NGD online league review thread

Published 3 Jul 2020 by antti (last edited 14 Aug 2020)

This post is intended for gathering reviews of our online league service from our students.

As a teacher and webmaster of Nordic Go Dojo, I’m not qualified to comment on our service myself, but I can certainly praise our go community! There are often lively go discussions going on on our Discord server and in our game review comment threads, and I’m grateful for how willing our stronger students are to help less experienced players. Several of our participants have even gone so far as to help improve our website by reporting bugs and writing code for the KataGo score graph tool.

Student reviews are added to this post as they are written.

Comments (8)

Noharmony wrote 2 years, 1 month ago:

I recently became a member of the Nordic Go Dojo, after years of playing GO on and off, without ever bothering to invest into a teacher or school. It might for me still be a bit early to talk about how it helped my improvement, but I hope this review of the NGD will still be of some use and I will certainly write a more comprehensive update in the future.

But from my experiences with the NGD so far, I can say that they take their goal of teaching GO seriously.

The NGD teachers are not only top players of the European Union or in the case of Antti a European who made it pro in Asia, but most of them are also very experienced teachers, not to mention Jeff, who is also a coach to many of the strongest European players.

In my opinion you get great value for paying 40€ or 80€ every two months, meaning 20€ or 40€ each month (which is comparable to the investment in another hobby), being able to talk with others students through discord, engaging with them and the teachers in the comment section on the website etc. on top of the reviews themselves is excellent, not to speak of the coaching you get with the full option and the public lectures the Nordic Go Dojo organizes.

Of course the value of a school is not only determined by the teachers but also by the students. So far I've only had positive encounters with other students, and everyone seems to take the games seriously, trying to play their best.

So if someone is looking for an option to get lectures, reviews etc. by strong teachers and playing serious games against other players, I can only recommend joining the Nordic Go Dojo.

gerryg wrote 2 years, 1 month ago:

The structure of this Go school is similar to others so assuming one is not driven by price how to choose? In deciding to learn anything, particularly as an adult, the attitude of the teacher/coach is near the top of my list of important things. I still remember Hayashi Kozo (5P!) reviewing one of my games "hmmmmm, very difficult, very difficult - at our level we should play here" - I'm struggling to stay on the right side of SDK so I was under no illusions about who he was really talking about.

However it encapsulates the essence of good coaching. I have tried a number of teachers and abandoned them because in the end I get fed up being told I'm rubbish or being beaten up during a teaching game and then being told afterwards what I should have done.

What makes this Go school so attractive to me is the good attitude of everyone involved, be it Antti "I can't say that move is wrong but normally..." Törmänen, Jeff or Lukas. They all leave me wanting to get better rather than regretting asking for their help. This is less common than it should be and makes the Nordic Go Dojo a standout recommendation.

A second feature is the advice constructs, I feel they actually have a clear idea of my weaknesses and my other weaknesses and the advice is relevant rather than generic.

KA0S wrote 2 years, 1 month ago:

While I don't personally have experience of many teachers, there is a good reason for it. Often private teaching games with pros or near pro level players come with hefty fee. Even though my skills in go develop slowly, I strive to get better even when I have no ambitions like becoming top player in Europe or such.
With this, Nordic Go Dojo offers perfect opportunity for me in relaxed environment, but students taking their games seriously. Compared to any normal hobby, the teaching is very affordable, in comparison, back in the day my tennis lessons in small group cost 14 euros per hour. Which made it slightly more expensive than NGD while time used in NGD games is slightly longer per month. On top of the commented games you get lessons and access to reviews of other players, so in reality there's a lot more material to study from than at normal hobbies.
Of course quality of the teaching matters a lot when you actually pay for the teaching. I mean, who would want to spend their money for something that's not going to help them? From my part I can say that I couldn't be more satisfied. The games are usually against people very near your own level, so they are interesting and rarely cause utter frustration. I've had games commented now by all other teachers besides Matias and I don't have a single bad thing to say about them. Reviews basically focus on few key points in the games, and the amount of information is just right. So far there has always been some points that I haven't been able t0 figure out by myself, yet you don't get overwhelmed by complex reading sequences or too many individual points. Every teacher excels at pointing out why some moves cause situation to get worse in clear and easy to understand terms and offer alternate way of playing in good spirit, often saying that the suggested way is what they would have done, but not claiming it would be the only way. There's no preaching, just suggestions and it has encouraged me to try out new ways of playing. While Antti and Jeff have a lot of experience in teaching, I was pleasantly surprised when I recently got few reviews from Oscar. His commentaries were quite similar to other teachers' commentaries and even though he is just starting out his teaching career, he could reach the standards of other teachers.
As ending, I would like to also give thanks to other students, without you, even with best teachers in the world, the experience wouldn't be the same! I've never had trouble getting games scheduled and everyone does their best in the games.

