Western Tsumego Challenge

Hello everybody!

Short Version

I propose a challenge:

  • In the month of April 2021, do as much tsumego as you can every day to get stronger at Go (tsumego = training with Go puzzles). Suggested target: 300 problems in one month (10 per day).

  • Optionally, play some ranked games as well to see if you really did get stronger.

  • Post your tsumego stats here to see who did the most and who improved the most.

Full Version

I guess most of you will be aware of the recent Western Dan Challenge…

Well now, that gave me an idea…

Original Problem

Lack of strong (dan) players on Western Go servers (but lots on Asian servers)

Approach 1

Get already strong players from Asian servers to play on Western servers instead.

Which leads to…

Western Dan Challenge

  • Entice strong players to Western Go servers through a challenge of 100 games in a month with cash prizes.


  • instant access to already strong players

  • plus many more that go beyond the scope of the original problem such as: IT WAS LOADS OF FUN! :grin:


  • not clear how many strong players “migrated” from Asian servers to Western ones, as opposed to just seeing more games from players already on Western servers

  • of those players who did migrate, not clear how many will stay on Western servers and not just go back to the Asian ones now that the challenge is over

Which got me thinking… Is there an alternative approach to solving the original problem…? Yes! And here it is:

Approach 2

Help players that are already on Western servers to become stronger. Effectively, training and promoting from within, rather than recruiting from elsewhere.

Which lead me to…

Western Tsumego Challenge

I propose this challenge for you to undertake if you wish:

  • In the month of April 2021, do as much tsumego as you can every day to get stronger at Go (tsumego = training with Go puzzles). Suggested target: 300 problems in one month (10 per day). Obviously, feel free to set your own personal target to do more or less as your schedule allows.

  • Optionally, play some ranked games as well to see if you really did get stronger.

  • Post your tsumego stats here to see who did the most and who improved the most.


  • If we make existing OGS players (i.e. ourselves) stronger, then we already have some loyalty, familiarity, etc. with OGS. Hence, we are more likely to stay on OGS than players from Asian servers who only came over because of the Western Dan Challenge. Hopefully this will mean a more sustainable approach to solving the original problem.

  • plus many more that go beyond the scope of the original problem such as: IT WILL BE LOADS OF FUN! :grin:


  • It will take a relatively long time compared to the Western Dan Challenge approach to provide more strong players in solution to the original problem (but that’s OK - we’re all life-long Go addicts anyway!)


  • Get OGS players to realise / remember / confirm the fun and strengthening power of tsumego

  • Help players to develop a daily tsumego workflow that works for them such that it fosters long-term commitment to daily tsumego

  • Help players to get stronger at Go through daily tsumego workouts


  • Solve tsumego on whatever platform works for you be that on a website, mobile app, from a book, etc. or any combination thereof.

  • Record number of puzzles attempted, solved correctly, and total time spent solving tsumego. Only the final total for the month is required but, of course, it may be easier to keep daily totals or similar.

  • If available (e.g. if using goproblems.com), record the rank of the most difficult puzzle correctly solved first time without hints. Must be from a problem set with a rating system, not just author estimated difficulty.

  • If available (e.g. if using goproblems.com pro), record your own puzzle rank at the start and end of the month to measure progress.

  • Optionally, record your OGS rank at the start of the month, play some ranked games during the challenge as well, and record your OGS rank at the end of the month to measure progress.

  • The second post in this topic will be a wiki to record the results. Contestants will self-report their own results. Please feel free to post interim daily / weekly results if you wish. And please be honest!

  • Due to the varied nature of players’ strengths, puzzle difficulty, etc. and the fact that results are self-reported, there will be no prizes beyond the joy of solving tsumego and becoming a stronger Go player (which is a prize worth winning anyway!) and, of course, the adoration of your fellow players :wink: Proverb: there’s no point cheating, as you’re only cheating yourself!

  • To sign-up, just add yourself to the results table in the wiki-fied second post of this topic.


  • How to solve tsumego correctly:

And Finally

Comments, suggestions, etc. welcome. Please just post a reply to this topic.

I hope you like this idea and join me in the challenge. If so, I look forward to seeing your results. If not, I LOOK FORWARD TO CRUSHING YOU IN OUR NEXT GAME, MWAHAHAHA!


This post is a wiki for contestants to self-report their results.


