Category: Weekly Go Wednesday

What is Go to Me?

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #48

Hikaru no Go (S1E3) - Akira Bares His Fangs


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been “rewatching”* Hikaru no Go so many times I’m pretty sure I’m on double digits of the number of iterations I’ve gone through the anime. Don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve read the manga.

In the scene above, there is this poignant moment that I must have missed at some point; but it resonated with me in one of the recent iterations that I was watching it. In a lot of ways, it is a pivotal moment in Hikaru’s first steps on his journey as he is deeply intrigued by Akira’s intensity and passion for the game.

Looking back at my origin story, I can’t help but laugh as I am reminded the lofty ambitions of aiming to be a professional and taking on the world. And yet, even though I’ve taken many detours along the way, here I am six years later still playing this game.

And it made me ask myself the very same question: “What is go to me?”

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Being Happy and Content with Your Progress

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #47

While many would probably agree that perhaps the most difficult aspect of go is the seemingly endless variations that arise throughout a game, the one aspect that I have found to be the most obstructive to people’s enjoyment of the game is a lack of “progress.”

Before we dive into this though, I want to present to you a simple question:

In a tournament where the top four contenders have been determined, excluding 1st place, which of the three places is the happiest and most content?

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Getting Back Into Go

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #46

As someone who has taken his fair share of sabbaticals from the game, one aspect that has always troubled me was how to get back into the game. After all, I had no obligation to do so and could have easily pursued other things instead.

Yet, like so many other people out there, the call of go always beckons and here I am yet again. So I wanted to write about why I’m getting back into go, in hopes that it may be of help to someone in the future.

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Category: Weekly Go Wednesday

How to Teach Go

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #45


Introducing go to new people is a topic that I’m very passionate about and it’s something that I think a lot of people mess up. To be fair, it’s not their fault and they are not intentionally doing so. It’s just that people don’t realize how the lack or presence of certain teaching principles can have profoundly different results.

I come from the belief that one day go will be known by the masses and played by all kinds of people. I don’t believe that it is a game for “smart” people and have no intention of seeing it get shelved as a niche of a game that only “intellectuals” play. Everything you’re about to read comes from personal experience and/or things that I have actually witnessed in real life, so there’s nothing theoretical about it. In addition, I have to emphasize that this “manifesto” focuses on people brand new to go. More established players are not considered below.

With that said, let’s dive right into it shall we?

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Returning to the Fundamentals

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #44

Credit to TheChangeBlog

Up until a month or so ago, my go had become quite rigid. In fact, it could be compared to an ice sculpture where the curves and angles have all been predefined. And though it is admirable in one aspect, it also represents a sense of rigidity and does not have much room for growth. And since my goal was to build something way better, it was only natural that it was time to set it on fire and let it melt away. And now that I am left with this pool of water, while the prospect of building a grand ice sculpture sounds great, it’s been rather difficult figuring out where to begin.

For those who don’t use Twitter, I recently tweeted about picking up Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go by Kageyama 7P again. You might wonder why I’m doing this. After all, I’ve read this book at least four or five times at this point. However, I’ve noticed that my progress in go has reached a vulnerable stage. It’s not stagnant, yet it is not necessarily progressing either in the traditional sense of climbing ranks. Instead of complaining and being frustrated however, I’ve decided that this is as good a time as any to return to the fundamentals.

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The Importance of Struggling

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #42

Credit to Business in Canada

For most of the time I studied go, I was always focused on getting the right answer. Perhaps this is a result of being conditioned from school and being obsessed with answering the question correctly, but nonetheless it showed up in my approach to studying go. So more often than not, if I managed to guess what the correct answer was for a particular problem, that would be the end of it and I would move on to the next problem. After all, I got the right answer and that’s what’s important isn’t it?

Of course, the next question is what happened if I got the answer wrong. Well, since I got the answer wrong, the logical choice would be to see what the correct answer is and try to memorize it. In other words, I would focus on understanding why the correct answer was correct and was less concerned with why my answer was wrong. Standard studying mechanism for taking any test in a class right?

Unfortunately, while that sounds okay in theory and may have helped me get through school rather easily, it turns out I have been barking up the wrong tree this entire time.

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Experience on the Battlefield

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #41

Credit to Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer from Kingdom Hearts 2 Secret Ending

As many of you are aware, I have been known to prioritize studying and have had no qualms sacrificing playing games in order to do so. My rationale at the time was quite simple: Because I felt like I was always on a time crunch, reading books, studying problems, or even watching videos seemed to be better suited to my lifestyle. 15 minutes here… 5 minutes there… That way I could keep “improving” without the huge time commitment. Right?

Well, maybe only half right. While I might have picked up a thing or two along the way, my experience at the 1st Washington Baduk Open Championship was rather traumatic. After getting my butt kicked twice in a row after the first round and deep introspection, I realized I needed to play more. So in light of that realization, I thought it only appropriate to write about the importance of experience on the battlefield.

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Do Something You Cannot Do

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #40

Recently I have found myself exploring a lot of new ideas and concepts from varying schools of go. A simple example of this is my inability to stick with reviewing one style of go at a time. For example, last week I was very motivated to finally purchase Master Play: The Territorial Styles of Kitani & Cho Chikun and find out what it really meant to have a “territorial style.” It was a fascinating and eye opening read; but once I had read most of the book within a few hours, I was suddenly driven to go back and study Master Play: The Fighting Styles of Kato Masao & Seo Bong Soo as well! Talk about opposing styles!

As you might expect, my games have also started to undergo a change as well. I find myself trying all sorts of weird and new things lately because of all these new ideas floating around my head. So as I was perusing for ideas to write for this week’s Weekly Go Wednesday, the following quotation from Pablo Picasso inspired me to write this post:

“I am always doing that which I cannot do in order that I may learn how to do it.”

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WGW 38: I Want to Play Go Like That...

Part I - Interlude - Part II

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #38

Though some of you may hate me for delaying Part II of my 1st Washington Open Baduk Championship series, the funny thing is that the Weekly Go Wednesday series actually fits in perfectly with the story. So hold your horses for one more day, and let’s dive right into this shall we?

So where were we? Ah yes. I had finished off the first day of the tournament with the second to worst record you can have: 1 win with 2 loss. To compound on that embarrassment, I won one and then proceeded to lose each game afterwards with each being a more epic failure than the last. After all, it would have been way better if I had lost the first two games and then won the last one. Then at least I could feel like I improved over the day instead of the epic plummet that actually happened.

Usually when I undergo a shocking disappointment like I did that day, my first reaction is to try and figure out what went wrong. After all, it wasn’t as if some freak accident happened where I hallucinated and put the stones in the wrong place. No, especially with go, there are no such things. So for the rest of the day, I kept thinking about what went wrong. Many things crossed my mind…

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WGW37: Tesuji More Useful Than Tsumego?

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #37

Last Friday, I mentioned an article that was shared with me on how to improve at go by Lynx. According to conventional wisdom, the one piece of advice that everyone seem to agree upon is that studying life and death is critical to getting stronger. And to be honest, it’s something I never really questioned. However, after reading Lynx’s article, I was confronted with an eye-opening question: Is studying tesuji more useful than tsumego?

After a lot of thought, I would have to concur with Lynx’s perspective. In fact, it is one of the key components to breaking the glass ceiling when trying to gain that next stone. However, because the masses constantly spout how important life and death is, it is often forgotten in all the noise.

Now now, before you grab your pitchforks and torches, hear me out won’t you?

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