Strength of OGS players

I am just surprised by the strength difference between KGS ranks and OGS ranks.
On KGS, I am 4k (3k at best) and here I am probably 7k (6k at best).

I found my rank to be about the same on KGS as here, but on KGS I was losing because unusual and greedy plays induced me into large fights where the opponent was more skilful; and on OGS I was losing mainly in smaller fights that began with moves that seemed reasonable. Perhaps that means KGS players are weaker once you study some of the metagame in use there.


Ogs ranks are special cuz of
corr (in which you can use waltheri, josekipedia, analyze tool),
blitz (supposedly legit timeouts to lower/increase your rank in 3 to 7 sec blitz),
ranked games against bots (either lowering your rank by not abusing their bugs or abusing them to increase it - almost impossible to play a normal game against a kyu rank bot),
9x9s (fine if you consider “rank” to be a combination of various board sizes),
and finally many many botters and sandbaggers.

If you learn how to navigate, you’ll get somewhat closer to your official rank/your rank on other servers. Just be careful about who you play - check out your opponent’s history before playing your first move, pay attention to live 19x19 rating on their profile page, avoid people who play against bots, people who have very curvy rank graphs, people who have lots of timeouts in their history… you catch the drift.


While snakesss observations about the factors at play, all the variables and what to look out for are true, it seems odd that all this would result in OGS players being stronger at a given rank than visitors from other severs.

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I don’t necessarily think OGS players are stronger than players on other servers … I think it’s just a different system, and the numbers don’t correspond. It’s like saying men in the U.S. are taller because they are 5.75 feet while European men are only 1.78 meters.


It isn’t really like saying that at all.

It’s like saying US men who can bench press “100” can only lift 40 kilos, wheas Australian mean who can bench press “100” can lift 100 kilos.

Its about “what is the value of the number”.

It doesn’t mean that overall OGS players are stronger. It just seems to mean that any given person will have a lower (worse) number here than they would have on KGS.

The experience of KGS people coming here is that they will be beaten by people here who have the same number here as they have on KGS.

At least, based on a sample of 2 (The OP and another visitor I spoke to recently).


The point was that ogs players are not actually stronger if you know how to manage your choice of games/opponents. In fact, ranks can be easier if you enjoy timing out opponents, tricking bots into ladders, spend lots of effort on corr moves via josekipedia/analyze tool etc. However they will be harder for a casual player who doesnt use support in corrs, who doesnt handpick their opponents and comes up against people who are out of a 5 loss streak against a bot, who doesnt try to snipe blitzers who artificially increased their rank.

People who want to lower their rank can do so easily via playing bots, timing out in blitzes and the results of those games have a dramatic effect on rank cuz of glicko. Then those people want to play easy opponents and you face them. The ones that want to increase their ranks on the other hand, you won’t face that often, cuz they are after sniping blitzers and tricking bots into ladders and unlike sandbaggers, they are not that eager to play casual players.

This results in casual players and newcomers to ogs (who havent mastered the site) having a hard time and getting annoyed because they are deservedly 3-4kyu higher on other servers,.

different servers have different play style and rating system
like fox, their plays is so completely different that rank can be off the charts, you could be a 1k here and be like 3d there


OGS tends to play a lot more “normal” and “conservative”. Like dangomango said, it’s more of a “rock-paper-scissors” thing than OGS actually being stronger.

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I can kind of see what @Shusaku_the_Gentle means though. If you think of what a unit of measurement really means, it’s just some valuation of a physical quantity. If we assume skill is something we can measure (and put a number on) and further assume that the person plays on both OGS and KGS frequently (or at the same frequency) and that they don’t dramatically improve or lessen their skill between games (comparatively small time frame between games say).

Then really it’s just two different metrics on a persons skill, one for the rating system kgs uses and one for the ogs one, and there in principle is some kind of conversion between the two.

On the other hand though since the conversions are more than likely nonlinear functions of rank (given that I think theres exponentials usually involved in going between ranks and ratings) then I suppose it is a lot less like a unit conversion say from feet to metres.

Locally though if one only looks at one rank at a time you might say there’s a conversion factor that takes you from 6/7kyu->3/4 kyu and you could imagine that like a change of units :slight_smile:.

The reason I disagreed with the height metric is that it is a well defined standard.

You don’t have people from Japan going to the US and finding out that in Japan they are 6’ but in the US they are 5’ 5".

That is what the analogy would be: people from KGS are reporting that they are 6k at KGW but only 8k here.

This is because unlike “height”, there is no standard measure of rank, so servers literally can rank people of the same skill differently.

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All servers have sandbaggers and botters, and I doubt anyone can quantify the problem. Tygem is, by reputation, notorious for its sandbaggers, who supposedly include some pros. With the full bot review now available on OGS, it should now be possible to identify botters more readily, at least after the fact.

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I remember Dwyrin saying that on OGS the style was more original and unconventional than on other servers.

Anyway my biggest concern is that I’m SDK here and DDK in real life.
I’ve never been on KGS

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I used the height metric because it’s a much more obvious example of different metrics that you can’t compare by looking just at the numbers without converting them.

Ranks across servers are the same — we just don’t know the conversion rates, so it’s not as obvious. Still, we shouldn’t think because a 1k is stronger on OGS than a 1k on KGS, that this means anything about the relative strength of the players on different servers. It just means the numbers aren’t directly comparable without conversion.

This is exactly how the myth that Napoleon was really short got started… French feet were longer than American feet and so comparing the numbers directly made it sound like he was shorter than he actually was, which for the time period he was considerably average in height.

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What could you mean by “ranks across the servers are the same” if you need to convert between them?

Ranks across the servers are different … and we don’t know the conversion rates.

A KGS 1d is different in skill to an OGS 1d: that’s the observation.


We all trailed off from the topic. If OP’s forum nick matches OGS one then we can look at the game history. We have ~7 ranked games against not bots and not weird. And the games look ok. Maybe you @wilhelm4 simply have not adjusted yet. When I changed servers first games on new servers usually weren’t good.

I don’t think discussion about how ranks are bad or weird is warranted here.


Everybody here is concerned about the size of their… rank! :laughing:
And the issue is exactly that: “How could it be that I am 3’ on one server and 5’ on another one?”
All servers use same scale: kyus and dans. But the values are different because the scales are not comparable. That’s a nonsense.
The case looks just as BHydden said about Napoleon: same names but different metrics. That’s confusing.
Only reasonable answer seems to be: don’t stress about your rank, just play and have fun! :wink:


The purpose of a rank is not to give you a sense of identity, but rather to aid you in finding a roughly even game in a given environment. I think OGS does that well.
If you adamantly hold to being a 3k, but lose most of your even games, then maybe your “rank” is more pride than function.
If you adamantly hold to being 10k, because there’s just no way you’re strong enough to be SDK yet, but yet you win almost all your even games, then maybe your “rank” is more fear than function.
I think this thread may have a lot of behind the scenes overlap with The mind game - opponent's rank?

Though outdated, the message of this graph still rings true… attempting to compare ratings between unrelated pools is folly.


I think OGS way of combining 9x9 and 19x19 ranks is a little bit wrong. On 9x9 the wins and losses have significantly more noise than 19x19 yet the numbers are combined just like that. A win or loss streak on 9x9 seems to make the following 19x19 games be unevenly matched.