Archive: undefined/2013

Book Review: Basic Techniques of Go

Basic Techniques of Go

Description: This book can be considered a broad coverage of the following: opening principles, lots of handicap go advice, brief survey of tesujis, and a brief survey of endgame. The material is quite dense and contrary to what many descriptions say about this book, I vehemently disagree with the recommending this book for beginners. It is suited for intermediate to advanced players. Beginners steer clear of this book!

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Book Review: The Endgame

The Endgame Cover

Description: In this installment of the Elementary Go Series, Ogawa and Davies attempts to lay out the basic tactics, strategies, and techniques required to fully master the endgame. While an excellent reference for players with an understanding of endgame, this may prove to be slightly advanced for someone brand new to endgame.

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Archive: undefined/2012

The Importance of Endgame

So for those who don’t play on KGS, I actually managed to climb back up to 6k and hang on to it (knock on wood). As it is everyday, I had an urge to play a ranked game and decided to play against an opponent who is actually more along the lines of 5k but recently got downgraded to 6k. Although I was resistant to playing him at first, I decided to plunge ahead since I planned on beating stronger opponents anyways.

Let me just say this for the record: I never quite understood the importance of endgame until this game.

I mean, sure, everyone “knows” that the endgame is important. As I look at the people around me however, I realized that most kyu players tend to disregard this aspect of go since most of their games are contingent upon big battles which often result in early resignations. With that in mind, how could you blame them for not paying more attention to endgame?

As I’m approaching the mid-SDK range, the games that I have played have begun to take on a new form from the big battles I used to fight. While this makes me a bit nervous, this is part of the journey to becoming the strongest player I can possibly be.

The following game is one that I think many of you would find quite interesting since it consists of a rather complicated capturing race and is a great example of why a player’s endgame skill can be the difference between victory or defeat.

While he ended up resigning due to the capturing race, in reality this game goes down as a defeat in my book. Had I been more careful about my endgame, I’m quite sure that I would have earned that victory fair and square; but it is clear that my reckless endgame actually cost me the game. This game has really humbled my opinion of my abilities and reminded me how critical it is to:

  1. Practice estimating the score so that I do not have a distorted view of the game.
  2. Be more meticulous about my endgame moves since I only get a few opportunities to really practice it.
  3. Continue to practice my reading abilities so that I do not get caught in liberty shortages due to misreading.

Here’s to hoping I have learned my lesson.