Recommendations

Kaz’s Internet Go School

Kaz offline internet Go lessons!

These are some of the most recent teaching results:

Rowan, 23 kyu player, who took 8 lessons from me and is now 13 kyu.
Fred,     19kyu player,  who took 3 lessons from me and is now 15 kyu.
Marek,   8 kyu player, who took 7 lessons from me and is now    5 kyu.

George in his 60s improved quickly in my recent teaching.  See Mr. George Steward to learn how he has studied.

 

Recommendation from Leo, 2 kyu player.

After having worked with different Go teachers and different formats (online lessons, offline lessons, lectures, problems, game commentaries, training games) in the past I can say that for me being taught by Kaz seems to be the best way to really improve the way I play in a systematic and lasting way.

Thanks for teaching me!

Leo

(Leo has been taking my offline lessons for two years .)

 

Recommendation from Rowan, 23 kyu player, who took 8 lessons from me and is now 13 kyu:

I began playing Go a few months before my first lesson from Kaz’s internet Go school. It’s been almost nine months since that lesson. Six of those months I was unable to play or study seriously. In my three months of active study with Kaz, I’ve taken eight lessons and gone from 23k on OGS to 13k.I have many of the popular books on Go techniques, but I still turn to Kaz when I want to progress. Even books on a specific aspect of the game are too broad to be efficient learning tools. They will have a few paragraphs on an idea, leave you with a handful of problems, and move on. It’s only over many games that you find out if you’ve understood what you read. Kaz speeds up that process tremendously. After giving you a test to spot your weaknesses, he homes in on what troubles you most about a concept.

At first glance it might seem like he’s spending an inordinate amount of time on one type of move or sequence in your play. Surely you’d get a better value from one book with dozens of moves, right? But look closer. In each specific topic Kaz picks for a lesson there is a fundamental concept of Go applicable to your whole game. You learn not just how and when to play a move, but why you should play it. Go books often show just the how. Good ones explain the when. I’ve yet to find a book that helps me understand the why like Kaz’s lessons.

I still have a long way to go. I’m aiming for shodan and beyond. I plan to stick with Kaz for the whole ride.

Rowan

Recommendation from Marek, 7-8 kyu player, who took 7 lessons from me and is now 4-5 kyu:

I started playing Go as an adult (late 20s) and reached 7-8 kyu fairly fast in a few months.  At this point I decided to find a teacher to help me progress and get better steadily.

I found Kaz’s internet Go school and decided to try one lesson to see if the teaching would be a good fit for me.

Right after the first lesson I knew that the way Kaz taught was extraordinary and purchased his Special Lesson A.The way lessons work is this:

1. Kaz first analyses your 10 games and finds your weakest points.
2. Based on that, he sends you a bunch of tests which you comment on.
3. You send the answers to Kaz.
4. After analyzing your answers, Kaz will send you a set of problems tailored to your biggest weaknesses.
5. You study the tests and those problems.

Solving the tests and those problems will not only fix your own weaknesses, but also allow you to spot mistakes made by your opponents, and learn a lot of basic shapes, tesuji, concepts, etc.

I have taken 7 lessons in the last 3 months so far and can feel the basic shapes Kaz teaches come to life in my own games. My rating is currently 4-5 kyu and I am getting better fast.  I can beat players that used to teach me just a few months back in even games.

I would like to recommend Kaz’s internet Go school to anyone who wants to get better at playing this beautiful game. I sure as hell am going to take another lessons from Kaz for a long time to come.

 

Recommendation from Fred, 19kyu player, who took 3 lessons from me and is now 15 kyu:

http://lifein19x19.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=12943

 

Recommendation from 2 kyu student Toomas:

http://toomasr.com/blog/2015/06/26/improving_your_go_with_the_help_of_a_teacher/

 

Recommendation from 1 kyu student Z who is in his 20s. (last updated on December 13th, 2015):

I had been stuck at my rank for almost a year before I decided to start taking lessons from Kaz Internet Go School. It’s been 6 months since I started and I feel I have gotten noticeably stronger.  I went from 3k to 1k on KGS and also started getting much better results in my local go club – previously I always lost quickly vs 1-3dans, but now I win often against 1dans and even against stronger players I put up a fight. So overall, I’m happy with my improvement.

