New KGS Account

So ironically my friend Todd happens to have been using the screenname “zenix” for like all his life. Now mind you… I pronounce mine “zeh-nix” while he pronounces his “zee-nix.” Anyhow, although the odds are like a bajillion to one (and those who know the statistics feel free to correct me) that we made the same screenname, I just thought it’d be better if I took the highroad and made a bengozen account anyhow since this is the brand I’m trying to blog with. With that in mind, I’ll probably be getting the KGS Plus soon, and will be reviewing that as soon as I make some use of it.

Weekend Hiatus Again....

Dirty Dozen Impatience (Credit to Sunny and Fit)

Bleh. I’ve failed so far as to keeping regular blog posts once I go up to Baltimore on the weekends…. I’ll need to fix that. But regardless, I played quite a bit with Todd over the past couple days… and I have to say it’s been frustrating yet enlightening. I know I’ve said this multiple times in the past… but I’d say that the implications of the line that “Go is 98% patience” is “Read ahead you idiot.”

I’m not the first nor will I be the last to say that I believe that Go really does reveal a lot about a person’s character. What I’ve realized… is that I’m not as patient as I thought I was. I like to get things done quickly and to use talent and intuition to hope for the best result. The only problem is that this mindset doesn’t translate well in Go and in the bigger picture… life.

Second epiphany is that my asinine “wanna-be pro” self keeps trying to create all these clever trick plays (e.g. shortage of liberty situations or awesome snapbacks). What does that mean for a player still in the DDK who plays an opponent of shodan strength? Complete and utter failure. As Todd so kindly reminded me, “Go is not about killing stones….” I must’ve heard and read this about a hundred times since I’ve started, yet still it still has not sunk into my brain…. sigh.

So what do I take away from all of this? Two things:

  1. Train my patience as a person so that it will not only impact my ability as a Go player, but the rest of my life as well.
  2. Focus on the fundamentals of Go. Stay away from trying to do anything crazy until the basic are set and stone in my style of play.

A Forced Break

So like most people, my world is not solely my own and is constantly impacted by the people around me. This has forced me to take a break from playing full games of Go online, but on the upside I’ve been trying to take what Justin advised me to do to heart.

After reflecting on it for some time, I realized that most of my frustrations come from the fact that my visualization and ability to read ahead is undisciplined and ill-trained at the moment. Like Justin said, no amount of theories will be able to correct for that. Agreed. I will be working hard to finish up any remaining books that I started so that there aren’t a bunch of half-read books on my bookshelf, but afterwards I’ll be sure to dive headfirst into all the problem books I own.

Pointers from a Stronger Player

So I had the pleasant surprise of having Justin watch over one of my games tonight. It’s always funny how obvious the mistakes I make are when a stronger player points them out… or more obvious moves. But he did leave me with an interesting thought…

“As a word of advice, just do problems. Focus on the fundamentals. Everything else will come later.”

I think that may be where my training is a bit lacking at this point. I keep reading more theory type books, but have neglected my problems. Looks like I’m going to switch gears starting October. SDK (Single Digit Kyu) may be out of reach by this point, but we’ll set a new target when my second month is up.

Company Review: W.J. Bookstore

_So as I’ve been working on the guides for purchasing Go equipment, I realized that one of the killer aspects of buying online is the shipping cost. It makes it near impossible for me to write the guides since some of the products which deliver some of the best quality are within the (let’s say) $50 range but shipping makes it like $60-$70. So one of the things I thought of was to see how available Go equipment might be in the area. _

Since I live in the Montgomery County area, there is a decent amount of Asian stores around here. I happened to be in the area of an old time favorite (W.J. Bookstore) and decided to check it out. They did have a small section for Go stuff, and they sold some of the same products my brother first bought when he started a few years back.

Here’s a picture of the stones that we bought years ago. If you want the review, click here (coming soon).

The original board that we bought wasn’t there anymore, but they have a new product (review coming soon) that I think is far better (and only costs $15 with tax!!!).

In other words, they have a nice amount of Go books (all in Chinese of course) and lower end Go equipment that would be great for any beginning players who aren’t looking to invest a lot of money. I also tried going down Rockville Pike to see if another Asian bookstore still existed, but unfortunately it’s gone so no luck there.

In the event any of you live in the area, this is the address (it’s on the second floor of the Wintergreen Plaza):

827 Rockville Pike #A
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 309-1007

Need More Study

So yesterday wasn’t as eventful as I’d like, I got to play Keith in a full on handicap game and that was fun…. but then I had to leave early so no more Go that night… I also forgot to bring my Kifu book from YMImports so bummer that.

