Don’t let anyone tell you need to improve your reading skill in Baduk

I think that it is misleading to use the term “reading” in Baduk. Why? Let’s take what you’ve done so far in this article:

  1. You did not look at each sentence to see if each letter “i” was dotted.
  2. You did not look at the sentences forwards and backwards.
  3. You did not see if the spacing between words was correct.
  4. You did not pursue multiple branches of possibilites about each letter/word.

All you did was suck in the letters to get the basic idea.

Just Getting the Basic Idea is Fatal Flaw in Looking at a Baduk Position

In Baduk, we are scanning the board with attentiveness and precision and depth. Just because something “looks alive” does not mean it is when you thoroughly scan and assess the group. An eye is not an eye in the middle of the board until is secured THREE, count’em… THREE corners. And until then you can pick and probe and threaten and maybe even kill. In contrast to reading an English sentence:

  1. You MUST see if each letter “i” is dotted
  2. You MUST see the weakness of the group. If there is a weekness in my speling you let it go in thee name ov comprehension.
  3. You MUST see the overall weakness of the entire board
  4. You MUST check spacing and take action based on being too narrow or too spaced out.
  5. You MUST pursue multiple branches of possibilities.

Baduk assessment is closer to parsing a computer program than reading a book

  1. It is unflinchingly precise
  2. You do not gloss over missing parts of speach.

If you are “reading” in Baduk, you are losing

Since Baduk is ultimately about Life and Death, if you want to get away with murder you must be hungry like the wolf and as observant as an Eagle circling prey from 5000 feet away in the sky. This is not a time to be sipping on lemonade and thumbing through the Sunday newspaper in your rocking chair…. READING (?!). No, not at all. not if you want to plan the perfect killing and get away clean that is.

Let’s get practical

So I was playing a game awhile back and we got to this position:

Now, White looks pretty solid in the upper left. I’ve drawn 3 circles where it looks like White easily has eyes… one along the bottom, another in the middle and then the ponnukis towards the center.

A few moves later White looks even more alive.. if you are READING

if you are just glancing/READING at this position, you would be like “man, White really has all that territory locked up now. But if you ANALYZE the White group THOROUGHLY, then you see:

  • the weakness at ‘1’ can be peeped.
  • Even though White has 3 corners around ‘2’, playing at ‘3’ threatens to kill the group
  • the group at ‘A’ only has 2 liberties so peeping at ‘4’ demands a response unless White likes dying and losing.

So once all of that was put together in the right sequence, starting with playing at 3, we ended up like this:

And now we drop in a stone at thee Vital Pointe and it’s sayonara to that big ol’ White group.


Be your best version of Columbo and dont ignore any missing puzzle pieces… EXPLOIT THEM.

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