Weekly Progress Report: #11

Overview

Hey every­one. Sorry for not updat­ing the weekly sta­tus report for the last two weeks. I’ve been doing a bit of intro­spec­tion and came to the real­iza­tion that every­thing had started to become a bit too mun­dane for my lik­ing. I know that this runs slightly counter to my whole notion of “con­sis­tency,” but I feel like there comes a point when it becomes robotic (which is the last thing I want for this blog).

So as you’ve prob­a­bly noticed, the offi­cial “Jour­nal Entries” series was killed off since I felt like it was some­what a rep­e­ti­tion of this weekly sta­tus report. In addi­tion, because I hadn’t been invest­ing as much time in go as I would like, it felt like I was say­ing the same thing over and over again.

Well for­get all that. I’m going back to the basics and my roots as a blog­ger. Can’t quite artic­u­late what that exactly entails, but I can tell you for sure that I am feel­ing a change in the wind. It’s going to be an excit­ing ride!

Daily Train­ing Regimen

  • Work on Jump Level Up series.

Books

  • Jump Level Up 3 by Baduktopia
  • Handicap-Go Strat­egy and the San­ren­sei Open­ing by by Rob van Zei­jst and Richard Bozulich
  • The 21st Cen­tury Dic­tio­nary of Basic Joseki: Vol­ume One by Takao Shinji, 9-dan

Games

  • KGS — 1 game
  • OGS —  3 ongo­ing games

Stirring the Embers Once Again…

2014-12-10 Go Seigen

As many of you are aware, the leg­endary Go Seigen passed away on Novem­ber 30th. I’ve been wrack­ing my brain for a way to prop­erly honor him, but it is still elud­ing me. To help the process out, I decided that it would be a good start work­ing through my col­lec­tion of his games again. As I played through his game (above), I started to feel the embers begin to catch flame again.

I also had the oppor­tu­nity to play with fel­low blog­ger Ris­ingStar today. It was a friendly game with a 9 stone hand­i­cap. And while the mere thought of play­ing that kind of game would have scared me a week ago, it was sur­pris­ingly calm­ing and fun. Some­times I feel like I get in these moves where the game just seems to make sense. Moves flow eas­ily and there is a seren­ity that keeps you level headed at all times. This was one of those games.

The game record is below, but there will most likely be a MGM on it in the future.

Down­load Kifu

Good at the Opening? Blasphemy!

I’ve had the good for­tune of play­ing with two 5+ dans recently. Though my game crum­bled very quickly in the mid­dle game, I received inter­est­ing feed­back from both play­ers: I have a good sense of the open­ing.

waitwhat

To say I was sur­prised was a bit of an under­state­ment. One of the things I always prided myself in was the will­ing­ness to fight and dive into com­pli­cated sit­u­a­tions. So nat­u­rally, I always assumed that the strongest part of my game would be the mid­dle game. Appar­ently I am wrong. Haha.

Now granted, to those who have stud­ied the game pretty exten­sively, I’ve heard that being good at the open­ing is not really some­thing to be proud of since it’s the eas­i­est part of the game to improve because it involves broad strokes of judg­ment as opposed to com­pli­cated sequences. Nonethe­less, it was nice to find out that my open­ing skills are half-way decent.

I guess the only log­i­cal next step is to play more games so I can prac­tice my mid­dle game! Haha. Time to go devise a plan to make this a reality…

One-Space Low Pincer-Phobia

As I’ve been start­ing to unravel the tightly wound knot that has been at the core of my fear to play games the way I used to, one of the things I noticed is that there is one joseki in par­tic­u­lar that has played a major role in my dis­com­fort at play­ing full games.

one-space-low-pincer

Yup. The one-space low pin­cer to the high-one space approach to the 3–4. Words can­not express how much I hated see­ing that move played against me due to one sim­ple fact: I have no idea how to prop­erly play against it.

Now of course, every­one will say there are plenty of resources online for me to look it up and study it. The issue how­ever, is that I don’t find online resources ter­ri­bly help­ful in learn­ing joseki and I haven’t quite fig­ured out the best way that I learn joseki. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, there are two pri­mary approaches to it: (1) get a broad overview and keep play­ing, mak­ing mis­takes and learn­ing as you go, and (2) “mem­o­rize” all the dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions so you know how to get an even posi­tion (locally) about of the dif­fer­ent variations.

While I’m more of a fan of approach #1, I have to say that I’m still in pur­suit of the hybrid of the two approaches. Of course, for any­one who has read up on get­ting stronger, the gen­eral advice is “learn joseki and then for­get it imme­di­ately.” And though the wis­dom in that state­ment is evi­dent to me, I find that I am more com­fort­able and con­fi­dent if I start with some sort of foun­da­tion before run­ning off and explor­ing on my own.

Since I’m not a huge fan of the online resources for learn­ing joseki (at least the ones I’m aware of), I was for­tu­nate enough to obtain a copy of the 21st Cen­tury Dic­tio­nary of Basic Joseki, Vol. 1 & 2 recently (cour­tesy of Mr. Richard Bozulich) and plan to use it to finally resolve my fear of the one-space low pincer.

Weekly Progress Report: #10

Overview

Looks like Mon­day Go Med­i­ta­tion will con­tinue to be on break for a lit­tle bit; but on the upside, that comes with the con­tin­gency that it seems like I am work­ing my way back into play­ing games again (which will inad­ver­tently make the MGM’s that much more mean­ing­ful as time goes on).

