Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
1.......1997.....New Jersey Yang Workshop
2.......1997.....Lancaster Yang Workshop
3.......1998.....Gaithersburg Yang Workshop
4.......1998.....New Jersey Yang Workshop
5.......1998.....Lancaster Yang Workshop
6.......1999.....Gaithersburg Yang Workshop
7.......1999.....New Jersey Yang Workshop
8.......1999.....Lancaster Yang Workshop
10.....2000.....New Jersey Yang Workshop
11.....2000.....Lancaster Yang Workshop
12.....2001.....Gaithersburg Yang Workshop
13.....2001.....New Jersey Yang Workshop
14.....2001.....Lancaster Yang Workshop
15.....2002.....Gaithersburg Yang Workshop
16.....2002.....New Jersey Yang Workshop
17.....2002.....Lancaster Yang Workshop
18.....2003.....Gaithersburg Yang Workshop
19.....2004.....New Jersey Yang Workshop
20.....2005.....Evanston Yang Workshop
21.....2005.....New Jersey Yang Workshop
22.....2006.....Evanston Yang Workshop
23.....2007.....Evanston Yang Workshop
24.....2008.....Evanston Yang Workshop
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I know I should get to the gym more often, but network TV and music is almost as boring as walking on the treadmill and doesn't make the time go by that quickly for me.
Yesterday I took my Tablet PC to the gym with me to see if I could stand it up in the book stand on the treadmill. This would never work with a laptop because the book stand is narrow from side to side, and not particularly deep either. I had to put my tablet into a portrait orientation because the width of the space was not adequate to hold the unit in landscape orientation. This made it necessary for me to size the window of cgoban so it only occupied half of the screen because it doesn't work well in a portrait orientation. If I had allowed it to fill the screen in portrait mode
I would have had only a narrow strip at the bottom for the commentary and for the move tree. The tablet was surprisingly stable on the rack and I didn't have any fear of it falling off.
My thirty minute walk seemed like only a fifteen minute walk as I reviewed one of my Yang lesson games on the tablet.
Next I'm going to load up my tablet with some screen captures of audio go lessons and try listening to them as I walk. This will be easier because I won't have to use the stylus to navigate a tree structure as I walk. (Before anyone asks if I will share my screen captures I will say that I made them for personal review and not for distribution. Guo Juan deserves her Euros. She's already got mine. She should have yours too.)
I wish the gym had wireless. That would be fantastic. I could watch go games live and maybe even play them "on the go".
I have a stationary bike at home, which I don't like as much as a treadmill, but if I could rig a good system for supporting the tablet while riding I might get some use out of it.
The image at the top of the post represents the appearance of cgoban as it takes up half of the screen space of my tablet in portrait orientation.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
After the congress I am -9.35656 with a sigma of 0.68605
I don't have all that far to go to get to 8 kyu :-) and with my new improved sigma it should be easier to get there.
I am very happy.
Monday, August 11, 2008
My first game I lost by 5.5
My second game I won by 2.5
My third game I won by 2.5
My fourth game I lost by 0.5
My fifth game I won by resignation while I was at least 40 points ahead on the board. That felt really great.
Based on the starting ranks of my first four opponents I could tell that none of them had self promoted... too many digits following the decimal point. My fifth opponent had self promoted from 12k to 9k, which based on his record he feels was one stone too optimistic. That game may not help me, but the other four should put me somewhere near -9.5 when the dust settles.
One of my rationales for trying the self promotion this year was that I was flying back early Saturday and would be unable to play the 6th round. I didn't want to run the risk of doing well as an 11k and miss the chance to earn a prize. I would have been heart breaking to board the plane at 5-0 with a game yet to play. I hoped to go 2-3 as a 9k and claim a new rank.
As it turned out my record of 3-2 meant that if I had played today I might have gone 4-2 and probably could have come in third again this year if I had done so. Last year I pulled that off with a 3-3 record, but that was undoubtedly a fluke caused by too many players byeing out of too many rounds in my band. Mediocre results and fighting spirit paid off last year. They probably don't always get such good results.
I'm okay with not playing the last round this year. Having lost my first game I probably didn't have all that great a chance at a prize anyway.
This was undoubtedly the best Congress I've ever had because I was able to tell people that I self promoted and that I was even in wins and losses at the end of the fourth round. It felt like a major victory. And the 9k I probably earned is a ten stone increase above my first AGA rating of 19 kyu.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Yesterday I watched a game on KGS – one of those fascinating games in which everything rides on a single move. In this case, if white played J2 first, white would make a second eye, thereby saving a group of about 20 endangered stones. White would then have been able to turn around and kill an equally large group of black’s stones. White would have won the game.
