People becoming more condescending and rude in discussion as they move up in rank?

Just wondering if anyone find themselves or their old friend becoming more condescending when they talk on OGS or to you (not necessarily go related) as they get stronger in go… (usually up till mid dan) and then become more humble as they move further up. It doesn’t happen to everyone of course but it is just sad to see this happening to someone you know.

to be a little more specific: I feel respected when the other person let you finish your sentence or state your opinion instead of cutting you off. Or try to explain things patiently instead of directly saying “it is the case because I’m higher ranked and you’re lower ranked” or saying " or “you won’t understand it at your level so just do what I said”

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No, and especially not with non-Go related topics. Why on earth being somewhat proficient in an obscure and somewhat pointless asian board game would cause you to become condescending is beyond me. Sounds kind of like a crappy person in general.


connected with this maybe? Felt like posting some article to give my post the appearance of deeper meaning :smiley: But it is and interesting read I think :slight_smile:

to be honest with myself I had a similar isuue when passing past 15k. Not that I was condescending and such, but I felt like I am starting to understand the game and felt like teaching others. Now I do not dare advice anybody safe for complete beginners :smiley:

But I know Condescending DDKs as well as high dans. I am guessing it might be more connected with personality rather than the game itself. The rank progression might be just an excuse for them to feel superior.


Or maybe people who are driven enough to become strong at the game also feel passionate about the game, which from your perspective may only look like condescension? Or are you talking about non-Go-related conversations as well?

Just playing devil’s advocate here, hard to say anything without soundbites/text bytes. :slight_smile: The overspecific “usually up till mid dan” is suspicious, though. Have you talked about your impression to the person in question?


Not talking about a single person … yes I have talked to some of them about it.

For example, there is a person that I met when we were both around 7k and we played and chat. As that person shoot up in rank… he/she started talking to me differently and we did brought up this issue and he/she think that’s kind of natural but still apologized.

And yes I have also seen someone becoming nicer over the years (met him/her when he is mid dan). I have also discuss this observation with few other people and we seem to agree that some people gradually become more arrogant as they hit the sdk-mid dan range.

Also, I am one of the weakest regular member in the go club and there are some mid and high dan player in the club… usually the high dans and the kyu players acted more friendly and compassionate toward me/others when we play some silly moves… For example, lately a beginner came to our club and played one of the stronger player, a low dan player observed the game and when the beginner made a really bad mistake, he called some of us over to watch and made fun of his mistake…

Of course, this is just my personal experience and I’m not trying to say people automatically became more arrogant, just some. I’m just wondering if anyone had a similar experience.

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The kindness you see in high dan ranks is debatable but I can say with certainty that the stronger you get, the more arrogant you get. It’s human nature. Money, power/strength or social status will always corrupt those who have lower morals. There is nothing surprising about it.


Hm. Well, that sounds like something to be settled in person, obviously, but let’s see what I can scrounge up.

  1. “History” effects - Naturally, improving at Go over time necessitates the passing of time. Consider the circumstances (age, personal situation) of the person in question at time A compared to time B. Humans act differently under the influence of stress with diminished influence of stabilizing factors (friends, family, work).
  2. Dispositional/circumstantial factors - Does the person in question “behave like this” in every situation with everyone, or is it only with certain people, or in similar situations but with different people, or also in different situations with same/different people?
  3. Perception - Are you sure these people went from diplomatic to rude or did they just go from silent to vocal? Additionally, it’s not all that helpful to ask people to confirm something (is X behaving more y now) as it is always easier to think of evidence in favor of a proposition than it is to think of evidence against.

If you care about these people, and if they care about you, you should be able to communicate your desire for [whatever, say,… stoic discussions] in a way that should improve your relationship with them. Ideally, try to understand their point of view as well - sometimes you draw conclusions on their intentions based on misconceived notions about their behavior. Again, shots in the dark without knowing about the details of your conversations with them and others.

Hope that helped o/


Well, not exactly connected with Go, but I fear that I’m getting more condescending and rude as I get older.

For me it feels like … as I get older, my time gets shorter and more precious to me, and I’m less and less willing to tolerate (what I believe to be) bullsh!t any longer, feels like I’m less patient with people.

So … sadly, I find in myself neither the wisdom nor the mellowness of age … rather a grumpy old man I am … I can only hope that I’m not becoming a sad assh*le like some others I’ve met in my life.

