Tips and Tricks

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

The Five Stone Question

It’s been about two weeks since my last post, my bad. I wanted to drop in and share a tip I recently found online.

I read “The First 20 Hours” where the author talks about learning to play Go. He mentions a tip he picked up in his research called the “Five Stone Question.”

Quite simply, the tip goes that if you ask this set of questions before each move you make, you’ll instantly gain five stones in skill. You have to ask them in order, and act on them in order. If nothing can be done for question one, then you go to question two, and so on.

The Questions:

  1. Can I ensure one of my groups lives? (By forming two eyes, connecting, etc.)
  2. Can I kill one of my opponents groups?
  3. Can I secure my territory?
  4. Can I invade my opponents territory?

Have fun!