Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk. Kaz's original Igo-advice & fundamentals of Igo: Solving easy igo problems repeatedly helps you get the fundamentals of iGo!

If you think my problems are too easy, I need to explain why I give easy problems.

If you think my problems are too easy, I need to explain why I give easy problems.

Those Go players who are very passionate and eager to learn new things tend to rush to try hard probems, often over their heads. Or some of them overlook the importance of solving easy problems. Many of them think they know that stuff (some of them did say “I know this, so I don’t need them. Give me something more worthwhile” ), so they think that solving easy problems is a waste of time, and they try to solve hard problems.

So some people think that some of my problems are too easy and dissatisfactory. I hope you don’t feel that way. But if you do, then I’d like to explain why I do that.

First it takes time to learn new things.

Learning one tesuji can often take a month. “I know this problem” is not good enough. You have to be able to do that in your real game regardless of how complicated a situation is. Even if you’re drunk, you should be able to play that without thinking. (I’m not suggesting that you should get drunk and play Go. You shouldn’t. ) If you didn’t play that in my lesson or in your game, that means you lack basics. If you think my problems are easy, I have to ask you to be patient. If you cannot patiently solve easy problems, you will not be able to solve harder problems. I could give you a 6dan problem relating to a tesuji, but you won’t learn it because of the following reason.

Second you have to learn things step by step.

I know most Go teachers teach 6dan tesuji or pro level tesuji to kyu players, even 15 kyu or 20 kyu players. But that’s not a good way to teach. In fact, it’s impossible to learn a 6dan tesuji and to be able to play 6dan moves continously without learning 4 kyu tesuji, 1 dan tesuji, 3 dan tesuji, and 5 dan tesuji. You have to learn these things step by step. You also improve the ability to read many moves.

If you’re a 6dan, I expect you to learn at least 20 moves easily. I also expect you to know lots of 6dan tesuji and shapes. If you cannot read 20 moves easily, and if you do not know 6dan tesuji and shapes, you cannot see a danger ahead of you. Then it’s really dangerous to try a 6dan tesuji. It’s like flying a jumbo jet even though you just started learning how to fly..

I explained the importance of learning things step by step on my blog; http://kazsensei.seesaa.net/article/396285189.html

The other day, I was commenting on a 4dan student in his mid-20s, who started playing Go at the age of 16. He is much, much stronger than most of my Go students. But he made some mistakes about not hitting the head of the two stones. He knows “hitting the head of the two stones”, and he knows how important this tesuji is. Yet, he couldn’t see them in two of his games in the middle of a game. In the first game a situation was rather simple, and in the second game a situation was very complicated.

People often don’t see an important tesuji especially when there are many stones and things are very complicated. Even if you’re a 4 dan or a 5dan players, it’s still not easy.


Answer: They haven’t practiced basic problems a lot.

How are they able to see that?

Answer: Learning basic problems once or twice is not good enough You have to solve them repeatedly with regard to that tesuji. Then they can try harder problems and solve them repeatedly.

( I sometimes suggest an opening in which that tesuji comes up often. But this doesn’t work for all tesuji. But the fact is that the more he plays that tesuji in a real game, the more easily the tesuji will become part of him. )

Only then will they recognize a particular tesuji even in a complicated situation.

I can present a 6dan tesuji, for example a 6dan Indiana Jones tesuji, but that will only be harmful to you. So I won’t do that.

The good news is that you don't have to learn 4dan or 6dan tesuji if you want to become a 1dan or 2dan.

Studying tesuji is far more important than joseki

Studying tesuji is far more important than joseki

More and more I'm convinced that one of the most effective ways to study Go is to learn tesuji than joseki. I’m sure I have already reiterated some advice before, but many of them are new.

(I'm not saying that learning joseki doesn't help you. It does help you become strong. But I believe it's better to spend more time on learning tesuji than joseki, and I'm giving the reasons below. )

1. Learning tesuji helps you not only in the opening, but also the middle game as well as the endgame.

2. Some joseki variations become out of date, but tesuji never gets old or uncommon.

3. One of the hardest things to learn about Go is the shortage of liberties especially for adults. Often adults lose a winning game because the shortage of liberties often makes you lose stones.

Tesuji problems often contain a lot of shortage of liberty problems. So the more you learn tesuji, the more likely that you will be able to spot that.

4. When you learn tesuji, you not only learn tesuji, but also learn good shapes. It's always good to make good shapes than bad shapes, so you can fight better.

