Anyone done 24-hour go marathon?

For a lot of people normal go becomes a bit boring after first ~1000 games, and that’s why many of us try to find new ways of playing go.

24-hour marathons are pretty common in all kinds of hobbies and sports. Anyone tried to play go for that long without breaks?

How do you build stamina for that? And how many stones of strength do you lose by the end of it?


There is a yearly Go Marathon in Piriac sur Mer (France), near Nantes. It is a 8-round week-end tournament with one round every 4 hours, day and night, with standard timing: 1h main time + canadian byo-yomi of 5min per 15 stones. Every win gets you 3 points, every loss is 1 point.

There are a few people every year that play all the rounds, take a look :


I’ve thought about doing this (at least when I was regularly playing go), and the thing that kills it for me is that I’m usually doing it solo and lose motivation to do that kind of thing.

It might be fun to do as a group event tho, but scheduling 24 hours like that among multiple people ain’t easy


That is awesome @__@

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Personally, I’m already (or still) not ready to wear diapers for the sake of a “marathon”, the meaning of which seems to me very doubtful. Perhaps I will do this when I am Methuselah’s age and can wear diapers without shame. :laughing:

Sounds kinda fun. I would have been into that if I were in my 20’s. But I’m in my early 40’s now and put a higher value on getting sleep and maintaining a sensible sleep rhythm.

I would be interested in doing a one-on-one or small-group marathon over 4-6 hours. But then that’s approaching what a regular day of tournament go is, right? I’m guess I’m just saying I’d play a regular day or weekend tournament, haha.

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Isn’t that a small tournament? :stuck_out_tongue:

I see you already caught that, my bad

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Yeah, I realized it like a tournament as I was typing it out, but just slightly broader. A marathon could be a 1-on-1 series of games, or a personal solo challenge-- is that what you have tried?

What’s the longest you’ve played?

I did something of a solo challenge of queuing games, didn’t last much longer than 6 hours on a dedicated attempt, partially because I would always start in the evening (cuz I have no brains), and partially because it started to feel monotonous rather quickly

But if you want a 1-on-1 4-6 hr experience, could do it like one of those Japanese titles and give both sides 3 hrs (assuming you can both use that kind of time), but tbh if you spread it across multiple games it’s basically a day at go club when only one other person shows up.

Of course, one day I might consider stocking up on energy drinks (and drink them for the first time in my life), setting up a system where I can banter with people, get some donations (maybe), and run a 24 hr stream


It could be like a day at a club where only one person shows up, but it begins with, “I challenge you to game after game for the whole club meeting time!” And then is presumably accepted. That’s in contrast to finishing a game, doing a little review and then when there’s a pause in the conversation someone says, “Another?”

To do a marathon, I’d seek agreement at the beginning!

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This actually sounds fun!

I worry doing this would lead me to extreme burnout. I may not touch the board again for a prolonged time. I’m very careful to watch my burnout with Go. When I first started I was playing 15 to 30 live matches a day. After a couple months I spent a month doing 40 to 50 Correspondence games a day (playing throughout the entire day).

After a month of that I completely lost interest in Go. Another two months later I was back in the saddle, this time pacing myself. Whenever I would start to feel bored, I would walk away. Doing this insured that I kept practicing every day and kept a healthy interest in Go.

Having these forums is a big plus too. I’m able to keep my interest in Go strong and to explore the hobby in different and unexpected ways. It has been a real boon in my life during some tough times. So as fun as the idea of this sounds to me, and it very much does, I don’t think I have the guts to try it out. I’m too worried of hurting my relationship with a very healthy and rewarding pass time :blush:


I think my teacher David Mitchell might have the record :smiley:

He played 38 hours of lightning go in 1978 for London Go Centre



Is that akin to Blitz Go? I couldn’t find anything about it on SenseisLibrary. Truly an impressive record. Any idea what kind of breaks he took (bathroom, stretching, eating, etc…)?

No idea lol, I shall ask.

Yes, lightning Go is another name for Blitz. It’s a term the BGA uses to this day.

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Here is David’s reply:

A long time ago but my recollection is an allowance of 3 minutes per hour which can be accumulated. Bathroom breaks and food was taken using that time. There was never any time to sleep. Sleep came later, in fact it took many hours for my brain to wind down enough so I could sleep.


I have a 16 hour run with 80 games against katabot, at the end of which I beat it at 5 stones and passed out (lost the first 79). So, maybe no 24-hour go marathon but I have a 16 hour non-stop defeat streak :smiley:


Thank you so much for checking BHydden. David is a certifiable badass :sunglasses:

And snakesss, that is extremely cool too. I hear these stories and want to make a try for it. I don’t know if I will… but the seed has been planted!! :star_struck:

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