The rating system and me

i was just woundering how did i make 18kyu i have not beating anyone

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Short explanation: for new players the system guesses that you’re roughly 12k (which is the average), although it’s hidden behind a [?]. When you play enough games that it gets some certainty about your strength, it’s updated to an actual rank. Apparently the system thinks to have enough certainty to call you 18k.

In your case, you played quite a lot of games, but with two exceptions, they’re all against players ranked 10k or higher. If you want a better estimate, try losing games agains 18k to drop further :stuck_out_tongue: (or in a more optimistic setting, try winning games against 18k to find out whether your rank is accurate)


I recommend you to hide ranks (it’s in the setting) for a while (at least a few dozens of games). Your games will still be rated.
Play with automatic settings and leave the system assign you the right players to play with.


how do i let the system assign me to the right players

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custom game → create
minimum ranking, maximum ranking options

25-20k are best for beginners
9k - 1k - you have no chance against them even if you play 9 moves in a row instead of 1 first move


Automatch (“Quick Match Finder” on play page) with settings like ±1 rank or ±2 ranks would probably get people around the same level, assuming your rank is settled enough. If over/underranked it might take a few games.


Because of the bug seems better to create a custom game offer with appropriate range as using the automatch (my previous advice of hiding rank still recommended)

But that isn’t letting the system do it for you :stuck_out_tongue:

I think hiding ranks is fine if you roughly know your level but somehow seeing you’re playing someone (much) stronger/weaker (in theory) affects your play. That or you just want to ignore ranks (for a while) and don’t want to think in terms of how a game result might change it etc (It can be offputting to start a game thinking one could drop rating etc).

In this case though I think you want to see who’s accepting your settings, especially in a custom game to see if the settings are behaving how you intended. Similarly for the automatch settings.

It’s tricky to play against [?] rank people because you don’t know if they’re a beginner or a Dan that’s made a new account :slight_smile: It’d be good to know “oh that was a [?] player and they thrashed me, it wasn’t necessarily someone rated 18kyu at my level”.


If a player only plays one or two weaker players and always wins will that player reach dan level or cap out just above the weaker players?

you can’t play ranked game against someone more than 9 ranks weaker.
so its impossible to become more than 9 ranks higher than someone weaker by only playing him
also it may be infinitely slow after certain rank difference, don’t know which

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ah! thanks.

wait, does this mean you can play rated 9 handicap stones games here? :open_mouth:

While this is not possible with a direct challenge, it is still possible to play a ranked game with a greater than 9 ranks disparity in a tournament or ladder.

However, your point is valid that the ratings adjustments from the stronger player winning will become vanishingly small as the disparity increases. I believe the risk of the stronger player losing rank from accidentally timing out could possibly outweigh the small positive adjustments from winning and make the overall expectation negative for them.

Yes, it is possible to play a ranked game with 9 handicap stones.

For example: Tournament Game: Test your handicap skills! (Round Robin version) (74220) R:1 (Macrophage vs phononic) (which also features a 13 rank disparity in a ranked game)


Not all “ranked” games are actually ranked though. For example, I doubt that this 7x7 affected anyone’s rank:

games not played on 9x9 13x13 or 19x19 are never been included in the rating system


Right, a ranked game has to be one of the standard sizes (9x9, 13x13, or 19x19). However, tournament games are ranked. This leads to a contradiction in the case of the unusual board size tournaments created by @S_Alexander. I believe some special hacking was needed to pull this off (maybe a custom API request), but I think this was all properly done with approval from the admins.

These unusual board size games are special cases, where the games are marked as ranked (because they were created for a tournament), but they are actually ignored by the ranking system.

On the other hand, for the examples that I gave (ladder and tournaments games with standard board sizes), those games are actually ranked (unless later annulled for some reason), even though there is a large rank disparity and/or a lot of handicap stones.


Except that ladder games are never handicap right?

A handicap ladder would be fun!

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Yes, there are no handicap ladders, as far as I’m aware.

I just mean that ladder games can have a very large rank difference and still be ranked.

I’ll adjust my post to clarify.

@pdg137, yes, custom ladders, including handicap game and other settings, would be awesome! I made a suggestion toward this here: