How our Dan Certificates are awarded

The following has been copied from our Policies section 7.4 - Dan Certificates and Grades:

We monitor the progress of our members' ratings and award official dan certificates when specified targets have been reached. Official dan certificates are never revoked, even if a player's rating subsequently falls.

You will be awarded an X dan certificate when:

  • your strength reaches X.0 d at the end of a tournament you played in, except that for promotion to 7 dan your strength must reach 7.5 dan.

In addition:

  • you must be a member of our Association; and
  • you must have played enough games in the ratings for your strength to be meaningful.
    More precisely, you must have had a run of tournaments during which you played ten or more rated games, where your rating at the end of the run was at least as high as it was before the beginning of the run.
    Note that in some cases the European rating algorithm will reset your rating. If this happens, you must meet this condition between the rating reset and being awarded a dan certificate.

Some comments

How can I check whether I'm eligible for a certificate?

The easiest way is to email and ask.

Another way is to look at your individual results on the EGF site, via the our ratings list. The rating list shows your current strength and the EGF site shows how many games you've played and the ratings at the end of each tournament.

Exact threshold

Note that since the strengths on the rating list are rounded to one decimal place, the threshold for promotion to, say, 3 dan, is actually 2.95 d.

Changes in calibration

Note that the conversion factor between rating and strength varies each month (as explained in the FAQ). This means that it is possible for the strength of a player to change from 2.9 d to 3.0 d on the rating list without playing in a tournament, but just because of small changes in the calibration and the effects of rounding. This is not good enough for a promotion. Certificates are only awarded due to changes in strength caused by tournament results.

Meaningfulness of ratings

The first time you play in a rated tournament, your rating is initialised to what amounts to a guess. Only after you have played in several tournaments does it settle down to reasonable measure of your playing ability. The final condition ensures that certificates are not awarded during this initial settling down period.

You can work out whether you have satisfied this final condition by looking at the table underneath your rating graph. This table lists all the rated tournaments you have played in, and for each one tells you (among other things) what your rating was after that tournament, and how many rated games you played during that tournament.

As a worked example, consider Tim Hunt’s rating graph. The relevant part of the table is reproduced here:

Tournament Code Class Date Description Location Club Rank GoR before -> after Place Rnds Wins/ Losses/ Jigo
T020907CA2002-09-07Northern OpenUK,ManchesterUK,MK2d2248 --> 228341 / 626510
T020815B2002-08-15Mind Sport OlympiadUK,LondonUK,MK2d2253 --> 22486 / 183120
T020629EA2002-06-29Welsh OpenUK,BarmouthUK,MK2d2230 --> 22534 / 435320

You will see that Tim played in the Welsh Open, Mind Sport Olympiad and finally the Northern Open tournament on 7th September 2002. Together these constitute 11 tournament games (5 + 3 + 6). Before the Welsh Open Tim’s rating was 2230, and after the Northern Open tournament it was 2283, which is higher. Therefore Tim could be awarded a dan certificate any time from this Northern Open tournament onwards as the 3.0 dan strength at that time was about 2270. (Note: this dan promotion system only applied from 29th November 2003.)

So this condition will probably already be satisfied by any player who has worked their way up through the kyu grades while playing in European tournaments. It is most likely to affect strong players who play in a rated tournament for the first time when they are already of dan strength.

Rating resets

The EGF rating site says:

If a rank professed by the player had improved significantly (at least by 2 grades for amateur players or by 1 professional grade) with respect to the highest previously professed rank, the rating of the player is reset. This measure helps to deal with fast improving players and with players who participate at included tournaments only occasionally.

Once a reset like this has happened, you must satisfy the “have a run of tournaments during which you play ten or more rated games, where your rating at the end of the run is at least as high as it was before the beginning of the run” condition again before you can earn a certificate.

Distribution of the strengths of European dan players

This graph was generated from the 7th November 2003 European rating list. It shows the distribution of strengths of all European dan players at each dan grade (and 1 kyu). The white arrows show the thresholds at which we award dan certificates. These thresholds are above the majority of players at the lower grade, and within, but near the bottom of, the main body of players at the higher grade. (Note: the Strength axis has been compressed above 7.3 d.)

Graph showing the number of dan players in Europe, as explained in the preceding paragraph

Last updated Mon Aug 18 2014. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.