Oscillating between 9 and 6 kyu currently, if that helps :smiley: Maybe the question of age also applies to the people you’re talking about?

Anyway, I hope that I’ve not been like that to any of you here. And pls forgive me if you think this is totally unrelated to your topic.


Interesting… that’s one possibility. I’ve only know some of the people that I mentioned above for <2 years though :/, but people do change(or go from silent to vocal as smurph mentioned).

Actually I just thought of Chinese saying that might describe the situation: “The half-filled bottle sloshes, the full bottle remains still”


How I think of it is that those who have the drive to grow develop a sense of humility because they study hard and fail many times.

However people who rise suddenly don’t feel that work (anymore?) and naturally feel superior because of it.

I have seen people rise to low fans by natural talent alone, but I’m pretty sure you don’t get to high dan with out some amount of intensive study, which could explain why they are often more diplomatic and amiable.


There’s also the “other side of the coin” option: You’ve grown more sensitive to (hearing) criticism (or whatnot). The more relaxed we are, the more we are able/willing to ‘let things go’. If you put on “people nowadays are so rude and arrogant” glasses, you are more prone to interpret otherwise [comedic / childish / hyperbolic] comments in a negative light, confirming your conceptual framework.

Actively look for evidence to the contrary, see if you’ve maybe just (dis-)missed it before… people are rarely one-dimensional.


Could be you are over-sensitive and detect rudeness which was not intended. On the other hand, board game players are not particularly known for having good social skills. Playing Go is adversarial and not especially a friendly activity. Maybe just cut them some slack.

Having said that, I always try to be respectful to my opponent whatever their playing strength. Whether I succeed is for others to judge.


My completely unfounded hypothesis is that people are more condescending when they feel they have something to prove. Upper SDK/low dan players probably feel more of a need to demonstrate their strength. They’re a “good” player, but just barely, and by doing something like poking fun at the bad moves of weaker players, they’re trying to demonstrate that strength.

Low kyu players know they’ve got nothing to brag about, so they’re less condescending, and high dan players aren’t trying to show that they belong. They know that they belong, they’ve been there for a long time, and everyone else knows that they belong. People on the cusp of being recognized for their strength are like highschool sophomores: they’re acting out a bit not out of inherent rudeness, but in response to insecurity about how they’re perceived.

Definitely something worth thinking about, though, and worth being cognizant of as we move up in the ranks. I’m sure I could improve my tone when I do reviews to be more welcoming to DDK/TPK players.


The only thing you can determine about a person from their Go rank is how good they are at Go. Beyond that; individuals should be treated as individuals. To do otherwise is to shortchange them and ourselves.


From my own personal experience, I’ve found highish DDK’s to be the most rude/arrogant

It’s easy to always be mean, condescending, rude, curt, and arrogant.

It’s difficult to always be kind, uplifting, civil, patient, and humble.

Common people pluck low-hanging fruit. Special people climb for the sun-drenched fruit.

Treasure the special people.


Of course we are! Now why don’t you work on your game, so we can talk on even terms :smiley:


I have read a post by a go lecturer that high kyus and low dans think they have mastered the basics, like ladders, nets, snap back, and connections. To a beginner, this refers to making appropriate moves when such shape shows up. To high dans, this refers to avoiding shapes such a few moves before, and, for example, do not make shapes that will force you take submissive responses against certain forcing moves in order to avoid ladders etc, and vice versa. So when he gives a lecture to be always aware of ladders, nets, snapback and connections, its the beginners and high dans that take it their heart, and high kyus and low dans seem rather annoyed. Perhaps this is one of the Dunning-Kruger effect in go.


I have a feeling that any given person is probably who they are: condescending or not.

However, as they progress in rank, condescending people feel more qualified to be condescending in this arena.

It’s much harder to sustain a nasty conversation when you have 25k attached to your name than 1d.

Especially because such people will naturally think that the rank attached to the other person’s name qualifies that other person to be rude back, so they won’t chose to be condescending and face that risk.

I think it’s natural to expect to see more condescension from higher ranks for this reason.


I have had an experience on KGS, with one player in particular, the player is around 4-5 dan, and often looks for people to play teaching games with. when they plays a teaching game, this person loves to berate the lower level player, and embarrass them. this dan player LouisXIII justifies their behavior by saying they are more knowledgeable therefore deserves a certain level of respect and obedience. it is upsetting, I recommend people avoid this person

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