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 Post subject: Go problems don't bring any result?
Post #1 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:06 pm 
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Hello, I'm a 3-4k on KGS for quite sometime now. When you ask someone what to do to get stronger most people will tell you to do Go problems. I don't like doing them, because it is not as fun as playing a game and also I don't have that much time for Go. So if I would do Go problems regulary most days I won't be able to play Go! And that kind of defeats the purpose right?

But nontheless for the last 2 months I've been doing 10 Go problems a day regulary, but I don't see any improvement in my reading ability. The ones I couldn't do before I started doing all those Go problems, I still can't do. So am I doing them wrong somehow? And no, I'm not looking at the solutions ;)

The most difficult ones for me are those corner problems, where there are so many open spaces that there are just too many options to consider :/

Thank you for any comments!

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Post #2 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:13 pm 
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Have you memorized all the basic dead shapes?
In other words, do you have a clear goal when you are trying to kill a corner?

If not, I recommend http://senseis.xmp.net/?KillableEyeShapes

While you are there, you might also look at http://senseis.xmp.net/?KillingTechniques

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Post #3 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:18 pm 
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Yes, I have done that. Those 3 in a row problems and also bulky 5 are easy for me :)
I'm talking about something like Problem 222 from Tatsuki Intermediate...

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Post #4 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:23 pm 
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Thofte wrote:
The ones I couldn't do before I started doing all those Go problems, I still can't do. So am I doing them wrong somehow?


How long do you try before you decide that you can't do the problem? I'd give it about 10 minutes, and if you still can't solve it, that's fine - the problem is just too hard. Try an easier one.

If there is a big gap between the time you spend solving easy problems and the time you spend solving harder problems, perhaps you should try to find more "medium" level problems.

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Post #5 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:26 pm 
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Thofte wrote:
Yes, I have done that. Those 3 in a row problems and also bulky 5 are easy for me :)
I'm talking about something like Problem 222 from Tatsuki Intermediate...


I went through this series before, too, during my commute awhile back. Sometimes I'd get stuck on a particular problem (e.g. maybe 221 and 223 are easy for you, but you can't figure out 222).

If I spent several minutes on it, I'd just mark that problem and move on. There are hundreds of problems, so you can get lots of good practice.

Also, it was encouraging for me to believe that, even if I could not solve a problem, the process of trying to solve the problem was beneficial. Then it didn't feel so bad if I couldn't solve a problem all of the time. And I think I solved more problems that way, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Go problems don't bring any result?
Post #6 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:51 pm 
Judan

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Thofte wrote:
But nontheless for the last 2 months I've been doing 10 Go problems a day regulary,


About half an hour?

Quote:
but I don't see any improvement in my reading ability.


It may be too soon to see much improvement.

Quote:
The ones I couldn't do before I started doing all those Go problems, I still can't do.


Maybe the problems are too hard. What percentage are you solving? If they are the right level you should solve about 50% of them.

Quote:
So am I doing them wrong somehow?


Possibly. Unfortunately, little guidance is given on to how to solve problems. Here is something I wrote in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=6091

Here is what Segoe Kensaku, one of the world's top players in the 20th century, recommended. First, try to solve the problem by looking only at the diagram. If you cannot, then set up the problem with a real board and stones, and try to solve it in your head. (My hint: Try to set up the problem from memory, looking at the original only to check.) If you cannot, then play the problem out to solve it. If you still cannot, then look at the answer.

Quote:
And no, I'm not looking at the solutions ;)


Maybe that is one of your problems. I know that people say don't look at the answers these days, but Segoe recommended doing so if you can't work out the answer on the board. Also, to quote myself again:

Here is what Cho U, today's God of Tsumego, says. When he was a kid, he looked at the answers to tsumego problems. That is not a bar.

Quote:
The most difficult ones for me are those corner problems, where there are so many open spaces that there are just too many options to consider :/


That's easy. Start with corners with at most 6 open points, and move up to 7 and 8 open points. If you see more than 3 candidates for the first move, the problem is probably too hard for you. There is no shame in skipping it and coming back to it when you are ready. :)

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Post #7 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:56 pm 
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Thofte wrote:
Hello, I'm a 3-4k on KGS for quite sometime now. When you ask someone what to do to get stronger most people will tell you to do Go problems. I don't like doing them, because it is not as fun as playing a game and also I don't have that much time for Go. So if I would do Go problems regulary most days I won't be able to play Go! And that kind of defeats the purpose right?

But nontheless for the last 2 months I've been doing 10 Go problems a day regulary,


Here is a hint I got from a poker pro, who was also a good bridge player. Before going out to play poker, he would work 2 bridge problems. Before playing go, how about taking 5 minutes to work on 2 go problems? :D

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Post #8 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:58 pm 
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Thofte wrote:
Yes, I have done that. Those 3 in a row problems and also bulky 5 are easy for me :)
I'm talking about something like Problem 222 from Tatsuki Intermediate...


Diagram, please. :)

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Post #9 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:24 pm 
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Bill Spight wrote:
Here is a hint I got from a poker pro, who was also a good bridge player. Before going out to play poker, he would work 2 bridge problems. Before playing go, how about taking 5 minutes to work on 2 go problems? :D


I was hoping you would recommend go players do the bridge problems. :)


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Post #10 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:49 pm 
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Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . X . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | O O . . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | O X O O O X X X . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |[/go]


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Post #11 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:57 pm 
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Thofte wrote:
But nontheless for the last 2 months I've been doing 10 Go problems a day regulary, but I don't see any improvement in my reading ability. The ones I couldn't do before I started doing all those Go problems, I still can't do. So am I doing them wrong somehow? And no, I'm not looking at the solutions ;)


I know how you feel. I wasted so much time focusing on hard tsumego problems. Now that I'm playing more I've realized that problems that take longer than 3 minutes to completely solve have very little effect on my reading during actual games.

