Teaching Game/ Discussion

Sub-page of TeachingGame

Feylias: Could someone please add a section on how to teach a teaching game? As a weak player regularly teaching vastly newer beginners, and I'd like to not break their spirits, not be seen as condescending, and not be seen as "letting them win".

WillerZ: What I do in online teaching games (DGS, OGS) is this; it may or may not work for you:

I let the student choose whether to play with handicap or not. I ask them to write the purpose of each and every move in a comment that I can see. I do the same for my moves. Occasionally, probably only once or twice per game, I might suggest alternatives means of accomplishing the objective of their previous move along with the pros and cons. At the end of the game, both of us can go back through the comments and see which moves did and didn't do what the person who played it thought they would.

I prefer this style to a more didactic format, because as a lowly SDK I don't feel happy dictating lines of play to another player; I'm no expert. If I were 9p, it might be different.

Bill Spight: I was fortunate to learn go in an environment in which every game was a teaching game (or, at least, a learning game :-)). It was rare not to go over a game afterwards and talk about it. The weaker player could learn from that, and often the stronger player as well. Unfortunately, that practice does not seem to have caught on in the West.

Just as I was taught by stronger players in that manner when I was learning (and I hope that I still learn something every now and then), I have always considered it a duty to teach weaker players in my turn, not a matter of generosity.

The spirit of generosity (or duty) is alive and well on the Kiseido Go Server (KGS) because of the excellent teaching and review software which is part of the client. Most players will review a game after playing if the other player wants to. Many strong players will review others' games for free. Some players will teach games for free and others will do so for a fee (KGS Teachers). The client software CGoban2 supports common teaching customs. --Hu of KGS

If you would like to give and receive teaching games, why not check out Go Lessons Online? This is currently being set up to make free teaching games available to players on a ladder basis. You join the ladder and arrange to play games with other players through private e-mail. You may use any go server you wish for this purpose. An archive will be kept and made publicly available. More information on GoLo can be found at the homepage [ext] http://www.angelfire.com/games4/hanami/index.html (this is a temporary page and is rather basic). Anyway, I hope you can join us! --Tamsin

Justin: I have a question about teaching games. I've been playing them a lot lately against weaker players, and I'm trying to improve my ability to "create instructive situations on the board". Does anyone have any tips about how to do this? I've been able to conconct little scenarios here and there, but usually I just end up playing like I normally would, which often results in me inadvertantly crushing my poor playing partner. That or I make deliberate under-plays, which don't seem to be in the right spirit either. Most of the "teaching" happens during the post-game review, when I try to explain things that went wrong. But it would be nice to be able to demonstrate things in real-time, during the actual game. Any advice?

I played against someone who deliberately (and explicitly) played dame points from time to time because "I want to see where you attack". Aside from anything else, this seemed like a good lesson for me in how to punish underplays (IE, tenuki, attack).

Alex Weldon: I do the opposite. When I'm teaching, I overplay like mad, because there's a tendency for students in teaching games just to defend, unless there's a high handicap. I tell the student beforehand that I'm going to try to get away with unreasonable moves, and that they shouldn't be scared of me and back down, but should try to counterattack and punish. Of course, if they play too submissively and miss the opportunity, or counterattack badly and get a poor result, I point out my overplays after the game, and show they how they could punish.

Koosh: I find the best way to create "instructional positions" on a board is to follow the proverbs. It really depends on the level of your student, but if he/she is somewhere in the low/mid kyu area, just setting up positions where he/she can apply a proverb (extend towards thickness comes to mind) is the way to go. The level of the concept being tested should be compatable to the level of your student. There's no use in teaching a 20 kyu about aji if he/she does not know about basic opening practice to begin with. Your play should be calmly setting an example for the student, and you should be "practicing what you preach".

ThaddeusOlczyk: When we first began a club at college we were lucky enough to have a couple of high dan amateur players. They would play a teaching game differently. The teacher would comment on the next move before the player made the move. I suspect that it was easier to create "instructional positions" that way.

Lothe?: Anyone looking for a review of their game should visit the Go Teaching Ladder ([ext] http://gtl.xmp.net/). Players of almost all skill levels are available to analyze games, and it's all free to boot. Just make sure you have a copy of your game in SGF format on hand.

Teaching Game/ Discussion last edited by Dieter on July 28, 2007 - 11:18
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