How much time to take per move?

Continuing the discussion from How about adding a "Beginners" category?:

I don’t know the answer, @tdnksc, but it’s an interesting question. I’ll start a new thread, and maybe more experienced players will have some suggestions.

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  1. Depends on the time settings of the game, no?

  2. If somebody would try to hustle me like that I guess I’d ask them to please refrain from such remarks, and if they keep on doing it, I’d mute them and avoid playing them again.

  3. OTOH it could be that it were people trying to be “helpful” by telling you that the time was short—I don’t know about the time settings your games had …

  4. I am also terrible and slow. And I tell you, the older I get, the more I enjoy that. BOTH.

Also, you know, if people are rude, there’s that button for calling a moderator on the right flyout menu :wink:



thank you!


You are kind. I also enjoy being slow, not sure about terrible :relaxed:


Well, you are right.
Perhaps … it is more about realizing that if somebody says “you are terrible” they are in reality saying something about their perception (and maybe about their attitudes), not necessarily about us :slight_smile:

Straying a bit more off topic …
And about “enjoying” it … well, I certainly don’t really “enjoy” it if somebody perceives me as “terrible”, but I am learning to give less fcuks :wink: Short story of my long life: I am at a point where I find that I have neglected many of my talents and sacrificed many of my wishes in order to fit into a predominantly tight-assed* society (i.e. to have a job etc.) … and I am in the process of realizing/deciding that I am not going to spend my remaining few years that way.
(For those who know me IRL I should perhaps add: “this means I will care even less about being ‘terrible’” :wink: )

*From Merriam-Webster:

And to get back on topic:

This search for “time” on Sensei’s Library might be some nice, slow reading, especially this page:

Longest Time Spent Thinking About A Move

I think I must print that out and put it in my wallet :smiley:


Thank you again! Lots of thoughts from trying to play go, beginning to love it so much. Many issues in life seem to be paralleled, like is it worse to bother a friend by being slow, or by making silly mistakes? Do people like more to be challenged, or to be with someone peaceful? (Probably different daily) How much time can we spend on fun, or is what we are really interested in more than just “fun”?

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In Real Life: Since we cannot not bother others, I try to bother my friends the best way I can :joy:
In Go: … same

In Real Life I like to challenge peacefully, and in Go I try to do the opposite of what my opponent wants :smiley:

It is what pulls us forward!


30 min + 5x30secs
you shouldn’t lose on time too often with this setting.
about 30 sec/ move is good.
ignore opponent comments on time. you can use it any way you want


Assuming you’re going with the default setting of 30 min with 5 30 second byo-yomi periods, as Halibut suggested, it’s purely a game of math based on where you assess your strengths and weaknesses.

Generally speaking, the middle game is where fighting occurs, which is also where you’d need to spend the greatest amount of time counting liberties and judging the shape your moves are creating, so the average player spends more time focusing on moves here than the opening.

I like to use all the time I have at my disposal, so I’m always at or close to the byo yomi come endgame. When that happens, stay calm, and use all the time you have to try to calculate the biggest moves available to you. 30 seconds isn’t ideal for endgame, but it’s sufficient, I find.

so, I guess, in general I guess I’d say:

1/3-1/2 of your time on opening.
1/2-2/3 of your time on mid game
last minutes/byo yomi on end game

is how I do it, when I play live games… which admittedly isn’t as often as I’d like, anymore. XD


Thank you both, this is great advice, and makes me feel better about thinking for a few seconds before moving. I do think I have ruined a few games right at the beginning, but that is learning! It is so much fun here.

All the time I had a quote in mind, by EdLee on the L19 forum, and now I found it.
From this comment in “How to play games?”, I recommend reading EdLee’s whole comment.

[quote=“EdLee”]About thinking time – another eternal question (browse other threads).
Don’t think too long (e.g. 3+ minutes on every move is too long.)
Don’t play with zero thinking (e.g. 3 seconds or less on every move is too fast.)[/quote]

Sounds like a very good advice to me. Note the italics.


that was a fun read! :laughing:

Pros spend about 2 minutes per move. If you’re going to try and read ahead, you’d spend more time than that, if you aren’t, 30 seconds shouldn’t be a problem, maybe less on average.


This is so good to know. Many of the people I have been playing move almost the second after I do, but I will stop feeling pressured. Hooray for slow thinking!


Actually, I’m one of those people who make move relatively quickly. The advantage is that I learn good habits, the disadvantage is that I also learn the bad ones XD.

Anyway, you don’t really need to worry about taking too long, that’s what the time control is supposed to make you do. If you’re not running out of time, and your opponent thinks you’re too slow, your opponent needs to play with faster settings.


About the Moderator call button: I used it once and it did nothing. There were three moderators present, too. I was calling them frantically because my opponent didn’t understand go scoring and was not allowing the scoring to end. I finally had to force him or her to lose on time. It was very frustrating and I really needed a moderator. I found two moderators the next day (my opponent had complained about ME) and they finally got my side of the situation,

About time per move: I’m not a fan of byo-yomi, because I don’t like pressure. I always challenge with Absolute time. With 9x9, I use 10 minutes. With 19x19, I use 60 minutes. Let the game naturally direct how long each move takes, and leave the fixed timing for dan-level players.

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I have noted that often ( myself included) will play a game with 15 min or more on the clock and play like it is a 3min blitz. You have the time use it. If you are a slow player you can always state in the game title. Pls note time control, I am not in a hurry. Or some such disclaimer. You may get less bites but people will have less reason to complain.

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I always play 19x19 and sometimes against better opponenets I will take twice as long. i go into byo yomi and he still has 5 min main time

We usually use 10min main time 5 period of 30 secs overtime

They never mind. I put up a nice fight this way. If someone tells me to play faster I’ll ignore and play my best. Would you like to lose because you made a bad move too quickly?


all these answers are so great! and yes, Peng15, I have lost many times because I made a bad move too quickly :sweat_smile: Now I have changed my setting so I have to submit move. It gives a couple of seconds to rethink my mistake

I’ve never had it work either. Usually I’d PM the mods that are online instead.