Frequently Asked Questions

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Dragon ranks and ratings
  • How do I set my DGS rating?
    At the left hand menu is a link to your User info. There is space there for you to set your initial DGS rating.
    You may find this whole section about ranks and ratings helpful:
    Dragon ranks and ratings
  • I am new at Dragon. Which initial rank should I enter?
    When you register a new account, DGS asks if you already have a Go rank from elsewhere. For example, that could be from another Go server, your local Go club or the Go Association of your country. You may enter that rank, and, based on that, you will get an initial DGS rating.
    If you do not know how to enter your rating this should help:
    How do I set my DGS rating?
    Alternatively, you may wish to look at this table of rank comparisons and enter the DGS equivalent to the rank you have from elsewhere. You can use Dragon's rank converter to convert Go ranks or ratings known from other servers into the corresponding DGS rating.
    When setting up a new account, if you do not know your playing strength DO NOT enter anything in the rating field until you try some of the recommendations for figuring out what it is. This normally cannot be changed after you enter it. You will have to wait for your rating to adjust as you play.
  • What if I have no idea what my initial DGS rating should be?
    If you are new to the game of Go choose the rank 30 kyu. As you finish each rated game, learn how to play, and get stronger, your rank will increase automatically.
    If you already have played a few games and get to know the Rules, you may freely choose any value from 29 kyu to 26 kyu. As a guide, you should choose:
    29 kyu: if you have played 5 or less games
    28 kyu: if you have won at least 2 games
    27 kyu: if you have played 6 to 10 games
    26 kyu: if you have won at least 3 even games (without handicap).
    If you have won 2 or more even games (without handicap) against players stronger than 26 kyu, use their rank. If you don't know their rank, use 25 kyu.
    If you have a rank from another server, club, or Go association (for example AGA, EGF, or others) you may start with this rank, or, if possible, convert it in our Rank Converter.
    If you think you are stronger than 25k but are not sure how much, play two games against two different players of the level you think you should be. When the games end, ask the players what your rank is. Use their answer as your initial DGS rating.
    Please do not use high ranks (stronger than 15 kyu or any dan level rank), unless you are sure of your level.
    DGS will adjust your rank as you play more games. Once initialized, your initial DGS rank cannot be changed any more, so please be careful with your choice.
    If you are still unsure what to choose, ask for help in the Support forum.
  • Does it matter, if I start with a wrong initial rating?
    For many people it does not matter too much, but some players will say it matters a lot. Dragon will adjust the rating over time, based upon the results of your finished rated games.
    You can only set your initial DGS rating once. After you have set this it cannot be altered manually.
    If you intentionally start with a badly wrong initial rating you will annoy other users, and cause them have a wrong / undeserved / misleading drop or increase in their ratings. Remember you might want to play them again later ...
    Dragon tries to provide useful ratings, but this depends upon your cooperation. Please do not set the initial rating for your new Dragon account to a value far off from your real level. If you are unsure, there are ways to help. Please have a look at the rest of this section about ranks and ratings in the FAQ.
  • Is there a Rank converter?
    Dragon provides a rank converter, which is based on the rank comparisons from Sensei`s Library. It's useful to convert ranks or ratings from other go-servers or other rating-systems into a rating used on DGS. The page to enter an initial DGS rating has the same rank converter, so you can directly enter the other rank or rating there.
  • How does Dragon's rating system work?
    Dragon uses the EGF rating system for its calculus. You can find details on the EGF rating system algorithm at EGF Go Rating Pages.
    Given the board size, handicap and komi, the implied initial rating difference (the difference that would have given this <home faq.php?read=t&cat=357#Entry98 >Proper Handicap) can be calculated. This is compared with the final rating difference (at the end of the game) to decide the real advantage a player had. The probability of the result is calculated using the EGF algorithms in which the constants used are the existing values from EGF statistics. Knowing this probability, it is determined whether a player has done better or worse than expected, whether the rating should be increased or decreased. The magnitude of the change is calculated from this probability and weighted by a factor depending upon the board size, and the ratio of the confidence intervals (the Blue Area in the rating graph) of the two players.