5. The more you know tesuji and good shapes, the more you can understand the meaning of joseki moves. But just memorizing joseki will not make you understand tesuji and good shapes, especially for adults.

It’s partly because many joseki variations contain 5dan, 6dan, or 7dan tesujis. If you’re a kyu player, when do you expect to understand 5dan, 6dan, and 7dan tesujis and learn them

Keep in mind that all pros were talented when they were children and easily memorized hundreds of josekis as a children. They also got from a kyu player to 1dan and then 7dan within a year or two years. So all the joseki moves would make sense quickly. But this doesn’t happen to adults.

For adutls, it’s much better to understand the meaning of each joseki move so that you can remember joseki moves more easily. To do so, learning tesuji is probably the best way. Also I think for most people it’s more fun to understand the meaning of moves than pure memorization.

I’ve taught hundreds of adult kyu players and helped them learn long, complicated joseki variations. But they will eventually forget them if they don’t keep playing it. Pure memorization doesn’t work for adult kyu playres.

Moreover, some joseki variations contain exception moves, which can be bad in ordinary situations.

For example the Chinese opening has many exception moves rather than basic moves. So I don’t like to recommend it to the people who haven’t solidified the basic foundations. Unfortunately joseki books don’t explain which moves are exceptions and why.

6. The more you know tesuji, the more you are able to respond correctly to new joseki moves and an opponent's incorrect joseki moves. I’d like to explain this further.

You can't learn thousands of josekis as well as all new josekis. New josekis come out everyday, especially in South Korea and China, and even Japanese top pros can't keep up with everything.

Moreover, regardless of how many josekis you memorize, you always meet an opponent’s moves deviating from a correct joseki move. (Keep in mind that not everyone studies joseki extensively.) When that happen, your joseki knowledge no longer helps you. What helps you is the knowledge of tesuji, which also helps you find good shape as I’ve already stated.

This is why I’d like to recommend that you learn tesuji more than joseki.

The proof of "solvingt easy problems repeatedly" will help you improve your iGo! Part II

The proof of "solvingt easy problems repeatedly" will help you improve your iGo! Part II

(I'm sorry if my blog has become rather difficult to read
in terms of the titles and categories...ふらふら I'll work on it
to make it easier to read...

Thank you for your understanding and patient.)

Mr. Kageyama reported this fact to other schools, which
also tried that. And the average math scores of
those schools have also been improving dramatically.ひらめき

They have never seen such dramatic improvements before.グッド(上向き矢印)

Another good result was that children's concentration level

And the kids enjoyed it!!!わーい(嬉しい顔)

(Unfortunately, many Japanese teachers just talk
and discuss and never try these things, according to
Professor Kageyama.

I'm sorry for some of the Japanese children...)

The source was from the following article:

日本経済新聞(Nikkei Newspaper), 2008.9.13., page s15.
Title: 子供と伸びる (Grow with Children)
Subtitle: 方法より結果重視を (The result is more important
than the method)

written by 陰山 英男(Hideo Kageyama), 立命館大学教授( a professor at Ritsumeikan University)

If you enjoy something, you can learn it quickly, right?

Many iGo players in Japan tell me "Well, kids have a
great memory, and I'm an adult, so I can't improve
my Go any more."

But the fact is that they never study, nor do they
try this kind of method.

Even children who had showed very poor math scores,
did prove that solving very easy math problems would
help them improve their scores.

Why not adults try that?

Like I said before, just trying doesn't cost you anything.

Like I said, it's better to improve concentration.

So please try solving easy iGo problems over and
over again to see how much you enjoy it.

At least building a strong foundation of Go will not
harm you.

So I don't think you're going to waste your time.

The proof of "solvingt easy problems repeatedly" will help you improve your iGo! Part I

The proof of "solvingt easy problems repeatedly" will help you improve your iGo! Part I

Category:Solving many easy igo problems repeatedly helps you get the fundamentals of iGo!

I read an interesting articleひらめき on Nikkei Newspaper, Japan's
Wall Street Journal.

This proves my point of doing easy problems over and over

(I have other proofs, but today I'll just present this.)

The article is written by a Japanese famous college professor
and school teacher, Kageyama Hideo, who has been struggling
to improve educational levels of Japanese children.

Mr. Kageyama was an elementary school teacher for a long
time, but now is a professor at Ritsumeikan University.

(His name is Mr. Kageyama, but he has no relations to
the late Kageyama Toshiro professional, a famous author
of "The Fundamentals of Go"

In case you don't know the book, I put the link on the left
column from the top of the 6 rows to the 10 rows.)