However, if black played J2 first, white’s large group would die and black’s would be saved. It was a huge move – the import of which was obvious to me as an observer – but neither player saw it for several turns. I was sitting at my desk yelling, “For God’s sake, somebody play J2!” When black finally did play it, white immediately saw the light, and resigned.
This brought home to me the fact that an uninvolved observer often sees the game more clearly than the players can. Even though I am far inferior to both those players, I saw what they did not. But it also brought home that even very good players make dumb mistakes – just like me. This is good for me to know.
Go, in this respect, is much like real life. And that, apparently, is true at every level of play.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Friday, May 02, 2008
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
My rating decreased from -11.39507 to -11.41904
My sigma went from 0.26936 to 0.25708
It's just fun to keep track of.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
After my recent downward spike I have worked my way back up to 9k, which I hope to maintain by playing rated on a consistent basis using automatch. I like automatch because I find less ego involved in those games than games against people I know.
It looks like I have about seven months before the upward spike scrolls off the graph. Until then it will be a very interesting image.
Monday, March 31, 2008
I'll recount the highlights of each game here.
My first game was against an opponent I had played for the first time at the New Jersey Open in February. This time I had white against him. The game was very close. I believe I missed an opportunity to either kill or make seki in the upper left. I will find out for sure on Thursday. At the end of the game I spent an inordinate amount of time counting the board three times to determine if I needed to make a protective move in an area that looked s if it might need it. There were no dame left. Finally I realized that being white I had to either pass a stone or play within my own territory anyway, so the protective move became a no brainer. After we both passed my opponent told me that he assumed I had won, and I told him that if so, it was by no more than 2.5. We counted and saw that I had a 1.5 victory, or at least we thought I did. We approached the desk to report the results only to discover that there had been no komi for white. We were both surprised. So what had been a 1.5 victory turned quickly to a loss. This was a lesson to me to actually LOOK at the pairings rather than just accompany my opponent to our table on his say so. Let me be clear that my opponent had not looked at the komi either, but has also assumed 7.5 for white. There's always something new to learn about how to conduct oneself at a tournament.
My second game was against someone I had played two or three times at the Montgomery Go Club. When sitting down to play, my opponent commented that we are very evenly matched, which we both know to be true. An interesting game was sure to follow. I had black and my opponent had komi. We had both checked to be sure about komi after my earlier surprise. In this game my opponent did hane at the head of two stones after I invaded the lower right corner from a low one space approach to a hoshi stone. I extended to the 2nd line and cut after he extended to the 2nd line as well. My understanding is that this should have been successful, but I may have played it wrong, or the position may have been complicated by an additional white stone. I managed a successful invasion on the top, and did my little "snaking" routine where I managed to reduce one of my opponent's areas. At the end of the game white (with komi) had won by 7.5, so it was a jigo on the board. He would have won by 0.5 without komi anyway so I can't complain.
My third game was against a first time tournament player. He was a gentleman who had learned some lessons at the hands of the children in his first two games. In his first game he learned not to feel compelled to match the speed of opponents whose height does not exceed the bunny's ears at the amusement park. Just because one's opponent is rolling his eyes and acting bored is no reason to pick up the pace. I told him this after that game, and suggested that it is a much better strategy to allow the small children to figgit and look about the room. It breaks their concentration. In his second game he learned that his opponent might not remind him to hit his clock after each play. During our game, unfortunately, in spite of hitting his clock he ran out of time. I felt bad about that, and I would have said something if I had seen it coming, but I didn't notice until the red light on the clock started flashing. And not being familiar with how that clock handles byo yomi I had to call over the tournament director to confirm that time had, in fact, run out. It was sad, but it was a win. It was a close game anyway.
I toyed with the idea of byeing out of the fourth round and going home early since I was doing so poorly, but I was having fun and decided to stay. My fourth game was against a 12k. This time I had to give 2H. This game illustrates dramatically the extent to which I can gain a lead and then proceed to make idiotic mistakes to lose it. In this case, however, the lead was enough to result in a 9.5 victory even after allowing a large dead group to spring back to life. I even allowed a few dead stones to expand their numbers, and to result in a seki. This stole away at least twenty points from my lead. The highlight of that game was the fact that as white I was able to play the last dame by filling the third empty point in the seki, thus avoiding the need to play a stone in my own territory or pass a stone. We both had a good laugh over this. The huge seki made the board much easier to count since there was this vast expanse of stones we didn't have to disturb. :-)
I was actually ashamed of my fourth game, thinking that I did not deserve to win after having made two such huge mistakes. However, a dan player who reviewed it for me last night on KGS told me it was a very good game with advanced life and death reading just before my lapse and very pretty shape for white.
