Bots can't read ladders

We laugh at bots when they fail a ladder, but let’s not forget humans fail ladders too.

Look at that, I caught him in a ladder!

So, fellow kyus, if you want to win against dan, I have just the right trick for you :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, of course, after I got such a lead I couldn’t help but blunder some points back. That’s my usual way of dealing with having an advantage.

And please don’t take it as me trying to insult my opponent or something, it’s just funny for dan to make a mistake like that. I know perfectly well that in all the other games it’s me who’s doing silly blunders, let me have fun in this one game.


“Still on ladders? Ridiculous! Even looking at this page is beneath me.”

Yes, but even if you feel you are being cheated, read on a little further. Don’t forget the fundamentals. Our study begins with ladders.

[…] Many amateurs, sometimes even dan-ranked amateurs, are apt to become impatient when confronted with long ladders like this…

— Kageyama, Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go



One of the best lessons I ever had in Go is right there on the next page from that passage you quoted.

Weak players like me often look for a way to get stronger at the game without reading, thinking that maybe there is a “One Weird Trick” kind of thing that can take you to dan level, but Kageyama teaches otherwise:

Ladders should be the school that teaches you to read patiently, move by move – black, white, black, white, black, white – which is the only way.

I've read Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go only once so far, but it's already become one of my favorite books in any genre. Even if I didn't play Go, I'd still have enjoyed reading it—and then I would surely start playing. This is the passage I like the most:

No doubt the first requirement for becoming strong at Go is to like it, like it more than food or drink, and a second requirement is the desire to learn. A third requirement is to study it, using proper methods, patiently, little by little, without cramming. Ask dan-level amateurs and you will find that they did not become stronger just by playing their opponents for fun. Each one kindled the desire to learn more, and put in no small amount of time studying. Each one will have a few tales of hardship along the way to tell. Rome was not built in a day. It may not take years of devoted study to the exclusion of all else, but it does take effort piled upon effort to became strong at Go. The only ones who fall by the wayside are those, be they gifted or otherwise, who forget the word “effort”.

That’s worth more than the book’s weight in gold as far as I’m concerned—and, of course, it goes beyond improving at Go. Even the fact that I’m ranked 19k, having started playing around January, proves the truth in Kageyama’s advice: whenever I actually sat down for some serious study and practice, I got stronger. Simple like that.

But, you know, direction of play: I’m engaged to the loveliest girl in the universe and we’re working hard so we can get married next year. That’s how I’m focusing my efforts—and Go can wait for a little while. But the time will come: it may take long enough, but one day I will knock at @smurph’s dojo, I will challenge him for the Yamabe title, and I will win.


your title was misleading
i thought it was vs a bot game…until i realize it was a human

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