As of this weekend i have reached a total of 500 wins here on OGS, however, when you match this against over 2,000 losses and and rank of only 16k, an empty feeling consumes my heart.
Do have the right to feel proud of such a feat? or should I be realistic and say I suck, and 500 wins is nothing? for you math geeks my win percentage is 24.76% so that’s out of 4.76 games i win. I’m curious to hear where next should i go? (pun intended)
If you take this game so seriously, then you might consider taking a break from Go and instead think about the important things in life. In my opinion (and unless you earn your living playing Go – which, at DDK level, you surely do not), you are taking this game too seriously. I had a similar experience when I was actively playing competitive chess. The game became so overly important that any loss was looked at as a personal disaster. I no longer enjoyed the game unless I won (or drew against a stronger player). I quit playing (for several years!) and when I began to play in tournaments again, I again found pleasure and beauty in the game.
It tells you that at 15k (your rank) playing +3 rank opponents you can expect to be losing 3/4 games.
That is almost exactly your win/loss ratio.
If you want to feel better about the great skills you have (and 15k is no mean feat, I long to be 15k) try playing some people your own level for a while. Even some slightly lower ranked, to remind you that you actually know a lot. It seems like it’s well and truly your turn to be the higher ranked player.
(Also of note: in the many games you have going at the moment, only one has a player lower in rank than you, and you are winning that game).
If, after 2000 games, you are still 16k, then yes I would suggest that there is a better way. I am only 10k, so my opinion is still tempered by inexperience, but each time I go up a rank the reward is twofold:
The joy of finally making it to the next rank after working hard to obtain it.
New insights into how the game works yield new approaches to playing. Experimenting with these is both interesting and pleasurable.
My assertion is that you are playing too much and in doing so you are reinforcing your bad 16 kyu habits. If, instead, you dedicated more time to study then you would probably enjoy your games more and improve at the same time.
I speak from some experience here. I first learned Go at the start of 2014. After rapid improvement my rank held steady at ~13 kyu for almost two years. In October 2016 I began studying again, I limited myself to a maximum of 6 concurrent games, told myself I would analyse them - especially the ones that I lost. Then I got some Go books and began reading them, trying to play them out. Any book that I’ve struggled with, either through ability or motivation, I have simply dropped. I have only stuck to books that have therefore kept my interest.
Less than 6 months later I’m 3 stones stronger and I feel like I will reach my goal of a steady SDK rank soon. I will then need to decide on my next goal - will it be 5 kyu, or will it be 1 dan? I don’t need to decide yet.
Your rank is actually probably lower then it should be for these reasons. If you play even games against ppl your current rank, i would expect to see a winratio of over 50% until you stabilize at around maybe 13?
Much like we both want to share Go with the people around us, I too want to share the notion of playing less. Since I discovered this principle it has helped me to progress a lot. I was concerned that my earlier reply was either too dogmatic or too hard on you. You are clearly a person with a keen love of Go and your post suggests both a desire to improve and a frustration that you perhaps had not.
Looking deeper at your rating history, you and I have been on similar journeys. Your rating even spiked up to 13 kyu at one stage, as mine used to do. Please consider the notion of playing less and studying more.
I note that you currently have 14 correspondence games in progress. I have done this myself, either in Chess or Go, for many years. I only made progress when I cut down. I got this idea from Kaz Sensei. Here are the words that got me thinking about it:
I’ve recently learned that both Ootake Hideo 9dan and Iyama Yuta 9dan claimed that “in order to get strong, one should play a lot of games.”
I confess I was rather shocked to hear this- in my experience, adults who make an effort to play a large number of games at the expense of studying develop a playing style in which many common mistakes become solidified. I have visited dozens of Go clubs and witnessed hundreds of adults who play common mistakes over the years.
I always think adults play too many games. Adults need to learn basics. I know there is a myth in Japan and in the West that “you have to play lots of games if you want to be strong”. But that’s wrong. That’s for pros and children at 5dan, 6dan, 7dan, or 8dan level. They learned basics when they were 8, 10, or 12 years old. They already knew all the basics. But not adults. Adults lack a lot of basics.
