Archive: undefined/2013

Study Session at Starbucks

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been making it a habit to head out to the local Starbucks to remove myself from the distractions of being in the apartment (aka putting on shows on Netflix or rewatching Hikaru no Go for the five millionth time). And overall I have to say that I definitely enjoy and look forward to these study sessions.

I have half a mind to design a little billboard for myself with a welcoming message for people to ask me about go when I’m sitting at the table with my board and stones. I saw a number of customers walk by looking onwards at the board a few times, but I was in no position to really teach them at the moment. So in the future I think I may create me a some portable materials to setup a “booth” and allow interested people to ask me about the game and learn about it.

Other than that, it’s been a pretty productive session. So far, I’ve played one game, finished _Get Strong at Invading _and Commented Games by Lee Sedol Volume 2 (so be sure to look for those reviews soon), and am hoping to get a bit more work done on _Get Strong at Tesuji _and Jump Level Up 2. Anyhow, that’s all for this random post! Till next time!

Two Degrees of Lee Sedol

That's my friend Eric Lui playing against Lee Sedol!!! AHH!!!!!!!! Photo Credit to GoGameGuru

I don’t know if any of you have ever heard of the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” (which is a deviation from the theory “six degrees of separation“), but it essentially boils down to the idea that every person is connected to another within six connections. And as you might guess based on the title of my post, I am writing because my friend Eric Lui had the honor of competing in the 2013 Samsung Cup and got to play against Lee Sedol!!!! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous in the least, but that is still just plain epic!!!!!!

Now of course, while this usually is worthy of a post all on its own, there is another reason I’m also writing about Lee Sedol. Prior to all of above, I injured my left hand from boxing and have had to take it a little easier as of late. Since I’m trying to rest in order to quickly recover, what better way to fill the time than to study some go? And guess who’s book I happened to decide to study. That’s right. Commented Games by Lee Sedol Volume 1!

As I was working through it, I came upon an anecdote where his sister described how his father used to train him when it came to solving life and death. Lee Sedol’s father stressed accuracy and would scold him harshly whenever he solved a problem incorrectly. As a result, Lee Sedol would check his answer 100 times over before showing his father the answer regardless of how simple the problem might seem. Though seemingly harsh at the time, his sister believes that this is one of the reasons that Lee Sedol’s reading is as strong as it is today.

So how does this relate to me? Well I am the first to admit that I am pretty lazy when it comes to solving problems. I might give a problem anywhere from a glance to 30 seconds (depending on my mood) before checking out the answer. I tried to tell myself that this is because I wanted more exposure to new sequences; but in reality, this has probably been hurting my reading more than helping it.

And then as if I wasn’t already feeling guilty enough about my lazy approach to studying life and death, Lee Sedol makes the following statement:

Fighting spirit without the base of thorough reading is nothing but recklessness that leads directly to defeat.

While I was blown away by how insightful that comment is, another part of me also felt incredibly sheepish as I realized that Lee Sedol had just summed up why I lose most of my games in one line. Heh… Perhaps it’s time to take a moment and rethink my approach to studying…

Friday Go Forward: Week 27

Friday Go Forward: Week 27

Overview

Though this week cannot even begin to live up to 1% of the awesomeness that is happening on at US Go Congress, I will have to say that it has been a rather productive week. I’ve started really diving into some new books in an effort to really further my understanding of my failure as a player: the inability to attack properly. If you’re wondering why I make it sound so dramatic, it’s because I always considered myself more of a fighter / power type of player, and what kind of fighter or power player am I if I can’t even attack properly? Haha. =D But I think I’m making good headway on that, so hopefully I won’t have to write about this weakness of mine for much longer. Till next week!

Games

  • KGS - 5 games
  • DGS - 3 ongoing games
  • Nova - 2 ongoing games

Education & Training

  • Started and finished The Workshop Lectures Volume 2.
  • Started and finished The Workshop Lectures Volume 3.
  • Finished Get Strong at the Opening.
  • Worked on Jump Level Up 1.
  • Worked on Joseki Jeongseok Compass.
  • Worked on Takao’s Astute Use of Brute Force.
  • Worked on Fight Like a Pro.
  • Started working on Get Strong at Joseki 1.
  • Started working on The Workshop Lectures Volume 4.
  • Started working on The ABC’s of Attack and Defense.
  • Started working on Breakthrough Attacking Power.

