Archive: 4/2013

A Boxer's Spirit

I recently finished the arc in Hajime no Ippo where Ippo and Sendou fighting for the championship, and I couldn’t help but realize that a game of go is very much like a match in boxing. With each stone, each player prepares the battlefield. Before you know it, a furious chase and battle occurs where the one is rushing forward in a series of attacks while the other is stepping backwards and trying to gain solid footing. When the barrage is over however, the tide changes as the opponent regains his foothold and then returns a series of attack back as you try to ensure the safety of your attacking group.

In the end, a player’s ability to win a game from start to finish lies in his/her ability to withstand the exchange of blows that is sure to come in every game. Of course, there are times when the game simply boils down to a huge hitting match where the game can only in KO. So unless it is between two opponents of different caliber, no player can expect to get out of a game unscathed and unchallenged.

After finishing the arc, I realized that I had forgotten the endurance and tenacity a player must bring to every game. There is no room for pity or doubt. There is only room for those who’s fighting spirits echo even after the last stone has been placed on the board.

Monday Go Meditation: Game 09

I decided to return back to my Tygem 5d Experiment since I have not felt in the mood to play full live games yet. Games on this server tend to be shorter and not to mention I am always aware that I'm pretty much guaranteed to lose. The following game is one that I think is rather interesting since you get to see how high dan players handle having a good framework and how they go about dismantling mine. Enjoy!

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Equipment Review: Traveling Go Set

Traveling Go Set with Magnetic Playing Pieces

Over­all Rat­ing: 7 / 10 Ponnuki


  • Easily fits into just about any bag (except for purses possibly).
  • This is about as small as a portable 19x19 go set gets, so I wouldn’t recommend trying to find anything smaller than this set.
  • Fantastic value for the price you pay.

Prod­uct Details

  • Carrying case measures 11-7/8”L x 6-3/8”W x 1-3/8”H (30.4cm x 16cm x 3.5cm).
  • Board measures 11” x 10-3/4” (27.3cm x 28cm).
  • Stones measure 4mm tall and 13mm wide (aprox. 1/8” x 1/2”).
  • There are 180 white and 181 black stones.

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Friday Go Forward: Week 13


  • DGS - 2 ongoing games
  • Nova - 6 ongoing games


  • Life and Death - 100 Problems
  • Five Hundred and One Opening Problems - Finished
  • Five Hundred and One Tesuji Problems - Page 1 - 39


  • Studying one professional game from Lee Sedol’s book.


I’m still trying to figure out a way out of my funk, but I spent this week trying to reinvigorate my studies and gain some perspective on the game. As you can see, one of the new elements I added to my studies is starting to study professional games. As a friend mentioned to me, this is usually difficult for most players (even at the high dan level). I’m not sure how beneficial it will be, but we’ll see how it goes. If anyone ever wants to discuss the pro game I’m studying with me, let me know and we can meet up online to talk about it. Till next week!

How to Keep Studying Interesting

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #25

Credit to Gagful

Whether you like it or not, studying is one of the most important aspects of getting stronger at go. While some players are able to simply learn everything through playing and reviewing, this is often reliant on stronger players or even simple luck of figuring out what is wrong with your moves or thinking process. As a result, there is no telling how fast you will improve.

Unfortunately, this is one of the most dreaded aspects of trying getting stronger for most players. After all, it reminds us of our school days where homework and projects were a drag and no one ever wanted to do them. So, as the last installment of Weekly Go Wednesday (at least for the time being), I thought it would be best to leave you with my thoughts on how you can keep your study of go interesting so that you can continue to climb the ranks.

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Paranoid Go

As you know, I have been in a rather “meh” mood when it comes to playing go. It’s not so much that I’ve lost interest in the game, but I found my play style becoming very scattered and ugly. It wasn’t until recently that frozensoul helped to shed light on the issue and told me that I have entered a “paranoid go” phase. My moves are played haphazardly and often lack a sense of focus and purpose. Although I once wrote of this roadblock as being a “mood” issue, it seems that it may actually be a rather large obstacle that I must overcome.

In order to mediate this, I have taken a big step back from playing and have re-incorporated studying professional games into my routine. The aim of doing this is to try and unlock my paranoia of letting my opponents have any ideal opening or framework which often caused me to overextend myself which then resulted in my resignation.

At this point in my journey, my abilities seem to fluctuate rather violently depending on my opponent and their play style. This is unacceptable for me, since I despise the idea that the player I am becoming is one that is blatantly weak to certain styles and then overpowering against others. My go should shine on its own regardless of who my opponent is. And to clarify, this does not mean I think I will win all of my games; but instead, I want all of my games to be interesting and something I can be proud to show to anyone.

So while I am currently lost out in the sea paranoid go, when I find my way back onto the path of zen go: opponents beware. =)

Monday Go Meditation: Game 08

With my own games being rather all over the place lately, I decided to try something new and review a game that I had a chance to see live online. This is between an insei in China (Black) and a Chinese professional (White). Since the Chinese Opening is currently a big part of my go, this game was the best choice since I got to see how stronger players not only utilize the Chinese Opening, but how they dealt with a mirror opening.

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Equipment Review: Folding Wooden Go Board

Folding Wooden Go Board

Over­all Rat­ing: 8 / 10 Ponnuki


  • Great portable board considering I got it for around $10.
  • The lines are not drawn the best, but it does the job and is worth the purchase.
  • Let me know if you find this anywhere online, since the local store doesn’t sell it anymore.

Prod­uct Details

  • One folding Go Board (19x19).
  • Measures 18-1/4”L x 17”W x 3-3/4”H (46.5cm x 43cm x 9.7cm).
  • Board is 1-1/2” (4cm) thick.

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Weary Traveler

Lately, I’ve noticed that I can’t seem to get my head in the game. Each move feels more lackluster than the last, and I seem to consistently find myself in do or die situations. I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired, or whether I’m actually starting to burn out.

With each move I play, it’s as if I’m watching a ghost of myself play each move. The tenacity and energy that was once a big part of my game seems to be missing. Unlike other times, there is no obstacle in my way this time. Instead, it is like I am a weary traveler who has succeeded in one part of his journey; but as he stares out at the long road ahead, he can only sit down in bewilderment as he wonders how he will summon the energy necessary to continue onwards.

Taking a break is not an option for me. That is something I know for sure, but figuring out how I will continue from here will certainly be a challenge.