Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Chasing The Rated Game

I have witnessed the obsession that many Go players on online servers have with their rating score and the inevitable results: escapers, etc. When you have a (?) next to your name on KGS, getting a rated game against a true rated player (no ?) is like some guy with a mouth sore trying to get a kiss. Many don't see the point in playing a game solely to play. It is madness, in fact, to play a game which will not affect your rating! And so for a few days I have had a hard time getting a rated game. The few that I did were against players far too strong for a handicap to even be effective, and the handicaps that they offered were too small.
It seems that I will have this dreaded (?) next to my name until I can finally get a few games against players near my own strength. With much luck, I found one of those tonight. Yop (27k)was kind enough to accept a game with me. I reduced the handicap by 1 stone to strengthen my chances at the game. During the middle game, I saw that there was territory to be gained in the lower middle. Drawing off a comment made by Chiyodad (27k), I used a series of keima to help push my way into that space. This ended up a much better approach than my usual method of placing stones madly, in almost random places. I was able to win our game and was quick to ask if he would like a rematch in a few days without a handicap. I doubt I will win that one.

Win 105 to 79.5 (but with 2 stone handicap)
This game does bring about an oddity in the rating system for us (?'s). At the start of the game I was ranked (30k?) and beat a (27k) player with a 2 stone handicap, meaning that played as if I were (29k). After the win, KGS adjusted my provisional ranking to (27k?). I would think, given the 2 stone handicap, that my rating would be (29k?). Not to worry. This rating will find itself back down in no time. note: good news for Yop. After our game, he beat a (25k) player and rose to (26), of course, with no (?). It doesn't take a meteorologist to forecast the outcome of our coming game.

3 Comments:

At 10:06 AM, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

I understand your frustration. The avoidance of unranked players is not unusual. This mix of xenophobia and cainophobia stems from the yet untested nature of new players. One cannot help but wonder if, instead of their being a serious beginner, they might be a sampler, a sandbagger, or even a potential escaper. Being a 30k? is just two rungs above being a KGS guest.

I try to give a fair shake to beginners since other advanced players did the same for me. You best recourse is, as you have done, to provide more info about yourself through your KGS profile. I make it a practice to check the background and game listing of every new challenger to my matches on the assumption that I can find clues to their dedication to the game.

yop is a strong player so you should be proud of your win. We stand even in our two matches to date. The keima works well because it is a jump which can quickly be connected if attacked.

Let's play a match sometime when I can be guaranteed of an undisturbed hour.

Incidentally, you may want to turn on Word Verification for your comments so you can avoid comment spam.

 
At 8:49 PM, Blogger dontpanic said...

Why don't you try playing some of the bots that use gnugo to get rid of the question mark in your rank?

There is a 30k and another one is 23k and you can play using a handicap too.

 
At 6:15 AM, Blogger Nyiti (Gabor) said...

When I started Go, I played with Igowin and GNUGo first. Of course, at 30-25k I didn't have very much understanding of my own moves. So I didn't play against humans, because I felt that asking someone to play me, when I didn't care to take my time and study the game a bit, would be very unfair of me. So I started to play against other people only after I understood my moves enough, so I could be an enjoyable opponent.

 

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