Lesson Learned

  1. Whether you win or lose, the important thing is to find something you can learn from the game.

Need More Even Games...

I had a chance to go to one of Yuan Zhou’s Monthly Go Workshops yesterday, and I was severely reminded of I have been severely lacking when it comes to playing even games. There will be more on the workshop later on this week, but I’ve been looking at my games lately (from DGS and Nova) and realized how they all consist of handicap games. This is not a bad thing by any stretch of the means, but it has certainly caused my go playing to become slightly lopsided since I’m either a lot more reckless as White or simply focused on attacking as Black. Not very good for training a calm go style you know? xD

On another note, my studying has been going pretty well. I have been reading a lot of books (if it wasn’t clear as day already), and am really loving the Level Up series. As it stands right now, the only thing I regret is that I did not find this series when I first started go. I am just astounded as to how intensely they focus on the fundamentals and have already been taught a thing or two even though the book is supposedly aimed at like 15 kyus. Also, I am really trying to have entire Level Up series reviewed before the month of July is up. So though I won’t be able to play as much for now, I have plans to reincorporate ranked games back into my routine. Back to studying I go!

Friday Go Forward: Week 24

You can never have too many books

Overview

While it’s been fun reading so many books at once, I am starting to feel the weight of my training bear down on me. My usual nightly routine now essentially is comprised of me trying to study until I literally pass out. Then I wake up randomly in a couple of hours, and make my way to bed. Needless to say, it’s not the most productive route and it definitely starting to take a toll on me. I need a more efficient system then what I’ve been doing. Haha. So starting next week, I plan on cutting down the number of books and trying to get everything into a better balance.

Games

  • KGS - 1 game
  • DGS - 3 ongoing games
  • Nova - 4 ongoing games

Education & Training

  • Finished Level Up Review 1.
  • Finished Elementary Go Series, Vol. 6 - The Endgame.
  • Finished Whole Board Thinking of Joseki, Vol. 1.
  • Finished Essential Life & Death 3.
  • Started and finished Level Up 6.
  • Started and finished Elementary Go Series, Vol. 7 - Handicap Go.
  • Started and finished Whole Board Thinking of Joseki, Vol. 2.
  • Started working on Level Up 7.
  • Started working on Essential Life & Death 4.
  • Worked on Mastering the Basics, Vol. 8 - Fight Like a Pro.

Lesson Learned

  1. Unless I actually take the time to count and estimate the board position, I am no longer allowed to resign.

I Lost to Cloudbrows + E-mail Newsletters

In lieu of my last post on the desire to lose, I thought it would only be appropriate that I title this blog post after a marvelous game I played on Monday. It’s already slated for a Monday Go Meditation, so more on that game in a couple of weeks!

With that being said, I’m sure that some of you have noticed that the email subscription widget on the right has changed a bit. And in case you didn’t, here’s the basic rundown!

  1. E-mail newsletters now have a new look and feel that should make the reading process more enjoyable!
  2. You can now choose the frequency at which you want to receive your email newsletter!
    The only drawback to the plugin I’m using is that it isn’t very easy to switch to a different list, so if anyone would like to switch the frequency of their newsletter, feel free to contact me or go ahead and unsubscribe to the current list you’re on and resubscribe to the new one you want to be on. Either one works.

Finally, as you all have definitely noticed, I am on a book review rampage. I’ve gotten in a really great study groove, but I’m starting to feel the need to take it down a couple of notches since I have a few books I would like to spend more time on. Anyhow, more on that later on. Need to get some studying in before I pass out. XD

PS. To all my first email subscribers (who were all immediately being updated whenever I posted something), in order to prevent everyone from feeling like I am spamming your inbox, I switched everyone over to the Daily Newsletter in order to keep my emails to one per day. If you would like to be switched back to the Immediate Newsletter, just let me know!

Friday Go Forward: Week 23

Overview

As many of you probably noticed, I have been pretty consumed with studying go and releasing book reviews as fast as I can. My progress with the Level Up series has been great! I’ve been averaging about 1.5 days for each volume. Not as fast as I wish I was, but not bad in the scheme of things. It’s been really great to see what kids in Korea have been learning and realizing how unstable my fundamentals were in comparison. I’m hoping that I will be finished with the Level Up series by next week so that I can find out what’s in store for me in the Jump Level Up series.

