30-20 Kyu

What Should You Know at Each Level of Play?

I started wondering what people at each Kyu level were generally expected to learn. I figure this will help with deciding what to learn next. I found a couple of good sources on it, and as I find more, I’ll come back and update this post.


What You Should Know

30-21 Kyu

  • Point here should be to play a lot of games. You’ll get a better sense of how it all works if you do this in the beginning than diving right into strategy
  • Territory comes first, don’t just play the atari game all the time
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks
  • Learn nets, dead shapes, eyes, ladders, ko, corner vs side vs center, and shimari or corner enclosures

20-16 Kyu

  • Try to avoid making the same mistake twice, think about what went wrong
  • Take a look at Josekis
  • Watch stronger people play, aim for ~5 stones higher
  • Start doing Go problems, if it takes more than a minute to solve it’s too hard
  • Start reading at least 4 moves ahead at the 20kyu level, 8+ at the 11kyu level
  • Learn empty triangles, sente, 3-3 invasions, common joseki, eyeshape, bamboo joints, miai, throw-ins, big points

15-11 Kyu

  • Learn direction of play, end-game tesuji, the table shape, attention to fast play, third line vs fourth line, unnecessary play on the second line, invading, joseki selections, ladder breakers

Game Analysis 2, ~30 Kyu

Still hanging out at 30 Kyu according to online-go.com, here’s another game analysis.

There were the first six moves. I’m black. I don’t like the spread out triangle I made in the middle. It feels very weak and doesn’t secure position for me along any side or corner.

White does a good job blocking off the invasion of that one piece in the upper right. I don’t know why I tried to defend it by adding a piece, I should have let it go and secured territory elsewhere.

I tried threatening his group in the upper right when he had the clear liberty advantage. Again I should have gone for control elsewhere.

He expands towards the bottom, and starts threatening my group of three while I back up to defend what space I have.

I’m trying to secure some territory on top, but he already has my pieces mostly surrounded. There’s not that much hope for securing a base here.

He easily surrounds my pieces in the upper left and captures them as well, cementing his control over the top left corner.

I close off what I can of the bottom, and he keeps control of the top. He wins by 16.5 points since he made some captures and has the komi advantage.

I think that if I had spent more moves in the beginning gaining influence on the top left instead of trying to protect my stones on the top right, I could have won. I also shouldn’t have made moves that gave him free atari plays, or “thank you” moves.

Key takeaways

  1. Don’t play “Thank You” moves
  2. Let a piece go so you can secure territory elsewhere
  3. Don’t focus on the middle in the early game

Game Analysis 1, ~30 kyu

This is my first game analysis. I’m going to go through one of my games and try to figure out what I did wrong. It started playing about a month before starting this blog, so the date will be a little off. online-go.com says I’m at ~30kyu which is as low as it goes, so a total beginner.

Here’s a link to the game if you want to see every move. (Feel free to send a friend request too!) I’m going to focus on the parts I think are most important.

I was black in this game. This was not a great starting move. The 4-4 point is fine on a 19×19 board, but on a 9×9 board it does very little. White can easily infiltrate the top, left, and corner, and I haven’t given myself much security.

I did a good job expanding around the board while white focused on blocking off that one stone. I think I should have gone closer to the right ¬†wall though, since it’s still very invadable by white.

By playing like this I gave away the top of the board to white, and I put my stones in the top right in jeopardy by not connecting any of them. Meanwhile White got a strong footing in the top and started working into the right.

I protect some of my pieces on the top right, and prevent white from extending further downwards. His group of three on the right should be dead, but we’ll see if I kill it off.

Nope. I get distracted by his plays on the left side and he’s able to come back and save his pieces in the top right. Lesson:¬†If you can make sure a group will die, secure that advantage before moving on.

After some more play on the right he does a Hane to J4 and I respond with… H3. I don’t know what I was thinking here. I could have played at J3 and put him in atari, then connected at H3, but I did this for some reason.

I realize the mistake and play at J2 after he expands to J3, but I’ve already given away more territory than I had to. You’ll notice he’s slowly chipping away at my territory in the bottom while his territory on top goes untouched.

After some more play on the left, the game is effectively over. Neither of us should be able to capture the other’s territory at this point if we play intelligently, and it looks like he’s won by 11.5, at 32.5-21 with 6.5 komi included. We keep playing though.

This wasn’t a smart move. I don’t know if I didn’t notice the atari at D6, but this move did nothing. If I had played at C6 I might have been able to capture something, but I didn’t. Oh well.

He tries to infiltrate the bottom but I put an end to it by making both of his eyes fake.

If I had extended the four group he would have captured my pieces later anyway, so I suppose this was the best move

He takes my group, I do a return capture, and the game is over. White wins by 16.5 points.

Key Takeaways

  1. Start closer to the walls in 9×9
  2. Don’t make careless errors, look carefully before moving
  3. Make sure a killable group is dead before moving on
  4. Stop territory advances as soon as possible