Using Joseki library during play

I have been using the Joseki library during correspondence games lately. I do it mainly for the educational purpose of learning the Joseki. It occurs to me today that this may be considered cheating. Is there a general protocol for using the Joseki library during play. Is this poor Online Go etiquette? Has this conversation come up before?


In my opinion, it would be more educational to think about the position by yourself during the game, then get back to the library after the game.


Hello @banakula, welcome to the forums and thanks for the honest concern.

Officially, this is completely fine, as stated in our ToS

The only type of computer assistance allowed is games databases for opening lines and joseki databases for corner patterns in correspondence Go.


It may be worth noting that the use of references has long been accepted in correspondence chess. If there were a rule prohibiting the use of references, the impossibility of enforcing it would leave honest players at a disadvantage.


Honest players are always at a disadvantage no matter the rule. That’s the whole point of cheating. And few rules can be enforced online anyways (good luck preventing help from a friend or bot), so we do rely on people being nice to each other, which works for the most part.


I wasn’t talking about the whole universe of online rules, merely suggesting a reason why no rule existed in this particular case in the pre-online days. Without a rule, both players are free to use references.

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So after that diversion, it’s possibily important to emphasis that using a Joseki Database and Pro Games Database during correspondence games is not cheating.

Whether it is the best way to learn is a separate topic of debate :slight_smile:

Getting any assistance during Live games is cheating.


I would also emphasize that using a joseki reference and/or pro database during correspondence games is not mandatory. :wink:

It’s bad for the learning experience and diminishes your achievements.

Not all good moves are in the joseki database, and not all the “ideal” moves in it are applicable to your board situation.

Instead, use your creativity and logical reasoning. I have never used a joseki db and I still win games. :smiley: So don’t feel like you have to use these resources “because everyone does”.


Well since everyone seems to hate on joseki dictionaries :smiley: , let me offer a possibly complementing view.

I too am not for just copying josekis blindly, but I found studying the options (nevertheless comments) to be sometimes a bit enlightening and source of new ideas. I viewed it as something of a review. I would play here, but what do pros say, and what are the alternatives? I saw nothing wrong with that approach. But maybe that’s why I am not a dan yet :sweat: :smiley:


You could speed up the process by changing your name to Dan :slight_smile:


Your method is what we amateurs get to do, since we’re not insei with access to pros 24/7. It’s not like dans have some secret way to study that only the “initiated” get to use.

I’m pretty sure everyone studies completely differently, the only things dans have in common is that we study / studied consistently for a long time.