Saturday, November 13, 2010

Level Up Series

In the past week or so I have completed books 1, 2, and 3 of the Level Up series.

I downloaded all of the answer PDF files available for the books and installed them on my iPad under the iBooks app. This makes it easy to check my answers. I go through a book one time without looking at answers and then I go through it one more time checking one page at a time against the PDF file.

I am currently working my way through book 4 of the series.

I notice that books above level 10 are currently available, but they do not appear to have PDF answer files ready for those volumes yet. I hope they will by the time I work my way through volume 10, which is as high as I have purchased so far. I won't buy any higher until the PDF files are available.

While answers to books 1 through 5 appear to be really easy, I imagine that above 10 the answers will be harder.

I am really enjoying these books.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Audio Go Lessons I Have Been Watching Lately

I have been concentrating on the Basic Course lectures in the past few weeks.

Recently I watched the following lectures:

All About Eyes Lecture 1

All About Eyes Lecture 2

All About Eyes Lecture 3

Efficiency For 30K - 10 K Lecture 1

Efficiency For 30K - 10 K Lecture 2

Efficiency For 30K - 10 K Lecture 3

Double Atari Lecture 1

Double Atari Lecture 2

Double Atari Lecture 3

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I Am Moderating All Future Posts

It came to my attention that someone was spamming my blog. I had seen a number of foreign language posts in the past and left them because I assumed that someone actually had something worthwhile to say even though I could not understand it myself.

Today I found over 20 comments on my most recent post, which is months old. Many of them have links to obscene web sites.

It is a sorry thing when one has to moderate her blog to avoid such things. Please do not comment to this blog simply to agree with me on this point.

Thank you in advance for your patience when you make a comment to a future blog post and must wait for it to be approved.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Maryland Open

I played in the Maryland Open last weekend. I played four games, winning two, and losing two.

I wasn't too unhappy with my results, since my losses were both less than ten points, and my wins were close to 20 points. I was pleased that my victories were more decisive than my losses.

Upon checking the KGS ratings of the two opponents that beat me, I found that they are 5K and 6K on KGS compared to my own 8K, so I feel as if I performed well against them. I did feel rather pushed around by both of them.

An interesting reunion occurred during the third round with an opponent who remembered me from the San Francisco congress eleven years ago in 1999. We had played that year. He must have been a mere child at the time since he is in graduate school now. That was eleven years ago. I was quite frankly surprised that we had progressed at the same pace given the difference in our ages. He recalls that we were both about 15K at the time of our previous game. Now he is 10K and I am 9K. Our game at this tournament was interesting in that he was way ahead, but I managed to isolate and kill a number of stones leading to my victory. He tells me that something similar occurred eleven years ago, and even pointed to the area of the board involved. I was impressed that our game had been that memorable for him.

I had my iPad with me and I recorded my games with it. But even more interestingly I played a 9x9 game with another iPad owner over the internet on KGS while we sat across from each other at a table at the Maryland Open. We accomplished this through the use of remote desktop software. I was using LogMeIn Ignition. We both have 3G iPads so we could log in to our home desktops (both 24" iMacs) even though we did not have wi-fi access at the playing site. I won that 9x9 by 1.5 points even though my first move was an obvious miss click.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

March Audio Go Lessons - My Watch List

I purchased the year long subscription to the Audio Go Lessons web site at the middle of the month in March.

Following is a list of the Lessons I watched during the month of March:

Step By Step Series Lesson 1
Step By Step Series Lesson 2
Step By Step Series Lesson 3
Typical Mistakes Lecture 1 Level 30k - 20k
Important Stones Lesson 1
Important Stones Lesson 2
Efficiency for 30K - 10k
Invasion Lecture 1 30k - 1k
Important Stones Lesson 3
Efficiency for 30k - 10k Lesson 2

Some of these are lessons I had previously purchased, and which had since expired. It was good to go back and view some of these lessons again. Some of these lessons were new to me.

If I continue to watch lessons at this rate I will be able to watch twice as many videos in one year as I could have watched if I had rented them one video at a time, and I can go back and watch them as often as I want for a full year rather than a full month.

I'll make it a point to report on my usage for the month of April.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Subscribed To Audio Go Lessons For One Year

Guo Juan has offered a new payment plan for her audio go lessons web site, which can be found at her Internet Go School. For 99 Euros you get a full year of unlimited access. I decided that this was an attractive plan for me because it meant that I wouldn't have to worry about access on individual offerings expiring after one month. 99 Euros is significantly more than I would have paid in the course of a year to watch individual titles if I had rented each one separately. However, now that I will be trying to get my money's worth, I will probably watch many more videos. I won't have to ask myself if I want to bother to spend the single Euro for a particular title. It's really nice not to have to worry about the videos expiring after a month.

