RGG FAQ Part 1 Section 7
This page is part of the rec.games.go FAQ on SL, and cannot be edited directly. A copy of this page can be edited by following the link at the bottom of this page, but please read the FAQ Format Guidelines first.
For more details on the workings of the FAQ, see rec.games.go FAQ on SL.
1.7: What is a 'Dan' or 'Kyu' player?
In Japanese, Kyu means 'step' and Dan means 'grade'. The idea is that one must progress through several elementary steps before obtaining a grade, and that there are several grades.
Therefore, several steps and grades exist. The scale starts around 30 Kyu (lowest) to 1 Kyu (highest) and then continues with 1 Dan (lowest) to 7 Dan (highest). In addition, there are professional Dan ranks, which run from 1 Dan professional (lowest) to 9 Dan professional (highest).
Unfortunately, the ranking system has no absolute values. (There are no 'anchors'.) Therefore, a 1 Dan player in e.g. the U.S.A. is not necessarily a 1 Dan player elsewhere. Traditionally, Japanese ranks are considered weak, followed the U.S. rankings, with European rankings being strong. (E.g. a European 1 Dan will be around 3 Dan US and 5 Dan Japan). Rankings on the internet servers (see section 3) also vary. IGS rankings are typically 34 stones stronger than European rankings. E.g. our European 1 Dan will rank around 3 Kyu on IGS.
A 1 Dan (professional) would be the equivalent to approximately a 6 Dan European amateur, a 9 Dan (professional) would be the equivalent to approximately a 9 Dan European amateur. An IGS 4d* (see section 7) is probably around 1 Dan professional.
Every Go player has a ranking. Beginners typically start around 30 Kyu, but rapidly advance to around 15 Kyu, experienced players may become 1 Kyu after a few years of playing, and then advance to 'shodan', or 1 Dan, and beyond.
See also Section 4.3.