Saturday, June 23, 2012

Condor's Nest

The Crane's Nest is a common go position that I don't see much in my games. I guess once the players know how it works they generally can see it coming. It involves a shortage of liberties and inevitable capture.

A similar situation arose in a game I played a few days ago on KGS. It was a little bigger, however, and my good go buddy KGS ID ChasLayton referred to it as a Condor's Nest when he observed it.

Here is how it developed. The game was fairly even up until I made a mistake playing at g12. That stone was easily cut by white.

Later I felt the need to try to get into the center and so I played a move that felt to me as if it were an overplay. That was L12. My opponent responded with L13, which actually turned out to be a mistake.

Rather than responding instantly to his move I took the time to look and to read. It seemed to me as if something might happen. After I was fairly certain that I would be able to continuously atari and capture with a shortage of liberties I played m12.

Although the damage was great, it was still a game. We were playing it for review purposes anyway, so we took it to the end. I did manage to win even though white tried to cause trouble with an eleventh hour invasion in the lower right.

It was a fun game and I am glad I took my time to think and to read. Near the end I counted the board a number of times. It is all good practice for the Go Congress.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I Found a Pair Go Partner For the US Go Congress

I like to play pair go at the congress. Women are at a premium at the congress and never have a problem finding a partner. I could go without a plan and easily find a partner and have a good time.

However, I wanted to make a good choice in advance, so I asked the advice of my long time teacher Yilun Yang. During our lesson on Thursday I asked him if he thought it would be better for me to seek a partner of my own strength or if I should seek a stronger partner. His advice was to seek someone a little stronger than myself.

I know someone from the DC area who I have played a few times at tournaments because we have been progressing/stagnating at the same pace for a little while. Recently he rose to 7k and hopes to feel strong enough to promote to 6k for the tournament. That puts him at just the right level for me. I suggested this to Yang and he said that a couple stones higher will be good, and that I may even play better than him sometimes. I assured Yang that my potential partner had read "The Fundamental Principles of Go", so he "knows something" as I put it. Yang thought it was great that we would have a common foundation.

Last night we talked online and I asked him if he would be my pair go partner and he agreed. Even before he knew I was coming to the congress he had asked if I was interested in some slow games for analysis with his teacher as he prepares for the congress.

When he said that he might not be good at pair go, having never played it before, I assured him that the important thing is to have fun. I think we will try to play some rengo games on KGS so he gets an idea of what it feels like to lose control of the game. I think that is the most important thing to know about pair go. That, and the fact that it is sudden death, so you have to watch your time, and you have little time to read because you can't depend on byo yomi at the end.

I'm getting excited.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Let's Hope I Can Now Get Line Breaks

A helpful reader responded to my request to figure out how to get my line breaks to work.

I went to the posted URL and followed the directions. Hopefully this post is two paragraphs rather than one.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Coming to the US Go Congress This Year

I've attended a total of twelve congresses since my first tournament in 1997. Unfortunately, I have missed two congresses in a row.

Three years is just too long to go between congresses, so I have decided to bite the financial bullet and attend this year. For one thing, it is on the East Coast. Next year it will be in Seattle, which will increase the cost of attendance for me, so I will probably pass on that congress. Another reason to attend this year is that I'm looking forward to going back to North Carolina.

I remember the 2006 congress fondly, and expect this one to be even better. I am currently 8 kyu AGA, and will be entering as such. Let me know if you plan to attend. My comments are moderated because I had a lot of trouble with spam a little over a year ago, but I will be notified of comments via email and will approve them quickly if they are relevant.

By the way, this post actually has paragraphs in it, but for some reason they aren't showing up when I publish the post. I have observed the same problem in a blog that I started with I don't understand the problem, but because it appears in both blogs I am assuming it is something local on my computer. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get my carriage returns to show up I would really appreciate it. If I can't solve this problem I will be reluctant to post these dense unending paragraphs. They are so ugly.

Since learning how to fix the problem I have gone back and edited this post to add in the carriage returns I had originally wanted, but I left the content about the problem in the paragraph above.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Recent Go Activity

I got a kick in the butt today by a comment to my last post where I said I was going to post more often, but then I didn't. Thanks for that kick in the butt.

I'll try to do better. I've actually been doing things. I just haven't been writing about them.

I finished Book 1 of the Level Up series as promised.

What is even more exciting is that I am currently reviewing the digital versions of two books that will soon be available in GoBook format. I can't say the names of the books, but I can say that they have been out of print for years, so it will be exciting when they come out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

2011 Appears to Have Been a Bad Year

I can't believe that I made it all the way through 2011 without a single post to this blog. The truth is that I had been focused on other things besides go: running, lowering my cholesterol, worrying about my mother.

However, during that time I continued to take private lessons alternate weeks with Yilun Yang, 7P. I also continued to take group lessons with Guo Juan, 5P. I have enjoyed both activities, but have not been working particularly hard on trying to improve.

I am pretty happy to be a solid single digit AGA kyu player now. Maybe my subconscious wants to keep my rating the same as my AGA ID number. Rather than focusing on rank, I am mostly just enjoying the interactions with my teachers, and the social interaction with my fellow students in the group lessons.

It has also occurred to me that I don't really have a plan for how to study go. I have so many resources. I noticed that my last post was about the Level Up series. I have the series, and I pick up a book from time to time, but I have not worked my way systematically through them. That is something I am hoping to do in the next few months. I wish they were in GoBooks format. That way they would always be with me, and I would be likely to pay more attention to them.

Today I am opening up the Level Up book number 1 and I am going through it from cover to cover. The truth is that I actually study go every day in one form or another. I just haven't been writing about it, and I haven't been very efficient either. I'm going to be more public about my study habits in the future. So look forward to another post tomorrow.