Archive: undefined/2014

Journal Entry: #05

As I’ve started to ramp things up again, I am noticing that I’m entering that dangerous zone of treading the line between being productive or becoming so busy I eventually enter burnout. In order to temper that, I’ve been keeping better track of my time so that I don’t lose myself in my endeavors too much. It seems to be moderately successful so far, but I’ll need to keep close watch as the weeks progress.

Meanwhile, I’ve been happy to reintegrate reviewing games into my schedule. Though this might come to no surprise for most, it still astounds me much you can pick up by reviewing your own games (especially if you can maintain an objective view on the game). I’m still in the process of finding the right balance of commenting on them, but it’s one of those things that I just have to get a feel for over time.

And last but not least, I am happy to announce that I will be releasing a new book review soon: The Road Map to Shodan (Volume 2): The Basic Principles of the Opening and Middle Game. So be on the lookout for that as I make my return to reviewing go books and other products!

Go Congress 2014 - Conclusion

Prelude - I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII - Conclusion

Simul Games

Here is a summary of all the professional simuls I played in at Go Congress:

  1. Day 1 - Dahye Lee, 4p
  2. Day 2 - Ho Yuu, 6p
  3. Day 2 - Jungsang Park, 9p
  4. Day 3 - Bo Ding, 5p
  5. Day 3 - Mariko Deguchi, 1p
  6. Day 3 - Yuhong Zhao, 5p
  7. Day 5 - Jennie Shen, 2p
  8. Day 5 - Shirley Lin, 1p
  9. Day 6 - Francis Meyers, 1p

My goal was to play the strongest professionals that I could while experiencing as many brutal defeats from as many styles as I possibly could. In addition, while I am happy with my collection of 9 simul games, I must admit that I was aiming to hit double digits. Haha.

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Weekly Progress Report: #03


Three weeks and counting! I am feeling like I am starting to make some real progress as I continue to adhere to my training regimen. Though I thought about upping my problem solving regimen, I think it’s at a good place where I am making decent progress while the task is relatively easy to accomplish. And as you’ll notice, I also added a playing regimen as well which is very easily supported via the GoQuest app I talked about in my journal entry earlier this week.

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Go Congress 2014 - Day 7

Prelude - I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII - Conclusion

When I woke up, I realized that today was the last day of Congress. Man, where had all the time gone? It seemed like just yesterday I boarded the train with my brother to embark on an epic journey to New York.

The morning consisted of grabbing breakfast and checking out this cool place called The High Line that Anders recommended the night before. Luckily for us, it was still beautiful weather so we had a great time exploring the sights.

Around lunch, I got a call from Myung letting me know that Jung, Evan, Mark, and him wanted to try a steakhouse in NY before they left. So after meeting up with them at the hotel, we went off to look for one. We found one not too far: Wolfgang Steakhouse.

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Go Congress 2014 - Day 5

Prelude - I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII - Conclusion

With the tournament officially off my mind, I have to admit it was kind of refreshing waking up without the worry of getting there at a specific time. I still got up a bit early though, as I wanted to run on over to sign up for simuls before the spots filled up. After all, since I wasn’t playing in the tournament anymore, I decided to set a new goal for myself: get as many simul games with professionals as possible!

After putting myself down for two games, my girlfriend and I went off to try a popular breakfast place: Clinton St. Baking Company. And while there was a decently long wait (considering it was a Thursday morning), it was definitely well worth it.

Blueberry pancakes with maple butter syrup... It was INCREDIBLE!

It was so good I had to put a second picture. Haha.

By the time I got back to Congress, the match had already finished and people were getting ready for the pro events (i.e., lectures, game reviews, simuls, etc.). I would be playing Jennie Shen 2p, who was Michael’s teacher.

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Journey Entry: #04

As I’ve been recounting my experience at Go Congress, I can only chuckle as I look at how different things are in comparison back to then. At the time, not only was I feeling overwhelmed by everything I was facing in life; but I was feeling a bit burnt out by go as well. Perhaps it was as simple as trying to do too much at once, but I believe that it was a result of having unrealistic expectations for myself.

What do I mean by that? Well, as all serious go players are aware, one of the major milestones in a go player’s journey is crossing the threshold of kyu to dan. And while it is true that I may have already crossed that threshold, part of me was always worried that I wasn’t as strong as other people thought I was. Or worse, maybe I was even weaker than even what I thought. As a result, you can see my that my KGS ranked has drifted down to 4k and has little to no ranked games. Because at the end of the day, it was easier for me to have a lower rank on KGS and know internally that I was stronger than the other way around (aka finding out I hit some ceiling in my rank).

I’m sure it sound weird and stupid to some of you, but that’s the truth of it all. Simple self-protection from what reality may hold. Haha. Of course, by doing so, I’ve created a ceiling that might just not exist. So now that I know it, I plan on playing more ranked games in the near future. But since it’ll take some time for me to build up to it, I’ve found a nice intermediary solution thanks to Satoru: GoQuest (Apple / Android ).

On the surface, it looks like your typical 9x9 app; but from what I heard, this app has gotten pretty popular in Japan recently. It has a mix of opponents (i.e., human and bots); but what really takes the cake, is that apparently some professionals even play on it as well. So while I have no way of confirming that rumor, I kind of like the idea that I may have a chance of getting demolished by a pro when I play. Haha. (Here’s my invitation code for those interested who want to try it out: n1ek8du)

And finally, I’m figuring out a way to integrate game commentaries back into my routine now. So if all goes well, be on the lookout for Monday Go Meditation to come back next Monday!

Go Congress 2014 - Day 4

Prelude - I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII - Conclusion

Today was the official rest day for Congress. In other words, this meant that there would be no tournament matches so that people could go and explore New York if they wanted. As you might suspect though, there was a group of people who were here for go and just that alone. So in honor of these dedicated players, they had a “Die Hard Tournament” for these players.

When I arrived at Hotel Pennsylvania, I found Nate and the gang hanging out.

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Go Congress 2014 - Day 3

Prelude - I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII - Conclusion

When I woke up, I sat in silence for a while as I thought about what I was going to do. Although some would simply shrug off the forfeit and continue playing in the tournament, I couldn’t stand the idea of continuing in the tournament. And with my brother in town and my girlfriend coming up to visit the second half of the trip, my mind was made up.

When I arrived at Hotel Pennsylvania, I went and officially withdrew myself from the tournament. I know that this decision might not sit well with some of you, but it was really the best decision for me as a whole. While it would have been great to have played in the tournament, withdrawing from the tournament freed up my schedule to spend time with my brother (and girlfriend eventually) while also allowing me the freedom to do whatever I wanted (i.e., spending time with professionals).

Anyhow, I then entered the tournament room to see if anyone was up and around. As I walked around, I found Diego and Gurujeet in the middle of an intense game.

I vaguely remember catching Nate and Michael before the round started and wishing them the best of luck. And before I left, I went ahead and signed up for three simuls that day. After all, I could play in tournaments anytime I wanted back at home, it’s the professionals that made Congress as epic as it is.

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