Tsumego Hero
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  • Proverb of the Day

    20. July 2018

    Tsumego Hero Proverb of the Day

    Become a Creator

    The number of Tsumegos is supposed to grow a lot in the near future. To accomplish that, we need more content creators. We need you! Here is how it is done: You download provided SGF files, add the solutions and send them back. Done.

    There's going to be a place on this site where you will get credit for your contributions - e.g. a history page with all the happenings, listed by creator and date.

    Currently we want the Cho Chikun collection solved, as it is a nice, wholesome and high quality set. There are currently 256 of the 2553 problems in our database.

    SGF files:
    Cho Chikun's Ecyclopedia of Life & Death - Elementary (900)
    Cho Chikun's Ecyclopedia of Life & Death - Intermediate (861)
    Cho Chikun's Ecyclopedia of Life & Death - Advanced (792)

    Contact: me@joschkazimdars.com

    Guide to become strong

     by Benjamin Teuber 6 Dan

    Many times I hear questions and requests like "How can I become strong?" or "My Go lacks this or that. Please teach me how to be better at it!". In general, I think many people overestimate the role of a Go-Teacher. Of course, it's very important to play and analyze with stronger players too, but still the teacher is not everything. Most of the learning consists of exploring Go for yourself, and not by having every single move explained. Actually, most part of my study in Japan did not consist of being taught by pros, but of studying by myself. One big point of being next to professionals was that they explained how to do this.

    For you, these lines mean that you don't have to go to Japan or find a 6-Dan teacher to become incredibly strong!!! Instead, if you are ambitious, you just have to know what to do by yourself. This is why I decided to write this small tutorial.

    How to become strong (in order of importance)

    1.Play, play, play - the stronger your opponent the better for you
    2. Do Tsumego in the right way continuously. Maybe this seems to be boring for you at first, but you'll see how much fun it is once you start. It's very important how to do so!
    3.Analyze your games with other players (as above, the stronger the better) - best would be to found a private study group (ten eyes will find more than two or four...)
    4.Do Tsumego
    5.If you like, repeat and learn some pro games
    6.More Tsumego
    7.If you have some interesting book about fuseki, joseki, shape, endgame or whatever, read it if you enjoy - but don't spend too much time with it
    8.If you still have time left, how about a few tsumego-problems?

    Why Tsumego is so important

    Many people keep saying that Go is mainly about territory, and that Life and Death is just important for stubborn killers, who use Go to escape their own aggressions but never understood the real game. I believe this is rubbish!

    At first, let me talk about Go-history and philosophy: In ancient China, people were not scoring territory at all, but instead just the stones on the board. So originally, Go was about "gaining life for as many stones as possible" instead of territory. Building a territory - i.e. an area where no opponent's stones are able to live - was just one strategy to secure life for many stones later. In other words, Go was just about life & death! When the Japanese changed the rules to territory scoring as they found this more elegant than scoring stones, the rules of Go were cut apart from the original idea, which lead to the widespread misbelief among amateurs that Go would basically be about just fencing in points. All professionals know better. Just recently Saijo Masataka 8p visited Hamburg, and while commenting on a game, he said: "In Fuseki and Middle Game, territory is not important, but strength and weakness of groups".

    Now the five-hundred-million-dollar question: How to improve your judgement of weak and strong groups? Hint: Look at the Headline. I think you are beginning to get the point. Be honest: How many of your last ten games were decided by just building territory, and how many of them by either killing stones or, if you are already a dan-player, by the implications of misjudging the strength of a group, for example being heavily attacked and therefore losing too many points by its implication? Voilà.

    There's maybe one more point to say: By doing much tsumego, your reading ability will increase in general, not just about life and death and tesuji. So you will have an easy time calculating endgame sequences and other stuff, so this will also be affected greatly by doing tsumego.

    The nasty side effect of trying to kill everything

    Right, this really happens sometimes with players who do tsumego the first time in life, as it is the first time they start to focus on strengths or weaknesses. But this is just an in-between stage and still an improvement compared to before, when weak groups were ignored by both players half of the game. It's ok for a while as you can try out and find the limits of your new knowledge. After losing enough games because of trying too hard, your way of dealing with weaknesses will become more subtle: You will create double threats of killing and making points, and you learn how to fight in a safe way that pays attention to both attack and defence. After really mastering life and death, many players suddenly change to a very calm, peaceful style, as they know when to avoid having a weak group and when to refrain from hard fighting since they can read out when it doesn't work.

    Full Guide at Sensei's Library

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    Tsumegos in the Database


    Recently added

    Added on 6. July 2018:
    Life & Death - Intermediate, 45 Tsumegos

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  • Added on 2. July 2018:
    The Rules of Capturing Races, 40 Tsumegos

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  • Hero Powers explained

    Sprint (Level 20)
    Double XP for 3 minutes on all solved Tsumegos.

    Intuition (Level 30)
    The first move of a correct sequence is revealed.

    Rejuvenation (Level 40)
    Restores all other hero powers and hearts.