Sunday, November 11, 2007

Had My Second Lesson On Thursday

I had my second lesson with Mr. Yang in my new series of lessons which I started two weeks ago. It is actually lesson 134 with Mr. Yang if you count the lessons I took previously from 1998 to 2003. I know this because I named my lesson game records with numbers, and the last two lessons I took in 2003 were named 132a and 132b. Of course that doesn't count the few times we had spent our lessons reviewing games I had played with people at my own rank.

On Thursday we played two games and reviewed them. I did screen capture videos of the lessons as I did two weeks ago, and will probably continue to do this. It takes longer to watch the videos than to click through the sgf files because the time spent thinking of alternate moves in response to Mr. Yang's questions is in the video. But it is a good way to get a feel for the flow of the game before using the sgf files. So I watch the lessons in video format two or three times.

When I took lessons previously I would edit the game records to move comments back in the record so they referred to the next move rather than to the current move. I started to do this in 2003 when I moved my lessons to KGS because it emulated the style of commenting that Mr. Yang used when he commented games off line.

My first 12 lessons were on IGS and I found it difficult to edit the game records to include the variations and the comments so I found myself getting behind in the editing. So at the 1999 go congress I asked Mr. Yang if he would play a game with me for one hour and then spend the other hour of the lesson time commenting the game offline and sending it to me. It was an unusual arrangement, but because I was a weak player I could not remember the comments and variations to insert them into the game record like a strong player would be able to do after the lesson. So I think it was a good way for me to take lessons. We started that arrangement in August of 1999 after the go congress and continued with it until January of 2001 when we started lessons on KGS.

I guess you could say that one of my claims to fame is that I was the first student to bring Mr. Yang to KGS for lessons. Others followed, and the rest is history.


rlburdsal said...

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Please forgive me, but I came upon your Blog while considering the purchase of "Smart Go." Do you really like Smart-Go still? What is "KGS" please? Also, what is this "Cgoban" that you mention in another comment you left on the blog? I'm Rob Burdsal, a 56-year old government worker with a great wife and 6-children. Frankly, I'm worn out. Year ago I lived in Okinawa where I first started playing Go, but for many years I've stopped. I'm about 4-5 years until retirement, and I want to resume my playing but right now I'd be scared to death to play against actual people. That's why I'm considering Smart Go first. I figure I could gain at least some control and skill before playing human beings again. It's been a longtime. For example, I saw your "Crane's Nest" photo and comments and I haven't the faintest idea what a "Crain's Nest" is or how to recognise one. I've never taken lessons, and actually didn't realize they were ever offered anywhere. How long have you played - you seem so superior to my current level (which has to be way at the bottom right now) that I'm really feeling like perhaps I'd be better ff flying an airplane on the Microsoft program - but I still deeply enjoyed Go and perhaps it there is still time to improve and play others and enjoy the experiences. Do you have any comments or suggestions I should consider? Should I purchase something other than Smart Go do you think (if you don't mind answering such a question). After looking carefully it does appear to be the best program I can find out there. I'm Rob Burdsal and my e-mail is: If I get your email I'll give you the one I use with friends and family, but for all I know this comment will be posted for all to see so for now I offer only my generic email address. Thanks.

Terri said...

My recommendation to you is that you jump right in and begin playing go with real people. The best way to do this is by playing on KGS, which is a go server where you can play with real people.

SmartGo is well worth purchasing. In fact I came upon your message as I was just about do do another post concerning SmartGo paired with another program called EverNote to study go.

You and I are about the same age. I would be happy to help you begin to study go on KGS. I will send you an email privately with more details.