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.