Tsumego Everyday with Tsumego Pro

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TsumegoPro

Technology helped Go players around the world enjoy a game against each other thru Go servers like Pandanet. Technology also redefined how players practice reading skills through tsumego apps and softwares. In my opinion, the best Android App for studying tsumego is Tsumego Pro.

Black or White to Play

Each problem only indicate which color plays the next move. Without any other instruction, one must read out possible sequences on whether the position requires one to escape to the center, connect to a friendly group, or make life underneath the opponent’s stones. Although the surrounding stones in “easier” problems make it clear that one must make life, players still make the goal themselves for “harder” problems.

Six Tsumego A Day

My favorite feature of Tsumego Pro are the daily tsumego problems, two each from the easy, medium, and hard problems. Six may not be enough for the very enthusiastic players, but for busy people like me, I feel satisfied every time I finish the six daily problems.

Get More Problems

Installing Tsumego Pro in your phone or tablet is free. There are pre-installed problems, but after solving them all, you can still get more problems for a price (around $2 if I remember it right).

Level Up

Another good feature of Tsumego Pro is the Progress mode. The app chooses a random tsumego problem, and depending on the level of the problem, your rating will increase, if solved correctly, or decrease, if not solved. Just be sure to update and buy more tsumego problems after solving all the available problems in the database because the app will just repeat solved problems. Your level will increase, but you are not learning anything new or improving your reading if you only solve problems you already know.

No Surprises

A word of caution: Tsumego Pro, like any other tsumego software immediately shows a move is wrong or correct before one can confirm it by continuing the variation. One can cheat by randomly placing a stone, undoing the move if it says wrong, until the trial and error results in the correct variation. Although reading is looking for the correct variation through trial and error, answering tsumego problems this way can make one reliant to a software saying that the move is wrong. During a game, we only know that our move is wrong until we find that our stones failed in achieving our desired goal, or if we read out the correctly the variation that satisfies us the most.

Here is my advice to avoid cheating the app: make sure there are no surprise moves. If you play one stone, and the app does not say wrong, you must be prepared or at least have anticipated the next move. If a move does surprise you, then you did not read the problem deep enough. I suggest you undo the correct move, read the problem again, and understand the logic behind the surprise move. Play all the possible variations in your mind (or you can try it on a Go board or an SGF editor, but imagining the sequences in your head is better) until you find the correct one.

END

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