Hello Again with GoKibitz

Hey every­one. Just wanted to let you know I’m still alive and well. Been get­ting into some really inter­est­ing projects these past few weeks and have been really pon­der­ing what I can do with blog­ging again since I miss doing it. And as some­one who hates it when a reg­u­lar blog­ger just drops out of the blo­gos­phere, you can rest assured that I won’t ever just leave the blog hang­ing in the event I need to close up shop for awhile.

In terms of what I’ve been up to, I’ve been tin­ker­ing again with daily reg­i­mens and play­ing games via DGS and OGS while con­cur­rently jug­gling a new job and try­ing to learn a ton of new skills. I’ve gone all the way back down to the very basics of doing only 10 life and death prob­lems a day. They’re not hard in any sense of the word, but they help me to keep a con­nec­tion to the world of go.

And as a spe­cial treat for those who miss my reviews, I’ve decided to try review­ing one of my 9x9 games that I played recently on GoQuest via an awe­some new social kifu review­ing soft­ware called GoK­ib­itz that a close friend and long time rival built him­self. So I hope you enjoy the review and I will try and post again soon!

UPDATE: Appar­ently all my com­ments got lost in the abyss of the inter­net.… Oy vey… I’ll try and get another ver­sion up soon.…

Happy Chinese New Year 2015!

cny2015

First and fore­most, my apolo­gies for dis­ap­pear­ing out of the blue like that. Though it would not have been my pref­er­ence, a num­ber of things came up that forced me to put go on the back burner for a lit­tle bit. On the upside though, I will be start­ing a new job in a cou­ple of weeks and plan to start get­ting back to go.

Hope every­one is doing well.

Happy Chi­nese New Year!

Giving DGS Another Shot

I’ve decided to give Dragon Go Server another shot. While I had some issues with it in the past, I’m ready to approach it again from a more calm approach. In other words, I won’t be in a rush to make my move or fin­ish games. Instead, I’ll view each move as a prob­lem for me to solve. No more, no less. So go ahead and send your chal­lenges. I await them in anticipation!

Weekly Status Report: #12

Overview

With 2015 upon us, I wanted to start off right by kick­ing off the sta­tus reports again since they are a great way for me to keep myself account­able to what’s been hap­pen­ing. As you’ll notice, the train­ing reg­i­men has returned to its sim­plest form. This is pri­mar­ily due to the desire to stay the course with­out any waver­ing. So while this report is a lit­tle bare, I’m cer­tainly hop­ing to grow it in time. Hope you all had a great New Years!

Daily Train­ing Regimen

  • Do 2 pages of 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

Games

  • KGS — 0 games
  • OGS —  1 ongo­ing game

A Retrospective on 2014

Hey every­one. Sorry that I’ve been MIA for a while. As you might have guessed, I’ve been caught up with work along with the many oblig­a­tions that come with the hol­i­day sea­son. Lots of late nights, run­ning errands, cook­ing, clean­ing, etc.

While I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would like, I couldn’t bear the thought of end­ing 2014 with­out some sort of retrospective.

In terms of how the year has gone, it has been a rather intro­spec­tive one that was fraught with a lot of anx­i­eties and inse­cu­ri­ties that plagued me sub­con­sciously. Though it’s rather unfor­tu­nate that it took me so long to iden­tify the issue at hand, it has been an impor­tant dis­cov­ery that has allowed me to start fix­ing a lot of dif­fer­ent aspects in my life. So once again, I have another thing to add on to the list of rea­sons I’m thank­ful that go is in my life.

And while the stan­dard prac­tice is to make big over­tures about what the next year will bring, I think I’ll take a page from mod­esty this time around. No grand ges­tures of blog­ging every­day or play­ing 100 games in a month. Instead, I’ll just let you know what I have in mind for next year:

  1. Actu­ally play games and not just study.
  2. Find a groove that works for my blog­ging. I know what I want ide­ally, but it’s time I found the right bal­ance for consistency.

With that said and done, I also want to take the time to thank every­one for their sup­port of the blog. Your com­ments and words of advice and encour­age­ment have been key in help­ing me per­sist through times of dif­fi­culty. I hope that you all have a great New Years Eve and will have an even bet­ter 2015. Till next year!

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.