Archive: 10/2010


Here’s a game that I wanted to put in my article on Bad vs. Wrong Decisions. Although this was a game against a 14k (I was 13k at the time), I gave it my all and I must say it was quite a match. (I’m white)So this is something I’ve definitely noticed. For some reason, there seems to exist this seemingly large gap between those who are SDK and those who are DDK. Now I know you’re probably like, imagine the gap between SDK and amateur dan, and then the gap between amateur dan and professionals! Trust me, I was quite aware of the barriers awaiting me when I began learning this game. It’s definitely interesting though, the way SDK’s play vs. DDK’s. At this point, if I’m matched up to a DDK, I think I’m in pretty solid shape. On the other hand… it doesn’t seem like I’m quite ready to take on an SDK yet (even game that is). I played an SDK last night in person, and lost by ~13 points even though I had a 3 stone handicap… bleh…. When I figure out where that gap is though, I’ll be sure to let you know.

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Ordinary Moves

So I’m rereading the Fundamentals of Go by Kageyama, and I have to say this is definitely one of the best books a Go player can use in terms of getting stronger. He comments on the fact the amateurs often try these outlandish moves while professional stick to the ordinary and basic moves. This struck me and since then I’ve been trying to keep my moves relatively simple. More on this to come when I derive more meaning from his statement and how others can apply it to their own game.

Here is a game that I played today as I defended my recent promotion to 12 kyu against an 11 kyu in an even game.

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Bad Moves vs. Wrong Moves

So I was in my Group Decision Making class yesterday when we began discussing the difference between a bad decision and a wrong decision. In all honesty, most people use the words interchangeably and don’t even give it a second thought. Unfortunately though, they are all very wrong (and yes I mean wrong and not bad). Why is that? Because wrong decisions in nature are better than bad decisions. What?! Preposterous is what you may say, but hear me out.

_A wrong decision is one that usually results in an undesired manner. _

Example: Investing in Stock A may end up being a wrong decision for Person X because the stock market will crash soon after.

_A bad decision also results in an undesired as well, but the crucial difference is the lack of the decision process leading up to it. _

Example: Person X invests in Stock A simply because the TV says that the stocks for Company A are going way up without any research to verify the information.

Why is someone who blogs about Go talking about this? It’s because I think that all Go players alike should and must differentiate the difference between a bad move and a wrong move. Players absolutely need to solidify this concept when interpreting their moves in order to get stronger. A wrong move can be played because it is not nearly as effective or does not achieve the aim intended. A bad move on the other hand, generally lacks any planning whatsoever and is just played instinctively out of some pre-joseki type thinking.

Example: My opponent placed a 3-3 invasion! Time to follow the joseki I memorized!

To all players out there, we all make mistakes. We will continue to make wrong moves as time goes on. It is inevitable due to the fact that human beings are not perfect. The one thing we can do though, is prevent ourselves from making bad moves. That is not to say you cannot test out a move, but to do so without the intention of testing and some sort of reading ahead would render it a bad move. I hope this helps some of you understand a bit more about your moves when reviewing your games. Good luck!


I recently wrote a post concerning being able to overcome the blade of your opponent. To not fear it, but to step forth and dive into the abyss.

As a manga reader, I’ve recently read the Fairy Tale chapter. There is a scene where the protagonist (Natsu) faces an unsurmountable strength. When confronted, Natsu normally will not stop until he wins. For the first time however, he admits defeat. And just when he does, his opponent then says:

“Fear is not ‘evil.’ It is to know your own weakness. If you know your weakness, people can become strong.” - Gildartz

As much as I try to avoid it, failing to save a vital group that costs you the game is one that still gets me in a bad mood. See the following kifu to see. The game changers starts at Move 95.

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Sneak Peak: Player's Mentality

So I’ve spent most of the day pretty swamped. I played two games, but I won’t be posting those just to give everyone a break from my kifus. I’ve spent a lot of time watching a lot of frodwith’s games. It’s been very enlightening and fun just to watch games from a spectator point of view. I won’t dabble on it too much tonight since I have midterms coming up, but we talked about a player’s mentality and how much that affects a person’s game.

