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How do you feel after failing a Life and Death problem, despite staring at it for an hour?
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 Post subject: Blindspots in Life & Death
Post #1 Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:40 am 
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So you're plowing through a book of easy life and death problems, feeling great about each correct answer you make, when all of a sudden a harmless looking problem gets you completely stumped.

You start thinking, "What!? I'm x Rank! How can I be bested by a (x Rank - 5 stones) problem??"

Nevertheless, you stare at it until your eyes start bleeding and still can't read out the answer. "But this doesn't work! X is alive!"

Frustrated, you look at the answer, and see that the correct solution is so obvious. If only you had considered that 1x1 point in the corner, or that impossible looking nobi. Frustrated, you decide to stop studying Tsumego for the day.

Has anyone else had this experience?

One could say that blind spots make go problems and go interesting.
For the people who have gone through books of go problems without looking at answers, how do you deal with this dilemma?

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 Post subject: Re: Blindspots in Life & Death
Post #2 Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Koosh wrote:
Has anyone else had this experience?


Constantly...but I try to see the forest, not the trees and I mark it as a problem I have a weak point in reading. Mostly, I'm improving, and I try to remember that when I fail miserably at a 12kyu problem :)

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 Post subject: Re: Blindspots in Life & Death
Post #3 Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:53 pm 
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One's go playing strength isn't a 1-dimensional thing, so I'm not bothered by seeing an occasional "easy" problem that I can't solve. That being said, I think there is value in trying to be surprised by anything unexpected. It takes a lot of discipline for me to stop and say to myself, "wait, why didn't I see that?"

I had a professor once who was disappointed in the performance of his students on a test. He said,

There are only so many things that can explain these results. Maybe:

You were asleep.
You were awake, but you didn't hear.
You were awake, and you heard, but you didn't listen.
You were awake, you heard, you listened, but you didn't understand.
You were awake, you heard, you listened, you understood, but you didn't remember.
You were awake, you heard, you listened, you understood, you remembered, but you didn't believe.

I think may go mistakes fall into the same categories. :-)

Also, I don't stare at problem for an hour. 10-15 minutes is my max. If it's harder than that, I can come back later.

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