Archive: undefined/2014

Monday Go Meditation: Game 64

Contrary to what I said last week, this week’s Monday Go Meditation features my Yunguseng Dojang game from last week. The reason for this is two-fold: (1) I didn’t play any other games over the past two weeks and (2) I’m still trying to keep MGM as current as possible.

As I mentioned before, I was feeling rather iffy before this game. My opponent was around 4–5k in strenghth, and with my ups and downs lately, I wasn’t so sure that I could even beat him. But before I could wallow too much in my own insecurities, the game started.

Note: Similar to the other YSD match I posted last week, any specific things I learned from the review will be omitted in this game to respect other members’ paid membership.

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Trying to Put the Pieces Back Together

I played the second round of my Yunguseng match tonight. To be honest, it was a game of mixed feelings. Though I hate to admit it, I’m not quite out of my slump yet. I could definitely feel it as I started getting antsy when the game began. I started being negative and worried that I would lose again. Yet on the other hand, there were moments where I managed to give my game some life as I surged forth with a desire to attack and try to harass my opponent’s group with as much vigor as I could muster up.

It was a bit weird being in this bi-polar/gray area of feeling like my go was rather aimless, having it spring back to life, making bad moves where I was completely off with my reading, and then having lively energy again. Then again I guess this is all part of trying to put the pieces together again. They don’t quite fit together at the moment, but I’m optimistic that they will become whole once again.

And though I would normally be concerned with how fast it would take or when it would happen, I’ve realized that doing so will not do me any good. I’ll just keep working on my weaknesses and play to the best of my ability. Everything will fall into place in due time.

PS. There won’t be any detailed commentary for this game, but I just wanted to mention that there are quite a number of mistakes and overplays in this game. So in case anyone wants to point out things like my lower left corner was supposed to die and so forth, no worries, got it all in the review.

My Experience with YSD - S9 - Part 1

Part I - Part II - Part III

Overview

Prelude: Out of respect to Sabum-nim (i.e., In-seong), the lessons learned are kept to a minimum since it is paid content and I do not want to infringe on that in any way, shape, or form. The game reviews also only contain highlights of concise highlights instead of my normal detailed reviews since I would inadvertently write about what Sabum-nim taught in the review (which would essentially replicate his lecture).

As a new member to the Yunguseng Dojang (YSD) during Season 9 of 2014, I was assigned to League A as my starting league (this is the highest league possible in the American division). I wasn’t sure what I was to expect, but I was excited at the prospect at being part of a formal training program.

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My First Demotion

Though there was a small chance that I would be able to stay in League A for Yunguseng Dojang, unfortunately I was unable to rise to the occasion and will receive my first demotion to League B.

Before Sabumnim’s Review*

I always thought that getting demoted would feel similar to seeing my rank drop, but I have to say that this feels worse. Maybe I’ll change my mind after the fact, but this feels worse. And if I were to give a reason why, it’s probably because I spent time and effort over an entire month only to be shown my inadequacy.

I would be lying if I said that I’m cool with it and feeling whatever about it. A large part of me is frustrated and disappointed with myself.

As I sulk in this aura of frustration and angst, it is causing a lot of doubt to spread. Doubt as to whether or not I actually got any stronger over this last month. Doubt as to whether I have any talent at all since my games were nothing to be proud of (as evident in the past reviews). Doubt as to what the hell I’ve been doing this entire month since I’ve been so unstable (especially towards the end of the month).

It’s stupid and childish to think such thoughts. I know. I guess I’m just really feeling at a loss for what is going on with me. While part of it might be mental, another part of me feel like there is something wrong with my go. I just feel like I can’t make sense of what I’m doing anymore.

After Sabumim’s Review

When I started writing this post, my self-pity almost caused me to skip the review since I wasn’t sure if I could handle hearing that my game was awful or anything that could further my self-doubt. So as I wrote the first section of this post, I thought that I was doomed to feeling awful for the rest of the night. Thankfully though, against my feelings of self-doubt, I decided to go ahead and stay for the review.

