Archive: undefined/2013

A Retrospective on 2013

As the new year is about to be upon us, I thought it only be fitting that I write a retrospective post on how my go has gone in 2013. Seeing as this might be a long post, let’s get started shall we?

#1. How strong have I gotten? Well, based on KGS ranking, I started 2013 with a whopping rank of 6k. And after 12 months, it seems I have only gotten 2 stones stronger. Haha. Most will probably disagree with this rating though since the frequency of me playing ranked games dropped dramatically sometime in the middle of the year. So it’s probably more accurate to say that I gained around 3 stones. =)

#2. What is my proudest accomplishment? Though not necessarily about my actual progress as a player, I think 2013 has been a success in regards to the go blog! Though you are free to correct me if I’m wrong, it has been quite productive and I’m proud that I’ve managed to have been writing consistently throughout the entire 2013. As a result of my blog, I have met many new friends and forged new bonds that I have deeply treasured!

#3. What is the biggest lesson I learned this year? I’ve been through quite a few ups and downs this year in my go, and so if I can pass on one lesson it is this: Play for fun. The moment you get so deep in the competitive nature of it and the obsession over gaining another stone, you’ll find the game much harder to enjoy and you’ll be burnt out before you know it. And for those who really want a lesson in regards to the game itself, I would say it is this: Before every move, check to see if you have any (important) weak groups.

#4. What would I have done differently? In hindsight, I think I pushed myself too hard this year overall. Whether it was trying to crank out book reviews or churn out post after post, it put me through a lot of grief that was probably quite unnecessary. So if I could go back and change one thing, it would be to have approached things with more a relaxed and carefree mindset.

#5. What are my final thoughts before 2014 is upon me? Though I might not have progressed as much as I would have liked in 2013, it certainly has been a rather interesting journey. I am hoping that the I will be able to learn from my mistakes in 2013 and approach 2014 with a new passion and energy that will burn brightly for the year to come.

I hope that you all have enjoyed the blog in 2013, and I only hope to exceed your expectation in 2014. And as always, but especially today, please be sure to leave comments below if you have any ideas or suggestions for things I can do for 2014 so that I can continue to improve this blog for you! So for now, good-bye to 2013 and I look forward to seeing you on the other side in 2014! Sayonara!

A December Detour

First off, a happy belated holidays to everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t been able to get back sooner to the blog. I know what it’s like to keep checking for blog content only to see the same post for days on end. Hopefully though, that will be coming to an end.

As most of you know, December is a month of holidays, festive cheer, and a whole ton of things one after another as everyone is trying to wrap things up before the new year rolls in. While I would have loved to have gotten back to the blog sooner, I was caught up in the same hurricane as everyone else as 2014 quickly approached.

In all fairness though, I will have to admit that my December detour was more than just family, work, and holiday craziness. No, if it were only that, I think I would have found time to find time to squeeze out a post in the time I’ve been gone. The truth is that I’ve felt rather out of sorts lately, especially when it comes to my go. I’m not sure what the real reason is, but it is suffice to say that I chose to get some distance from it as a result.

My brief stint into League of Legends (LoL) turned into a bit more serious venture than I thought it would be. As a result of my need to get some perspective and distance from what I was doing with my go, I decided to dive into a different game that surprisingly has many similarities to go. It is said that a Korean player who passed the professional exam passed up his chance to be a pro go player because he wanted to become a professional LoL player instead. Haha. So naturally I had to investigate. (No worries though. I’m not abandoning go in the slightest sense of the word. xD)

I plan on writing a retrospective post to kind of overview what 2013 has been like for me, but I think this post has been a bit long as it stands. Haha. Luckily I have one more day before 2014 is upon us, so I hope to see you guys tomorrow. Till then!

Brief Lapse into LoL and Blitz Tilt

I’ve been sick the last week or so. And against my better judgment, I thought it would be a great idea to try playing League of Legends (LoL) again. Haha. Fortunately after only a game or two, I was very quickly reminded of how much trash talking and just unnecessary cursing and name calling goes in those games. You get like 1 game of good sportsmanship for every like 10.

