Could Someone Give me an Advise on Improving My Go Game?

Hello there,

I am new to the game of Go and to be honest have been enjoying it immensely. However, I feel like I have hit a plateau in my skill development. I am seeking advice from more experienced players on how I can improve my game.

Currently; I am struggling with understanding when to prioritize territory versus influence, as well as how to effectively manage the balance between the two. I often find myself in situations where I have either overcommitted to one aspect or neglected the other, leading to suboptimal outcomes.

Also; I have gone through this: https://forums.online-go.com/t/how-to-improve-in-sap/29977 which definitely helped me out lot.

I am also looking for tips on how to improve my reading skills. I often miss critical moves or fail to anticipate my opponent’s strategies, resulting in missed opportunities or losing positions.

Also; I am curious about recommended study materials or practice routines that have helped others progress in their Go skills. I am willing to dedicate time to study and practice, but I want to ensure that my efforts are focused on the right areas.

Thankyou in advance for your help and assistance.

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People will give better advice if you post one of your games.

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Welcome on the forum elija6266,

That will always be. Great you got aware of.

Books or videos about middle game seems fitting like “attack and defense”

You may train yourself to estimate the balance of territories (counting sure points only) vs the balance of power (who will have an advantage in the future)

Tsumego. (Solving go problems)

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Those are contradictory sentences.
Only if you are no longer new, but rank is still same, it may be correct to talk about plateau

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Without seeing a game of yours (your game history is empty) or having any indication of your level, I’d say that overcommitting on some things while neglecting other things may be a cause.
Perhaps there is lack or inaccuracy of judgement, comparing how good is the territory you get compared to the influence you give in exchange, and vice versa.
Perhaps you play too much “puppy style” (following your opponent around the board) and rarely try to take the initiative.

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Well, I sent @elija6266 a challenge for a correspondence game, so maybe there will be something to review later on.
We will wait and see.

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If you are really new to go and not a super talented genius you are worrying about this far too early I would say. I’m a 5k and still struggle with this. Not like stuggling to get some subtle details right. Struggling as in ‘what is influence actually good for?’

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Good when facing stones to attack them from the other side. By extension to prevent the opponent to put himself in this situation.

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A handful of recommendations, assuming you’re around 20 kyu:

  1. Diligently solve basic life and death puzzles (tsumego). The ability to read out sequences to capture stones or make living groups is foundational at this level. It’s also great reading practice.

  2. Study examples of good shape and bad shape for your stones. Learn to avoid bad shape that leaves weaknesses. Sensei’s Library has many pages on this topic. Tesuji books like Get Strong at Go vol. 3 and Elementary Go vol. 3 would also be helpful.

  3. Practice some basic corner enclosure sequences and joseki (corner patterns). Understanding common corner patterns is important and will help develop a sense of territory and influence.

  4. Become familiar with basic terms and principles. If a move has a name (hane, extend, clamp, to name a few), try to understand its purpose and how it’s used.

  5. Have fun and enjoy the process! In my experience, newer players rarely plateau so long as they keep an open mind and aim for “correct” ways of playing (the foreign terms are honte and haengma). Beyond that, just play. There’s a popular saying about being tempered in a hundred battles. :slight_smile:

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Oh yes, on this abstract level I get it. I think I tried that in about 50 games so far and maybe succeeded once or twice. :slight_smile: Not saying the concept isn’t useful, just that I am too stupid.

Something to use in all your games

I don’t know if it’s synonymous, but instead of thinking about influence I think about “strong groups facing the center”. By strong I mean “a group on which the opponent can’t put pressure”. Making such a group in early midgame generally gives you a good position. For instance in this recent game
richy

you were Black, and you let your opponent make this ponnuki in sente. That’s a very strong group facing the center. The AI evaluated this position W+13.

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Hmm, yes, I do aim for such situations. But it’s more ‘if I have this, the opponent can’t do much in the center’ rather than ‘if I have this I can do something in the center’. So maybe I just need to change my expectation and be happy with this one aspect.

Yes, influence is useful to prevent the opponent from having a strong attack. For instance when you reduce or invade, you can run towards your friends.

