In this article, you’ll learn how to analyze the game you’ve played in Go.
Have you ever had a situation when during a game you were feeling that you’re playing quite well but at the end lost by a lot?
Or even you were winning by lots of points but a single move ruined everything?
What if I told you that you have lost the game way earlier than you thought?
The only way to find out what you did wrong is to analyze that game.
Step #1: Find your mistakes
When you’re analyzing your own game your objective is to find your mistakes and then find better ways of playing.
Doing this requires you to find positions that are good or bad for one side or another. You can do this by looking at what each side obtained and how/if this caused them to win or lose the game.
A good time to think about whether or not a result is good, is when someone takes Sente or plays away because that marks a sort of “end” of a sequence.
Step #2: Find a better sequence
So once you figure out a bad move or sequence and why it’s bad, try to find moves that help this resulting in a more favorable outcome.
If you can’t find a better move, the mistake must have happened earlier in the game. This is super important, Kyu players will often get caught up in the tactics of a local area when a strategic mistake was made several moves earlier.
If you’re 5 or so variations deep and can’t find a better variation, then try and look back on the moves that led you there.
Step #3: Make conclusions
After you have found the mistakes you’ve made and looked for better variations, it’s time to make conclusions by asking yourself some questions.
Why is the new move you’ve found better that one you’ve actually played in a game? Maybe it’s good in a local area but globally makes your position worse.
Why would your opponent answer in the same way that you played in discovered variations?
Does getting Sente in a particular position matter more than acquiring a few more points locally?
After you’ve answered the questions that may arise when analyzing a game, your part of it is over. Now it’s time to let big guys do their job.
Let stronger player review your game
Letting someone else to analyze the game you’ve played is a pretty good option to distinguish the flow of the game. It’s suggested to ask a stronger player for this but you can also learn something from a weaker player as well.
Stronger players will look at your game from a totally different perspective. They don’t know what your plans were in certain situations, so they will give rational suggestions and tips.
Additionally, weaker ranked players can also give you handy tips because, despite the fact that they’re weaker in general, they might be stronger in certain aspects, for example, Tsumego.
There are several ways to let someone else review your game online.
you can send an SGF file of the game and they will send back the file with comments on it.
In fact, there are some of the websites that allow commenting on games uploaded by others. Here’s the list of some of them:
Let AI review your game
While I don’t recommend analyzing a game with AI for beginner and amateur players, here’s a list of strongest programs
OGS AI – post-game review tool that highlights the top changing moves of the game. Though that’s all you get for a regular account, if you support the website by a donation, you will get full access to the review tool,
Leela Zero – Strongest open-source AI on the planet that will help you get better by rating each move my percentage and giving the best suggestions for you.
SmartGo – Go program with a post-game AI analysis feature. The app is only available for Mac and Windows users.
In conclusion, I want to say that you shouldn’t worry too much about finding the most optimal move at every point of the game. You should aim to learn one thing from each game you play. If you learn two or three, that’s a bonus!