"Best Way To Study" Experiment - [SIGNUPS CLOSED]


No, I don’t think so.

The main lesson here is that if you want ready-to-analyze data, you have to force people to enter the right things in the right fields in the right format. If I were to do a 2nd iteration, I would assemble a small team. Certainly

  • someone to create a simple website for participants to enter their data via a simple account/password system, a homebrew moodle/qualtrics
  • someone to help out with organizatorial stuff like preparing a wiki/FAQ, writing and sending out guides/memos/reminders, answering simple questions, gathering feedback etc.

I can tell you some of the descriptives, if you like. Take it as a teaser. :slight_smile:

Total signups: 54
Initial group size: Menu 15, Grind 14, Minimalist 6, Autodidact 1
Final group size: Menu 14, Grind 10, Minimalist 3, Autodidact 0
No. of people who made an effort: Menu 13, Grind 9, Minimalist 3
No. of people who studied for more than 2 weeks: Menu 9, Grind 5, Minimalist 0
No. of people who studied on 30 days: Menu 3, Grind 0, Minimalist 0




What I remember of my experience was mostly gaining experience playing more games. Ladder anxiety generally went down over the course of the study, but by the end I was getting burnt out and losing the will to play. I started to do shorter sessions than the beginning of the study, spending about the same time on live games but spending less on memorization and tsumego.

I started off memorizing some Lee Changho Go Seigen and Lee Sedol, then moved toward more current games. The main thing I was looking for in these games was direction of play and shape.

I improved over the course of the study from ~13k to ~11k, then stopped cold turkey at the end of the time period. Since then I’ve watched the occasional go video and more recently played against 7k CrazyStone on breaks during the work day.

Before the study I’d have been more surprised at the number of people who dropped out before 30 days, kinda surprised I made it to the end. I hope I didn’t make any formatting mistakes in the data I submitted :cold_sweat:


I was one of the people who didn’t make it 2 weeks. In the maybe 9 days I put in, I learned a little bit about myself and the attempt to learn go online.

  1. By the time the study got underway I had some brutal days at work leading into vacation. That burned me completely out. So studying/practicing under the right conditions and in the right mindset is important.
  2. It’s significantly easier to find level-appropriate chess tactics online than level-appropriate tsumego thanks to websites like https://chesstempo.com (completely free, although I pay a modest annual fee to support the site).
  3. Struggling day after day with level-inappropriate tsumego was anti-fun.
  4. Memorizing pro games was surprisingly enjoyable and much easier than anticipated.
  5. Just studying/practicing and not playing any at all was a drag.
  6. smurph is a really cool guy. Seriously, he was a pleasure to interact with and felt like someone I wanted to support.


Have a look at the Level Up Series/Jump Level Up! depending on your rank. I feel especially frustrated with tsumego apps. Best way are books and Level Up does a lot of things right.


If I can spot them on YMI or similar I may do that.


YMI has very little available for sale at the moment. For what it’s worth, I emailed them recently to ask and they said they should replenish their stocks in a few months.

I also have the Level Up book series and I do think they are very nicely done. Though, I think they could emphasize the value of Sente a lot more.


Very interesting, especially coming from a chess player.
I hope you keep playing go after all you said.


I come and go. It’s a beautiful game and speaks to me on a deep level, but like many I find that the very things that make it alluring also make it a struggle.