Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk. Kaz's original Igo-advice & fundamentals of Igo: The US Go Congress in the Summer 2008

Category:The US Go Congress in the Summer 2008:Part 12
Title:How Kaz teach Igo group lessons in Japan, part4

Category:The US Go Congress in the Summer 2008:Part 12
Title:How Kaz teach Igo group lessons in Japan, part4

Since then, my teaching always included a lecture and
a simul.

But that’s not the end of the story.

My teaching even improved more after that…グッド(上向き矢印)

Well, I had to. I’ll tell you why.

During the simul, I always record all the games...

I often give group lessons, most of which are three
people as one group.

(At an iGo school every week I played 18 simuls or 20
simuls every week, which always drove me crazy...

Once I played a 25 simuls...

Well, I once did 30 simuls in Portland, Oregon. It was not too
difficult to play with those go players at the same time. All I needed was just playing.

In fact anybody could do this kind of simuls if you start
playing Go as a child and keep studying intensively.

So playing simuls is no problem for me.

What made me difficult was the following:

At this school, I not only played simuls, but also gave
advice and record all the games at the same time.

I ran all the time, to record all the games, gave advice to all
the students, answered all the questions, and showed variations
if necessary during a simuls...

After the games, I wrote down all comments and advice... I was
always exhausted... がく〜(落胆した顔)

I continued this teaching for many years...

But after a while, I got soooo tired and quit that iGo
school. ダッシュ(走り出すさま)

Instead I started teaching three iGo students as one
group. That was much easier to teach. And I could remember
their common mistakes much more easily! わーい(嬉しい顔) So I could
teach them much better!

Most of them like my even game teaching style, so
we play an even game.

Most of them like my style of giving advice in the
middle of the game, so I give advice whenever I feel
I should.

And we have a limited time, we can never finish a game.

A game often goes somewhere between 50 moves to 80
moves, depending on how quickly they play.

But that's okay. It's a teaching game.

Some people like to learn the middle game and the
end game, so we continue the game that we had played
a week ago.

After the simul, I start writing down my comments
on my recording sheets.

I write down their common mistakes, my advice,
and some variations on the sheets.

It usually takes me about 40 minutes to write all
the comments for three people. (Having three students
is nice... 15 students is very tough!がく〜(落胆した顔))

During that time, my students just take a rest
or read Go books or review the game.

Some people start playing a game.

In fact, I continued this way of teaching for a while.

But one day some of my students say:

"Well, I've attended your lessons for a year.
I had heard that you were a very good Go teacher.
But I never become strong. I'm not learning any.

So I quit."

Sadly, they did quit.もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

To be continued...

Category: "The US Go Congress in the Summer 2008:Part 11"
Title:"How Kaz teach Igo group lessons in Japan, part 3"

Category: "The US Go Congress in the Summer 2008:Part 11"
Title:"How Kaz teach Igo group lessons in Japan, part 3"

(In fact I realize that what I've been writing is
clearly deviating from the US Go Congress. But I
assure you that this will relate to that!

So please bear with me a little bit longer. Thanks!)


I was dissatisfied with my iGo students

At first I criticized them like:
"Okay. you people don't review enough. That's
why you couldn't become strong!"

I always told them to review my lessons.

Some of them did review lessons, but they still didn't
improve their Go...

One day I realized that somehow my teaching was
not good enough...

Or at least I should improve my teaching...

I reflected my own teaching and thought about
any other ways of teaching...

I told myself:
"How can I improve it? Think, Kaz! Think!"

Then I realized that after a lecture, ideally my
students use the lesson immediately, which they had just
learned a few minutes ago.

Usually Go players can learn from their own games
far more easily than just watching a lecture.

Moreover, when iGo players make a mistake in their own games,
it's far easier to remember than other Go players' mistakes.

Thus, the combination of my lecture and my simul
would make my iGo students get someone grounded in
my teaching.

In addition, they might get excited to learn more,
so they might review not only the lesson, but also
the game with me more enjoyably.

