10kyu trying to learn how to count :)

I’ve lacked the patience to try accurate counting up to this point and was satisfied with what my gut told me and very rough comparison of territories. But im starting to think that counting wouldnt be a bad thing to do exactly (:open_mouth:). Also recently my trust in score estimators has been dwindling rapidly. Even if they dont show a clearly living group as dead, they are way off in many cases. In one of my latest games i had the kgs clients SE count the score and it said black was ahead by 27,5 points:

The estimate suggests a clear victory, but i wasnt feeling ahead at all, so i tried an accurate count for myself:

By my count i was ahead 6,5 points only, the actual game ended up being closer. https://online-go.com/game/6750866

Im hoping more experienced counters could take a look at my count of the game and tell me where i went wrong, where i was too optimistic or pessimistic. Any general pointers as to how to count more accurate or faster would be most welcome as well.
Ty in advance!

P.S.: I am not looking for a review here, but if you guys cant help yourselves … :joy:

Consult our counting expert :slight_smile:


Who better to ask about counting than the count? Plus its always worth looking into some “less obvious” resources :laughing::laughing::laughing:

Wow, you put a lot of work and thought into this. Well done.

Firstly, I think it was a mistake for White to resign: the game was too close to call (but Black is ahead, very slightly). There were certainly some moves left at the bottom of the board.

Now, for some ideas / thoughts on counting:

  1. Be pessimistic in your counting - you did this in your estimate. Good! Now, realize that as the game goes on, opportunities become available that can shift the results, so your earlier estimate may become invalid. You can always improve your earlier estimates, but realize that the “error bars” on these are large: the game will shift this way and that way requiring you to recount later.
  2. I try to practice counting how my moves will affect a local area. That is, how many points move A will give me, and take away from my opponent? Will your opponent respond directly? Or tenuki? What then? What if she plays another big move, will you ignore this and continue with your original move?

This is just my cursory, 7 kyu thoughts.

Reading your comments in the game: Yes, keep on “dick at putting”, this is always useful for counting. :joy:


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Thank you for your ideas!

  1. It makes sense that score estimates change when more and more situations are played out. That would basically mean that perpetual counting is required. No need for additional practice then i guess :joy:.
  2. So you try to count the worth of different moves/sequences? How do you then factor that into your estimate, since you cant be sure which variation will eventually be played?

Also: Do you know of any method to consider potential when counting?


Check this video out by Nick Sibicky (Seattle Go Club):

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Thank you @majamin, very interesting video. I also found another one that covered what i was after even better.
In case anyone else is interested :nerd::

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@kickaha I think that one is more applicable to our discussion. Thanks for pointing that out!