Archive: 9/2013

Monday Go Meditation: Game 29

For today's go meditation, I thought we would go ahead and take a break from even games and feature a handicap game! This game features my friend Bonscott and a very difficult game for White. In fact, if not for a few crucial moments, Black had played remarkably well and was not allowing White any easy opportunity to catch up. Though the game is decided by a cut that both of us initially miss, it was a tough game for White and Black should be very proud of the game below. Hope you enjoy!

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Switching to Time Based Training

A couple days ago, I suffered a rather one handed defeat that was a rather rude awakening. Not only did I lose convincingly, but I made three very critical misreads during the game that sealed the deal. Needless to say, it was rather dishearteningly en you consider how much time I’ve put into my studying.

Of course, with a shock like that, it is only natural that I took some time to really evaluate how I have been studying. Though my reading productivity has been rather impressive to some, it is no surprise that I have ended up sacrificed accuracy in end. My reading speed is rather quick, but the lack of discipline when it comes to reading alternate variations or considering the fact that my opponent might just flat out ignore me is not taken into consideration when I’m actually playing. As a result, I have thought about different ways to approach my training.

So far, what I have decided that I need to switch from a task based productivity to a time based productivity. What does that mean exactly? Well, instead of trying to complete say 300 problems a day, I will instead devote a full 20 minutes to practicing problems. How ever many I finish is completely irrelevant, but I will hopefully be able to focus more on the accuracy and discipline of my reading this way. In addition, this will hopefully help me manage my time better and prevent me from throwing my life out of balance.

Book Review: Get Strong at Tesuji

Get Strong at Tesuji

Description: In the sixth volume of the Get Strong at Go Series, Bozulich has compiled a fantastic set of tesuji problems that focus on developing a player’s intuition through practicing lots of easier problems. Though there are a few intermediate/hard problems dispersed throughout the book, this is a great book for players of all levels (especially beginnger and intermediate levels).

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Friday Go Forward: Week 34

Friday Go Forward: Week 34

Overview

The theme of this week seems to be “Revisions and Updates.” After attempting the aggressive tsumego regimen I had set last week, I realized that I was once again just starting to blow through problems instead of trying to practice reading variations. So it’s been changed again to try and find a better balance between quality and intensity. In addition, I am sad to report that I won’t be getting on Tygem any time soon since it seems that the resignation button causes the iPad app to crash all the time. It just really sucks because I enjoy Tygem as a server but their software is just SOOOO crappy. People might complain about KGS being outdated, but it generally works like a charm.

On a more progress-based note, getting a chance to finally see Go Seigen’s brilliance shine on the board has been incredibly eye-opening for me. It’s not so much that other professionals are not brilliant in their own way, but perhaps what I’m talking about is the fact that Go Seigen’s play constantly reminds players just how much freedom they really have on the board. Forget joseki or proper sequences, if you want to play somewhere else because you have a grand plan in mind. Go for it!

Otherwise though, it was a pretty productive week and I look forward to what challenges the next week has for me. Till next week!

Games

  • KGS - 8 games
  • DGS - 2 ongoing games
  • Nova - 3 ongoing games

Daily Training

  • Life & Death Routine (Magic Baduk Go on iPhone)

    • 300 Beginner Problems
    • 50 Intermediate Problems
  • 30 Pages of Jump Level Up 2

  • 50 Problems from the Get Strong at Go Series.
  • Play or review at least one game per day.

Reading Material

  • Finished Commented Games by Lee Sedol - Volume 2.
  • Finished Get Strong at Invading.
  • Finished Jump Level Up 2.
  • Finished Get Strong at Tesuji.
  • Started and finished Master Play: The Style of Go Seigen.
  • Started and working on Jump Level Up 3.
  • Started and working on Get Strong at Endgame.
  • Started and working on __Perceiving the Direction of Play.

Maintaining a Higher Quality of Learning

Credit to MediaWhiz

So my resolution to play one game a day has ultimately fallen through. As time went on, my games began deteriorating in quality and each game began to feel more like a chore that I needed to hurry and finish instead of a learning experience. After feeling like this for a few days, I decided to that I needed to re-examine what I was doing before I started developing bad habits. Instead of just stopping the idea as a whole however, I decided to revise it to the following: Play 1 game of go / thoroughly review one of your previous games per day.