But how can I make my iGo students apply a lesson
in my simul...

Everybody plays a game differently...

Then I reached the conclusion that I'd have to play in
such a way to create the situation in which
my students were forced to use my lesson.

Of course, it was not at all easy for me to create such
a situation at first.

It took me a while to figure it out.

Now my students always apply my lesson in my simul
right after the lesson.

They loved it!

To be continued...

How Kaz teach Igo group lessons in Japan, part 2

How Kaz teach Igo group lessons in Japan, part 2

The US Go Congress in the Summer 2008:Part 10

This is the continuation of this iGo ( Weiqi, Baduk ) blog page:

After the lecture, I played a simul with some of my
iGo students..

Some people played with other Go players.

In fact, many Go classes in Japan always follow this
style for many, many years.

It's like a custom.

So I did the same thing for some years. ふらふら

After the simultaneous games with me, some of the
Go players played with other Go players.

That's okay to have fun, but they can easily
forget what they had learned an hour ago...

After that, they went home.ダッシュ(走り出すさま)

In Tokyo some of them had to spend more than an hour
to go home from downtown Tokyo.

It's not uncommon to take that long commute in Tokyo.

When they went home, they had a family to
chat with.

That's nice...

They had dinner with their family.

That's necessary...

After that, they took a bath... In Japan people take a
bath at night.

(I only take a shower in the morning ever since I went to
college in the States..,. I love it!わーい(嬉しい顔))

After that, they are tired and go to bed.

Or they watch TV...

Well, I do that, too... ちっ(怒った顔)

Anyway, many of my Go students felt satisfied with
just attending a lesson and playing games...

But many of them never reviewed my lessons.

So naturally many of them forgot what they had learned.

Then next week they attended my Go lesson,
and repeat the same mistake.

They didn't have a chance to review my iGo lesson. がく〜(落胆した顔)

Instead, they played with me and other Go players for
a few hours, and then went home and never find the
time to review.

They continued this way of learning for a half
year or a year.

Then they say: "Well, I've attended your lessons
for a year. I had heard that you were a very good Go teacher.
But I never become strong. I'm not learning any.

So I quit."

Sadly, they did quit.もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

To be continued...

How Kaz teach Igo group lessons in Japan, part I

How Kaz teach Igo group lessons in Japan, part I


The number of viewers is decreasing...ふらふら

So maybe I'll alternate...

Tomorrow I'll state "Go advice" and tomorrow I'll continue
the U.S. Go Congress...ひらめき

How do you like it?


When I teach a group of Igo players in Japan,
I always have a lecture first, and then play a simul
right after that.

In my lecture, my Igo students learn tesuji, shape,
strategy, etc.

Usually my lectures last 50 minutes or an hour.

When I play a simul, I create a game in such a
way that my students have a chance to use tesuji,
shape, strategy, or which they just learned 5 minutes ago.

If they don't recognize the lecture in the game, then I'll
just tell them that "Did you learn this just a little while

Then they say "Oh, I see. This is what I just learned.
Now I understand how you can use it in a real game."

So my first teaching style was to play a simul or give a
lecture separately.

But then I started two step Go teaching style:

1 I offer a lecture.ぴかぴか(新しい)

2 My students play a game with me and has to
use today's lecture.ぴかぴか(新しい)

In my experience just looking at a lecture is not good
enough to learn.

You should at least go over it.

But one day I realized that it was not good enough.

If you have a chance to use it in your own game, you
have a much better understanding.

It's because every situation is different, and applying
a lesson to a real game is one of the hardest for
adult Go players.

Ideally if you have a chance to play it right after
the lecture, you still have a vivid memory, so
it's not so difficult to apply to their games.

I've found that the combination of a lecture and
a simul at the same time is a very effective way to

My students learn it twice, so they have a good
understanding and remember the teaching better
and a longer time.

The reason I started this teaching was that in my
experience many of my Igo students don't go over
the lessons.

