Archive: 4/2013

Your Rank is Dead to Me

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #24

Tombstone Credit to WPClipart

In every player’s journey, there comes a point in every player’s growth where their opponent’s rank begins to impact how they approach each game. To clarify, I’m not simply referring to overplays in handicap games as opposed to calm and balanced moves in even games. Like many of my other thoughts on players’ growth in go, today’s topic deals with the impact their opponent’s rank has on them.

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Equipment Review: Reversible Rosewood Go Board

Reversible “Rosewood” Go Board

Over­all Rat­ing: 2 / 10 Ponnuki


  • If by rosewood they mean a cheap knock-off layer of “wanna-be” rosewood and then layered by cheap wood, then they accomplished their job.
  • Although the lines look semi-elegant in the product image, it ended up looking rather cheap and hard to see on the board.

Prod­uct Details (What They Claim)

  • One 48cm x 52cm x 3cm reversible board (19x19 Go and Chinese Chess).
  • “Exquisite and unique Chinese chess board made of solid rosewood inlaid with wooden lines.”
  • Weight: 5kg.

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Friday Go Forward: Week 11


  • KGS - 5 games ( 3 win : 2 loss )
  • DGS - 5 ongoing games
  • Nova - 9 ongoing games


  • Five Hundred and One Opening Problems - Page 91 - 161


  • The Chi­nese Open­ing — Page 87 - 90


Biggest concern: Way too many turn based games going on. I know it works for some people, but I get overly focused on them and then everything else around me falls to the wayside. No no no… so as I wrote yesterday, no more games with strangers. Haha. And to be honest, I’m feeling the studying is a little too light, so hopefully I can find a better balance for myself next week!


While I was at work yesterday, I got a call about possibly being hired to play piano this coming Sunday. While I was excited and such at the time, when I quickly surveyed my timeline and how much time I had to prepare, I was left with the dreaded feeling that I might be on the verge of burning out.

I recently wrote an article on “Finding Time for Go,” but something I’ve come to realize is that I have reached a point where even my go is being pulled in too many directions. As if it weren’t difficult enough to find time to play games, trying to find time to study the game and then continue writing has been a monumental task for me. There are so many updates to make for the content and design of the site, and not to mention that go is not my only interest outside of work.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to take another sabbatical from go. I feel overloaded, but I’m just going to have to make some modifications to how I’m approaching everything. So although I would love to keep trying to do everything possible, I have to be honest with myself in knowing that I will burn out at the pace I’m going. So to help keep my sanity and motivation in tact, here are some changes that I’ll be making:

  1. Weekly Go Wednesday will go on a break after the 25th issue. Although writing articles seems to be rather simple and straight forward, it takes quite a bit more planning and effort than some would probably think. And instead of letting the articles decrease in quality, I think it’ll probably be better to go on break for a while.
  2. No more games with strangers. As you’ll see in my Friday Go Forward this week, ever since my discovery of turn based go (and then, I am playing a record number of games and constantly bombarded with next moves and trying to think of what to do next. And at this point, my turn based go has degraded into blitz go that leads me to play regrettable moves more often than not. So since my time is already limited as it is, I’m only playing games with people I know via in person, online, people who have contacted me or commented on the blog, etc.
    Here’s to hoping this does the trick.

Mental Resilience

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #23

Credit to Examiner

Imagine a world where boxing was a sport of non-contact sparring. No blood was ever shed. No KO’s that make you wonder whether or not that person will be okay afterwards. People would crowd around in excitement to watch as two people ran circles around each other shadowboxing the air. After all, that’s why people pay money to watch mixed martial arts (MMA) fights and all right?

Whether you like it or not, one of the reasons that keeps people coming back time and time again to sports like boxing and MMA is that people are putting their skills and pride to the test. With each match, there is an intensity that keeps the audience on their toes when to fighters get into an all out hitting match or whether the underdog will manage to make a miraculous comeback with a perfectly timed uppercut.

