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Reading?


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2017-03-02 23:56
DavidA Reading seems to be my biggest problem. Even the simple problems in the beginners course give me trouble. I have issues visualizing them and holding the different variations in my head. Does anyone have any tips for practicing this vital skill? it seems to be essential to play go, especially in fighting.

2017-03-03 00:02
Darrell Malick Hi David,

I found that doing the problems on this site significantly improved my reading. Which seemed weird to me because mostly I wasn't *reading*. But it seems just looking at the stones and playing them in sequences trained my brain to see much further than ever before. An unexpected benefit.

2017-03-03 16:29
ndbgo My experience is similar to Darrell's: doing the problems on this site improved my reading quite a bit, even though I spend very little time actually reading through most of them. I think it's because reading becomes much easier if you know beforehand more or less where a specific position is going. For example, there's a joseki where the correct continuation depends on whether a stone earlier in the sequence is on the third or the fourth line. Just knowing there's a difference makes it easy to find the correct answer by reading instead of memorizing.

What also helped me a lot before I discovered this site: just practice. There's a nice description of how to practice reading in "Fundamentals of Go" by Toshiro Kageyama. Start with short ladders, making sure you actually visualize each stone in the sequence one by one. Then gradually practice reading longer sequences. As I said before, it helps if you know more or less where a sequence is going, but make sure to practice stone by stone when you start out.

What got in the way of reading in my case was concentration: it's difficult to keep track of all the variations, especially if there are a lot of them or if there's a long ladder. If you find you lost track, don't fret, just take a deep breath and start over again.

And most importantly: don't think you're "just bad at reading." I used to think that, but since I experienced during a tournament that I could read a situation that I had practiced before (I knew I should know it but didn't remember the details, so I *had* to read it), I'm confident that I'm not so bad at reading, just not always very good at concentrating :-).

2017-03-06 06:33
DavidA Thanks for the reply. I don't know. It's been over a year and a half of doing tsemgo and I still have trouble trying to visualize two or three stones, let alone whole problems or multiple variations. I'm starting to think I just don't have the ability to read. I have to memorize joseki patterns because I don't have reading abilities. Reading seems to be the engine that drives GO. I still like playing and studying, but I've kind of given up on improving at this point. DDK for life ha. I'll still keep trying cause I'm stubborn. I'll report here if my visualization abilities suddenly get better

2017-03-09 17:49
Dyonn You could also try goproblems.com . You can start with the 30k problems, and it will give you harder ones if you can manage those!

2017-03-15 10:36
kimchi I recommend doing problems on on paper. I found that when i was doing problems online i lacked the discipline not to guess and just click on a shape point. I really got nothing out of tsumego until i had to read out each varation until i found one that work. I find talking to myself helps aswell. Black here, white here, black here then white here. It helps to also keep track on liberties like this aswell. Black here, still three liberties, white here, two liberties etc...

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