Who are you, prolific Go player?

There are some OGS users that have played hundreds, thousands of games. Not just in their entire life, in the past year or two. That’s 10, 20, maybe 30 games per day. Who are these people? Are you someone who plays this many games per day? I couldn’t possibly sustain this kind of Go-playing. If you do, what is your day like? Could you play 20 games per day for one year?

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I played 3000 9x9 games in 8 months (since started).
I play only while watching movies or anime, so it takes 0 hours / day.


I played more than a thousand in less than a year. I was a binge-player in May (I think) but now I don’t got the time because of revision :confused:

Not that hard if you stick with small board and/or fast time settings, my all time high is 31 games in a single day (well i cant keep that pace for long time, since life).
Just joining those automatic sitewide tournaments can get you like 5-6 games easily, so 1000 games per year can be done by playing a 9x9 tourney every other day.

Mainly students on holiday or retirees who can afford to do that me thinks.I don’t believe anyone who has a professional career or family can afford to do this. Self employed or not.

Sometimes people have a tendency to play rage games when they’re in a state of mood tilt due to previous lost games. In these games they just really want to beat the crap out of someone, but often cannot. Thus begins the uncanny cycle of 30 games in a day, 90% of which are losses by resignation.

You may not believe this, but people are weird sometimes.

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1000 games in a year, that’s about 3 games per day. If it’s blitz, they can be played pretty fast.

I’ve played 1351 games on OGS since I learnt to play in August last year, most games take around 40 minutes so it isn’t to hard to fit 2-3 in a day, at least for a student like me. The most games I’ve played in one day is 17, playing that many in a single day is tiring, so doing it for a year is not something I’d like. Sustaining this many games isn’t too bad, although I have taken breaks when I’ve felt a bit burnt out. I think it just comes down to the fact that I enjoy playing, if I didn’t I would have quit a long time ago. All stats courtesy of http://vatcss.info/games/gotstats/#/user/ImprobableBlob

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Thanks @rowan, @ImprobableBlob, @50_kyu, @S_Alexander, @Issho, and others.

I want to clarify my question, or at least put some context to it.

I’m quite busy in my life, full time job, three kids. OGS has been great in that I can play correspondence games at a leisurely pace, and the odd live game at midnight or 5 am when the house is quiet. I would love to get to 1 dan before I kick the bucket, so sometimes I wonder if there is an ideal amount of games I should be playing per day. Right now, it’s about 50% games, 50% study / Tsumego. I make about 20 moves per day, but this number varies wildly. I have looked at my old games, and man there is a big difference, so I know I’m progressing, but it does feel slow. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised?

One other thing, I’ve looked at other players’ records, and sometimes they play a thousand games with no rank increase. This surprises me quite a bit. We shouldn’t place that much weight on rank, I know, but in some cases it’s hard not to wonder why there was no increase. And, sometimes it’s a snappy way to see “how you are doing”. Have you played a crazy number of games and not improved? Have you played very few and ranked up?

Thanks for letting me ramble, and also thanks for sharing your stories.



Well. I for one can say that ive probably spent quite a lot more time studying than playing actual games. In fact i had already finished reading 2 books before i played my first game against a human. I can only estimate, but i would say that the total number of (19x19) games i have played is <250.

In that time ive had a sense of slow but steady progress, that got me to 9kyu so far (SDK yay :smiley:). The only time i felt i had plateaued was also when i played the most games by far. They were fast games against AI, and i found them neither helpful nor fun to play, which is why i left them out of my estimate and stopped doing them so i wouldnt get tired of the game. But that could also be because of this:

However i do feel quite strongly that i would benefit from playing more than i currently do, so this question is very interesting for me as well!

Your mix of games and study is just about right.

I myself am on a 70% “study” which comprises of me watching hourly long games between pros and see the variations that they play out and hear the commentary. I used to do actual study but then I feel I’ve run out of theoretical topics to study and the rest is really just reading practice and positional judgement, which I slack on these few years by not playing many actual long 19x19 games and doing practice questions.

Rankwise, my early approach got me to SDK pretty quick on mostly theory and (less than 100 long full boardgames) and my later relaxed approach has gotten me to roughly weak unstable shodan-ish/ high SDK rank in general (not particularly here). I’m sure you’ll hit your target considering you are 7k here already.and you should still have a long life ahead. Also do note OGS ranks are deflated compared to other servers. If you are a 2/3k here I would approximate your strength to roughly a shodan (even if weak) in pretty much all servers and countries (excluding China and Korea).


Playing doesn’t necessarily correlate to improvement if they don’t realise their mistakes and seek to improve actively. Playing moves by instinct and habit instead of actually pausing to read, to think and to be critical of his own situation is a common thread among these players. I’ve travelled from server to server and noted the similar pattern across these types of players.

They’re very experienced at local fights, but their bad habits is recurring (and I’ve had many continuous games with a few of these players).

So in short, you cannot improve unless you actively seek to do so. I can dish out a lot of games everyday but not improve, if I always use the same mindset for each game.

Not everyone play go to improve, some view it as a leisure, or something to pass time with. Trust me, some people can have a lot of time on their hands.


Apparently I’ve finished 480 games in the slightly over a year I’ve had an account at OGS, so I guess that makes me semi-prolific? G0t Stats? tells me that much. The problem is, I have no idea how. :laughing:

I honestly don’t think I’ve spent more than an average of 10-20 minutes a day on weekdays, though I have been known to binge play several games on weekends. Just over half my games are on smaller boards, so I guess it could be that I sometimes just happen to spend an hour or so playing, and then oh-look-at-the-time-I-haven’t-got-anything-done. I’ve tried to play slower live games, but they never take more than 30 minutes or so.

It could just be me underestimating time though, since I almost always manage to log on during lunch breaks and stuff.

I have played 4000 games here in the last two years, but I played over thousand of them in a single month. I was sick and I played fast 9x9 games usually two or three simultaneously in different tabs. Later I also played a lot of ultrablitz games with 3 seconds per move, it is easy to play 10 games in an hour that way.

My normal games are also concentrated in binge holiday weeks.


Yes, this is very true.

Good to know I’m not the only one!

@timuzhti, @Wulfenia I figured that some of these numbers must be coming from a mix of blitz and 9x9 games, something I should try to do more often. In fact, in the ~300 games played I’ve played none have been blitz. Maybe it’s time?

Hats off. That’s incredible.

My opinion is that you should do whatever feels right. For the last two months, I played mostly correspondence games and did almost no tsumego but studied opening and endgame. Now I feel, my weakest area has shifted and I will return to live games and tsumego. Blitz does not feel right at the moment because I am trying to integrate the newly learned theory.

Don’t play blitz if you don’t like it. It is good when you are learning to automate some sequences and vital points so you will see them quickly.

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Straight to the point! Unless you pay attention to the outcome of your moves and to why they ended up that way, you will acquire bad habits, always playing the same wrong moves and never noticing they aren’t working. That happens mainly when wrong moves keep working because your opponents are not taking advantage of their flaws and then when you improve your rank they stop working. I have lots of bad habits because I used to play by instinct, without ever reading. I’m trying to fix them, but it’s very hard, I keep automatically playing moves that I’m used to play by reflex and only after that I think “oh wait, why did I play that without even thinking? It doesn’t even work here…”.

I know one player here in OGS who has played about 7500 games in one and a half years (mostly 9x9 though), but is still 16k. If you access any of his games you will notice he just chats with every single player (and since I’ve played with him quite a few times I know he loves chatting way more than studying or playing Go).