Most adults never review their games and keep playing the same mistakes.
If adults play more than 10 games a week, I don’t think they will ever have time to master even one tesuji.
… When adults play too many games without solidifying basics, they will only build their own styles, filled with common amateur mistakes, which are far from basics.
thank you, believe it or not i did take a long break before i started playing again, i wish i could make a living playing, but I think I’ll stick to making Graphic adventures (a.k.a Comics) for that, and maybe a small vacation from it could help
I feel guilty playing lower ranks because I know, can play above them and win, of course it doesn’t guarantee such an outcome, but it does predispose, and I want to get higher which means winning against higher ranks. Also I get insight on how to play by going back through each game.
I get you, i should when it comes to the go books it am a tad dyslexic, and when I try to apply to my game, it doesn’t work I get frustrated and leave the book, I am a ‘hands on’ type person, and I see better when things are going on live, but you DO have a valid point about studying.
Do you have better luck with videos? If so, have you tried sampling the various Go YouTubers and Twitch streamers out there?
What about problem books that aren’t heavily reliant upon long chunks of text? If you have an iOS device the Go Books app from Smart Go makes every diagram interactive. They’ve got things like the 4 volumes of Graded Go Problems as well as 501 Opening Problems, 501 Tesuji, 200 Endgame Problems, etc. I’m not giving advice by any means, being a lowly beginner, but just wondering if you’re able to take advantage of the various possibilities beyond traditional text-centric books.
Well - in that case all you need to do is reassess your broken thinking.
Your starting point was “I am sad that I have a 25% win rate after all this playing”.
Now you have been shown that based on your opponent selection, anything better than a 25% win rate would be outstanding, and probably not realistic to expect.
Your next statement was “I don’t enjoy playing down because I feel guilty, I know I can beat them”.
OK - so in that case continue what you enjoy doing: playing up … with the realisation that your win rate is admirable, as is your rank (which, incidentally, is continually trending up over the long term: you have not stagnated or stopped learning).
Initial problem solved. The answer: feel happy, not sad, that your win rate is on target.
(And, if you want to do more introspection on the topic, consider this: based on your values, every one of your opponents should be ashamed of themselves for playing with you. Is that sound thinking? Answer: no. There is nothing to be ashamed of about playing down - you can use the opportunity to help people less experienced than you)
I don’t feel bad. Especially against slightly weaker players. Or I give handicaps even sometimes.
I just give myself pressure to win every 1 even more so than normal. I only feel bad when I lose when I shouldn’t have. If you want to feel bad, feel bad about losing to weaker players and not to stronger players.
I understand your pain. I don’t play as much as I used to for that reason and it’s detrimental to your strength.
Anyway study is key. I do that a lot more than playing because I hate losing and there’s no pressure to win. I watch a Go match/lesson like you would watch a television leisurely. But it’s in Japanese/Chinese since the English Youtubers don’t cover advanced topics. Lucky for you you’re still low level enough for their lessons to be helpful like dwyrin and Nick Sibicky,
Not if you allow handicap, which IMO is the proper way to play with weaker players. It also is the “giving back” part of the whole system of (handicap) Go. And like we may prefer to play stronger players, weaker players want to play us … so it may be the right moment now to revise your attitude towards other Go players
There is a good and simple way to enjoy all your games, win or lose: take the time to analyze each game after you play it. When you have disaster moves, go back in the game and find out exactly what you did wrong. Make better moves, playing both sides, and make sure the disaster doesn’t happen any more. If you have great moves, play them again to be sure you understand what you did that was correct. Do the same for your opponent’s moves, so you can learn from them. They may be very different from your moves. Make sure you understand why by analyzing them. I always thank my opponent when they win, because this gives me good material to analyze afterward.
I do review my games, especially when I get bent, i try to find that it moment and where and how it went wrong that got me upended, and try to see how the “big boys” stomp, gleaning how and WHEN to play or place stones, i know what kills my game to the point i get bent bad.