Will I ever get to single digit kyu?

If you would like additional resources that can break these skills down to manageable pieces, I’ve been writing a handbook for beginners, specifically aimed at 19x19 games. It doesn’t have “problems” per se, but invites the reader to follow along with example games that try to demonstrate some of these concepts.

I’m written 6 articles so far, and am currently working on the Shape article.

19x19 FOR BEGINNERS SERIES: Introduction: Making sense of Go

Part 1: Sente and Gote

Part 2: Settling your Stones

Part 3: Playing a Balanced Opening

Part 4: Joseki Basics

Part 5: The Stages of the Game

I hope this helps.

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I’d like to add some more skills where practicing tsumego hardly helps (there is some overlap between different items, also with items that @tonybe mentioned). Some may not really apply to ~10k level, but I added them anyway.

  • timing, when to go ahead immediately and when to wait
  • understanding aji and aji-keshi
  • tesuji (not really the same as tsumego, although there is an overlap)
  • counting / evaluation
  • endgame (often underestimated and/or considered boring)
  • positional judgement
  • understanding probes

General competitive skills (for situations like playing in live tournament games)

  • game experience and / or knowledge (lack of one may be compensated for by an excess of the other)
  • tactical intuition (emerges from game experience / knowledge)
  • time management (if you tend to get in byoyomi early and then bleed many points under time pressure, you are using too much time, but if you tend to blitz under live time control and always end up blundering the game away with a lot of time on your clock, you are using too little time)
  • self-control (recognize and manage detrimental emotions like anger, fear, impatience)
  • know your strengths and weaknesses
  • for competitive games where the result is particularly important to you, specialize in some specific openings, middle game fighting or endgame, to fit your strengths and weaknesses and to save time during the game
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@kakuna17 That said, I had a quick look at your game 0027 and clearly you need to practice tsumego. For instance at move 207 you should have recaptured T13, otherwise you don’t have two eyes.

In addition, you really need to work on shapes. You allowed this bad shape several times:

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Also could be useful


I bought about 25 go books over the years, and got to 15k. There is only so much a beginner can grasp by going through an expert game, or by exploring go puzzles, or learning specific strategies such as life/death, links, zones, and good shape.

Then, later, at OGS, I tried something new: I started analyzing my own games after playing. If I won, I made sure I understood why. If I lost, I found bad moves that made me lose. I started improving really fast. I never skipped this analysis. This simple action resulted in a steady improvement. I also stayed with 9x9, to make the analysis easier. That got me to 7k, which qualifies as a single digit. I haven’t had much time to play in recent months, yet seem to be staying at 7k okay, still on 9x9. I’m happy here.