Archive: 8/2013

Monday Go Meditation: Game 23

For today's go meditation, I am happy to feature fellow go player and friend moboy78! We've talked about playing a longer game with one another for quite some time, and I'm glad we finally did! He was technically supposed to give me a 4 stone handicap at the time (since my rank had dropped to 6k). Hehe. xD However, though I don't ever like tooting my own horn, even I had to admit that my rank on KGS is pretty bogus for the most part. So we agreed to play an even game and played a really fun game that you will find below. Hope you enjoy!

Read More

Practice Practice Practice...

Credit to Ippo Wikki

Something interesting happened yesterday. I had just finished the arc in Hajime no Ippo&ei=6IoOUrG_FaWbygGL6oCwAg&usg=AFQjCNFFI0eP4wTVR8AszqReTx_t5ZpG1w&sig2=vGXcojo8m7DpILIfiStOww&bvm=bv.50768961,d.aWc) where Volg fights for a world title. And since I was looking to possibly play a game in real time, I got excited when I saw the chance to play someone from Russia. (For those who don’t understand the connection, Volg is a Russian boxer.) Before I knew it, I find myself neck deep in a complicated cross-fuseki game where all the fighting spirit I had been reading about had gotten into my blood and I was trying to strike at all of my opponent’s groups with everything I had.

There was one particular moment (towards the end of the game) where I found myself in a rather precarious situation where I could either make certain of absolute life or leave it up to a capturing race. I know that the old me (and probably a lot of other players) would have probably chosen the sure route to life. However, it felt kind of surreal as I glanced at the position and realized that I could just tenuki because I already knew the end-result of the capturing race: Black would never win due to a shortage of liberties.

The reason I’m writing about this is because I don’t think I’ve ever captured this kind of moment before in my journey. Do you know what I mean? It’s that moment where suddenly your training is starting to show its results and you feel as if something has dawned on you. In other words, all those tedious problems that I had practiced in the Level Up books had begun to show their true colors. Without much effort, I looked at my position and knew there was nothing to worry about.

I know that I have been kind of out of it the past week; but what happened in yesterday’s game is a testament to my efforts before. And I think it’s just what I needed to kick my butt back into gear with my training. Time to revisit my training menu once again!

Friday Go Forward: Week 28

Friday Go Forward: Week 28

Overview

Over this past week, I’ve been rather introspective about where I am in life and where I want to be over the next few years. While go has been an incredible addition to my life and has enriched in a more ways than I can count, I am working on figuring out how to utilize other aspects of growth to not only improve my overall self-achievement; but to also as transfer that knowledge back to go as well. A simple of example of this was my post on boxing earlier this week. So while my studying and playing has been rather laid back, I’m optimistic of the changes I’m making and the impact it’ll have on my go abilities. =)

Games

  • KGS - 4 games
  • DGS - 3 ongoing games
  • Nova - 2 ongoing games

Education & Training

  • Worked on Jump Level Up 1.
  • Worked on Joseki Jeongseok Compass.
  • Worked on Takao’s Astute Use of Brute Force.
  • Worked on Fight Like a Pro.
  • Worked on Get Strong at Joseki 1.
  • Worked on The Workshop Lectures Volume 4.

Just Discovered KGSBash...

I’ve been feeling rather off the last couple of days. Not sick or anything, but just feeling a little out of it. Haven’t really felt like studying, but it’s been fun playing a casual game here and there. But on a more important note, I just discovered a site called KGSBash. And if you’re wondering what it’s about, here are some that had me laughing…

#54
adoreme: it is said that kgs has a secret end stage
adoreme: get 9dan
adoreme: and beat 50 9dans in a row
adoreme: then tartrate will appear as the endboss

#49
RayFrost [2k]: I played a 3p today… with 9 handicap
RayFrost [2k]: I lost.
RayFrost [2k]: 3p is strong. :|
LazyDragon [3k]: i once played a 5p with 9hc - also lost …
tellone [2k]: i once played a very drunk 2p who forgot which collor he had
tellone [2k]: and i still lost

Oh KGS… Good times…

Boxing and Go

Credit to CrazyThemes

I’ve recently taken an interest in boxing, and I have to say that the more I study it, the more I can’t help but see similarities between boxing and go. Here are a few off the top of my head:

  1. There are two players in each match.

  2. Regardless of how badly each player might want to win, there can only be one victor at the end of the match.

  3. Exchanging blows with your opponent is inevitable and necessary for a good match.

  4. There are different styles of boxing that seem analogous the go styles as well (e.g., technician/point counter, infighter/fighting, etc.).

But most importantly of all, those who rise to the top are those who are instinctively faithful to the fundamentals.

