Rankings explanation?

d is dan and measures how good you are. k is kyu and measures how bad you are.


If you just started you should be 25k , and try to work your way towards 24 and 23k. They usually reccomend 9x9 for your first games of learning the rules.

Where did you learn about go?

Hey Jamie

I went and took a look at your OGS profile (assuming this is you)

Your current rank is ~11 kyu / and between 1192-1459 Glico rating - though it looks as it is adjusting based on your recent game results. It will take some time for the OGS rank to stabilize for any new player. One is given a “provisional” rank at the beginning, and the assumption is that it will adjust up or down once that player interacts with others.

Hope that helps to clear up some of the confusion.


Makes sense, similar to lichess, thanks


Also - having taken a look at a few of your games, I think you may benefit from these tutorials:


I’ve seen you make moves that make no sense in a Go game context like

  • playing isolated stones on the edge of the board
  • closing off your own group’s eyes when they weren’t being attacked, etc…

Go is fairly infamous for having a steep learning curve. I’ve been writing a long series of articles aimed at beginners which tries to make that climb a little less daunting / confusing. If you start at this first article, you’ll find links at the bottom of each given article that will link you to the next one:

Good luck


For the record, this is not true.

All players start at the mid-way rating (somewhere around 12k - I’m not precisely sure in the new system).

This is so that new players added to the rank pool don’t distort it up or down, because a new person joining the server could easily be a dan or a beginner - we have know way of knowing.

All players also start with a very high “rank uncertainty” - IE how sure are we about their rank - not sure at all. It’s something like +/- 5k.

So initial ranks look something like 13k +/- 5k.

The higher rank uncertainty is, the quicker rank moves each game, so beginners start at the midpoint and rapidly rank down after a few games.

In the OPs case, his first couple of games were experienced players who bailed on him ( :frowning: ) causing him to win, and the rating shoot up wrongly. This has been fixed.


If you are not familiar with concepts like “kyu” and “dan”, then I think this article will be helpful to explain the traditional meaning of the kyu-dan ranks.

However, underlying ratings are calculated with a system called Glicko, which is conceptually similar to Elo, and then these ratings are converted to kyu-dan ranks (which can be thought of as a quantization of the rating into broader bins).

The practical meaning of a difference in rank between two players is approximately how many handicap stones the stronger player should give to the weaker player, if they wish to play a roughly balanced handicap game.


Yes, exactly like lichess (they use Glicko also)

The only difference is that we also translate the Glicko rating to match the more traditional kyu/dan system.


Basically the ranking is the way to make people with same strength play together, more as anything else. It’s supposed to give more fun if you have some fair chance to win a game.

Being too focused on your strength level may hinder your progress and your fun. If you want to avoid that kind of problems, you can hide all the rank system whenever you wish in the OGS settings.


I took this thread as an opportunity to learn a bit about the ranking system.
Diagonal reading the wikipedia entry for glicko2 I got the impression that the ouput of a game is only 1,1/2 or 0 depending on win, draw, defeat (compared to the expected result)… but that sounds weird to me. Shouldn’t there be some some scale depending in the score?? It’s not the same losing by 100 points than losing by 1 point…

From my newbie point of view… losing by 1 point to a much stronger opponent should almost increase your rank, shouldn’t it?? :sweat_smile:

You can use Elo/Glicko ratings for go, like in chess, and OGS does this.
But in go, the traditional way is to use a rank ladder, where the steps on the ladder are separated by a unit of handicap.

You could do that in chess as well, for example by defining ranks separated by pawn odds (Handicap (chess) - Wikipedia).

In this traditional handicap ranking system in go, there are about 40 ranks/levels between a new player and world champion level. These are traditionally divided in 3 rank ranges:

  1. “Apprentice” ranks (kyu). Lowest ranks is about 30k (but raw novices may be weaker). Highest rank is 1k.
  2. “Bachelor” ranks (dan). Lowest rank is 1d. Highest rank varies between 7d and 9d in different systems. These are still amateur players.
  3. “Master” ranks (pro). These are professional players. They have a separate rank system, where the gap between ranks is smaller (about 1/3 of the gap between “Apprentice” and “Bachelor” ranks). Professional ranks go from 1p to 9p. The level of these professional ranks overlaps with the highest “Bachelor” ranks.

The table near the end of FIDE titles and EGF Go ratings at Sensei's Library tries to make a comparison between chess levels and go ranks by the amount of prestige and effort associated with those ranks/ratings. Note to that table: the go ratings in that table are not Elo/Glicko ratings, but EGF ratings.


That would make the glicko-2 very Go specific, you also have to be able to use it for other games.
Also, how would you handle resignations and timed-outs?

Would resigning from a winning position lead you to lose less points than if you resign from a position that you’re losing by 100? Sounds like a very complicated model, which might not necessarily be more accurate (and is definitely less general) than the current one.


Since the goal of the game is to have more points, but not “have as much points as possible”, one can decide to go for a saver move instead of a risky move with higher potential.

Also distinguishing by points also needs to distinguish between points and resignation.
If resignation is worth
a) many points in terms of rating, all games will end with resignation, basically rendering the score dependent rating adjustment useless.
b) resignation equals a huge loss: why should anyone resign? This just forces players to play to the very end.
In both cases taking score into account has negative effects on the player experience.


Yeah, you are right, very good points, I didn’t think it through! Thanks!


Watch this short video from ex-pro player. It also explain about the different between 9Dan and 9P


I had a look at your game results and your current rating does not make any sense whatsoever. That the server is showing you as 11 kyu is a “weakness” of the rating system used by the server (very mildly speaking…). I would even call it a bug.

You have to manage to play rated games against players of your level. You could try to challenge 25 kyu players. If you lose against a weaker player, your rating should adjust (if there are no other bugs hiding in the rating system…).

A 4 kyu resigned to him on his first game. There’s almost no chance of the ranking system being able to handle that with such a small number of games played.


Whilst I appreciate all the responses my initial question has been more than answered many thanks for that.

For the bug relating to the ratings I made a separate topic:


I see! Looked like only losses and annulled games to me at first.

Also interesting that his rating did even rise at the end.

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