My Experience with YSD - S9 - Part 2

Part I - Part II - Part III


With one month of Yunguseng Dojang (YSD) in my pocket, I was ready to take on this next month with a whole new perspective. However, this month would not be the bright new sunshine that I thought it would be.

Lectures & Homework

For this month, the three lecture topics were:

My Games

Round 6

Preliminary Thoughts - With my first match being against my friend nadoss, I was a little nervous since I always feel kind of weird when playing a friend in a competitive nature where something is at stake (i.e., our rank in YSD). In addition, I knew that nadoss could play at a level higher than his rank, so I was trying hard to remember not to take him lightly.

After the Game - While I managed to win, it was a victory of mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was glad to win the first round of month 2, but on the other hand, I did not feel like I played as well I could have.

After the Review - Overall I wasn’t criticized too much for my play, but there were certainly mistakes here and there. I think the only thing I did well was being able to keep a whole board focus for some of the critical points in the game. However, this is not something I feel any pride in because there is a 5 stone difference between us anyways.

Round 7

Preliminary Thoughts - This week I’m playing a 5 kyu. For some reason, playing even games against players with a lower rank than me by 2 stones or more makes me nervous. I guess I’m worried that I’ll get overconfident and underestimate my opponent, and then lose!! Haha. Ah well, just have to remember to play the best moves I possibly can. As long as I do that, I’m hoping I’ll have no regrets.

After the Game - The game ended up boiling down to a huge capturing race. It wasn’t necessary, but I got it in my head that it was time for White to die and I nearly killed myself in the process. Completely unnecessary and a poor decision on my part. On top of that, I even proudly played an empty triangle because I thought it was the firmest way to kill. hangs head in shame

After the Review - Inseong essentially confirmed my thoughts on the game. In fact, if anything there was probably more negative things to say about the game than positive. I was just fortunate that my slack moves were not punished properly. I really need to work on my mindset when playing people a couple stones or more weaker than I am…

Round 8

Preliminary Thoughts - Prior to playing this game, I went on a 5 game losing streak* that very day. I was in the worst of moods and clearly on tilt. So as I geared up to play the 4k of our group, part of me flinched at the idea since my last loss was to a 4k as well. And I know that my opponent was no ordinary 4k, so as I prepared to challenge him to our match, I couldn’t help but feel some dread at adding a 6th loss to my day.

*And if you’re wondering how bad it was, my rank dropped from 2k to 4k. Yup. That bad.

After the Game - I can’t believe I won. When I was counting towards the end, I was pretty sure I was behind by like 10 points (although I will admit I completely forgot I had komi, but nonetheless I would have still been behind according to my rough estimates). While a relief in one respect, it definitely felt like a growing moment as the game was very different from my normal aggressive game. It was surprisingly calm.

After the Review - Overall the review went pretty well. I missed a couple of key points that would have been pretty bad for me if my opponent was able to see it at the time; but there wasn’t anything overly critical. So all in all, I’m pretty happy with the result of the game and my ability to stay in control till the very end (considering how bent up I was at the time).

Round 9

Preliminary Thoughts - Tonight’s opponent is one that I was rather worried about because he had an atypical playing style. In summary, he was very comfortable using 5–3 as one of his opening moves. Being as how I have little experience with it, I was admittedly worried. So while I did try to read up on 5–3 a little bit, I didn’t feel as prepared as I would have liked before playing this game.

After the Game - Losing the game was rough because it meant that I was not guaranteed a promotion anymore. In addition, I thought that I was in control for a good portion of the game; but ended up giving up away too much in the center and lost. Sigh. Frustrated for sure…

After the Review - Sometimes the most frustrating thing is knowing you were right about being in control for a good portion of the game. And then when you make one single error that goofs up your entire advantage…. Argh! Makes you just want to throw your hands up in disbelief at your own incompetence… Although on an interesting note, I was very close to discovering a tesuji that would have allowed me to win the game. So that’s pretty cool.

Round 10

Preliminary Thoughts - Once again, I was put in the position of having my final match be the determining factor between whether I get promoted or not. Sigh. And on top of that, I was fighting a slump so the pressure was not helping at all…

After the Game - I lost… Once again… I choked at the final moment and loss. Just no words at this time. Can’t even stay for the review because of how frustrated I am with my go.

After the Review - It wasn’t until a few days later that I finally sat down to watch the review. To my surprise, sabum-nim actually had mostly positive things to say about my gameplay. Granted, in the end my opponent triumphed and destroyed me; but at least the game wasn’t hopeless. So while I was really bummed out after the game, I’m at least glad that the review wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be.

Final Thoughts

This has been a rough month for me, but a lot of it has to do with other factors and not so much with YSD itself. The YSD games certainly showed my decline and poor play over the month, but they are certainly not to blame. At the bare minimum, I am at least grateful to Inseong for his reviews and insights so that I can patch up my mistakes and continue getting stronger. Here’s to hoping next month is better.

Part I - Part II - Part III