Western Dan Challenge (Kyu player prizes too!) UPDATE: $1550 in prizes now!

I count in your game history that you’ve played 25 ranked 19x19 games in February!

But knowing whether or not we’re registered is a good question.

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A lot of my games are ending in quick resignation… Are people gaming the rules in order to win?

Is there a system in place to only count genuine games?

Resigning too early is against the spirit of the challenge for sure. Before prizes are given out, games will be examined manually by people helping Clossius, I think. There could be some disqualifications.

This is also why NaNoWriMo doesn’t have cash prizes. It’s too easy to cheat with pre-written material, or even just copy-pasting the same words repeatedly. Writing 50k words is a challenge, but doesn’t account for quality of writing.


Maybe post some games? Sometimes this is sandbagging behavior as well…

I actually haven’t noticed a huge change in behavior of my opponents, but it’s possible. Another reason having the list public would be a plus!

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Just wondering, what are people’s personal targets for number of games this month, e.g. if, like me, 100 is simply not achievable. See poll here: Progress, Encouragements, and Resignations in the WDC! - #13 by dragon-devourer


Is there any criteria about what minimum rank the players are supposed to keep if they are racing for the 3kyu+ prize? If one is 2k at the start but drops to 7kyu midway, then gets 2kyu again at the end of the month, does that still qualify for competing for the “dan prize”"?

I’m not participating in the challenge but I’d like to say I think playing slack games to fill a quota is not in the spirit of the competetion, which was trying to get strong players to play good games on western servers.


I got the impression that Clossius is going to check players who were near the borders of their range, and the grouping is probably going to depend on which rank range you played the most games in.


I answer because I think you’re referring to me. I apologize if it’s not true.

I registered as a 3k+ because I was 1-2k at the time of registration but I would like to change my division to sdk since I saw that I can’t keep my rank high (I am 5-7k now) and it was probably just a random fluctuation (if you see my graph it seems an ECG :rofl: ). I have been 5-7k several times, not just now.
If the competition rewards who play more it’s normal that people try to play a lot. Playing so much is tiring but I always try to play at my best, considering the speed for blitz games but also for correspondence: I have always played correspondence very quickly, even when I was 1-2k. It’s the only way to handle 700+ games.
I don’t think this challenge is making me play slack games and it’s not because of it that I am 5-7k. It would have happened anyway probably.


In that case, I find it admirable and inspiring that you’re playing even more games than usual to contribute to the challenge without claiming the top spot. Everyone already knows you’re the queen of this challenge anyway. Apologies for the skepticism and good luck with your games :slight_smile:


First, let me just say that I don’t think what ranking group we fall into really matters for the challenge. The idea is to get lot of people playing lots of games and for the most part that seems to be happening. The cut off was semi arbitrary, it could have just as easily been 1k or 5k.

Second, I don’t intend to offend you in anyway but i don’t agree with your assessment that your rank is probably in the 5-7k. Yes, rank on these serves fluctuates but that has way more to do with us as player not playing up to our abilities than anything else. Like you said playing lots of games fast requires a lot of mental energy and our performance falls off when we do so. I have seen this for myself many times, including during this challenge (I’ve drop for 3-4k down to 5k).

The point is that your rank should reflect what your skill level is. And skill doesn’t actually drop dramatically, especially in GO. Consider this example:

Imagine a professional runner who is training hard to try and make an Olympic team (and say they made it last go around). Often times they will enter practice races just to keep sharp. They might even be a pacer and drop out after only half the race, or they might run hard for the whole race and still get beat by a running who’s personal best is much slower. It doesn’t mean that they can’t run a sub 4 min mile just because they ran a mile in 4:15. There skill/fitness/talent didn’t change overnight they just weren’t trying to maximize their performance on that occasion.

So when playing you might not be trying to maximize your performance on any given game. But that doesn’t make you a 7k. I’d be willing to bet if you tried to maximize that performance for a single game you could defiantly hold your own vs a 1k. And you rank should reflect that.


This raises interesting questions about to how to achieve peak playing potential, as well as the minimum effort for playing a proper ranked game. Let’s assume there’s some minimum effort of not playing ranked games while very intoxicated or very sleep deprived. Is there a responsibility to improve playing conditions beyond that? Like minimizing distractions from cats and other household members? Only playing when well rested? The boundary is not defined beyond “trying” to play one’s best game, right? There’s a lot of variation within acceptable conditions that can easily make a difference of a few ranks.


Surely the time settings play into that.

WDC’s time control is a bit low imo. I don’t think most people can play their best game at 1m + 5 x 10s, that is pretty clearly blitz. Even 5m + 5 x 15s would’ve been a little more respectable.

I guess the idea is to correlate with the popular 10s byo-yomi on the Oriental servers, since the original point of the intiiative was to compete with them for activity.


Week 2 OGS Update
4972 games played
9 people have completed the challenge so far.


Any granular details? I guess most curious to see how many games the top players have played


Yeah, and how does 4000 games compare to a typical month?

Also, what’s going on tonight? Given there’s this challenge going on, it should be easy to get a game, right? But there’s none available for me to join and no one is accepting my game. Seems pretty quiet on OGS… :pensive:

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What would you want to compare here? Because in a typical month 0 games are played as part of the Western Dan Challenge…

I noticed that after the first few days it got significantly harder to find a game (altho rarely passing 30 mins even recently). I don’t know how it’s been the last couple days as I’ve been taking days off and am probably not gonna make a run to complete the challenge of 100 games anymore. I got very frustrated at my play and figured it might be likely that me playing up to that pace from a basically nonexistant pace only a month before might be a bit like overtraining in physical sports: too much load can sometimes be worse than not enough.

Granted there was one day where I broke through 1k, and it was looking up, but I fell immediately the day after likely due to fatigue.


Compare to how many games are played on OGS in general in a typical month without WDC. I guess what I really want to know is this: Is 4000 extra games because of this challenge a significant boost to the usual number of games or a mere drop in the ocean…?


We have seen a significant boom in weekly games played here since Covid started, so I’m afraid there is no longer any “typical month” with which to compare it to. (much like most things these days…)


So weekly new games is currently about 200k?
And the WDC added only 2k to that in the 1st 2 weeks of this month?

More than a drop in the ocean, but not much more than a drop in a thimble.