Sorry everyone. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to seriously update or post anything. I’m currently on a mini-sabbatical and trying to get a lot of things in my life straightened out. Progress on my Go studies has been close to none so it’ll be interesting to see how I do when I get back to the game. I’m planning on doing a major overhaul on the blog so that it is a bit easier to navigate and just heavier on content. So I’ll be back in a week to give you guys what I’ll be projecting. Till then!
Man…. I’m used to being destroyed by my opponents… but this guy had an annoying mouth and I was destroyed by him. The way he took advantage of almost every single weakness was quite beyond me. I think I was doing okay in the opening, but then I didn’t properly chase down what should’ve been a dead group. Ugh. Can’t even comment on the game. But for all those players looking to see bad aji come back and kick you in the balls, and the usage of a double ko to kill of groups that were supposed to be alive: this is the game.
So forgive my absence. I am currently trying to attend to a number of things. I’ll be updating you with a couple of insights that I’ve made into my Go playing so far.
#1. Tennis and Go
I recently played with a friend and he mentioned how I was trying to “kill” the ball every time I swung. He told me that I needed to simply slow down and just make sure that I follow through with the ball with proper form and posture. It was then that it kind of hit me, this is the same exact issue that I notice in my Go games. Take my time. Follow through. Make solid and proper moves, regardless of whether I am winning or losing. That’s not to say to play conservatively, but to not make bad shape or overplays for the sake of trying to win, because ultimately that is the only way I will truly get stronger.
#2. First Game Against a Child
So I played a kid named Walter at the Baltimore Go Club just yesterday. I believe he was maybe 11? It was definitely intimidating. I’ve heard my fair share of really strong kids who just crush you. He was 11k apparently, and we played a game. I wish I could show you the kifu, but unfortunately I’m still limited in my ability to record games (once I get an iPad…. that will no longer be the case). He played a lot of non-conventional moves. It wasn’t until Keith commented later that I noticed he was essentially trying to initiate fights for the majority of the game. I ended up winning by resign since I outpaced him strategically and killed a rather large group. In all honesty though, he had me on the edge of my seat since his reading ability was superb and I didn’t know how to respond to half of his moves (e.g. I played the 4-4 star in the opening… he played 5-5. EH?!) Anyhow, very interesting game.
#3. Update on My Studying
Essentially my studying has only consisted of practicing stuff on GoChild. I really need to finish two books before the next month is up. But more on that later.
So today was pretty eventful. I am actually flooded in terms of material I want to write about, but my brain is nearly decomposed due to a lack of sleep and an overload of Go. So this post will be short and sweet.
#2. Since it’ll be awhile till I am able to properly update the resources for Go players, Go players need to totally check out GoChild. I think it’s significantly better than Goproblems.com but more on that later.
#3. I have been very fortunate to have had my games being reviewed over the past few days. It’s been a ton of information, but I will do all I can to absorb it and eventually distill it to my readers.
Happy 3 months to my Go Quest! Time for the monthly progress update!
- KGS - 12k
- I joined the ASR League.
- I’m officially done with buying Go books for now.
- I finally broke down and bought a slate and shell set. =D
Go Ability - So I’m still 12k on KGS, but I’m pretty sure that number is now definitely inaccurate. I can’t really say if I’ve hit the SDK ability, but I know that the handicaps I’ve been getting lately aren’t exactly fair to my opponents. Yesterday I played a 4k with a 6 stones handicap and managed to win by resignation. Below you will find a game against a 6k opponent at 6 stones handicap where I would have won by ~60 some points.
Sorry, your browser doesn’t support WGo.js. Download SGF directly.
ASR League - This is an advanced study group for people serious about getting stronger at go and definitely gives off the whole insei atmosphere. In terms of how I’m doing, I’m getting totally demolished and will probably remain in the lowest class for a while. I will post more about this league so other players will get a chance to know more about it.
Go Library - So I’ve bought a few more books since the last update. I think I’ll try to simply update the blog to be up to date with my current inventory so people can see what I have and what they might want to see reviewed.
Slate and Shell Stones Set - I know I know… everyone must be thinking I have lots of money to burn. Not true. I sold off some of my Magic: the Gathering cards and made ~$300. And I wanted that whole classical Go atmosphere which I thought would be achieved with slate and shell stones. Now mind you, they are only jitsuyo grade but there is an argument that they are better since they have more interesting patterns. Anyhow, it was $200 cheaper. That helped a lot too.
So in a broad sense of goals, I’ll be aiming to be officially SDK in terms of KGS standards. In addition, I’ll be aiming to create a much more solid content base for the blog. Those two goals combined with staying on top of my grades and the rest of my life should be adequate for growth. Onwards!
So sorry for the failure to post Friday or Saturday. Lots going on, but the following kifu is of my game against an 8k. I think it was pretty exciting and an excellent game for my persistence and some of my more clever moves that I’ve played in my games so far. Unfortunately, I ended up losing by 1.5 points. I’m pretty sure I messed up some yose maneuvers which may have actually cost me the game. I also managed to make it to GWGC after running some errands and had part of my game reviewed and learned some really interesting things. I’ll put the comments in on the parts that were reviewed.
So I was thinking it over, and at first I wasn’t going to put up some of my recent games due to the fact that they are utterly miserable. But, I think it’ll actually be good for those who are at the DDK range and feeling frustrated with their own games when they are obliterated. Here is a game I played against someone who was also 12k, and I think this is like one of VERY few games where I lost to someone lower than 10k while I was 12k. I thought I was doing well, but clearly I did not.
So I know… where have I been over this past weekend? A myriad of events and things to do. A belated Happy Halloween to everyone on the blogosphere. Midterms are past now, and I managed to pull off an A- in the Data Analysis class and a 101% in the Applied Social class. Sweet. Moving on to my Go progress, there is five more days before month three is up. As to how I’m doing, I just got off my winning streak and was promptly crushed by 10 kyus.
In the first game, I let myself lose a capturing race… yeah I know… and then I regained composure and pressed my opponent flat but failed to kill the group in the middle. Not sure I really could have, but I tried anyhow and then loss a corner because I thought it would be intelligent to play out a ko.
Second game, my corner was promptly taken over. Was going to resign since I wasn’t sure I could continue properly, but pushed through and actually saved the group… just to have it cut because I wasn’t paying attention to a shortage of liberties and let my opponent get to moves in. Resigned after that.
So to all my Go players who are stuck in the DDKs, I think I may have figured out why I keep getting destroyed by any opponent 10k or better. They simply do the fundamentals a lot better than we do. What do I mean by that? They cut, connect, and think about most of their moves which simply allows better play.
I really don’t think that I’m not at the SDK strength, it’s just that I’m failing at the fundamentals and letting my stronger opponents take advantage of my weaknesses. And since they know how to properly punish the mistakes most of the time, so it’s just miserable. If I leave just one cutting point open, they’ll rush in. Bleh… Once I surpass the DDK barrier, I’ll be sure to let you know how you can also blow past the DDK barrier.
Do I think I’ll break the SDK barrier on KGS in 5 days? Absolutely not. I don’t have the time to play enough games to do so. Will I evolve my playing ability in these next five days? You can bet the farm on that sonny boy. =D