Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Last week I checked my rating to see if the results of the Hoboken tournament were in yet. They weren't, but I found that my rating had increased to -8.92, which was up from the -8.98 I had achieved immediately after the congress.
I checked my rating again this morning.
Imagine my surprise, having gone 3-1 in Hoboken, to see that my new rating had dropped to -9.10 after having achieved prize winning results in my last tournament.
It just doesn't make sense.
I would rather that I had stabilized at 9 kyu as a result of my 2-3 record at the congress. At least that would have made sense.
I came back from Hoboken feeling that my 8 kyu rating would at least be solidified. I didn't really expect it to change for the better by more than a couple hundredths of a point.
It just doesn't make sense to win and have your rating go down as a result.
At least my sigma is up to 0.47773
But now I have to enter as 9 kyu at my next tournament.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Yesterday I played in a tournament in Hoboken. I was lucky enough to get a ride to the playing site with five other players from the Princeton Go Club. We had a nice time riding up and back together. I met up with them on campus for the ride.
I saw lots of people I know from previous tournaments and enjoyed my time chatting between rounds.
I went 3-1 to defend my tenuous rating of -8.98, which I earned through a two stone self promotion at the Congress this year just the month before.
I will admit to having been very nervous about this tournament because I did not want to slip back to 9 kyu. There is something nice about having a rating that matches one's AGAID number. However, it seemed unlikely that I could defend this rating, especially in New Jersey where ratings are particularly tough due to the location of the Fen Yun Go School. We are lucky to have such good competition, but it makes New Jersey events particularly tough when the young strong locals come out in force.
My four games were all with opponents under the age of 20. Three of them were with young students of Feng Yun, so it was quite a challenge to go 3-1, and I am particularly pleased with my record.
My first game was a loss, and I braced myself for the rest of the day. I recorded my first game, and sat down with Masaki Hamiguchi, one of my strong long time go buddies, and we went over the game. He is such a good teacher, and showed me where I went wrong. Primarily I failed to reduce the Chinese opening with a shoulder hit at the proper time, making it difficult for me to reduce it later. I had taken a smaller move along the side instead.
My first opponent was a young boy who made sure I knew before the end game started that he was winning. I am sure that was my subtle hint to resign, and in a club game I would have. But I was there to play go, and if I resigned every game I played with a child under the age of ten once i was behind, I would have some very long waits between rounds. I told him that I agreed with his assessment, but that I would enjoy finishing the game nonetheless, and so we did. I lost by 36.5, which was less than I would have expected given the massive kill. This boy was so committed to the Chinese Opening that he chose to play it as white. I am not sure that I have seen this before. It is time to review my Guo Juan Audio Go Lessons on the Chinese Opening.
My second opponent was the only one who was not a student of Feng Yun. She was a sophomore in college who was attending her first tournament. She had been playing go for about three years, which she had discovered in high school by way of Anime. That game turned out to be a decisive victory for me at 56.5, and I recorded that game as well up until I was about ten minutes away from byo yomi.
As much as I like having a recording so I can benefit from my mistakes, I found that I had worn myself out considerably with recording those first two games. I ended up in byo yomi in both of them, which was no surprise given that I was playing what looked like an eight year old boy who didn't need long to decide his next move, and a college student who was a self proclaimed fan of blitz.
Masaki suggested that I stop recording, and predicted that I would be two stones stronger if I did. Whether he was right about the increase in go strength, or not, I definitely found myself refreshed by not recording, and I felt a definite increase in stamina.
My third game was with a very young boy from the Feng Yun Go School who was playing as a 7 kyu. I managed to isolate some of his stones early on in the game to create a huge area of territory, which he added to by attempting unsuccessfully to live. It turned out to be an easy game, and I came out of it refreshed and with a 15.5 victory. We both played quickly so I had more than an hour to relax and do tsumgo before the 4th round.
My fourth game was with a young teenage female student of the Feng Yun Go School. This was also a relatively easy game. This opponent had won all three of her games to this point, so she was being matched up to play a stronger player even in the fourth round. Given that the handicap was inadequate for her stated rank, it was an important game for me to win. I did so by 26.5
At the awards ceremony I received some cash, and I got to choose a go book. They had more than a handful of books I did not already own, and I selected "The Go Companion: Go in History and Culture" by John Fairbairn and T. Mark Hall the Creators of GoGoD.
I came back seriously pumped and logged in immediately to KGS to look for my friends so i could brag. I found a few, and by 12:30 I had come down far enough to attempt to sleep.
It was a very exciting day, and I am very glad I went.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
I recently started taking group lessons with Guo Juan, and am very excited about the group lesson experience as a supplement to my private lessons with Yilun Yang.
You can read details about the lesson schedule and get pricing information at Guo Juan's Internet Go School Web Site. A new term will begin in April, and I know after only two weeks of participation in this term that I will be signing up again.
I had thought about taking these group lessons before, but was a bit worried about taking time out of my weekends for it. It was the recommendation of friends, however, who had taken the lessons in the past that convinced me to do it this time.
At 120 Euros (about 160 USD) you get ten weeks of lessons. Groups meet for an hour and a half at the assigned time in a private room on KGS. Three groups are running this term, A, B, and C. Apparently there was not enough interest to run the D group, although that is a shame because this would be a great way for 30k to 20k players to begin their go education along with the audio go lessons. Perhaps players of that level don't think they are ready for lessons, but I think they are.
I am in the B group, which ranges in strength from 10k to 1k, although the strongest player currently enrolled is 4k. Classes are an hour and a half each, but you are allowed to observe all other levels besides your own. I enjoy watching the A group and the C group lessons too. This gives great value for the money because you can watch four and a half hours of professional instruction a week if you are so inclined. In addition to that you can watch the lessons in video format if you are lucky enough to have someone in the group who is able to record it and make it available for download.
During the first two weeks the lessons have consisted of review of games that students have played. Each week we get a file of tsumego to solve. So far there have been 20 problems in the file. We go over many of the problems at the end of the lesson, and we receive a file later with the correct answers so we can check our work on any of the problems that we did not review in class.
I find that having classmates adds to my desire to play and discuss games outside of class. It's motivating. We all know we should solve tsumego, but being given a set of problems to solve and knowing that you will be expected to have done your homework makes it more likely that you will actually work on tsumego than if you have to search out problems on your own and force yourself to pay attention to them.
I often see double digit kyu players asking how they can improve. This certainly seems like a great way to do it. I would highly recommend to anyone that they take these group lessons. It's like being at a workshop without air fare and hotel fees. It's well worth the money.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
- blogging about go
- reading Go Discussions
- reading go books
- playing pro games
- studying tsumego
- watching others play on KGS
- reviewing games of others on KGS
- editing my Yang lessons Next Move SGF Style
- preparing and giving lesson reviews
- playing on KGS
- having my games reviewed
- Guo Juan Group Lessons
- Yang Lessons