Archive: 3/2013

Friday Go Forward: Week 8


  • KGS - 8 game ( 6 win : 2 loss )
  • DGS - 7 ongoing games


  • Go Game - Life and Death (iPad App) - Practice Phase 2 ( Class 6 - 10 )


  • Elementary Go Series, Volume 5 - Attack and Defense - Page 21-57


Although it doesn’t feel like it, this week has actually been pretty active in regards to playing. As you can see, I have seven ongoing games on Dragon Go Server! And although this isn’t final or solid quite yet, my KGS account did manage to hit 5k this week! So we’ll see whether or not it sticks around. Haha.

Meanwhile, I find myself actually taking even more time to play games than I used to. I’m in this weird place where 30 minutes feels a bit too short but anything longer than that takes a long time and can be very tiring. Oh well, looks like I have two more things I need to improve: (1) Stamina & (2) My Brain’s Processing Speed. After all, I need to get myself competition ready! MD Open 2013 is only two months away!

Many thanks to the following people for taking the time to find me and play with me on DGS: Paul, Tilwen, Devin, Tyler, Andrew, Todd, and Gurujeet! I’m looking forward to seeing what you all play next!

Ranked Games and My Slow Brain

Lately I’ve noticed that I seem to have trouble finding time to play ranked games. On the other hand, whenever a friend asks to play a game, I always manage to scrounge up the necessary time to play. After some thought, I believe it is for any of the following reasons:

  1. With ranked games, I have this subconscious fear of not playing my best and losing.

  2. When playing against friends, the burden of playing to win is lifted from my shoulders. As a result, even though the games take just as long as a ranked game normally would (or even longer), I’m at ease playing them because I don’t have a problem resigning the game if anything were to come up.

  3. Continuing with that idea, I think part of me is fearful that I will be unable to complete a ranked game in its entirety. In my defense though, I have lost a game on time before because I was interrupted and needed to take care of some things. So the idea of losing a ranked game because of anything other than skill makes me shudder.

Also, I’m at this weird point in my growth where my abilities are directly proportional with how much time I spend thinking about a move. Although this may sound common sense to many, I have heard that there are a number of players who can think all day long but will still come up with the same types of moves regardless. An obvious example of this would be joseki. Some players play joseki faithfully by the book because it says that the result is even. For me, it seems that the longer I spend thinking about a move, the more likely it is a better move than what I thought of previously.

Recently, I have found myself spending more and more time in the opening trying to figure out how certain moves or potential responses will affect the game as a whole. As a result, I am finding myself in byoyomi even as early as the middle game sometimes. Since it’s such a new way of thinking for me, it is a very laborious and intensive process that takes a while for my brain to trudge through. Can’t wait till it becomes more innate and engrained into my go…

Going On Tilt

Weekly Go Wednesday #20

Credit SilverOakCasino

For those who are not familiar with the realm of poker (or gambling in general), going on tilt refers to a emotionally wild state where a player is prone to make irrational decisions and often ends in their unfortunate demise.

To illustrate, imagine that you have a straight flush (5-6-7-8-9), which happens to be second best hand that a player can have in the game. Mathematically speaking, the odds of your opponents having the royal flush (which is the best hand) is so slim that it’s practically not worth mentioning. To sweeten the deal, none of your opponents have any idea that you have this amazing hand and you’ve reeled them in for a ton of money. When time comes to show the cards, you find out that the impossible has happened: one of your opponents has the royal flush and cleans you out.

In a fit of rage and frustration, you go to get more cash and start to play wildly and bet aggressively in an attempt to win back what “should have” been yours. Over the next few hours, not only do you fail to win any money back, but now you are in a bit of debt and in the most terrible of moods. That is what going “on tilt” is. And it is no different with go.

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40th Maryland Open - Go Tournament!

