Monday, July 13, 2020
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
I was losing this game up until I played move 77 in the upper left. Black made the mistake of answering at e19 (a). Black should have given up the one stone and answered at b18 (b). If so, he would have easily kept his win in the bag.
After I played atari on the two black stones, black connected. Then I connected at b19, black threw in at a17, but it didn't help.
This is what happened.
I actually should be ashamed for playing move 87. Black has to play at d19 (a) before he can atari at a19 due to a shortage of liberties.
Though I did shamefully play at 87, I did leave the position alone after that until later in the game when it was necessary to take.
This game is still in process, but black is behind by about 18 points with only a few end game moves left to make. We were actually playing in real time when these exchanges took place.
I used to be the one falling for this kind of sequence in the end game. It feels good to be able to do it to someone else now.
Monday, June 08, 2020
My last move at a7 creates some real end game trouble for black. It will capture at least four stones for me. If black connects at b6 he will lose 7 stones after white plays at c8. The two moves preceding a7 were the simple atari at a3 followed by the connection at a5.
I will admit to not having set this up from the atari at a3, but I bask in the joy of seeing immediately the danger for black and the trouble caused by a7. For this I credit the Trouble Master lectures from the group lessons I am taking with Hwang In-seong. See my most recent post. Perhaps this might be a good Trouble Master problem three moves back.
This game was hard won. I am counting my chickens before they are hatched here because this game is still in progress, but it is feeling pretty certain. I had to fight back from a big loss in the upper right corner after misreading an attack.
I am practicing In-seong's advice to move ahead with something if I think of a move even if I can't read it out. I was told this in my group game last Thursday night. There was a move I had thought of but could not read it out, but it worked. I saw something in the upper right in this game. This time I was wrong because of a shortage of liberties, but I recovered the game. Before the move at a7 I had recovered to the point where it was probably within a few points. It is still ongoing. After it ends I may post a link to it from OGS. Well that did not take long. I got a resignation very quickly. Here is the game.
Recently I ended another game with a kill that I might not have seen previously. I'll save that for another post. I'm going to be showing off the things I am proud of in my games. After all, this is a vanity blog.
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Last summer at the U.S. Go Congress I attended the evening lectures of Hwang In-Seong who is a popular online go teacher with a go school that emulates the Korean Dojang training. I enjoyed the lectures and was interested in joining the group lessons. The thing that convinced me to move forward is that I knew that, regardless of what else I might get from these lessons, I would get five serious games a month that would be reviewed by a strong player.
Throughout my go life I have studied more than I have played, and I thought it was about time to achieve some balance by playing more, knowing that those games would get reviewed.
There is an American Yunguseng Dojang, and there is also a European Yunguseng Dojang. Since I am retired, and I do not enjoy playing at night, I thought about joining the European group, but decided to go with the American group because I would be getting to know people that I would actually be likely to encounter in real life at a Go Congress. Upon registration I discovered people there that I already know.
I want to start out by saying that the teaching is excellent. In-Seong, the main teacher, had me pegged from the first game, and has gotten to know me better with each game. Sometimes games are reviewed by a different teacher. In-Seong has a few teachers that help out, though he reviews most of the games himself. The other teachers do an excellent job as well. However, when In-Seong reviews you know that he is drawing on his memory of your strengths, weaknesses, and overall style. It is amazing how he can do that for so many students in the leagues. A won game is no guarantee of praise, by the way. It is more about what you are learning than what you are winning. I like that. He is very encouraging. But don't play a fast casual game. You will be called out on that. Until I got used to taking my time I would set my Apple Watch timer for ten seconds and not allow myself to play until the alarm went off. It worked.
The lessons are for students 12 kyu and stronger. Since I am 9 kyu AGA I thought that there would likely be a few people weaker than myself, but I am pretty much at the bottom of the barrel here. I started out in the lowest group. I managed to spend two months in the second lowest group recently, but I am back to the lowest group again. Games are easier for me in C3, but I prefer harder games and losing in C2, so I hope I can get back there.
I am doing well this month in the C3 group with with a record of 2-0 so far. A friend of mine, Jaydee, is doing equally well. If we end up with an equal record, and someone does better than we, then I will win the tie breaker to move up because of initial placement in the league table. That is how I ended up moving down last month. There were three of us with equally low records.
Most games are played on a specified day. For the C Groups that day is Thursday at 8:00 PM Eastern time. The review takes place at 10:00 PM the same night. Reviews can last for more than two hours so I end up with a serious case of "go head" at midnight. It generally takes me at least two hours to wind down from the review, and I am often awake still at 3:00 AM. which is what happened this week because my game was last on the review list. If I am lucky and my game is early on the list I leave the review after my game and watch the remaining games when the review video is uploaded. At first I felt like I needed to stick around for all of the games because it seemed rude to leave, but being on the East Coast is a big disadvantage. I wish I lived on the West Coast. :-) Seattle would be nice.
It would actually be possible for someone to get a lot out of the leagues even if they were never in attendance during regular league times. Games can be played ahead of time by agreement. Reviews can be watched after the fact. The only thing you would miss out on would be the opportunity to ask questions and respond to comments.
Part of the league membership includes hour long lectures on many topics. There are a few sample lectures on the web site which you can watch. There is an amazing collection of lectures from the past and more added each season.
A great part of the league membership is your personal page. Here is mine:
The personal page includes a table of games. I could barely get a screen capture of mine on the iPad by holding it in portrait mode.
The personal page also includes links to every one of your reviews. Here are reviews from the past three months.
You also get a graph of your progress in the leagues. I started out with an 800 rank and am now at 875. You can see a streak of five wins between games 20 and 25. That was when I rose from C3 to C2. You can see the subsequent crash down.
When you watch a recorded review it is possible to add comments. I have marked the starting point of my review in the video below so it is easy to find again. I have also taken note of homework which was given to me by In-Seong during the review. The starting point of the review of a friend is also indicated.
I highly recommend these group lessons. The next season won't be starting until September. Think about it. Maybe we can get a D group going in the American Dojang.