Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk. Kaz's original Igo-advice & fundamentals of Igo: Playing many games will not make you strong. Acquiring basics will.

Playing many games will not make you strong. Acquiring basics will.

Playing many games will not make you strong. Acquiring basics will.

I always think adults play too many games.

Adults need to learn basics.

I know there is a myth in Japan and in the West that "you have to play lots of games if you want to be strong".

But that's wrong.

That's for pros and children at 5dan, 6dan, 7dan, or 8dan level.

They learned basics when they were 8, 10, or 12 years old. They already knew all the basics.

But not adults. Adults lack a lot of basics.

Also playing many games will not improve pros or 5dan, 6dan, 7dan, 8dan children, either. Pros review their games for many hours. Cho U 9dan often reivews his games 10 hours or even more if he has time.

Most adults never review their games and keep playing the same mistakes.

Keep in mind that learning one tesuji can take a month. Being able to apply that tesuji to your games can take even more time.

If adults play more than 10 games a week, I don't think they will ever have time to master even one tesuji.

There are so many things to learn.

There are lots of tesuji. There are opening, middle game, and the endgame. Adults also need to learn basic tesuji, joseki, fighting pattenrs, sabaki, shinogi, etc.

Compared to children, it takes adults 3, 4, or 5 times to learn things.

Yet, adults have much less time than children. Adults have to work, take care of a family, meet friends, do social activities, go see a movie, etc.

It's not easy for adults to find time to study Go, let alone learning basics.

Still, many adults keep playing without learning basics.

In my 16-year teaching experience tells me that adults play too many games
and learn too little basics.

I've seen hundreds of adults who keep playing and never improve. I've never seen any adults who improved without learning basics.

Many adults claim to be a dan player, and they can win among other adults who have never studied basics. But when they play with a pro or a child with a strong basic foundation, they are always beaten badly.

When adults play too many games without solidifying basics, they will only build their own styles, filled with common amateur mistakes, which are far from basics.

I have taught many adults for many years in Japan. Many of them are full of common amateur mistakes and of very little basics. They had played 10 or 20 years with their own styles.

Then I started teaching basics. I taught many of them for 5 years, but it was still very hard for them to acquire basics because their own styles were completely ingrained in their mind.

Despite my advice, I've found that many of my students still keep playing more than 10 games in a week or a month. Each game lasts 3 hours or more. This means that they are practicing their common amateur mistakes for 30 hours. Instead, they should study basics. If they play only one really serious game in a week or in a month and study 27 hours a week or a month throughout a year, they will definitely improve in a year. But very few people do.

If playing many games is a way to improve, then most adult Go players in Japan and in the world would have to be much stronger today and be filled with strong basic foundations. Why isn't that happening? It's because they are only practicing common amateur mistakes.

I once learned karate as an adult and repeated practices 6 hours or 8 hours a week
and did a fighting only once in a while. Fighting doesn't last long. It's usually a minute for 5 or 10 bouts, and each bout lasts only a minute.

Yet, I have improved quickly and got the black belt in 5 years.

Please read my blog to see how important and how difficult it is to acquire basics:

In my experience, playing one really serious game a week is good enough for adults, maybe 2 at most. (If you're serious, you should concentrate a game from the beginning to the end. Chatting during a game is not a serious game. That's for fun.)

If they have time to play lots of games, they should learn basics.

If adults have 10-hour free time, I believe that adults should study 9 hours and play 1 hour a game.
That's my suggestion. If you want to improve fast, if you want to win, that's what I suggest.

Of course, adults don't have time to study Go for a long time.
Then studying an hour a day is still very good. One of my students, George, is making a big progress by studying an hour or an hour and a half every day.

He started playing Go in his 30s. Now he is in the 60s. He started taking my offline lessons in July, 2014. At that time his KGS rating was bouncing around between 4-6 kyu. In November he is currently a 2 or 3 kyu player.


I hope this advice helps.
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