Expert Advice Needed About Reading Skills

Hello to you all. I’m at 14K but have run into a wall with my reading skills. I’ve realized that I have a block in visualization, No matter what I try I cannot “see” beyond about two moves. I literally cannot hold the sequencing of black and white stone positions in my mind. Very disappointing and I am at a loss. Has anyone experienced this? I’ve played 100’s of games and just am not making progress. I historically have memory problems and can’t recall phone numbers or simple sequences. I’m considering giving up the game but I’m not a defeatest so I’m inquiring here. Any advice or help?


Take your time when you read, especially when you do tsumego. It is naturally difficult to read so don’t worry too much if it’s still hard after a while. Otherwise, you just need more practice.

Shadow thanks. Can you “see” sequencing in your mind? I literally cannot visualize no matter how long I examine the stones. I will do as you suggest however and try more. Gratitude.

I can read sequences but it’s hard to say I can clearly and vividly see them in my head and that I don’t make mistakes. It may help if you practice reading out ladders because they are simpler but still train you. Make sure you do not use any “shortcuts” like moving your mouse when you do this excercise. It might also help by reading out a problem you know the answer to while keeping in mind clarity.

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Ty very much! Ill try that. You are kind and helpful!

vjsan, I’m also about 14 kyu and learning. I can’t hold these pictures in my mind very well either. This may limit how far I can go (pun, ha). But I’m slowly improving my reading skill by setting gentle challenges for myself.

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Hey thanks so much sax! let’s play together and set the limit at 30 mins so we can both work at it. I’d give up the competitive drive to chat as we play so we can both learn, how bout you?

I’m in :smile:

I’ve never had a problem with visualization, but my girlfriend has.

In helping her I found that the best way by far to improve reading is doing tsumego. The first time we did a tsumego session I got her reading up from 2 stones to 4-5 (depending on the difficulty of the problem)

It’s all about handling tsumego properly. Start with easy ones (frans liberary has a good build up:
Now remember this one simple rule:
Do NOT play ANY stones until you’ve read the problem COMPLETELY. I don’t care how simple or hard the problem might be. But make 100% sure that your solution is correct and complete.
A way to check whether you succeeded in doing this fact is by simply playing all the required moves within 10-20 seconds after playing your first move. Since you should have already read the problem out it should be easy to place your stones on the planned positions. An added benefit of this is that you also train your memorization of read sequences which will help you in real games (you won’t have to read things out over and over)

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