Ranked games with unranked (rank=?) players

I used to set a range of ranks within which a player would have to be in order to be able to accept a game challenge from me. I have stopped doing that, and one result is that now I sometimes I play a ranked game against an unranked player, a player whose rank is shown as a question mark. What happens to my rank when I play a ranked game against an unranked opponent. On KGS, the result would not affect my rank at all immediately, but it would affect my rank later if that person kept playing ranked games and eventually got a rank. What happens here?

OGS ranking system is kinda complex. I can’t give you the full run down but essentially rank adjustments are not a straight forward adjustment based on the outcome of the current game such as a simple +/- point system like IGS.
OGS rankings continually update based in your last 12 matches, their outcome and rank of opponents.

This is also responsible for the infamous “I won and ranked down”, as your rank is based on more then just the last game.

So, if your opponent truly has no history…at the end of your ranked game the system will have 1 data point for them and will begin estimating a rank, but with a large +/- value… As they play it will be refined and so will the impact the game had on your rank.

Each player has a rating and an uncertainty value. You can see it on the players profile page or the pop-up window even if their rank is ? .

If their uncertainty is high, your rating won’t change much.


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