I’ll post more about that eventually, but for those eager to get a sneak peak:

It’s important that we maintain a proper state of mind regardless of our opponents and whether or not the games is ranked or free. It’s not so much that you can’t relax and have fun playing games and always aim to obliterate your opponent, but the fact that poor mentality can lead to bad habits which may end up showing up in your actual games that you value.

For example, I tend to get extremely aggressive whenever I get matched up with a weaker opponent. This leads to overextensions that cost me in the game later on. (This is probably why I lose a nice percentage of my games). On the other hand, if I play a stronger opponent that makes me shake with anticipation, I play significantly better. So… how to balance this out? I’ll let you know once I get it right. =D

First Tournament!

So the UMBC Go Tournament was the first tournament I helped to run and play in. What a fortunate occasion! Anyhow, it was a bit of craziness trying to transport everything. I need to figure out a better system for the future (although thank goodness I had portable carts, an empty box, and an empty luggage).

Tournament Summary: We had about 20 people show up. It was apparently not a huge showing but I think it was pretty good for a tournament that was planned and announced within a month. We’ll aim for better next time.

Results: Justin Teng and Jason Long took 1st place in their respective divisions. How did I do? 0-3. (There was an odd number of players in Round 2 so I dropped out for that round).

Overview: The first two games I lost were against SDKs. I took no handicap against the first match which proved to be disadvantageous but I don’t think I played poorly. In the other SDK game I actually played quite well but my opponent managed to bring a large group back to life. In the final loss against a DDK, there was a lot of fighting but I spread myself out too thin.

Meta-Analysis: I’m happy with my results. I played interesting games where I wasn’t afraid to jump into questionable territory for fear of not gaining a win. I fought well and believe that my issue is the inability to maintain well balanced play throughout the entire game. That’s okay with me, because that means there is very obvious and definite growth in the horizon.

Take-Away Lesson: What does it mean to lose? What does it mean to win? There’s a scene in Hikaru no Go where Akira’s dad (who was considered the best player in that day in age) loss a game against Ogata. And instead of focusing on the fact that he lost, the audience focused on the fact that his game of Go had taken a new life and was evolving in new and exciting ways. That’s the way one should view the results. It’s always nice to have a solid win, but growing and learning from your game is the only we can progress not only on the board, but in life as well.

The Tip of Their Swords...

Lately I’ve been looking at my style of play. It’s always safe, nice to opponents, and afraid to try anything new for fear of losing. Erm… yeah that wasn’t working out. Evolution requires trial and error, to think anything less will only result in a stable condition which will allow others to surpass you.

Who remembers the following scene?

Hikaru No Go: Volume 7

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Everything is Connected to Everything

Yesterday I went on tilt and promptly lost four games in a row. After that, with no sleep and a ten page paper on my mind, it was game over for any other games I tried to start. It wasn’t until last night where I finally ended my streak with a win over a 14k.

So the question for new players is: how do we prevent this tilt? It’s something that I hope to be able to write about in length in the future; but for now, I hope that the following perspective will help shed some light for you.

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On Tilt

So I’m unbelievably busy with grad school work now, but that didn’t stop me from trying to play today. I have a ten page paper to finish by 7:00pm, and I played go… I know…. Anyhow, I lost my first game due to failing to defend a single point. Unfortunately, with all the stress, lack of sleep, and urgency of other things that I need to do, I went on tilt and could not regain composure. Against my better judgment, I went ahead and played another game after that. No good either. Two resignations. Ugh…

The lesson of the day is simple. It’s just like Yuan Zhou told me, “When you play Go, you don’t want to have other distractions or other tasks eagerly waiting your attention.” And I definitely think that all this school stuff definitely impacted the quality of my games. sigh. It was two games… need to just move on.

Make that three losses… this is just an awful streak. I’m being outfought in every battle… absolutely pathetic…

Rematch 2!

This will be my only game for today. It was played pretty poorly in my opinion. That’s what I get for playing first thing in the morning I guess. The fun part is that I got to play an opponent that I had played before on my zenix account. At the time, he was 16k and I was 19k, and I managed to win by 30 points! Needless to say, I was excited at the prospect of being able to play with him again on equal grounds!

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