9x9 strategy

Hi. I’ve been playing a lot of 9x9 on goquest but seem to have hit a plateau at around 1600 (i’m around 4k on 19x19)

I’m trying to find some resources for improvement on the 9x9 board, but am having a lot of trouble.

Everyone links to 91 little lions, but I’m not a beginner. I don’t need to read about shapes. There seem to be no streamers that play 9x9, and I can’t find anything written other than “here’s some openings that pros play”

Is there any such thing as advanced strategy for 9x9? Where to find it?

I heard of a PDF book called ‘the art of 9x9’ mentioned a few places, but the book doesn’t seem to actually exist anywhere beyond just a cover image and some descriptions.

Is there any content for 9x9 for people who are closer to dan than ddk?


I’m probably someone who could produce advanced 9x9 resources. What kind of content are you looking for? Opening theory? Common tactics? How to count accurately?

See also this thread:


I’d love to know of any differences between 9x and 19x, especially things that are counter-intuitive. What ‘natural’ responses that are good on 19x are bad on 9x, and vice versa? Are there any corner shapes that are alive in 19x but dead in 9x because there is nowhere to run?

And yes, counting too, counting is a lot easier on 9x but at what point do i start counting?

Tactics also would be great, but beyond life and death. what kind of tactics are specific to being trapped in a 9x9 box instead of a 19x19 one? how does this make tactics different?

I did enjoy your videos with xhu on 9x9, i should have mentioned that as one of the very few resources i’ve found. I’d be really interested in more stuff like that! and thanks for that link.


even just your short description of white and black’s strategies in this thread is extremely helpful… if you have more to expand on that i’m sure there would be an audience for this.


Here’s the link for anyone else following the thread:


You can outright lose by playing the wrong first 4 moves in the opening.

Even if you played a decent opening, if you misread once, the game is usually over. Your life and death must be impeccable.

The following statements are interchangeable:

  • 9x9 is all about sente
  • 9x9 is all endgame

I usually say that 9x9 consists of the opening until move 8, middle game until move 16 and the rest is just endgame.

In order to refine your 9x9 skills:

  • study a single opening you like the most (per color)
  • grind tsumego, properly
  • practice counting quickly and accurately - at every move

There is very little strategy to 9x9, most of it is pure reading. Look at the move you want to play instinctively, play out the respective endgame in your mind, count points, if you lose - consider the next move,… if you can’t find a winning move, go with your instinct.


I just enjoy playing but if I was going to knuckle down then I would add one thing to smurph’s excellent list. I’m fairly certain that I could improve a few ranks by careful study of capturing race theory.


I had the same question about The Art Of 9x9 Go a little while back. I reached out to the author (monteodawesti@gmail.com) and asked him directly about where I could purchase his book.


You can get the pdf book via:

The book (pdf) will be sent to do via email within 24 hrs after payment.

Monteo da Wedti

It should also be noted that the author has produced another book on 9x9 that is not centered around GoQuest, entitled The Way To 9x9. I did not email about a link to that product, but if you are interested you now know how to contact him. Home this helps! :wink:

I am personally interested in both titles, but am especially excited about obtaining a copy of The Way To 9x9 because of something the author stated about the book:

Books that deal with both basic and advanced knowledge of 9x9 do not exist. This book is an effort to fill this gap.

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