Rank - worldwide comparison

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Table of contents

Table from a 2018 survey

[ext] https://idex.github.io/go-rank-survey/go-survey-results#A-table-of-rounded-mean-ranks

Graphs from a 2015 OGS survey

OGS conducted a survey in November 2015 , where users gave their ranks on several servers and organizations.

Another OGS connected survey in March 2018. (Credit: Sebastian Pountney, sourced from AGA e-journal 2018-04-18)

Table of approximate equivalences between ranking systems

Please help to improve this table by adding data to our /DataCollection and feel free to edit it if you have more accurate information than currently presented.

However, since universally valid ranks do not exist; this is and will always be a table of approximate rank equivalences. Approximate means that a rank in one system can be several ranks above or below a rank stated for another system; the latter rank need not even be the mean.

The table starts with beginners and ends with amateur experts.

Go Associations Go Servers
Japan China Korea[4] Europe[3] AGA KGS IGS Wbaduk[5] DGS OGS FICGS Tygem[6]
25k 28k 30k 25k 20k BC 25-21k 28k 25k 21k
24k 27k 29k 24k 19k BC 25-21k 27k 24k 21k
23k 26k 28k 23k 18k BC 25-21k 26k 23k 21k
22k 25k 27k 22k 17k BC 25-21k 26k 22k 21k
21k 24k 26k 21k 16k BC 25-21k 25k 21k 21k
20k 23k 25k 20k 16k BC 25-21k 24k 20k 21k
19k 22k 24k 19k 16k BC 25-21k 23k 19k 21k
18k 21k 23k 18k 15k BC 25-19k 22k 18k 21k
17k 20k 22k 20k 17k 15k BC 24-18k 21k 17k 21k
16k 19k 21k 19k 16k 14k BC 23-17k 20k 16k 20k
15k 18k 20k 18k 15k 13k BC 21-16k 19k 16k 19k
14k 17k 19k 17k 14k 12k 17k 20-15k 18k 15k 18k
14k 17k 19k 17k 13k 12k 16k 19-14k 17k 15k 17k
13k 16k 18k 16k 12k 11k 15k 18-13k 16k 14k 16k
12k 15k 17k 15k 11k 10k 14k 18-13k 15k 14k 15k
11k 14k 16k 14k 10k 9k 13k 18-12k 14k 13k 14k
11k 13k 15k 14k 9k 8k 13k 18-12k 13k 13k 13k
10k 12k 14k 13k 8k 7k 12k 17-12k 12k 12k 12k
9k 11k 13k 12k 7k 7k 11k 16-11k 11k 12k 11k
8k 10k 12k 11k 6k 6k 10k 16-10k 10k 11k 10k
7k 9k 11k 10k 6k 6k 9k 15-9k 9k 10k 9k
6k 8k 10k 9k 5k 5k 8k 14-8k 8k 9k 8k
5k 7k 9k 8k 5k 5k 7k 13-7k 8k 8k 7k
4k 6k 8k 7k 4k 4k 6k 12-6k 7k 7k 6k 3k
3k 5k 7k 6k 3k 3k 5k 10-5k 6k 6k 5k 2k
2k 4k 6k 5k 2k 2k 4k 8-3k 5k 5k 4k 1k
Japan China Korea[4] Europe[3] AGA KGS IGS Wbaduk[5] DGS OGS FICGS Tygem[6]
1k 3k 5k 4k 1k 2k 3k 6-2k 4k 4k 3k 1d
1d 2k 4k 3k 1d 1k 2k 4-1k 3k 3k 2k 2d
2d 1k 3k 2k 2d 1d 1k 2k-2d 2k 2k 1k 3d
3d 1d 2k 1k 3d 2d 1d 1-3d 1k 1k 1k 3d
4d 2d 1k 1d 4d 3d 2d 2-4d 1d 1d 1d 4d
4d 3d 1d 2d 5d 4d 3d 3-5d 2d 2d 1d 5d
5d 4d 2d 3d 6d 5d 4d 4-6d 3d 3d 2d 6d
5d 4d 3d 4d 6d 5d 5d 5-6d 4d 4d 3d 7d
6d 5d 4d 5d 7d 6d 6d 6-7d 5d 4d 4d 8d
6d 5d 5d 6d 7d 7d 7d 7d 6d 5d 5d 8d
7d 6d 6d 7d 7d 8d 8d 8d 6d 6d 6d 9d
7d 7d 6d 7d 7d 9d 9d 8d 6d 7d 7d 9d

Problems with the table presented above

Be very aware that the information in this table is at best an approximation, and is not very reliable.

