Saturday, June 30, 2007

More About Studying Joseki

I have started to work my way through the three volume joseki dictionary by Ishida. I am laying the stones out on the board and reading all of the comments as I do so. My plan is to go straight through all three volumes without attempting to remember any of the sequences the first time through the set of books.

I mentioned this plan to my long time go mentor who is an AGA 4 dan. He said that any study is good study. But he recommended that I read through the two volume set "Whole Board Thinking in Joseki" first by Yilun Yang before tackling the Ishida books.

I told him that I thought it made more sense to actually see the joseki variations before attempting to choose a joseki for a whole board position. If I didn't know what finished joseki positions looked like, how could I choose among the various continuations to solve the problems in the book?

He suggested that I simply read the books without attempting to solve the problems. I decided to give it a try, and am more than halfway through the first volume, which is the low knight's approach to the 3-4. The second volume covers the high one space approach the the 3-4. I'm going fairly quickly through the exercises since I am really only reading the book, and not placing the stones on the board. Although I did not intend to solve the problems, I could not resist trying to do so after I started to understand how the positions in the adjacent corners affected the choice of continuation. I was pleased to discover that I can make the correct choices in many cases.

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