Less 30 seconds to solve? Too easy. Longer than 3 minutes? Too hard. Problems that you can completely read out in 1-3 minutes is the kind of reading that corresponds to how much time you're going to spend in a real game.

Think about all of the "simple" (for your level) problems you screwed up that cost you a game. Focus on never getting those wrong. Eventually the 3 minute problems become 2 minute problems, and you can now handle harder problems in 3 minutes. And so on.

For me the really hard problem sets for my level are just for fun, not improving my game.

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Post #12 Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:53 am 
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Thofte, it could be that you invest too little time, problems are not your greatest need, you use the wrong kinds of problems or your effort in solving problems is too unrelated to meaningful, necessary processes of solving problems. To find out, you must reevaluate each of these points or provide sufficient details for others (or us) to do the reevaluation for you.

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Post #13 Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:19 am 
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Thofte wrote:
Yes, I have done that. Those 3 in a row problems and also bulky 5 are easy for me :)
I'm talking about something like Problem 222 from Tatsuki Intermediate...


For what it's worth I'm currently 1d EGF and have been studying Cho Chikun's Intermediate for quite a while now. I'd say about half of them are easy and 10% are really hard for my level. I gave up on a few of them to come back later. For a 3/4k I'd say they are on the good level of difficulty but some of them will be too difficult.

For some problems type there is an eureka moment and they will become much easier to solve once you've solved one or a few of their kind. So the reading improvement is not necessarily linear for them. On the other hand reading practice should bring a more linear improvement to the speed and comfort of solving problem of the kind that you already know.

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Post #14 Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:45 am 
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oren wrote:
Bill Spight wrote:
Here is a hint I got from a poker pro, who was also a good bridge player. Before going out to play poker, he would work 2 bridge problems. Before playing go, how about taking 5 minutes to work on 2 go problems? :D


I was hoping you would recommend go players do the bridge problems. :)


I was kinda expecting "chess problems"....

I shall now wash my mind out with soap.

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Post #15 Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:46 am 
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I spend lots of time doing tesuji and tsumego problems that take me 10 seconds or less to solve (or should), but I have always been funny that way. I think a fair amount of the strength of a 1d comes being able to solve 5k-level problems during a game instantaneously, rather than just being able to solve 1d-level problems during a game with lots of thought.

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Post #16 Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:16 am 
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I second that. Lots of easy problems, some intermediate, but trying to read them completely, i. e. every possible sequence, even silly ones. As I see it, at some point tsumego is about training reading skills, not finding the right answer, so reading every possible sequence in a problem ensures you're using the problem to its full extent.

Plus, you say that you do not see improvement but without regular tsumego practice you would probably be weaker by now. Reading skills have to be maintained.

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Post #17 Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:45 am 
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"Complete" tactical reading wastes time because Regular Reading etc. suffice. Not reading per se must be complete but Regular Reading must clarify all relevant tactical choices. In particular, at branches with at least one successful optimal move, it is sufficient to find one.

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Post #18 Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:57 am 
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Shenoute wrote:
I second that. Lots of easy problems, some intermediate, but trying to read them completely, i. e. every possible sequence, even silly ones. As I see it, at some point tsumego is about training reading skills, not finding the right answer, so reading every possible sequence in a problem ensures you're using the problem to its full extent.

Plus, you say that you do not see improvement but without regular tsumego practice you would probably be weaker by now. Reading skills have to be maintained.


I disagree about reading silly lines. To me doing problems are about finding the opponent's *best* counter. A move looks like it works but no it doesn't. In my experience when I misread a simple problem in my game it boils down to I choose a move that looks good on the surface but I didn't find the counter. Or a I choose move that works but I didn't read out what happens when the opponent plays the best counter leading to a mistake.

This is already a ton of work and you have to do this under time pressure. Reading out unlikely lines doesn't seem useful to me (unless your reading says none of the seemingly likely lines are working)

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Post #19 Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:20 am 
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I can't really offer much advice here other than one thing. Make sure you do them properly. Where properly means reading out all combinations and filtering out those which don't work. I used to do them by guessing. A lot of apps just show you the solution rather than allowing you to 'prove' your solution with the computing trying to refute. Or better play out on a board. And when doing them properly it's OK to step down to super easy ones as it will be harder. Then work back up again.

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 Post subject: Re: Go problems don't bring any result?
Post #20 Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:04 am 
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What are reading skills?

There are at least three:

    Calculation of variations
    Choice of candidate moves
    Evaluation of resulting positions

Last I heard, in chess there was research that indicated that there is not much difference between average players and experts in the ability to calculate variations. The main difference is that average players calculate a lot of irrelevant variations.

Is go different? Maybe. Pros seem to be much better at the calculation of variations than amateurs. However, there has been research that indicates that pros have a larger neural workspace for those calculations than amateurs. IMO, because they built their brains that way when they were children. For most of us it is too late to do that.

But I know from my study of hypnosis that it may be possible to develop visualization techniques to improve the calculation of variations, much as, before the advent of printing, people had developed visualization techniques to improve memory. But I have not heard of anybody developing such techniques, and just doing problems is not the way to do so.

OTOH, dithering is bad. E. g., Does this play work? No. Well, how about this play? No, it doesn't work either. But what about the first play? Maybe I missed something. No, it still doesn't work. But maybe I missed something with the second play. Etc., etc. ;) If doing problems improves your discipline and organization of thinking, that is good. :)

Gotta run. More later. :)

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