Whose kifu do you study?

I’m interested in focusing on studying the many kifu of one or two modern pro players (strong player within the past 5 years).

Not sure who yet… likely someone that has a flexible style with a mix of thickness and moves that leverage modern AI patterns.

Do any of you study a particular player? Why did you choose them?

Just looking for inspiration and curious to see why a particular modern pro might be interesting to study if any of you have ideas.


No real preference for me. I think AI is still the object of study and that didn’t help yet to get different ways between top pros, but i hope someone may have a different view as mine.

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I can’t answer your question because I still haven’t studied anything but I asked a similar thing previously which might be of interest

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I don’t study anyone’s kifu other than my own. Why should I study other people’s mistakes until I have studied my own? :wink:
Peace and goodness to everyone. :peace_symbol:

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I think Shin Jinseo has been effective at adopting AI patterns. But I haven’t studied his games closely. My study is mostly guided by whatever has good English-language commentary :sweat_smile:


Interesting. I use AI as well, but the problem I find with AI is that it sometimes selects variations that are extremely difficult to understand unless you can read 10-20 moves ahead. Also, it’s great at counting exact territory whereas I am not. :sweat_smile:

I’m hoping that learning the games of a certain player will help refine my “sense” of “good go”.

Thanks. Those will be great reads!

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That’s a good idea. I should probably study the current top player. I just find some of the games of the Korean / Chinese top players really difficult to understand compared to the Japanese game records… but maybe that’s a good thing and my weakness. :person_shrugging:

That reminds me of why I originally asked this question. I started reading Relentless. I’m sure I’ll learn a ton, but these games were pre-AI. So as I strive to improve, I’m hoping to learn the also focus on the new type of “AI-based play” vs the older type.

Maybe there are some differences after AI developments, but many of the fundamentals one can play very well with with as a human, and develop a ‘‘sense’’ of ‘‘good go’’ with, remain the same (or more or less so) – good shape, the concept itself of pacing/tenuki being important…

(things like not following one’s opponent around & good fighting spirit/kiai in making tenuki + choices, even though there are differences in specifics post AI)

…much of local fighting/shapes in general, making light shapes, basics of reduction/invasion, sabaki, estimation of the territories/influence/balance of score being involved in major decisions, etc.

(even though apparently influence is sometimes given less weight post-AI, humans can still play well with it even in openings like the Chinese, up to a fairly high level against other humans, and I think that would apply to playing many pre-AI vs. post-AI concepts/styles)

Personally, I think a pro player whose style one can follow (for example, the Japanese pros often make very aesthetic shapes, and pros like Shuei and Shusaku are recommended for pros to study, as they are somehow very ‘‘clear’’ to learn from) is invaluable - apart from that, anything that one is inspired by.

(I myself haven’t studied many post-AI modern pros/games, as I’ve played mostly pre-AI and only begun playing against recently, so no particular recommendations there, but I love many of the classical ‘‘strong players’’ and find that there is still much to learn from them at ~mid/high? dan+, from my own experiences and chatting with others.)

Edit : I just remembered that some Go friends liked Xu Haohong as a modern player recently.

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I have a friend who is 3-4 stones stronger than me. I often review his more serious games. I compare the moves he made with moves I would have made, even let the AI also have a look, and also look at his mistakes.
I feel like it helps me more with understanding than a pro or AI game.
Of course I want to beat him someday :smiley:

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Right. I completely agree. I have a lot to learn by reviewing the games of many of the famous high-level players. I’m just thinking that picking more modern ones is likely more efficient.

For instance, the 3-3 invasion isn’t common in older games, so reviewing Iyama Yuta’s games over Cho Chikun’s could arguable be more useful / practical (just examples, I don’t know many strong players outside of Japanese go).

That’s good advice.

:thinking: I just watched this game between Ichiriki Ryo and Sun Zhe online, and I did find Ichiriki’s style inspiring.

Thanks! I’ll look them up.

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