Why do you not play?

Player base is small, so easy to get suitable games. So I primarily play on Fox, where I can always get a game in 30 seconds 24x7.

Not enough time, not enough skill, not enough concentration. The latest tournament which I was not aware that would lead to 9 games starting at the same time was not something that I thought it was a good idea. It ended up going well, but I felt that the constant switching of directions from game to game was making some of the fun go away.
The lack/disabling of analysis tool during that tournament didn’t help either, so maybe that played some part.

Also I do not understand/like the OGS ranking algorithm, so sometimes ranked games feels like I enrolled to a basketball tournament while wearing ice-scates.

Nothing, really. Unless some miracle happens and I suddenly become smarter and better at multi-tasking, which is highly unlikely.

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I always play ranked …

  • if the rank difference allows
  • and if the opponent does not insist on playing unranked.

I like the ranking system, not for having a rank, but for giving both players a ~50% chance of winning/losing.


My father, who was an excellent chess player, was introduced to go when he was in the Occupation of Japan. He never took it up because he thought it took too much time to play a game. Thankfully he indulged my interest in the game by honoring my request for a set on my 12th birthday. I don’t play much here because I have always preferred IRL games and used to play with a local group every weekend. When I retire this summer, I will start attending on a regular basis a couple clubs within driving distance, which means I will probably play here even less.


As for me, the main reason is time. Circumstances often develop in such a way that I have to interrupt the game (that is, surrender), regardless of whether I lose or win. It’s annoying, so I only play ranked games if I’m sure (or rather, close to sure) that no one will stop me from finishing the game. Also, I’m a very slow player, so I need time, again. Usually a game takes me about an hour and a half, unfortunately, I can find so much free time not as often as I would like. That’s why I mostly play rating games by correspondence.

What would motivate me to play more rated games? Nothing, perhaps. The thing is, Go is not really a game for me. It’s more like a mental practice, a kind of meditation, something that heals my nerves and restores the strength of my spirit (that’s why the ranking or the result of the game is far from being of primary importance to me). Medicine for the weary soul, if you know what I mean. And any medicine is good in moderation and on time. Go overdose is a reality for me, something I have experienced and would not want to experience again.


I guess it’s my turn, here at NonGoHolics Anonymous. Hi everyone, I’m espo.

Lately I haven’t been playing many games at all, but even if I could, I would play most of my games unranked, for a few main reasons.

1: I believe ranked games are for measuring one's own strength, or in other words, for the most part they really make sense only if you take them seriously and do your best to win.

(With possibly a few exceptions, such as perhaps helping newcomers find their ranks because of the terrible experience the rating system offers)

But since I believe the Go journey is not about always winning, but about learning and having fun, it doesn’t make sense to take every game seriously, and it doesn’t make sense to let your game become “calcified” into doing the same things over and over because you’re afraid of losing.

And experimenting with moves that feel “wrong” or “weird” will eventually broaden your horizons and let you learn new things, and new ways to play better, but when you experiment you’re not “doing your best to win”.

2: The swings up and down of the rating system take an emotional toll and scare me.

 Every time you have a lucky streak a little hope builds up that it means you’re improving, and every time you’re in a rut, the rating going down feels like adding insult to injury.
 Especially for someone with depressive tendencies like me, this is not good.

So essentially I kinda decided to only play ranked when I feel like I’m playing well.

 By the way, a lot of people refrain that “the more games you play, the better the system will rank you”, but our current rating system is built in such a way that, to some degree, the more games you play, or at least the more frequently you play, the more volatile your rating gets.
 (might be because players who play more frequently are the ones who takes games the least seriously and do a lot of random stuff, and are more likely to get in ruts)

Well, the first point would only change if I radically changed my mind about the meaning of ranked games.

The second point would definitely be improved, though not be solved completely, by a less volatile rating system.

For both points, I guess it would be better if I just became detached from winning, losing, and the rank, but for now it’s just not part of my personality I guess.

I find myself annoyingly often playing the same moves over and over because they’re the only patterns I know, and it takes an enormous amount of will to stop myself and experiment something different, and it’s because of the fear of losing.
At least playing unranked takes some of that edge off.


What? This can not happen. I challenged you to a game.




Unfortunately, I can’t stand some things that have happened, and they don’t even want me to protest/fight :sob:

As a moderator, I always tried to make OGS a fairer place, and I ended up being treated unfairly :frowning:

I might be banned for posting this. I don’t care. It would just be another wrong decision among many.


In my case, I probably burned myself out when I was pushing everything I could to improve…

It became part of depressive spiraling that I would play, get frustrated at all the dumb mistakes I would make, and play more tilted, and repeat until I just really didn’t like myself.

I still love to teach beginners occasionally, but when I play games I’ve lost that feeling of fun from learning and improving at the game, trying new things, and… y’know… playing it as a game… Suddenly I have all the frustration of trying out new things and failing, and none of the rewards for when it works

The loss of that social interaction through tournaments hasn’t helped though


The way this is phrased suggests it’s about ranked games on OGS vs unranked games or ranked games on other servers. So this answer may not really be relevant… but…

I haven’t been playing much at all, ranked/unranked, OGS or anywhere. Basically ever since last year’s Western Server Challenge. Maybe I got burnt out but at the end of that month I was feeling excited to continue to play regularly at a slower pace. But then I just… didn’t. And then some personal things happened and months of no playing just piled up.

I have a lot of other hobbies and I play a lot of other games, and that often competes with time to play go. But let’s be honest none of those are truly as fulfilling is the experience of go (well, maybe one game gets close)

Asides from the obvious answers like “become independently wealthy and never have to work” I think I would play more on OGS (ranked or unranked) if I had a regular opportunity to play in person. Because if I was going to frequent a meetup I would want to be more comfortable playing than I am now, so playing some games online would help. It’s actually something I’m working on for the new year


Thank u 4 ur contribution to our community! Go player and moderator is not the full life. Hope u healthy and happy everydays! :partying_face:

I remember it that I click wrong key and quit my first rengo game :face_holding_back_tears: , but u (I guess and believe :wink:) drag me back, so I can resume, thx a ton.


I’m starting to care more about quality than about quantity.

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  1. Burnout
  2. OGS decided to take me from 2D to 6D… Thanks, Glicko2.
  3. I completed my goal of beating Mark5000 twice.
  4. It’s been so long that I don’t have any reading ability left. I’m probably closer to 3k or so by now.