Ratings moving opposite?

I’m confused. For the past several games, my rating goes down when I win and up when I lose. Am I missing something? This used to happen once in a while, but never this consistently. Thank you.

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The rating is based on the last fifteen games so if you win a game but a bigger win moves out your rating will drop and vice versa.Therefore , you will have a chance to have your rating change(happened to me like twenty times)

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… and… work is in progress to improve how this works.

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Ok. Just completely perplexed. Thought I understood it, but it seems to be more volatile than usual. I will wait to see what happens.

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I thought I was crazy at first, but it truly seems that more often than not, when I win my rating goes down and when I lose it goes up. I know you can’t look at each game individually, but it is so disheartening when I win a game by over 50 points to someone only one rank below me and my rating goes down my 7 points. This happens a lot. It’s annoying.

The behaviour you are seeing has been confirmed, and it is agreed that it is annoying.

Important points:

  • The times when you win and your rating goes up, you barely notice. You only notice when it is annoying. You might like to keep a record, to confirm that it is not “always when I win my rating goes down”. This may help reduce the irritation by bringing proper perspective to how often it occurs

  • The problem is being worked on. There’s probably not a lot of point in continuing to report the problem as “hey this is happening, and its annoying”. Everyone knows this now. If you are able and willing to help with the solution that will certainly be appreciated.


In OGS general settings there is an option to “turn off ranks and ratings”. I recommend it. The rating system will continue to do its work in the background and you will be able to concentrate on playing your games.

A bonus is that it is probably better in most cases to not know the rank of your opponent - you won’t be intimidated by opponents with higher ranks and you won’t underestimate players with lower ranks.


Just some thoughts …

Winning with 50 points or just 0,5 point has the same effect. But winning with a lot of points suggests that you are very strong, while winning with 0,5 points suggests that you are of (almost) equal strength. Both are winning, but the sentiment is different.

If you focus too much on rating, it might spoil your fun in playing go (been there, done that). That would be a pity, because go is a fascinating game.

I also think that too much checking your rating is a handicap in getting stronger. If you know you must win, otherwise you drop a kyu, this will cramp your style. Better play relaxed and don’t put pressure on yourself.

Just some thoughts and just my two cents …
Take care and have fun playing.


Or maybe that you are so much stronger and control the game do will as to win with this fine margin?
I don’t think the margin of victory means anything at all really.


That is what I implied.

I think this is rather farfetched and not without risk.


I don’t know what you mean :wink:


Sometimes when you vs someone lower than you say like a 25k and you’re a 13k the difference is so big that the ratings go down instead of up. So this happens so you should try to vs people more around you’re level if you don’t want to drop.

There is not a direct causal relationship like this. A win against a much weaker person is not the immediate cause of your rank to drop.

Ranks drop when you win because at the other end of the ranking window - 15 games ago - you suffered a big loss, and the preceding higher rank that you had moves out of the window due to this new game.


When you win against someone much weaker, it always adds a small contribution to the rating. Your overall rating them might appear to go down because the starting point for the calculation - which is 15 games ago - was less due to a loss back then, or many recent wins.

The thing that causes your rank to go down unexpectedly after any game is when you had a significant loss approximately 15 games ago. Suddenly this rank becomes the starting point, instead of the previous higher ranks.


@Eugene, Thank you for explaining the mechanics. The problem is that for players like me who do not understand game theory or statistics or whatever this is - I don’t understand the why behind the mechanics. I’ve played here a long time and I’m not obsessed with my rating. But because this is the only place I play online, it is my best measure of my progress. When playing at our local go club, players ask me my rank - this is the only empirical measure I have. So when it acts so strange, it just makes it hard to gauge progress and understand what an appropriate handicap might be with another player. I’m sorry if this is taken as complaining - I’m just very puzzled and trying to understand. You mentioned in your first comment helping with the solution - I’m not programmer and not knowledgable about the mechanics of ranking systems. I contribute money to the site. What else would you have me do? I’m happy to help if I’m able to. If the best way is to not complain anymore, I’ll do that too.


I think that most players are like you. Ranking is like rocket science, very complicated, boring and - luckily - way out there.

Maybe it would help if one of the mods/developers put a real life example of a fictive player online, with the way the rank is calculated step by step over say a 20 game period. It would give players like you and me an opportunity to check what’s happening.

I think that understanding how it works would take away some of the minor annoyances of playing go on OGS.

By the way: respect for your honest post, in which you also look critical at your self. That takes a lot courage.Every once in a while but on a regular base this topic of I won three games and now my raking has gone down again (and I want to speak with the manager right now) returns. Not every one is as polite as you are. :smiley:


Thank you @Atorrante. I like your suggestions and second them. Seeing the basic flow of how this works would help. Or point me to where this exists in the forum already. I love this site over all the other go sites and play here many times a day. It would be nice to understand this better. Then I will stop complaining here and spend more time playing go.


I’d love to see that too.

I wonder if one of the ratings experts could be inspired to do this for us?

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Well, I am not a rating expert, but I can try keeping a table of my games for a while and add my overall rating (and rating change) after each game.
Maybe this can serve as an intuitive experiment and give some clue as to how to
interpret one’s rating.


And I did keep a table for a while :smiley:
Should have kept it over a longer period, but while playing @mgv’s Second Live Weekly Tournament I completely forgot :frowning_face:

Nonetheless some things did become more clear:
(table is presented below)

  • two good results (game 1 & 2) gave overall ranking a boost of 38 points (20 more and I will rise a kyu)
  • however when game 1 & 2 fall from the 15 game window and they are not replaced by equally good result, my ranking will drop again. This was exactly what happened. In game 16 & 17 I lost to two weaker players, which cost me all and all more than 60 points.
  • ranking can go up and down quickly (too quickly if you ask me)
  • the 15 game window cause a delay, it will take some games for your recent result to take effect (like an oil tanker; it takes time before the changing of its course will become visible)
  • in general I got the impression that if you win three games against a stronger player you will go up one kyu.

Column 1: strength black player
Column 2 strength white player
Column 3: result
Column 4: overall ranking (std)
Column 5: rank change
Column 6: game number
(I signalled my playing black or white in italics in column 1 & 2 )

8 10 B+ 1649 (71) - -
10 8 B+ 1655 (71) 6 1
10 8 B+ 1687 (70) 32 2
25 9 W+ 1680 (70) -7 3
3D 9 B+ 1684 (70) 4 4
25 9 B+ 1684 (70) - 5
9 25 B+ 1659 (73) -25 6
10 15 B+ 1673 (73) 14 7
9 23 B+ 1674 (73) 1 8
6 9 W+ 1696 (73) 22 9
6 9 B+ 1680 (73) -16 11
12 9 W+ 1699 (72) 19 12
9 9 B+ 1676 (71) -23 13
16 9 W+ 1696 (70) 20 14
9 9 W+ 1706 (71) 10 15
11 9 B+ 1679 (71) -27 16
12 9 B+ 1650 (70) -29 17

Let me simplify it with a thought experiment.
Suppose you have a scale on which you can place 15 weights but no more than that and that if you will go on placing weights you will have to remove the oldest weights.
If I place one 20 kg weight and fourteen 10 kg weights the total weight will be 1x20 + 14x10=160 kg.
In case I want to place a 5 kg I will first have to remove the 20 kg weight, the total weight is then 14x10 + 1x5=145 kg.
The overall weight dropped with 15 kg.
Replace overall weight with overall ranking and then I hope you got a intuitive grasp on how ranking works.
Making a table like I did at least help me in understanding the ranking just a bit more :slight_smile:

Sorry for this long post.
Wonder if you are still with me? :grin: