Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk. Kaz's original Igo-advice & fundamentals of Igo: 5 conditions to be a stronger Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk player

"Playing many games will make you strong!?" Not necessarily

"Playing many games will make you strong!?" Not necessarily

I've recently learned that both Ootake Hideo 9dan and Iyama Yuta 9dan claimed that "in order to get strong, one should play a lot of games."

I confess I was rather shocked to hear this- in my experience, adults who make an effort to play a large number of games at the expense of studying develop a playing style in which many common mistakes become solidified. I have visited dozens of Go clubs and witnessed hundreds of adults who play common mistakes over the years.

I have great respect for these pros- after all, they are some of the best in the world- but I could not understand why they said this. So I decided to look into their biographies and playing experience. Some relevant facts I discovered:

1. Both Ootake and Iyama had wonderful Go teachers when they were kids.
2. They began learning Go when they were young, so they learned everything very quickly (young children often learn something once and never forget).
3. In addition, they also happened to be extremely talented Go players.

When Ootake was a child, he went to a Go club near his house and played with many adults. In this Go club, there were some strong players. When I read his biography, I can infer that those strong players had a properly training, so they knew advanced tesuji and techniques. He also had a 5dan Go teacher (at that time, the rank of 5dan was equivalent to what we would today consider 7dan or higher). Under his tutelage, Otaka improved miraculously. Later on, he became an apprentice of Kitani Minoru 9dan.

(It is important to have a good teacher and / or to be surrounded by players who have been well trained. As far as I know, in a majority of Go clubs in Tokyo many of the strong players never have proper training, so they don’t know tesuji or good shapes. But their styles still work because their opponents are also not properly trained.)

When Ootake started living in Kitani Minoru’s house, there were already many talented Go prodigies who were pros and insei (Go apprentices), living in the house. Ootake played stronger players all the time.

Iyama also had a good Go teacher. His grandfather was a 6dan amateur and taught him for a year. Iyama stared playing Go at the age of 5. He became 5 kyu in half year and then became 3dan in another half year. It appears to be like the grandfather had a proper training, so he could teach his grandson well.

Then, he was introduced to Ishii Kunio 9dan pro who entered the Meijin and Honinbo Leagues. About 95% of the Japanese pros cannot enter these leagues. Some pros enter it only once. So the fact that he entered three leagues prove that he was one of the top pros when he started teaching Iyama.

Ishii 9dan taught Iyama twice a week. At first he played a six-stone handicap games and gave the commentary over the phone. Ishi continued to teach Iayam even after he became a pro every week.

Also another pro, Kenmochi Jyo 7dan, played with Iyama once a week before Iyama was a child. He also went to Kenmochi’s house in summer and winter vacations and played with him, Takao Shinji pro, who later became Honinbo, and Akiyama Shinji pro, who later becamse 9dan.

One day Iyama also joined the late Fujisawa Hideyuki Go camp and played many games with top players.

Ootake and Iyama were prodigies, had great Go teachers who played a large number of games and reviewed their games.

But not all pros had this kind of wonderful environment.

For example, Fukui Masaaki 9dan did not have a Go teacher when he was a child. He had only famous Honinbo Dosaku game collections. Dosaku was once the strongest player during the Samurai period. Fukui played those games so many times that he eventually memorized all the games.

I was once an assistant of Sensei Fukui’s class and taught with him for three years. During that time, I never heard him say “amateurs should play as many games as possible”. He seemed to give advice differently to a different student.

Consequently, pros’ advice has a lot to do with their personal backgrounds.

Also the advice of Ootake’s and Iyama’s may not apply to adults becuase most amateur adult Go players have different situations.

1. Most adults don't have very good Go teachers. So they may study for years without learning proper tesuji, shape, joseki, etc.
2. When adults learn tesuji, shape, joseki in a Go class, they have a hard time remembering it. (Kids who are dan level can learn shapes, tesuji, patterns and retain this knowledge for a long time.)
3. Most adults are not Go prodigies like Ootake or Iyama.
4. Most adults started learning Go when they were an adult, not a 5-year-old.

In my experience it takes adults a certain amount of time to learn just one tesuji; it may take up to a month. That's not what happened with Ootake or Iyama. They could learn one tesuji and begin using it in their games immediately, and they would never forget it.

