Monday, May 25, 2009

Maryland Open

I attended the Maryland Open on Saturday of last weekend.  Attendance was low this year and it seemed that we were missing the strongest players, and there were not too many weaker players either.

This tournament was my chance to stabilize my rank at a solid 9 kyu before the Congress.  I had dipped close to 10 kyu after the New Jersey Open in February.   Unfortunately, I think I may have pushed myself down into DDK land again.   

I lost all three of my games on Saturday, and I did not play on Sunday.   All of my games were very close.   I lost the first by 4.5.  I lost the second by 0.5, and I lost the third by 2.5.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Guo Juan Group Lessons Are Going Well

I am enjoying my group lessons with Guo Juan and Jennie Shen.  They take turns doing the lessons.

A new feature has been added this semester which I like.   They are asking us to send in our games early enough so they can send them all to us before the lesson.  We receive an sgf file which is a compilation of all the games by Friday.  This way we can look at the games in preparation for the Saturday lesson.  This is really nice because it gives us a chance to think about questions, and also to try to anticipate what the teacher may choose to focus on during the analysis of the various games.  Basically we have been given an additional opportunity to prepare for the lesson beyond the time we spend looking at our own game record, and doing tsumego.

It is obvious through their analysis that Guo Juan and Jennie both look at each game ahead of time to find something to emphasize during review so they can make the best use of the time available for the lesson.

I love my group lessons, but unfortuately life happens.   Next week I have to attend a birthday party, and the following week I will be playing in the Maryland Open Tournament.   Lucky for me I am not the only person who is recording the Group B lessons in video format.   When I come back from my activities I will be able to download the lesson from the link in the lesson room and watch the video.

I highly recommend the Guo Juan group lessons.