This week has been a little haphazard as far as training goes. I am happy to report that I did manage to play three games this week, so yay for that! I haven’t been as diligent as far as studying books, but that will come in due time. My main focus has been drilling tsuemgo for my “instinctive tsumego reading” ability. More to come on this idea next Wednesday!
After much thought, I’ve decided to bring back weekly progress reports since they provide some insight into what I’ve been up to. And while I used to use the Friday Go Forward series format in order to provide updates, that proved to be difficult since Friday is often very hectic and a lot can happen between Friday and Saturday. So these will now be released on Sunday for more comprehensive coverage of last week.
A couple days ago, I suffered a rather one handed defeat that was a rather rude awakening. Not only did I lose convincingly, but I made three very critical misreads during the game that sealed the deal. Needless to say, it was rather dishearteningly en you consider how much time I’ve put into my studying.
Of course, with a shock like that, it is only natural that I took some time to really evaluate how I have been studying. Though my reading productivity has been rather impressive to some, it is no surprise that I have ended up sacrificed accuracy in end. My reading speed is rather quick, but the lack of discipline when it comes to reading alternate variations or considering the fact that my opponent might just flat out ignore me is not taken into consideration when I’m actually playing. As a result, I have thought about different ways to approach my training.
So far, what I have decided that I need to switch from a task based productivity to a time based productivity. What does that mean exactly? Well, instead of trying to complete say 300 problems a day, I will instead devote a full 20 minutes to practicing problems. How ever many I finish is completely irrelevant, but I will hopefully be able to focus more on the accuracy and discipline of my reading this way. In addition, this will hopefully help me manage my time better and prevent me from throwing my life out of balance.
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!