This is not to say that all children are natural Go players. There are many children who are not as talented as Ootake or Iyama; quite a few stop playing Go because they cannot
improve quickly.

Also without a Go teacher who teaches and cares about kids, it may not be easy to improve or enjoy playing Go. The other day I had an email from Mimura Tomoyasu 9dan, who has entered the Meijin and Honinbo Leagues many times. He runs a Go school for children. Quite a few kyu players quite because there aren’t a Go teacher there. All the pros are busy teaching dan players.

In conclusion pros tend to give advice based on their experiences. But that may not be applicable to anyone.

Please also read a related topic: http://kazsensei.seesaa.net/article/409180298.html

The importance of repetition and the continuation of reviewing

The importance of repetition and the continuation of reviewing

I had a student who didn't improve much and decided not to take my
lessons anymore. I asked him how many times he has reviewed my problems.
His answer was once or twice. Sometimes more, but not many.

Then I thought I should tell all of my students about the importance
of reviewing and the importance of reviewing continuously.

I'd like to ask you to review my problems, preferably several times
a week, if not every day, because repetition is the only way to improve Go.

If you spend 5 minutes to review my problems maybe 3 times a day
for example in the morning, at noon, and at night, it should make
a difference after six months.

Of course, the more you review, the faster you improve.

I think it's a good idea to make it a rule to review my problems.

I've taught hundreds of students, and some of them don't improve much
The fact is that they don't review my lessons enough.
Solving my problems once or twice is not at all good enough.

Please take a look at my blog on these pages:

I reiterate "Repetition is the only way to improve Go."

If you stop reviewing my problems, you will fall back into your old,
bad habits, and soon your Go will be back to your original level.

Then your time and money to have taken my lessons will be wasteful.

If you forget everything I taught, and one day you decide to take
my lessons again, you have to do the same thing all over again.

But if you continue to review my problems, even for 5 minutes a day,
you could still build a certain basic foundation. One day if you decide
to take more lessons, then you will be able to learn new things
more easily in the future.

Endurance makes you stronger.

I've been studying Chinese by myself. Like I studied English
by myself, I repeat listening to some Chinese every day and
many times at lest for 10 minutes a day and often more.

I'll listen to the same lesson not once, but 20 times or 30 times
or more until I master them and be able to use them in conversation.

"Repetition is the only way to improve Go."

I hope you understand the importance of repetition
and the importance of continuing to study.

Incidentally, some of my students have been reading various Go books. I’ve been making problems based on their weaknesses and mistakes. No books are written based on their weaknesses or mistakes. So it makes more sense to solve my problems rather than reading various Go books.

Besides, all of my students pay money more than a Go book. So they should make the most of my lessons. To do so, they should repeat solving my problems far more than Go books.

I just want all of my students not to waste their money and time.

Good luck to all of you.

The importance of studying at your level

The importance of studying at your level

Many people try to study very advanced things. Some kyu adults try to memorize 4dan, 5dan, and 6dan joseki variations.

This could work for talented kyu children who could become a 1dan and then a 7 dan within a year or two years. But that doesn’t happen to adults. Also children will never forget what they learn. Adults can forget lessons much more easily.

In the years of teaching hundreds of kyu players, I’m convinced that you should study things at your level..

If you’re a 10 kyu player, you should study tesuji, life-and-death, joseki at 10 kyu levels, and I can tell you why.

Please think about it this way.

Suppose you learn a ski jump. As a sky jump 10 kyu player, would you go up to the top of a take-off ramp from 100m above the ground like top amateur ski players do?


If you tried to slide and fly from the 100m top ramp, you could die or at
least end up with broken bones.

You probably start with learning how to jump from a 50-cm hill,
and then 1m-hill, and then 2m-hill, and so on down the line.

But kyu players often try to learn 4dan, 5dan, 6dan, 7dan things. For example even if they successfully play a 4dan joseki, they should keep playing 4dan moves in order to maximize the joseki. But that’s probably impossible for kyu players.

What often happens is that many of their stones often end up with dead or broken bone stones in the middle of the game when they play with a bit stronger player.

