Archive: 2/2013

A Look Back at February

For those who are wondering how my studies of Korean go have gone, while I did not finish all the material that I originally set out to do, I have learned that Korean go is centered on fighting. I know that many people will say that they already knew this, but I will tell you that experiencing it firsthand is an entirely separate matter. It wasn’t until I was being pummeled by 5 dans on Tygem and studying the material they use that I began to really see the impressive feats Korean style go can accomplish. It will definitely become a useful weapon in my arsenal against the calmer players I have seen on KGS.

As March is literally right around the corner, I will have you know that I am now taking a free style approach to my training. If I feel motivated or excited to study something, that is precisely what I will study. I won’t feel obligated to begrudgingly finish a book because I started it. The only thing I will maintain consistently however, are my life and death problems. That will be the only aspect that will never change.

With my success at rising to the Alpha class in ASR, I have also decided that it is time for me to drop the league for now. I will be turning my attention towards playing more ranked games so that I can find out how much I have grown over these last couple of months. In addition, I’ve decided to join the Study Group Kyu tournament to see how my skills match up against other SDK’s. Since I will only be playing each opponent once, it should be less time consuming and may even give me a chance to play more ranked games as well.

Though it seems like just yesterday when I was attending the NAGC, it has been an exciting month where the experiences and adventures I’ve had this month will certainly serve as a critical milestone for me. Looking forward to what March will bring!

Get Your Game Reviewed Here!

For those who aren’t aware, I became a GoTeachingLadder reviewer some time ago; but I have yet to see a request for a review yet. Then, as fate would have it, hilbert90 made a brilliant suggestion for the upcoming Monday Go Meditations series: Why not open the reviews to the readers as well?

So, without further ado, I am excited to announce that:

Monday Go Meditations will also feature game reviews for readers!

Q: What does it cost?

Other than submitting your game record and allowing me to use your game review in a post, it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Q: Why should I submit my game here instead of GoTeachingLadder?

  1. Unless I’m out of town with no access to any internet, you can expect a turnaround within a week.
  2. When your game review is posted on the blog, you might get some interesting insights from other readers!

Q: How do I submit my game to you?

  1. Use the contact form to submit a SGF file to me.
  2. Save your game on Eidogo and be sure to include the link when you send your email.

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Trying to Find Balance

With the NAGC behind me, I’ve been hard at work trying to figure out how to best balance the various aspects of go in my life. In terms of the magnitude of impact go has on my life, here are the various activities I’ve outlined:

  1. Blogging - For those who have never blogged before, it’s not easy trying to find ways to ensure that you are providing current and interesting topics for your readers. So as you can imagine, a lot of time can be spent on this aspect.
  2. Playing games - Since go is more of a hobby for many people, it’s rather easy to play in intermittent periods of free time. For me however, I’ve realized that my games take a bare minimum of one hour (and often lean closer to two). And if we include the review, that’s a pretty big chunk of time. Haha.
  3. Studying / Training - They say that consistency is the key to the fruits of hard labor. Well, as much as I’d love to be studying go all the time, I have found that once I start studying, the hours pass me by as well. Not to mention, I have so many things I want to study!!! So my mind is often split in fifty different directions. Big problem.
    From my previous experience, I know that I can be prone to burnout if I become overly zealous. So over the weekend and for the rest of the month, I’m working on developing a system that will prevent burnout and me disappearing for months on end because I let the rest of my life deteriorate. No worries though, I don’t foresee that happening. =)

On a happy note, starting in March, I am happy to report that you can look forward to the following on the blog:

  • Monday Go Meditation - You will find a in depth game review of a game that I played every Monday at 9:00AM!
  • Weekly Go Wednesday - Just like before, you can look forward to go articles or reviews every Wednesday at 9:00AM!
  • Friday Go Forward - In continuation with the naming conventions, I will be letting you know my weekly progress every Friday at 9:00AM!
    Hope everyone had a great weekend!

North American Go Convention - Conclusion

IntroductionDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Conclusion

Fan Autograph

With the North American Go Convention over, I must admit that I miss the excitement of knowing I was going to be spending the evening or day immersed in go and hanging out with great company. Nonetheless, let us recap what’s happened over the last five days:

  1. Attended two professional lectures.
  2. Played 6 simultaneous games with professionals.
  3. Managed to actually win one of my simul games.
    Below is a close-up of all the autographs on the fan and the related games that I played.

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North American Go Convention - Day 5

IntroductionDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Conclusion

For my final day at the NAGC, I woke up a little later since I was pretty tired from the past four days. After all, on top of all the go and staying out late, I had been working as well. So when I found out that the first round was starting at 8:30am, I decided to forgo competing all together and just get there later for the pro events.

When I arrived, it was approximately 9:15am. As I looked at the schedule for the day, I noticed that the pro events were once again scheduled during the second half of each round. In addition, there were no breaks in between the rounds. If you wanted lunch or dinner, you had better hope your match ends early. So in short, trying to compete, have your meals, and attend pro events would nearly kill you.

Since the first pro event was starting at 10;00am, I went ahead and walked upstairs to see how the tournament was progressing. You can imagine my surprise when I arrived at the playing room to find that they needed another player since someone didn’t show up. Since there was still some time before the match and I felt bad that someone was missing an opponent, I decided to go ahead and play to help out. Since there was only 30 minutes before the pro event though, I tried to play as quickly as I could with the most aggressive method possible so that the game could possibly end early.

