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The KGS rank system uses an anchor system. It is just a final translation on all the computed ranks to ensure the ranks displayed are around 30k to 9d.

From time to time, the anchors are adjusted; some old anchor whose rank is no longer reliable enough is removed, and some new anchor is added. When such an event occurs, it will slightly change all the KGS ranks. Sometimes such changes may be visible in the users' ranks, when most of them show a small drop or a small jump.

You don't have to worry much about an anchor adjustment as the rank differences don't change; so you can still trust the default handicap suggested by the server (KGS ranks are relative).

More details needed?

What is an anchor? An anchor is a KGS player who has been assigned an anchored rank (in addition to his KGS rank).

Who are the anchors? The list of KGS anchors is no longer public. It used to be, but... when the anchors knew that their games were used to anchor the whole rating system, they changed their playing behaviours. They then played fewer rated games, on days they were playing their best...

Will the KGS rating of an anchor still be able to change? Yes, the KGS rating of an anchor is computed as for any other user. A player anchored to 2d won't have a flat rank graph: he'll be able to drop to 1d or to rise to a higher rank.

How does the anchor system work? Once all the ratings have been computed, the rank system will translate all the ratings to make sure that the average of the computed KGS ranks of the anchors is equal to the average of their anchored ranks.

Is the KGS rank system anchored to some national ranking system? No. The KGS rank system is just for KGS only. It is not supposed to be equal to European ranks nor to AGA ones... nor to any other one.

How are the anchors chosen? They are chosen among players who play regularly on KGS, with a stable rank and a very strong rating confidence.

How can an anchor's rating be "no longer reliable enough"? For instance some anchor may stop playing on KGS, or suddenly start improving again by a couple of stones. In such situations, the anchor KGS rank confidence will drop and the anchor will be removed from the anchors list.

          Up One Level    —>    Rating System Math  –>  anchor system
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