This is why you should learn basic things at your level. Otherwise, your stones
will keep facing dead stones or a lot of broken stones, and you will only lose confidence.

Also if you study at your level, you will understand things much more
easily. Then you can retain them and apply them. Further, you probably enjoy
learning them because you can understand them.

When I give a private lesson, I examine my student’s games (10 or 20 games at first) to learn how much they understand things because every key player has a different understanding. (Ideally I should examine 100 games, but I don’t have time.) Then I start commenting on their games.

After commenting on their games, I try to choose problems at their levels. If you’re interested in my private lesson, please take a look at my website (which will be updated sometime very soon. So please wait. I’d appreciate your understanding. )

I hope you find this advice useful.

how to study problems like life-and-death problems (詰碁)

how to study problems like life-and-death problems (詰碁)

Today's topic:

"how to study problems like life-and-death problems"

The other day I received the following question:
"Go question on life-and-death problems. I have a few books
that have problems in them. What is the best way to solve
those problems? Should I set up a board and work through
them? Should I do them in my head? What's the the best way
to do Tsumego?"

Thanks for the question. Some people also asked me this
question in the past. It's nice that you brought that up.

I think it really depends on how hard it is for you to read
without using a Go board. It's very difficult to read, I think
it's okay to use a go board. I'll state the reason as follows.

Ideally you should practice them on your head because during
a game you can't put stones on the go board.

But I'm aware that reading is really difficult for some people,
especially the elderly. It seems true that the older you get,
the harder reading becomes.

I've met many people who could read 15 moves in the past, but
now they could read only 10 moves or less.

Also reading depends on how young you started Go.

They younger you start Go, the more easily you can read.
If you start Go as a teenager, you could develop the reading
ability to read 30 or 40 moves or even more.

But if you start Go in your 20s, it gets much harder. In the 30s,
even harder, and so on down the line.

In fact, more than half of my Go students in Japan were
in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. And some people in their 50s,
and many elderly people in their 60s and 70s told me
they could read only 3 moves.

(Although there are some exceptional elderly persons in their
70s, who could read many moves, but they are exceptions.)

They started playing Go in their 50s, 60s, or 70s.

So improving reading ability seems extremely difficult for them.
(Many of them seem to be embarrassed and didn't tell me that
for a long time...)

Also I wouldn't be surprised if there were such thing as
"reading Go dyslexia".

In the English speaking world, dyslexia is well-known.

But in the Go world, we've never heard of it. But if there are
people with dyslexia, isn't it possible that there could be
"reading Go dyslexia?"

I'm not a doctor, so I don't know. But if there were Go players
like that, I don't think anyone would force them to practice
reading without a Go board.

So every person has a different situation, and I can't tell
what's best for each person.

The most important thing for Go players is to enjoy solving
life-and-death problems or any other problems.

If it's excruciating, you shouldn't do that.

So I think you should do whatever makes you comfortable and
enjoyable when you solve life-and-death problems or tesuji
problems or anything. If putting stones on the Go board makes
you enjoyable, please do that.

In fact this is another reason that I recommend easy-to-understand
life-and-death problems (or tesuji problems or any problems).

In general it seems to me that the harder the problems are,
the less enjoyable it is to solve those problems. Easy problems
seem enjoyable for many people.

I just forgot one thing. Even if you read only 3 moves,
there's nothing to be embarrassed about. The most important
thing is to enjoy the game.

I hope my answer helps.

Best wishes,

Category:"How to Become a Stronger Go Player Part 10"
Title:Without the basic foundations, I don't think you could see a vital point!

Category:"How to Become a Stronger Go Player Part 10"
Title:Without the basic foundations, I don't think you could see a vital point!

Even though this page is in the category of
"How to Become a Stronger Go Player",
it relates to "Choosing books easy to understand is

Last time I said "At least it's worth trying easier problems."

In my experience everytime I give this advice
and my students try easier problems, they're
always surprised to know that there are
many problems they can't solve easily.

Interestingly after a while they feel more satisfied
with dealing with easier problems.

Like I said before, it feels like many iGo players
think it's better to struggle with difficult and
advanced problems.

That way, they feel as if they were improving.