As an active blogger, I face some challenges when it comes to things like generating content. One of the pieces of content that people seem to like are the game reviews. However, I found that trying to find time to play one game a day every day was making it difficult for me to find time to review my games. In addition, even though it doesn’t normally take too long for some people to review their games, I have been trying to make my reviews much more thorough and explain each move as I go. So as you might guess, it takes me a lot longer to review games than one might normally take.

By doing this, I hope to not only reinforce my own understanding of the game; but to also make the reviews more useful to readers of various levels. In addition, by allowing myself the option to choose between playing and reviewing, I am hoping I will be able to maintain a higher quality of learning for myself while generating content for the blog. And for someone with a crazy schedule like me, being able to save that kind of time will do wonders for the other aspects of my life. With that said, hopefully my revised discipline inspires some of you to possibly take a similar route with your study as well. =)

Book Review: Master Play - The Style of Go Seigen

Master Play: The Style of Go Seigen

Description: In the second volume of Yuan Zhou’s series “Master Play,” Zhou goes into the difficult to understand style of Go Seigen, the greatest player of the 20th century. While you might have issues making sense of Go Seigen’s games on your own, Zhou does a brilliant job demystifying his moves and help you get a glimpse into the brilliant and innovative mind that Go Seigen posseses.

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Go Seigen, Freedom and an AGA Online Tournament

I recently finished Master Play: The Style of Go Seigen (Review coming soon!), and it has really given me a lot to think about in regards to the way I play go.

For starters, though I’ve been familiar with the concept of professionals ignoring an area when there just aren’t any good moves to play, it wasn’t until I saw Go Seigen’s games till I realized how true this really was. In fact, not only did Go Seigen constantly resist giving in to his opponents; but he would also not hesitate to trade large sections of the board! And what made it even more mind-blowing, was that these areas he would sacrifice were places that were only a few moves away from solid territory!

With that vivid illustration in mind, I couldn’t help but start to notice how stubborn kyu players get about hanging onto stones or territory. It’s as if once they’ve made a decision (i.e., I have declared the right side to be mine!), they will defend it to the end regardless of the fact that they are losing. Another example of this is I’ve noticed is: “Oh look, I’ve spent the time to play three stones here, even though they are now strategically useless, I must save it at all cost even though I will let my opponent walk right into my territory!” Granted, I realize that you must understand strategy and such to be able to walk away from some groups, but this seems to be a general trend that I’ve noticed.

In addition, I think I may have started to internalize the idea of, “If you can’t find a good move, play somewhere else.” In other words, seeing Go Seigen’s game for the first time has really shocked me into realizing how much freedom there really is on the go board. Although a sequence might be considered sente or an area might seem large, it may not actually be from a whole board perspective or from another player’s strategy.

I keep trying to bring this post to a nice closing statement, but it seems that this post is destined for random ramblings. It’s still a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that I’m sorting through, but I guess that’s one of the benefits of having a blog right? A way for me to dump my thoughts and attempt to sort it out in the process. xD

On an entirely different note, in case you haven’t heard about it, the American Go Association (AGA) has taken a big step towards establishing a presence online. Starting in October, there will be an AGA Online Tournament that will be used to help gather information and help them figure out the right way to proceed with online games in the future. And yes, I have already signed up! For more information, check out their post here.

Book Review: Get Strong at Invading

Get Strong at Invading

Description: In the fifth volume of the Get Strong at Go Series, Bozulich provides a ground-breaking book on a topic that every player in go encounters: invasions. Once the spheres of influences have been established, being able to choose the correct invasions is a key skill to becoming stronger and winning. Through 171 problems, readers will have many opportunities to practice and hone their invasion abilities.

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Monday Go Meditation: Game 28

For today's go meditation, I am featuring an opponent who was rather unique. Before he accepted my challenge, the first thing he asked was, "Do you play fast?" And the reason this is significant is because it launches us into a discussion during the game about kyu players' tendency to make automatic responses. And after some back and forth, I suddenly felt very compelled to not make any automatic responses. So in a number of ways, I definitely have to thank my opponent for forcing me to raise the level of my game by slowing down. In addition, though I was a bit saddened by the fact that I lost after having a commanding position, I definitely learned a lot from it and have no regrets.

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