Company Review: Yutopian

Review:

So for those who are looking at Yutopian too… yeah I detest the layout too. It’s just I know that there have got to be an amateur web designer who could easily redesign this. (Just another thing on my list if I ever get to be a prominent figure in Go) And not to mention the ordering method is almost just as sketchy as Kiseido. Fortunately for all of us though, it’s just as safe!

I ordered the Go Proverbs book by Nihon Ki-in, and it came within the 8 business days that was promised. The condition and packaging was nothing to complain about.

Keeping with tradition of my previous reviews, here’s my e-mail confirmation:

Yutopian email confirmation

Conclusion:

Nothing to worry about if you plan on purchasing books. I haven’t purchased any equipment from them yet, but I’d say if you really want something specifically from that site… you’ll probably be alright. (I still am personally biased towards YMImports if you compare the same products side by side).

Website Review: Sensei's Library

Review:

Sensei’s Library is Go’s wiki database. It encompasses pretty much any Go information that you could possibly want. It has a lot of great tips and is great for players of all levels and types. Since it’s a collaborative website, the clarity of the information is not always as consistent. This is not a huge problem though, since most of the articles I’ve perused through so far have been pretty solid.

My favorite part is the fact that if there is ever a term in the article that is confusing, they generally have already anticipated such confusion and hyperlink it to its definition. And trust me, I’ve been confused plenty of times (e.g. shicho (a ladder)… ponnuki (the diamond shape made from a one stone capture)….).

Conclusion:

Sensei’s Library will definitely be on my list for places to hit whenever I’m confused or don’t know where a term is, and it should be in your repertoire as well.

Journal Log #4

So I’m back online! With two online games under my belt today, I’m feeling pretty good.

  1. I played against a human AkiraWeiqi (22 kyu). It was a good battle. We both made some careless errors, but man it is different playing against a handicap. I’m so used to taking handicaps/even games that seeing stones on the board was like WHOA! I won by a slight margin, but I’ll have to have someone review it to see if he might have been able to close the gap.

  2. Second game was against the LiberyBot (14 kyu), and that I thought I played relatively well. I lost by 5.5 moku, but I think it was largely due to a huge reading error in one of my larger groups which then resulted in its death. Sigh…. need more practice.
    Okay. So… in terms of my study regimen…. here’s what we’ll be looking at.

  • Life and Death Problem
  • Reading about Go Strategy
  • General Go Problems
  • Play one serious game
  • Replay at least part of a pro game

Let’s see where that takes me. Onwards!

Playing Go Makes Your Brain Grow!

So I just read an interesting article from the AGA concerning how “serious studies of go causes actual physical changes in the brain.” Although this doesn’t come as much of a surprise for most serious go players, I think it’s great that we now have more significant data that will be useful in our proponent of the game.

As any relatively serious go player might expect, they found that “larger regions of white matter… that are related to attentional control, working memory, executive regulation, and problem solving” were found in what they termed as “long-termed trained players.”

This will be interesting to see more research studies done on what go can do for us mentally.

Original Article: http://www.usgo.org/news/2010/09/new-study-finds-playing-go-makes-brains-grow/

Journal Log #3

Hope everyone has had a restful Labor Day Weekend. Mine has been filled with 21st birthdays and craziness, but it’s time to get back to Go!

So over the last few days I’ve tried to play some games online, but I just can’t bring myself to complete any of them. I end up resigning halfway for some reason. I’m not sure whether it’s just cause I’m just itching to be playing with a real goban and stones, or what…. It’s putting me in a weird funk and I’m not sure what to do. sigh….

Need to do something about this….

Journal Log #2

So I visited the Greater Washington Go Club today. Man… it was definitely a different experience playing with people in person. I met a lot of great people, and my cousin and I learned a whole ton through their helpful comments and lessons. We spent a lot of time playing out various positions based on the 3-3 point invasion on the 4-4 star, and that was super helpful.

In addition to having a couple games commented on, I also experienced my first full game between two dan level players. That was awesome. And it reminds me of how much work I have to do before I can even be considered an average player. So it’s time I get back to my studies.

Shout outs go out to Hal, Betsy, and Justin for helping out. I’m sorry but I’m totally blanking out on three other names, but thanks for making the experience an awesome one.

