Yuan Zhou Monthly Workshop

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending another one of Yuan Zhou‘s Monthly Workshops!

We started off with a life and death problem that is called “hunting the 6 stone bird.” Apparently it’s a very old problem that has been around for a long time, for those wondering what the shape looks like. For those who would like to try it out for themselves, here it is below:

Black to play.

Afterwards, I got to hear a very captivating review for one of Lee Changho 9p Vs. Park Junghwan 9p games in the most recent Ing Cup World Go Championship. It was one that was full of full of suspense, excitement, and a capturing battle on epic proportions that made Park Junghwan the decisive victor.

As I listened to Yuan Zhou review the game, there were a few things that really struck me:

  1. Professionals pay particular attention to their weak groups. They almost never let a weak group go unattended for more than a move or two.

  2. Professionals never play follow the leader. They try to figure out what their opponent is trying to do, and then usually come up with a move to interrupt the flow of their opponent’s game.

  3. Professional games tend to steer away from killing groups. The reasons lies in the fact that it is very difficult to kill a group and you usually end up sacrificing a lot of points in the process of attempting to do so.

In addition, one of the biggest takeaways I had from the entire workshop is how incredibly important life and death is. I mean, sure, we all know that life and death is “important,” but I think that most players brush it off as a tedious chore that gets in the way of their game. And while I will be sure to write an article further detailing my new found appreciation for life and death, I leave you with this thought: Imagine the possibilities if you could live wherever you invaded/reduced. Wouldn’t every game become far more simpler?

After the review, we had lunch and played a game with one another. As I looked back on my game, I believe that the reverse komi (-7.5 points) caused my opponent to take more risks than he needed to. In addition, our ranks are most likely about equal, so I believe that the game was rather lopsided to begin with. With that in mind, I do think that my play overall was rather poor and still shows a lack of my attention to the fundamentals of strong players.