Studying and analysis by board ( goban )

As i’m new. i tried using go books, but i’m thinking of buying an actual goban to study my own past games. And maybe only use some ai analysis. what’s everyone’s opinion and/or tips on doing something like this?


Using AI is a bit premature at your level.

To review your games, try to identify at least 1 mistake and to find a better way of playing.

You can also post your games on the forum and ask for commentary.


One has to be careful with AI, but especially if you have experience using chess engines to review games, I think you could benefit at any level. I wouldn’t dismiss a valuable tool just because it must be used with caution and a respect for what it cannot do.

I really enjoy having a physical goban, even though it’s about as cheap as they come.


a physical goban is also a nice as a complemantary piece to complete the interior of a room / house. but is it good for study/ review and analysis of ones own games?


I think it depends on the person. It’s much more convenient to use an sgf viewer, and you can review more games in the same amount of time that way, and that’s how I almost always do it, but having the goban available if I want to get serious about, for example, replaying a game in a book I’m reading, is nice.


sgf viewer?

Like Sabaki or OGS. A program to replay go games. Sabaki has a cool feature where stones are slightly offset from their points, kindof like they would be on a real board.

A go set is a natural companion to a go book. If you get opportunities to play face to face you won’t regret your purchase either.
I advise you to buy a set of a regular size with glass stones (try avoid plastic, too cheap) if you mix different origin chinese material are bigger as Japanese, and Japanese as Korean. At best try buying same origin.


I googled sabaki, seems interesting to use. Any tips on how to use it?

I don’t use it much, since I mostly play on OGS, so opening a demo board is quick and easy. I think the last time I used it may have been the mobile version for composing tsumeTMG.

I join @Samraku that the review tools on OGS are already quite enough, but you can try some other sgf editors like sabaki or drago or others. you can check gokibbitz too, a nice website for reviews.

Links are in “other resources” in the main menu. most of them are free of charge so you can just try them.

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There’s also BesoGo for another in browser editor.

I sabaki from time to time or review on OGS.


what time settings are we talking about? are these games with or without analysis?

at least on my level games seem to be decided by blunders that are quite obvious after the fact. Just replaying a couple of variations on the game after it’s over is enough to identify them and preparing a plan to “how can i do better on future games”.

On correspodence games with analysis i feel even this is wasting my time, since you are basically reviewing during the game.

What may be interesting is getting your most serious games reviewed by stronger players from time to time, specially games where you don’t know what went wrong…


most of my games are in some form or shape corr games. and in most cases with analysis i believe.

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If you want to improve faster I’d recommend to play more live games. If you don’t have much time, 9x9 or 13x13 live games are already useful.


I think both can be helpful, if you take them seriously and have enough time to think.

Play go as you like and according to your free time availability.

The one thing which is not always obvious for players starting the game is that it need some time and practice to think on the game (see this famous proverb of losing your first 100 games).

So considering this it’s better to accumulate experience quickly before looking into theory, tactics, reviews… Live games are good but it depends on your schedule.

If you feel that it would be great to own a go set, buy it for the charming “real thing” unless you can’t afford it ofc.


Any SGF viewer acts exactly like the analysis tool on OGS: you can play moves for you and your opponent and see what happens, going back and forth in the game and trying different moves.

It’s very useful at beginning, since beginners often can’t “read” (imagine a sequence of moves in their mind), so this is a way to try moves and evaluate the board after the moves are made.

There’s a warning though: we are able to figure out moves only for our level and experience. This sounds quite obvious, but you’ll discover that other players often play moves that you didn’t expect. So a plain SGF viewer is good to review but isn’t very good to improve.

A stronger player’s advice is what could point out flaws, weaknesses and strategy errors.

This could be done with humans, which is better for beginners, or with AI. The issue with AI is that they always play at their super human level and don’t give explanation for their moves. An experienced player can learn a lot from that while a beginner is usually quite disoriented.