  • People are living in different time zones - some play comfortably in the evening while their opponents play in the middle of the night.
  • Older data points used to create the table have not been removed when the relevant ranking system changed.
  • The AGA has no ranks at all, just numerical ratings. There is no official translation between numerical ratings and ranks, and there are no ranks above 7d.
  • EGF ranks vary internally in Europe. A large range of methodologies exist to allocate ranks, ranging from Anarchy to Strict Implementation of the GoR formula. Selecting a country from [ext] this page at the EGD will display a graph comparing that country's ratings versus standard GoR.
  • Likewise ranks are awarded differently in provinces in China, and it is undoubtably the case in Japan and Korea too.
  • WBaduk ranks vary internally between the different servers.
  • The whole list expresses strength differences only with integers, hence might be off by half a dan grade (China)
  • Blitz internet ranks and ranks derived from slower time limits online are often markedly diverse.
  • Turn based servers can suffer from novices improving far faster than the rating system can cope with. (This is also a problem in EGF territories which use a strict implementation of GoR with no rating resets.)
  • Some people will play while drinking online
  • Some people will play online while distracted by children, siblings, or parents.
  • Ranks from face-to-face games are based on comparatively small numbers of games (often played in tournaments) which are taken more seriously. Ranks from online servers include large numbers of games played more casually.
  • The internet can also contain sandbaggers, players who are deliberately playing under their strength in order to beat up weaker players. The IGS rank of 30kyu used to be notorious for this.
  • There is no data for South America or Australasia. [2]
  • AGA ranks vary internally in the USA, one coast is said to be stronger than the other.
  • Depending on where a player learned to play go and where he mainly plays, it is possible that he is significantly stronger or weaker on real gobans than on virtual ones. A difference of 5 stones and more are not unusual.
  • Ranks can be determined in different ways in the same country. For example there is an official Nihon Ki-in rank in Japan that is determined by tournament play, not by paying a pro for an evaluation. Those ranks are comparable to AGA and EGF ranks. There are also go club ranks in Japan and ranks obtained by paying a pro. Such ranks could be weaker or stronger than those of other countries.
  • Some ranking systems converge very slowly to a player's actual strength. This is a problem with the IGS ranking system for ranks weaker than about 5k, because these players are often improving faster than the ranking system is converging. Consequently, within the rank of "8k" on IGS there will be players whose strengths differ by three or more stones. The KGS ranking system converges very quickly, so its ranks are more consistent, except for frequently playing players, whose ranks can move very slowly.
  • OGS ranks have been adjusted since this chart was produced; these comparisons are no longer valid.

Rating methods

More ratings links

See also:


[1] BC (Beginners Class) is a blanket initial rank at IGS. Unranked people & guests start as BC for their first 5 games at least. The first numbered IGS rank appears to be 17kyu currently. There are also some stronger players who choose to have a BC rank.
[2] xela: As I understand it, Australian ranks are set by consensus within each go club. There are not enough tournament games for accurate calculations in the style of American and European ranks. It's generally believed that Australian kyu ranks sit somewhere between the American and Japanese ranks. High dan ranks are possibly a bit stronger (Australian 7 dans seem to hold their own against other 7 dans at the WAGC), and so it's likely that the spacing between dan ranks is greater than one handicap stone per rank. Possibly someone else will have more accurate data on this.
[3] The European Go Federation rates tournament results of European players with the EGF rating system. A European 7D grade is claimed to be approximately equivalent to a professional 1D grade by the EGF. 20K is the lowest rank used for the EGF rating system and usually the lowest rank used for pairings in European tournaments. Some European players claim a lower rank.
[4] This column represents the rankings as used by the Hankuk Kiwon, for information on the old gup ranks, see rank - gup (Korean) explained
[5] Ranks on Wbaduk (formerly Orobaduk, CyberOro) depend on the server you play on: On the Japanese server the ranks tend to be better than on the Korean servers.
[6] Now that the Tygem English server is open, perhaps we can include Tygem ranks here when more data becomes available. As a general rule of thumb you can assume that Tygem ranks are very similar to those of Wbaduk (this also holds for the number of sandbaggers in the DDK ranges)

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Rank - worldwide comparison last edited by 2601:0681:0000:2070 on February 7, 2021 - 00:06
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