Who sandbags the sandbagger?

Recently, I started playing on WBaduk. I made a new account and everything, however, I had to do it with a different email and username than I usually do.

Turns out, that I had created an account very long ago, but never used it (and Wbaduk’s password recovery is entirely non-functional). After a painstaking number of guesses, I was able to break into my old account, but it is rated several stones below my current rank.

Now, for whatever reason, I have an emotional attachment to this username, so I decided to rank it up and start using that account. So far so good, except I’m gettting a run for my money: none of the games have been easy, and I even lost one.

I’ve heard that Tygem and Wbaduk are rife with sandbaggers. I mean, I’m one to talk right!?, glass houses and all. But I’m genuinely curious if this is what I am encountering, or if those players are just that good. I’m getting a bit scared :fearful:

Some of you guys have had experience in those foreign battlefields. What is your opinion on this?

I’m also making a Poll

What is the toughest Go server in town?
  • OGS (Correspondence)
  • OGS (Live)
  • Dragon Go Server
  • KGS
  • Pandanet (IGS)
  • Tygem
  • WBaduk
  • Fox
  • Other (explain in the comments)

0 voters

I voted ogs (correspondence) because I hardly go beyond 4k. But I click almost without thinking so let’s say my vote doesn’t count :sweat_smile:. I could be dan anywhere else I think. Maybe except dgs because it has only correspondence. I added.
I also put pandanet because I played a couple of games there a year ago and had lost to a 2k. But I actually play almost only on OGS.


I voted Fox and Tygem but let me elaborate a bit.

I didn’t encounter many sandbaggers on OGS but I heard it’s worse at DDK level.

There are not many sandbaggers on KGS either, but when you haven’t played for a long time, your rank becomes very volatile hence may not reflect your real level anymore.

I met a few sandbaggers on IGS but that was a long time ago, at BC/17k level.

On Fox, I started at 9k a few years ago. After a few lost matches my winrate became quite high and… I sandbagged my way up to about 1d. My experience may have been biased because many players canceled the game at the first move, probably they had a look at my stats and were scared of my 70% winrate, so the pool of players who accepted the game had a higher percentage of sandbaggers than the general population. Then at 1-3d level I didn’t encounter many sandbaggers. On the contrary, I felt some players were much weaker than their rank.

My experience with Tygem has been similar. I didn’t play much on WBaduk, maybe 3-4 games and not at all on DGS so I don’t have any opinion on these servers.


To generalize: sandbagging is the surreptitious method preferred by weaker SDKs and DDKs who want to cheat (as compared to visible cheating, like score cheating). In contrast, stronger SDKs and dans who want to surreptitiously cheat prefer botting. Sandbaggers do sometimes encounter other sandbaggers, and the result can be hilarious, especially when they start to accuse each other.

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Consider, however, that many are stronger sdk or dan precisely because they cheat. I have seen several botters who without AI would have been ddk. And of course also many players whose rank is unknown because they cheat at every move from the first game onwards.
IME sandbaggers (people losing games on purpose to get a lower rank) are mostly sdks/low dans that become sdks or ddks because of sandbagging.

Curious how everyone has a different impression in the pool. I mainly answered “where is it more difficult to get a certain rank?”.

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Hmm. I encountered very few sandbaggers who were low SDK and even fewer dans. Also, time to reiterate that rank-manipulation is a trivial form of sandbagging. The overwhelming majority of sandbaggers are alt-account sandbaggers, which is invisible to non-moderators, and increasingly, in the VPN environment, often invisible to moderators too.

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Perhaps times have changed, I don’t know :sweat_smile:
I can think of very few sandbagger ddk compared to sdks and low dans. I am not talking about alt-sandbagging but about people who resign at move 6 or in games they are winning.

We sometimes try to see the invisible too, believe me! :grimacing:


I voted OGS corrs, but thats simply because corrs require so much time to play xD

Ive had ongoing corr games here for over 8 years now, so i’ve been basically glued to ogs all that time xD

And also people tend to get stronger while the games are still ongoing, many of my opponents have gotten multiple stones stronger before our game finally concludes ^^

I guess it would be the same with dgs too, tho i dont know if theres that many newer players who are still getting stronger. It feels like a server for more “seasoned” players >__>

I agree. I saw few DDK sandbaggers. I said I had seen few “low SDK” sandbaggers Most that I saw were high SDK, say 5-9k. I suspect that this may be due to the low-SDK “wall” that many players encounter. The players hit the improvement wall and decide to start sandbagging.

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I think I misunderstood this then, sorry.

I agree that 5-9k as a (starting rank) is the most represented range. But I can think of several in the 2d-5k range as well. I saw also a 7d+ player doing that but just an isolated case.

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