Atari Go Teaching Method

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The idea and the criticism

The capture game has been used for explaining the basic rule "a chain whose last liberty is filled is removed from the board" and is promoted by the EGCC and Yasuda 9p as a teaching method. Many believe however that this makes pupils focus too much on capturing stones, a bad habit which is difficult to throw off later.

See also the 1999 article by None Redmond, giving some contextual background on the Capture Game: [ext] Two Days with Yasuda Sensei (scroll down about halfway, or use your browser's "search" function to find the start of the article).

Proposed Alternatives


You are invited to expand this page with some ideas from the
Atari Go Teaching Method / Discussion page and the forum.

Capturing Addiction

It doesn't seem obvious to me that playing Capture Go will lead pupils to become obsessed by capturing stones. Many beginners who did not learn through Capture Go are also obsessed with capturing stones. Properly taught pupils would presumably be able to understand the difference in strategy when moving from one game to another. I have always tried to create a stalemate on the board when using Atari Go - I would then explain to them the concept of territory. Then I would deliberately place emphasis on Go not about being capturing stones, and on the lesson would go. I have not noticed any instance in anyone I taught being obsessed with capture.

I agree. I have an unprovable theory that capture was the first way Go was played, and that surrounding more territory was a natural step once life was "discovered". In my personal experience I find capture go a very natural way to teach beginners about territory.


Atari Go Teaching Method last edited by 66.118.201.74 on March 29, 2014 - 11:23
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