Archive: undefined/2013

Practice Practice Practice...

Credit to Ippo Wikki

Something interesting happened yesterday. I had just finished the arc in Hajime no Ippo&ei=6IoOUrG_FaWbygGL6oCwAg&usg=AFQjCNFFI0eP4wTVR8AszqReTx_t5ZpG1w&sig2=vGXcojo8m7DpILIfiStOww&bvm=bv.50768961,d.aWc) where Volg fights for a world title. And since I was looking to possibly play a game in real time, I got excited when I saw the chance to play someone from Russia. (For those who don’t understand the connection, Volg is a Russian boxer.) Before I knew it, I find myself neck deep in a complicated cross-fuseki game where all the fighting spirit I had been reading about had gotten into my blood and I was trying to strike at all of my opponent’s groups with everything I had.

There was one particular moment (towards the end of the game) where I found myself in a rather precarious situation where I could either make certain of absolute life or leave it up to a capturing race. I know that the old me (and probably a lot of other players) would have probably chosen the sure route to life. However, it felt kind of surreal as I glanced at the position and realized that I could just tenuki because I already knew the end-result of the capturing race: Black would never win due to a shortage of liberties.

The reason I’m writing about this is because I don’t think I’ve ever captured this kind of moment before in my journey. Do you know what I mean? It’s that moment where suddenly your training is starting to show its results and you feel as if something has dawned on you. In other words, all those tedious problems that I had practiced in the Level Up books had begun to show their true colors. Without much effort, I looked at my position and knew there was nothing to worry about.

I know that I have been kind of out of it the past week; but what happened in yesterday’s game is a testament to my efforts before. And I think it’s just what I needed to kick my butt back into gear with my training. Time to revisit my training menu once again!

Keeping My Options Open

Today I played an interesting teaching game with frozensoul. After losing (as I normally do), he made a very insightful comment about my play: I have a tendency to settle positions quickly. In other words, instead of keeping my options open, I choose to instead play out a local area to completion before I’m entirely sure of what my strategy is for the game. As a result, it becomes a lot easier for stronger opponents to figure out what I’m aiming at and ultimately nullify it.

Though I try to keep as open a mind as possible in every game, it seems that I still fail to appreciate how much freedom players actually have during a game. You want to play three moves in a corner to try and eliminate my stone’s aji? No problem. I’ll go ahead and take the 2 other big points on the board and laugh maniacally later when my stone’s aji still comes back to bite you in the butt.

No longer do I wish to be imprisoned by my own volition and stubbornness. Go is a game of freedom. So from this moment forth, I will stop trying to see the game from the confines of everything I learned thus far. Instead, I will try to see the board as it truly is: a beautifully endless depth of possibilities and creativity.

Archive: undefined/2010


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.