What is your goal for playing level in Go?

If that please you, my goal is to not lose my level (well, not too much) as i don’t really expect to get much stronger as what i have been.


I would like to become a single digit kyu, i don’t think i’ll ever get to dan. so something like 6k, 7k or 8k.


Related question to the western players, why do you limit yourself to 1d specifically?

The “shodan” archetype of which you can find books would be 4-5 kyu with the current OGS system. In addition to that there’s not much difference between, for instance, 1 kyu and 1 dan. I reckon the difference is even smaller than that between 2 kyu and 1 kyu.

If I were asked to create some sort of tiers from the western perspective, I’d do it this way:

  • on OGS beginner to ~15k
  • ~14k to ~12k
  • ~11k to ~7k
  • ~6k to ~4k
  • ~3k to ~2d
  • and then continuing it on fox ~1d (assuming 4k here) to ~4d, [this line is for western players only, not the asian players that are already on there]
  • ~5d to ~7d
  • ~8d to weak 9d
  • strong 9d to 10d

I would like to regain my 4d EGF rank at some point.

I don’t care about Fox ranks at all actually (and other similarly inflated ranks on Asian servers). Those ranks feel pretty fake to me.


The thing is that there is no hard and fast criterion to ranks because ranks are relative.

Saying “I would like to be (OGS) 1d” is the same as saying “I want to be better than 90% of all (OGS) players”.

Accordingly, I’m not convinced that it’s more modest to say “I’d like to be 8k” than to say “I’d like to be better than most.”

But yes, your proposal of concrete ideas (no more self-atari etc) are hard and fast criteria that would solve the problem with relative measurement. I can already hear the nonsense coming so I’ll address it ahead of time: “I’d like to understand pro moves” sounds like a hard criterion, but it isn’t, for many a reason. “I’d like to be able to read 10 moves ahead” is technically a hard criterion, but the implication (read the correct sequence) isn’t. On the other hand, reading 10-20 forced moves ahead is quite doable.

The devil’s in the details.

Where’s the 50% mark? I might like to be better than half the people…

At the moment, my “if only” wish would be 5k

Between 9k and 8k (8.2k) if S_Alexander’s 2021 sample is representative.

I suspect that the fraction is more precise than it is accurate, though.

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Do you think your perspective is illustrated by this graph?

A level at which none of my mistakes exceeds 5 points.


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.