins; but you’re again the average starter rank (is it still 13k?) from which you can find your new rank more easily.

Playing blitz is also an option - If you play blitz games (like 5 sec per move) and don’t time out, you can rank up very fast on ogs.


If you like to play a teaching game, just let me know.


thank you very much, @Atorrante. can i challenge you for a 13x13? my username is the_optimist.

Sure. Challenge me (analysis on please).

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Can’t challenge you, I get the message Can not play a ranked game with rank difference > 9

I’ve just sent you a challenge…

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Yeah, try playing 21-23ks. Considering you win against 25ks usually, time to play stronger players. If you do well, your rank will catch up.


Hi Fabiano,

  • on small boards moves like 4-4 are risky for 20-25k-ish players, because it is hard to convert moyo (influence) into actual territory. Territorial moves like 3-4 and 3-3 make situations more simple.
  • play moves in the corner first, then along the sides and finally move into the centre.
  • defend your corners with one & two space jumps.
  • if you get a chance to create a box like shape, do so. They are hard to attack.
  • find out which shapes are alive and which ones are dead. The triangle and the square are dead, but there are more dead shapes.

Good luck & until we meet again.


Do problems only if you can find answer quickly.
Read a book for your level if you want
But mostly play and have fun.
Make friendship helps a lot too.
Read what @mark5000 write for you. Nothing technical.

Progress will come without asking them to come.


I’d say this is bad advice. If there’s one thing our ranking system is very good at, it’s forgetting your past rank. Usually it takes less than 10 to 20 games to gravitate towards a new rank (based on people who suddenly start / stop their sandbagging / AI abuse).


Is it bad for the system? Because I can’t see how it is bad for the user. I did it and it helped me a lot on OGS. I stayed on while my friends who started on here around the same time switched over to other servers because they were “stuck” or “didnt like the ranking system”.

In the beginning, you get a lot of defeats that have nothing to do with go but more technicalities like time settings, figuring out various things about the interface… To make up for that drop and at least see where you could be on your main account, I find it very useful to make a new one and try yourself once over after being familiar with the server.

Besides, the number of sandbaggers, scorecheaters, stallers are relatively higher at ddk and it’s easy to not have that fighter mentality to climb up the ranks against such opposition. Not to mention, playing fewer games against same/lower rank players and more against higher rank will speed up progress, let you see fewer bad habits early on (which you would, trying to battle your way up from 25k).

So, I think it’s beneficial to not see this as something to be ostracized but something that can help beginners not get discouraged by the cruel rank system on OGS.

Also, even if this slightly compromises rank system in some way, I’d argue there are many more pressing issues regarding OGS glicko2 that the effect of alternate accounts could be considered negligible.

Here is a video regarding this topic that helped me early on.


One source of sandbaggers in the DDK ranks, is SDK’s / Dan’s making new accounts, since they have to play ranked games first to get to the right rank. This is also the main reason why it’s discouraged to create many new accounts.

On some of the other servers, ranking can indeed slow down over time, as their system might not account for uncertainty over time. If a ranking system only looks at the total information it has (number of games played, number of wins vs. stronger opponent, number of wins vs. weaker), and ignores things like rank being uncertain (after a long break, generally over time, after a couple of unexpected upsets / downsets), then the rank may start to stagnate.

The real benefit of the Glicko system (over Elo), is that it does account for this uncertainty. If you play games at a different level than the system expects, it will increase your uncertainty, and with high uncertainty, you will rank up / down with bigger jumps.

This I completely support. But there’s no need to create a new account to play stronger opponent’s in ranked games.


I think that a problem with two accounts is that it opens the door for cheating. In one account you play a game without analysis, which you can compensate via your other account.
Or am I now completely mistaken?

You could already open the game in a separate browser / incognito tab (logged out), or log out, open the game, and log in and play in a new tab, or relay the game on any other source of a goban. Going all the way to create a separate account is even unnecessary in this regard :stuck_out_tongue:

(obviously, please don’t do this)


Sometimes I am a bit naive. :slight_smile:

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I don’t consider new accounts or “?” accounts as “sandbaggers”. They can easily state their true strength in chat or search for games with higher ranks and their “?” indicates uncertainty already. The only way creating a new account would lead to sandbagging would be if that was the intention of the person. Someone who wants to create an alternate account with an honest intention shouldn’t be discouraged from it because other do it to sandbag.

I like your point about glicko being particularly designed to make those rank jumps if necessary, but still, in my experience DDK/TPK on OGS was brutal. As someone who has started on and only played on OGS for the first six months, the rare occasions where I was encouraged by rankings were the times I made my alternate accounts and immediately got a higher rank(2-3 higher) than my already existing one. I did not use those alternate accounts for any schemes or shennanigans (except 7sec blitz :D) and I don’t see how it was bad for me or the server.