Really on the fence about how long it takes to get strong starting from zero


He wrote things like

017 2016-03-31 11 kyu Basics: 10A
018 2016-04-01 12 kyu Basics: 10B
019 2016-04-02 12 kyu Basics: 10C
020 2016-04-03 11 kyu Basics: 11A
021 2016-04-04 11 kyu Basics: 11B
022 2016-04-05 11 kyu Basics: 11C

I don’t doubt that he listened to these lectures. However, each lecture comes with a problem set. I did these problem sets when they were already easy for me and I could not have mastered one set per day. So, I doubt that he shared my definition of doing things “properly”.

As far as your other remarks are concerned: In my life, I have invested time and energy in things where my aptitude is very competitve, and things where my aptitude is at the low end of the bell curve. It is certainly important to identify your areas of strength and build your career and hobbies around it, but absolutely neglecting your weaknesses will damage your life as well (for example, doing a sport badly might still be crucial for your health and mobility, doing crosswords badly might make the crucial difference for your mental ability in old age, making awkward conversation might still lead to friendship if tried often enough), and my most rewarding successes have been accomplishments that were a breeze for all my friends (for example, swimming 15 minutes without break in elementary school after having learned to swim years before, having the regular swimming lessons at school and doing lots of extra training with my parents).


Quite agree.

For me, it has always been about the journey.

I play because I enjoy the game. This is one reason I don’t worry about the impact of AI like AlphaGo. I interact with people all over. I like solving puzzles. I enjoy reading about the history and the theory. I frequently use the videos as something interesting to watch while I am doing the exercise I need to stay healthy. I run marathons, not sprints. My journey with Go is another marathon.

BTW, I enjoy running marathons too.


[quote=“TheBeginer, post:20, topic:10618”]By investment I do not mean money, I mean pleasure. 7 hours a week for 52 weeks is many hours. If one knows one is a stubborn Go learner and not cut out for this game, that same time could be used to get a private pilots license, learn how to skydive, learn how to shoot, learn photography, pick up dancing, and a million other things that one might be better suited towards in terms of making intrinsically satisfying progress towards these other interests. It is about gettingbetter in order to more appreciate and enjoy the hobby. If someone hit a permanent wall in Go, why not use that time to do other things in which one has not hit a wall?

i guess we do not disagree, particularly.

But you are going to hit a wall in go, and in all of those other things, eventually. Increasing in strength is joyous, it is true, but you can spend the rest of your life appreciating and enjoying go even if you never make it to 1d.

Even if you disagree with that, you keep playing until you stop improving, then stop, that time is no more wasted than if you’d spent it skydiving or whatever. If you keep improving until you are 2d, then stop, is it less wasted?

If all that effort is not already pleasurable for you, and you get to 1d after an exhausting slog and then quit saying, well at least i made shodan… that sounds like much more of a waste.

In the end, none of us are getting out of here alive.


It sounds like you propose to continue to strive toward your goal as long as you think you can still improve, even if you no longer enjoy the game. It would be simpler to use your enjoyment as the gauge of your investment in go: when you no longer enjoy it, you should probably do something else.

In my experience, most gamers are good at most games, but not necessarily at the same level, because games differ in the qualities they require. One of the biggest splits, I think, is between card games (dealing with chance) and games of positional strategy like chess and go (where visual memory and calculation are crucial). Most people hit a wall eventually for any number of reasons. I know a genuine math genius (a real prodigy) who hit a wall in higher mathematics because he couldn’t grasp the abstractions (he took up bricklaying and became a multimillionaire contractor who owns six houses). We all have our walls, but they are not worth fretting about.


Tony Robbins said that it is actually progress that makes us happiest and most fulfilled.

A SDK making shodan is lot happier than 1Dan making pro.


By the way, this is almost entirely off-topic, but I thoroughly recommend learning to skydive :smiley:


In normal PC games you understand game mechanics instantly. The only problem from the beginning is to not thinking about strategy. I didn’t reach anything in StarCraft because of it.
But in Go no one understands game mechanics completely. So you can reach 10k without any strategy.


Well. I’m around 3d here, whatever that may mean. I recently started shogi (maybe played 10 games, if you thought it’s difficult to find avenues for Go online, it’s hilarious how much worse it is for shogi unless you know Japanese) and since it’s more entertaining than chess (which I’m garbage at) I will make an effort to become shogi 1d. I already hate myself for knowing how much time I will have to invest to actually reach that goal before I’m too old to care.