annkrupnik wrote 2 years, 1 month ago:

With Nordic Go Dojo I get an opportunity to play against opponents of equal strength,
which is really important for me because other than that I only play handicap games with my teacher.
Everyone is taking the games seriously, so there are no easy or meaningless games. The reviews are very clear and useful. They also arrive pretty fast, so I can look at the games while they are still fresh in my memory. I had a few coaching sessions with Jeff, and they proved to be useful as well. Jeff analyzed my games and found some mistakes that I had been making repeatedly. So overall I find NGD very good for my Go, and it certainly helps me to keep myself in decent shape, especially now, when all live tournaments are canceled.

joky wrote 2 years, 1 month ago:

I have thought a long time for joining Nordic Go Dojo, since I have known Antti and Jeff for a long time and known how enthusiastic they are about go and also how good teachers they are. Unfortunately before it has not been possible due to my own time constraints. This time I waited eagerly the start of the new season knowing that I am able to participate. And I have not regretted joining for one second.

With given options it was possible to choose the best option for oneself and there are plenty of content for both options. Lectures, coaching, games against same level players and especially reviews gives a great possibility to excel oneself and achieve new levels for your own game.

It has been great to get to know better other teachers too, and I can not say anything negative about those either. Of course everyone have an own teaching method, but all teachers are great at what they do in NGD. One thing that is great is that teachers see beyond your mistakes. Even if you make "easy" mistake(s) in your games there are some reasons leading to that mistake that are corrected (and not concentrated to particular mistake) and guidelines for thinking the game as a whole.

Moreover, the peer support and very active community has given an option for discuss things or ask help almost whenever you want.

So far it has been so great that I have absolutely no reason to left out and it is small price to pay vs. the content received.

seequ wrote 2 years, 1 month ago:

I have much less to say than the other students. Teaching is a hard thing and everyone approaches it differently. I believe that the format NGD uses and the way they teach is as close to optimal as I have seen.

Every strong player can show you better variations, where to play or how to handle a position. Very few of them can spot the problem in the way you think and to steer you to not just play better moves in familiar positions, but to change your thought process fundamenrally. That is the core value of NGD for me.

Coaching sessions are just a nice bonus. ;)

MKyle wrote 2 years ago:

This is a really great system and I'm really glad I tried it out.

The teachers in this league are excellent at conveying meaning and tailoring their advice to the player and the context of the game. Since it's very easy now to access super-human AI, it's easy to look up the moves that you should have played but teachers can add value far beyond this by explaining how the thought process might work.

I vary between having a lot of time to play and study go and not having much time at all - This league offers a very flexible solution. Games can be arranged flexibly between the players and it is possible to choose your own level of engagement with the lectures, discussions and other benefits offered.

The community around the online league is also active and inclusive with active discussion about go and non-go topics.

yaku wrote 1 year, 11 months ago:

I am very happy for having found Nordic Go Dojo.

The comments and serious games make me feel like I am really learning something, and the coaching provided help in incorporating what I have learned in my game. Additionally, the Discord server is very lively and makes you feel welcome, and has its channels for all kinds of questions and discussions, even about food.

I will definitely keep studying with the NGD, and would recommend them to anybody who wants to work on their game.