To be continued...

This simul is not the same! So it's not so effective!

This simul is not the same! So it's not so effective!

I was re-reading my Go blog and found some English
mistakes and hard-to-understand sentences
as this page:


So I've corrected them. Now you can get it… I hope.

Since this is a blog, I'm not extremely careful.

I don’t have to hand in this blog to my professors.

When I went to Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, I
proofread my papers at least 5 times and found so many mistakes.

Despite my poor English with some grammatical mistakes,
I could argue well on my paper, so I got very good grades
throughout college.

(I must say it was extremely tiring; I had to spend time
always 5 times more than most American students spent
on reading and writing papers because my English was
extremely poor at the time.ふらふら

So I stayed 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning and woke up
6:00 or 7:00 in the morning throughout my college and a
language school.もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

But because of that, my English is rather readable now,
I hope…)

English is my second language, so I know I make many mistakes
especially when I don’t proofread well.

I’m sorry that on this blog, I'm not terribly careful since
no professors are going to read this and give me grades. :)

But if I write sloppy blog everyday, most Go players may not
come back here any more...がく〜(落胆した顔)

So I'll try to proofread my blog more often.

Thank you for your understanding...


Sorry that I've deviated from my main topic!

Now I should go back to the U.S. Go Congress.

On the third day I played a simul with 14 Go players.

I played a simul with 30 Go players in the past, so it was not
a problem for me.

At the beginning of my simul, I explained my teaching simul

At first everybody looked puzzled. exclamation&question

But they played an even game with curiosity on their
faces. Some Go players took White.

One child wanted to play a 5-stone handicap game, and he
didn't like to receive any advice during the game, either.

So I let him play freely.わーい(嬉しい顔)

Many of the Go players seemed to like my teaching style.

But soon I realized that it was not the same as I usually

Thus, I knew that this simul was not going to be as
effective as my ordinary Go class.

The reason is…

To be continued...

The reason I give Igo advice during my teaching game...

The reason I give Igo advice during my teaching game...

This is the continuation of yesterday's Igo (Weiqi, Baduk) blog.

But many of my students told me that they couldn't
remember what they thought during their games.がく〜(落胆した顔)

At first I was surprised...ちっ(怒った顔)

It was because it was natural for me to remember
all the moves...

Well, most of my students were in their 60s and 70s.

Some of them were in their 30s and 40s.

Later I've learned that unless Go players learn
Igo as a teenager, it's very difficult to
remember their moves after the game.ふらふら

Moreover, the more I listened to my students, the more
I realized what they wanted or needed in the teaching.

So one day I started asking my students about
whether I could give Go advice during the teaching

They loved it!ひらめき

Most of them said, "Receiving advice during the game
was much better than advice after the Igo game because
I know why I played that!"

In fact, my students who were in their 30s and
40s also told me the same thing.

So my experiences tell me that I should give
advice during the game.

Also when I started giving it, they also felt
comfortable to ask me questions in the middle of
the games.

This is a way for me to understand amateur
Go players' thinking in the middle of the game.

Their thinking was also very different from what
I was thinking.

There was a huge gap between us!

Perhaps the gap was much wider than it is between
Japan and the U.S. or the East and the West!

It took me a long time to see common amateur
mistakes and problems.

It took me even more time to find out how to
explain things in order for them to understand

My experiences tell me that teaching adults
was very different from teaching kids!


Kaz's original Igo simul teaching; even games and giving advice!

Kaz's original Igo simul teaching; even games and giving advice!

On the third day and the fourth day, I had simultaneous
teaching games, and I showed my very original

In fact, I stopped playing handicap games in my teaching
many year ago.

(I had a number of reasons to stop it.)

Instead I always play an even game with my students.

I don't mind having Black or White.

I don't mind giving two stones or receiving two stones
against my 5 kyu students.

My main objective of teaching iGo is to make my students
two stones stronger as quickly as possible and as efficiently
as possible!

