Saxmaam's Slow Go

Using this space to keep track of demos, books, sites, etcetera, that I have worked through or am using.

Current, September 2023

Janice Kim beginner book #5
Key Concepts In Life and Death
Essential Go Proverbs - 26 Kyu Problems
Joseki Tutor - Play Go at! | OGS
GoChild - connection problems set (
Trouble Master Video


Level Up 7
Book on counting and winning capturing races
Level Up 8
Review hard problems from first 10 Level Up books
Making Good Shape (free pdf book)
mark5000 series for beginners
Hunder book on capturing races
[dsaun’s shape lecture]
[Fran’s Library - first 350 cho chikun encyclopedia problems]
[elementary go series - Attack and Defense]

mark5000 (tutorials listed here)

Finished for now

Interactive Way to Go (web tutorial)
Cho Chikun beginner book
So You Want To Play Go Vol 1 & 2 (smartgo books version)
Graded Go Problems for Beginners, volume 1
[janice kim beginner books, vol 1-4]
fuseki demo by rthspaz07 [11:47, 12:40]
Markowitz 9x9 Game Walkthroughs vs. Igowin (Session #1)
Level Up, books 3, 4, 5, R1, 6

On Hold

Jasiek - First Fundamentals
EasyGo (ios app) Basic problems using SRS study
Joseki Compass
Opening Theory Made Easy
mark5000 Exercises for beginners problem set (link)
Graded Go Problems for Beginners, volume 2
[Markowitz 9x9 Game Walkthroughs vs. Igowin (Session #2)]

Revisit List

Teaching Games (me as student)

Levvo 2015 July
Tu Saraku 2015 August

Teaching Games (me as teacher)

My Own Demos

SaxMa’am’s Eyes
SaxMa’am’s Liberties (work in progress, not in good shape)
SaxMa’am’s Joseki (work in progress, not in good shape)
SaxMa’am’s Joseki 2023
SaxMa’am’s Connections 2023 (work in progress, not in good shape)
SaxMa’am’s Tesuji (work in progress, not in good shape)
Edge Crushes (and not edge crushes)(work in progress, not in good shape)
SaxMa’am’s Shapes 2023.

Demo Boards for Starting Go Variants

Cat’s Face TsumegoGo
Shape Game


I’d also like to invite others to discuss questions about the content of any of these resources. I’m not very far along in my Go journey, but I’d be happy to try to explain anything I can. For example, I find that sometimes the explanations in the GGPB books don’t explain very much.

And if you have any of these resources and are willing to field questions from me or other readers, we could put your name here, too.

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Reviews of My Games

So the list I was keeping in the first post was starting to seem pointless. I want to keep making the list here, but I will try to extract and summarize a “one point lesson” from each review in this thread.

From the beginning! Note that OGS ranking system was super-tough when I started, and beginners stayed at 30 kyu for a long time. I’m looking back at these old reviews because I know sometimes people told me things that I couldn’t yet appreciate.

30 kyu: 90 minutes -- beginner at 19x19 (ruster)
30 kyu: T:2839 R:8 (flowing vs saxmaam) (flowing, review by Kuroneko)
30 kyu: Ladder Challenge: pathogenix(#430) vs saxmaam(#429) (pathogenix)
Don’t fix your opponent’s weakness for him!
30 kyu: Levvo's Corner Ladder Game (Sabrejon80)
30 kyu: T:2834 R:1 (Vladimirp vs saxmaam) (Vladimirp)
30 kyu: (CodeRed)
30 kyu:, Ladder Challenge: saxmaam(#8) vs Code Red(#7), Ladder Challenge: saxmaam(#8) vs Code Red(#7) (CodeRed)
30 kyu: khsieh vs. saxmaam (khsieh)
29 kyu: Because 19 min each seemed strange. (DoubleU)
29 kyu: T:2869 R:1 (Sabrejon80 vs saxmaam) (Sabrejon80)
29 kyu: Ladder Challenge: saxmaam(#15) vs proximus63(#7) (BenGoZen review of game with proximus63, reviewed for opponent)

15 kyu (live): (Samraku, variations by Levvo)
15 kyu (live): (spatula, see comments and variations)
15 kyu (live): (TNL game with Artur Trofimov, review by wurfmaul 1d) (my review:

14 kyu (live): (Levvo ladder game with Wulfenia)

 - 1 point lesson: Learn joseki! 3-3 invasion, double hane, invader
   escapes and makes ponnuki on side

13 kyu (live): (kitten reviews game against spatula)

 - chapel on 3d line not always a loss
 - avoid the armpit hit, it gives free moves
 - question gote moves.  is there a sente alternative?

13 kyu (live): (Levvo reviews rank ladder game against Samraku)

 - Answer versus Pincer concept: "there are only 2 possibilities in every joseki.  You can either answer a move, or pincer it."
 - Move 35: don't attach to weak stones
 - Move 131: seven or more gives you life.  "If I'm reduced, am I still above seven?"
 - Don't forget that seki is life.
 - Move 164: middle game checklist: 
 - Lots of stuff here, dumbed down to my level.  :smile:

13 kyu (live). reverse komi game against Samraku

 - When to tenuki and when not to.  I tenuki'd from a fight twice to make big plays.  Apparently those weren't good decisions.