In Japan a number of children who lack basic education
are increasing dramatically for many years, especially
for the past 10 years.

They lack basic math, basic Japanese language skills such as kanji (Chinese characters), other basic subject matters.

Japan's educational system has been collapsing.ちっ(怒った顔)

(I was one of them... I never went to high school...)もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

Now the Japanese children have been showing one of the lowest
scores among the western or industrialized countries
in average for many years.

(There are always extremely brilliant kids in Japan.
But I'm talking about the average scores.)

When Mr. Kageyama was a teacher in elementary school, he was
often extremely busy.

In Japan we have much fewer teachers than most western
schools.ふらふら So teachers get busy easily.

(I didn't know this fact until recently.)

Despite the difficult situation, Mr. Kageyama was
doing really well, making his children
improving their average math scores.

How did he do that?

He gave the children very easy math problems for many months.

One day it was one of the busiest times of the year, and
he didn't have time to make math problems at all.

Regretfully, he just made a lot of copies
from old math problems, thinking that "this lazy way
will not give my students improve their math..."

He felt guilty, but he had no choice, but kept giving his children those math problems for a while.

To his surprise, the average math scores of his
class made a quantum leap in a very short period
of time.

To be continued...

Learning Igo (Wei Chi, Baduk) and teaching Igo have a similarity: Part II

Learning Igo (Wei Chi, Baduk) and teaching Igo have a similarity: Part II

Yesterday the point I was trying to make was that
both Igo players and Kaz as a Igo teacher need to
face the fact that we may know less than we think.exclamation

In my case if I'm satisfied with my teaching, and
if I think I already know how to teach Igo very
well, then I feel like I stop thinking about
improving my teaching.

It's better for me to think that I still have to
learn how to teach from my Igo students.

Only then, will I try to keep improving my teaching.

Now I should go back to giving advice!

So here I repeat my advice for adult Igo players again
since I strongly believe the following advice is very important
for Igo players.

ぴかぴか(新しい)"You should choose Go books you can understand easily.ぴかぴか(新しい)

ぴかぴか(新しい) You should try Go problems you can solve easily.ぴかぴか(新しい)

ぴかぴか(新しい) Easy life-and-death problems good enough to make you a one-dan.ぴかぴか(新しい)

ぴかぴか(新しい) You should find Go books which you can enjoy reading."

The key to finding good books is to look for books
which are easy for you to understand as well as exciting
for you to read.

If you have a vague understanding, then it's not the right
level for you.

If you get excited with the book, the level may very well
be right for you.

At least it's not at all wasting your time and money.

Those books are helping you strengthen your bases to build
a five-storied building in the future.

The more you read, the stronger your bases become,
the more you're ready to read more advanced books in
the near future.

When it comes to life-and-death problems, you should be
very careful!

Many people try very advanced problems.

And many people hardly ever study life-and-death problems.
That means that it's one of their weakest points.

That means they should choose easy life-and-death problem

I often say "If solving a life-and-death problem takes
more than 3 minutes, it may be way advanced for you."

Then you should find easier life-and-death problem

Even if you can find the answer in a flash, if you keep
solving the problems over and over again, this practice
definitely helps you a lot.

That's how Ryokusei-Igo-Gakuen students studied.

And Mr. Yamashita, who used to have the Kisei title,
studied at Ryokusei-Igo-Gakuen.

In fact I was once a student of

Learning Igo (Wei Chi, Baduk) and teaching Igo have a similarity: Part I

Learning Igo (Wei Chi, Baduk) and teaching Igo have a similarity: Part I

Until yesterday I talked about this: In Japan some
kyu players try to act like they are dan players.

For them, pretending to be a dan player is more
important than becoming a strong Go player.

Not-to-look-bad is maybe more important.がく〜(落胆した顔)

Or perhaps they think if they keep pretending a
dan Go player, they might actually become a
one-dan someday.

Anyway, pretending doesn't make you a dan Go player. ふらふら

If you are only interested in enjoying the game of Go,
then that's fine.

I don't have any problem with that.

After all Go is just a hobby or a recreation for many people, so
as long as they enjoy playing Go, I think that's wonderful!

But if you really want to become a better player, and
if you happen to have a tendency to read dan-level
books or attend dan-level lectures, and
if you have trouble improving your Go, then I have
a suggestion.

That is to admit that you lack basic foundations.

If you're a kyu player, you should learn basics
as much as possible.

Just doing so will get you to the one-dan level, at least.

