Two ranks: live and correspondence

There is a huge dividing line developing on OGS that should not be:

Players who play exclusively live.

Players who play exclusively correspondence.

If we have a rating and a rank for each type, players will happily cross over.

Before anyone wants to make this issue into a quagmire of permutations (blitz, fast, medium, slow), I advise you to just take with live and correspondence.

Blitz is the epitome of live. Slow has historically been considered one hour. I would say to put the upper end of the definition of “live” at 6 hours which was the max time in the recent Pro jubango.

Correspondence goes in the other direction. One move per day is possibly the epitome of correspondence. I’m finishing up one that started on May 1. In the middle of it, I was very annoyed but now I consider it to be one of my favorite games ever played. We are a few moves from conclusion.

I’d rather not manage multiple IDs. Live and correspondence occur on radically different time frames and modes of thinking. Some don’t mind correspondence but would rather not damage their live rank by time out on games they totally forgot about. Some, like myself, would like to participate in weekend live tournaments without losing a stone in the process.


I’ll second this idea, if it is possible to be done. I’ve been wanting to play live games but have never done it before out of fear of dropping down the rankings. Other people have told me to try KGS but I haven’t bothered, I’d rather play here.

+1 but I’ll see your two and raise you three ranks: blitz, live and correspondence.

(If you were to re-raise four - blitz, live, correspondence, drunk - I would call. This would require blood-sample analysis before all games - there must be a USB device to do that. You could additionally require all players to wear USB-connected EEG monitors so that we can have a matrix of ranks: blitz, live and correspondence for each possible player-state: normal, sleepy, drunk, despondent, fearful, bold, excited … wait - I have it! Don’t have a constant rank! For each player, train a learning algorithm to predict their rank based on several variables, including the drunkenness flag and mental state. For live games, handicap is determined by the player’s spot-ranks at the time of the challenge.)

@ob3lix: KGS is an adequate server but, frankly, I’d recommend Tygem or IGS. Both of those require serious dedication because there are barriers to entry (Tygem’s client has a most uncooperative installer; IGS has an obscure sign-up procedure and the rating scale only begins at “Median Go-salon Rank (JPN)” which was about 12-kyu when I was 12-kyu) but, for serious Go, they are the servers to join. (Actually, it is best to join all of them and rotate between them - many Honte-loving IGS players are flummoxed by wild, KGS-style over-plays and, conversely, many wild KGS players are stymied by a single, slow Honte move at the right time.

Good idea. I only started playing correspondence matches a few weeks ago, so it’s still kind of new to me. But, I like the idea of separate ranks for live and correspondence games. I would even venture to suggest separate ranks for 9x9 and 13x13 games.

@StephenM and @Fairgo

Furthermore, if you read my original post, you’ll notice that I believe blitz is as much a part of the “live” category as my extreme “one move per day” game is correspondence.

I am not in favor of a division for blitz.

Getting into further subdivisions creates problems for the developers.

By limiting the change to live and correspondence, they just run a separate pool of points and iterate through all records putting live games into the live pool and removing them from the correspondence pool.

Just thinking about the paragraph above should create visions of how crazy it would be to code for board dimensions (space) in addition to clock speed (time.).

I’m sure it can be done but there are a lot of higher priority items. Live and correspondence ranks, however, should get some priority as it relates to the health of the community.

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Does anyone really have a significant gap between their live and correspondence performance? Personally, I’m equally bad at both. Can’t speak for anyone else, but I would be surprised if someone is, say, 12k live and 8k correspondence or vice versa. If you think really hard in your correspondence games, maybe you play better moves, but most other people are doing the same thing, so I think it evens out. On the flip side, if you time out a lot, and your correspondence rank increases for that reason, then (a) maybe you shouldn’t be playing correspondence games and (b) you’re essentially sandbagging when it comes to those games you actually finish. In neither way is it very fair to your opponent. And who knows, in a live tournament you may gain a stone. Everyone’s under the same pressures. If someone has two different accounts with significantly different ranks that would be a piece of evidence in favor of making this adjustment.

Hey, calantir. I’d say my live performance is worse than my correspondence. I spend more time thinking during a correspondence game, and I may leave a turn for later if I don’t feel mentally fresh.

Some people rely on analysis during correspondence games, so they would probably have a bigger gap between correspondence and live.