Quotable Quotes

Samraku: " You only want to build points in the center if you can do it in sente by attacking something". From review

yuri: “from what little i’ve been able to learn, taking territory directly is a losing game. if you take territory by chasing your opponent, thats how to win because when your opponent is running, they aren’t making any territory themselves” From review

[14:45] saxmaam: What's the difference between a "free move" and a "sente move"?
[14:51] terr: a sente move is a move that starts a combination in the end of which 
            you've accomplished something and it's still your turn
[14:54] terr: and a free move is a single move that you can make because your 
            opponent has a "hole" somewhere and has to protect it after your move, so 
            maybe you don't achieve something yet but 
            you have that extra stone there that may be useful in the future
[14:55] terr: it's like you don't lose anything playing that move, so it's free:)
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Hi @saxmaam you could ask me about GGPB I am at volume 1 and I sometimes look in volume 2 randomly. After the first volume i want to start Cho Chi Kun’s Encyclopaedia of life and death which it hasn’t answer so no explanation.

Jubango! with Nanashi HItori

handicap games, Japanese, 45m + 5x45 sec

2015/09/12 5 handi saxmaam wins as white
2015/09/24 5 handi saxmaam wins as white
2015/10/04 6 handi Nanashi wins as black (B + .5!)
2015/10/15 6 handi samaam wins as white (W + 24.5)
2015/10/15 6 handi samaam wins as white (W + 24.5)
2015/10/26 6 handi samaam wins as white (W + 38.5)

Jubango! with Revar Isavé

handicap games, Japanese 30m + 5x30 sec

2015/09/25 0 handi Revar Isavé wins as black +41.5
2015/10/03 0 handi Revar Isavé wins as white +12.5 (sudden reversal at end)
2015/10/08 1 handi saxmaam wins as black by timeout (approx +15)
2015/10/16 1 handi Revar Isavé wins as white by resignation
2015/10/24 1 handi Revar Isavé wins as white (+56)
2015/11/29 2 handi Revar Isavé wins as white (+15.5)
2016/11/?? 3 handi Revar Isavé wins as white


Finding Balance

Like a lot of people, I am capable of turning a fun leisure time activity into a stress inducing list of chores.

I think the following routine on most days is a good balance for me.

  • Correspondence turns - don’t play too many games at once!
  • A live game - competitive or fun. Enjoy playing at my own level. Don’t stress about things I don’t know yet. Play moves I understand, or at least I understand my own intentions. Stay in the habit of playing live.
  • Progress in a systematic book of Go study. Like Level Up, for example.
  • Some other study. Articles on Sensei’s Library, or another Go book, or a game review. Find one nugget of new understanding and that’s enough.
  • EasyGo’s SRS study

9/29 forward - Corr turns, live game, Level Up Review 1, Level Up 6 (10/6 finished Level Up 6), EasyGo
10/6 forward - Corr turns, live game, Level Up Review 1, First Fundamentals (10/6 finished Level Up 6), EasyGo
10/10 forward - Corr turns, live game, Level Up 7, First Fundamentals (10/10 finished Level Up R1), EasyGo


I wonder if there is a “Get Strong at Dropping from Correspondence Tournaments” book somewhere. While I’m doing observable progress in that direction, extra guidance wouldn’t hurt. :slight_smile:


Chapter 2. Not Signing Up for New Tournaments


What’s chapter 1?

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Chapter 1. Quitting the Ongoing Tournament
Chapter 2. Not Signing Up for New Tournaments
Chapter 3. Resigning Hopeless Games
Chapter 4. New Tournaments, New Temptations


Hmm… Dropping from tournaments by not joining them in the first place… That’s would require Zen master’s level of enlightenment. Way too deep for me. I’ve only progressed as far as signing up for tourneys in advance and then signing out when they are just about to begin. :slight_smile:

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Reminds me of when Harry in “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality” decides that not telling McGonagall about what happened when he was being sorted would be the sort of thing that he would look back on in twenty years and think to himself: “That was where it all went wrong”. But the thing was, twenty years ago happened to be right now. It was so easy to change the past as long as you thought of it at the right time.

That’s as close as I can remember to how it happened. :slight_smile:


Lessons and Examples

Just 'cuz there’s a ladder breaker doesn’t mean the ladder won’t work

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@saxmaam, where are you? MIA? Hope all is well …


Last forum activity: October 2019

Last main site activity: April 2020 (but still a site supporter, so she may come back!)


I worry because she suddenly didn’t turn up again in a game we’re playing, which is very unusual for her … and she also lost a few games on time around that time. Also didn’t reply to PMs on the game server. I’ve paused the game (not a tournament game) but … I’m worried.


I remember a while back we played quite a few games. Hopefully she’s just burned out on go temporarily; looking at her games history it looks like she has a habit of playing a lot for a time, and then not for a while.


Hey y’all, I’m fine!! OGS mysteriously quit sending me any reminder emails and I … lapsed! I admit I’m not feeling the Go right now. But I’m alive and I’m sure I’ll be back to play again.

Hope all are well!


Sax Ma’am


Thanks for checking back in, @saxmaam, good to know that all is well.

And re: our game, it’s paused; take your time, please—“no hurry, no worry”, after all it’s not a tournament game :slight_smile:

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