My years of teaching go experience so far tells me that
in my case playing an even game is one of the best ways to make them
two stones stronger.

For other iGo, Weiqi, Baduk teachers handicap games work reall well. So that's great.

But not in my case.

Another important objective of my teaching iGo is to make my students
enjoy and/or satisfied with playing games with me.

To do so, I just meet their demand; I do whatever they want to practice.

In Japan retailers say "customers are gods."

In the West "customers are kings" or "customers are always right."

In my case "my iGo students are Shogun" or
"my iGo students are Shusaku."

So I'll respectfully do anything to meet their demands.

I've been doing this teaching iGo style for years, and
so far 98% of the people like this style.わーい(嬉しい顔)

If a student wants to have an ordinary handicap game, that's
perfectly fine with me. I take White and just play an ordinary
handicap game.

But I've found that many amateur Igo players have such a hard
time playing an even game.

Even games are far more difficult than handicap games since
there are far more places to play.

And many of them do not know many joseki such as 3-4 point
joseki, 3-5 point joseki, 4-5 point joseki, etc.

It's almost impossible to learn all that whether
you're a dan player or a kyu player.

I not only play an even game with my students,
but I also give advice during my teaching games.

Whether I play a handicap or an even game,
I give students advice during my simuls whenever
I perceive that my students need advice.

Well, some people don't like to have advice during
the game.

So first I ask them "May I give you some advice?"

Most of them say "Yes!"

During the Go Congress, the same thing did happen!

The reason I started giving advice during the Igo game
was that many of my students told me the following:

"After the game, even if you give me comments,
I don't remember why I played."

The more repeatedly I heard this, the more I thought that
they might like to have advice during their games.

In fact, my Go teacher told me not to speak
during the game. So I was trained not to say
anything during the game.

So this way of playing had become a second nature
like breathing without thinking or like sleeping
at night.

An Igo lecture for kyu players was successful!!!

An Igo lecture for kyu players was successful!!!

It looks like a number viewers of the blog are decreasing…

I guess many of them are not interested in my
experience at the U.S. Go Congress.がく〜(落胆した顔)

So I’m going to finish it in a couple of days, and
going to start advice again.

I still have a lot of Igo advice to give. わーい(嬉しい顔)

I’m also going to have a blog, introducing where
to visit Tokyo.

The reason is that I know many foreigners visit
Japan. So I always thought it would be useful
to have a blog like that…

(Do you already know such blog or website? If you do,
please let me know. Thanks!)

Yesterday I said:

"It's really simple. All you need is just one
move to approach..."

I'm sorry to say, ふらふらbut I'm going to show that to you
in my Go text services, beginning in October at this


So if you'd like to know, be sure to join me!

The first membership fee is going to be the cheapest!

Now I'm going back to talking about the U.S. Go Congress!

So on the second day I presented how to approach a various
type of corner stones, along with some of the most common
amateur mistakes.

The counter moves of those common mistakes were very easy to

Well, that's why I chose them, so kyu players could learn
them easily.

At the same time I chose them because that will
help them build basics.

When it comes to teaching, I always stick with basics.

Again in this lecture many kyu players seemed to be comfortable
to ask me questions.

Usually kyu players are hesitant to ask questions.ふらふら

But even some 20 kyu players asked me questions.ぴかぴか(新しい)

So I was happy, and I thought that the lecture went great.

There was a Chinese boy who also participated in the
lecture a couple of times; he presented ぴかぴか(新しい)brilliant ideas!ぴかぴか(新しい)

I had a lot of fun in this lecture!

On the third day and the fourth day, I had a chance
to teach that Chinese boy and his brother privately.

It was a lot of fun, too.

They were so smart and quick learners.

In fact the children and teenagers I met at the U.S.
Go Congress were all smart and have a lot of potential
for Igo (Wei Chi, Baduk).

All they have to do is continue studying...

If they do that, I'm sure they learn fairly quickly.

On the third day and the fourth day, I had simultaneous Igo
games known as "simuls", and I showed my very original
teaching for the first time in the West!