Life and work con­tin­ues to try to drown me in all of its pri­or­i­ties as I shift gears and pre­pare to ramp up things. And while I am a tad tired and busted up (par­tic­u­larly from the work­outs), it does feel like I am mak­ing progress. In addi­tion, I’ve given my train­ing reg­i­men an offi­cial tweak with a more vari­ety of prob­lem dif­fi­culty along with a new train­ing sys­tem I’ve been test­ing out for a lit­tle while. I’ll be sure to post a full review on it when I feel like I’ve fully vet­ted it.

Other than that, I hope every­one is doing well and get­ting ready for next week’s food marathon of Thanks­giv­ing! Bring on the food coma!

Next Week’s Goal

Set­tings goals for each week has been a good habit, but alas it’s been dif­fi­cult try­ing to actu­ally accom­plish it due to how lofty they have been. So for next week, I’m going to aim for some­thing mea­sur­able and real­is­tic that I should have no prob­lem hit­ting: 3 chap­ters from Hand­i­cap Go Strat­egy and the San­ren­sei Opening.

Daily Train­ing Regimen

  • Work on Jump Level Up series.
  • Play one 9x9 game on GoQuest.
  • Solve 90 prob­lems on MagicBaduk.
    • 50 Easy, 25 Inter­me­di­ate, 10 Advanced, 5 Expert
  • Solve 10 prob­lems on Guo Juan’s Inter­net Go School Train­ing System.
    • Life and Death (9 Old Prob­lems / 1 New Problem)

Books

  • Jump Level Up 3 by Baduktopia
  • Handicap-Go Strat­egy and the San­ren­sei Open­ingby by Rob van Zei­jst and Richard Bozulich

Games

  • KGS — 3 games
  • OGS —  3 ongo­ing games

Journal Entry: #11

Over the last few days, part of my sub­con­scious was nag­ging me for spend­ing so much time not play­ing a sin­gle game. And while I did play at least one 9x9 game a day, it has been ages since I last played a full 19x19 game in real time. And for those who want to count the one at the Pump­kin Clas­sic, that doesn’t really count since I wasn’t plan­ning to play. So in another sense, I have been avoid­ing play­ing games in real time.

Why is that? Good ques­tion. Believe it or not, over time I seem to have devel­oped some sort of “lad­der anx­i­ety.” (I’m not sure this list the cor­rect term, but I saw it recently and feel it’s rather appro­pri­ate.) To put it more bluntly, I’m afraid of play­ing ranked games because I’m wor­ried about play­ing stu­pid moves and being judged by others.

Yeah. I know. This prob­a­bly sounds stu­pid to many of you, but some­where along the line I started wor­ry­ing about being judged even though I hon­estly have no rea­son to feel this way. If I had to attribute the cause to some­thing, it would prob­a­bly out of my own self-criticism that just got out of con­trol. I set a bar of expec­ta­tion so high for myself that any fail­ure ended up being very dam­ag­ing to me.

Any­how, bot­tom line is that I’ve been doing a bit of soul-searching and have been inspired by the read­ing I’ve been doing to finally start break­ing free of this self-imposed prison. When­ever I man­age to finally get this all resolved, I will be sure to write a full arti­cle in hopes of help­ing any­one else who might have the same issue.

As evi­dence of this, here is the game that I played today. And while it is against a bot, I’m going to con­sider this one a suc­cess in my strive to get over my fear of play­ing. It’s a pretty weird game, but it was one that has bits of cre­ativ­ity through­out it.

Down­load Kifu

Weekly Progress Report: #09

Overview

As the weeks have piled on, it’s only to be expected that I would even­tu­ally hit a burnout period of some sort. This week seemed to show signs of it, but I’ve man­aged to weather the storm for the most part. My train­ing reg­i­men hasn’t been impacted at all, but I’m afraid that Mon­day Go Med­i­ta­tion will have to be on break next week.

Due to copi­ous amounts of work, I did not man­age to meet my goal of fin­ish­ing Hand­i­cap Go Strat­egy and the San­ren­sei Opening last week. So I’ll be extend­ing the same goal into next week. Here’s to hop­ing I have bet­ter luck this time.

Daily Train­ing Regimen

  • Work on Jump Level Up series.
  • Play­ing one 9x9 game on GoQuest.
  • Solve/Practice 100 easy prob­lems from MagicBaduk.
  • Solve/Practice 10 hard prob­lems from MagicBaduk.

Books

  • Jump Level Up 3 by Baduktopia
  • Handicap-Go Strat­egy and the San­ren­sei Open­ing by by Rob van Zei­jst and Richard Bozulich

Games

  • KGS — 0 games
  • OGS —  4 ongo­ing games

Journal Entry: #10

Although progress seems to have been a bit slow, I’m happy to report that I actu­ally fin­ished Jump Level Up 2 recently. When I first started the book, I have to admit that I was con­cerned it would take too long; but before I knew it, it’s fin­ished and I’m onto the next vol­ume! Hoorah for steady progress.

Even though I have some con­cern regard­ing my lack of play­ing, I’m still happy that I’m able to con­tinue study­ing at a con­sis­tent pace amidst the crazi­ness of life. In the mean­time, I’ll just con­tinue liv­ing vic­ar­i­ously through my friends and look for­ward to the day I will be play­ing consistently.

Monday Go Meditation: Game 70

Intro­duc­tion

For this week’s go med­i­ta­tion, I am fea­tur­ing my game from the Pump­kin Clas­sic that I had the plea­sure of vis­it­ing for a round. This game was an inter­est­ing chal­lenge for me since it had been a while since I had played a game in per­son, let alone play a hand­i­cap game. As this is a hand­i­cap game where I play White, I hope that my thoughts through­out the game will help you under­stand bet­ter why play­ers some­times make the moves they do in hand­i­cap games. Enjoy!

Con­tinue read­ing