If go were simply about surrounding territory with no ability to capture stones, the game would never have gained the popularity it did nor existed for nearly as long. And while you might not get a brain concussion by playing go, the blow of a devastating match can have cause players to even give up the game as a whole. With that said however, there is a critical skill that is essential to every player’s long term success when it comes to sports and games like boxing and go: mental resilience.

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Equipment Review: Roll Up Portable Go Set

Deluxe Go Game Roll Up Magnetic Portable Set

Over­all Rat­ing: 10 / 10 Ponnuki


  • When it comes to price, value, and portability of an almost full sized board, there is nothing else in the market that can compare.
  • The quality of this product is off the charts when you consider how much you’re paying for it.
  • Highly recommended for anyone who wants a larger board for travel.

Prod­uct Details

  • Magnetic board is 19x19 and measures 14-3/16”L x 13-7/16”W (36.2cm x 34cm)
  • Carrying tube measures 14-1/2”L x 3-3/8”W (37cm x 8.5cm)
  • Stones measure 5mm tall and 18mm wide (approx. 11/16” x 3/16”)
  • Includes 180 white pieces and 180 black magnetic stones

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New Discovery: Nova Go Server

For those who have veered away from turn based go due to the antiquity of the Dragon Go Server system, I am super excited to tell you about a new go server that was introduced to me by flakeman2!

Nova Go Server

Here are 10 reasons why you should join me and play on Nova Go Server!

  1. It’s a turn-based AND real time go server. So in the event both players are online, you can play moves and chat as if you were on the live go server. And then, if anyone has to leave, no problem! It becomes turn-based go just like that!

  2. It updates in real time!!!!! I don’t know about any of you, but the worst thing for me on Dragon Go Server is the fact that when both players are online at the same time, you have to keep refreshing the page in anticipation of the next move. So with Nova Go Server, I can just leave the kifu open and it’ll automatically updated whenever my opponent plays a move.

  3. It is a web based app! That means no downloading or installing while getting a crisp and clean interface.

  4. It has features that Dragon Go Server lacks. Example: Planning conditional moves so that you can save moves that you know you will play in the event your opponent plays X.

  5. You can login using social media. Although a small benefit, it’s nice being able to login with my Twitter account instead of having to manage another go server account. (And FYI, for anyone looking to play with me, you can find me under my usual username: bengozen).

  6. It’s actively being developed! This means that the technology and features are still being updated and you can actually look forward to seeing actual updates!

  7. The user interface is so much cleaner!! You have a notifications button on top that updates real time, a sleek modern menu on the top for easy navigation, great user interface for how to play moves or access certain features…. THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!!!!!

  8. There is a spectator chat window! So people can come in and kibitz on your game for your review when the game is over! (This is something I miss when it comes to turn based go on Dragon Go Server).

  9. They even offer a Malkovich Log! This is not a feature I’ve ever used, but I know it’s really popular so another kudos to them!

  10. Oh yeah, did I mention that IT’S FREE!!!!!!!!!!

‘Nuff said.

Friday Go Forward: Week 10


  • KGS - 5 games ( 1 win : 4 losses )
  • DGS - 5 ongoing games


  • Go Game - Life and Death (iPad App) - Practice Phase 2 ( Class 18 - 20 )
  • Five Hundred and One Opening Problems - Page 55 - 90


  • The Chi­nese Open­ing — Page 63 - 87


I’m happy to announce that the StudyGroupKyu site went live this week! There are still some enhancements to be made, and that will continue to take up my time; but it’s been fun to combine my love for design with go. Definitely hoping to do more of that as time goes on.

With that being said, this week has a decently studious week combined with sporadic blitz go. Now although none of the game time settings will indicate that, I generally didn’t spend more than 30 seconds on a move. This is probably due to my lack of time and newly acquired ability to not be attached to winning or losing a game. I’ve been more obsessed with trying out new things and experimenting with what I’ve been learning. And to be honest, it’s quite refreshing.