    For example, in an even game where the rating of Black is less than White's, the probable result is that White will win.
    • If White wins, White's rating may increase slightly or possibly not at all, since this White's win was expected. Based on the same reasoning, Black's rating may a little or may remain the same.
    • If Black wins, Black's rating will be increased by a greater amount, since this was not expected. On the same basis, White will suffer a bigger drop in rating.

    The size of win is not taken into account. A player may win by half a point or by 100 points. In the same circumstances those wins would be equal in terms of rating change difference computed by DGS.
  • Does the board size impact the ratings?
    19x19 games have the biggest impact on ratings. The 19x19 goban serves as anchor for the impact on the rating. So a factor of 100% is used on the rating differences when new ratings are calculated.
    Games on larger boards have a smaller impact, as the 19x19 sized goban is the anchor. A 25x25 game therefore uses a size factor of 47% of the full rating difference.
    Two 13x13 games account as about one 19x19 game. The precise value is about using a size factor of 47%.
    Two 9x9 games account as about one 13x13 game. The precise value is about using a size factor of 22%.
    The exact formula to calculate the impact factor is: ( 19 - |size-19| )^2 / 19^2
  • Does it matter, if I win by 0.5 points, 100 points, resign or time-out?
    In terms of Dragon's ratings, it doesn't matter. A won game is just a won game, and a lost game is just a lost game.
  • What happens with my rating on a draw (jigo)?
    When both players have an equal amount of points, which can happen when a non-fractional komi is used, then the game is a draw (jigo). In this case, the impact on the new calculated rating is equally shared.
    When the rating difference for a game is about zero, your new ratings will not be changed (+0.00 rating diff).
    However, When your rating difference is greater than zero, for example a 1 dan player plays a 10 kyu player on an even game or with less than 9 stones handicap and normal komi, then there is a difference in rating. Then also the winning propability changes and when the game ends in jigo, the lower ranked player gets an increase in rating while the higher ranked gets a decrease. The difference is just smaller compared to the case, when the lower ranked player would have won.
  • Which games will affect my rating?
    Dragon's rating system considers only games
    • for which both players have a rating,
    • have agreed that it will be a rated game,
    • in which White has submitted at least 5 moves (that means, placing handicap stones are not counted to determine if a game is rated or not)
  • What does the rating-column in the user list mean?
    The first part of your rating is the current dan or kyu rank. The second part (within the brackets) indicates how strong or weak this rank is.
    The corresponding Elo points of a rating is shown in the tooltip when hovering over a linked rating-value.
    For example, "1 kyu (+40%)" is a strong 1 kyu rating (almost strong enough to be a weak 1 dan).
  • What does + or - after a rating mean?
    Internally Dragon uses a rating system, where a difference of one Go rank is equivalent to a difference of 100 points (or Elo points).
    The format with kyu and dan ranks, e.g. "3 kyu (-5%)", is used because it's easier to comprehend. The Elo points are shown in the tooltip when you hover over a rating value, that is linked to the users rating-graph, e.g. "Elo rating 1795".
    6 kyu ( 0%) = 1500 points
    6 kyu (-48%) = 1452 points
    7 kyu (+30%) = 1430 points
    7 kyu ( 0%) = 1400 points
  • Why do some new users get a fractional rating?
    If the new user used an initial rating-type of 'eurorating' or 'igs' when joining, then the dgs-rating-conversion may produce some in-between ranks. To test this yourself you can play around a bit with rank-conversions either on the Change rating & rank page or on the DGS Rank Converter page.
  • What does the blue area in the rating graph mean?
    It is an indication of how close a user's current rating is expected to be to Dragon's Go rank. When a new user enters an initial Go rank, Dragon does not know how well that initial value relates to Dragon's rank. World-wide-valid definitions of Go ranks do not exist. Dragon does its best to provide reliable and comparable Go ratings. On a user's rating graph the width of the blue background, which is similar to a confidence interval, estimates how close a new user's Dragon rating might be to Go ranks established by Dragon. The confidence intervals of both players in a game have an effect. A larger confidence width of one player increases rating change for that player and at the same time decreases rating change of the other player (and vice versa).
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