Here are some things that I think are unique about his teaching:
Offline Lesson. I think this is very valuable – I can review each lesson multiple times at my own pace. Even if I stop playing for some time I can always go back and study again.
Kaz focuses on the fundamentals. He teaches proper shape, tesuji and how to punish mistakes. In other words, things you learn are very practical and you use them in every game you play.

Lessons are presented in a very easy to understand way. Kaz uses a combination of tests, problems and game reviews to highlight your weaknesses. (Kaz started making tests beginning in July, 2015 because he believes it would be very useful.)

Tests are game records that you have to comment on and explain any mistakes you spot. Not only is this very good exercise by itself, but it also allows Kaz to get a better idea of your understanding of a particular concept he’s trying to teach.

He then creates problems to provide the student with a deeper understanding. For example, one of my lessons was focused on handling “sliding” moves (moves on the second line that go below your stones) which I had some trouble with. As I was working through the problems, to my surprise, I found a position from my own recent game. In that particular game, and many others before that, I couldn’t find the correct continuation and got a poor result. However this time, I was able to very quickly spot the solution and it seemed incredibly obvious why it was the correct way of playing. Not only is this kind of teaching very effective, it’s also very satisfying for the student.

Overall, I’m very happy with my decision to take lessons from Kaz Internet Go School and would gladly recommend him to anyone looking for a teacher.

 

Adults who participated in tournaments in summer, 2014:

Recommendation from 4 dan student M:

(The following student started playing Go in her teen.  Now she is in the mid 20s.  She is now a 4dan player.  She started taking my offline lessons in July, 2014 and has taken 3 games , and she has already applied for 10 more lessons.)

I’ve taken three lessons from Kaz right before the two major tournaments.

Kaz gave me advice not only about my moves, but also about tournament preparations: how to make an opening, how to use the time in a game most effectively, and so on.  His advice was extremely helpful, especially because no one has ever pointed them out.

He sent me the problems related to my mistakes and weakness.  That helped me correct my mistakes and remember them more effectively and clearly than ever before.

His advice and lessons helped me get the 1st place in two tournaments (one of them was the Go National Championship).  I’m going to take at least 10 more lessons from Kaz.

 

Recommendation from 1 kyu student F:

(The following student started playing Go in his 30s.  Now he is in the mid 60s.  When he started taking my lessons, he was 2 kyu.  He is now a 1 kyu player.  He started taking my offline lessons in January, 2014, and has taken about 13 lessons.)

I have been taking lessons from Kaz about twice a month for the past six months, and have found them to be extremely helpful.

I find that the problems Kaz composes and the shapes that he teaches come up all the time in real games.

I tied for first place in my division at the U.S. Go Congress in 2014, and I think that I owe a large part of my success to Kaz’s go lessons.

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Recommendation from a 9-year-old child’s mother:

(This student is at the age of 9.  He was a 5 kyu player on KGS.  After taking 3 lessons from me, he is now 4 kyu player.  He started taking my offline lessons at the end of September, 2014.)

I’d like to recommend Kaz as a Go teacher.My son at the age of 9 only had 3 lessons from Kaz so far, and his coaching has opened new insights for him and re-established important basic concepts which he had overlooked over time.

Moreover, he had participated in our 1st National Primary Go Tournament and had emerged as the champion  of all the Primary 3 students in my country!  About seventy 9-year-old boys had participated in his category and all played 7 rounds to determine the ranking.

Now, he is so encouraged after this victory.

My son has been learning Go from local amateur and the Chinese pro teacher for the past 3 years.  Their teachings seem to be good.  But his skills have been quite stagnant for the past few months.His weakness is that he has been making the same mistakes again and again.  Hence I have decided he needs individual attention, especially in his weak areas, instead of week-after-week of life and death homework which are good but do not seem to really solve his problem.

Hence, I begin to search for online personal teachers, and I have read up many profiles of teachers and short listed a few from China, Korea, and Kaz.

The major difference for Kaz, is that he is the only one who is very detailed in his teaching approach, his beliefs and methods on his blog, plus the added advantage that his English is very good .  I can see the sharings on his blog where I agree with many of his beliefs (like – a person may not improve by playing many games as he keeps making the same mistakes or bad habits) and his teaching method exactly suits what I want for my son.   Also the fact that Kaz freely shares a lot about the learning of Go on his blog, shows to me he is a teacher who is genuine in improving others.

In his lessons Kaz is very encouraging.  He is good at recognizing my sons weaknesses in his games and give good advice and easily understood explanations and problems.  My son has been really excited to study Go with Kaz.

My son is going to take at least 8 more lessons and probably a lot more.

Kaz is a truly good teacher, and I highly recommend him.

 

Recommendation from Mr. George Stewart:

(Mr. Stewart started playing Go in his 30s. Now he is in the 60s.  He is currently a 2 or 3 kyu player in November, 2014.  He started taking my offline lessons in July, 2014, when he was around 4-6 kyu.  He usually plays only 1 game a week. )

I have been taking online lessons from Kaz for the past five months.  During that time period I have taken 10 lessons, roughly one every two weeks.  Each lesson has a commentary on one of my recent games and a problem set inspired by one or more critical mistakes I made.

When I started, my KGS rating was bouncing around between 4-6 kyu.  That is about where it was about 30 years ago when I got bitten by the go bug in graduate school.  After 10 lessons my KGS rating is now bouncing around between 2-3 kyu. I feel that the lessons have been a big part of that improvement.

I only have time to study (or play) go for about one or two hours each day.  The lessons have helped me study efficiently by pointing out the mistakes that I and my opponents are making in the games I am playing right now.  That helps me to concentrate study on those areas which have the biggest payoff.

They have also deepened my understanding of the game.  I thought I understood some of the short (3-6 move) star point joseki’s before I started taking these lessons.  Kaz’s lessons really deepened my understanding of them and helped me to understand the meaning of each move in a way that the various joseki dictionaries I own do not do.

I also enjoy Kaz’s upbeat approach to teaching.  The harshest criticism he uses on my bad moves is a simple “Questionable”.  I already know many of my moves are questionable and I appreciate him not flogging that severely.  He is also effusive with praise when I play a good move—that is just as important as pointing out the bad moves since it lets me know when I am on the right track.

I took advantage of “the Special Services” after my first lesson and purchased a 12 lesson package and have not regretted my decision.  In fact, I intend to give myself a Christmas gift for next year and buy a follow up package of 11 or more lessons.

 

(Kaz: George and a 9-year-old child  prove my beliefs that playing many games will not make Go players strong, but acquiring basics will.  To do so, one has to repeat learning basics.  This is true for Go, a language, karate, ski jump, gymnastics, etc.  See http://kazsensei.seesaa.net/article/409180298.html and http://kazsensei.seesaa.net/article/251428407.html . )

 

Recommendation from 6 kyu student T:

(The following student started playing Go in his late 40s. Now he is in the mid 50s. He is now a 6 kyu player.  He started taking my offline lessons in May, 2014, and has taken 10 games in two month, and he has already applied for 24 lessons.)

Beginning May this year, I started taking go lessons with Kaz.  Kaz first asked me to send him 10 of my latest games and he did go through all of them, reviewed one and sent me many problems on the most serious weaknesses from those games. After that, every week I sent Kaz 4 or 5 games, Kaz would then review one and made problems to correct the mistakes from those games.

What I like most about Kaz’s teaching method is that he pinpoints my blindspots, explains them with many correct alternative moves, and provides a lot of problems with different set-ups so that I can gradually absorb the fundamental concepts and begin to appreciate why these concepts are considered fundamentals.

I have already 10 lessons and will continue with another 24 lessons this autumn.  When playing now, I feel that I had more control and can make calm and proper moves more often than earlier.  Really, I enjoy completely Kaz’s wise comments and witty remarks!

I would wholeheartedly recommend Kaz go offline lessons to anyone.

( This student mentioned my problems.  In fact many people who have never taken my lessons don’t recognize the importance of my problems because no other Go teachers will ever send any problems after a lesson as far as I know.  Sending appropriate problems is one of the biggest things that will differentiate my teaching from others’.  Please take a look at this: http://kazsensei.com/faq/#what%20if )

 

Recommendation from 1 dan student S:

(The following student started playing Go in his late 30s. Now he is in the mid 40s. He is a 1 dan player. He has been taking my online lessons for a few years.)

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to recommend highly Kaz as a teacher.  I have tried quite a few teachers over the past 6 years, both online and off line and of all the teachers I have learned from I feel that Kaz has improved my go the most.

I think there are a number of reasons for this:

(1) Kaz stresses teaching basic shape.  He then applies these shapes to many situations so that these shapes become like second nature.  He will give problems that focus on a certain shape from different angles that will make you think but will also drill through repetition.  I find that this repetition really helps me remember which I can then apply to a game situation.

(2) Other teachers often show joseki or patterns that involve memorization of a series of moves.  Kaz instead focuses on shapes that are strong and applicable in many situations.  This means that instead of spending energy on memorizing a series of moves that you may not properly understand, you can find the proper move or shape in many general situations.

(3) Kaz stresses not having broken shape — “Romeo and Juliet” shape.  I think remembering this is already worth 1 or 2 stones in strength for kyu players.

(4) Kaz plays teaching games but stops the game to emphasize specific points of weakness.  That means certain weak moves are addressed at once and can be drilled on — leading to better retention of such ideas.

I have truly found Kaz’s teaching to be unique and would be happy to discuss further.

(IMPORTANT 1: I teach offline students by using the same methods above.  )

(IMPORTANT 2: I once stopped teaching Go to English speaking people except a couple of students such as this student.  I couldn’t continue because making problems in English after each lesson took me too much time.  My policy is to present the best teaching, and without giving my problems, I couldn’t give the best teaching.  So I stopped and kept making many problems in English. (I had had hundreds of problems in Japanese.  )  Now I’ve made many problems in English, I’m ready to teach English speaking people actively again.)

(IMPORTANT 3: I’d like to add to the statement above.  When I teach Japanese people, I always give those problems along with a game record and a commentary.  Even when I did 17 simuls every week, I did all that.  If you take a lesson in Japan, you will find that no Go teachers write a game record or a commentary.  Nor do they give you any problems after the lesson.

I was probably the first Go teacher to start that in Japan and am probably the only Go teacher to be still doing that in Japan.  I do that because unless adult students review their lessons, they will not learn from them.   Children can remember all the commentaries after a game and retain them for many years.  However, my teaching experiences tell me that this teaching method doesn’t work for adults. )

 

Recommendation from 2 kyu student D:

(The following student started playing Go seriously in his early 30s. Now he is in the mid 60s. He is a 2 kyu player. He has been taking my offline lessons 5 times for the past three months. )

I have taken 5 lessons with Kaz, and based on this experience I recommend his lessons highly.

I have taken lessons in the past with other go teachers. These have generally consisted of playing a game with the teacher, and then going over it.

With Kaz, I submit a series of games I have played, and he picks one to comment on, and also gives me problems that are relevant to his comments.

The repetition of the problems along with the game commentary helps me to fix in my memory the points that Kaz is making. I find that I remember these and can apply them in my games much more successfully than in lessons with other teachers.

Another feature of Kaz’s lessons is that he systematically comments on moves in terms of good and bad shape. This is something I was never really taught, and it has helped my game a lot.

Kaz is a very fine teacher, and his commitment to making his students stronger is clear. When I ask questions, he gives clear and thorough answers that are easy to understand.

    

Recommendation from 11 kyu student C:

(The following student is in her 40s. She is a 11 kyu player. She has taken my offline lessons 3 times so far.)

I have just started taking lessons from Mr. Kazunari Furuyama and I am finding his reviews of my games and the problem sets he writes for me very helpful in improving my understanding of Go.

His reviews doesn’t just point out my bad moves but also shows how I could have prevented that situation.   His sequences and explanations are easy to understand and perfect for my level.

What’s special about Mr. Furuyama’s lessons are is that he writes problem sets to go with the review to show me different situations of my mistake in my games to help me understand my mistakes better.  By doing his problems, I can avoid or recognize the similar situation in the different context much easier.

When Mr. Furuyama reviews games he would also give positive remarks at appropriate locations and I find them very encouraging.  It’s nice to know that my game is not only full of mistakes.  🙂

He is also very good about letting me know how good or bad my moves are.  It’s very helpful to know to what degree they are good and bad.

