What this website does:

Dailyjoseki.com teaches you joseki in the context of pro games in a way that optimizes your memorization. It also provides a browsable joseki tree as a free service to the go playing community.

How to use dailyjoseki.com:

  • First, make an account and log in.
  • Go to select. What would you like to learn?
  • To learn more general sequences, input a common starting point like the 4-4 or 3-4.
  • To learn a more specific sequence, put all or most of the sequence in.
  • Finally, go to study to begin your lessons.

A little more detail about taking tests:

  • The text at the bottom of the board will give you a rough idea of where to place the next stone.
  • Once finished, you'll have the option to remove the test from your queue or adjust the test to show more or fewer moves in the sequence.
  • It will then ask you how difficult the sequence was for you to complete or remember.
  • If you guess incorrectly 3 times, dailyjoseki.com will show you the correct move. If this happens 3 times, dailyjoseki.com will show you the whole sequence, automatically label the sequence as very difficult, and repeat the test later in the session.
  • Test positions have two purposes. The first time you see the sequence, it's a "guess the next pro move" whole board problem. Every time you see the test after that, it's a memory problem.
  • You always replay the joseki in the context of a whole board position where a pro actually played it, so you not only learn the moves, you also learn when those moves are appropriate.

Q: What's the queue page do?

A: There are two parts to the queue. Current study items are the example positions you'll see in your studies at the moment. Upcoming study items are sequences that are in your queue but haven't been shown to you yet.

Q: What are those partially transparent stones on the browse page?

A: The partially transparent stones answer the question, "What does the rest of the board look like when pros play into this position?" Stones which are more opaque indicate that it's more common for pro games to have a stone there; stones which are mostly black or mostly white show the relative frequency of having a black or white stone there.

More detail: the browse page shows the joseki tree, automatically generated from professional games. For each position, all pro games containing the position are virtually rotated, mirrored, and color-swapped so that they line up exactly. Then, they are averaged together, and the resulting partially transparent stones are shown on the board.

Q: How is it able to do a good job of teaching joseki?

A: Dailyjoseki.com uses a spaced repetition learning system to maximize the knowledge you gain from each viewing of a test position. Technically speaking, it is based off of the algorithms first used in SuperMemo and later in Anki, with a few adjustments for the specific application of go sequences. Another major difference from those programs is that dailyjoseki.com automatically generates the study material, which saves you a lot of time.

Q: Isn't rote memorization of joseki a bad thing?

A: A few points:

  • Josekis are always displayed in the context of a pro game. This means you'll not only learn the sequences— you'll learn when they are appropriate, too.
  • In addition to the joseki itself, dailyjoseki.com will show follow-up sequences— so you'll also learn how to defend or attack the resulting position.
  • Having something memorized will make it easier to make choices in a game: you know what a reasonable result should look like.
  • If nothing else, memorizing joseki should teach you something about shape.
  • If you use your newfound powers for evil and attempt to violently punish moves just because pros don't play them, you will lose games. You've been warned!
  • Instead, when your opponents surprise you, take the opportunity to think hard about the position. Try to understand why pros don't usually play that way. Is it because it's a large mistake? A small one? Perhaps it's a move you just haven't gotten to in your studies yet? Or maybe it's a non-joseki move that works in the particular situation. Working questions like this out for yourself will greatly increase the effectiveness of your efforts at memorization.
  • Finally: memorization doesn't tell you what to play. It tells you if you play X, what results are you likely to get? This lets you spend your time judging those results instead of struggling to read them out.

Q: Where did you get all the games?

A: The great people at GoGoD have kindly given me permission to use their collection as the basis for the joseki tree and test positions.

Q: Does this system actually help people win games?

A: The website is too new to have hard data yet. My own subjective opinion is that it definitely helps; when I'm using it regularly, I tend to try and play the josekis in my games, which often leads to interesting positions I would not have gotten into otherwise. And whether or not it turns out like I expected, knowing what a reasonable result in the position looks like is a great boon to reading things out and judging the resulting positions.

Q: How does it decide which positions to give you as tests?

A: When you select a position to learn, dailyjoseki.com finds pro games which contain it. It selects up to 100 games, divides them into groups based on how common the next few moves are, and adds each group to your queue. Every other day, you'll get a new position from each group in your queue. The system is designed to show you the most common variations as rapidly as possible, and, if possible for the position, not to give you a bunch of examples of the exact same thing.

Q: What does upgrading my account get me?

A: Upgrading your account removes the limit on your queue and the limit on how much studying you can do per day. It also will remove the limit on the secret feature I have planned, and anything else I might add in the future. I'm likely to pay more attention to bug reports and feature requests from subscribers. It also helps support the site: I'm not planning on getting rich with this, but I'm hoping it will at least pay for itself!

Q: Is dailyjoseki.com actually a prescription drug?

A: Addicting—possibly. Drug—no.

Q: When studying, sometimes after the main joseki another 50 moves or so will appear on the board and I will be asked to play the correct move in the new position.

Is this still considered 'joseki'? What is purpose of this? It is unlikely that any of my games will progress like the one the one in the test.

A: The idea is that you learn the common follow-ups after the joseki is complete, so you know how pros later defend or exploit a position, and get a feel for when it's good to do that.

For example, in this position white commonly later plays a defensive follow-up, which I learned about while testing the system:

I don't think you can call the follow-up moves part of the joseki, but they are important-- I think you probably don't have a good understanding of a position if you don't have some idea of what, locally speaking, to do next.

Sometimes the system stops too soon or too late (it stops when no three games include the same next move). For those times, use the "adjust" button to make the test longer or shorter.

Q: What are the specific limitations on studying using a free account?

A: With a free account, you may not:

  • Take more than 10 tests per day, except for the first day you sign up. The first day, you're allowed 35 tests, to help you figure out what all you want in your queue.
  • Select more study material while there are five or more groups currently in your queue.