Description: Level Up Review 2 is part of the Level Up! Series that serves as a workbook in private go schools in Korea. Though designed for children, the content and practice provided is invaluable for adults and children alike.
So as some of you might have noticed, I’ve been playing a lot more games recently. However, it seems I am on a losing streak; but it’s not all bad since it means I’m back in experimental mode. My rank has even dropped down to 6k it seems, but this is partially due to the fact that I haven’t played enough ranked games where I actually have time to think. So I really don’t give much credence to my rank drop.
I know for most people, the losing streak plus rank drop is enough to go on a rampage and think about quitting the game. In actuality though, I have found it’s really important to focus on the cause of the loss instead of the loss itself. Perhaps it’s simple reading error? Or perhaps just a rigid approach to the game. Either way, I always find comfort knowing that I have the capability to make a change in my game if I choose. It’s just a matter of swallowing my pride and a willingness to overcome the obstacles that stand in my way.
On a separate note, I have kept true to my promise on sealing away the Chinese Opening. It has yet to make an appearance even though I am on a losing streak. However, I am not tempted in the slightest to bring it back out yet. After all, for those who read Hajime no Ippo, I feel like the Chinese Opening is kind of like my “Dempsey Roll.” I am quite skilled at utilizing it to great effectiveness; but there’s been so much study on it that I must seal it away for now. Once I patch up my other weaknesses though, I have a feeling that I will be able to unleash something fearsome when I finally break the seal on it.
Today I played an interesting teaching game with frozensoul. After losing (as I normally do), he made a very insightful comment about my play: I have a tendency to settle positions quickly. In other words, instead of keeping my options open, I choose to instead play out a local area to completion before I’m entirely sure of what my strategy is for the game. As a result, it becomes a lot easier for stronger opponents to figure out what I’m aiming at and ultimately nullify it.
Though I try to keep as open a mind as possible in every game, it seems that I still fail to appreciate how much freedom players actually have during a game. You want to play three moves in a corner to try and eliminate my stone’s aji? No problem. I’ll go ahead and take the 2 other big points on the board and laugh maniacally later when my stone’s aji still comes back to bite you in the butt.
No longer do I wish to be imprisoned by my own volition and stubbornness. Go is a game of freedom. So from this moment forth, I will stop trying to see the game from the confines of everything I learned thus far. Instead, I will try to see the board as it truly is: a beautifully endless depth of possibilities and creativity.
For today's go meditation, I am showing the game where I became more aware of the impact of moves on a whole board scale in regards to "slow" moves along with how differentiating between active and passive moyos caused a shift in how I now valued certain moves. It is a teaching game that is a bit short, but hopefully it helps to illustrate what went on in my mind during that game.
Description: In the final installment of the Elementary Go Series, Yoshiaki and Bozulich lay down some basic principles for how one should play handicap go as black. In addition, there is advice on how to handle games as White along with practice problems to reinforce some of the lessons.
On Sunday, July 21st, I was able to finally join my friends at Yuan Zhou‘s Monthly Workshop! Though I was originally unable to go, I’m glad that I was able to make it out!
The day began as always with a tsumego on the demonstration board.
Though I had the correct answer at one point, I talked myself out of it by misreading the order of moves. As a result, I unfortunately can’t proudly say I solved it with confidence. Haha. But in terms of what I gained from that experience, I need much more work on my life and death skills. I’m decent with some of the instinctual moves, but I need to be better in terms of being absolutely sure of my answer.
After my friend Gurujeet answered the question correctly, we moved on to reviewing a professional game between Lee Sedol [9P] and Lian Xiao [4P]. It was an exciting game that really helped to open my eyes. Some of the major things I learned from the flow and tenacity of the players include:
Having nearly burned out after my last couple weeks of intensive study, I’ve scaled back on the study and refocused all of my energy on the Level Up Series. I have plans to slowly scale up to a more balanced regimen, but for now this seems to be working for me. Overall though, this week has been pretty calm. Nothing too crazy. The most memorable part was being able to attend the monthly go workshop. Otherwise though, just moving forward one step at a time…