To be continued.

After the first lecture, what did I learn from the Go players?

After the first lecture, what did I learn from the Go players?

This is the continuation of the last Igo blog page:

Also if my students don't comprehend my first
explanation, then I often try a different way of
interpreting and illustrating Igo variations.

In order to understand their problems and to
analyze them, and then to explain, I have to listen
to my Go students.

I have to listen good, listen very carefully!

耳I have to be all ears!耳

In my teaching, listening is one of the most important

When my explanations hit the perfect point to
make students understand, I feel like I just
hit a fourbagger in a baseball.野球

("Fourbagger" means that you play a bases-loaded home run!)


On the first day, I presented a Go lecture for anybody,
many of whom were dan players.

At night I went to bed, but I was jetlagged and couldn't

In bed I went over the first lecture in my head
in order to improve my lecture tomorrow.

I tried to remember what the Go players asked me,
especially kyu players' questions.

(Usually I can remember many of the questions.

When it comes to teaching games, I usually remember them
for a week or so. That helped me later...)

Some people asked me questions about some complicated
josekis, and they seemed to be scared...がく〜(落胆した顔)

There are many complicated Go josekis:

The star point josekis, 3-4 points, 4-3 points, 5-4 points,
5-3 points in the corner...

Even dan players do not know everything.

For kyu players... がく〜(落胆した顔)

I assume that most of them know many
star point josekis, but not 3-4 points, 4-3 points,
5-4 points, and 5-3 points.

So if they face such josekis in the tournament, that
may very well be very scary.

shaking (((( ;゜Д゜))) shaking

In bed I decided to give them a crash course to learn
the simplest joseki for all the case.

It's really simple. All you need is just one
move to approach...

That is...

After that, I could sleep easily...眠い(睡眠)

To be continued...

More about "common amateur mistakes!"

More about "common amateur mistakes!"

Here is the continuation of this Igo (wéiqí, baduk) blog.

Next time I teach Igo (wéiqí, baduk) in English,
I should say "It's a common mistake" more carefully.

I would say sympathetically:

"It's a very... well-thought move, and many people play that,
too. But I'm sorry, I'm afraid, it's a common mistake."ふらふら

Well, do you feel better now?

Again, I'm sorry for those people who felt uncomfortable with me
if any.

BTW, I often jokingly say to my students the following:

"Please don't worry. Whenever you play a common mistake,
it's because my teaching is bad. When you play a great move,
your hard work has paid off!"わーい(嬉しい顔)

So I might add that, too, depending on how long I've been
teaching that person Igo(wéiqí, baduk).

BTW, there's something I forgot to say yesterday.ふらふら

I stated:

"In my Igo lecture I always encourage my Igo students
to ask me questions freely."

(Partly becaseu I'd like to encourage people!わーい(嬉しい顔))

I always tell this partly because I hope my students or
attendees feel comfortable to listen and speak

If they are not comfortable, they might get nervous
and don't learn much.

That's not good.

I really wish they learn something. ひらめき

There's one more big reason that I tell people to ask
me questions.

I'd like to know what kind of questions they have.

Questions may be common amateur mistakes, which thrills
me to learn.

This is one of my ways to learn common mistakes in Igo (wéiqí, baduk)!

The more I know their common mistakes, the more
accurately I can point out and explain better.

There are many common mistakes, and I'd like to know
which one is more common!

Or I could learn from Igo players what kind of problems
and anxieties they have.

Understanding this also helps me a lot to figure out
how I should explain their problems to each person.

Different people have different problems.

If I don't understand why they are afraid of something,
I may not be able to explain properly.

To be continued...

Kaz's First Igo Lecture at the U.S. Go Congress!

Kaz's First Igo Lecture at the U.S. Go Congress!

On the first day of the US Go Congress, I gave a lecture.

My first Igo lecture was for anybody. わーい(嬉しい顔)
(My second lecture was for kyu players.)