Maybe having two accounts really makes the most sense, though. SaxMaamSlow and SaxMaamLive, maybe :smile:

saxmaam: I guess my point is, doesn’t almost everyone play worse live than correspondence? Let’s say you play opponent X in both correspondence and live. In the corr game, you and X are thinking hard and making better moves. In the live game, you and X are playing fast and making worse moves. You have the same chance of beating X in the corr game as in the live game. Therefore, extrapolating, your rank will stay approximately the same across corr and live games.

If almost all of us are this way - and I think we are - then there would be no significant difference in rank, on average, between your corr games and your live games.

calantir: but suppose 98% of my games are correspondence. Some of my games are against people who play 98% of their games live. Our relative rankings will be wrong whether we play live or correspondence.


It sounds like you’re still assuming that the average person will have a different rank if they play correspondence vs. live. I don’t think that’s true. People share the same advantages and disadvantages in each setting, so I think the results generally come out the same. For example, if I played 100% corr games for 6 months and then decided I wanted to play 100% live games for another 6 months, I don’t think my rank would change as a result of the switch.

I am assuming that 15 kyu represents a certain skill level on OGS. I live up to that skill level in correspondence games. I don’t in live games.

You’re saying that 15 kyu represents an individual’s skill, which would be higher in longer games and lower in shorter games. I guess I get that. Still, I suspect that if I made an account for playing only live games, that account would settle at a lower rank. Maybe that’s not true. I think I’ll give it a try!

Yeah, I guess the way to settle this would be to use statistics to see if anyone has a significantly different w/l record in their live games vs. their correspondence games. If there are a number of people who do, then maybe different ranks makes sense. I think if there are people who do better at one format then another, it’s a consequence not of the rules of the format (which apply equally to everyone), but how seriously we play in that format, which is an individual thing. I.e., whichever one you play in more casually is likely to give you a worse rank.

I personally don’t think the difference between live and correspondence is the rank.
It’s just a different way to play go. Many people play fast in correspondence games but take their time to do so ;p
Some people might think a little harder before each move but I don’t think this translates into a rank difference.

However there is an undeniable difference in rank between blitz, live/corres and 9x9
So if additional ranks are created it should be in these categories.

For chess servers it doesn’t.
I would love to see OGS be the first GO server to provide that feature.

@sefo: I share your desire to have ranks in every space and time configuration but I’m going for what is possible on a server run by 2 guys.

Right now, I just want to have the point pool divided between game which are live and games which are correspondence. I want to encourage crossover between players who want to protect one kind of rank.

For the majority of players, I believe that is the correspondence rank. This is OGS. It has always been correspondence. The introduction of live games and the tournament system is awesome but it is much harder for correspondence players to build up the rank and very frustrating to watch it go down easily from a couple of bad live games.

Live games are fun. Live tournaments are epic. I don’t want to watch my correspondence rank go down because of it.

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This is a very interesting topic … I’ll mention @anoek and @matburt so that they can perhaps think about this in their spare :grimacing: time.

(anoek, matburt, pls forgive me ;-))

Greetz, Tom
(who also believes he is stronger in correspondence than live)

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Don’t you think it’s a bit disingenuous to exclusively play live or correspondence because you are afraid of damaging your rank? Especially going so far as to “manage multiple IDs” just to get around it. If you play well in correspondence but not so well in live (or vice versa) then you will naturally get your rank back if you continue to play.

“Some don’t mind correspondence but would rather not damage their live rank by time out on games they totally forgot about.” In this case it wouldn’t be the system’s fault but the person’s inability to manage their own games.

In my opinion, even with the proposed changes, the site will more or less remain the same.

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[quote=“l1lshadow, post:17, topic:2154”]Don’t you think it’s a bit disingenuous to exclusively play live or correspondence because you are afraid of damaging your rank?[/quote]Thankfully, it is not that way for me :smiley: but I can empathize with the feeling, though I think the consequence is not right.

[quote=“l1lshadow, post:17, topic:2154”]In my opinion, even with the proposed changes, the site will more or less remain the same.[/quote]Oh yes, I dearly hope so :slight_smile:

It is only disingenuous to believe everyone plays for the same reasons.

The site will indeed remain the same. So what’s the problem?

No, because it would be frustrating to play lots of not very exciting games just to make up for my incompetence in correspondence. Sure, if there are like five different ranks it gets rather silly, but if the purpose of having a rank is to get exciting and equal games, it would be better to at least separate correspondence and live.