Anyhow, so then I was like, “Screw this! I’m just going to play go! Who cares if my rank drops or whatever. I’m just going to play and gain experience in go instead of trying to level up my account.” And what do I decide to play first thing in? Blitz.

Credit to giphy

Needless to say it was fraught with reckless play and incredible bloodlust. Just kill… get killed… try to kill again… and then ultimately combust in one fantastic poof where I resign. Haha. And the best part is that I decide to try and continue on to another game, which ends in a similar manner. I suspect that this may be induced by the League of Legends I had just played, but no matter.

Oh well. Haha. It’s times like these I have to look at myself and either fall into the emotional roller coaster I used to feel when I would lose like earlier, or to simply laugh it off and move on. And as someone who is currently working towards a path of zen, I choose the latter. =)

Wrapping Up 2013

Hey everyone. I thought I would go ahead and give an update as to where I stand at the moment. First and foremost, I would like state very clearly: I am not leaving the world of go or shutting down the go blog. I apologize for giving that notion in my last Friday Go Forward. So in an attempt to clarify what’s going on, I have decided to write this post.

Over the past couple of weeks, things have been really crazy. Unexpected work projects, opportunities, and crazy hours sprouted out of nowhere. In addition, a last minute trip to California forced me to really reconsider where I am in life and what my priorities are. As a result, the blog’s regularly generated content (i.e., Monday Go Meditation, Weekly Go Wednesday, and Friday Go Forward) went on hiatus.

The reason for this is quite simple. My writing schedule has been to produce each weekly blog content a week in advance so that the content is consistent. However, this leaves little room for flexibility when you consider the way life likes to throw curve balls. In addition, it takes much more time (than my brain is willing to admit) to generate content that I think will be worth your time. (Or well, I would like to believe it’s at least somewhat worth your time. Haha. xD)

To be honest, while I am somewhat proud of myself for being able to last this long on the blog with consistent content, I am still disappointed that I wasn’t able to keep it going a little longer. So, in order to prevent this from happening again, I am taking the month of December to really get my affairs in order and revise my system so that it’s a little more “life-proof” in preparation for 2014. If you have any suggestions or ideas for things you might like to see in 2014, be sure to let me know!

Meanwhile, you can expect to see a number of reviews pop up over the next few weeks along with any random ramblings that I might be inspired to write. =D Until then, hope that everything is well with everyone and I’m looking forward to hearing any suggestions or comments on what you might like to see when 2014 rolls around. Ciao!

Friday Go Forward: Week 44

Friday Go Forward: Week 44

In the past week, a lot has happened and it has forced me to reconsider a lot of things that are going on in my life. As much as I regret to say this, it seems that I will need to cut back even further from go and blogging than I thought. So though I thought I would at least be able to keep up with my Friday Go Forwards, I regret to say that this will be going on hiatus as well.

I have a few more reviews that I need to wrap up, but it seems that the blog may be going into hibernation mode sometime this month. I’ll be sure to write more about it when the comes, so until then, I’ll do my best to finish up what I have left.

Friday Go Forward: Week 43

Friday Go Forward: Week 43

Overview

As a one man team, it was only a matter of time before I was unable to keep up with the content I’ve been wanting to create. So though it pains me to do so, Monday Go Meditations and Weekly Go Wednesdays will be going on a break for a while until I can find a way to bring it back into my crazy schedule. I will still be keeping up with this weekly progress report, but otherwise you can expect to see a more traditional blogging style appear over the next month.

And for those wondering about my reviews, those are ongoing as well and I will be posting them as I finish them, so no worries there! For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, hope you had a great one and I’ll talk to you next week!

Games

  • KGS - 0 games
  • DGS - 2 ongoing games
  • Nova - 3 ongoing games

Reading Material

  • Worked on Changing One’s Conceptions: Awaji’s Aphorisms.

WGW 29: Why I Never Counted

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #29

As I’ve been working through my own issues or burnout and sense of confusion, I realized that a large cause of it is due to the fact that I have consistently avoided counting and making board position evaluations during my games for the entire time I’ve been playing. It’s finally caught up to me, so I thought I would write about this in hopes that it will help you avoid this in the future as well.

