Category: Journal

A Game That is Worth Something

So I didn’t think that game really was a good game for people to overview in terms of skill. I decided to play another game (against my better judgment). Here is an even game where the opponent requested an undo at three different occasions. They were blatant self-ataris, so against my normal policy I let him undo them. I did make one mistake and misread an atari and loss a group. Sticking with solid play and solid fundamentals let me win the game. He made a number of errors which I took advantage of, so perhaps the game might not have been a win for me. Enjoy.

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Odd Game

So I just played against an 11k? and I have to say it was quite an unusual game. He essentially did four 3-3 invasions, and then attempted to stir fights. Now I don’t know if it’s simply because my estimated strength on KGS is no longer accurate, but I really felt like I should’ve been giving him 4 stones. He failed to make life for his groups three out of four times. I think that’s highly irregular for someone who’s potentially in the 11kyu range. I also checked out his rank graph, and it looks NUTS! I don’t get the progression considering the number of games he played. It’s not like he dominated every opponent.

Look at that HUGE spike in October...

Anyhow, here’s my game. Some moves are admittedly slow and not quite efficient, but I was happy to play a very solid game where I minimized cutting points and maximized on his. He essentially waited till the end and resigned. >.< The score would have been +253.5 in my favor. sigh… In terms of overall reading, I think I did alright this time. Nothing glaring that I particularly regret. That being said… knock on wood…. enjoy the game.

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I'm Back!

I’m back and excited to be back. So I played my first game on KGS this morning. I have to say it’s quite an ugly game. I despise a number of my moves and misreads. So just keep that in mind when you look at it. In terms of why I’m posting it, it’s to just serve as a reminder to myself and others how different application of principles in your play is different than practicing. One thing is for sure though, I did not let myself lose my composure when I made those mistakes. And since that was one of my main goals, I’m glad I could play well enough to come out with a half point komi win. =D

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Countdown: 1 Day

So it looks like me trying to finish Basic Techniques of Go is going to be overly ambitious, but that’s okay. I think I’m in good shape to finish up the other two by tomorrow, and I’m happy with that result. I know that there are those who were skeptical of my one week hiatus since the number one advice for improving (in general) is getting experience by playing games.

My reason for going against that advice is that Zhang Yunqi once said that go required “the tactic of the soldier, the exactness of the mathematician, the imagination of the artist, the inspiration of the poet, the calm of the philosopher, and the greatest of intelligence.” In other literature I’ve read, I’ve also heard that Go is 98% patience.

Over this week, I’ve spent a lot of time working on my “calm of the philosopher.” I know that it’s not a simple project that can be perfected in a short amount of time, but I think that I’ve gotten somewhere. In addition to the reading and training I’ve been doing, I’ve done a lot of introspection and meditation as well. I know people may think that this may seem a bit much for “a game,” but one of the most attractive points about Go is the fact that it is a game about self-improvement.

A person never truly stands still. We either move forward or move backward, like a raft trying to work its way upstream. I believe I can find the way to my own growth through this game, and I will use my utmost efforts in that pursuit.

Countdown: 2 Days

So I apologize to those who keep up with this blog to check out my games and progress, but don’t worry… only three more days of this hiatus. I’m training like there is no tomorrow. Thoroughly enjoying reading Lessons in Fundamentals of Go though. What an amusing writer, my favorite so far is when he references the concept of a single stone invading the opponent’s territory and how it is analogous to the lone hero walking into the enemy base and destroying like forty opponents… as a martial arts fan…. I can so relate. =D

Weekend Overview

So this weekend has been pretty good so far. I’ve been trying to study Go as often as possible. I’ve diverted my attention slightly to two more theory books: Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go along with Basic Techniques of Go. No worries though, I’m still doing lots of problems!

I also visited the Congress of Gamers in Rockville yesterday. John and Todd both had a table for Go. Two new players showed up in the time I was there (for approximately an hour or so). So I’m glad we managed to attract some attention. I also got to play a game against Todd who is roughly 4 kyu? We played a 9 stone handicap game and I managed to win by 8.5 points with 0.5 komi. And apparently I could have killed a group that I thought was already alive, so I could have won by more.

Time to get back to work. The fruits of my training may have begun to yield, but the journey is far from over.

Two Months

So today marks my two month milestone. Let’s overview my original goal shall we?

  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.

A lot has changed since I originally set those goals. Here’s what I have accomplished.

#1. Finished the following books:

  • Opening Theory Made Easy
  • Fundamental Principles of Go
  • The Second Book of Go
  • Nihon Ki-in Handbook of Proverbs
  • Understanding Dan Level Play
  • The Workshop Lectures: Vol. 1

I did not manage to refocus myself onto problems in time for it to be worth mentioning at this point. For those whose eyes may be slightly wide open at the number of books, again I must reiterate that I have simply READ them once. Comprehension and integration are still far, far away.

There’s a scene in Hikaru no Go, which I can’t seem to find, where Sai comments on how everything that Hikaru had been observing and replaying up to that point began to crystallize in him. I’m hoping to have a similar effect by achieving a broad range of theory first instead of just memorizing everything by rote. The second month goal may have failed, but like the stones we place on the board, let us simply move forward.

Daily Overview

So for those keeping track, I’m sorry that I skipped over a Daily Overview. Ever since that game of infinite cutting points and unprecedented misreads, I haven’t played a game since. Now this doesn’t mean that I’m like taking a sabbatical from the game or anything. I guess I want to see where my one-week training will take me. I’ll be returning to KGS next Wednesday.

In terms of what I’ve been doing since then, I’ve mostly been focusing on problem. A little bit of theory here and there, but we’ll see where the training goes. This will be the last overview until next week. Until then, I’ll be posting up more content on for the blog. See you all in a week!

Game of the Day: Slaughtered

So I think I’ll start summarizing my games with one word synopsis to describe the what I believe to be the ultimate aura and ambiance of the game. Today’s choice of word: slaughtered. In other words, like a lamb being led to the slaughter, I let a 12 kyu draw me into fighting situations where my (already poor) reading ability ruined any chance I had of beating him in the game. Let me run a few off my hand…. misreading capturing races, missing shortage of liberties, blatantly trying to save a group that was in atari which missed my reading. I do think I should have won. My strategy was far more solid overall, but I got drawn back into focusing on the fighting. There’s a little guy in my head right now yelling, “TERRITORY YOU IDIOT! THIS IS NOT FIRST CAPTURE!” Sigh… Enjoy the following horrific game that I am so ashamed to call my own.

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Daily Overview

So today was productive. Two solid games under my belt. Finished Nihon Ki-in’s Handbook of Proverbs and working my way towards the finish line for Fundamental Principles of Go. Worked solidly on Get Strong at Life and Death.

Outside of trying to create the regimen, I’m seriously looking into programs in China/Taiwan that would allow Westerners to study Go hardcore for 3 months. Been reading blogs about the program for Guo Juan Intensive Go Study in China. Very interesting stuff. Will be sure to post more on my thoughts about that when I read more.

  1. Problems - 30 solid minutes.
  2. Theory - Exemplary.
  3. 1 Solid Game - Completed.

Also, it’s going to sound and look like I’ve read a ton of Go books. In theory, that means I should be growing exponentially! One little detail though, I’ve READ them. Comprehension is an ENTIRELY different matter. Once I work through all the ones I want to work through, re-reading and re-reviewing will be occurring. But that seems very far away.