Beginner: I have watched and read a lot, still getting nowhere on 9x9

Would someone kindly look at some of my games and give me some pointers as to what I’m doing wrong?

I know the basic shapes, the different moves, but I keep getting destroyed and I’m not seeing my mistakes.

Thanks a lot!!!

Play a lot instead of watching and reading! :slight_smile: But indeed you have played a fair number of games already.

i just had a look at one of your games quickly: Nicolas514 vs. yoneslotes

One topic stands out: You leave far too many cutting points. Worry about them a bit more, that should be a useful first step for quick inprovement,


In this game

you play a strange move D3.

Later on in the game you do it again.

You offer your opponent a stone to capture.
E3 is better because you can’t be cut.

Up to move 34 you create a great territory (and you are winning).

Then you play F5 and you offer your opponent a chance to invade.
F5 was not necessary. It was the losing move.
Better you play F7 or G7 so that an invasion would be so much more difficult for your opponent.

Wonder why you played F5.


Have you done some tsumego yet? I see a lot of point losses from captured groups. tsumego has helped me with L&D in the past.


I put a small review in this game please check

One of the very first fundamental is cut and connect. Try pay more attention on it. Play a stone which will stay connected. Cut the stones of your opponent too. That includes to not connect stones already connected.
As suggested a bit of life and death problems may help (only easy ones, give up if you feel too hard or don’t have fun in it)


I added some comments in the game chat: Khánh Ngân vs. Nicolas514
Hover on the comments and you’ll see variations on the diagram.


@Groin Hello Groin, I don’t see the game you mention. Thank you for the taking the time to replying!

@richyfourtytwo I will be more mindful of cutting!


@benjito I will look into it. I have done practice problems on OGS but I don’t know if it’s those that you are mentioning?

@jlt Wow thank you for that! This is extremely helpful. One of my issues is when I study my games, I tend to miss those mistakes and it’s hard to make progress. I still have to better understand how to think “bigger” I think. I see that sometimes i’m too focused on fortifying my positions, even when I’m ahead, rather than taking more territory or preventing my opponent to do so.

To all, I cannot tell you how useful those comments are. I have played almost 100 games and no one has offered me to review a game yet, so it’s nice to feel some support here!


The same game linked in the thread before.

1 Like

Would you like to play a teaching game with me?

I haven’t done much from the OGS collections, but I’m sure some are very good. I have used the Graded Go Problems For Beginners series in the past and felt it was very helpful.

1 Like

I would like to add that I couldn’t bring myself to practice tsumego until this

As a beginner (and still) I find it hard to navigate OGS problems. In case they don’t work for you, it might be the setup and not the content, so I thought I’d let you know about an alternative.

(More information about the Status game here Practice game: Dead, unsettled or alive?)


Thanks for the suggestion.

I have tried it and I don’t really don’t understand how that’s supposed to work. It keeps showing the same/similar variations over and over again. I don’t feel like I read them better, just that I know them by heart after a while.

Maybe I just don’t understand it!

Then you’re better than me already :wink:

1 Like

Hahaha I don’t think I’m any good.

It’s easy for me to see them by themselves like that, but to see them in a game, upside down, in different colors, or to see them developing is where I have a really hard time, and that’s where it really counts!

1 Like

I highly recommend, on the OGS Puzzles page, mark5000’s two tutorials for beginners: “Exercises for Beginners” and “Stone Development for Beginners.” After that, I recommend “Cho Chikun’s Encyclopedia of Life and Death - Elementary” (a second set is on page 2 of the Puzzles tab). Chikun’s work does what you ask, flipping the position or changing the colors if you work the puzzle again.

Tsumegos train reading if you work the puzzles in your head. However, a second, perhaps more important result is that tsumegos train recognition of certain recurring positions. Even if you don’t solve a problem, recognizing the position might serve as a red flag in a game: “Oh my, I remember this dangerous position; I better pay more attention to this.” Consequently, I have worked Chikun’s elementary and intermediate sets multiple times. I should probably do them again.

When you get a little stronger, say mid-DDK, I recommend “Fran’s Library.”


I’d be delighted!

Okay, send me a challenge and we will play.

Correspondance I suppose?