My first order of business is to go back over the easiest Step By Step videos that I had watched in the beginning. Those are excellent videos that I might otherwise not have bothered to rent again.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

NJ Open Round 5

These pictures were all taken by Don DeCourcelle.

This was an incredibly peaceful game. Not a single stone was captured during the game. The final position has one dead stone of each color near the center of the board. This is not unusual for me since I am basically a very peaceful player.

The first image is a picture of the board just before scoring. I played black in this game and the bottom territory is worth 49 points. After confirming that fact, we simply removed the lone stone on the first line and placed it elsewhere, and didn't bother to arrange that area any further.

Here I am with my gray hair pondering the board. Don posted these images to Facebook, and I find it amusing that I had made an appointment to color my hair as a reward for reaching my goal weight about an hour before I saw this photograph on Facebook. Seeing it only confirmed the wisdom of my decision.

This is my worthy opponent Iris Lin, who had won all four of her games in the New Jersey Open before our game.

Here is a graphic representation of the board position that Don made for me.

New Jersey Open

I played at the New Jersey Open again this year, and had a great time.

Many of my old friends were present. One old friend who had been conspicuously absent for years made an appearance. Don DeCourcelle, who hosted the New Jersey Yang Workshop for two years, made the NJ Open his first tournament in his return to the go scene after an absence of at least five years.

I played at the rank I "earned" at the Hoboken tournament last year, which is 9k. I was very close to 8k and would like to have played at that level, but I know that the AGA has a policy against one stone self promotions, so I didn't try to push it at registration.

I came to find that, as last year, they were lax in enforcing the policy against one stone self promotions. I found this annoying. I guess it doesn't pay to know and follow the rules.

I went 2-3 and solidified my rating of 9k achieving a revised rating of 9.11 with a sigma of 0.48.

I took my Macbook with me to the tournament and used it to record my games, which drew some attention from the younger set. During the fist game I carelessly misplaced a stone, and recorded only up to the point where it mattered. With the remaining four games I was much more careful and recorded up to the last move of these games. I actually think that recording hurt my games rather than helped them, but at least I have the game records for analysis.

I have already had Yilun Yang review Round 2 and Round 3. I will have him review Round 4 and Round 5 during our next lesson.

Round 1:

I played white against a Chinese Opening. I won that game by 13.5, and did not find myself feeling under pressure during the game at all.

Round 2:

I played white again. This time it was a very close game which I lost by 0.5. I was able to pinpoint a totally unnecessary move on my part which cost me the game. I was so ashamed by the offending move that I was tempted not to show it to Mr. Yang because I knew what he would say about it. I showed it anyway, and he said exactly what I expected, "This is a 25 kyu move." I definitely didn't deserve to win that game. I did take comfort though in knowing that I was playing at the right level by coming in so close in spite of such a terrible mistake.

Round 3:

This game was with a young girl who I had played at the Oza two years before. She had won all her games when she played me, and I think she may have gone on to win the rest of them. I lost this game by 14.5. I was surprised, however, when Mr. Yang reviewed it I was told that I should have won the game. I made some bad errors that prevented me from doing so, but apparently I started out well. This game was the third game of the day, and I don't really like to play more than one serious game per day, so by the time this game was under way I was exhausted. I actually stood for this game to remain focused. It probably worked against me though by making me even more tired.

Round 4

I was refreshed the next morning, and this game I had high hopes of winning. Early in the game I captured quite a large group. Unfortunately my opponent fought back valiantly, cutting off a couple key stones which added significantly to his territory. I lost that game by 3.5.

Round 5

This game was against a young woman who had won all four of her previous games. At the end of the game she told me that I had offered her the biggest challenge of the tournament. During the game she actually said at one point that she would really like to get sente. I know the feeling well. I won that game by 18.5.

I'm not disappointed with my results since two of my losses were so close.

Go Takes A Back Seat To Fitness

I noticed recently that I hadn't posted on this blog since September of last year, and I'm going to tell you why. I've still been playing go, and taking lessons. However go has taken a back seat to my efforts to trim back down and to improve my general level of fitness.

Retirement has been a blessing. It's been good for my go, but it wasn't good for my figure. So for the past year I have been working to take off the 30 pounds that slowly crept on at the rate of a little more than a pound a month once I was no longer on my feet eight hours a day battling teenagers. I used to be a high school art teacher.

I've been putting a lot of my energy into my other blog which I maintain on Spark People. I post to it at least once a day. Starting in October I began training to run a 5K race, and I ran my first race on Sunday, February 28th.

I have replaced the picture from when I was a high school art teacher with a photo of myself crossing my first finish line below my goal weight.

You can read about my 5K on my Spark Blog.

I attended the New Jersey Open this year and will post about that experience soon.