But in actuality, I'm sorry to say that I hardly met
any iGo players making any progress...もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

Without the basic foundations, I don't think you could
see a vital point.

If you don't see a vital point, you're only
guessing some moves.

Guessing moves for a long time will not
get you anywhere.

When you see a problem, you should see some kind of
vital point in a few seconds.

If you see a problem and don't feel anything after
a minute or two minutes, then I'd say the problem
is way over your head.

On the other hand, if you keep trying easy problems
for a long time, please try a hard one once in a while.

You'd be surprised that you may very well see a
vital point in a flash.

You might have to read and check it if it's correct,
but you know you see something which you could never
see before.

That's almost like you are close to a quantum leap!

There are exceptions.

Those iGo players who are more than 4-dan or 5-dan levels.

It's because if you claim to be 4-dan or 5-dan iGo
players, I assume that you've already gotten
the basics down firmly...

In that case they could try a bit hard problems.

But I still recommend that they try easy problems.

(I must say in Japan many of the 4-dan and
5-dan players lack a lot of basics. But they could
claim to be 4-dan and 5-dan because they play
with each other who has very little basics
at their own local communities.

But, of course, they couldn't play with 4-dan and
5-dan players on KGS.)

Solving easy problems will help you improve concentration! Part 3

Solving easy problems will help you improve concentration! Part 3

Category:How to Become a Stronger iGo Player:Part 9

Title of this pgae:Solving easy problems will help you
improve concentration! Part 3

This is the continuation of this iGo blog page:

What I mean by "easy problems" is that it takes
a couple of second to solve problems.

It doesn't matter if it's life-and-death problems.
or tesuji problems, or opening problems.

I think taking two minutes or three minutes to solve
problems is suitable for you.

I think the most suitable ones are such as the
problems you could solve them in a few seconds.

If you repeatedly solve those problems for a couple
of months or a half year, you will not only improve your
concentration, but also find yourself in a better
position on KGS.

Or at least you see some vital points more easily
than a half years ago.

You may not win as many games as you wish.ふらふら

That happens often...

There are people who are good at winning and who are

(I might talk about this some other time. Today
this is off the subject, so I won't talk about
it much.)

Aside from that fact, if you improve your iGo with
concentration problems, then you may lose your winning game.

I've seen it so many times.

That is why it's important to improve your concentration.

Playing one game often takes a long time. So it's
always better to have concentration power.

So as long as you sustain your concentration
and improve your iGo, then eventually you should
find yourself winning more games... sooner or later.

It's just a matter of time.

Improving iGo (Weiqi, Baduk) takes a lot of time,

But those who study continuously eventually have a
quantum leap rather than a gradually becoming stronger.

BTW, if solving problems takes you more than 5 minutes to find the
answer, then you might have to think about dealing with
easier problems.

It's because you might lack some basic foundations.
So you might need to get yourself grounded in the basics.

At least it's worth trying easier problems.

To be continued…

Solving easy problems will help you improve concentration!

Solving easy problems will help you improve concentration!

The other day an Igo player emailed me and asked me
a question about why I recommend easy questions...

Before I explain that, for new comers, I should
let you know that this page is the continuation of
"How to Become a Stronger Go Player" category:

"How to Become a Stronger Go Player" category:
starts with this:

This page (http://kazsensei.seesaa.net/article/104834487.html)
is the last article of "How to Become a Stronger Go
Player" series

In "How to Become a Stronger Go Player" category,
I've asserted the 4 important factors to become a strong player:

1. You should build a strong foundation of go.

2. To do so, you have to do drills or study over and over again.

3. When you play a game, you should review it and try to
investigate it to understand what went wrong.

4. The continuation of your Go study or practice will lead to
be a stronger Igo (wéiqí, baduk) player.

I have to add one more.

5. You should improve your concentration.

If all things being equal, whoever has a short
attention span will be likely to lose a game.

It's because if she/he has a short attention span,
then she/he may very well make more mistakes than
the opponent does during a game.

So it's definitely better to improve concentration.

This also applies to your study as well.

If you can concentrate for a long period
of time, you could learn a lot from study.

If you have a short attention span, naturally you learn less.

