Tuesday, March 11, 2008

NJ Open Games Reviewed With Mr. Yang

During our regular lesson on Thursday of last week Mr. Yang reviewed the first four games of the NJ Open with me. We will review the fifth game of this tournament at our next lesson on the 20th of March.

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.

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