  • Edit this post
  • Copy results template (first line of the table)
  • Update the username to yours
  • required field = ?
  • optional field = -
  • If posting interim results, put date in comments column
  • Comments column can also be used for recording tsumego source (Cho Chikun, etc.) or whatever other relevant information you think might be useful or interesting


Username Target Number of Puzzles Number of Puzzles Attempted Number Solved Correctly Time Spent on Tsumego Most Difficult Puzzle Solved Starting Puzzle Rank Ending Puzzle Rank Number of Ranked Games Starting OGS Rank Ending OGS Rank Comments
Template ? ? ? ? - - - - - - -
dragon-devourer 1500 300 169 141 08:01:06 9k 9.2k 9.3k 3 7k (1440) 7k (1462) Final result. Mainly easy Chomego and goproblems.com. Games: won v 6k & 4k, lost v 5k
bugcat 300 ? ? ? - - - - - - -
benjito 300 ? ? ? - - - - - - -
richyfourtytwo 2000 2828 2269 37h 15m - 14.2k - - 2.9k 3.4k April 30th
Samraku 864 64 60 1h30m - - - 0 2k (1816) - 11 Apr.
Groin 200 ? 224 ? - - - - - - closed
BattlePrez 600 602 356 350m 6k 7k 6k 24 7.7k 7.7k April 29th
Terrific 3000 ? ? ? - - - - 5d - -
8fledermaus8 3001 ? ? ? - - - - 2k - -
michiakig 300 ? ? ? - - - - 9k - -
Umsturz 300 ? ? ? - - - - 4k - -
pdg137 900 ? 750 ? - - - 15 7.5k 7.6k April 30
LiuBang10 300 341 250 3h 45m 1d 15k - - 9.2k - April 18; mainly 101weiqi

Nice, I needed an excuse to restart the intermediate chomego.


What in the world is this chomego I keep hearing about??

Don't open

Is it like a tsumego that is shorter than it is wide?


chomego = Cho Chikun tsumego = Cho Chikun’s Encyclopedia of Life and Death


Ohh makes sense thanks for explaining!


Count me in.

10 a day is pretty easy for me I guess, since I tend to do lots of easy ones and have a collection I repeat over and over again.


Sounds like you need a higher target! 20 a day? 30 a day? If you do about 33-34 a day, you can hit 1000 in a month :wink:


I’ll join; I’ve been meaning to get back into tsumego and this will be a good impetus.


I partly use tsumego hero. It doesn’t track the number of failed attempts (at least not in the mode I use it) and I’ll be too lazy to do that manually. So I won’t fill in that column. I’m fine with tracking the time spent though.


Do Tsumego books count? I never got into the computer stuff. Too much immediate feedback haha

Maybe I’ll finally get through GGPFBv3 >.<

EDIT: And maybe this challenge will teach me to actually read…


I do already the 6 free problems of tsumego pro daily.
That’s 6*30=180 monthly.
I’ll see to make a bit more (+40=200?)


Hmm, actually I’m not sure I understand how you want ‘attempted’ and solved to be interpreted.

Assume I made 4 attempts on one puzzle, the first three fail, the last succeeds. How to count that?


Do easier tsumego :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Less cheeky response: I would personally count that as one.


Case 1 - If you look at a puzzle, think you have the answer, check and find you are wrong, but them immediately see what you think is the correct answer, check that but it’s also wrong, and so on until you actually have the correct answer, then I would count that as one puzzle attempted, zero puzzles solved. The one attempted is because you looked at one puzzle and the zero solved is because you didn’t get it right without checking the solution first.

Case 2 - If you look at a puzzle, think you have the answer, check and find you are wrong but do not consult the answer in any further detail, so then you move on and save that one for later, but when you come back to it later (much later such that you do not really remember it but rather have to read it out afresh), then you solve it correctly first time, I would count that as two attempts, one correct. Two attempts because you had to read it out pretty much from scratch both times and one correct because you got it right without any help (that you can specifically remember) from the solution.

Case 3 - If you look at a puzzle, and just read half-heartedly such that you effectively guess the answer until you get it right by trial and error, then you ain’t doing it right!

As far as I can tell from reading various bits of advice from pros / strong players, case 2 is the recommended method (and hence is the one I use).

That said, the main point of the challenge is to just do more tsumego. If counting attempts, solutions, fails, etc becomes difficult, then I am happy to be flexible on counting methods. Just count in whatever way is easiest for your platform and discuss within this topic and/or make a note in the comments column.



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Graded Go Problems for Beginners by Kano Yoshinori!


Ah, nice! Yeah, I’ve got that (from the Dropbox link above).

1 Like

Yes @terrific - nice to see some ambition. 100 per day! I hope you do it :wink:

Copying tsumego to my phone in preparation:


30,556 files! My new target for the challenge? :laughing:

EDIT: Oh man! I am getting some serious slow down:


7 hours left! Oh well, I can wait…


After a full working day of leaving this to run in the background, it was still barely a quarter done. Turns out copying by MTP is notoriously slow :roll_eyes: So I cancelled it, copied with adb (Android debugging bridge) and they were all done in < 3 mins :laughing: So many tsumego, LOL :heart_eyes_cat: