“This Atari Is Complete Nonsense!”

GoKibitz homepage.
GoKibitz homepage.

Pardon the pun, but lately GoKibitz has been my go to resource for game reviews. Every time I post a game I get insightful feedback from the community, which is (good to say) very active. Rarely do I have to wait more than an hour or two for my games to receive commentary.

The structure of GoKibitz makes it fun and easy to use. After creating a (free!) account, users have the option of either uploading their SGF files directly to GoKibitz or importing it via URL. The latter is especially useful for games played on OGS. That’s it. The rest is all conversation about the game.

I find the format of these conversations particularly effective because you’re looking at the board during the moment in question. Time and again I remember sending my SGFs to other reviewers and getting comments like “On move 101 Black should have haned.” OK, now I have to scroll to move 101. GoKibitz enables you to jump to exactly the right spot, which is great if you just want to read what others have said about your game.

There is a continuum of reviewers. As a 9k I get feedback from both kyu- and dan-level players. It’s interesting to see how the conversation differs based on the reviewer’s rank. Each player brings their own experience and style to the table, which I really enjoy because my own understanding of the game is constantly evolving. Every game I’ve posted so far has received comments from a range of experience levels, and that’s really great for the community because there is something for players at every level.

The game below is one that I played just yesterday and it contains the best comment I’ve yet received on GoKibitz. User @tuerda, a 1d, looked at Black’s move 109 and writes: “This atari is complete nonsense!” As I looked at the move I realized that he’s completely right. I wasn’t thinking and played a terrible move. It’s always important to recognize areas of improvement, and one area for me to improve in is definitely playing correct moves. For some @tuerda’s feedback might have seemed a bit harsh but for me the honest feedback was most appreciated. It even made my wife (who really isn’t interested in baduk) laugh out loud. “Oh no!” she said, “I’m laughing at go things.” That’s the first step! I’ll get her hooked on the game yet.