For those who are on the East Coast or have plans to be in the area during Memorial Weekend, be sure to try and come out for the 40th Maryland Open Go Tournament! Here is a basic rundown of the event for those who are curious:

  • When? May 25th and 26th, 2013 (Saturday and Sunday)
  • Where? 501 N. Rolling Road, Catonsville, MD 21228 (near Baltimore)
  • What? 5 Round AGA Rated Tournament (3 Rounds on Saturday & 2 Rounds on Sunday)
  • Why? As if playing go in person was not enough incentive, there will be prizes in all sections (dan and kyu) from Yellow Mountain Imports and cash prizes for the open section!

For more information or to sign up, please be sure to visit their site here: Maryland Open 2013. Hope to see you there!

Up and Roaring on DGS

Thanks to Paul, it seems that I may never ever be in a playing slump ever again. Haha. I am now officially active on Dragon Go Server (DGS)!

The first time I tried playing on DGS, I never turned on the notifications feature and thus could not quite grasp the beauty of turn based go. Now that the feature has been turned on though, I find it pretty exciting when I get an email telling me it’s my turn to play.

For those who find that they are a bit short on time and can’t block out a couple hours for a good game of go, I completely agree with Paul in that this is a fantastic way to fill the void of not being able to play. In fact, I think there may be some validity in Paul’s sentiment of turn based go helping him to improve faster since “a subconcious piece of my mind [is] dwelling on board positions” as he goes about his day. As someone who is starting to play turn based go, I certainly hope he’s right!

Especially for those of you who are busy with school and can never find time to play a game with me, I definitely think DGS is the way to go. And to sweeten the deal, there is even a free Android (search for anDGS)/iPhone app (search for Dragon Go Client) so you can play on the go! My username is bengozen on there as well, so add me and send me an invite for a game! Looking forward to seeing you across the board!

Friday Go Forward: Week 7


  • KGS - 1 game ( 1 win : 0 loss )


  • Essential Life & Death (Vol. 2) - Complete
  • Go Game - Life and Death (iPad App) - Practice Phase 2 (Class 3 - 5)


  • Elementary Go Series, Volume 5 - Attack and Defense - Page 1 - 20
  • Dictionary of Basic Joseki: Volume 1 - Page 16 - 32
  • The Chinese Opening - Pages 50 - 63
  • 36 Stratagems Applied to Go - Pages 1 - 9


Overall, it’s been a rather quiet week in terms of games. In the meanwhile though, I’ve had lots of little bits of free time that have allowed me to peruse various topics that I’ve had my eye on for some time. So in terms of learning new things, it’s been a rather enriching week. I still have a lot to sort through regarding lessons that I’ve had from frozensoul, zyoda, and Myung, but I’m hoping to get to them next week so I can really solidify what they’ve taught me.

Playing Against Yourself

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #19

Hei Jia Jia vs. "Bai" Jia Jia Credit to GoGameGuru

Whenever you sit at a goban and prepare your next move against your opponent, it is only natural that you view your opponent as an obstacle to overcome. Yet, I recently received a rather thought provoking concept: imagine as if were playing against yourself.

You’re probably wondering, “How could that possibly help? After all, if that’s so helpful, shouldn’t I just setup a goban and play myself 24/7 and then I’ll become 7 dan eventually?” Well, it doesn’t quite work that way, but I’m glad you asked.

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A Playing Slump

It seems I’ve hit a bit of a playing slump recently. Every time I’m asked to play a game, I find myself turning down most games (except in rare cases where frozen or a friend asks for a game).

It’s not so much that I don’t like playing anymore, but each time I want to start a game, I have this nagging feeling that something else needs to be done or start feeling worried that I’ll be interrupted. After all, a full game of go for me can easily take anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours without skipping a beat. And frankly, life has not been too lenient in terms of giving me 2 hour blocks of time to play a game of go. As a result, I’ve been rather hesitant lately to play any ranked/tournament games for fear of needing to leave, resign, or rush the game.

For those who have been following, that is a recipe for disaster for my go. Odds are very good that I will end up regretting the game I played. So to avoid me possibly going on tilt or becoming frustrated, I’ve been doing a bit of reading, studying, watching, and reviewing other people’s games in order to get my go fix. Although I know it isn’t quite the same as playing the game, my little workaround will have to suffice until life eases up a bit.