Studying Professional Games
Studying professional games is one of the ways to improve. Both insei and amateurs can benefit from going through the games of the masters, although their way of studying and their level of comprehension differ widely .
Most insei in Japan will have gone through the entire Shusaku collection. Chinese pros will study the games of Nie Weiping while the Koreans will focus on Cho Hun-hyeon. All of them will have studied games of Go Seigen.
While insei will try to understand the reasoning behind the moves, this lies outside the scope of most amateurs. So, what benefit can there be in replaying professional games? The common reply is: to acquire a feeling for good shape and for the flow of the stones.
- There are many Go Databases, some freely available, some at a cost.
- Gobase (last updated at 2010) has many study facilities (non-free registration is required), 9x9 games can be downloaded (not viewed) for free
- https://badukmovies.com/pro_games provides close to 50K pro game records (mostly recent games, about hundred games per month) for view, search (by pattern or player) and download (as separate SGFs or the whole archive).
- Audio Go Lessons, with audio commentaries for certain recent games
- Go to Everyone! covers all big professional tournaments in Korea, Japan, China, Korea and world wide.
- Go4Go http://www.go4go.net/go/games/bydate -- (free) registration (sometimes) is required to view games online (downloading of SGF always requires registration and disabled in many games even after the registration)
- Andries Brouwer?'s collection http://homepages.cwi.nl/~aeb/go/games/ -- mostly Japanese title games
- GoGameWorld famous games http://www.gogameworld.com/gophp/pg_famousgames.php -- a small but interesting selection from Dosaku to the present day (link broken)
- Jan van Rongen's Friday night files? http://www.xs4all.nl/~rongen17/Cho/Site/index.html -- many games with Cho Chikun
- British go association links http://www.britgo.org/gopcres/gopcres1.html#s-data
- Links from the kombilo web site http://www.u-go.net/links/gamerecords
- The first time, just play according to the diagram. Then play the game without looking at the diagram, if possible. The third time you play the game, start actively thinking about reasons and alternatives for every move. The reason for doing it this way is simple. If you think about the game from the very first time you play it through, you will use your own knowledge as a reference point for understanding the game.
Antti Tormanen has written a guide on how to study pro games: http://gooften.net/essays/tens-guide-to-studying-professional-games/.
Anon: A new approach is the Go Wisdom concept used in the most recent GoGoD books produced by John Fairbairn. There are several components. One is that the commentaries (all based on pro opinions) are given without variation diagrams. Instead, variations are described in the text, using letters on the board as necessary. The idea - in line with the theory effortful practice for optimal learning - of is to force the reader to visualise the variations, both in their flow and their final shape, rather than just glancing at a diagram. A second major component is a large Go Wisdom appendix in every book which discusses all the technical terms that appear in each book, and also very many that don't. The idea here is to offer the reader information that he may want but that does not appear in the text. It thus indirectly enhances and broadens the commentary, but through the thinking of the reader - again in line with best study theory. The third main component is that every technical term in the book is indexed in each book, in the GW appendix. This means that if the reader wishes to study a particular concept (e.g. thickness or momentum), he can look up many commented examples in the various Go Wisdom books, which tend to be large and so have very many examples. Books with the Go Wisdom concept include Genjo-Chitoku, Games of Shuei, The Teenage Meijin and the various books on commented old Chinese games in the Museum of Go Theory project.