I know I am getting more from my tournament games by reviewing them myself and with stronger players, and by showing them to Mr. Yang. I am remembering more from each game, and I am particularly seeing more life and death situations in my games during the games and in review.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
After losing four even games in a row I was not thrilled with having to give two stones of handicap in my fifth game. But I felt considerable better about it when my opponent's first move was to directly contact my first move, which I had played at a hoshi point. I felt as if I might have the conceptual upper hand.
I won that game by 30.5 to solidify my rank at 12k, which is one stone lower than my AGA rating. I feel so normal now, and liberated too.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I have reviewed some games with him since and helped him a little. I count him as one of my students, but mostly I have watched him play. Because he hurries from one game to the next so quickly he has little time for review, but I enjoy watching him. At first I was not so sure that rushing from game to game was the best thing to do, but I have come to think that the results speak for themselves. He is 16 kyu already, and not long ago he was 21 kyu, which was his first stable rating. At his level it seems that playing a lot without much review seems to be a great strategy for improvment.
What impresses me the most is the way he just plays... plays... plays, and rated too!!!
I looked at his games list today and was surprised to see only three games yesterday. But then I saw he had played 17 the day before, and 14 the day before that. Granted, these were weekend days, but still, that is a lot of games to play in two days.
I would love to recapture that enthusiasm and total lack of fear. Okay, I am not sure I ever had that enthusiasm and total lack of fear, but I did drive through a hurricane in 1970 to play a game of go, so I deserve SOME credit. Perhaps I need to develop that sense of enthusiasm and lack of fear.
If I am lucky I will meet my new go friend who has been so inspiring at the Cherry Blossom tournament at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on Sunday this coming weekend. He would be playing in his first AGA rated tournament if he shows up. And if he enters as a 16 kyu it is conceivable that we might end up playing depending on the field.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
As much as I enjoy playing a game with Mr. Yang and reviewing it as we usually do in our lessons, I think that I actually enjoy reviewing games I have played with others even more. When Mr. Yang and I play a lesson game together I realize that Mr. Yang is playing in a way to keep the game reasonable. He obviously isn't going to play like a 7p. He sets up opportunities for me to punish him, and other situations which we will review later. When we go over the game he will tell me when I have missed opportunities, and made suboptimal moves. He'll ask for better moves. Sometimes I can find them. However, if I thought a move I had made was okay thrity minutes before, and I had failed to find the right move at that time, there is a good chance I will have a hard time finding it during the review. It is a different story with my tournament games, however. I played the NJ Open games nearly two weeks prior to their review. I went over those games a number of times including during the hours immediately prior to our lesson. I asked myself which moves Mr. Yang would consider slow or unnecessary, and which opportunities I had missed. I had tried to find the moves for which he might want me to seek alternatives. As a result I felt better prepared when I was being asked questions.
Another interesting aspect of reviewing tournament games is that Mr. Yang doesn't know what is coming up in the game. In one case there was a corner situation where Mr. Yang showed me what I should have played assuming that I hadn't played it. Then he realized that he was actually in the main line of play and he said, "Oh you played that."
I got a "wow" (with two exclaimation marks) when I played a corner invasion unlike my usual self.
pala [-]: wow!!
buzzsaw [8k?]: yeah wow is right
buzzsaw [8k?]: not like terri huh?
pala [-]: great forcing move
pala [-]: you are new terri
buzzsaw [8k?]: but I do get a little whimpy in a while
This is the second tournament where I have shared all of the games with Mr. Yang afterwards. I am really enjoying doing this. There is something emotionally risky about it because I have promised myself to show them all... the good, the bad, the ugly, and the just plain stupid like the moment in which I failed to make an obvious move to create a seki. But the advantage of exposing myself in this way is that it makes me particularly mindful of my play. I know it will come under scrutiny later because I will not allow myself to weed out games that show me in a bad light. I feel safe in doing this because Mr. Yang has known me for so long and I am very comfortable in revealing myself to him. I don't feel the need to hide anything because he is always supportive. I also believe that it is to my advantage as a student for him to see what the flow of a tournament is like for me, even if it isn't pretty. I don't worry that some of my games might not have good analysis potential because I have come to realize that Mr. Yang finds valuable lessons in any game with which he is presented.