( If you're falling in love黒ハート with somebody, then you may
have a short attention span, but it's a different problem...

Unfortunately, I'm not an expert on that, so I can't help you...もうやだ〜(悲しい顔) )

So in order to be a strong Go player, it's always
better to improve your concentration.

How do you do that?

Well, one way to improve your concentration is
to solve easy problems over and over again.


Well, it's because if you solve easy problems,
you could find answers easily.

If you could find answers easily, then you
could concentrate for a long time easily.

To be continued...

Please continue studying Igo (Weiqi, Baduk)

Please continue studying Igo (Weiqi, Baduk)

I just realize that there's one more important factor
to be a stronger Igo (Weiqi, Baduk) player.

On Aug. 11th, I said
"Repetition is the key to be a strong Go (Igo, Weiqi, Baduk) player!"

→ see http://kazsensei.seesaa.net/article/104571847.html

What I'm going to say here is kind of similar to that.

That is:


This is a Japanese proverb (not the Igo proverb, but
a proverb in general).

I've checked all my dictionaries and googled on the net,
but I can't find the translation for that.

So I'll just translate as:

ぴかぴか(新しい)"The continuation of your work will lead to have what it takes."ぴかぴか(新しい)

So let's put it as a Igo proverb. I'd say something like:

ぴかぴか(新しい)"The continuation of your work will lead to be a
stronger Igo (wéiqí, baduk) player."

Here "work" means study Igo, practice Igo, play games, etc.

(If there is anyone who could write a better English,
please do so. English is my second language, so I
can't write like native speakers... yet.)

To become a stronger Igo (Weiqi, Baduk) player, you should
continue your work.

Some of you might think, "Hey, come on! We know that!
Don't preach me!"

がく〜(落胆した顔)I'm sorry if I sound like I'm preaching.

But I must say in Japan I've seen many people who never
study Igo continuously.

They just try some problems. They start playing Igo all day.
They never look back the problems any more.

Mayber after a month, they might go back to the problems
just briefly.

But that's not enough to improve your Igo.

Some people say "Yeah, I know that. But I'm busy..."

Yes, we are all busy, working, taking care of a family,
having fun with friends.

But just making an excuse doesn't help you become a
better Igo (Weiqi, Baduk) player.

Pardon my strong words.ふらふら

If you have other priorities, that's fine. Igo is not the
most important thing for many people.

But if you're really eager to be a better Igo player,
you have to put your mind to it.

Then I just realize that there are some good words.

Rather than saying "continuation", maybe I should say
"persistence" or "perseverance".

Here is a proverb in Japan:

That is translated as:

ぴかぴか(新しい)"Perseverance wins in the end."ぴかぴか(新しい)

ぴかぴか(新しい)"Perseverance brings success."ぴかぴか(新しい)

Choose books you can understand easily.

Solve problems you can solve easily.

Find books which you can enjoying reading.

If you continue it, then after a half year or so, you may
see things more than ever.

More advice is coming...


After I wrote this blog, I checked many more dictionaries,
then found the better translations of 「継続は力」, which
is the following:

ぴかぴか(新しい)"Continuity is the father of success." ぴかぴか(新しい)
ぴかぴか(新しい)"Perseverance will accomplish all things."ぴかぴか(新しい)

So let me put it in a Go term:

"Continuity of learning Go is the father of success to be
a stronger Go player


"Perseverance to learn Go will accomplish to be a strong
Go player

What do you think? わーい(嬉しい顔)

The importance of recording Igo games!

The importance of recording Igo games!

This is the continuation of yesterday's Igo(wéiqí, baduk) blog.

In the West, many Igo players record their games.

I know it's very difficult to play and record a game.
So I admire western Igo players. 晴れ

So recording and playing a game at the same time is not
necessarily impossible.

But then in Japan some people in Japan make an excuse such as:
"If I play and record it, I often lose concentration." ふらふら

I agree.

But the more you record Igo games, the easier it becomes.

And more importantly, if you record a game, you can
review your game later and can learn from your mistakes

You can also ask your Igo teacher to give you advice.

After the correction, you can review your game.

But reviewing a game just once is not good enough.
You can easily forget.ちっ(怒った顔)

You should review your game over and over again.
That way, you will not have to make the same mistakes any more.

