21k looking for having fun

Hello, I’d like to play with stronger players and learn how to have fun. I’m not sure whether this is the correct way to look for teachers/reviews so please bear with me.

I have started playing quite recently because fascinated by the game.
I’ve tried different learning methods (losing as many games as possible, read books, solve puzzles, watch games, learn josekis…), with the only result of becoming an expert at losing.

So far so good, as what I was looking for is to have fun playing.
Problems come from the fact that fun means learning to me. Failing in doing so is quite frustrating, not because of the losing in itself but rather for my poor game. Silly mistakes and bad shapes are quite depressing as show no learning process going on.
This has been affecting me way more than what a game should lately. Also luck does not exist in this game, so it’s hard to make up excuses or finding something else to blame.

For this reason I’d like someone to point me out mistakes and help me to develop a method. Books and puzzles are good but I think I need a more practical approach. They convey so much information that little stays with me when playing.

I’m ok with any board size/handicap/rank but I’d prefer live games to get immediate feedback of what I did wrong. For example play a sequence and stop when I realise I’m dead and backtrack the mistake. I am also flexible about timing: I’m childish and impatient so 2 min/move is enough for me. I tend to lose concentration in correspondence games. Unfortunately, despite the childishness, I stick with my original demographic when it comes to typing and being good with technology.

I added my rank to the title just to let you know what you should expect but my objective is not to get a better number, that should be a consequence.


Having fun is a very personal thing.

My experience is that Go is based on mistakes and slack moves: players start with an even position and there’s no way to increase our win rate except taking profit from opponent’s mistakes.
This is true also for professionals.

The learning process is virtually infinite and gets steeper along the way.

So I would say that learning is fun indeed (I love it!) but it’s important to find fun also in playing and that means be able to laugh at our own mistakes (by the way, making mistakes and recognize them is part of learning process).

If you want to get better at go, looking for teaching games is very good but my suggestion is to play against someone at your level because it’s where the fun is! :wink:

And stop playing with that noob bot thing: that won’t do you any good! Play with humans!


That’s what his post is asking for, right? Humans to step up and play teaching games with him… (I’d volunteer, except live isn’t practical for me).


I pinged you on the ogs one to one chat.


Agree. I am not Alcibiades pretending to tread his steel armor with Socrates’ golden one. I was not hoping for answers from strong players.
My intention was only to find any player below 20k to give me a bit of insight in my game.
I would prefer players below 20k as I believe I’d have little help from people at my level.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me better. Yes, I do play a lot of that as I felt it was a good opportunity to make silly mistakes, get frustrated and be rude without social consequences (this is the childish bit).

Also, I saw lots of very supportive people around offering teaching games on a regular basis. I have been following their forums and puzzles to learn a bit. At the same time though I feel quite ashamed in putting them again in the position to teach basics for the 1B-th time.

Exactly, thank you also for your availability. Should I go to correspondence games, I’d be happy to play with you.


Oh, well, I didn’t understand that. Sorry
I’m not sure I understand when you say “below”.

I think that best people able to give you insight are those a little stronger than you, let’s say about 15k-10k.
While those to have fun with are about same strength (since you are 21k now, I’d say about 24k-18k).

Stronger can share knowledge while peers can share fun. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

That’s the difference between “games” and “teaching games”.

You are right about that.
The issue with weak bots is that they make repeatedly and stubbornly the same silly mistakes, which is negative for your learning.
Humans make a lot of silly mistakes too, but they are always different, so you must ask yourself “is that a mistake or a strong move that I don’t understand?” which is incredibly useful to improve.

I understand that. We all have been there. And we still are! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

It’s about take and give: when you’ll be stronger you’ll be able to give back those attentions to someone else.
There’s plenty of people knowing and appreciating that and willing to continue the tradition. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
You can be one of them/us.

My bad.
I thought he was only looking for teaching games and I wanted to suggest that fun is elsewhere: in challenging even games.


We can do a teaching game right now, if you want? Or perhaps a bit later (in the afternoon, CET)?
I’m 3d.


Bad wording sorry, I meant lower. Like you said anyone in the range 10k-20k. I am not refusing stronger players of course but I think that I would not fully appreciate their tips.

I think it’s wise to follow your suggestion and keep a good mix of games and teaching games. Learn in the latter ones and use the former ones to get familiar with the new concepts.

True and worrying at the same time. True because few times I realised that myself, feeling proud. Worrying because most of the times I don’t notice anything. But in the end if it’s ranked 6k I assume that most of the times it makes sensible moves.

