A Single Piece of Advice for a Completely New Player

Hello there,

I just started playing go in these past two days, and I believe I have a good handle on at least the rules of the game. However I find myself making a lot of what are most likely common mistakes, and that is what this topic is for.

I’m sure there are plenty of new players who want advice, myself obviously included. So, what is one piece of advice that you would give to someone who just started. Not necessarily tactical in anyway, just something that you might wish someone told you when you first started to play this game even.

Thanks for reading and I hope I get to see some interesting answers.

((Also, is this in the correct category for the forum? I think it is but I just want to be sure.))

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Play a lot, don’t let a defeat bother you and try to understand why you play the moves you play.


I also have just started, to learn, how to play go. The basic rules apparently are much simpler than those of chess, but the problem is, to understand the many different potential patterns and how to react correctly onto a move of the opponent. Therefore I started with a 9X9 board just to experience quickly a lot of different pattern, playing against a simple go software. Problem with this software but is, that it is too simple. I always win, even if I apparently make severe mistakes and when I play with a human player, I always lose the game. Therefore I started to use the different tutorials on this website, with which one can train the different patterns. Next step will be, to play again with human players and then combine both methods: analyse the game and see, where I made mistakes and then train with the tutorials, to avoid these mistakes. Will take quite some time to get better, but its fun to experience, that one can significantly improve after some time.

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I’d say …

  • Play humans as much as you can*, and

  • If you lose a game, request a game review* in the Teaching/Review Requests section of this forum.

[quote=“OhhPlease, post:1, topic:2557”]
((Also, is this in the correct category for the forum? I think it is but I just want to be sure.))
[/quote]I think it’s okay here :smile:


If you are starting out you will learn a lot from 9x9. It may be different from 19x19 but if you make a lot of mistakes in 9x9 chances are you will lose in 19x19. As always, playing a lot helps but you really only get a lot out of it if you focus on the game rather than mindlessly play.

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Basically what flowing said; just play as many games as possible.
I often recommend Igowin to new players: http://www.smart-games.com/downloads/igowin.exe



“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried”
-Stephen McCranie


Just follow what interests you about the game. You will continue to play as long as there is something that you want to try to see how it works out.


I’ve taken this advice to heart but I’ve figured I would change it a little bit. In this way, I’ve decided to use a 13x13 board more than a 9x9 and here is why,

9x9 seems entirely too different from the 19x19 board. I find that the happy medium should keep me from being too overwhelmed, but give me the best amount of practice being the closest to a real game sized board.

I’ve also tried to focus more on the game but I find myself forgetting a something a lot, mostly that comes with making eyes. I forget to be mindful of that kind of thing which seems to be a rather important part of the game. However I think I’ve learned to be more mindful and think more about my moves.

Thanks for your reply it was rather helpful

Stay connected.

Understand how stones are connected when they are not apparently next to one another.

More than 7 points of territory is almost always alive so look for a bigger move.

Understand that sente is what makes the game fun. Learn how to look for it and use it; how it helps to compel your opponent to be the one who is constantly patching up weaknesses.

Fran’s Library every day. It is… inspired… by the current GOAT of Korea who serves as the greatest player in Japan.

Treat it like rock climbing. Master as many problems in a row as you can. Do it again. After the 3rd time, continue your next session from the end of the 3rd streak.


Bottom-to-top learning. Learn and practise fundamental reading and solve lots of simple problems. Don’t bother trying to read much on higher level concepts yet. Build your fundamental understanding of the game and build on top of that.


Maybe I’m being too partial because I transitioned from 9x9 to 19x19 easily but I feel like 9x9 still teaches you to make eyes and look for big points. Since the games are faster you can review and fix a mistake before it becomes a bad habbit as opposed to longer games.


My single biggest piece of advice, which I believe will apply to anyone no matter the level, is you have no idea what you are going to see in a week that you cannot see today. Keep playing games steadily and you will be amazed in a short time.