If recording is difficult, please try just 20 moves at first.

Even if you record just 20 moves, you may be surprised at
how much you can learn from it.

Then when you get used to recording, record more moves.

Little by little, you can increase the recording moves.

Great thing about recording is that even after a year,
you could review it again.

You can not remember everything; you may forget some things.

But as long as there is a recording sheet, you could
learn that again. If you review it, learning becomes
easier than the first time.

Often just reviewing a game by yourself is not easy.
You don't really see what's wrong.

So ideally you should ask your Igo teacher to tell you
what's wrong. ひらめき

If you learn what's wrong, then review that part and practice
it over and over again.

If you don't have an Igo teacher, you could find one on
KGS or IGS. Or you could go to the Go Congress and ask
questions there.

BTW, I taught Igo at this year's Go Congress in Portland, OR.
So I might go again and help you next year... If many people
ask the AGA to have Kaz come again.

Also it's good to ask different pros.

Each pro may answer differently since different pros have
different opinions and different styles.

You can stick with a move which is most suitable for you.

The good thing about recording is that even after a half year,
you can go back and review your games.

Many people say that recording helped me relearn things.

Some people also say "Oh, I find something which I couldn't
see at that time."

So recording helps you in many ways.

To be a stronger Go (Igo, Weiqi, Baduk) player, reviewing is crucial!

To be a stronger Go (Igo, Weiqi, Baduk) player, reviewing is crucial!

Now I’d like to explain No.3 in detail.

3. When you play a game, you should review it and try to
investigate what went wrong.

This is important especially when you lose a game.

But I think ideally you should do it whether or not you win
a game. You should be able to learn a lot.

In Japan I've seen many Go (Igo, Weiqi, Baduk) players at local Go-clubs
who just keep playing, playing, playing all day.ふらふら

They never review their games. がく〜(落胆した顔)

They never check their mistakes. ちっ(怒った顔)

Those people just keep making the same common amateur mistakes
over and over again.

They often say, "Oh, boy! Go is difficult to improve! I'm not
becoming a stronger at all."もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

Another thing is that they hardly read Go books.ふらふら

Next year, when I see their games, they still make the same
common amateur mistakes.

Again, they never review their games, but just keep playing games
all day.

Then, they say the same thing, "Oh, boy! Go is such a difficult
game. I'm not becoming a stronger at all. How can I become a
stronger Go player?"

They are right. I don't see any improvement.

If they don’t study, and if they ever learn from your mistakes,
how do they become strong?

They have time to play Go, but don't have time to review
their games?

I don't think so.

They also say "Well. I never remember the game. So I can't
review them."がく〜(落胆した顔)

Well, the truth is that they never think of recording their games.

If you make a mistake at work, you try not to make the same mistake, right?
If you keep making the same mistakes repeatedly, you might lose your job.

In my case, I always write down not only my mistakes, but also
how to prevent any further mistakes. I try to improve my work.

So I think most people try something to stop their mistakes.

To become a stronger Go (wéiqí, baduk) player, you should do the same thing.

To be continued...

Repetition is the key to be a strong Go(wéiqí, baduk) player!

Repetition is the key to be a strong Go(wéiqí, baduk) player!

Last time in this Go(weiqi, baduk) blog I said something like:

When children learn math, they have to solve problems
over and over again.

Adults should do the same thing if you want to be a stronger
Go(wéiqí, baduk) player or a better Go player.

And adults need to practice
repeatedly even more than children.

Only then, are you going to apply the things you've learned to
other situations!

(Actually applying something is rather difficult. In order to
be able to apply more easily, I've come up with many problem sets in
this website http://www.kazsensei.com/ available in Sept.)

But you might complain:

"Come on! Give me a break! I got to work every day.
I have a family to take care of. I also like to play
Go(wéiqí, baduk) games on weekends. I don't have time
to practice repeatedly."ちっ(怒った顔)

Yes, I understand that.

If you say so, I suggest the following:

Before you play a game. please try to practice the most important
things, which you have learned recently.

Just going over the important thing for just 5 minutes is not so
difficult, is it?

Suppose you do that every weekend.

