Contrary to my previous attempts at abstaining from ranked games, I’m happy to report that I have kept to that promise thus far. I won’t say that it hasn’t been difficult, since I can’t help but stare at the numerous opponents I could be playing. Nevertheless, the free games that I’ve been playing have helped to abate that desire. In addition, I’m also very happy to report that my apprehensiveness at playing White has diminished significantly since that last post.
In regards to my study, I’ve been working on studying more on shapes and how to attack properly. The free games have been great because they allow me to experiment with the concepts I’ve been exposing myself to, and as always, having stronger players review my games afterwards give me a better sense of how far off the mark I am when attempting to apply X Y Z principles.
As I’ve began to enter the realm of mid-SDK ranks, I am beginning to see that the terrain of each game has begun to deviate from the go I was familiar with before in the lower kyu. For example, many games in the past were often determined by large captures. Nowadays, I have noticed that failure to take direction of play and whole board strategy into consideration generally ends poorly for me. It’s not to say that my reading abilities are good enough as they stand, but the other intricacies of the game (e.g., leaving behind aji on purpose, solid knowledge of joseki, etc.) will soon become critical to master if I am to take the next step.