Which pro game to memorise first?!

Just choose a pro game by the pro player you love the most, and

  • Mandatory: with his commantory by himself, the richest possible;
  • Prefered: the most importement game of his life, ex. the world championship game, with some story behind;
  • Prefered: with pro commantories by other pro players the richest possible, ideally with some videos;
  • Prefered: with AI analysis, such as Leela Zero by yourself on your computer, in order to make clear all your doubts;
  • Optional: such like play style, game style, very close game etc…

Maybe i play the go game too long time?there are lots of game can be choice here,but if for the most i should say that the below game maybe are the only one, why? because in this game,the pro make a mistake in the ladder break,then the game only not than 60 moves:

Don‘t astonish,pro also make mistake in ladder break

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I tried twice to memorise pro games.

The first time, I studied the games of Honinbo Shuei, from 1880 which is around the time that he began to become a strong professional. I managed to learn five – ten games to something like 100 moves in; it was easier because some of the games were resigned early on or left unfinished.

The second time, I tried very intensively to memorise Honinbo Jowa’s first recorded game, in which he gave three stones to an amateur ( http://ps.waltheri.net/database/game/41530/ ). On a (very) good day, I could take it up to (154), the start of a certain ko fight, but I’d get lost in the fight itself and never get to its end on (189).

Of course, I’ve forgotten all of these due to not practicing them.

I agree with @violaine that Shuwa would be a good professional from whom to memorise. Arguably he was the strongest player between Dosaku (died 1702) and Shuei (say, on reaching 7d in 1886). It’s become clear to me that he was stronger than his teacher, Jowa, and Shusaku refused to take White against him so we cannot know their relative strengths for sure.

Shuwa didn’t attack as much as Jowa and Shuho, so his games might be good if you want to study peaceful play, especially if his opponent is Shusaku as suggested.


Thanks @bugcat, I was recently thinking about how I should have another go at this. Sadly I only got as far as finding a kifu but never actually made time to try and memorise it. But I recently bought Invincible so will now see what games are in there against Shuwa.
Main problem will be that I now work and am even more limited in time and brain capacity than before!


Did you ever get the time to attempt memorising those games?

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Don’t know how good your memory is, but maybe start with a short game?
You can always go for a longer game later.

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It’s more than 30 years ago, but I still remember which game I memorised first. My level at the time must have been about 5k.
It was the game featuring in the book The Master Of Go.
From reading the book, I was already familiar with the game, so it was not too hard to memorise it completely after finishing the book.


When I decided myself which game to chose, I rejected those unbalanced games having a quick end.


Sadly no. But i do have go dojo now and hope using that some day might help. Maybe over Christmas.

This is a great idea. I’ve even read this book but didn’t think about going that step further.


ps.waltheri.net is extremely useful. Thanks for the information!


Fun anecdote of someone who got stronger from Go Seigen’s games. What can we learn from Go Seigen (1914 - 30th Nov 2014) ? • Life In 19x19


More details on this:



I guess the advice from the novel First Kyu has some merit. Just studying Go Seigen games even when you don’t understand the commentary. In the novel’s case because the commentary was in Japanese and the Korean protagonist doesn’t understand it.

After all, the author was a strong player himself. 1 gup/kyu when amateur dan system was not there yet.

John Fairbairn’s post also reminds me about the claim that your strength is related to how fast you can replay games from a kifu. Perhaps because when you can identify the big/urgent place, you can find the next move more easily.


I would recommend some Lee Changho games from the late 90s to early 2000s. Vs Cho Hunhyun particularly.


Which pro game to memorise first?

Well in case I would try to memorise a pro game I would pick a game that is fascinating and one that is fun to replay several times.

To be honest I don’t fancy learning a pro game by heart. See it as a waste of time for a 5 kyu (my current ranking).

Furthermore the use of the word first suggests that there should also be a second, third, fourth, etc. :grin:

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It’s not a waste for a 25k

Again, I come back to Kerwin’s advice.

Kerwin on improving from 20+ kyu to 10k (excerpt):

… studying pro games. Go through the game once. Then try to replay the game from memory. When you can’t remember the move, think of where you would play. Once you’ve decided, check the move actually played and compare it with your move. Try to understand why the pro’s move is better than yours. Keep doing this until you remember the game.

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Memorizing (at least the first 100-150 moves) of a game helps a lot to understand commentaries. So I’d say, memorize any game you would like to study in a commentary book or video. But don’t expect to gain 5 stones like that.

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I’m not sure who to study any more. I’ve spent time looking over the games of many different players.

I like professionals who play thickly, clearly, yet with imagination, how I try to play in my own games.

Yoda Norimoto was a player I was recently considering looking into, since I was attracted by a comment made by Hane Yasumasa:

Yoda dislikes being attacked the most of all professionals. The word “flee” is not in his dictionary. Instead, there are entries only for “live” and “sacrifice”.

This reminded me of a section of Jowa’s advice for students of Go:

… going too deep into the opponent’s territory, running groups away … these things are bad. … running groups away will make you cowardly. … if you have invaded too deeply, you must sacrifice your stones … Sacrificing stones is the sharpest way to play.

After compiling those games of 1976, I don’t have any huge urge to study them… I’d need to pick one of the players, tournaments or matches to focus on.

Here is an old game that I am interested in:

I think this is potentially a useful game to memorize as it gives some interesting opening ideas for 1-stone handicap (no Komi) games (or actually for even games too since we are amateurs) and some old-style peaceful territorial ideas to mess with opponents who are addicted to hypermodern post-AI style (aggressive, influence based, early 3-3 invasion, etc)

When I finally get around to completing my home-made goban, I think this is the first game I will play on it with my lovely glass stones in wooden bowls :sunglasses:

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