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Yes, to everything which was said – also, influence/strong groups gives you more flexibility and possibilities.

Having a strong shape and group which is alive (or nearly alive/difficult to attack or kill) gives you more options globally and nearby, as there are less forcing moves from the opponent you have against your position (therefore less stones they can get in sente, etc. nearby).

And it can make your groups more difficult to attack globally, if you have influence or strong, living groups/shapes on the board (even somewhat far away, especially a large amount of it or a long wall)

It’s usually harder/less efficient to use influence to build directly in the centre, unless you have an existing framework or extra stones in place already (easier to do so along a side than in the centre – there it can allow you to build more territory/potential, onto the 4th or 5th lines or higher.

For example, in the game jlt posted, White can now develop a lot by pushing up at the key point at Q6 (building the right side area in harmony with the nice ponnuki shape)

That area would have many more defects if the ponnuki weren’t there and a living black stone at P14 (the intersection where the ponnuki captured a stone), for example.

Another example is, if you had got the knight’s move at P7 in sente at some point, this would be building your influence/thickness, and at a key global point/area for both sides.

After that, you can see some potential to develop something in the centre towards the bottom right, in harmony with your existing framework/stones on the bottom.

For example; an extra move near J7 or K7, would create a bigger framework at some point.

(although it might not be most efficient to do so depending on the positions in the game – Black can also use it to attack White or be at an advantage in any fighting which happens in the nearby areas of the board (centre-right quadrant or so – even fighting around the Q10 area could be helped by that ) )

It also reduces White’s ability to build there, or play key moves to build onto the 4th/5th lines or higher, like Q6 himself.


In general, the less aji/forcing moves against your position the opponent has, and the stronger your shapes/groups, the more possibilities you have to play a wider range of different variations (for example, invade more aggressively, tenuki, etc.) elsewhere on the board.

(even if it’s not very close by, as your outward-facing strong groups/influence exert some strength/effect across the whole board)

So it can give you more global options.

Apart from that, moves like pressing a group down flat onto the 3rd line can also be a good exchange locally, because the 3rd line doesn’t make much territory, whereas the influence gives you thickness and more potential in the centre and global choices.

Playing on the 4th line in general tends to give one more options and potential towards the whole board, whereas playing on the 3rd line (or 2nd) is better for solid territory or closing it.

So it’s often good to vary one’s position and have some high/low stones (4th line/3rd line), to create a more efficient position.

But it’s also often something where influence, or a shape like a ponnuki, will give you the ability to profit in several different ways elsewhere on the board, so the “points” or value of it aren’t necessarily directly apparent only in what you can construct locally.

For example, recently my opponent and I were reviewing a game in which they chose a variation which let me get a tortoiseshell in the centre-right (in exchange for connecting under on the right side on the 2nd line and saving that group).

This didn’t necessarily let me construct a lot in the local area, but I was able to cut here, which makes the position very difficult for White globally, and is probably worth a lot more than the 15-20 points of difference saving the stones made on the right.

You can also see how the influence/thickness on both the left, and even on the bottom, can help now if White has two weak, split groups to run with.

(and gives Black potential to build by playing some sente moves whilst attacking)

And it gives the O6 group somewhere very alive to run very easily if it ever comes under attack
(so it’s possible for Black to ignore M5 fairly easily as well)

So with influence/strong outside-facing groups, it can also help to be aware of how it will let you play differently elsewhere on the board, not necessarily only directly profiting through building, including allowing you to tenuki (free extra moves) thanks to the strength of it, or to invade or attack.

(though it can be easier to construct frameworks with existing influence/strong groups, or to build by playing global building moves in sente when attacking an opponent group)

It may be useful also, to try to see future possibilities of what you can do with it existing on other parts of the board, when driving possible attacks/running battles, or future direction of play globally.

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Does OP’s account still exist? I couldn’t find it.

It’s so funny that this is supposed to be an advice for OP and yet the discussion is going on without any single reply from the OP

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Well, mostly people have been advising me instead, I’m fine with that. :slight_smile:

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