To my surprise, I was happy to find out that my game was actually not a bad game at all. In fact, though I have been in a weird funk lately (in regards to the games I’ve been playing), this final game was probably one of most inspired ones so far. It’s kind of odd writing that because I ended up losing a rather important match, but I really feel that it was one of my most creative games I’ve played to date.*

Part of me still carries some of the frustration from earlier, but I’m in a better place now. Though getting demoted to League B is a bit disappointing, it simply means that I’ll need to work hard next month to get back to League A. Challenge accepted.

*Note: Sabumnim is the Korean equivalent of sensei when it comes to how to address your teacher. And in case it wasn’t obvious, sabumnim refers to Inseong.

**Part of me debated deleting this section to shelter you from my whining and self-pity, but I felt it would be wrong to try and hide it. As much as it might be pathetic and childish, this is part of my journey to gaining that next stone. The frustration, the self-doubt, and the feeling of wanting to just throw in the towel are all obstacles that I deal with and I don’t want to sugarcoat it at all. So for that reason, I hope you’ll understand why I left it in.

*I’m sure many of you will want to see the game, but I promise I’ll be releasing a full post on my first month in Yunguseng Dojang next week so you can see all of my games along with my thoughts on each of them as well.

On Thin Ice

The first month of Yunguseng Dojang (YSD) is almost over and you know what that means: top two players get promoted while the bottom two players get demoted. And as you might have guessed from the title of the post, I am on thin ice this month.

Based on my calculations of how the rest of the players in my league will do, everything hinges on my final game this Thursday. My opponent is already guaranteed a spot in League A, so for some reason I feel even more pressure since he holds the key to my fate next month.

To my surprise, I am more worried and stressed out about this than I would have imagined. Perhaps it’s due to sheer ego and desire to remain in the top class, but I do feel pressure to stay in League A next month.

Ah well. No point sitting here dreading and worrying about it. Off to prepare what I can before the game.

Friday Go Forward: Week 62

Overview

This week has been a continuation of trying to get used to the new training regimen that I started last week. Believe it or not, I have been rather successful at playing more instead of solely focusing on studying. So in that regard, things are a success.

On the other hand, I lost again in my match this week for Yunguseng Dojang. After some thought and introspection, I have come to the conclusion that my go has become very impatient lately. I try to complicate the game with every move while also experimenting with a territorial style that just ends up not working out for me. Sigh.

Ah well. It has been fun experimenting with the territorial style. And who knows? Maybe this little detour of mine will help to patch up some of my weaknesses from my normal style. Guess we’ll have to see!

Training Regimen

  • Spend about 50% of your time playing games.
  • Spend 10 minutes/day perusing a new book of go.
  • Spend 20 minutes/day diligently working on the Level Up series.

Games

  • Tygem - 6 games
  • IGS - 2 games
  • KGS - 3 games
  • DGS - 5 ongoing games
  • OGS - 3 ongoing games

Books

Lessons Learned

  • Patience is an important value when playing go.
  • When you have an overwhelming advantage, (1) don’t become overconfident and (2) don’t give your opponent a chance to turn it around.

Another Notch of Defeat

I just finished my second round of Yunguseng Dojang. As the title of the post states explicitly, it was another sound defeat to be added to my battle staff of go.

On one hand, I want to make myself feel better by telling myself that I played well. On the other hand though, I also was playing completely out of my style this game as well.

I don’t know why it is, but lately I’ve been trying really hard to use the territorial style as White. And then on top of that, I’ve been hell bent on making the game as complicated as possible from the start. So that ends up putting me in experimental territory that I’m completely unfamiliar with.

Do I wish I would have managed to win my second round? Yeah. Feeling a bit crummy at the moment. Hopefully the review will shed some light on my mistakes. Ah well. Off to bed I go.