We ended our analysis on Thursday with the game where I failed to make seki, my only loss in the tournament. It resulted in the following comments:
pala [-]: oh no.
buzzsaw [8k?]: I resign obviously
buzzsaw [8k?]: end of game
pala [-]: really painful
It's great to have a teacher who understands how you feel.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Before the tournament I was rated -11.46300. After the tournament I was rated -11.39507. This is a ratings improvement of 0.06793, less than a tenth of a ratings point. Plus my sigma went down and is now at a low 0.26936. Having a lower sigma should slow things down even more.
Given these results I would expect to break into 10k if I can go 4-1 at my next four tournaments. This just doesn't seem right to me. It isn't that I am in such a hurry to be 10k. I would just like to see results that make sense. Less than a tenth of a point for four wins just doesn't make sense to me. The fact that one of the opponents I won against had self promoted two stones didn't help, and is all the more reason to resist self promotion myself to avoid providing a future opponent with similarly disappointing results.
At the end of the month I will be playing in a tournament at the University of Pennsylvania and will have to decide at what rank to enter. I will probably enter at my AGA rating if for no other reason than to see how small the increase in rating will be if I happen to win all of my games.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I started this blog about a week after I retired, and the year anniversary of the beginning of this blog passed without my even being aware of it. Today I checked the date on the first post, and I realized the anniversary had come and gone about three weeks ago. In the first year I posted 54 times, just slightly over once a week on average.
Thanks to those who have followed along, and especially to those who have made comments along the way.
Monday, February 25, 2008
In my second game of the day I managed to get a resignation from my opponent after I made a decisive kill. After it was pointed out to me in analysis that my opponent could have made a ko for life by playing at o1, I didn't feel quite so smug about the kill. But if one's opponent doesn't see the ko, then the ko doesn't exist. I was euphoric from the kill and wanted to avoid the mistake of failing to take a break at the appropriate time. I went for a break to clear my head so I would not do something stupid in the aftermath of the kill. That has happened to me more than once. The second game of the day is shown below at the point of resignation. When I returned from my break my opponent resigned. I was really tired by then, and it was a relief not to have to play the end game. I am black.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I won all three of my games yesterday and I am going back hoping to win one or two more. But even if I lose both games today I will have won more than I lost, so I am in a good position.
I will do my best to keep a calm mind. I know my go skills are up to the challenge if I can just keep my mind calm.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I actually was ahead by 4.5 according to Score Estimator just before I played the winning move. In the screen capture below you can see the shadow of the stone that I intend to play at h19. Because black made his second eye at j19, I was able to cut at h18. I would then be able to capture the black stones to the right because black could not approach from the inside because of a shortage of libeties, but I could approach from the outside.
The screen capture below shows the position at the point at which black resigned. Score Estimator shows W+37.5 at this point. I was glad not to have to depend upon superior end game play to win the game because I am okay in the end game these days, but I hardly have superior end game skills. I would not have been happy falling to 10k, so it was a good thing to get it over with painlessly... well, at least for me. :-)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
After the Oza I decided to have Mr. Yang review all six of my Oza games using about thirty minutes of my regular lesson time for each game. Although I had reviewed games with Mr. Yang online during my lesson time previously, that was many years ago, and I had never reviewed my tournament games. I had only reviewed games I had played online. So this was the first time that Mr. Yang had seen any of my tournament games.
I enjoyed reviewing the games, and definitely got value from it. But one of the main reasons I wanted to do it was because I wanted Mr. Yang to get a feel for what a typical tournament is like for me. It was my hope that seeing the situations in which I end up with other players might impact in some way the situations that Mr. Yang might choose to create in our lessons games. I believe that everything he sees about the way I play has potential to influence what he does in our lessons, if not consciously, then subconsciously, based on what he knows about how I play, and what I need to practice.
Mr. Yang said something at the workshop which confirmed my belief that he had"filed away" some information from those Oza game reviews, and added it to his knowledge of "how Terri plays". There was a point in a game review or a lecture at which it was appropriate to play a 2nd line move against a 3rd line move which would then allow for a double sente move on the side. He said, "Terri makes this kind of move often." That would not be so impressive a statement if I actually got the chance to play such moves in our lesson games. But given the fact that our lesson games don't often get beyond the middle game, he had to have made that statement based on what he had recently observed in my Oza games, which we reviewed to the end. I am only one of many students that Mr. Yang had taught in the past month, which makes his observation even more impressive to me.
