I am a single-digit kyu (SDK), an OGS 9k!
True, in late May I did flirt with SDK, but my rating then was just a toehold – it reverted within a day to double-digit kyu. This time is different. This time I know I am stronger, and I feel as if this is my level. It is a very satisfying feeling.
What’s the big deal? Well from what I’ve experienced myself and learned from other players the 11-kyu to 9-kyu range is a major barrier for beginning players. It’s the first time they have to decide to get serious about the game in order to improve. This is the point at which non-serious players will probably get turned off to the game and go elsewhere. Making SDK is a validation of what I’ve struggled for since initiating Project Dan three months ago.
I know, I know rank isn’t everything, but it’s something to grab onto – it’s a measure of progress and it shows that I really am becoming a stronger player.
Much remains ahead. According to other players the difficulty level increases exponentially. I expect the struggle to get ahead to become even more fierce in the days and months to come. There are also serious deficiencies in my style that must be corrected if I am to advance further. The important thing, however, is that I learn from these mistakes and figure out how to fix them. The better my feedback the more quickly I’ll improve, or so I hypothesize.
SDK presents its own barriers. I’ve heard 7-8k, 6-4k and 1k are the plateaus I can look forward to, but who really knows? Each player has their own journey.
For now I’ll enjoy a weekend respite and start working again on Monday.