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To become a master of Go is not easy, but became an amateur 5D or 6D it's not hard

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I saw many friends in forum complaining they can't make progress, I will share my self-learn experience about I from Tygem 2D to 8D.

Before talking the details, I have to point out several points about study quality and study will.

1) study quality
No matter do tsumego or have matchs, without quality it's insignificant. We can see some internet player have played thousands games, but still stay at k-level or low dan, this because of study quality.

2) You should know the right way
If your study way it's proper, you can avoid detours. We play Go since the late 1980s had have many detours, wasted lots times.

I remember I hold a Joseki dictionary and memorize the contents, I could repeat every variations from memory and self-satisfaction for it. After I improved some years later, I know it was a detour, wasted many years.

3) strong-willed of study
To be a Tygem 8D it's not hard, but need pay a lot. If you use all off hours on the game, from Tygem 2D to 8D needs 3 years at most, if you don't want sacrifice too many off hours, needs 5 years at most.

When you wake up, you are thinking go, even when you visit your friend's home you also take a go book, when you are idel you hold a go book, do such then 3 years later you must be a 8D.

There are three main domains, 1) do tsumego, 2)have matches, 3) view kifu of masters.

About tsumego:

Tsumego is very very important for tygem 2D, two points should be emphasized

1) quantity.
When you meet a tsumego book, just buy it, even it is an easy book, you can keep it for your kids or your students. The classical tsumego books buy two pieces, one for everyday use, it should be dishevelled and fall to pieces, keep the other as a clean reference.

2) quality.
Don't do it only once, you should view it repeatly, until you are clear every variations in your mind, but it not enough, clear slowly and clear in 10 seconds it's different.

Two usual wrong ways when do tsumego:
a) Didn't clear every variations in your mind, just decide by feel, it's a critical mistake for your calculation.
b) Didn't calculate the best choice of your opponent, this cased wishful thinking in real game.

I recommend a method for doing tsumego, maybe helps you

Before do tsumego, prepare pen and paper for recording your mistakes. Generally speaking, there are three mistake type:

a) You think you were right, but when you saw the answer you found you were wrong. Find the reason why you mistaked, this is an effective way for your improvment of thorough calculation.

b) you can't calculate a result. Don't see the answer until you solve it, if you cost too much time on it, that means your level it's still far from the tsumego, abandon it.

c) you doubt the author of the tsumego was wrong. This is possible, you can consult with other players.

The above are principle of doing tsumego, let's talk about essential points.

You must choose a proper book for you, don't choose a very very hard book, if you only can resolve 10% to 20% problems, just abandon it. You should choose a book which you can resolve 60% to 80% problems, do it repeatly until you can easily resolve (clear every variations) more than 95% problems, then you should change a book.

I think the proper tsumego books for Tygem 2D are:
Lee ChangHo tsumego (volume 1 to 6)

Lee ChangHo tesuji (volume 1 to 6)

After you finish the 12 volumes, you are above Tygem 4D. Although the author was not Lee ChangHo, but the books are good, they contain almost every usual tsumegos and tesujis in real game.

Another book it's good as well, Weiqi Tsumego 1000 Problems(http://senseis.xmp.net/?WeiqiLifeAndDeath1000Problems), it fit from beginner to amateur 3D.

And a set named Weiqi Tsumego Training (http://senseis.xmp.net/?WeiqiLifeAndDeathDrills) (three volumes: junior, intermediate, senior), the senior volume it's for amateur 6D and pro player, ignore it, the other two volumes containt about 2000 problems, few of it hard a bit. After my student finished the two volumes, he progressed from Tygem 5k to 4D.

If you finished all the books above(about 4500 tsumego problems in total), I think you can stay at Tygem 6D.

After finish GuanZiPu(http://senseis.xmp.net/?GuanziPu), you can up to Tygem 7D.

Tygem 7D it's a barrier, calculation and comprehensive power are needed. If you want jump to 8D, do Tianlongtu(I can't find it on xmp.net), in my opinion Guanzipu's problems are one clue, but to solve Tianlongtu's problems you need find several right clues and compose them together, maybe this is the difference between pro and amateur?

If you have done all tsumegos above(about 7000 problems), your calculation already ahead common amateurs, and not far from real amateur master, you can stay at 8D.

Of course, you should calculate tsumegos but not learn by heart.

About have matches:

Let's talk about quality first, match it's the contest of two players' move efficiency, you should force you play the most efficient moves, this is the only way from 2D to 8D.

Choose every random 10 continuous steps from a game except the opening(first 10-20 steps) and closing(small endgames), we can see the efficiency of two players are different, the side has high efficiency will won the game.

One match has about 250 steps in all, 200 steps of them need compare efficiency (except opening and closing), so if a man want win he should collect tiny benefits from every moves of the game.

The rest it's meaningless, and there is no content about view kifu of masters
I translate another advice by a self-learned Tygem 6D

1. the foundation of weiqi it's calculation, do tsumego it's the best long-term way to improve.

Some beginner always think their opening it's weak, they use too much time on learn opening. But when I was playing with them I never feel their opening it's weak, because when stones touched they collapsed soon, opening theory doesn't work for them.

Remember, calculation it's the foundation of weiqi, it's the most important. The so-called calculation it's calculate two sides' variations, you imagine variation's stones on goban.

The best way to improve calculation it's do tsumego and tesuji, even pro player often do them.

As for opening, I can say responsibly it's meaningless for beginner, they know where is big points(http://senseis.xmp.net/?BigPoint) it's enough.

2. about joseki
Joseki it's the best moves of local dealing, of course the "best" it's always change, some josekis are changing every year.

The beginner don't need memorize too many joseki, two or three of star point and three or four of 3-4 point are enough. In many situations your opponent don't follow joseki, then you should deal with your own manner, and after game learn the proper joseki from book.

Joseki it's strange, I know some amateur 5D never memorize josekis, so for amateur player to determine the victory is immiddle game.

Comments (5)Add Comment
July 31, 2010
Votes: +4
Thanks Mang

You completely changed the list of books I was going to buy. I will focus entirely on problems now instead of buying an opening dictionary.

October 08, 2010
Votes: +0

i cant find Weiqi Tsumego Training .. maybe it has another name?

November 11, 2010
Votes: +0

Thanks for sharing,

Actually I'm a low dan player, and I'm still having trouble to try to become stronger.

May I translate it to share to my gofriends,thx

January 04, 2011
Votes: +1
Tianlongtu problems

Look for Vol 1 & 2


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There are players who clack down ridiculous moves. Certain others place their moves with crisp, dry contact, like bones cracking. Still others drop their stones with a soft sound.

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