You don't have to read difficult books or hard-to-understand
life-and-death problems.

Just trying easy books and easy life-and-death problems
will be enough to get you to a dan level Go player.グッド(上向き矢印)

Also there are some people who think they know a lot.

But in actuality some people may know less than they think.

So they also read difficult dan-level books.

But they don't seem to be improving Go over the years.

Unless they recognize the fact that they know not much about Go,
they might not be able to improve Go.

In fact, that applies to me, too.

I've been teaching Go for many years.

At first I didn't know that teaching Go was such a difficult

But the more I teach, the more I realize how little I knew
about teaching Go.

For example, about 3 years ago, I thought I knew a lot
about common amateur mistakes and about how to fix the

But a year passed, and then I realized that I still didn't
know of so many common amateur mistakes and of how to fix them.

Then another year passed. Again I realized that I still
had a long way to learn about more of common amateur
mistakes and about having good problem sets.

So every year I realize how little I knew in the past.

It seems endless to realize the fact.

To be continued...がく〜(落胆した顔)

Reading easy books can get you to one-dan!

Reading easy books can get you to one-dan!

This is the contination of yesterday's Go blog!

But most adults are neither supre geninus, nor children.

So it makes more sense to learn step by step.ひらめき

To do so, the following advice becomes important:

ぴかぴか(新しい)"You should choose Go books you can understand easily.ぴかぴか(新しい)

ぴかぴか(新しい) You should try Go problems you can solve easily.ぴかぴか(新しい)

ぴかぴか(新しい) You should find Go books which you can enjoying reading."

I'd like to add one more thing:

ぴかぴか(新しい) Easy life-and-death problems good enough to make
you a one-dan.

Only then, are you able to build strong basic foundations. exclamation

Only then, are you able to start building a five-storied building.exclamation×2

BTW, there's more problem... at least in Japan.

That is...

For some people in Japan, especially people in Tokyo,
it's important to look great.

I'm sorry to say, but in Tokyo many dan players look down
on kyu players and treat them really badly.もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

(In general Tokyo is a status-oriented society. Most people
try to rely on some kind of status. Otherwise, people look down
on you. Sorry that I deviated from the main topic.)

In Tokyo in order not to look bad, many kyu players pretend
that they are one-dan or two-dan players.

They always play games as a dan player at a local Go club.
But of course, they lose most of their games.もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

They also try to read 3-dan books or 4-dan books.がく〜(落胆した顔)

But it doesn't look like they really understant that.

When I see their games, it's obvious that they don't have a
good understanding.

Here's an extreme example...

I've seen a 7-kyu player who always try to solve 6-dan
life-and-death problems.

He looked so happy when he solved some of the problems.

But when I played with him, he couldn't really understand
or couldn't see the false eye...

Even after I pointed to the false eye, it took him a
long time to recognize it and grasp the situation.

Guessing a correct answer accidently is not the same as
understanding the answer.

Why is choosing books easy to understand important?

Why is choosing books easy to understand important?

At the end of yesterday's blog, I said something like:

"You should choose Go books you can understand easily.

You should try Go problems you can solve easily.

You should find Go books which you can enjoying reading."

I don't know how many of the adult readers felt something about my
last three sentences.

To be honest, those sentences are really important for adult
Go players.

Surprisingly many people try books which are very difficult to

Many of them try difficult life-and-death problem books.

Those books are often way ahead of their levels.

I've found those Go players not only in Japan, but also
in the West.

Especially those who think "I already know basic stuff, so
I don't need to read fundamental stuff" tend to read
difficult books.

But in my experience those people often lack basics of Igo
(wéiqí, baduk).

Sometimes they lack a lot of basic stuff.もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

Go is such a profound game that it takes adults a lot of
time to really learn all the basic and fundamental concepts,
tesuji, shape, and everything.

I think there's a myth that reading advanced books makes
people stronger.

So people tend to buy books, way advanced than their leves.

They try to read them. But after a while, they realize that
they don't quite understand the books. So they stop reading them.

Well, may I ask you a question?

Is it possible to build a five-storied building without
a basement (or a basic foundation)? Or without the first floor?

Well, some peole are super genius. So they might be able to do it.

But not me.

I'm a kind of a guy who has to try something over and over again
to learn something. So I need to practice a lot.

Some children are genius, so they could grasp the concepts

Children tend to learn things so fast, much faster than
adults could even imagine.

But I assume that many adults are neither super genius,
nor children.

So it makes more sense to learn step by step, just like
building a building step my step.

To be continued...