Beginner having trouble winning 9x9 as white


So im a beginner, been playing 3 or 4 games everyday, and its the same for both of us, whoever plays black wins, and white is completely led around,my question is why ? is the komi really enough to make up for the 1st move advantage ? and how can i avoid it, i understand that you’re supposed to predict your opponent, but even with that, i just dont see how the game is fair to the white pieces.

thanks in advance


I will assume you are talking about 9x9 as you do not seem to be playing on the big board yet.

The question of komi is a common one and indeed we (as the whole go community) are not totally sure what it is supposed to be (as apparent by quite recent changes), but we are talking like one point difference (which is rarely an issue in amateur games)

To be honest I often see the opposite opinion from new players, as they feel the komi is too high and want to play white, because he/she gets points “for free”

The easy answer for you is, yes, the komi is fair (at our level of play anyway). Your games seem to be private, so we can’t talk about what you should do differently as white, but here are some general ideas:

If you keep dying as white the problem might be that you are too greedy. As white you do not even need half of the board, because you get komi. If you keep losing by a few points without dying you are probably too passive, only answering black’s “attacks” and never counter attacking or ignoring a local move and playing elsewhere…


Yea, komi is pretty fair. If you’re a beginner, however, komi likely doesn’t matter at all. I’m sure two beginners could give each other several handicap stones on 19x19 and still maintain ~50% wr.

As for 9x9, I would expect komi to be harder to overcome than first move advantage, but I still think it doesn’t matter at all. If anything, it’s the psychological pressure you might feel because of your assumption that black has a comparably large advantage (which I very much doubt).

Komi is the amount of points granted to white to maintain a 50% winrate for white and black, assuming equally strong players. Komi was only introduced in the past century - frequency analysis easily showed that black had a significant advantage. For strong players, a few points make quite a difference. These days, 6.5 points is where Japanese rules consider black and white even.


yes its a 9x9
for my games in general i try to be defensive at the start, but black attacks i try to counter attack and when i notice it i fell into a trap, and the point difference ends up being 20+ towards black, when i counter attack is literally 1 move behind, i cant take due to that move thus my question.Maybe im too greedy
Well ill try to find some materials about some basic strategies

Thank you all for reply,


If you really want to, check this out:
but otherwise I recommend just playing games. :slight_smile: you will soon get the hang of it


Feel free to post one of your games in the reviews section. We’ll better understant what you mean by “defensive” and “counter attack”, and we could provide some advice.


If B is leading you around then you are likely playing “puppy go” where you follow every move B makes, which is a sure-way to lose every time.


Without access to your games to look at, we can only guess about what mistakes you are making. On a small board you need to play quite aggressive. The remark you made about white being lead around by black suggest that you are playing passively. Stop following black around.


If it helps, I could also give you some trouble winning with black. :stuck_out_tongue: