Guide To Reviewing


Table of contents

One of the common themes in real life games and over go servers is the process of review--both of your own games and that of other players. Popular services such as the Go Teaching Ladder also exist where people both give and receive reviews.

Reviewing For Others


  • Compliment as well as Criticize
  • Point out specific alternative moves.
  • Look for general recurring themes and not just specific points where the person could have done better.
  • Cover strategy and points such as direction of play.
  • Try, as much as possible, to point out why a specific result is good for one side or the other if it is not immediately obvious.
  • Stay calm and disinterested.
  • Use terminology that is common for the language you are reviewing for (e.g., "extension" is better than "hiraki" when dealing with native-English speakers).
  • off-line SGF reviews
    • if the SGF editor allows it, rotate the board so that the reviewee sees the game as (s)he actually played it: usually that will mean Black is the bottom (=near) side, White (probably you, the reviewer) is the top (=far) side. Online games usually don't need such a correction, as both players actually see the same (unrotated) board.
    • add your name/initials/nick in your comments, so that it is clear who is making a comment.
    • Optionally, as reviewer, make sure the AN SGF property (annotation) is filled in correctly.

Do Not

  • Marvel at the opponents moves. If the person you are reviewing for got ripped apart don't say "White did a really good job of splitting Black's groups here" unless you point out how Black could have avoided said split.
  • Lambast, insult, or use degrading language (e.g., "poor choice" is better than "stupid move.").
  • Rely on a Joseki/Fuseki dictionary. Point out what the joseki is, but talk about why a specific move or series of moves is good or bad, not just that the moves "deviate from joseki" or that "kogos says that this is not recommended" with no further comments.
  • Use terminology that the person being reviewed for will not immediately understand without defining it (if you use the term aji with a 25k, define it, but you can reasonably expect a 5k English-speaker to know it).

Reviewing for Yourself


  • Review for both sides.
  • Remain disinterested (e.g., "white" and "black" not "me" and "my opponent").
  • Evaluate trades to make sure you came out on top.
  • Try to gauge encounters to evaluate who got the better deal in any given part of the board.
  • Re-evaluate L&D problems to ensure that the opposite result couldn't have taken place (i.e., you/your opponent either killing a group that lived or saving a group that died).
  • Remain realistic about what might have happened in game.

Do Not

  • Engage in wishful thinking when working out variations.
  • Marvel at your own magnificence.
  • Under-estimate your opponent's ability based on style (just because you are an influence-oriented player who follows Takemiya, 9p doesn't mean that his territory-oriented strategy following Cho Chikun, 9p is inferior or vice-versa).
  • Criticize an opponent's move for being "unorthodox" or "desperate" without working out a refutation.
  • Try to win the review.

See Also

Guide To Reviewing last edited by axd on January 23, 2013 - 19:22
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