Complete beginner looking for strong guidance (Sensei)!

Hey everyone!

After playing a couple of games against real life players (friends) that have also just started out I got hooked. I am currently doing tsumego exercises and have decided to also play Go online due to the lack of players in my area.

However playing go against people that do know what they are doing is very intimidating and I find myself being stuck and outsmarted very fast without knowing WHY this happened… Which is why I would really like a very experienced player to perhaps help me by playing some tutoring games in which we can discuss the games live as they progress(?).

I would be very grateful to have a very strong amateur (dan would be the term?) teach me a thing or two about this magnificent game! Because right now it seems like a mountain I am not able to even set one foot on, let alone start my climb :smile:


Kevin (from Holland)

I would check out this thread for starters.


I already read that topic, and some others. But I find that much of the concepts really onlyt start to truly make sense when I actually play!

Which is why some tutoring games with (live) feedback would be very much appreciated. I know all of the basics: the rules, ‘good’ shapes (good is a loose term heh) and bad ones, influence vs direct territory, life and death, seki, sente etc.

However while I know the concepts in theory this doesn’t translate into playing an actual game :smile:

Could you post a game that you played recently here and ask for a review? Optimally a game against someone near your level, but which you are confused about.

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Currently playing some games, will post a link once im finished!

Here’s a game I just finished, I resigned after a big mistake:

Here is another 13x13 game against that same opponent that I won (not sure why he kept trying to play for so long, it was clear to me the match was over long before):

I made a few comments though I’m not sure whether they’re too simple or too advanced. I’m also not sure if I explained them well enough. Hope it helps; feel free to ask questions if you don’t understand something I said or thought I missed something.

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I understand your desire to immediately jump to higher ranks through teaching games and I encourage you to look for them, but there’s a bit of a warning here.

Dans are playing entirely different game, they see (and expect you to see) things that we can only dream of (for now). I’ve played several dans in real life, I’ve had my games reviewed by them and it boils down to a simple thing: none of them could teach. None of them understood what I needed and our effort was for nothing (well, not entirely for nothing, I had fun, but I feel like their time spent was not spent effectively, I hope you understand what I mean).
So, my first advice is look for teachers, not necessarily for “strong amateur players”. A good teacher only few stones stronger can teach you more than a high dan player.

My second advice: Have your games reviewed. If you have a basic grasp of all the things you’ve written about, make a few notes during and after the game so the reviewer knows what you are looking for (this should go without question and is a polite way to ask for a review).

The third thing is simple: Do not underestimate studying. Study tsumego (the right way, e. g. do not ever, — ever, ever, ever! :smile: — look at the answer before you are committed to your solution), study Sensei’s Library, read books (e. g. Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go), see lectures, after a bit you can start replaying professional games (this is where a dan player can become very handy!).

The fourth thing is the most important. Play, play, play. Play live games, play correspondence games, play blitz games. Play on 9x9 to learn how to live, play 13x13 to learn how to manage territory, play on magnificent 19x19 to taste the awesomeness of this wonderful game.

Actually, the fifth thing is the most important: Have fun doing all the things above.

And then, everyone learns differently. Experience (playing, reviewing) and studying (tsumego, books, lectures); find the right balance for yourself!

Good luck!


This is VERY helpful and everyting was clearly explained, thanks a lot!

Definately learned a lot with some of the variations you showed me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a well written response, I will take these tips to heart!

Currently im just playing as much games as possible against people around my skill (or slightly higher) and try to self analyse my games afterwards to see what I did wrong etc. I will continue doing tsumego exercises as I have all four volumes of the Graded Go Problems For Beginners which all in all contain 1500 problems to solve which get gradually harder!

Hopefully I will find someone in the kyu rankings that is willing to provide some guidance! You’re right that asking for a dan is much too ambitious. It makes sense, dan players certainly are too far invested in the game to really give proper basic guidance much of the time, a phenomenon not exclusive to Go haha :smile:


To complement what baelofoax was writing on playing games: reviewing your games (even by yourself, if you can’t have someone slightly stronger help you with this) and taking this as a way of identifying your weaknesses and patching them through learning is the way to go. One danger is to play too much without reflecting on your games. Case in point: I have played maybe only 20 19x19 games in my life and could quite easily beat an 8 kyu guy the other day who has 300+ games under his belt…

Speaking of playing and reviewing games, and moving from 9x9 to 19x19, I heartily recommend the SmartGo Kifu app: it has automatic level adjustment, and allows you to annotate games as you play.

This app also contains problems with many correct and incorrect branches, that you can explore to your heart’s content.

Now, if you learn in books, I can’t recommend the Go Books app enough, as it allows you to play the diagrams directly, and to add notes to your books. Books there are also cheaper than their printed version.


Hi,I looked at your 13X13 game,it’s difficult to deal with sometimes when the other person doesn’t understand the game as much as you do.Hang in there it gets better as you play more.You played a good game one thing I can say for a tip is that you don’t have to play in your own territory,just pass till the player runs in to himself with out eyes then you can pick all of them up or they will finally realize that they can’t win-Phcull

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Thanks for all the advice guys! Im currently playing some tutoring games against two high kyu players and it has been very helpful.

I am wondering however if there are also some European players that might be interested in playing tutoring games with me as the ones I am playing right now are american and since I am Dutch the timrzpne difference makes it a rather slow correspondance process. :wink: