Sunday, February 05, 2006

Berkeley Beginners' Tournament & Drago 2.0

The Berkeley Go Club, in conjunction with Games of Berkeley, is hosting a free beginners' tournament on February 25th. Players up to 10k of rank are allowed and my understanding is that AGA membership is not needed. This seems to be a promotional event.

The tournament will be held at Games of Berkeley (map link). Registration begins at 10:00am and the tournament starts at 11:00am.

I'd like to participate but ChiyoChan has a basketball game that morning.

Even though I probably won't be at this tournament, it's made me wonder how to translate my KGS rank to the AGA's standards.

Many of us who play on KGS already know that we're underranked relative to the AGA scale by anywhere from two to five stones. On the day that I decide to make a debut in a person-to-person tournament, the last thing that I want is to be labeled as a sandbagger.

That also makes me wonder how often people enter tournaments as underranked versus overranked. I haven't yet played in a tournament so I have no experience in this matter.

Gilles Launches Drago 2.0

Gilles Arcas has officially released version 2.0 of Drago. You can download it from the Drago site. The image above shows Drago after I personalized it with one of the tatami textures that I had created for IGS's glGo client software.


At 4:18 PM, February 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have entered several AGA tournaments and I think KGS + 4 probably is pretty good. Most tournaments will let you make adjustments if you are dominating or being dominated. Either way I wouldn't get too worked up over it, most are understanding if it is your first tournament.


At 4:36 PM, February 06, 2006, Anonymous wolvie said...

I've heard of some cases where the standard could be more like KGS + (8-10) to get an AGA ranking. In my case, my KGS rank at the time was around 19k?, I entered as 11kyu, and my AGA rank is now 9kyu.

If you do end up underestimating your rank the first time though, at least it'll only happen once. Once you find what your AGA rank is, the likelyhood of sandbagging is drastically reduced.

A good idea is to contact the coordinator of the tournament and voice your concerns about translating your KGS rank to an AGA rank. It helped ease my mind (and my rank!) before the tournament, and allowed me to focus on what's most important: my game.

Good luck! :)

At 1:57 PM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous maruseru said...

Here in Austria (and probably the rest of Europe, judging by experiences at the 49th European Go Congress in Prague) the ranking issue is pretty confusing. Some people enter tournaments based on their KGS rank, some based on their EGF rating and some just give a rank they feel comfortable with. And then there are the sandbaggers. In McMahon tournaments with 5 rounds or more this doesn't pose too much of a problem since as the rounds progress you tend to play against your ideal opponent. But in shorter tournaments it can be problematic.

We've actually thought about some way of making people stick to their EGF rating, but the problem there is that the rating only reflects your real rank if you play a lot of tournaments. Especially in the kyu ranks you tend to rise pretty fast, so the EGF rating will always be a bit behind.

At 3:30 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

The KGS+4 formula had been suggested to me once before when I was invited to a free game on Drago. It seems roughly accurate.

I had read about wolvie's experience on her blog. Of course, I haven't seen her play that much on KGS lately so she might actually be a KGS 13k now!

But maruseru does bring up something that I've thought about for a while; that one's current playing ability can best be assessed if he or she has been in several recent games.

One benefit that I see in internet Go servers is that, if you play rated games on them often, you do get feedback on your progress (or lack thereof, as seems to be my present situation).

At 11:22 PM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous xed_over said...

I mostly play turn-based servers, so my rating change there usually lags far behind any other live systems.

But I didn't know that when I entered my first tournament at 17k (when my dragon rating was 19k) -- and I was worried that the difference was too much. It was actually not enough and I won $50 -- and then I was immediately challenged to a game after the tournament by a stronger player to see if I was sandbagging. I think he was satisfied that I was still a beginner.

I haven't won any prize money since -- or was it that none has been offered, I don't remember now :)

At the Go Congress this last summer, I played as a 12k even though with most of the local players I seem to be bumping up against the 10k mark. I lost 3 and won 2, so maybe that's about right in terms of the AGA system. I haven't played any AGA rated tournaments since. We'll see how I do this weekend at the Mid-Winter tourney.


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