Hi folks,

a few days ago I had the idea of setting up a certain challenge. I want to play 2 rated correspondence games (19x19), where I try to annotate (nearly) every move I make with a principle I take from one of the books listed below. Also my decisions during the games will be mostly based on these written principles. In other words: I will actively search for principles in the books which might be applicable before doing a move. In case two or more principles compete or lead to different moves I have to choose and justify. For the documentation I want to use the Malkovich function.

I won’t use neither a game databases nor fuseki/joseki dictionaries (like the tools you find in SmartGo or online). Opponents are allowed to use whatever they want.

There are two ideas behind it: Obviously I want to learn and practice Go principles for live games. In addition I want to see how useful it is for a DDK to rely mainly on these principles in a game, where principles help a lot and where they may lead to a wrong decision. I’d like to review the game afterwards with my opponent(s). Ideally a much stronger player will also do a review.

The books I use:

  1. Fundamental Principles of Go (Yilun Yang)
  2. First Fundamentals (Robert Jasiek)
  3. Encyclopedia of Go Principles (Richard Bozulich)
  4. Joseki Vol 1 Fundamentals (Robert Jasiek)

and perhaps (haven’t bought it yet)

  1. Endgame Vol 1 Fundamentals (Robert Jasiek)

Who want’s to join me in this experiment?



PS. My rank here is 14k overall (mostly blitz or live 9x9 games), 16k in correspondence games (only 19x19). Unfortunately I won around 2/3 of the correspondence games on time, so the rank is probably not that meaningful.


Very interesting idea, @acepoint!

I’m around 11–10k (OGS correspondence exclusively for the past two or so years) and I also like to use the Malkovich log for variations (for edutainment for my opponents and other viewers as well as for plain entertainment when I blundered :joy: ), and if you’re willing to play a slooooooooow corr. game with me, I’d happily join. (I have a weird work schedule and easily stress out if the time gets short on my games.)
For example, like this:

  • Fischer timing
  • max. ~2 weeks (more if you like)
  • ~18 hrs per move (more if you like

I have read #1 and much of #2 (and I like Jasiek’s books a LOT) but, TBH, can hardly remember anything consciously :smiley:

Greetings, Tom

I also won’t be able to state any “principles” myself since I mainly play “gut” moves, and OK, sometimes I will write something about those “bowel movements”, but I cannot promise I’ll do so for every move.

I can play correspondence. I’m probably a little stronger than 9k. I can try to play this one fast.

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I’m about 12k in correspondence and would be happy to play in this as long as I only have to make my normal move and not also find a principle-based move. It sounds like a great project, but I don’t have the time to do more than just play right now.

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@trohde, @S_Alexander, @Traveller: Great! Do you have the same nicks in OGS? I will then set up challenges for all of you.

[edit] ok, found you and already sent the challenges.

Anyone else wants to join? I just decided to make it four games (2 white and 2 black).



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[Edit] link to the 4th game added

So far three games have been started. You all are welcome to read the particular Malkovich logs and shred me in the spectators chat :wink:




Sounds like a fun idea! I’m 15K overall here (mostly live games). If you think that fits for your challenge , send me a request.

Are you making the comments visible for the other player or as ‘malkovich log’?

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You are in ;-). I put the comments into the Malkovich log (see my message above).

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I’ve had a (quick) look at the first game, and it seems like this wll be a valuable resource for me, at least for opening! Thanks for setting this up!

I’ve nothing to do anyway) and though your understanding of Go is obviously deeper than mine (considering our previous games), I’d like to participate. You can challenge me if you want)


If acepoint is too busy with his games already running, I’d be available for a game with comments as well. I just noticed, that note taking is way harder than I thought but it’s a fun experiment.
It’s quite hard to make comments/predictions that are still true a few moves later.


Yes, that would be nice. I am pretty busy at the moment, and you are right, this experiment is time consuming.

If I find some spare time later, I’ll do a short summary of my first impressions on this experiment, because apart from one game the opening phase is more or less finished.

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OK. @11117 then just send me a challenge the way you’d like to play, with handicap or without, but please correspondence with at least 1 day+ per move. Cheers

Aargh aargh aargh … that’s probably me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: made a BIG mistake in the upper left corner and now must see how I can make up for that …

@throde Don’t bother ;-), no time pressure.

After the pure opening phase is finished (we are between move 25 and 39 in the games), it’s time now for some early conclusions:

  1. In all four games following certain proverbs or opening principles helped a lot and more than I thought before.
  2. In addition to the books I found this opening theory seminar for beginners by Nick Sibicky (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvB5Yns4JwY) which gave me also very valuable insights.
  3. Nonetheless I had a few situations, where I caught myself at first choosing a move and then looking for an appropriate principle. This is also a common behavior in chess, e.g. there is a famous book with the provoking title »Move first, think later«.
  4. There were only two or three situations where I had to do some concrete »reading«.
  5. The knowledge of a basic joseki (First Fundamentals, Jasiek) helped me to exploit a mistake my opponent made.

I don’t know how experts are judging the current positions. I’m sure I still made a lot of moves which Dan-players and pros would call a mistake. But I felt comfortable during the opening phase and also think that I reached more or less decent positions without making heavy blunders. The least I can say is that all these opening principles are now embedded in my memory.

Now it’s getting more difficult. I need to make middle game plans, but finding and following general principles isn’t that easy anymore. I decided to lean on principles of making good shapes, on principles regarding the status of groups and some defending/attacking principles. I also put another book into my list: Fighting Fundamentals, Jasiek.




trohde seems to be out already as well :open_mouth:
quite succesful experiment so far I’d say. I’m curious to see some reviews afterwards.

edit: malkovich log question: how do you add variations to the malkovich log? I Haven’t figured that one out yet…

Thanks, I’ll try that


yes, there is one game finished, very early, after only 34 moves. Throde seemed to be pretty frustrated after he misplayed(?!) a basic joseki. You can take a look at the Malkovich logs in https://online-go.com/game/5280268. Though the game was far from over I think. But he then »invested« a few more stones in the same corner which I didn’t understand.

Honestly speaking, I don’t know, how good I am. I started playing and studying seriously in March, but I have a lot of experience in other board games. And I read a lot of Go literature at the moment. At http://play.baduk.org there is a test which I finished 11k a few days ago.

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I’m playing this like I play all the games on this site: I play as long as I am winning or have something to learn.

I’ll come back and review the Malkovich logs after the game is over.

I considered adding my own Malkovich entries, but I really don’t have the time to make that very useful.