At the workshop I made it a point to show Mr. Yang one of the video recordings I had made of our lessons. He said he had never seen anyone make that kind of recording before. It was just like watching a KGS lecture only it was our lesson.
We did experience some significant lag in our last lesson, however, which makes the video recordings less valuable since stones and text sometimes appear very quickly in spurts when lag occurs. In those cases it is necessary to look at the sgf file to make sense of things. I told Mr. Yang that it is more efficient to view the sgf file from a time standpoint, but it is nice to be able to watch the lesson in real time as well.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Before the tournament my rating was -11.52063 with a sigma of 0.31384.
After the tournament my rating was -11.46308 with a sigma of 0.28265.
I experienced a ratings improvement of 0.05755 points and my sigma went down by 0.03119.
I don't think that going 3-2 at the NJ Open will be enough to break into the 10 kyu range, and I am not comfortable with a self promotion to 9 kyu. Since the AGA is not currently allowing self promotions of one rank it looks as if it's going to be a tough battle to 10k.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The following conversation took place...
teamochi [13k]: Are you really 7kyu?
buzzsaw [7k?]: yeah
buzzsaw [7k?]: do I seem weaker?
buzzsaw [7k?]: I am really 7k
ramatheson [13k]: Are you really 13k ?
ramatheson [13k]: :)
buzzsaw [7k?]: I have a ? cause I have not played rated in a few weeks
teamochi [13k]: Well you seem stronger than any 7kyu I've seen
buzzsaw [7k?]: I just know more than any 7k you have ever seen
buzzsaw [7k?]: thanks for the complement though
buzzsaw [7k?]: I study with a 7 dan professional
buzzsaw [7k?]: so I have a good theoretical base
Whew! I was scared there for awhile.
Later in the review I thanked him for the complement and told him that he had made my day.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Day two of the Oza started off well with a win which brought my record to 3-1, and provided the promise of at least a face saving result of 3-3 by tournament’s end, which is exactly what I ended up getting.
The day started off with the fourth game, in which I played black. It was a peaceful and fairly uneventful game which was quite close through the late middle game. It was touch and go though, and was anyone’s game. Fairly late in the game my opponent attempted to invade a solid corner and tried to set up a ko for life, but I declined to play it because it really wasn’t a ko at all. It just looked like one. Then later on we were putting finishing touches on the edges of territory. I played a move which I expected my opponent would realize was atari against six stones. This move required that he capture one of my stones to save his six. I never saw it as a potential trick play, and I never though that he would miss the threat. It had to be played eventually since it was forcing and would gain a point for me and lose a point for him when he took, but I guess the move was played late enough that it was not perceived as the real threat that it was. That move turned a possible win into a sure win. But at the end of the game we determined that it had not been game deciding afterall, which made me feel much better about it. I’m sure my opponent felt better as well. No one likes to win or lose a game based on that kind of oversight. After pushing around the stones during the scoring phase and seeing that it was a clear win we never actually bothered to come up with the exact number of points, but it appeared not to be over ten, yet less than twenty.
After my third win of the tournament I was destined to meet stronger opposition in the form of a 9 kyu during my fifth game. At least I got to play black again. I lost this game by 18.5. The dan players who reviewed the game afterwards liked my position early on… up through move 70, in fact. They said that I lost the game because I failed to invade the lower left corner at the 3-3 in a timely fashion. In addition to that, I had earlier failed to extend from a three stone wall on the bottom in favor of adding a stone to a framework in the upper right in response to an approach move which I thought would be followed by an invading pincer. Late in the game I did attempt the invasion at the 3-3 after it had been reinforced with an additional stone by my opponent. I made a valiant effort at life, which failed. I probably should not have forced my opponent to connect three in a row to make the killing nakade shape, which I knew he was strong enough to recognize as the killing move. People are known to make mistakes, however, so I did force that move on the off chance that the proper response might have been missed. I stopped short of capturing the nakade and making him throw in to complete the kill. Having made the nakade in the first place there was no doubt in my mind that he would throw in. I see no point in playing a truly insulting move. After game five I was 3-2 and feeling optimistic about the possibility of winning again, especially since I was not likely to meet a 9k again. However, another win was not to be.
