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Historically, pro ranks were an indicator of playing strength. It was said that 3 (later: 4) ranks are about a stone difference. To my knowledge, there never was a time when 1 rank difference actually meant 1 stone. In the 20th century, there was a sudden and increasing change in the strength of new pros. This is generally considered to be a consequence of ...


Let's start with the basics. Beginners start out as "30 kyu". As they get stronger, the number decreases to 29 kyu, 28 kyu ... down to 1 kyu. Kyu means "student" and is commonly abbreviated 'k'. The range from 10k to 30k is called DDK (double digit kyu) while 1k - 9k are SDK (single digit kyu). The difference between each rank is supposed to be 1 stone of ...

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