Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk. Kaz's original Igo-advice & fundamentals of Igo: Find a book or problems at your own level and solve easy problems

Find a book or problems at your own level and solve easy problems

Find a book or problems at your own level and solve easy problems

In order to improve Go as fast as possible, finding
a book and problems suitable for you is also important.

In my experience so many people in Tokyo, probably
more than half of Go players, read books more
advanced than their true level.

Suppose you choose a book over your head.
What’s going to happen?

Suppose you're a 1dan player and memorize some
avalanche joseki variations. I think learning avalanche
joseki for 1 dan player is way advanced, but suppose
you do that and you play it in your real game.
But when your opponent deviates from those variations
(this happens all the time since most people at 1dan level
don't know what to do), you may not be able to handle it.

(I never recommend an "avalanche" joseki to any
amateur players. It can be even very complicated to some
pros because Korean and Chinese pros come up with new
joseki variations all the time. Thus, it's
almost impossible for amateurs to keep up with

Ootake Hideo 9dan pro has almost always avoided an
"avalanche" joseki because he doesn't like complications,
and he has won many games. )

Reading an advanced Go book may very well be very
boring or at least less enjoyable. If it’s not
enjoyable, you can’t concentrate for a long time,
and that is not an efficient use of time.

In fact there are so many basic things 1 dan players can
learn, and if they learn them, they can become strong.
Learnin an "avalanche" joseki takes a long time, and
many amateurs can't apply those variations to other
places... Those variations are not basics.

So I recoomend that amateurs learn basics at
their true level.

But the problem is tht finding a right book is not easy.

Suppose you’re a 1 dan player and love to study fuseki
and have studied fuseki all the time. This means that your
middle game and endgame level may very well be weaker than a
dan level. So you might want to find a kyu level
middle game and endgame books to study.

But which kyu level? Who knows?
What criteria are used to assess your Go level,
so you could find the right book?

In that case I recommend trying some prolems, which takes
a minute to solve or three minutes at most.

If it takes more than five minutes, it may very
well be way over your head.

The easier, the better.

That way you can build basic foundations.

When you solve easy problems many times and feel
confident about them, then you can go on to try
more difficult problems.

The following example supports my argument.

I once saw an interesting Japanese TV program about how to
train children in the ski jump. Teachers were
former Olympics medalists, and they let children
jump a very small ski jump first.

When children get used to that and gain basic movements,
the teachers allow children to jump a little bigger ski
jump. The children try the jump many times again, and
become good at it. And they are allowed to try a harder
one, and so on down the line.

If the instructors let children a very high jump at the
beginning, kids might very well end up with broken bones.

I think that learning Go is the same.

You should learn problems step-by-step.

Easy-to-understand problems are easy to learn, and
because they are easy, you can learn fast, too.
It is also an efficient use of time.

When you learn a lot, sooner or later, you can
make a strong foundation of Go.

Then, you can try hard problems and see how easily
you can solve them. You may be able to solve them
more easily.

If a hard problem still takes time, then you continue
to solve easy problems more to make a stronger foundation.

It just seems to me that without building a strong
foundation of Go, solving hard problems may not be
the most efficient way of learning Go. It might
take a longer time to become strong than learn basics frist.

BTW, some people make an apparantly easy mistake and lose
a game, and then they often say, "Well, I know this shape.
How stupid was I to make such a simple mistake." Maybe
they are rihgt. But what I saw was often different.
They havent't practiced enough, so they made such mistakes.

Of course, if solving hard problems makes you learn faster
than most people, then, that's fine. I have no objection
to your way of learning. You should keep doing it.

But if that is not working, then it may be worth trying
solving easy problems.

I should also mention that it’s good to try hard problems
sometimes to see how well you can do. This can give some
people more motivation to study easy problems.

I study Chinese. I don't understand Chinese and Taiwanese
TV dramas and movies. But sometimes I watch and enjoy it,
and this gives me more motivations to study Chinese.

Last but not least, I believe the most important thing is to
study enjoyably. You should find your own way to
study enjoyably.

Here is related reading in this blog:『The proof of "solvingt easy problems repeatedly" will help you improve your iGo! Part I』
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