Ranking discouragement

Hi, I’ve been entering a few tournaments and playing some games on the site wide ladders and this means I end up playing a lot of even games mostly against players who are stronger than me… and losing (no problems here as I’m a beginner and expect this!)

However, each time I lose an even game to a stronger player, my rank seems to go down and this seems a little harsh. Aren’t I expected to lose to stronger players? Or is the issue that I’m such a bad player and I’m losing by so much that I truly deserve these ‘ribbons of shame’?

Also, is there a presumed winning margin when an opponent resigns or times-out?

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Well,… you won’t gain any rating points by losing. Ever. That’s completely true and, dare I say, makes a whole lot of sense.

Whether you win/lose by resignation, points or timeout also doesn’t matter (with a single exception which I shall not cover here because it’s irrelevant to this discussion).

But if you don’t want to lose rating points, you can always play unranked games. It’s what I do, that’s why I’m quite overrated right now. :smirk: Oh and just in case: 1 stone difference roughly corresponds to a shift in expected (even match) winrate from 50% to 33%. This rapidly drops; 3 stones difference has you at roughly 10% expected winrate and past 9 stones, it is virtually nil.

However, if you’d like to get a realistic picture of where you are currently at with respect to the rest of the server population, playing more ranked games will get you there. Playing people closer to your true rank increases your odds of winning. It will stabilize at a rank that gives you about 50% and whenever you improve, that 50% figure will remain the same but you will rise in rank (yes I am simplifying here).


Thanks smurph

I never expect to gain ranking points when I lose… I just don’t understand why I also lose them when I lose to higher ranked players… hence my question about whether losing margins are taken into account.

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The ranking already factors in that your opponent is stronger. Losing will cause your ranking to go down by only a bit, while an upset win will cause your ranking to go up by a lot. Likewise, losing to a weaker player will make your rank go down a lot and winning against a stronger player will only cause your rank to go up a bit.

do you mean handicap in the beginning or counting territory at the end?

I stared at him for a while, in utter disbelief. “Look man, I know you’re not doing this for charity but it’s all I have.” His face resembled one of those buddha statues they sell at the gift shop. “I am a taxi driver”, he said, in the strangely soothing, deep voice of a pianist who has spent too many days in smokey bars, “and you joined in a contract with me when you got into my car and asked me to drive you to this place. Did I not keep my end of the bargain?” he asked, and I thought I caught a mischievous smile there for a fraction of a second. “That would be two-thousand credits, Sir.” - “I’m terribly sorry, but I only have nineteen hundred and ninety eight credits on me.” I said. The buddha spoke softly: “Two thousand, Sir.” It was a match I could not win. “The difference may be small compared to a larger fraction of the whole, but it is also what enables the whole to exist in the first place.” What happened next was a stroke of good luck. Another customer approached - someone who clearly did not want to wait for this argument to play out. He just flicked two credits in my direction and urged the driver to leave immediately. “But Mister! Thank you so much, what is your name?” - “Zen” he said, slamming the car door shut. And to this day I remember that even small things can make a difference, and I tell it as the parable of the two thou of Zen.

Nevermind me, I should go to sleep. ~<3

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You lose points no matter what the rank is of the person playing against you. The difference is that you lose less points from losing a game to a higher ranked player compared to how many points you would lose if you lost to a lower ranked player. The reverse is also true in the sense that a higher ranked player will earn less points by beating you compared to the number of points earned by beating someone ranked even higher.


This is one good reason to play “down” as well as “up”. Balance is good :slight_smile:

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Yes, but you are also expected to win a couple of times. Your reasoning is flawed, since you take only a single game into account, but you have to consider your rating in the long run.

Here is an example: Suppose your “real” rank is 1500 and your opponents “real” rating is 1700. Then you are expected to lose, say, 8 out of 10 times. So in order to keep both ranks stable (which is what you want, since you already are at your “true” rating), your rank is adjusted by, say, -5 for every loss and +20 for every win. For your opponent it is the other way around.

Of course, these were just arbitrary numbers, and the glicko system is a little bit more complicated. You can find the expected outcome (whence the expected win-loss ratio) in dependence of both players rating here on page five.



Perhaps I overlooked it, but I think no one has addressed this question of yours. All wins are the same. In other words, winning by resignation is the same as winning by timeout or by scoring, and if you win by half a point, it is the same as winning by 100 points.


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