Showing posts tagged: tldr


Tagua go stone

High-quality go stones are traditionally made of slate and shell. The cheapest, relatively thin stones cost around €150–200 for a set, and the highest-quality, thick stones can easily cost €10,000 or more.

Recently, in Japan it has become a problem that big enough hamaguri clams, which are used for white go stones, are getting increasingly rare due to overfishing. Because …

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Is ‘fair’ komi necessarily an integer?

One popular topic among go players is: what is the ‘correct’ value of the komi?

There are many ways to approach this question. For example in tournaments, it is useful to have the 0.5 in 6.5 (or 7.5) to prevent draws; after all, tournaments need a winner, and a game that ends in a tie often has to be replayed. …

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The (ten) thousand year kō

is a Japanese go term and word originally derived from Buddhism, where it stands for an ‘extremely long time’. This is fitting in go, as kō fights can easily continue for dozens of moves.

Kō fights are a most interesting phenomenon in go. Go is already special in that the simple stone-capturing rules lead to the emergent property of …

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History and overview of time control formats

Two recent occasions got me thinking about the time control systems used in go, and their relation to the game.

First was our teachers’ exhibition game that was covered in the second June lecture, which you can view here. In the lecture, Jeff remarks that while the game might be objectively even during the middle-game fighting, in reality it …

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What is a professional go player?

Every now and then, when I’m logged in on the Online Go Server, I get asked about what my ‘1p’ rank means, or why my account name is displayed in green. The usual colours are black, orange, and purple for normal account, supporter account, and administrator, respectively. Green is left for professional players – of whom, it turns out, there …

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On the value of sente

Sente, or initiative

Sente is a Japanese go term that roughly translates to ‘initiative’. A ‘sente move’ is a move that your opponent has to respond to, so you can then switch elsewhere on the board if you want to. ‘Having sente’ means that it is your move turn and there is nothing urgent on the board; in other words, …

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Always read three moves ahead

A Japanese go adage tells us to always read three moves ahead. This adage is also in use in shōgi and, as I just now found out, in chess as well.

I first learned of the idea a long time ago – probably when I was studying a life-and-death theory book – and quickly dismissed it: isn’t it even better …

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How to catch cheaters online

I was happy to see that my earlier post on online cheating sparked a lively debate on L19. So far, several different measures for combatting online cheating have been proposed; personally I took a liking to the suggestion of proxy tournaments, described here in Marcel Grünauer’s post.

In unproctored tournament settings, it is always possible for a player …

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Thread of Thought, Part Two

This article is continuation from Part One.

Below, I will show how I read out a go problem by example – but before that, we should establish definitions for certain Japanese terms.

Suji, or technique

The word suji holds many meanings in the Japanese language. Originally it meant ‘muscle’ or ‘sinew’, but gradually it also came to mean other …

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Train of Thought, Part One

Reading in go is a complicated subject. To my knowledge, there is no common systematical method of reading that all go players use; and, when asked to define ‘reading’, I find myself hard-pressed for an answer. Since the subject is of interest to many – myself included! – in the following I attempt to explain why and how I ‘read’. …

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How to limit cheating in online go?

The last 1–2 years have seen a sharp increase in cheating in online go, especially on higher dan levels. I, personally, have almost completely quit online go, as it not only takes a considerable amount time to find an opponent of similar level, but also the chances of the opponent’s consulting an ai are high. If I want to train …

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On the challenges of English go terminology

When I first became insei in 2011, I found that there was a wealth of Japanese go terminology that I needed to learn to study the game. My teacher had set me up with an ideal study setting: once a week, I met with young Japanese professionals in a study meeting where I learned how to play the game and …

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Why do I play go?

Recently I noticed that Vit Brunner, who hosts several classic tsumego collections on his website, posted a questionnaire on why people play go. After giving it some thought, I decided to elaborate on my own reasons here on the ngd website.

Usually, when somebody writes on the topic, they give what I would call the ‘standard list of benefits’, …

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How should we teach go to new players?

Go is a notoriously difficult game to market to new people.

Just consider the proverb, ‘lose your first fifty games as quickly as possible’: an average game on a small board probably takes at least 15 minutes when you’re getting your bearings, so the proverb basically tells you to lose 12.5 hours in a row just to get started. …

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Is the ranking system facing a crisis?

You are probably familiar with the phrasal verb ‘level up’, and just how rewarding those two words can be after spending some effort (or at least time) on a game. Although the phrase is now abundantly used in the gaming industry, it originally came from role-playing games – a precursor to the pen-and-paper roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons, Blackmoor, …

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Events

All times are in Helsinki time (eet with summer time).


New pairing for the online league made every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month.


Public lectures on Twitch every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month at 1 pm.


Jeff and Mikko stream on Twitch on Fridays at 6 pm.