My sixth and last game was against a 10 kyu. I had the white stones in my hand again, which is never easy for me, but I gave it my best shot. Up until this point all of my opponents had been clearly at least twenty years younger than myself, although I had played only one child. My last opponent was in my own age range, and obviously experienced. My opponent took a fairly clear lead in this game, and gave me some trouble with a group along the top which he made annoyingly small, and then attempted to kill. He had stones on either side of the eye which bordered the upper side. He did a hane on the first line and when I did atari he did hane on the other side so that I could not block without being captured. I expected this after the first hane. I could read that far, but I saw no choice but to atari his first hane and see where it might lead. As much as my atari was probably death, failure to atari was SURE death. After his second hane from the outside I considered resignation, but I looked more carefully and I realized that if I threw in and he took I could squeeze and he could not connect to the second hane due to a shortage of liberties. I had not seen that until my atari and his second hane were in place. I would never have been able to read that situation a year ago even after the addition of those two moves, and I am certainly glad that I didn't talk myself out of continuing based on how far I actually could read. I've been known to do that on occasion. When I threw in my opponent appeared to be surprised, but he then read it too, and connected out the stone that was short allowing me to save my group. After I managed to live along the top my opponent knew I could read… at least a little bit. Another highlight of this sixth game was my invasion of the upper left, which was necessary because I was behind. I thought it was destined to die, but I managed to make it live. I am going to have some stronger players look at that position. I thought I knew the killing move for my opponent, but after trying it for black in a variation I found that I was able to refute it. Maybe the invasion did deserve to win afterall. Stronger players will be able to tell me. Since it was the last game of the day I didn’t have anyone look at it yet, but I will load it up on KGS for some friends to take a look. After living in the upper left I thought I had a chance, but I needed more to win. I next managed to reduce the lower left quite successfully by jumping across a 3rd line stone from the 2nd line to the 2nd line which my opponent could not cut off. After that I counted myself ahead by a couple of points, but I think I may have been wrong. In any case I had a group in the lower right that needed an extra stone thrown in to avoid seki, and I was afraid that I could not afford to play that stone and gambled that my opponent would view it as alive. As it turned out my opponent jumped into that group. I avoided death, and got the seki I deserved. I’m still not sure if it cost me the game or not, but I did lose by about ten points, and I think there were only eight points in that territory to begin with, so throwing in a stone would have had me down by three points at the end if that were the case. The game brought my opponent’s record to 3-3 and my own to 3-3 so I figure we both got what we deserved regardless.
Aside from my first game loss, my three wins came early in the tournament. I consider myself lucky in that respect because I was able to play stronger players in my last two games. I played white three times and I played black three times. The beauty of the system is that even though it is nearly impossible to go 6-0, it is also nearly impossible to go 0-6. If your rating is accurate you are going to hit a wall somewhere and your fortune will be reversed, whether that means eventually winning, or eventually losing. 6-0 records are for children, beginners, and players who don’t play regularly enough to have their rating keep up with their improvement. And every once in awhile I guess someone else has a couple really good days, in which case they deserve to go 6-0.
One positive for me to focus on from this tournament is that my stamina was obviously up, and I credit that as much to physical exercise as to lessons. Heaven knows I don’t play enough, nor do I do enough tsumego. I have recently started doing cardio activity on an almost daily basis, which is supposed to be as good for your brain as it is for the rest of your body. Another positive is that aside from my swift resignation in my first game, all of my games were reasonably close. I include the second game resignation because if it had not been for cutting off a group the game would have gone on to completion, and it would have been a close one, which I think I still would have won.
In spite of telling myself that 3-3 if good and fair, I will admit to some disappointment that I had not been able to pull off a 4-2 record given the difference between my AGA rating and my KGS rating, as well as the observations of so many that my play has improved dramatically in the year since retirement. The breakthrough they have been predicting will come some day, but apparently the time is not now. There will be more tournaments soon. For now I must focus on study, stamina, and playing. These are the things that will make the difference in the long run.
I am very happy to have gotten so much analysis from stronger players between games at the Oza, and I am going to seek even more review online to add to the lessons to be learned from this tournament. I may have had three losses, but I only had one game to be ashamed of.
I had a great time. I have a Yang workshop coming up in four weeks to look forward to in the Chicago area, which will be followed the next week by the New Jersey Open in Princeton, which will be followed a month later by a one day tournament at The University of Pennsylvania. My Winter go calendar is full, and life is good.