Archive: undefined/2014

2014 Resolutions

Happy new years everyone! 2013 has come and gone and 2014 is now upon us! And though I’m one that comes from the philosophy of living each day to the fullest and not waiting till the beginning of the year to start change, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to do a little new years resolution for the blog!

New Year Resolution #1. Change the hosting service that I am using.

For all those who have experienced times when the blog have gone down, I sincerely apologize for the fact that my hosting site has been absolutely terrible. I am growing tired of their frequent outages and will definitely be looking for a change in hosting service. You cannot believe how many times I tried to login to write posts or prepare material only to find that my server was down. Bleh. So if you have any recommendations, please be sure to pass them on.

New Year Resolution #2. Write at least one post every week.

As some of you are aware, there have been a number of times where I try to take on way more than I can (healthily) handle. As a result, I’ve burnt out and gone through more down points than I’d care to admit. So instead of trying to accomplish a goal that might lend itself to another crash and burnout, I’m hoping to simply stick to being disciplined and working consistently rather than short bursts.

New Year Resolution #3. Give the blog a brand new design.

This one is definitely a bit ambitious; but since it’s the beginning of the year, I think that this is something that will be more feasible as time goes on. Although I have tried my best to make the experience of my blog as user friendly and pleasant as possible, I know that it falls short in a number of areas and can use a big overhaul. So if there’s going to be one resolution that is going to be a grand overture, might as well let it be this one. =D

And though I could probably go on, I think that the key to making 2014 successful is to have broader goals that feed into the grand vision. The smaller goals (i.e., do 100 tsumego problems a day) are ones that will come and go as I progress through 2014, so we’ll get to those as they come. So with that, here’s to our first step in 2014. Onwards!

Archive: undefined/2013

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.

Preparing for the Next Hurdle

I’m happy to report that my ranked game today went very well. Each move was calculated and had an intended purpose. There were a few mistakes in my reading here and there, but overall it was a success when you consider some of my previous ranked games from a little while ago. So here’s to hoping that the tweak I’ve made to the ranked games I play will allow me to begin to achieve my actual rank (whatever it is).

As I continue to work towards achieving solid dan status, I have noticed that it is definitely becoming more difficult to improve. It’s not so much that it is “hard,” but the difficult lies in the fact that the proper steps to get stronger become hazy as you climb the ladder. It’s no longer as simple as improving your reading and having a better grasp of life and death. The more I have my games reviewed, the more I realize that I need to begin grasping and utilizing ideas like aji in order to reach the next level.

Like anything else though, first thing first: Achieve solid 4k status before March.

Archive: undefined/2012

Till the Very End...

Well everyone, looks like this will be my final post for 2012. As I look back at 2012 and all the craziness that has come with it, I am definitely glad that go is once again an important part of my life. It’s been a fun year with me getting back into go and then bringing the go blog back full force.

In terms of how my progress, here’s my rank graph for 2012.

2012 rank

Note: I did not play a single ranked game in December though. So the graph seems a little weird… haha.

In terms of my big accomplishment, it would have to be that I made it into mid-SDK range. I must admit though, it seems like just yesterday when I was playing as a 10k. Not sure I feel much stronger though. =D

For next year, my goal is to reach a solid dan status on KGS. Ambitious? Yes. Impossible? Don’t know till I try. =D

Read More

Ranked Games Retreat

Scenic Imagery of Stones - Credit to YellowStonePackTrips

When I woke up this morning to check to see if my ASR class had changed, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was actually promoted to Beta II!!! Definitely wasn’t expecting it and I’m sure it was because of the need to fill in the class after people were either demoted or dropped. Nonetheless, this is great news for me because it means that I’ve managed to graduate two classes since I started in July! Although it would be nice to be promoted to Alpha class next month, my goal for this month is to simply stay in the Beta class for now.

With the upcoming North American Go Convention (NAGC) in February 2013, I realized that I am extremely motivated to find out how strong I can get before the tournament/professional event. More often than not, I have found that although it is always exciting to hear professionals give lectures, I was always too weak to really appreciate their commentary and insight.

As a result, I have decided on a new route of study for the month of December: no ranked games. The reason for this is because no matter how hard I try, I am still stuck in the state where ranked games still cause a bit of anxiety regarding its impact on my online rank. Although I hope that this will no longer be an issue one day, I know that this impacts my ability to try new things and simply play better go instead of trying to win.

“But Ben, you’ve tried this before! And you failed miserably every time!”

You are correct and incorrect at the same time. This time around, instead of simply going on “sabbatical” from playing go, I will primarily focus on league games and any free games that stronger players would be happy to play with me and help me review afterwards! With this approach in conjunction with my study of the game, I’m hoping to see results by the month of January.

If this works out well, I may even continue doing this till the NAGC! But like many things in life, one step at a time. Wish me luck!

Archive: undefined/2010

Blogging Goals

So in lieu of trying to gain more credibility as a Go expert and blogger, I’ll be trying to implement the following goals for increasing blogging content:

  1. 5 posts a week concerning my personal progress as a player.
  2. 2 Go book reviews per month.
  3. 1 Go equipment review per week.
  4. 1 Go Guide per week.
  5. 1 Weekly and Monthly Overview on my progress as well.

Let’s see how this goes for the month of October.


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.

Journal Log #1

Sorry it took so long everyone, but I will now start adding my own anecdotes on my journey. As you all may have seen, I’ve been busy writing various reviews and reading as fast as I possibly can while still maintaining my life.

The time has come… all the beginning quests have been completed… and it is time to leave the home village where I have spent my beginnings. Let us overview my stats.

Read More