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West Surrey Go Ladder

and grades.


This ladder is for use within the West Surrey Go Club for 'normal' games. It has no relevance to lightning, teaching, external or tournament games.

What happens: Two players agree to play a ladder game. The handicap is as determined by the scheme below. At the end of the game, the winner is promoted one rung, the loser demoted one rung (regardless of grades). A draw leaves the rungs unaltered. The rungs are not evenly spaced.

After a player has taken part in a tournament, they should modify their strength on the ladder to be correct with respect to that tournament. All players not having taken part in the tournament leave their strength alone. This way the total club strength should gradually creep towards the tournament levels.

The rungs: (with standard strengths in bold)
40k 39k 38k 37k 36k 35k 34k 33k 32k 31k 30k 29k 28k 27k 26k 25k 24k 23k 22k 21k 20k 19.5k 19k 18.5k 18k 17.5k 17k 16.5k 16k 15.5k 15k 14.5k 14k 13.5k 13k 12.5k 12k 11.5k 11k 10.5k 10k 9.8k 9.6k 9.4k 9.2 9k 8.8k 8.6k 8.4k 8.2 8k 7.8k 7.6k 7.4k 7.2 7k 6.8k 6.6k 6.4k 6.2 6k 5.8k 5.6k 5.4k 5.2 5k 4.8k 4.6k 4.4k 4.2 4k 3.8k 3.6k 3.4k 3.2 3k 2.8k 2.6k 2.4k 2.2 2k 1.8k 1.6k 1.4k 1.2 1k 0.8k 0.6k 0.4k 0.2k 1d 1.1d 1.2d 1.3d 1.4d 1.5d 1.6d 1.7d 1.8d 1.9d 2d 2.1d 2.2d 2.3d 2.4d 2.5d 2.6d 2.7d 2.8d 2.9d 3d 3.1d 3.2d 3.3d 3.4d 3.5d 3.6d 3.7d 3.8d 3.9d 4d 4.1d 4.2d 4.3d 4.4d 4.5d 4.6d 4.7d 4.8d 4.9d 5d 5.1d 5.2d 5.3d 5.4d 5.5d 5.6d 5.7d 5.8d 5.9d 6d 6.1d 6.2d 6.3d 6.4d 6.5d 6.6d 6.7d 6.8d 6.9d 7d 7.1d 7.2d 7.3d 7.4d 7.5d 7.6d 7.7d 7.8d 7.9d 8d 8.1d 8.2d 8.3d 8.4d 8.5d 8.6d 8.7d 8.8d 8.9d 9d 9.1d 9.2d 9.3d 9.4d 9.5d 9.6d 9.7d 9.8d 9.9d
Note the jump from 0.2k to 1d. (0k and 0d to 0.9d do not exist.)

Handicaps: The stronger player is white, the weaker player is black. For handicap calculations, treat 'x'kyu = -x; 'y'dan = y-1. Subtract the two strengths then ignore any fractions to obtain the handicap. After the handicap is taken as komi, stones or a mixture at black's discretion, it is then white's move. One handicap stone is equivalent to 10 komi. The stones may be placed anywhere on the board by black.

For a handicap of 1, either black starts with no komi or white starts with 10 komi to black.
For a handicap of 0, white receives 6 komi and black starts.

Example: Fred (1.3d) plays Bert (14.5k).

Fred=0.3, Bert=-14.5.
Fred - Bert = (0.3) - (-14.5) = 14.8.

Ignoring fractions gives 14 handicap levels which may be taken as any of :

When Bert wins, he is promoted to 14k and Fred is demoted to 1.2d.

How can a player determine his grade?

The advent of the EGF rating list as changed the method that I use. If you are interested in the old method, send me an email.

The method I now use - with which I am quite happy - has two stages. Both the stages are based upon results at tournaments. If you don't play under tournament conditions, you won't get as accurate an idea of your grade as you could.

35 kyu to 15 kyu.

Enter a tournament at your current grade. If you win a prize (this is an arbitrary measure, usually 3/3, 4/4 and sometimes 3/4) promote yourself one grade. If you obtain zero wins in TWO tournaments in a row, demote yourself one grade.

15 kyu to 9 dan.

Use a grade determined from the EGF rating list.

The rating list is processed by the BGA to convert into grades and has reasonable validity above 15kyu. (From 20kyu to 15kyu it is too distorted by having 20kyu as the weakest grade to be useful.) Start using this when your BGA rating reaches 15kyu.

Note that kyu players in particular have wild swings in their grade from day to day and constant changing of grade is unhelpful. You have to enter tournaments at a "whole number" grade. To reduce the wild swings, I only promote myself from X to X+1 when I get to X+0.7 on the BGA list and I only demote myself from X to X-1 when I get to X-0.7.

Thus if I were a 2 dan with BGA ratings of 2.0d, 2.2d, 1.9d, 1.7d, 1.4d after various tournaments I would enter the next tournament at 2dan. When I descended to 1.3d I would then enter the next one at 1dan. And after 1.2d, 1.4d, 1.6d would enter all at 1dan until I reached 1.7d when I would revert to 2dan.

For a kyu player then same scheme applies but it just appears odd because kyu grades are "backwards". Thus if I were a 2 kyu with BGA ratings of 2.0k, 2.2k, 1.9k, 1.7k, 1.4k after various tournaments I would enter the next tournament at 2kyu. When I improved to 1.3k I would then enter the next one at 1kyu. And after 1.2k, 1.4k, 1.6k would enter all at 1kyu until I fell back to 1.7k when I would revert to 2kyu.

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British Go Association
Last updated 2004-08-10
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