Here are my top excuses for why I didn’t want (or think I needed) to count:

1. “I am supposed to find the best move anyways and constantly strive to maximize my return, so counting or estimating territory is not needed if I’m simply outplaying my opponent.”

While there may be some merit to this type of thinking, it is flawed as a whole. If you’re constantly trying to maximize each move without considering how it impacts the board as a whole, how can your move be considered “maximally efficient” when it does not work in the whole board context?

2. “I don’t have time to estimate territory. I’m busy finding the best move.”

Just like in the first excuse, you can’t find the best move if you’re not aware of what it is you need to do to win. In addition, you have to keep in mind that go is more than winning local battles or establishing strong positions in a local context. Go is about how your positions work together _as a whole. _And whether you like it or not, estimating territory or judging the board position is key to forming the winning strategy.

3. “It is better to just find out the score at the end. After all, it’s more exciting and suspenseful when it’s a surprise right?

I’m sure everyone has had that experience of feeling like the game is close when in actuality you have like a 20-30 point lead. It’s a pretty good feeling right? After all, you actually ended up having a big lead instead of it being a close game! However, I’m sure there are just as many (if not more) occasions where the complete reverse happens. You thought you were putting up a good fight and it turns out you were losing since move 140. It’s a complete bummer isn’t it?

So if what I’m saying is making any sense at all, and you’re wondering how you can start incorporating counting into your games, here are a couple of ideas:

  • Play longer games. After all, you’re going to need time to get used to judging the board position at first. It might take some getting used to and may take longer than you might like, but with practice you should get faster over time. And before you know it, it won’t take much effort or time to figure out what’s going on on the board.
  • Practice estimating positions with an experienced counter. In other words, it’s not enough to simply estimate positions with a stronger player. After all, my counting skills might be worse than someone who is 8 kyu. So find someone who is strong at counting and get them to help you out. (For those who have no idea where to start, my sensei frozensoul on KGS excels in this area and can be a great help.)
  • Remember that you’re “guesstimating” and not calculating. Especially when just starting out, it’s really important to remember that our ability to count will be off by a decent amount at first. In addition, you don’t need to be accurate down to the last point. If you can even get a relatively accurate read on who’s ahead or behind and where the largest areas are coming from, that will be an excellent start. After that, it’s all about refining your technique till you’re a counting master. =)
    If you have any advice or ideas, be sure to leave a comment below. Hope this helps!

All Work And Little Time for Go

I had a feeling this would happen sooner or later, but it seems that that time is now: work has really taken over my life. On the upside though, for those who don’t really know much about me, I really enjoy what I’m doing and I’m learning a lot. So it’s not a bad thing for the most part. The only part that kind of sucks is I don’t really have the time I want to have to devote to go.

No worries though. I have no plans on disappearing from the blog any time soon. If I need to take a sabbatical, I’ll make sure to post about it before I do so that it doesn’t seem like I dropped off the face of the earth. =) In the meantime, I’ll be focusing on trying to work on my reviews and the books I have waiting for me to read and review. Until then, best of luck in your studies and in your games and hopefully you’ll see me online from time to time!

Monday Go Meditation: Game 37

For this week's go meditation, we take one last stroll down memory lane when I gain one more stone and become a 12k! Unfortunately, my level of play in this game seems to be far weaker than the game I showed last week, but it should still be a great example of DDK level play.

I hope that you've enjoyed this month's theme of Novice November and was able to pick up a few things along the way regarding DDK play and how to try and fix them. If you have any questions at all, please don't hesistate to leave a comment below or contact me! Till next week!

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Friday Go Forward: Week 42

Friday Go Forward: Week 42

Overview

Can’t seem to make up my mind about how I’m writing this summaries, but perhaps this is due to my own confusion lately. There hasn’t been too much going on this week, but I have become aware of a few weaknesses of mine that are definitely holding me back and I’ll have to address them over time. Meanwhile, I will try to simply survive the onslaught that is work and the rest of my life. Hope your week went better than mine!

Games

  • KGS - 2 games
  • DGS - 2 ongoing games
  • Nova - 3 ongoing games

Reading Material

  • Worked on Changing One’s Conceptions: Awaji’s Aphorisms.
  • Started working on Breakthrough Attacking Power.

Videos