Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Smart Go - It Pays To Read The Documentation

I love Smart Go but have not spent the time I should to explore all of its features. I am using it on a tablet PC at 1024 x 768 resolution. When I upgraded to version 2.0 I considered the default settings to be less friendly to the small screen than the those in version 1.0, so I kept the older version for recording games and reviewing my lesson files.

Today I decided to check and see if I could configure the layout to be more similar to the older version. Right there in the help files under "screen layout" I found the answer to my problem. Go to "View - Maximize Board" to put the comments on the left where I like them making the board can be as big as possible.

See the following screen shots to illustrate the older version on Smart Go, the newer version with default settings, and the Newer version with the board maximized.

Older version of Smart Go (version 1.5.4):

Current version of Smart Go without changing settings (version

Current version of Smart Go with the board maximized (version

Now I know that Smart Go 2.x is just as small screen friendly as Smart Go 1.x

Monday, February 26, 2007

Life and Death Problems On The Real Board

One of my favorite books is "One Thousand and One Life-andDeath Prolems" from Kiseido Publishing Company. I often carry it with me so I can do life and death problems in spare moments. Recently I decided to work through the one move problems in the book rather quickly. I did the first 300 one move problems within a couple days by looking at the book and making an effort to refute alternate answers before looking at the solution. Given the fact that there are only a few places one can move in these small problems that isn't terribly hard to do. (I do sometimes fail to visualize all liberties, however.)

When I got to the last set of one move problems starting with problem number 301, they started to feel a bit more difficult. I decided to get out a real 9x9 board and stones and lay out the problems to solve them on the board. I expected that I would need to work out variations with the stones before considering the problem solved, but I discovered something surprising...

I found it easier to read the problem when it was on the board than when it was in the book. I was really happy about this, but I found it surprising because my AGA rating from real life tournaments lags four stones behind my KGS rating from online games.

The way I am solving the problems now is to place them on the board and solve them without putting the stones down. Then after I think I have the correct solution I am trying the various lines of play with the stones to prove my answer before I look at the solution. This way I can see if I have failed to visualize a liberty. I am even trying to visualize what the final position would look like with obviously wrong moves. I am hoping that attempting to see the stones on the board will help my reading skills during games.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Ear Reddening Move

This is a game in which Shusaku played black. The marked move is known as the ear reddening move because when Shusaku played it his opponent's ears turned red. This game appeared upside down in the previous post on my retirement Go cake.

You can read about this game at Sensei's Library

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Retirement Go Cake

I posted this picture on my other web site, but it really belongs here. I have it on good authority that this is the Shusaku Ear Reddening game. However, the board is upside down. What it truely amazing is that my colleague, who found the game online with her husband's help, has no real knowledge of Go. They just happened to put a really cool game on the cake. I have the Go board part of the cake in my freezer.

Common Opening Lecture 2

Today I watched the Common Opening Lecture 2 from

I think I am going to have to watch this a few times for it to sink in.

Linked In

Mike Dobbins posted a suggestion on Go Discussions today that we create a network of go players through Linked In. I updated my profile there. Let's see if I can manage to post the button that I cut and pasted from their site.

Edit: The button is no longer showing properly so I just made it a link.

My Linked In Profile

Sunday, February 18, 2007

How I Have Been Studying

Since I started this blog I have been devoting at least an hour a day to Go activities.

I have been reading serveral times a day.

I have been working on go problems using the problems that come with the latest version of Smart Go.

I have also been working through the problems in "One Thousand and One Life and Death Problems".

I attended the NJ Open February 10th and 11th and managed to record all five of my games. I had a stronger player comment each of those games by uploading them to KGS in the Wings Go Club room.

I started an account at and have started listening to the Step By Step series of lessons. I am up to lesson five. I probably should have followed the advice of playing at least ten games between each lesson, but I was anxious to get going.

I have neglected posting to this blog, but I am going to make a greater effort to report my go study activities on a regular basis. I also want to be a little more specific about what I am actually doing to enrich my experiences with the game. This is likely to be very boring to everyone else, but it will provide me with a record of my study activities.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Finally I Have Time To Study

It has been about a week and a half since I retired from education. A couple years ago I would not have believed that I would do more than play casually in retirement, but I've decided to devote some time to reviewing my previous professional lessons and reading some of the Go books that have been accumulating dust on my bookshelves for the past eleven years.

Yesterday I was reading a Go blog and it sounded like a good way to document this journey, so here is my first entry. Anyone who is interested is welcome to follow along.