Replay and memorize about 100 top pro matches per opening style, do tsumeshogi until I can effortlessly incorporate and anticipate piece drops in my reading, lose 1k blitz games to gpsshogi until I’m no longer surprised why I lost… and then spend about 3 years playing online.

You have to remember that everyone else did X to get to where they are at that point in time. In order to catch up in 1/n time, you will usually have to do n*X. I’d wager most dan players spend in excess of 3 years to get there. To make it in <1 year is the exception. To expect to make it in one year is almost as silly as to omit practice in favor of rumination.

Finally, as you probably know, nigh everyone has caught a fish at least that big, so when someone tells you they reached 1d in a year, don’t buy any used cars from that person.


So how well are you doing now OP? Progress report! @TheBeginer

P.S. Not wasting a year? I’m afraid devoting any amount of time into Go is already a waste of time. :confused:


Looks like he lasted 8 months, reached 15k (1 stone a month, not bad actually) and quit in October.

I’ve taken many a hiatus too, though. Who knows. It’s a struggle.


Just curious, what was the appeal of Shogi coming from a background in Go?

I was recently straddling the fence between Go and Shogi, coming from a background in chess. Ultimately I chose Go because it’s so simple yet sophisticated and timeless, in addition to being more accessible to learn and play as an English speaker.


Well, to be honest, I just wanted to diversify. Go can be a bit boring unless I take it seriously. And at the moment I just don’t have the drive to take it seriously.

I’ve tried shogi before, but that was ages ago. Got frustrated when I couldn’t even tell the pieces apart by kanji. After watching Sangatsu no Lion (which has very little in the way of plot but beautiful artwork) I gave it another shot and now it’s fun to play. I tried hard to like chess, but since I’m used to Go, I just felt so limited.

Of course, shogi’s 9x9 board isn’t much larger than the chess board, but you can drop captured pieces (akin to modern chess variant bughouse, I’m aware), plus some pieces promote. The added complexity somehow makes up for what it lacks in space.

But yea, compared to the shogi avenues, OGS is heaven. The only thing I managed to get to work is 81dojo and it’s obviously hard to find anyone as bad as I am at the moment. The upshot is that nobody cares about what rank you are, you’ll find a game in seconds (despite the fact that there are only about 300 people online at any given time). I’m listed as 10k or something and I’ve had up to 4d players accepting my game offers (even for unranked matches). It’s somewhat of a downside though that these heavily imbalanced matches usually end in about 20-40 moves. Then again, live and learn.


Playing through a couple of annotated Shogi games I had fun imagining that I was zoomed in on a small area of the Go board to see the individual pieces come to life for a local battle.


I’m still at the same level since my first post, have not improved ! have played basically no games between 2017 and 2018


Well now that you’re using the forums at least I assume you’re back for round 2? Good luck! Your 1 year has not passed yet if you haven’t actually started yet. This year could be the year!

Also I have 30+ year old frriends who are roughly in the SDK range after a year or so. I’d say that even if you miss Dan, SDK should something you can settle with. Age is only a factor for achieving pro status and the absolute pinnacle of GO. For the mere Dan rank, it’s achievable all the way till death.


I’ve been at about the same level (15-10kyu) for about 30 years. It’s still a fun game to play.


I’m sixty. First encounter with Go was when I was six or seven, but we didn’t really understand the game back then in our family. Played off and on with long pauses … and it’s only since ~2004 that I really stuck with it …

Currently I’m oscillating between 9k and 6k, just so that you know how long it can take if you‘re a working person with also some other priorities in life.

Leaving all obsession about rank behind helps a LOT :slight_smile: no “Dan in a year” for me, not even “Dan in this life”, I’m in it for the fun, for the love of the game, for the aesthetics of the game, for the philosophy, for the enjoyable “braintickle” :slight_smile: This way I can still enjoy the game even if it sometimes is painful to lose.

And stopping to obsess about rank and progress seems to have boosted my progress in the past year, as I played more relaxedly …

Another thing that also made it easier for me was the insight that it is not at all dishonourable to resign as soon as I realise that I cannot win the game.

So, take it easy, ANYBODY can progress faster than me :smiley:


So… you didn’t do anything and nothing happened. Outrageous.


Have you tried It’s in Japanese, but it’s busy and filled with kyu players (Edit: sorry for being off-topic)


I haven’t put in a huge amount of study or play, but I learnt the game 11 months ago and I’m currently ~9-7kyu so “shodan within a year” is certainly possible if one is dedicated enough (I had other life stuff going on this year so possibly could have made shodan if all of that didn’t exist)