Do you wish you knew how to get your questions about the game of Go answered?

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About David Ormerod

David is a Go enthusiast who’s played the game for more than a decade. He likes learning, teaching, playing and writing about the game Go. He's taught thousands of people to play Go, both online and in person at schools, public Go demonstrations and Go clubs. David is a 5 dan amateur Go player who competed in the World Amateur Go Championships prior to starting Go Game Guru. He's also the editor of Go Game Guru.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. Great idea guys.

    Here’s my question. If black plays somewhere else in this diagram, what’s the best way to attack him? Thanks.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks Tim, great question. This one requires some explanation, so I will write an article about this. It depends a bit on the position in the top left corner, but usually M16 is a good way to attack black here.

  2. Which game(s) and breakthrough research were responsible for sparking the resurgence in the low-chinese fuseki that began last year until now?

    What are the most critical new variations and insights from the last year of low-chinese games?

    What are the top 20-games of 2010? Games that represent either excellence of play or great insight into future development of go.

    Have many more questions in reserve. Thank-you very much for the opportunity.

    • elementc says:

      Five of those top 20 are surely from the BC Card Cup. :>

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks Logan,

      Some tough questions! I can’t answer these now, but I’ll put them on the list :). I’ll look forward to hearing more questions from you then.

  3. MarcoRosso says:

    What exactly is the point when beginning game turns into middle game? I thought it was when a stone was placed next to your opponents, but that is not the case.

    • David Ormerod says:

      I sense this one will be controversial… Thanks MarcoRosso.

    • Jonathan says:

      I think its generally considered to be when there are greater that fifty stones on the board, even if some corners have not been approached or defended yet.

  4. Flandre says:

    I wrote you an email, but I guess this question is better to be asked here:
    Can you recommend any good source of tesuji problems (besides of

    • David Ormerod says:

      Hi Flandre,

      I did receive and read your questions. Thank you.

      For anyone who’s emailed me over the last few days, I haven’t had time to reply because I’ve been busy working on the back-end of Go Game Guru to improve performance. I hope everyone likes the new design and that the site is loading faster for you now. I’ll catch up on the emails soon.

      In answer to your question about tesuji problems, you can try looking at the problem collections on the GoGrinder and uliGo websites. Please let me know how that goes for you.

      Personally, I prefer to study problems from a book, because I find I can focus better and learn more. Many of the problem books I have I bought in China, which isn’t so helpful to you right now. Later on, when I have more time, I’ll see if I can source some of them for Go Game Guru readers.

      There are some good English problem books published by Kiseido, for example the ‘Get Strong’ series.

      • Flandre says:

        Most of collections you recommended are tsumego (classical collections, Cho’s enc.), not tesuji problems. I’ve looked a bit at “Get Stong at Tesuji”, but it seems to be too easy, also it’s, again, not about tesuji in usual meaning, more about right shape.
        What I’m seeking for is something like Segoe Tesuji Dictionary (~700 problems in first 2 volumes!). I’m working with it now, and it is just awesome. Train Like a Pro 1-2 are also nice, though there are only ~4 tesuji problems per day(others are tsumego, endgame, joseki, pro game). “Tesuji” by Davies is a good book, but there are too few problems =(
        Yesterday I bought few books, including:
        200 Endgame Problems, by Shirae Haruhiko
        200 Tesuji Problems, by Shirae Haruhiko
        Think Like a Pro: Haengma, by Yun Yeong-seon
        They seem to be interesting. Probably I will not die without problems to solve very soon ;-).

        • David Ormerod says:

          Hi Flandre, I wasn’t sure if you wanted to buy books or not, which is why I mentioned those free resources.

          You’re right, the Segoe/Go Seigen tesuji dictionary is indeed brilliant. Train Like a Pro is good too. Don’t overlook the classics like the Qi Jing Zhong Miao (Gokyo Shumyo in Japanese) or the Xuan Xuan Qi Jing (Gengen Gokyo). While they may appear at first to be mainly life and death problems, they often require a clever tesuji as part of the solution. Also, there are sections of both that are more tesuji focused. The distinction between tesuji and life and death problems is somewhat arbitrary anyway.

          Also, you can learn a lot about tesuji by studying pro games (especially someone like Sakata, Lee Sedol or Gu Li) and joseki. The reason I mentioned the ‘Get Strong’ series is partly because there are three joseki books in that series that present each position as a problem. In some ways those are tesuji books in my opinion.

          It’s good to study hard problems to push yourself sometimes, however you also need to study the basic ones a lot. When I first got the Segoe tesuji books I was really excited and I thought that I would get much stronger by learning all those really sharp tesuji.

          While this does help, spending most of your problem study time doing the easy problems really quickly seems to help more. I think it’s because you rarely get the chance to play the exotic tesuji in a game, but consistently finding all the ‘easier’ tesuji wins games. Cycle through all the tesuji problems you have, doing all the problems quickly. Once you’re confident, you don’t even need to look at the answers, you’re just training yourself to recognise those patterns in an instant. If you’re really keen, you can then turn the book upside down and go through it backwards as well.

          Getting a really good instinct for basic tesuji, seems to help you find harder tesuji automatically, because there’s some sort of connectedness to the patterns of it all.

  5. Good afternoon. I always wondered how the pro’s study or train go: while being students and while being active pro’s. Is there a difference between Japanese, Korean and Chinese pro’s on this, does that explain the difference in strength and results the last few years, or is it just a difference in available talent for the game? Any new didactic insights, maybe even scientifically based, like in other sports?

    Thank you if you could elaborate on this.

    Kind regards,

  6. Good afternoon. Another question that I keep asking myself for quite some years. It seems to me that the recent go games are a lot fiercer than 100 or 50 years ago. When the top players of today would review the games of that past era, would they consider these games a bit slack, having too many honte moves, too much accepting a move to be sente? Would they thus study these games? Nowadays I see that the moves jump far more around the board, not ending an expected sequence but apparently accepting the stones played as a kind of kikashi, being there for the aji. That makes me wonder if the statements in some books are still true for the top level (I know, these books are not written for the top pro’s, but still: a truth is a truth).

    Thank you if you could elaborate on this.

    Kind regards,

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks for your interesting questions Paul. I’ll add these two to the list of things to write about. I think Younggil would have to answer these, because I really don’t know, however you may have noticed that Younggil occasionally mentions that modern pros don’t care so much about shape, in his commentaries.

  7. Shape: yes, I saw a remark by Younggil on this in one of his recent commentaries, about an empty triangle. I remember that Kato Masao once noticed about a stylish move that “this move just looks good, but that’s all”. About 30 years ago I read in a commentary that bad shape has its strenghts too: quite an interesting and intriguing remark. And finally I read a remark that go was about winning, and not about art. That remark came when comparing Chinese and Korean games to Japanese games, the person noticing that he preferred replaying Japanese games because they were more pleasing.

    When replaying some games of, say, Lee Sedol, I sometimes am surprised by almost random looking tsuke moves, where the stones are then abandoned: maybe a kind of yosu miru to build aji and, at least to me, to grab sente at about all cost. Is this the new winning strategy, making the game tougher than ever, like kind of a different game? The purpose of these moves, the ideas behind them, are not often explained. They are so different to the amateur game: obviously you have to be able to read very well to do this, quite a difference to the touch and feel of the Takagawa kind of game.

    I am looking forward to some explanation by a top man of this time, Younggil: thank you for taking this up.

    Kind regards,