Suppose you continue to do so for 3 months or even longer.

If you keep doing it for a year, that will make a big difference.

It's just a matter of whether you do it or not.

After a year, you play with your old Go(wéiqí, baduk) friend,
and then realize that "Wow! I think I can play better than your friend."グッド(上向き矢印)

Keep in mind I say "play better". I don't say
"you will win".

"Learning basic things" does not immediately lead you to
winning many games.

(Eventually it should.)

You might win or lose.

Sometimes, it's possible to lose many games, especially
if you hit a slump.

But playing a good game is important.

The content is the most important thing.

It's always possible to lose a wonderful game.

In fact, you could lose your wonderful game with
just one blunder at the very end of the game.

That happened to me all the time.

That happens to everyone.

Even in top professional games, that happens.がく〜(落胆した顔)

(It's because they're humans, too!)

But as long as you keep playing good games with
good moves, the possibilities of becoming
a strong Go player or a better Go play, are high.

And when you become a strong Go player,
you should be able to win more games.わーい(嬉しい顔)


If you keep practicing good shapes, tesuji,
techniques, if you repeat that for a while,
they will become part of you.

And you may not win many games immediately,
but sooner or later, you should have more winning

Then you will become a strong Go(wéiqí, baduk) player!

To be a strong Go (Igo, Weiqi, Baduk) player, is learning basics necessary?

To be a strong Go (Igo, Weiqi, Baduk) player, is learning basics necessary?

Again I'd like to talk about it the following a little more:

2. To become a strong Go (Igo, Weiqu, Baduk)player,
you have to do Go drills of go problems
over and over again.

The reason is that it's so important in order to become a
better Go player.

There are Go problem sets in Japan,
which are translated into English.

They have good problems. But many go problems are not related.

I've found that it's better to solve many
Go problems which are related.
That way you can learn one concept, or tesuji, or shape, or
life-and-death more quickly.

But like I said, Go books in Japan don't have many related problems.

So I started making my own Go problem sets.わーい(嬉しい顔)

Fortunately, they have been well-received by my Igo students in Japan so far.ぴかぴか(新しい)

So eventually I'd like to introduce them on my
website(http://www.kazsensei.com/ ).

BTW, some people don't like to solve Igo
problems or read Go books
... at least in Japan.

They think it's boring to do so. For them it's far more
interesting to play Go games.

In fact, in Japan a majority of people love to play Go without
studying Go.

Sadly, many of them don't even pay
attention to basic shapes and tesuji.

And often they love to kill stones... がく〜(落胆した顔)

They are only interested in killing stones and win a game
in their local Go clubs.もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

(From my point of views, they just love to abuse kyu players...
That's why Japanese Go (wéiqí, baduk) population has been
decreasing... That's part of the reasons, perhaps.)

I am sorry for those weak Go players whose stones are constantly
killed without realling learning any basics.もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

I am also sorry for those killers who will never become
stronger Go players... ちっ(怒った顔)

Just killing weak players stones will make
no one stronger.

They just keep building their bad habits... bad habits of
common amateur mistakes.もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)


Maybe that's fine.

I have no problem with that as long as
they just want to enjoy playing Go with their own small
circle of community without teaching that to anybody.

But if you want to become strong and appreciate the meanning of
Go moves, then you should learn basics.

Reading Igo books and solving Go problems may not be fun,
but to become a better go player, you can't avoid learning

For example, if you want to learn math, I bet many children
solve many problem sets over and over again.

At least that's what I did when I was a child.

Children have a wonderful memory and a learn ability.わーい(嬉しい顔)

But still they have to solve the math problems over and over again.ひらめき

Not once. At least several times.

The game of Igo (Weiqu, Baduk)is the same thing.

To become a strong go player, "repetition" is the key.

To become a strong go player, "repetition" is the key.

Last time in my Go (wéiqí, baduk)lesson I said:

2. To become a strong Go (wéiqí, baduk)player,
you have to do Go drills of go problems
over and over again.

But you might not have Go-problem drills.

In that case, you read good Go-books
which teach basics of go.

But just reading good go-book is not good enough.

You have to read it and put the stones on the Go board over
and over again to make the
basic shapes ingraied into your mind.

