I thought this was something long enough that maybe others could benefit as well.
Copying from a document so hopefully it transfers well…
So I’m going to go through step by step to analyze your Go. So first up, I took a look at your account. One big thing that I noticed is the difference in the number of games played this month versus previous months.
In October you have played 44 ranked games and the month isn’t over yet. In September you played 3 games, and in August you played 4. You are too high of a level for you to pick it back up one month and somehow start improving a ton of ranks. 9k is already the top 50% of Go players. Going from 2020 to now, you played about 243 games. It takes 100 games or more to get to 19 kyu. From 19 kyu to 9 kyu takes several hundred. If you are playing less than 100 games a year, how are you supposed to improve?
With that being said, 44 games is a good number to have. Keep it up!
I did look at the rank graph and noticed a decline. I wouldn’t worry about this at all. The OGS algorithm didn’t even have enough data to know how strong you are. So if you thought you were 5 kyu, and you only played 10 games, and now after 44 you are 7 kyu, it is not because you are weaker. It is because the algorithm was trying to figure out where to put you.
You also need to realize, 7 Kyu is NOT an insult. You are better than half the community, have more confidence! You post reads as impatience and frustration to me. But I am not in your head, so it’s up to you to know yourself. But it sounds like you are not having fun.
If you are not having fun, it begs the question, why are you playing? Pride? Lost cost fallacy? Or something else? Go is a game. I just had a conversation with my student about this. When you pick up a video game, or some other hobby, why are you not stressed when you play it? In our conversation it was Baulder’s Gate. (Amazing game!) I asked why was he not stressed thinking about that? Why wasn’t he thinking about how many hours he needed to research his build to play perfectly/better? You don’t think about these things because it’s not fun. You are playing the game because you enjoy it. Not because you have to.
Imagine, your mom comes in, “Why are you not playing video games? Why are you reading a book! What is wrong with you! Do something good with your life like this thing that I think is good for you!” Would you still enjoy playing the video game when you wanted to finish that book? Now that you HAVE to play the game? Your brain is the mom here telling you to play Go and stop wasting your time. Why are you not improving ect. ect.
If you are not having fun, stop. Go is not your job. You play Go because you enjoy something about it. If you lost that joy then why are you even playing? I’m not telling you to quit Go. But a lot of times a break from Go can do you some good. In your situation it seems like you already took a break. But it sounds like you came back with the intention on ranking up. Rank is the worst thing to focus on. This can cause a lot of frustration and in many cases lead to rank anxiety. (Random article I googled)
My solution for this that I tell me students is to shift their goal to something else. Maybe work on a new opening. Try a different style. Or in a lot of cases, I give them the goal of losing 100 (ranked) games.
I give you this challenge. Make a new account. Make it 13 kyu. Play on it until you lose 100 games. Once you do, take yourself out to eat for accomplishing your goal! Splurge and go to your favorite food place!
Let me reiterate, I do NOT care how many problems you do. Or how many books you read. I want you to LOSE 100 games.
Invade and try to make your opponent kill you! “Why are they so bad at it! I was dying so often in my previous games?!” Attack and make them live. “Nooooo…make eyes. I said make eyes. Stop friggin dying and make your eyes!!” You’ll be surprised…
Okay moving on, back to the data. On my ogs stats tool I looked at your account. You are playing 20 minutes per side games.
Your last few ranked games:
Total Match time - Your average time spent on your moves
5.3 min, 11.9 sec
7.7 min, 9.4 sec
11.9 min, 5.2 sec
9.7 min, 6.7s
So…why do you need 20 minutes per side? You should be in overtime EVERY game! You only need 5 minutes per side. I am constantly lecturing people about how their time settings are too high. 5 minutes is plenty for almost every SDK. But there is this mental curse that without the safety net, they will have to blitz. The clock talking is scary! But I have found, the more clock time they have for the average rated game, the more they blitz. League games are different but still, my point stands.
The clock talking means you are using your time well. The more she talks to you the better. What kind of a relationship is it when she never calls and talks to you?? Move on to a healthier relationship with the lower times settings. They pay you so much more attention. On the other extreme, if you play with 10s per move and she only counts 2 seconds per move then are you letting her talk? Be a better listener!
Analyzing your loss results, I notice they are almost ALL Resignations. Before we worry about winning games, let’s make it to counting. Less than 35 points is a CLOSE game! 15+ point mistakes happen all the time at 7 kyu. So try to get 80% of your losses to <35 points. You don’t need to do it every time, but this is good practice for consistency.
Try to understand yourself as well. What causes the resignations? Are you rage quitting? Are you dying a lot? Are you losing a lot in end game? Are you ignoring the big areas? Be patient with yourself and accept your weaknesses and slowly work on them. We all have them. We get them multiple times. And those blasted things keep coming back! Such is Go. We have cute puppies and we have ugly puppies. But we must love our weakness puppies equally.
When you lose, don’t stress about everything. If you worry about why every move is not 9 Dan Pro moves you will never improve. Find 1 part of the game’s story that you felt you could have done better on. Take 1 note about it and reflect, and move on. 5 minutes is plenty for a rated game review.
Also, when you find those “that was so stupid!” moves, piece of advice, if you didn’t play those you would be Dan level. Then the stupid moves are just higher level. What we call stupid moves are just moves that are below our level, or below our current knowledge. This doesn’t mean we don’t know it, it means we have to catch it during the 200+ moves when it pops up. Getting to 9k is about playing DDK moves 80% of the time. Getting to Dan is about playing SDK moves 100% of the time. 3k is probably 80-90% SDK moves. You are going to have DDK moves in your game. That’s why we practice and sharpen our game. If you can play a 7 kyu move every move of your game, you are almost, if not Dan level.
Play is practicing and testing our knowledge. Review is to review and reinforce our knowledge. Study is to learn new knowledge. The majority of improvement comes from the first two. I think learning new things is less than 10% of what you need to improve.
Go problems are a great way to practice fighting skills. The amount of 2 kyu players that miss a net or a 3rd line cutting points is greater than the number of stars in the… wrong quote… but the point still stands.
Drill your DDK problems. Hundreds and thousands of DDK problems make a Dan level fighter. Nets, ladders, bulky five, bamboo joints, one point jumps, connect your blasted cutting points, ect…
Insert my self promotion here: https://www.tsumegodragon.com
Another great source is 101weiqi, a Chinese Go problem site.
Tsumego Hero is a good one, but it is not my favorite.
Tsumego Pro on the phone is a good one. But it only has L&D problems practically.
Baduk Pop is a good app, has good problems, but I prefer 101weiqi in terms of organization.
OGS has some good problem sets, but you have to dig.
My basic approach for strategy can be found here. Clossi Approach
I can’t really think of much else without just analyzing your games one by one. I also don’t know the character limit on reddit so…I think I will wrap it up here.
Hope this helps!