How to improve at reading

How do I get better at reading? I’ve done lots of Tsumego and I’m getting better at life and death, but it’s hard to translate that into reading in an actual fight. Any thoughts?

Do more tsumego :smile:. It really does help and you will eventually see improvement. You just have to grind it out. Your brain needs to learn all of those patterns.


It’s important to do Tsumego correctly to improve reading skills. Make sure to read out everything you can and convince yourself that you have solved the problem before checking the solution. If you just have a guess at the first move (which is really really tempting if you’re using some sort of software instead of doing tsumego on paper) you can improve life and death over time but don’t really improve reading very much, since you didn’t practice it. (I am terrible at following this advice myself though, so my reading is not very good =P)

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I am practicing very hard to fix my bad habits in this area. Once two separate 5d tell you that reading is what’s holding you back, it kind of hits home. :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s why I like this app. It makes you play out both sides of the problem.


I think solving tsumego is only part of the problem. It’s similar the relationship between practice drive and really driving on the road. A friend of mine suggest playing 1 real serious game every 20 tsumego you do, and focus on the part of tsumego you’re doing for the day. For example if you’re solving life/death problem today, try to lead the game into a “mad dog fight” game where big dragons are killed, similar in other fields. That way you’re putting your new knowledge into test which boost the effectiveness of the study.

I followed his advice for around 3 months and found it very productive. I could win against people in the club who can solve harder tsumego than me, because although I can’t read as deep as them I know how to lead the game into situation I already know.

Edit: As a side talk, honestly I can never do the shape & sabaki tsumego (targeted at my level) right on the first try. I wonder if everyone’s similar or I’m just bad at this aspect?