For five dan players, you don't have to put the stones on
the go board. Just reading is good enough to remember it.

If you're a three-dan child, then you also don't have to
put stones on the Go board.

Usually children have an excellent memory and amazingly wonderful
understanding ability, which adults could never grasp.

So adults can not do the same thing as children learn...

BTW, that's why my teaching style towards adults is completely
different from my teaching style towards kids.

Let me go back to my second point and emphasize it:

2. To become a strong Go (wéiqí, baduk)player,
you have to do Go drills of go problems
over and over again.

The important thing is to practice the same thing over and over again.

"Repetition" is the key.

This is so important that I have to talk about it
again later.

If you don't learn basic foundations, what's going to happen?

If you never learn basics and develop your own way,
sooner or later, you just keep playing common amateur mistakes.
Once your common amateur mistakes become a habit of yours,
it's very difficult to get out of it.

How difficult is it?

Well, I'd say that it's as difficult as trying to stop smoking.

Playing common mistakes usually becomes so ingrained that you
have such a hard time getting out of it.

In Japan I'd say that a majority of amateur Go players never
pay attention to basics, so they keep making common mistakes
throughout their games.

The problem is that everybody makes the same mistakes.

Because everybody does it, common amateur mistakes often
work out really well, especially against weak players.

You know that weak players don't know how to take advantage of
common mistakes.

But common mistakes will never work strongers players with
a solid foundation of go.

If they play with a professional, common amateur mistakes
will be misrable. They will crash your stones... literally.

Your black stones will be shattered into pieces on the Go board.もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

I'll talk about it more.

There are three conditions to be a stronger go player

There are three conditions to be a stronger go player

わーい(嬉しい顔)First I'd like to thank those who have visited this blog.わーい(嬉しい顔)

Even though I started a go blog (http://kazgo.seesaa.net/ ) at the
beginning of this year, I got too busy and had to suspend it.

I also had a problem with that blog.

I was out of focus.

I wrote it both in Japanese and in English, trying to please
so many people. But the blog was so out of focus, I don't think
that the blog was helping anybody much. もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

In this blog, I'll strictly focus on English speaking go players.わーい(嬉しい顔)

No Japanese.

And I'll try to write things useful to go players to be strong
most of the time.

This is a first page.

I'd like to get right to the point:

Can you think about it before you read the following?

I believe that there are three conditions to be a stronger go player.

1. You should build a strong foundation of go.ひらめき

2. To do so, you have to do drills over and over again.晴れ

3. When you play a game, you should review it and try to
investigate it to understand what went wrong.

Ideally if you have a good go teacher, ask him/her to review
your games.

I can talk about those 3 conditions in detail later.

But before I do that, I'd like to talk about a common myth
(or common mistaken thought) in Japan.

Many amateur players, who are somewhere around 4 dan, 5 dan,
and 6 dan, give weak players advice on how to become strong:

"Play as many go games as possible! If you don't play, you can
never become strong."

I can refute that argument in many ways.

First and foremost, without having a strong foundation of go,
you can never become a strong go player.

In fact, If you never study basics and keep playing
games, you only develop your own way of playing a game.

We call it もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)"jiko-ryu (自己流)".もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

I checked many of my dictionaries, but I don't think there's a
good English word to translate.

Think about how scary もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)"jiko-ryu (自己流)".もうやだ〜(悲しい顔) is like the following.

When you go abroad, you have to take an airplane, right?
The pilots have been trained to fly.

They were trained in a proper way to fly.

They didn't come up with their own flying style. They had to
learn a basic way of flying, right?

Would you like to fly an airplane, in which pilots have never been proprely trained to fly?

Or would you like to fly an airplane, in which pilots have been
well trained for many months?

What about a condo?

Suppose there are two condos, Condo A and Condo B.

Condo A is built by Construction Company A, whose workers have
never been properly learned how to build a condo. They are just
trying what they think is the best way to build it.

Condo B is built by Construction Company B, whose workers have
properly learned and experienced how to build a condo with strong

The foundation of the condo is so strong that even a big
earthquake could not shake the condo.

So which condo would you like to live in?

I think the answer is clear.