# Getting better at go: landmarks of understanding and a possible curriculum

Here is an incomplete list of specific landmarks of go playing and learning. Please feel free to add to this list by adding your own in the comments below. I am hoping to develop a “roadmap” of sorts; for my own use, but ultimately it would be great to compile our knowledge with the subject into a cohesive document that could be shared with everyone. You can probably infer from the type of goals I have written down what sort of scope I am looking for; they are specific and measurable skills. They are chunked up into rough categories, and that will change as we add/delete/debate the list. Thanks ahead of time.

Go players should …

Be able to recognize when a group is in atari
Be able to recognize if a ladder will succeed
Be able to recognize if a group is unconditionally alive
Be able to recognize “dead” shapes
Be able recognize snapback
Be able to recognize and play to make a seki
Be able to use nets to surround an opponent

Be able to recognize and avoid the empty triangle shape
Be able to use one space jumps and caps
Be able to use the knights move
Be able to use the diagonal hit (“shoulder/armpit”)
Be able to use the diagonal connection
Be able to use bamboo joints for connection
Be able to use the tiger’s mouth for connection

Be able to play 1 to 4 moves of common joseki
Be able to play 5 to 10 moves of common joseki
Be able to play 11 or more moves of common joseki
Be able to play … etc.
Be able to choose joseki with the whole board in mind
Be able to anticipate if a ladder in a joseki will help or hinder play

Be able to recognize that playing in the corner is the most valuable in the beginning
Be able to recognize that after playing in the corner, side extensions then the middle are the most important
Be able to recognize urgent moves for both sides
Be able to recognize “big” points for both sides
Be able to anticipate the aji of a particular stone
Be able to recognize miai moves
Be able to understand when certain moves remove aji from certain stones

Be able to use sector lines as a rule-of-thumb to judge an invasion
Be able to count the final score in the Japanese and Chinese scoring systems
Be able to estimate the score in the game for both sides
Be able to understand that certain moves have a generalized point value

Thank you,

Marian.

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Go players should …

Be able to tell a simple move from a risky one
Be able to refrain from making an unnecessary cut
Be able to consciously deviate from joseki
Be able to share with their opponent
Be able to characterise any move (e.g. “this is slow/gote/honte” etc.)
Be able to look for the intention behind a move
Be able to look for alternative moves to destroy the opponent’s intentions (fighting spirit)
Be able to tenuki (play away)

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Great! Thank you,

M

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be able to drive stones to the edge in order to capture them
be able to close all open borders before passing
use hane and nobi frequently in response to attachment on a single stone
recognize and play pincers
recognize and play extensions
recognize and play wedges
recognize and produce (in one move) ko shapes
recognize internal ko threats
recognize capturing races
differentiate (without considering ko threats or ko size) between more and less valuable forms of ko
recognize peeps
recognize ko fights, and be able to play ko threats
recognize (at least at an endgame position) life due to double ko
comprehend the status of the bent four eyespace in the corner, and the ‘seki’ that leads up to it
be able to use the large knight’s move
be able to use the two space jump
be able to identify moves which most increase a friendly group’s liberties
be able to identify moves which most decrease an opposing group’s liberties
have resigned some games
have played moves motivated principally by reasons of semedori
envision the likely endgame count of stable positions

These are in no particular order. It was unclear to me exactly what you mean by ‘measurable’ but the standards in the OP seem to be kind of loose.

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Be able to recognize and play to make a seki