When to learn endgame?

Usually beginners are taught fuseki and middlegame principles. Because most of the games are decided before endgame, there’s no point in learning endgame from the start. But at what level endgame knowledge starts to matter?


From my experience:

for DDKs, it is most important to learn the middle game and some basics from everything else.
for SDKs, it’s still middle game but now i would study endgame too, because endgame helps judgement in the middle game and helps you to win close, even games.
So yes - starting at 8-9kyu i would say it starts to matter.


I would say ‘sooner the better’. Many of those people stuck in DDK are primarily held back by not understanding sente/gote properly. Basic endgame is excellent for demonstrating the importance of sente/gote in an easily quantifiable way.


I concur. Understanding sente/gote is very important for all phases of the game. Studying the endgame probably provides the clearest demonstration of the importance of preserving sente.

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It does depend at what level you’re talking about studying the endgame. As with all parts of the game, endgame can be studied from DDK to pro level. Yes, I think it’s worth teaching some basics at the point a student is actually starting to learn about the game (as opposed to just playing games). It should obviously be appropriately simple, but even just the concept that you can actually count how much certain moves are worth, and getting the learner to think in that way is valuable. As others have pointed out, the concepts of sente and gote are also useful, and are easy to teach in the context of endgame.


After “you can count how much certain moves are worth, and sente”, then what do we learn about end game?

I don’t think I’ve ever come across anything teaching about it!

Well, there’s things like mutual damage, L&D and ko which become more important in endgame. If I mess up L&D I feel like it’s always in endgame.

Also there’s some reoccurring patterns that one could learn (yoseki? :thinking:). See this as well.


Yeah, it depends what you call “end game”.

On one hand, it feels that if you have to prioritize, evaluating and counting precisely end-game moves is not the first thing to learn. If your groups keep dying all the time, you are lost on what to do mid game… start there.

On the other hand, a lot of beginner games are decided by end-game reading. You know what I mean: “oops I’d have never guessed he could do that with that cut !” that swings 30 points.

So here is my take on it: for DDK, “focus on sente moves” is largely enough + read carefully end game, don’t reflex click.

Later, focus on… what you enjoy most. Or you feel will improve more your game. Like, if you feel you’re leading all game and suddenly losing, maybe it’s time to spend more time looking at what is to be prioritzed end game (even before counting in details).