I didn't give the 9x9 a fair chance

So I played quite a bit after learning around 2001, and played a lot 20 years later on this site. After I switched jobs and my last child was born, though, I really didn’t have time to continue.

For the last couple of years all I’ve done is try to maintain some go sense in my head by playing daily games against bots on the 9x9 and I have to say it’s a neat board size. I don’t know if “look down on it” is too much for how I used to feel about the size, but I certainly didn’t prefer it.

I think some of my distaste was feeling like I had a lack of direction, but after hundreds of bot games I think I have a general kind of strategy in my head. Lack of other play hurts me a little, because sometimes I have the idea “okay white has two groups so I have to use life and death concepts to push them down into minimal forms to win” but I don’t have that life and death knowledge to execute on it.

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody else had my experience of starting to appreciate the smaller boards more as they got to low kyu level play?


I’m 5d and I’m still playing 9x9 everyday. Every game is new in my eyes.

Of course it lack lot of things in 19x19. But it have it own charms.


Here is a nice thread about 9x9 strategy

It’s a very different sort of game than 19x19, but appreciable in its own right.


shameless self-promotion incoming

I have a playlist of short 9x9 games analysis, a couple from KataGo, the rest human games from GoQuest:

There’s so much to learn on 9x9, I don’t expect to grow tired of it within my lifetime :smile:


I don’t recommend playing against bots. Have you considered playing on a go server?

Go Quest is well-suited for quick 9x9 games.

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Some might even say too quick :stuck_out_tongue:

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I got to 6kyu on OGS before realizing that I was missing a lot of tactical understanding. I completely stopped playing 19x19 and went on to play maybe 500 games of 9x9, mostly on Go Quest but some on OGS (longer wait times here). I am recently back to playing 19x19 along with 9x9. I definitely improved. I haven’t played much on OGS so I can’t say how it affected my rank here, but I feel that my game is stronger and my Go teacher mentioned that I am making fewer tactical mistakes.


I know it isn’t ideal, but with three kids under 5 years old it’s hard for me to schedule even time for a live 9x9. Been doing correspondence go lately though!

I have noticed that all the ai play has made it so sometimes stronger players have an opening I’ve an easier time with because after ~1,500 ai 9x9 games over the last couple of years I’ve seen a lot of branches of stronger openings.

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I’ll check these out, thank you!

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5 kids under 7 here, I know your struggle :heart: