Category: Progress Reports

Friday Go Forward: Week #5


  • KGS - 3 games ( 2 win : 1 loss )
  • Real Life - 2 games ( 1 win : 1 loss )


  • Essential Life & Death (Vol. 2) - Pages 82 - 87


  • Elementary Go Series, Volume 3 - Tesuji - Pages 1 - 22
  • Dictionary of Basic Joseki, Volume 1 - Pages 1 - 15


Although I haven’t played as much as I might have liked, this week has been pretty interesting in terms of the various activities I’ve had going on. My go studying has taken on more flavors and variety, which has greatly increased my enjoyment of what I’m learning. In addition, it feels as if I’m starting to think less and less of winning, which is something I hope to ingrain permanently into my being. There are a number of reasons due to this spark of an epiphany. One that I will mention in particular is from Hajime no Ippo.

The line comes from a scene after the main character, Ippo, manages to win against a boxer who’s goal was to become like his idol. When analyzing what happened and why Ippo won (even though he was an underdog), the idol said:

It was the result of different goals between the challengers. Those who try to reach and those who try to surpass.

Although I’ve heard similar lines to this before, it was rather profound to me when I read it (perhaps due to the emotional attachment to characters and the story). And to be honest, I think there’s a lot of truth in there. Because in actuality, my goal is not to simply reach shodan; but to surpass it entirely.

A Look Back at February

For those who are wondering how my studies of Korean go have gone, while I did not finish all the material that I originally set out to do, I have learned that Korean go is centered on fighting. I know that many people will say that they already knew this, but I will tell you that experiencing it firsthand is an entirely separate matter. It wasn’t until I was being pummeled by 5 dans on Tygem and studying the material they use that I began to really see the impressive feats Korean style go can accomplish. It will definitely become a useful weapon in my arsenal against the calmer players I have seen on KGS.

As March is literally right around the corner, I will have you know that I am now taking a free style approach to my training. If I feel motivated or excited to study something, that is precisely what I will study. I won’t feel obligated to begrudgingly finish a book because I started it. The only thing I will maintain consistently however, are my life and death problems. That will be the only aspect that will never change.

With my success at rising to the Alpha class in ASR, I have also decided that it is time for me to drop the league for now. I will be turning my attention towards playing more ranked games so that I can find out how much I have grown over these last couple of months. In addition, I’ve decided to join the Study Group Kyu tournament to see how my skills match up against other SDK’s. Since I will only be playing each opponent once, it should be less time consuming and may even give me a chance to play more ranked games as well.

Though it seems like just yesterday when I was attending the NAGC, it has been an exciting month where the experiences and adventures I’ve had this month will certainly serve as a critical milestone for me. Looking forward to what March will bring!

Friday Go Forward: Week #4


  • KGS - 4 games (2 wins : 2 losses)


This week has been rather unfruitful in regards to training and what not. Been really busy with work, and as many of you are aware, I’ve been pretty busy trying to recap all that happened at last week’s North American Go Convention. My games have been somewhat hit or miss. Not the happiest with my performance this week, but I plan on finding ways to continue improving my game.

Meanwhile, the next week will probably be spent restructuring my schedule regarding blog posts and how training will all fit together without detracting from other aspects of my life. I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted when I have a finalized schedule that you all can look forward to. =)

Friday Go Forward: Week #3


  • KGS - 4 games (1 wins : 3 losses)


  • Essential Life & Death (Vol. 2) - Pages 36 - 82


  • Shape Up! - Chapter 6 and 7
  • Dictionary of Modern Fuseki: Korean Style - Patterns 1 - 6


Although I did manage to end my losing streak this week, I am still traversing the depths of my broken go. This week has been rather unfruitful in regards to training and playing games, but it is probably for the best. With the two days of the North American Go Convention under my belt though, I’m starting to feel like I might be getting somewhere. Not to mention, this week has been full of surprises and I have a good feeling that this may be the start of something really incredible. This is not just in reference to my playing ability, but also in regards to the entire spectrum of go and its impact on my life. More on it when the time is right, but for now, I can assure you that I will not be taking any breaks from go in the near future. =)

Friday Go Forward: Week #2


  • KGS - 12 games (1 wins : 11 losses)
  • Tygem - 7 game (0 wins : 7 loss)


  • Essential Life & Death (Vol. 1) - Complete
  • Essential Life & Death (Vol. 2) - Pages 8 - 35


  • Shape Up! - No Progress


I am having a rough week. Besides a nice solid win, it’s been nothing been getting demolished. I feel that my reading is improving a bit, but overall I think my go has sunk to a 10k level. I’m not sure where my head is anymore. It’s not so much that I’m on tilt and just losing strings of games, but it’s more like I’m getting numb and have completely lost my focus. An absolutely terrible state to be in for go.

After some discussion with frozen, I also think it’s best that I forgo my ASR League duties for the month. I still plan on playing one of my classmates twice before dropping (you know who you are =D), but otherwise I think it’s time that I spent my time elsewhere to prevent me from taking a break from go. I’ve seem to hit a rather large roadblock that is rather daunting at the moment. =(

It’s definitely been a tough week, but I will confront my demons and try to continue moving forward. After all, it is precisely these moments that we are given an opportunity to prove our resilience and capacity to grow to the next level. Here’s to the uphill battle that I’m about to embark on. Wish me luck.

Friday Go Forward: Week #1

After an awesome discussion with Feather , I’ve been inspired to start another weekly series in order to give you a glimpse into my world of go. It will be a high level overview of my progress every week and will be released every Friday at 5:00 PM. Let me know what you think and I can always update the format if people want!


  • KGS - 9 games (4 wins : 5 losses)
  • Tygem - 1 game (0 wins : 1 loss)


  • 1001 Life and Death Problems - #851 - 1001
  • Essential Life & Death (Vol. 1) - Pages 1-33


  • Commented Games by Lee Sedol - Game #1 - Part 1
  • Shape Up! - Introduction & Chapters 1 - 3


Overall, it’s been a rather eventful week since the ASR League was wrapping up and the final points were being tallied. The good news is that I managed to get promoted to Alpha!!! Woot woot! I know that some people will say, “It’s easy to get to Alpha. Just play a lot of games.” To you I say that may be true if you actually win some of your games, but otherwise it’s near impossible since your points rack up so slowly compared to people who win a majority of their games.

Since February is going to be a short month, it seems I will be going on another ranked game sabbatical since I will have my hands full trying to stay in Alpha class and also keeping up with my study schedule for the month. Not to mention that North American Go Convention is this month as well, and that will take out four days of studying/playing. So lots to do this month, and very little time. Something’s got to give right? =) Here’s to the start of a crazy month! Ikuzo!

Category: Progress Reports

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!

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.

Daily Overview

So here ends my Monday. Overall, there was a lot of progression in terms of how I saw the game and what I know I need to do now. I just played a free game with a weaker player who, for some reason, only wanted a two stone handicap. It was definitely different to see such a difference in reading ability. I mean I know he (or she) is only a 23k and I’m a 15k, but still… it wasn’t till I was playing him that I was like… Oh… that’s how stupid I must look to all the stronger players I’ve been playing.

Overall.. here are my ratings for the day.

  1. Problems - Minimal
  2. Theory - Minimal
  3. Games - Satisfactory

Hopefully I’ll be able to at least to satisfactory on all three on a more consistent basis.