How to Print Readable Go Records

So I’m not sure who else is having issue with this, but I most certainly did. So here’s a guide on how you can print readable Go records. To make things easier, I’m going to assume you are looking to print every 50 moves.

For those who want a free method, I recommend CGoban3.

  1. After you download and cue it up, click on “Edit SGF File.”

  2. Find the game you are looking for.

  3. Use the singular right arrow button to move progress through the game.

  4. DO NOT use the double arrow buttons as that will take you to the beginning or end of the game.4. Move forth to the 50th move. In the caption box above your digital goban, you should see something along the lines of “Move 50 (W m8): Black to play”

  5. Click on Options > Number Moves

  6. Make sure your start move is 1 and the end move is 50.

  7. The “Two digits only?” is up to you when you get to the triple digits.6. Click OK.

  8. Boom. Now click Options > Print.

  9. For the next sheets, you’ll want 51-100, 101-150, 151-200, and so on.

  10. Here’s an example:

For those who have SmartGo2, I contacted their customer service (who got back to me quite promptly) and this is what you have to do.

  1. Start by opening up whichever game you want to print out.

  2. Click Edit > Insert Diagram > Split main line of game record every 50 moves.

  3. Make that the Diagrams Toolbar is on.

  4. View > Tools > Diagrams

  5. The fourth box down is where my “Find next diagram” box is.4. Then click File > Print for the appropriate sheets.

  6. As with above, here’s an example:

They also recommended a method of exporting the diagrams, but I had no luck with that as of yet.

When you compare the two, I’m sure you noticed that there’s a coordinate system on the SmartGo2 that you can print out. As far as I’m aware, you can’t do that just yet with CGoban3. Another thing I really appreciate about the SmartGo2 is the fact that it prints out all the ko’s so that record keeping is easier. This means when you’re recreating your games you’re not like, “Where is the #$%& move 119?!?!” Though this is small, SmartGo2 also automatically prints what diagram it is (e.g. 101-150).

Don’t get me wrong though, the free one works fantastic and is a great alternative for those who aren’t quite ready to drop $50 to buy SmartGo2. I’ll try and come out with the reviews for the respective softwares soon enough so you can see if it’s worth your time. Hope this helps some of you out!

Journal Log #1

Sorry it took so long everyone, but I will now start adding my own anecdotes on my journey. As you all may have seen, I’ve been busy writing various reviews and reading as fast as I possibly can while still maintaining my life.

The time has come… all the beginning quests have been completed… and it is time to leave the home village where I have spent my beginnings. Let us overview my stats.

Read More

Company Review: Yellow Mountain Imports

Review:

Yellow Mountain Imports has the most well designed website that I’ve seen to date. It’s images do not take too long to load and show the absolute aesthetics of each of the games they sell. Everything is designed so well that it doesn’t take a computer whiz to navigate.

One of the great aspects about YMImports is the fact that they have “Game FAQs.” Essentially, any commons questions that may arise about purchasing some of the different games are already answered. In addition, any questions regarding how to play a number of games is also included!

If you are wondering what makes YMImports one of my favorite places to purchase things, it’s the fact that they have free shipping on orders over $125. Now now… I know that it may seem like a lot of money for some players out there, which is why it’s so awesome that THEY ALSO SELL ON AMAZON! A number of the things that you’d like to get (e.g. Deluxe Go Roll Up Magnetic Portable Set) can go for free shipping on Amazon at a lower cost to you.

Also, in case you are wondering, the shipping for regular items is about normal. Not too pricey since they tend to be shipping heavier items (e.g. boards or stones) and include a tracking number and usually ship within a week.

The best aspect of YMImports is their customer service. In the few times I’ve had issues or questions, I’ve always had a response within 12 hours. Like I mentioned in my review of the Shin-Kaya - 1-1/2” (4cm) Go Floor Board with Yunzi Stones and Bowls, I had missing stone pieces and they were quick to respond and ship out the replacements.

The only critique (if it can even be called that) I have about YMImports is the fact that a majority of their books tend to be written in other languages (e.g. Korean and Chinese). But that’s honestly a small thing compared to all the positive aspects they have.

Conclusion:

YMImports is one of the best places to get your typical Go equipment. If you are looking for higher end stuff, you’ll have to wait for me to get a well paying job before I can review that aspect. But other than that, this is the place to go for great and reliable equipment that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.