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Friday Go Forward: Week #4


  • KGS - 4 games (2 wins : 2 losses)


This week has been rather unfruitful in regards to training and what not. Been really busy with work, and as many of you are aware, I’ve been pretty busy trying to recap all that happened at last week’s North American Go Convention. My games have been somewhat hit or miss. Not the happiest with my performance this week, but I plan on finding ways to continue improving my game.

Meanwhile, the next week will probably be spent restructuring my schedule regarding blog posts and how training will all fit together without detracting from other aspects of my life. I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted when I have a finalized schedule that you all can look forward to. =)

North American Go Convention - Day 4

IntroductionDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Conclusion

For Day 4, I had the honor of having my mom come and join me for the day! She just learned the rules recently and I was excited when she told me that she wanted to come to an all day go convention!! Woot!!

When we arrived at the convention, I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of people at the registration room. As we settled down, I heard an announcement that everyone needed to check in if they wanted to compete. At the time, I was rather split as to what to do. On one hand, I wasn’t sure what the schedule for the professional events (i.e. lectures, simul games, reviews) was. In addition, I wasn’t sure I was okay with the idea of my mom sitting around for hours on end watching me play games when she was still so new to the game.

Once registration was finished, I thought it would be a good idea to show my mom what competitive go looks like. Upon our arrival upstairs, we found them posting up the pairings for the first round. For some reason, I had a feeling that I might have been included even though I did not check in. Sure enough, I found my name after a quick glance at the list.

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North American Go Convention - Day 3

IntroductionDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Conclusion

Shortly before leaving the convention on Day 2, I had mentioned to Myung and James that if they were free and didn’t have plans, I would be happy to take them out to dinner since they didn’t know the area very well. They told me that they would let me know how their schedule was the next day, so you can imagine how excited I was when I received a phone call letting me know that they would like to get dinner with me! Since they were in the Annandale area, I suggested that we meet at the Bonchon to get dinner.

As per usual, the traffic to Virginia was not cooperating with me as I attempted to make my way to them. When I finally reached my destination, I arrived to find Myung and James outside with a local Korean go player. I was a bit bewildered at first as to why they were outside, but then I realized that the Bonchon was closed!!! Bleh. Definitely not what I anticipated. So we adapted and headed off to the Fairfax location.

Credit to

If you’ve never had it before, it’s just heavenly…. Just thinking about it is making me hungry….

Before I knew it, we were munching and chatting the night away. Time passed us by rather quickly because before we knew it it was 7:00pm and we needed to rush back to the convention. Fortunately we weren’t too far away, but I did feel bad that I didn’t do a better job keeping track of the time. Since we were running a behind though, we went ahead and dropped Myung off before heading off to do a coffee run.

Once we got back and arrived at the building, we ran into a local go player who had stopped by for the convention but was leaving since there were only dans upstairs. When James hit the button to go to the 9th floor and nothing happened, you can imagine my face as I could only laugh as I realized that we would have to take the stairs once again. On the upside, having James helped to make the climb pass by much quicker.

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Not Dead But Deep Fried

No worries. I’m not dead. I apologize for not being able to update on a daily basis for the NAGC. After Friday, there was just no way I could keep up with writing and the convention at the same time. On the upside though, there will definitely be posts coming in the near future with game reviews and all. So there should be some good content heading your way.

On another note, my brain is rather fried at the moment. So I will probably be taking the rest of the month to take time to gather my thoughts and restructure some things around to reflect some of the insight I’ve received this past weekend. So for the rest of February, Weekly Go Wednesday will be on a temporary break. Meanwhile, I can assure you that I will be working hard to design a new system for blog content and how I can improve my study of go in order to help you gain a better understanding of my mistakes and lessons learned. Nothing to fear though, I will still be writing frequently and keeping you all posted on my progress. =)

North American Go Convention - Day 2

IntroductionDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Conclusion

Although the weather was much nicer this time around, it seems the fates were conspiring against me as I spent a good twenty minutes stuck in traffic due to an accident. Fortunately for me, I had left early enough that the delay was not going to make me incredibly late. On top of that, based on my experience yesterday, I didn’t have good reason to believe that arriving late would cause me to miss anything nor should I have worried that a huge crowd of people would suddenly appear on a Thursday night. Nonetheless, I still couldn’t help but feel anxious that I would arrive to find that the teaching/simultaneous games had started or were full.

By the time I parked my car, it was about 3 minutes prior to 7pm. I rushed into the building fully expecting to grab the first elevator and make it there just on time. Lo and behold, what do I see when I walk in the lobby? The elevators are being maintained. In case you’re not getting the full effect of what I felt, remember that the convention is on the 9th floor. (-.-)

Next thing I know, I’m bolting up 9 flights (although more like 18 since they were two flights per level) of stairs in a rush to get there on time. And when I finally make it up to the 9th floor, I am crestfallen as I look around and fail to see anyone around. The room that was setup for go lecture was full of employees holding a meeting, and the room where the we played our simul game yesterday was completely covered up.

“CRAP. Did I miss the memo about it getting cancelled or the address moving?!?!?!”

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