Beginner Kyu Skillsets and Areas of Focus?

Hey All-

I just started playing go-and I definitely want to improve at my skill and enjoy playing games-but I am worndering about where I could best focus my time on developing my skill. I read somewhere that its important to lose my first hundred games as fast as I can, that makes sense-as experience is always good. I also am happy to report that I have a copy of Kano Yoshinori’s elementary go problems for beginners-vol 1 and 2. I am sure I will be working through kisedo books alot. I really like learning this mental martial art-and I am wondering how to develop my functional understanding of the game properly.

Some questions.

9x9 is a good place to start-play against people of my rank or a little better? Just throw myself in to any ol game?

Are there resources that help players understand the general progression of skills to focus on for playing?


99 is good for some, often recommended but not compulsory. You can jump on 1919 if you feel so and enjoy the real game for once.

Best is easy: play, play and play. As a beginner you need first to master your view, not your brain.

After that you can read, anything you want if you have fun reading them. And have friends to share what you discover on the way.

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The first fifty/hundred games proverb is a good one to start with, and the idea is to not agonize over individual moves, because when you’re starting, your abilities to read out variations aren’t really to the point where it would be useful to spend all that time. Try things out, see what works and what doesn’t, and look back at the game after it’s over to see if you can figure out why something worked of didn’t work.

I would hold off on starting tsumego (go problems) until you’re closer to 20 kyu. Get the fundamentals and feel down first, that’s where you’ll make the most progress at this stage. From looking over a few of your games, it seems you’re off to a good start for sure! I’d keep playing players around your rank, but I’d take a moment to review some of your games afterwards, if I were you. I definitely saw several times where you played moves that would in some situations be good and/or necessary, but were totally unnecessary when you played them. (Connecting an already connected group, taking additional stones to kill an already dead group, all super normal beginner things.)

I’ll pop in a few of your games as I have a chance and make comments, if you don’t mind. Since I’m a spectator, you won’t see my chats til the end o the game, but it’ll have the relevant move numbers above each set of messages.

9x9 is good for learning fighting and basics, but also for seeing some subtler mistakes that might be missed on a 19x19. Often, the effects of a mistake are not immediately apparent, but compound as the rest of the board develops. Linking a move to something that happened later can be difficult if there were 80 moves in between. This is less likely to happen on a 9x9, and thus mistakes are usually more apparent sooner. Plus, you can play more games! =]

Nothing wrong with moving up to 13x13 or 19x19 though, once you have the hang of things down.

The only thing I’d say you should really look at is playing unnecessary moves in your own territory. You steal points from yourself by doing so. You don’t need to have two explicit one-point eyes to live, just the ability to make two eyes of any size if necessary.

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Wow-thank you so much for looking over my games! I appreciate the feedback. PB-the case you make for 9x9 are compelling for me to stick to it. Volaine-I appreciate what you’re saying-answering the right questions in the book kind of led to a skewed sense of my actual ability-it’s really nice-but expecting it to apply to a game right off the bat can be a let down. I’ll try and just keep those things separate.

Otherwise-I really am liking go-the last game I played I was starting to see these patterns and connections that I wasn’t seeing when I first started playing. And for sure-I wonder what going through books would be like after just playing.

Thank you for pointing out basic mistakes too!

Well playing is the essential and books are just if you have any curiosity and then fun to read them, dont restrain yourself :slight_smile:
Just as a way to culture or inspiration, not as something like a cooking book.

Later someone can tell you this book is not for your level or this one is appropriate, but as beginner all is good!

There are many ways to go into this game, as long as you keep the fun!
Sometimes it will need some patience and to be humble, it s a really difficult game, especially at the beginning, and each time someone come to try, we hope to keep him playing.


Well thank you, volaine :slight_smile:

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2 Questions popped up-
1-is there anyplace where I can find a record of my game playing activity? I just want to keep track of the games of the number of games I am playing.
2.Reviewing games-what aspects of the game am I looking for when going back to a game to review?

Thank you all, I notice I really like the feeling of making a good cause-effect decision-but I am also noticing how interesting it is when the board opens up new possibilities.

Of course! What you maybe (as many others) missed at first - the OGS logo in the upper left is clickable and then reveals many interesting options. You are looking for “game history” (6th from bottom)

When reviewing your own games you should probably try to look for any mistakes, especially those that cost you lot of territory/influence or even stones ;-), What I find important though is also lookin at my opponents moves. Take note when he plays a strong deffence to what you thought might have been a good attack and beware of big mistakes that can lead you to falsely believe you played well while it might have been only a big mistake of your oppponent. Basicaly, try to look for anything that seemed to make a significant difference in the balance of the game - anything important.

And whenever you feel like there is something wierd in the game or can’t find any of your mistakes, don’t forget that you can share the game in the forum and usually somene very clever will give you a review. In that case it is good to title the thread accordingly and include both ranks and board size.

Also if you like tsumegos you might also make use of you smartphone. There are several apps avilable with the benefit of daily new problems and to be honest I find them more readable than books and overall more convinient.

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its hard to say what exactly you want to look for, becasue you are trying to work out why a game was lost, for which there can be any number of reasons. the most obvious thing to look for is a fight, since the outcome can be gamechanging. but keep in mind that it can also be a lack of fights that made you lose, because you did not punish your opponents greed.

  • sometimes after a fight (a lost one :sweat_smile:) it can be helpful to work out a sequence or look for a tesuji you might have missed.
  • but in general, especially as a beginner, it might be more helpful to go back to the position before the fight broke out and look for reasons you lost the fight there. it is very possible, that your group was weak in the first place and got attacked because of it. search for moves that would have reinforced your position and/or would have pressured your opponent, making an attack harder.
  • ask yourself if there at any point was a way to prevent or end the fight. question if it was prudent to keep fighting and, if you started the fight, reexamine your decision and try to find at least one specific goal you wanted to achieve by fighting the position.

another easy thing to do is to look for moves you made, that your opponent flat out ignored and moved on to the next position.

  • find out why your move was ignored and look for alternatives.
  • dont forget that your opponent could have been wrong in ignoring you, in which case see if and why you followed your opponent even though you think your move was good.

most importantly: try to remember things in a way that allows you to apply them to a number of situations. e.g.: “my group had no base and got chased across the board because of it” istead of “i should have played K10” (everyone knows thats always the answer :joy:).

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The last two posts sum up what to look for in a review quite well. They’re right that your game history is stored on your profile, but if you want a good set of stats, go type your username in here:

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