Today was interesting though. I got to play one timed game (regular and speed) with Todd. Definitely have a long way to go… And then I got to play two more games that were quite challenging. I made some careless errors and reads that cost me the game, but I think I’ve learned a lot from it. I’m still too unfamiliar with what to do and how to read things… so more studying to do.

Weekends = Minimal Go

Come to think of it, I barely have any time to study or play Go on weekends… particularly playing it… I’m not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing… but anyhow, my first book on Opening Theory Made Easy is now finished! Muahaha…. I will get that review up asap. Meanwhile, onto the other books!

Website Review: Empty Triangle


Please turn your attention to one of the most awesome Go related artwork that exists out there. As you peruse through E3A, you’ll find the characters humorous and absolutely relatable as you progress in Go. The layout is simple and unique with the artistic nature of chidori. Nothing much more needs to be said, so go check it out!

Some favorites…

#006 Completely lost again

#045 Snowsuji

#49 Weakness

#58 Skill


I absolutely love this site and recommend to anyone playing Go! Can’t wait till the shop is up!

Chaotic Fusion

It’s funny sometimes, how everyone thinks that they can compartmentalize portions of their lives: work, school, family, relationship, friends, and hobbies. We reserve parts of ourselves to deal with the independent portions, yet we all have moments where one compartment overflows to another. This brings to question how realistic compartmentalizing everything is.

The problems, the stress, and the conflicts we run into end up being nothing more than local battles. Fights destined to take place at the corner or sides of the board due to simple stone interactions. The commentaries that would come from each move exists in our world as well, “You did this wrong. How stupid could you be? Didn’t we discuss why you shouldn’t do this already? What were you thinking?”

Eventually we all hit this point I’m feeling right now, where attempts at fusing everything into one solid mindset comes to a halt. Nothing looks clear, and you’ve lost sight of everything. I’m frustrated with the progress of things and can’t shake the irritation I have. It’s at this point that I think it’s time to take a sabbatical and get away from it all. I don’t mean to run away or go on vacation, but to simply take a step back from it all. Although many of us have our various aspects of our lives, the one thing for certain is that we cannot ignore our own personal goals. There’s a time limit for each and every one of us, and it would be disappointing for us not to give our lives the meaning we desire it to.

I played a game of Go this morning. It was supposedly against an 18 kyu (there was a question mark), but I just couldn’t hold it together and resigned in the end. Everything seems to be clashing, and it’s probably time for me to take a step back from it all for now. After all, trying to compartmentalize our lives is anything but futile. Like the Go board, every play affects the whole board.

Company Review: Yunnan Arts


Yunnan Arts is a local (Virginia) business, owned by Mike and Wen, who sells Go equipment to the public. I had the pleasure of meeting with them last week and experiencing their products while playing some awesome Go with Mike.

To start, here’s a brief overlay of the equipment I got to see and experience personally. (Note: The Go Congress has recently passed so a lot of their wares have already been sold and the new shipment had not come in yet).

Here are some of my favorites:

Dragon Bowl Design

Pink Flower Design - Cloisonne Enamel Bowl (Side View)

Pink Flower Design - Cloisonne Enamel Bowl (Aerial View)

Green Floral Design - Cloisonne Enamel Bowl

Marble Go Bowl

The following is a table/bowl set that are sold separately. I know it’s not clear in the photograph, but the red stripes on the table and board here are actually tiny stripes of red, black, red, black, etc. It looks super cool…. I only wish my camera could have taken a clear shot of that… but I had no luck with that.

The following is a photograph Mike and I decided to take for fun. They are the four sets of stones we had the leisure of playing with:

From left to right: Yunzi, Slate & Shell, Jade Set (Green), Jade Set (White)

As a quick comparison of all the stones, they all handle well as is expected. The jade sets were very interesting to play with since they have a different feel, but definitely one I will eventually add to my collection. Slate and shell is by far my favorite (to be more accurate, shell is my favorite). Is that a surprise? Absolutely not. I will have to say though, that slate is not the best black material. I know it’s tradition and it’s been paired together, but Wen put it perfectly when she said that the set was like a beautiful women marrying an ugly man. There just is a staggering difference between the two. Haha.


I had a magnificent time being able to get to know Mike and Wen and experience their products. Their products come directly from manufacturers in China so you know you are getting genuine equipment.

Even though I have not had the pleasure of ordering online from them yet, their products are top notch and I can’t wait to add their Go equipment into my collection!