Archive: undefined/2010


So I had my second private lesson today, and I have to say I felt like such an idiot as we were going over my games. It’s funny how blatantly obvious my idiotic decisions and rationales are when pointed out. I’m still falling into the typical traps of a new player (e.g. focusing on local areas, having no purpose, wishful thinking, etc.) Argh…. I think I’m going to have to come up with a handout for beginning Go players to look over once a day to help them out.

One of the most critical aha moments that went off in my head today is the fact that I don’t and can’t quite read ahead worth crap. It’s definitely one of the reasons that I make the poor plays that I do. This is probably one of the reasons I hate half of the books that I’ve reviewed so far. They have so many complicated diagrams, but in reality there is probably more substance since they are probably assuming you can read it out in your head no problem. So far, I’ve been actually replaying variations on an actual board. This is useful to an extent, but I have to be able to play the simulations out in my head.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this month, I’m trying to break the double digit kyu (DDK) by October 8th. It probably is near impossible to do so, but here’s my crazy game plan:

  1. Finish the following books:

    • Opening Theory Made Easy by Otake Hideo 9 dan
    • Whole Board Thinking in Joseki - Volume One by Yi-Lun Yang
    • One Thousand and One Life-and-Death Problems by Richard Bozulich
    • Understanding Dan Level Play by Yuan Zhou
    • Tesuji by James Davies
  2. Replay 25 moves of a professional game (that has commentary) everyday.

  3. Play one serious game (not a bot) everyday where I don’t rush and try my hardest.

It’s like my teacher said, “It’s not hard to rise levels at the stage you’re at, you just have to stop doing all these irrational and inefficient moves.” Time to topple over these obstacles.

Weighing Your Priorities

Priorities by xkcd

So as someone who has officially left the comfort zone of school (I don’t consider grad school an umbrella to hide under anymore), one of the questions I’m hit the hardest with deals with whether or not I’m going to end up becoming a “Go junkie.”

The deal is: I see Go as a pillar to understanding fundamental principles in life. It’s true. Go may not be the most ideal way to sustain yourself, but the life lessons that a person can derive from it is worth far more in my opinion. That is not to say that Go will be the sole focus of my life however. I’m going to job hunt, focus on spending time with people important to me, and expand other job-related skills since I’m hoping to open a business someday. Go is just something I view as critical to self-growth, so it does rank high in my priorities; but I won’t let it consume my life.

For all those who are striving to live in reality right now, weigh your priorities as well. I am one of the most enthusiastic players that would encourage people using go as a tool to learning life lessons and self-improvement. However, if it gets to the point that it is damaging other portions of your life, it may be time where you ask yourself whether or not you are falling into the folly of focusing on the local battle of the board.

Don’t forget that the Go board is often reflective of your life. Focusing on go alone while letting the rest of your framework go to hell will only come to haunt you later on. No different from trying to control a single corner while letting your opponent consume the rest of the board.

UMBC Go Club = Back in Business!

So the last two days have been fraught with trying to figure out the position of Go players in Baltimore. Long story short, I have decided to take up the challenge to reinvigorate Go on-campus and increase membership! Also, for all those who read, lookout for an official tournament in October! More details to come soon enough!

Coming up!

So I’m back from a three day hiatus. A lot has happened over the last couple days, and you can look forward to the following posts:

  1. Company Review: Yunnan Arts
  2. Weighing My Priorities
  3. Equipment Reviews!
    And in case you are wondering, the guides are under way!

Journal Log #5

So I’ve logged quite a few games today. Three online, and one in person.

The first game was with a 22 kyu to whom I lost by resignation. The game really turned around when I let him undo a move that would’ve killed an extremely large group, and from that I guess I really don’t think I like the whole idea of undoing a move. It’s one thing if you’re playing a teaching/friendly game with someone (especially when it’s in person). This is online and KGS with no teaching aspect though, and that should mean one thing: war.

Go is a intense philosophical games with one of its most unique aspects being that once you place a stone down it is written. Just like your life, you can only work forward and never backwards (unless one of us invents a time machine, but then we’ll have to discuss time-dimension theories).

The second game was with an estimated 21 kyu who resigned. I think it may have been a bit premature on his part, but I did manage to practically kill two of the largest groups, so I guess he must have felt hopeless. Although if you ask me, there was still two corners to establish and plenty of center territory left. I don’t blame him though, as a mere 20 kyu, the 19x19 board can still seem overwhelming sometimes.

My final online game was against the LiberyBot 14 kyu who beet me by 17.5 moku. If I recall correctly, I misread one large group’s life and thus died. Thus resulting in my defeat.

I also played against my cousin tonight (13x13), and lost after misreading one of the ladders. To sum it up, he had some friendly stones along the way, and diverted the course from what would have led to my own stones. sigh…

So after intense sessions of go today, I’m a bit frazzled as to how I will improve. I definitely need to improve my ability to read life and death… other than that… I dunno… I guess we’ll see won’t we.

Company Review: Yutopian


So for those who are looking at Yutopian too… yeah I detest the layout too. It’s just I know that there have got to be an amateur web designer who could easily redesign this. (Just another thing on my list if I ever get to be a prominent figure in Go) And not to mention the ordering method is almost just as sketchy as Kiseido. Fortunately for all of us though, it’s just as safe!

I ordered the Go Proverbs book by Nihon Ki-in, and it came within the 8 business days that was promised. The condition and packaging was nothing to complain about.

Keeping with tradition of my previous reviews, here’s my e-mail confirmation:

Yutopian email confirmation


Nothing to worry about if you plan on purchasing books. I haven’t purchased any equipment from them yet, but I’d say if you really want something specifically from that site… you’ll probably be alright. (I still am personally biased towards YMImports if you compare the same products side by side).

Website Review: Sensei's Library


Sensei’s Library is Go’s wiki database. It encompasses pretty much any Go information that you could possibly want. It has a lot of great tips and is great for players of all levels and types. Since it’s a collaborative website, the clarity of the information is not always as consistent. This is not a huge problem though, since most of the articles I’ve perused through so far have been pretty solid.

My favorite part is the fact that if there is ever a term in the article that is confusing, they generally have already anticipated such confusion and hyperlink it to its definition. And trust me, I’ve been confused plenty of times (e.g. shicho (a ladder)… ponnuki (the diamond shape made from a one stone capture)….).


Sensei’s Library will definitely be on my list for places to hit whenever I’m confused or don’t know where a term is, and it should be in your repertoire as well.

Journal Log #4

So I’m back online! With two online games under my belt today, I’m feeling pretty good.

  1. I played against a human AkiraWeiqi (22 kyu). It was a good battle. We both made some careless errors, but man it is different playing against a handicap. I’m so used to taking handicaps/even games that seeing stones on the board was like WHOA! I won by a slight margin, but I’ll have to have someone review it to see if he might have been able to close the gap.

  2. Second game was against the LiberyBot (14 kyu), and that I thought I played relatively well. I lost by 5.5 moku, but I think it was largely due to a huge reading error in one of my larger groups which then resulted in its death. Sigh…. need more practice.
    Okay. So… in terms of my study regimen…. here’s what we’ll be looking at.

  • Life and Death Problem
  • Reading about Go Strategy
  • General Go Problems
  • Play one serious game
  • Replay at least part of a pro game

Let’s see where that takes me. Onwards!

Playing Go Makes Your Brain Grow!

So I just read an interesting article from the AGA concerning how “serious studies of go causes actual physical changes in the brain.” Although this doesn’t come as much of a surprise for most serious go players, I think it’s great that we now have more significant data that will be useful in our proponent of the game.

As any relatively serious go player might expect, they found that “larger regions of white matter… that are related to attentional control, working memory, executive regulation, and problem solving” were found in what they termed as “long-termed trained players.”

This will be interesting to see more research studies done on what go can do for us mentally.

Original Article:

Journal Log #3

Hope everyone has had a restful Labor Day Weekend. Mine has been filled with 21st birthdays and craziness, but it’s time to get back to Go!

So over the last few days I’ve tried to play some games online, but I just can’t bring myself to complete any of them. I end up resigning halfway for some reason. I’m not sure whether it’s just cause I’m just itching to be playing with a real goban and stones, or what…. It’s putting me in a weird funk and I’m not sure what to do. sigh….

Need to do something about this….