What is your goal for playing level in Go?

That looks like superhuman level…


There are pros that don’t play that well…

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Thanks. I told myself that someone would probably say something like that, even though I have no reason to believe it is true. It is very gratifying to have my understanding of the psychology of Forum participants confirmed—and so rapidly—even if my estimation of a reasonable mistake level is in itself mistaken.

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Thanks. You have doubled my gratification.

It’s hard for me to say. I was trying to categorise the ranks based on their general understanding of the game, as well as the deviation caused by their skill in executing that knowledge. But these stats just show the player distribution, so it’s hard for me to make the connection here.

Somewhat related, as a selection between multiple similar threads in the forum

I want to achieve the best possible rank without specifically learning/studying josekis. That’s basically the same as in other hobbies (like music or programming): as soon as I need to learn non obvious things by heart I lose interest.

Besides, I am quite happy with my current rank. I may not have the same understanding of the game as dans /pros but I feel I am fighting for something and I even if I lose I can have review the game myself and get something from it.

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This doesn’t happen in go. If you’re learning a joseki “by heart” then you’re doing it wrong in the first place. People who study joseki and openings use abstract concepts to understand the ideas behind those ideas as well as the reading for finding optimal (and working) local shapes. Prime example is AI actually, which had “reinvented” all the joseki we already had, which proves that it was a natural sequence that one can “reinvent” in their own game just the same.

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Yes, I see where you are coming from.

But for me this is just a discussion on semantics.

In the end of the day, “understanding” josekis so well that you do not need to “learn them by heart” requires lots of effort, and I prefer spending time playing, not in studying josekis.

The same can be said in my other hobbies, jazz standards are not just random notes played together, but many levels of abstract patterns and the beauty of music is not in repeating them mechanically but in improvising around them. But similarly, for me the fun of music comes from playing with and for actual people not in studying music.

It’s a trade off, one cannot be 1D amateur on that many things in life :sweat_smile:

I think that it’s just a psychological distinction, rather than a factual one. There’s no difference between a corner joseki and a non-corner joseki, of which are even more than the corner ones. A good chunk of the corner joseki are also sequences applicable to non-corner situations. In the end by just “playing” you will learn those sequences naturally, in the corner or not.

One thing I can attest for as requiring an unnatural intervention are tesuji, unless you’re keen to studying every minute shape in every game you play for hours on end to find those tesuji moves by yourself.

fwiw, I’ve only seen you play once and you dismantled a 6 dan. I’ve no doubt you’ll go beyond 1 dan.

I literally LOLed. I know what you mean, but it’s like hearing ‘a poor billionaire’ or ‘a dumb astrophysicist’ :smiley:

This is more my level! There’s that proverb “only after the 10th punch will you see the fist”; that was me and snapbacks for ages. I remember going into a game thinking “if nothing else, no snapbacks”, then avoiding one. Felt good. Then the first time I deliberately engineered one felt even better, mwahaha. Currently, my goal is not so much a rank, just to get some freaking consistency.

I’m a peon, if I ever get to 5k I’ll go ‘woot’. The default assumption for OGS provisional ranks is currently 6k so somehow that seems like a magic line to me.


Oh, thank you! (and thanks also to @jlt ).
The fact that I can beat 6 dan players sometimes (mainly in blitz games) doesn’t rule out ddks beating me though :sweat_smile:

I was referring more to irl games. Online I feel less intimidated by the strength of the opponent usually, being able to distract myself (not in blitz games, but in those I might not have time to worry XD) probably helps a lot.
I’ve beaten some dan players in irl tournaments too, but it happens less often because I don’t manage give my best (or at least, this is what I perceive). I also lost against a 4k recently in a rated game.
Maybe I should aim to be a little more constant.


For the moment I’d like to get to 5k on OGS. I like going a step at a time.

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That could be high (with talent still) like 2-3d my guess. But saying you don’t study, read books is a bit of a shortcut as ok you don’t but others do it for you :wink:

My initial goal was to be SDK. Now I guess it would be to reach 5k. I’m a bit skeptical as to my ability to reach higher.

Although I gave 6d as my goal, that doesn’t mean I’m not content with my current level, or actively working towards reaching that goal. It’s probably inspired by Matthew Macfadyen 6d and 25-time British champion, who wrote the book I first learnt go from. Back then a 6d European champion seemed like a far off mystical figure so it was cool to meet him in real life (he’s a nice chap) some years later, play some games against him, get closer to his level and eventually win a few games. So that’s why its 6d not 7d.

smurph’s “I’d like to understand pro moves” is a good point: a lot of my enjoyment of go now comes not from playing but being a fan and watching pro/bot games and the new ideas from AI. Being 4d I can’t claim to understand what’s going on fully, but it’s enough to appreciate and enjoy it (and these days with bots you can get even closer exploring with their help). I don’t think I’d have enjoyed nor appreciated AlphaGo’s victory over Lee Sedol as much if I was 10 kyu, but also a 10k will appreciate it more than a 30k.


I started playing around 15 years ago and never went anywhere really. My main game was Chess. I went back to that, but when my USCF rating slid back to what it was when I first began the game, I quit. Here now, with Go, I’m probably ranked between 27-24kyu now. My first - hopefully modest - goal will be to attain 20kyu here on OGS. Then we’ll see what happens from there.

“Small steps, Elle…” -Contact


Really to get past 20k, you really just have to know some basics about shape and life and death.

I don’t doutbt that @Archbob , but that will be my goal. I’m having a bit of a problem with seeing eyes and with close fighting. People seem to be able to chip away at territory I have built and that’s how I lose a lot of games. I’m currently trying to go through Janice KIM’s “Learn to Play Go” series. We’ll see how that helps.


I discovered Go in May of 2017, and almost immediately wished I had discovered it earlier in life. Over the next 6 months I quickly grew to more or less my current strength of OGS 7k then unfortunately life circumstances changed shortly after that and I have not since had the time or energy to devote to study and improvement. I would like to one day reach dan level, and maybe if I’m lucky be able to see how much higher above that I can push, but at this stage it’s looking like such an endeavour is at least a decade away. Who knows, maybe life will surprise me and the opportunity will come sooner. We’ll see.