Looking for strong moves is undoubtedly the way to go, having someone to point them out every now and then would make it easier :grin:

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However that is the only time setting that the opponent can give you detailed feedback :wink:
If you want to play a fun game where I can give you feedback almost per any move, I up for it in correspondence.
In live games, I’d usually reach byoyomi with the other player have 20 minutes on his clock, just by playing, let alone finding time to write and explain what and how each move came about.

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I would be happy to play a live teaching game with relaxed time settings to allow some feedback during the game, and happy to review after as will of course. I’ve been bouncing between 9-10k, so can only offer the most basic advice, but I do enjoy helping out beginners when I can.

I’m also very interested in playing relatively high handicap games to experiment, however that’s going to be harder to teach anything. But it might be fun.

Feel free to message me here or on the main site

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I didn’t check that.
Looking at your rank and the name “noob” bot I was assuming it was a weak bot.
If it’s ranked 5-6k I have another piece of advice for you: play more ranked games!
You have about 140 games in your history but only about 30 ranked games. After a few ranked games against humans you could find out that 21k isn’t your actual rank!

Have fun! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Not interested in rank so never be bothered so far :sweat_smile:. But you are right, being ranked uncorrectly could be misleading for other players. I’ll make sure to have the rank option enabled.


But not in a teaching game I hope (there is a meme about this but I can’t find it now)


Greetings LittlePebble - I can really relate to your experience.

One of the most frustrating things for me when I was a 25-20kyu player was the feeling that

  • there were so many different aspects of the game I had to wrap my mind around (i.e. shape, joseki, stages of the game, territory vs influence, etc)
  • there weren’t very many resources for beginners at my level - when I made mistakes and lost, it was very difficult to extract a nugget of wisdom that would help me avoid similar mistakes in future games.

The majority of “for beginners” resources out there are aimed at players who already understand the fundamental elements which inform the game (let’s say 15 to 10kyu players) and are trying to get better. But how is one supposed to get from 25kyu to 15kyu? The standard advice seems to be “keep losing games and playing teaching games until you figure it out for yourself.”

I took a look at a few of the games from your history on OGS. I’m actually pretty impressed by your knowledge of good shape and basic joseki. However, when you’re playing un-handicapped games against the 6kyu noob_bot, you only play 2 or 3 Opening moves and then you jump right into a Midgame strategy that would be appropriate for much more advanced players - i.e attacking your opponent’s groups trying to cut and deny eye-space. This strategy requires a very high level understanding of sente/gote, direction of play, managing cut points, etc. - as such it’s all too easy to make a simple mistake, have your own stones cut off, and get in trouble very quickly.

For the last few years, I’ve been trying to write my own 19x19 for beginners guide - something that takes a step-by-step approach to explaining these fundamental aspects of the game

The goal is to help beginners learn the language of the game. Rather than seeing an overwhelming range of too-many-options – one can transform the game into a clear narrative that tells you how much risk you are in, what strategies and tactics are most likely to succeed at that part in the story, and whether it’s time to attack, defend, or maybe play somewhere else.

For me - being able to break the complexity of the game into these manageable pieces made the game much more fun, because it no longer felt like I was re-inventing the wheel every time. Instead, I was using my analytical skills to figure out where I was in the story, and then picking from a smaller arsenal of strategies to make the best decisions to change that story to my advantage.

Good luck!


Thank you tonybe, you wrapped up much of my game so far in few lines, as well as my struggle.

I feel so grateful to all of you for the support and the good hints. Special thank to those who offered me to play.

About the guide, I had a quick look and it’s awesome: methodic and instructive. I am going to read it slowly and try to take the most out of it. I also like the narrative side: it could be the key to a more productive reading of classic literature, which - as you said - requires a not-so-beginner level.


Not sure if my personal experience helps but getting good at 9x9 was a lot of fun for me and it can help you with 19x19 in the sense of how you get the stones to work for you at attacking , defending and life/death situations.


That’s absolutely right, I’m trying to include that in my routine, thank you.

LittlePebble I like to play for fun, and do a little teaching for free. However, I play only 9x9 games, so they don’t cut into my busy day. If that sounds like something you would like, contact me. It can be a little more fun when you play with a handicap that puts you on a more nearly equal level with your opponent.

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Good teachers teach to your level. They’ll be worried about your 50 point mistakes, and not so much your 5 point mistakes.