I’ve found Mr. Furuyama to be a very enthusiastic teacher who thinks about his students a lot.  He responds to emails quickly and he tries his best to help us improve.  I would highly recommend studying with him.

 

 

Recommendation from 15 kyu student D:

(The following student started playing Go in his late 30s. Now he is in the mid 40s. He is a 15 kyu player. He has been taking my offline lessons 3 times.)

If you’ve been a subscriber to the Members’ Edition of the E-Journal, you’ve probably seen the occasional feature, “Lessons with Kaz.” I always liked the style of these features, how Kazunari Furuyama often suggests different moves for players of different abilities, or rates the severity of mistakes by assigning a dollar level to them, so I recently began taking lessons from him online.

Kaz’s teaching methods appeal to me as an adult player, because he understands that the adult mind learns differently than that of younger players. This is not to say that adults don’t have the same potential to improve, and Kaz has seen many of his adult students progress from mid-kyu to dan level under his tutelage.

For the first lesson, Kaz has his students submit 10 games for review, 10 that he looks through to get a sense of the player’s strengths, weaknesses and habits, and then a game which he reviews with extensive commentary and variations. Accompanying this review is a set of 20 problems.   Sometimes in place of some of the problems, Kaz will send a group of related problems that explain a concept in great detail.

An example of this would be Kaz’s “Peeps” or the “On Fighting” series that have been recently featured in the E-Journal. For subsequent lessons, Kaz asks that students continue to send recent games, so he can keep track of the student’s tendencies and address any issues that come up.

This is precisely the kind of instruction that appeals to me.

I have a shelf (and now IPad) full of go books that — with the exception of a few recent books — always seem to be over my head after a few pages; I feel they are often geared to professional players who don’t make kyu-level mistakes, and feature commentary that leaves me scratching my head.

Instead, Kaz stresses basic, strong shapes that have broad application throughout the game, and repetition in various configurations that really allows the concepts to sink in. He avoids complicated josekis, choosing simpler ones that also teach good shape and tesuji, and have broad application throughout the game.

Since starting lessons with Kaz, I have felt more in control of my games, able to remain calm and play moves that I knew were solid, as well as take advantage of opponent’s mistakes, particularly in 3-3 corner invasions. This allows me to spend more time thinking about other aspects of my playing, and has greatly increased my enjoyment and fascination with this game that seems to be taking over my life.

 

Recommendation from 9 kyu student E:

I have taken 4 offline lessons and think I have now a good idea of Kaz’s High-quality teaching.

His teaching style is unique.  Typically, for a lesson, the student will send his latest games which will be analyzed by Kaz.

Kaz will concentrate on the bigger and recurring mistakes in the student’s games and design a set of problems around this flaw in order to correct it.

As an example, at first I had problems with “the hane at the head of 2 stones” and the tiger shape in my games.  He designed many problems from my games which permitted me to correct the flaw easily.

Also, his game comments are on the top: he shows you where the student went wrong and how he could managed the game better, and he praises when the moves were the correct one.

Kaz’s advice is always precise and concise, and it is astonishing how fast he sees the major flaw in one’s game and his commitment to his students.  Besides that, he will teach you strong fundamentals that you won’t forget.  His teaching is like hard-wiring the fundamentals in the student’s brain.

Having taught myself mathematics to university student, I can tell that, concerning Go, Kaz is certainly the best teacher (and the cheapest concerning the high-quality material) around.

I heartily recommend Kaz as a teacher. There’s no way that there is a better teacher around.

 

Recommendation from 9 kyu student J:

I recommend Kaz for GO Lessons.

Kaz’s teaching style stresses the basics and learning.
Many “teachers” play handicap games and tell you what you did wrong at the end of the game.  Then you play another handicap game and the situations are different. Then another discussion about what you did wrong.  This is not really teaching and does not reinforce any lessons.
Kaz plays even games and stops before the game ends.  He can find plenty of mistakes in only 30 moves and show you the better way to play and then make problems for homework to reinforce that knowledge.
I have many GO Books about life and death problems. They help with reading ability but do not help to win games.  Kaz can show you game situation problems, resulting life & death problems, how to maximize your play, and how to punish the opponent.
Most of all, I enjoy his teaching methods.
Try it!

Jeff K.

Also see  TeachingOffline lessonsOnline lessons.

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