Archive: 9/2013

Book Review: Commented Games by Lee Sedol: Volume 1

Commented Games by Lee Sedol: Volume 1 - One Step Closer to the Summit

Description: Described as many as the Korean version of Invincible, this series contains some of the most detailed commentaries that I have read thus far. In addition, it is evident that Lee Sedol (9P) and Lee Sena have worked work to make the content accessible to both that beginner and intermediate players as well. This book not only goes into Lee Sedol’s thought on go strategy and his thoughts on the moves that occur; but also talks about his feelings and mental state during each game along with anecdotes from his journey to being one of the strongest go players in the world.

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Monday Go Meditation: Game 26

For today's go meditation, I will be reviewing a game I played recently with fellow go tweeter goBum! Though we have known each other for quite a while now, I'm surprised it's taken us so long to finally play a game with one another. =D Nonetheless, I'm glad we were finally able to do so and you can see the game below along with some insight that I received from a dan player who gave us a review afterwards. There are quite a few moments where I made abysmal moves that are shameful and vulgar, but it was a fun game and I definitely learned quite a bit from it. Many thanks to goBum for letting me use the kifu and I hope I can give you a better game next time!

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Two Degrees of Lee Sedol

That's my friend Eric Lui playing against Lee Sedol!!! AHH!!!!!!!! Photo Credit to GoGameGuru

I don’t know if any of you have ever heard of the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” (which is a deviation from the theory “six degrees of separation“), but it essentially boils down to the idea that every person is connected to another within six connections. And as you might guess based on the title of my post, I am writing because my friend Eric Lui had the honor of competing in the 2013 Samsung Cup and got to play against Lee Sedol!!!! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous in the least, but that is still just plain epic!!!!!!

Now of course, while this usually is worthy of a post all on its own, there is another reason I’m also writing about Lee Sedol. Prior to all of above, I injured my left hand from boxing and have had to take it a little easier as of late. Since I’m trying to rest in order to quickly recover, what better way to fill the time than to study some go? And guess who’s book I happened to decide to study. That’s right. Commented Games by Lee Sedol Volume 1!

As I was working through it, I came upon an anecdote where his sister described how his father used to train him when it came to solving life and death. Lee Sedol’s father stressed accuracy and would scold him harshly whenever he solved a problem incorrectly. As a result, Lee Sedol would check his answer 100 times over before showing his father the answer regardless of how simple the problem might seem. Though seemingly harsh at the time, his sister believes that this is one of the reasons that Lee Sedol’s reading is as strong as it is today.

So how does this relate to me? Well I am the first to admit that I am pretty lazy when it comes to solving problems. I might give a problem anywhere from a glance to 30 seconds (depending on my mood) before checking out the answer. I tried to tell myself that this is because I wanted more exposure to new sequences; but in reality, this has probably been hurting my reading more than helping it.

And then as if I wasn’t already feeling guilty enough about my lazy approach to studying life and death, Lee Sedol makes the following statement:

Fighting spirit without the base of thorough reading is nothing but recklessness that leads directly to defeat.

While I was blown away by how insightful that comment is, another part of me also felt incredibly sheepish as I realized that Lee Sedol had just summed up why I lose most of my games in one line. Heh… Perhaps it’s time to take a moment and rethink my approach to studying…

Book Review: Get Strong at Joseki 2

Get Strong at Joseki 2 Cover

Get Strong at Joseki 2

Description: In the third volume of the Get Strong at Go Series, Bozulich familiarizes the reader with 8 josekis that commonly occur around the 5-4 and 5-3 point, how to handle them in regards to their variations, choosing the correct joseki given the whole board, and how to play after the joseki is completed. A great book for players who want a better grasp on joseki as a whole.

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Friday Go Forward: Week 31

Friday Go Forward: Week 31


It’s been another crazy week, but I think I’ve managed to post a bit more than last week. So let’s call that a win shall we? Haha. Otherwise though, it’s been a more studious week that has been focused on trying to gain a better foothold on how I plan on continuing my work on the blog. Though it has come a long way since its beginnings at Blogger, it is still falling short of my expectations and visions as a designer. Although before I get too ahead of myself, I still need to focus on making sure that new content is being pushed out so that there will be something to fill my designs when the time comes. =) Meanwhile, I will bide my time and jot down all of my ideas. Hopefully the day it all comes together will not be too far in the future. One can hope right? xD


  • KGS - 2 games
  • DGS - 2 ongoing games
  • Nova - 2 ongoing games

Daily Training

  • 20 Intermediate Life & Death Problems - Magic Baduk Go (iPhone)
  • 10 Pages of Jump Level Up 1
  • 25 Problems from the Get Strong at Go Series.

Reading Material

  • Finished Get Strong at Joseki 2.
  • Finished The Workshop Lectures Volume 6.
  • Finished Jump Level Up 1.
  • Finished Fight Like a Pro.
  • Started working on Get Strong at Joseki 3.
  • Started working on Commented Games by Lee Sedol 1.
  • Started working on Jump Level Up 2.

Canadian Go League

So it’s official. I’ve joined the Canadian Go League and will be participating in their Round 13-5! For those wondering what it is, it’s essentially an online tournament that is played using KGS and is completely free to participate in! They seem to have a wide range of players and have also done a great job breaking players up into appropriate divisions.

As I look at the roster, there are quite a few familiar names; but unfortunately we are all in different divisions. I’m curious to see how it goes since this is a league where matches are scheduled ahead of time, and hopefully this will be a bit more accommodating to my schedule. In addition, I’m looking forward to familiarizing myself with Canadian overtime rules. I’ve only played it once or twice in the past and have yet to feel comfortable playing with it. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to it! And inn case you are wondering, yes I plan on posting every game with my thoughts and comments after each match. =D

Many thanks to Eric (@Oolong4Go) for sharing this with me and getting me to join!

Book Review: Fight Like a Pro - The Secrets of Kiai

Fight Like a Pro - The Secrets of Kiai

Description: In the final installment of the Mastering the Basics Series, Zeijst and Bozulich bring the first significant effort to trying to put the concept of kiai on paper. In this book, you will find 16 fighting games by some of the world’s strongest players from Korean, China, and Japan along with problems to give the reader practice at trying to figure out the “kiai move.” This book can be seen a culmination of everything that the reader has been learning throughout the series and will be a classic in go literature.

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Study Session at the Local Community College

For those curious ones, the books are Fight Like a Pro, Jump Level Up 2 + Answer Book, and Get Strong at Joseki 3, and the set I'm using is a portable shin-kaya board with biconvex yunzi stones in kitani bowls.

As some of you might know, I finished my Master’s a little over a year ago, so why am I at the local community college you might wonder? Well, though my girlfriend and I are working professionals, it seems that learning will be never ending for both of us and she decided to take a class this semester. So while she’s at her class, I figured, perfect opportunity to use this time as if I’m in a go class! (If anyone is interested in joining me, be sure to let me know!)

With that said, the reason I’m writing is because I am wrapping up the final chapter of Fight Like a Pro, and something funny happened. About forty moves into the kifu, the authors asked the reader to guess what move they would choose to continue the attack on the Black group. Normally with this type of question, I end up only choosing an area I think would be correct and then look at the solution. This time around however, I decided to place a stone boldly onto the board as if to declare to the world what I would have done.

After turning the page, I first see that my answer is not the correct answer. It turns out my move was contrary to the principle of attacking from my weak group in order to simultaneously strengthen it. “Makes sense.” I think, but just as I’m about to look for the next move in the actual game, I see that the next move the professional chose was mine! Hardy har har!!!

And with that epic moment recorded, I end this post on a high note. xD