No More Cutting Corners

Up till now, my go studies have been pretty sporadic. I may have read my fair share of books and watched my fair share of videos, but I would have to say that I really never spent the time and energy really absorbing them. Sure, I was exposed to lots of new concepts and ideas; but implementing them in my games was a whole different animal.

After reading a post from fellow go blogger Noseki, I was inspired to take a new approach with my go studies by fully immersing myself in it. For example, in my game for Yunguseng Dojang, I replayed every move on the real board and really took my time to absorb each and every move (which is the reason I ended up losing on time since I completely did not pay attention to my computer which was telling me I was running out of time).

In addition, I’ve also revamped my primary study materials for books. I’m going back to the Level Up Series (starting with Level Up! Review 1 since I don’t have time to start all the way back at Level Up 1) and working my way through it with extreme thoroughness. In other words, no solution whatsoever. I will work through every problem and solve it with absolute certainty before moving on.

If I have any hope of becoming any stronger, I think that it’s finally time that I stopped cutting corners. The time for me to be knocking at the door of the dans is fast approaching, and I have no intention of letting myself be caught unawares when that time comes.

Friday Go Forward: Week 61

Overview

This week has been focused on one thing: playing more games. As you’ll notice in my games section, I played a whopping 18 live games this week! And though I have been on an epic losing streak (with an occasional win to here and there), I can definitely feel the inexperience of being on the battlefield affect my play. Hopefully in time I will be losing due to actual mistakes instead of just playing moves on the board “just because.”

Another milestone for this week is the official start of the Yunguseng Dojang! The first official lecture was on Monday (May 5th) and it was on local techniques. Though I had heard of the techniques before (i.e., across attachment, break the dog’s face, and indirect defense), it was really great to have Inseong break down the different techniques while also showing where they appear within real games.

I also played my first round as well last night. I ended up losing by time (because I was playing the game on a real board and lost track of time), but I felt that it was a game I wasn’t ashamed of. I tried a number of new things and tried to avoid any egregious errors. Of course, in the review, I got torn apart so it didn’t feel so great; but I think those are the kinds of lessons that tend to burn in your memory. Ah well. Next game I’ll do better!

Training Regimen

  • Spend about 50% of your time playing games - Though I haven’t measured this out with accuracy, I am simply trying to make sure that I play as much as I can. Believe it or not, I’ve started playing 10 minute games in order to ease up time pressure on myself. I used to hate this time setting, but I’m starting to gain a new appreciation for it. More on this when I’ve solidified my position on it.
  • Spend 10 minutes/day perusing a new book of go - I happen to have a lot of books that I own but haven’t read, so I created this new task in order to allow me to actually go through all the books that I own. I know it’s not quite the same as studying, but it’s fun for me and plus it’ll allow me to put more book reviews up in the future.
  • Spend 20 minutes/day focusing on one topic of go - I’ve noticed that my attention span for a particular subject is super volatile these days. One day I’m interested in positional judgment, and the next day I’m curious about joseki. So instead of binding myself down to the same book (which gets boring for me), I devised this task in order to allow for topic changes while still giving myself adequate time to really study and absorb one topic per day. Lectures also can be used in place of books as well.

Games*

  • KGS - 6 games
  • Tygem - 20+ games
  • IGS - 5+ game
  • DGS - 5 ongoing games
  • OGS - 3 ongoing games
    *I’m probably going to need a new structure for doing this. I’m starting to play a lot more now and it’s getting hard to track the exact number of games I’ve been playing. Do you think it’s useful that I keep specific metrics? Or is there something better I can do. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Books

  • Dictionary of Basic Joseki, Volume 1
  • The Theory and Practice of Tsumego
  • Positional Judgment

Videos

  • YSD - AYD S9 1st lecture Knight move across attachment / Break the dog’s face / Indirect defense
  • YSD - Season 1 Fri 1st July 20:00 Opening Theory, ABC Examples (In Progress)
  • YSD - Season 6 1st lecture Theme lecture ‘1-2-3 reading’ (In Progress)