After all, look at any boxer’s training regimen and what are you going to find? Running, jump rope, shadow boxing, combinations, sparring. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. There might be a few deviations occasionally depending on what muscle groups they need to build for certain techniques, but the training menu almost always consists of the fundamentals. And what does a fight primarily consist of? The basics: jab, cross, hook, uppercut, jab, jab…

So how is this relevant to go? Well, one topic that I know runs rampant throughout the community is the idea of getting stronger (especially for kyu players who want to reach dan level). And as I begin to study boxing, I can’t help but wonder what a go players training menu should look like? I mean sure, everyone will say do life and death problems, but that advice is so incredibly generic and subject to interpretation (as to how to study it) that I would guarantee that many players have gone astray and become frustrated with their progress because they couldn’t figure out what to do to keep getting better.

I know that no one has a magical formula for getting better at go; but I think that there is more wisdom that can be offered from my study of boxing in terms of trying to discover better guidelines for designing a training menu for go. After all, it’s not about knowing the most complicated joseki or knowing the common trick plays, but to instead constantly improve the fundamentals.

More on this as I continue researching and testing out different things…

Monday Go Meditation: Game 22

For today's go meditation, we continue with another game between cloudbrows and myself! Though not nearly as explosive as the last game we played, I think that this game is an excellent example of poor attacking along and the importance of whole board thinking. In addition, I am trying to expand the breadth of the review with more commentary than before in hopes of expanding the range of players that will be able to understand and gain something from my reviews. Let me know if there's anything more I can do!

Read More

The Surrounding Game Package Part 1

Surrounding Game T-Shirt, Postcard, Stone, and Kifu

So the first part of my package from The Surrounding Game came in last week! As you can see above, I got my black t-shirt, white stone from the game between Daniel Ko and Calvin Sun (that determined who received the first invitation to the AGA-Tygem professional certification tournament), the correlating game record, along with a postcard as well! Still waiting on the poster and DVD (although who isn’t waiting eagerly for it), but it was still great to get at least some of it to start!

On a different note, I think that I realized that while my attacking skills are rather abysmal, I have really come to terms with the fact that I may actually just be very poor at understanding what the board is telling me. In other words, am I able to look at any game in progress and already begin to get an idea as to the picture that is being painted? Is this a game of competing moyos? Or perhaps is Black behind even though his central moyo is looking enormous?

More on this when I have managed to put more words to what I’m feeling, but here are some close ups of the the stuff I received:

Close up of t-shirt, stone, and postcard

Back of the t-shirt

The game record that my stone came from!

Friday Go Forward: Week 27

Friday Go Forward: Week 27

Overview

Though this week cannot even begin to live up to 1% of the awesomeness that is happening on at US Go Congress, I will have to say that it has been a rather productive week. I’ve started really diving into some new books in an effort to really further my understanding of my failure as a player: the inability to attack properly. If you’re wondering why I make it sound so dramatic, it’s because I always considered myself more of a fighter / power type of player, and what kind of fighter or power player am I if I can’t even attack properly? Haha. =D But I think I’m making good headway on that, so hopefully I won’t have to write about this weakness of mine for much longer. Till next week!

Games

  • KGS - 5 games
  • DGS - 3 ongoing games
  • Nova - 2 ongoing games

Education & Training

  • Started and finished The Workshop Lectures Volume 2.
  • Started and finished The Workshop Lectures Volume 3.
  • Finished Get Strong at the Opening.
  • Worked on Jump Level Up 1.
  • Worked on Joseki Jeongseok Compass.
  • Worked on Takao’s Astute Use of Brute Force.
  • Worked on Fight Like a Pro.
  • Started working on Get Strong at Joseki 1.
  • Started working on The Workshop Lectures Volume 4.
  • Started working on The ABC’s of Attack and Defense.
  • Started working on Breakthrough Attacking Power.

Lesson Learned

  1. Whether you win or lose, the important thing is to find something you can learn from the game.

Book Review: Get Strong at the Opening

Get Strong at the Opening Cover

Get Strong at the Opening

Description: In the first volume of the Get Strong at Go Series, Bozulich presents 175 problems on the opening (fuseki) ranging in difficulty from easy to difficult. The problems begin with an analysis of the Chinese, niren-sei, sanren-sei, Shusaku, and tatsuki (diagonal) fusekis as well as other important opening strategies while the remainder of the problems are designed to hammer home to the reader the basic principles of the fuseki.

Read More

Sad I'm Not at US Go Congress 2013

As many of you are aware, the US Go Congress 2013 is currently going on and everyone’s focus is on it. Though I have been living vicariously through some friends who were able to go and try to watch the games that are featured on KGS, I must say that I am rather sad that I was unable to attend this year. It would have been an incredible to be able to experience and blog about a go convention of that level; but alas, I am here and they are there.

To console myself, I have been burying myself in more books in hopes of distracting myself from the constant reminders of how awesome Go Congress is. Haha. In addition, I have also decided that I will be making a sincere effort to make it out to US Go Congress 2014. So for all those who weren’t able to make it out this year, let’s try and start the preparations to make it out next year!