What is the best method to improve reading skills?

What is the better method to improve reading skills ?
What is Advantage and inconvenient of these method ?

  • Do tsumego
  • Play 9X9
  • Learn By heart pro game
  • Play one color game
  • Play blind go
  • Play sunjang baduk

Do you know others method ?

Thanks to share your experience.


Here is some balanced advice from the tsumego hero website :

How to become strong (in order of importance)

1. Play, play, play - the stronger your opponent the better for you
2. Do Tsumego in the right way continuously. Maybe this seems to be boring for you at first, but you’ll see how much fun it is once you start. It’s very important how to do so!
3. Analyze your games with other players (as above, the stronger the better) - best would be to found a private study group (ten eyes will find more than two or four…)
4. Do Tsumego
5. If you like, repeat and learn some pro games
6. More Tsumego
7. If you have some interesting book about fuseki, joseki, shape, endgame or whatever, read it if you enjoy - but don’t spend too much time with it
8. If you still have time left, how about a few tsumego-problems?

Though I happen to think that it doesn’t emphasize tsumego enough :stuck_out_tongue:


Jokes aside , i think tsumego is the way to go to improve at reading quickly. It is also nice to put it into application by trying to really read sequences in game and not blitzing intuitive moves (though this is a modest sdk advice )

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There is no such method. I have tried to figure out the answer to the same question for almost 4 months. One of the higher dans I have approached for an answer has told me he has done 0 tsumego, another told me he brute-forced them (I have yet to run into a dan that actually did tsumego practice in the recommended way). Some high sdks/dans told me that there is no point to replaying/watching pro games at ddk while others insisted I follow pro games. I have also played against better players, got my games analyzed but to little use cuz I get lost in the endless variations the reviewer plays and the tree becomes such a mess in the end, there is little chance of going over it to understand it better - reviews often feel more like for reviewer’s benefit than the newbie’s, especially when there is not enough chatter during.

Tsumego - easy to find sites for, easy to find lots of to keep yourself busy in small windows of opportunity during the day - improves shape recognition if you bruteforce, reading practice if you actually try to solve them (often a slow and frustrating process).

9x9 - quick, easy to play games for busy people - you learn certain techniques but there are too many of them (and too much complexity to them) to be deduced from random board play.

Learning Pro game - Memorizing pro games is possible and meaningful when you can understand the train of thought behind the moves. For beginners, it is just for seeing what high level moves look like and to understand what is so basic that you even see at pro level (like connection vs a peep, endgame sequences).

I have never tried one-color, blind-go or sunjang baduk and I don’t know of many who do,
not to improve anyway.

Even though I consider myself to have failed at finding such a method, if I would recommend anything, it’d be playing 9x9, doing tsumego (bruteforce if you get bored) as per common advice - BUT on top of that,
1- find a player around your rank (or higher if he is into it) to play games in which you talk about and explore sequences and undo while you play.
2- find people who can teach you and get lectures about specific topics, (like probes, connecting over/under) Once a better player shows you a sequence, it’ll get etched to your memory and become a useful tool during certain situations in your games, which’ll lead to you automatically seeing/playing certain sequences and having time/energy to read other ones you’re not sure of.

These 2 methods differ from the others in the sense that it is not entirely up to you to be able to accomplish this. You need find a good newbie to play with and a good teacher you can understand and learn from. Not much convenience to them but they are very advantageous.

Good luck


Since you are asking specifically about improving reading skill, I think Tsumego is the obvious choice. There are many ways to improve, but reading ability in general is trained the quickest with Tsumego. And since nobody has mentioned how to do it yet, there is definitely a proper way to do Tsumego. A wonderful treatment of that topic can be found in the free Go book, 81 Little Lions: An Introduction to the 9x9 Board for Advanced Beginners, by Immanuel deVillers, page 20.