Also, many thanks to Malcolm for setting me on the path to finally working out the kinks in the email subscriptions. As some of you might have noticed, email newsletters are going to be looking a lot different! The design is far from finished, but I wanted to at least release the initial version of the email layout so that you wouldn’t have to deal with the horrendous layout that Jetpack was sending at one point. Hope it makes for a better reading experience!

**Update: It seems that Jetpack was still turned on this morning so the email newsletter might have been sent twice. Sorry to anyone on the subscriber list! I am working to iron out all the kinks with the new email subscription plugin.

Games

  • DGS - 3 ongoing games
  • Nova - 3 ongoing games

Education & Training

  • Finished Modern Master Games, Vol. 1.
  • Finished Elementary Go Series, Vol 5 - Attack and Defense.
  • Finished Level Up 2.
  • Started and finished Level Up 3, 4 and 5.
  • Started working on Level Up Review 1.
  • Started working on Mastering the Basics, Vol. 8 - Fight Like a Pro.
  • Started working on Elementary Go Series, Vol 6 - The Endgame.
  • Worked on Whole Board Thinking of Joseki, Vol. 1.
  • Worked on Essential Life & Death 3.

Friday Go Forward: Week 22

Friday Go Forward: Week 22

Overview

As I’m sure you all are aware, this week marks the start of my Korean Training Reboot! I am having the time of life as I’m going over the basics of all basics for the first time ever. Now I know it probably sounds stupid to some of you that I’m spending my time on books intended for 30 kyus, but I feel like I am getting a lot of value just drilling basics such as “can my stone escape from atari.” It’s not so much that I’m learning something “new,” but instead I am really trying to polish the fundamentals of my reading ability. Here’s to hoping I know what I’m doing!

Games

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

Education & Training

  • Finished Attacking and Defending Moyos.
  • Finished on Elementary Go Series, Vol 4 - Life and Death.
  • Started and finished Level Up 1.
  • Started working on Level Up 2.
  • Worked on Modern Master Games, Vol. 1.
  • Worked on Elementary Go Series, Vol 5 - Attack and Defense.
  • Worked on Whole Board Thinking of Joseki, Vol. 1.
  • Worked on Essential Life & Death 3.

Level Up! Series - Off to a Good Start

It’s only Day 2 of my Korean Training Reboot and I’m happy to report that I am really enjoying this series. Although I could theoretically fly through most of the beginning books, I have been taking more time to be very thorough with the content. I’m hoping that this will help to reveal any inconsistencies with my basics as I work my way through the series.

In terms of progress though, I’m almost done with _Level Up! - Volume 1 _and plan to post the review in the near future. For my preliminary findings though, I’m 99% sure that this series will be awarded the best introductory series to go in my book. Although it might be written and designed for kids, I have a feeling that any adult who goes through this entire series will rise through the ranks much faster than by studying any other book.

This is just a preliminary analysis though, so I will let you know if my opinion changes when I’m done with the series. =D

Friday Go Forward: Week 21

Friday Go Forward: Week 21

Overview

If it isn’t apparent, my studying sessions have gotten pretty crazy. I know that it would be better for me to focus on one book at a time, but my attention span just can’t handle too much of one topic. As much as I’d love to fully absorb everything I’m reading, my goal is to absorb as much as possible with the least amount of time and effort. Therefore, if I am getting bored and not really paying attention anymore, I move on to another topic.

I know it’s not the most thorough method, but I have a lot of books that I’d love to read and different explanations to be exposed to. Once I’ve reviewed every book that I own, you can be sure that I will be returning to the ones that I want to really gain a mastery over. So for now, I’m okay with being a jack of all trades and master of none. xD

Games

  • KGS - 0 games (0 wins : 0 losses)
  • DGS - 3 ongoing games
  • Nova - 3 ongoing games

Education & Training

  • Finished Essential Life & Death,__ Vol. 2.
  • Finished The Direction of Play.
  • Finished Elementary Go Series - Tesuji.
  • Worked on Attacking and Defending Moyos.
  • Worked on Modern Master Games, Vol. 1.
  • Started working on Elementary Go Series, Vol 4 - Life and Death.
  • Started working on Elementary Go Series, Vol 5 - Attack and Defense.
  • Started working on Whole Board Thinking of Joseki, Vol. 1.
  • Started working on Essential Life & Death, Vol. 3.