Tag: joseki

Guess Moves and Joseki

Guess Moves and Joseki

TL;DR SmartGo One now includes a powerful Guess Moves feature for pro games. You can also combine guessing with pattern matching to train yourself on joseki variations.

Guess moves

Pick a pro game, turn on Guess Moves, then at each turn think about where you would play. As you then play each move, SmartGo will tell you whether the move was:

(a) exactly where the pro played, or
(b) at least in the right area, or
(c) at the right spot, but your timing is off, or
(d) whether you’re in the wrong area entirely.

This is a great way to study pro games and learn about your blind spots. This SmartGo Kifu feature didn’t make it into version 1.0 of SmartGo One, but now it’s back, significantly better.Guess move example with menu

If you’re lost, tap on Hint, and it will reduce the remaining possible area by about 50%. Still lost? Tap Hint again to narrow the search further.

New in SmartGo One is the ability to guess moves of only one player – just choose whether you’re guessing both colors, only black, or only white. Another new feature is the ability to change the size of the area considered ‘near’. It defaults to a Manhattan distance of 5, but you can now set that anywhere from 2 (more difficult) to 7 (easier).

Joseki training

New in SmartGo One, you can combine guessing with joseki or fuseki matching. In this case, SmartGo will just give you a right or wrong answer – getting close in joseki is not good enough. Of course, this feature also works for guessing both colors or just one.

When guessing a joseki move, one of your choices is to tenuki (play elsewhere), and SmartGo will let you know whether that is indeed a position where it’s okay to tenuki.

At any point, you can turn on Hint to see the full joseki information for the current position. Note that obscure variations that have rarely been played are counted as wrong.

Restrict games for matching

You can now choose to use only recent games for pattern matching, instead of always matching in all games. Joseki change over time, and some drastic changes have happened in the last years since AlphaGo. (See e.g. the just released ‘Joseki Revolution’ book by Shibano Toramaru.) For example, comparing the attach-and-pull-back joseki in games since 2016 with games since 2020, the solid connection has gone from 48% to 91%, and tenuki from 18% to 2%.

Match games 2016
Match games 2020

When you train joseki, it uses the subset of games you’ve specified in Settings > Games > Games to Match.


SmartGo Kifu kept track of your percentage of exact and near guesses. As yet, SmartGo One doesn’t keep track of any statistics, as the feature is mainly designed to help you learn. But trying to beat your previous percentage might add some motivation, so I will likely add this in a future version. Please let me know what statistics you would find helpful.

Enjoy! Let me know how you use this feature, and if there are any tweaks that would make it more useful to you.

What Happens After the Joseki?

Given a corner or full-board position, SmartGo Kifu will go through its collection of 76,000 games and find all matching positions, and show you what professional players play next. New in SmartGo Kifu 3.2: see the list of matching games so you can explore how those games develop from there. (Just tap on the joseki statistics to see the matching games.)

Also in this version:

  • New mode to match joseki in the corner with the most recent move.
  • The game info button has been removed; just tap on the title (with a little i next to it) to see the game info.
  • Book view has moved to the action menu. (This function has moved around a lot, but I think it has finally found a good home.)

Program help has also been improved, so I recommend actually taking a look at it. You know that you can hold and then drag to correct the most recent move? That you can see a professional player’s biography by tapping on the player name? It’s all in there.

SmartGo Kifu 2.0

The main new feature in SmartGo Kifu 2.0: Joseki. Match a pattern in a corner or on the whole board, and SmartGo Kifu tells you where professional players played in that position. More details here.

Match joseki kifu

The current implementation is already amazingly useful. However, compared to the Windows version of SmartGo, some features are missing, like the list of matching games. Clearly, there’s more to come.

Many smaller changes streamline the user interface:

  • Combine filters and search: Use the predefined filters for games directly from the list of games by tapping on the right side of the search box.
  • Easy way to create a board: Tap on the + icon in the bottom left of My Games and choose Empty Board to create a board to experiment with, especially for joseki analysis. (To delete a game: Simply swipe across it in the list, then tap on Delete.)
  • Improved book view: Book view is now full screen, and is used for annotated games, tutorial, and program help.
  • Settings: All the settings have been moved from Tools (bottom left) to Settings (top right).
  • Markup: Added tools for Markup (previously only available on the iPad) so you can set up positions as well as mark points with letters or triangles.

Icon kifu 256

This version also features the new app icon by Darran Morris of app-bits.com. Seasoned Go players will recognize the board position from Shusaku’s famous ear-reddening game.