There are a lot of articles on the topic of improvement and for reading at Sensei’s Library. Just do a search for either term and you will see a lot of related articles.


do Not use analyzer during the game

sadly, i still do occasionally under stress, but i am happy with my progress

Tsumego all day, everyday, without looking at any solutions, without hints, without playing it out on a real board, without playing it out on a virtual board, without phoning a friend, asking the audience or what have you.

Sit there and visuo-manually imagine every move in the sequence.


Here is another thread which asked a similar question:

I think the responses in there might also be helpful.

My response in that conversation was this:

Improving in reading takes just one thing: practice

I think figuring how best to motivate and stimulate that practice is the key.

For some people, playing games works better, since the competitive context of the game might give them extra motivation to try to read and think deeper in order to beat their opponent.

For others, doing problems may be more effective, if solving problems outside of time and competitive pressures is more effective for them to learn.

For many, probably doing a mix of both helps.



Did someone already mention doing tsumego? :thinking:


I recommend the book: ‘Get Strong at Tesuji’ from the Get Strong at Go series.
It’s all tesuji problems, but the way the book is laid out makes it an exceptional resource for improving your reading skills in addition to your fighting skills. (can be found at kiseido.com)


^^ broken link :frowning:

He meant kiseido.com. Here’s the direct link to the book.

Looking for and correcting spelling mistakes is the best method to improve proofreading skills.


Thanks everybody for your answer and your advises.

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It is generally agreed that we should do problems to improve across all levels, unless you are the top players (which will mostly count on AI to improve). Traditionally, the types of problems are tsumegos (life-and-death) and tesujis. I am trying to look for specific types of problems, which seem to be also valuable:

  1. Shape problems: I found three volumes of about 950 shape problems, issue solved.
  2. Straight attack sequences, as mentioned in the following quote, I found a book called “Yamada Style Strength Training” (山田式 囲碁の筋力トレーニング)

[quote begin]
Yi Ch’ang-Ho Selected Tesuji Problems Volume 4 … It only deals with a couple of Tesujis (e.g. warikomi, net, snapback and loose ladder), which come up very often in everyday games. …

[quote end]

SoDesuNe (Experience shared by an adult player)

  1. Mid-game fighting problems: One of my teachers says maybe the only way to practice mid-game fighting is by playing actual games, however, I found the following book, the only thing is it is available only in paper format, so I wonder if there’s anything similar?

囲碁の力を強くする本 (The Book to Increase Your Fighting Strength at Go)

Thanks, Dino

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I encourage short reviews much more as exhaustively comments on all the failures. Lengthy reviews confuse and don’t point the essential. Besides It’s undigest one just cannot change a lot in one time. If you can progress in the next game on 2 or 3 things, that’s enough.

My rating jumped up each time i was enough motived to solve L&D so like others i strongly recommend it too.

Side advices when investing time to progress:

  • Keep playing regularly serious games.

  • Don’t feel bad if you lose games. Changing your way with go may induce you to not rely on your old acquired weaponry but to test and practice the new one.


My preferred methods to improve reading skills and Go skill in general:

  • Tsumego - when I spend a lot of time on tsumego, it’s such a strong improving effect I can actually feel myself getting stronger at Go

  • Read Go books - get new ideas and ways of thinking explained in a way that you can understand

  • Play games - put your training into practice to see how it works in real situations… and have fun playing the game too of course! (isn’t that what this is all about anyway?)


Hi all,

For the 3rd type of problems and the book: 囲碁の力を強くなる本 in Japanese or The Book to Increase Your Fighting Strength at Go (English translation), the former doesn’t ship overseas, and the latter is out of print. Does anyone have that book? Is it the only book in this genre (namely, mid-game fighting problems) ?

Thanks again.

3. Mid-game fighting problems: One of my teachers says maybe the only way to practice mid-game fighting is by playing actual games, however, I found the following book, the only thing is it is available only in paper format, so I wonder if there’s anything similar?

囲碁の力を強くする本 (The Book to Increase Your Fighting Strength at Go)

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