I was told to give any lecture, so I first showed
Black's fuseki, which may allow you to get ahead
at the opening.

Then I showed White's fuseki against Black's Chinese joseki
and the sanrensei (the three star-point stones), both
of which many people as White had a hard time dealing with.

After that, I showed some common josekis, which many
people play and make mistakes.

They are many dan players as well as kyu players.

So I tried to explain variations to them carefully, so
kyu players could understand as well.

In my Igo lecture I always encourage my Go students to ask
questions freely.

So I told them about that.

As the lecture continued, many dan players asked me

I tried to give dan-level answers as well as
kyu-level answers.

But when the lecture continued, more and more dan
players asked me advanced questions.

So I had to repeatedly say "I'm sorry for kyu players. But
this question is very advanced. Please bear with me
for now."

At the end, it was no longer a lecture, but a Q&A

That was perfectly fine with me, but I was worried
about whether or not kyu players might feel left

After the lecture, there was a big applause,
so I was relieved... and happy! :)

After that, I reviewed my lecture and realized
that I made a mistake...がく〜(落胆した顔)

When a Go player showed a move, and when it
was a common mistake, I said

"It's a common mistake".

Most of the time, I said softly, but
sometimes I think I said it rather bluntly.

Later I thought "I hope I didn't make any Go players

I was also in a hurry, trying to present as many
variations as possible. So I couldn't come up with
a better way to say than "common mistakes".

I thought "Oh, boy! I should've brought a Miss Manners'
with me!"

When I got home in Japan, I did check "Miss Manners'"
But I couldn't find any good answers there.

Obviously she didn't play Go!もうやだ〜(悲しい顔)

Shame on you, Miss Manners’!!!

Just kidding!!!わーい(嬉しい顔)

So I've come up with a better way to say, which is...

To be continued...

If you do not know Miss Manners', here is the book:


The US Go Congress: Part I: I loved it!

The US Go Congress: Part I: I loved it!

As many of the readers probably know that I attended
the U.S. Go Congress in Portland, Oregon, this summer!

I love the city. It's so greenery and beautiful!クリスマス

I was born in Tokyo and grew up Tokyo, and I still live in

Tokyo is almost no greens!

(Japanese politicians are infamous for having no city planning!もうやだ〜(悲しい顔))

I was also happy to be in Portland since
I went to college there.

So I met my Igo friends as well as my non-Igo
friends, my language teachers and college professors...

I had a wonderful time just meeting them.

Attending the US Go Congress was also great.

Actually this is my second time to attended.

When I attended it for the first time some years ago,
I played the US Go Tournament and taught Go.

But this time, I was going to commit myself to teaching!

Only teaching Igo!

Well, I kind of stopped playing Go tournaments some years ago.

The reason is...

Well, when I win a Go tournament in Tokyo,
I can make nobody happy, but me.
when I teach Igo, I can make many people happy.

And I like to make people happy.

So I've chosen to teach over to improve my Igo.

Now every time I look at the Go board, I always think of
"how can I explain this to kyu players and dan players to
understand more easily..."

My explanations for kyu players and dan players
are usually different.ひらめき

When I was an insei and after an insei, I always
thought about the best move.

It was a second nature... Just like breathing without thinking,
you know.

But over the years, I've lost my habit of
thinking about the best move... since
the best move is not exactly the same as
best teaching move.

When I got to the Go Congress this summer, I knew
I had made a lot of progress in my teaching.

So I was confident that I could make some
Go players happy!

On the first day of my Go Congress, I had to
do a lecture.

I always did a lecture in Japan in front of
many amateur Go players, so I had no problem with that.

I have many Go materials in my computer and in my head,
but I was going to stick with something that I often
teach at first.

Well, I was not expecting to make every attendee
two stones stronger since the lecture lasted only
an hour or so.

That's obviously impossible!

So I decided to have a Go lecture which many people
would not forget easily forget.

Also I wanted to choose a lecture which people
could use in their Go games.

To be continued...