Reading... Real board vs Computer

Rescently i have been playing more games using a real board, real stones instead of using a computer.

What i have realised is that because i have spent years playing on computer as opposed to real life that my reading skill on a real board is noticably weaker than on a conputer board such as the ones we use on OGS.

So the question is, does anybody else have this same issue, and if so, what do you think are the better ways of mitigating this discrepency?

My thought it to play more real life games. But are there any other ways? Perhaps using a real board to go through pro games?



I have not had this issue, but then again, I have not played over a real board in a long time, so I don’t know.

Practicing go problems set up on real board might be another useful reading exercise.

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That may be something worth doing for sure.

Though because i spent years playing on a computer i deffinatky feel that becausr the go board is at a different angle and size… that my abiloty to read and iven observe the board tactically has been somewhat limited.

It would be helpful to know just how much it has limited me but currently there are no players of my current strength around to play so its hard to really test out just how much of a difference there is between the two reading abilities.

Well, you could always stand on the chair… :wink:


As it happens, I was going to raise this topic about six months ago, but never got around to it. I too feel there is a difference, but in the opposite direction. I play more IRL, so maybe it is just a matter of what one is used to. On the other hand, I’m inclined to think it may be a techno vs. non-techno issue, That is, I’m an old-timer and I am more comfortable with a real board and stones. I suspect younger people may be more comfortable with the electronic environment.

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One older and stronger player once said to me “It’s always easier on a screen”. Let’s stand in silence for his wisdom.

Bird view is always easier.


To be used to play one way or the other should be primary factor.
Then I do agree for the bird view but there are other things like the size, the luminosity of the screen itself which makes the comfort of reading a bit better in real life to me.
The biggest difference is off topic: it’s to have your opponent in front of you.

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I used to find reading easier on a real board but since I, recently, started playing more online I think it’s going the other way. For me the main difference is that online the stones are always perfectly placed whereas on a real board there are always variations in stone placement and these change as the game progresses. Combined with viewing angle I think this can affect reading. I much prefer the real board! As @violaine says it’s odd having your opponent “sit” on the same side of the board as you online!

I dunno, here players like to put the stones in a bit messed up way. Not exactly at the crossing. That doesn’t disturb me.

Let’s stand on chairs for his wisdom.


The human brain get structured with memory. Concentration is a mater of focusing on the usefull information. When everything around is always the same as on a home computer place. Inconsciusly you can be more confident and can use your capacity of focusing more easely. So it’s a question of habits that helps to focus on the game.
In general, screens are not good to develop human intelligence with the time, but make it simpler to focus when you start to get used to it.
But at the end it’s not just a matter of which habit we have (play on real life or on screen) but also the fact that on a screen it is more easy to stay focused on the game because there are less extra informations (as the ambiance and the other player) or things like the unperfect placing of stones on a real bord.
Also a screen with the light on the eyes tends to eat concentration on a 2 d world whereas real life let you free to use all your senses on a at least 3 d reality.
So at the end I think that it’s less difficult to start playing on screen when your habits come from real life games, than the opposite. So lets not forget to have gg on real life!

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