How to become better, how to become a pro in this game, etc. I noticed that there are puzzles in this game, are they good?

How to become better, how to become a pro in this game, etc?
I noticed that there are puzzles in this game, are they good?
Im a newbie at this game playing first time, so i intersted.

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Play a lot. Do tsumego. Ask for game reviews via this forum. But most of all have fun.


Here are some puzzles to start with.

More you play, more you learn. There is this old go proverb “lose your first 100 games as fast as possible”, meaning that you should just play, play, play, and not care about winning or losing. Puzzled do help on getting better, but i think the main thing is to play games ^^

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

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If you’re older than 6, I don’t think you could do this.
But the journey of a go player has many milestones which could help you understand how quickly you’re progressing.

  • twenty plus kyu (TPK)
  • Double digit kyu (DDK)
  • Single digit kyu (SDK)
  • Shodan
  • 2 dan
  • 3 dan
  • 4 dan
    and so on…

If you quickly become dan, you can start thinking about becoming a pro.

Pro dans are counted after amateur dans.

Strongest Italian players (I’m from Italy), reached dan level in about 1 or 2 years. They aren’t pro. Our strongest players are about 4d / 5d.
In Europe there’s just a handful of pros.
Becoming pro is very very hard.

BTW, there are few “pros” (which make a living out of go) without actually being pro level.
Youtubers, teachers and so on.


If you’re older than 6, I don’t think you could do this.

I discussed this topic in some detail last year.

Historically, there have been professionals who started learning the game as late as 18. Even Catalin Taranu didn’t begin until he was 15, I think, and there have been other Western professionals who have started as older teenagers, iirc, especially the earlier ones (Kerwin?).

I get the impression that traditionally, many professionals have begun playing Go significantly older than 6, even older than 10.

It’s easier to apply the general rule, which has come down as received wisdom: the time it takes to reach professional level is probably going to be at least ten times the time it takes you to reach 1d.

So if you reach 1d in a year, it might take ten years to become a professional; if you reach 1d in six months, it might only take five years. Just see how long it takes to reach 1d.

Rather than saying one is aiming to become a professional, better to say one is trying to make it to 1d; at 1d, perhaps a more aspirational mindset can be assumed.


Also, almost nobody who posts on forums about beginning Go and trying to become a professional has any kind of sticking power.

If the person asking had a hundred 19x19 games under their belt, and they’d worked through a hundred problems in Cho Chikun’s Elementary Life and Death, I’d take their questions more seriously because at least some work (if only a little) would be on the table.

Apologies to OP, but my money would be on him quitting the game entirely within a month.

Also, there’s no point in seriously considering trying for professional strength unless you buy lessons. Buy at least one lesson a week from a strong player. Imagine trying to become a professional piano player without even going to a teacher once a week – it wouldn’t happen.


Anyway, my constructive take is:

  • Play games
  • Do tsumego
  • Buy weekly lessons
  • Join one or more schools, like the Yunguseng Dojang or the Nordic Go Dojo
  • See how long it takes you to reach 1d
  • Don’t raise your aspirations unless you can raise your workload

Try to assess whether you have, say, at least 100 hours and $100 per month to spend on Go. That’s going to be a baseline if you want to take this endeavour seriously.

I’m not sure of course (and apologies if I am wrong), but my impression is that the OP didn’t actually know there is a formal concept of go professionals and used ‘pro’ simply in a sense of ‘real good’. Still all advice in this thread is great, but becoming simply ‘really good’ might be a lot easier to achieve. (Especially if you leave that term largely undefined. :smiley: )


All OT, but

If I were the OP, after a sentence like that I would try to show you that you are wrong :stuck_out_tongue:

This depends on how much self-esteem you have I guess. I think most professional players wouldn’t say they are “really good”.

How I wish this was true XD


This would make @bugcat an awesome motivator, no? :smiley:

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