Do i have to only play in 19x19 to progress?

Playing on 9x9 is useless or not ? because i saw that pro players only play in 19x19

“Real” go is played on 19x19, but that doesn’t mean that other sizes don’t have their uses as well, even to improve your 19x19 play. 9x9 is great for learning fighting, since the whole game is basically one fight. Plus, it helps you get more games in faster so you can learn faster when starting off.


The better I play on 9x9, the worse I play on 19x19. If you have no knowledge in fuseki and can fight very well, you will ignore it forever.

If you played only 9x9 you would of course have a problem. However If you only have a fef minutes, or just do not want to play on the “big boys” board right now it is completely fine. And I think you will always gain something from any game. You can hone your reading a practice local positions or capturing/defending corners…

Often I play 13x13 because I do not have that much time, but I don’t like too quick 19x19 when I do not have the time to think about my moves. And I find 13x13 a great compromise. It is big enough that it is not just a mindless fighting but small enough for my time preferences.

To learn the game as a beginner, playing 9x9 to start with is great for learning the properties of stones, as well as recognising frequent response patterns. Though my 9x9 friend who fiends nothing but 9x9 boards can resign the instant I kill 2 of his junk stones on a 19x19 board. It’s all about the mindset and habits you develop.

I decided to take the leap to 19x19 when I was ~23 kyu, and never went back to 9x9 ever since. Why? Because the game’s not over with 1 blunder. If I lose a whole bunch of stones on the bottom left, I can just make some things happen on top right. 4 times out of 5 my opponents would waste the next 10 moves capturing the junk stones I gave up, and their gleeful smirk upon capture will soon be smothered by the realisation that 3/4 of the board now belongs to me. They’ll be scratching their heads as to why they’ve lost even after a huge capture. Hehe.

That’s how I got to 20 kyu. First steps to whole-board thinking, cha!