Life In 19x19

kirjoittaessani's journal
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Author:  kirjoittaessani [ Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:08 pm ]
Post subject:  kirjoittaessani's journal

Having discovered Lifein19x19 a few days ago, I decided to create a study journal. Unfortunately, Firefox ate the first version of this text, so here's a new attempt:

My father taught me how to play go when I was five or six. We played off and on, but I became frustrated and didn't play again until highschool. Even then, only a handful of games happened against one or two guys who learned the rules from me.
A long hiatus ensued. Some time around 2007, I started playing against a very weak version of GnuGo running on a palm pilot. For a while, that was a good way to pass the time, but it became boring when I began beating it in every game, despite ridiculously high handicaps.
I discovered internet go and joined OGS and DGS in 2010.

In the beginning, I improved quickly. I perused Bozulich's Second Book of Go, Kato's Attack and Kill, and Kageyama's Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go.
But at some point, my OGS ranking saturated around 12k. I had been absent from DGS for a few years, returning only recently after discovering I do not like the new OGS overmuch; so there may be some little headroom for my 17k ranking there.
But if I want to be an "SDK" or even (gasp!) a Dan, something serious needs to be done. The authorities seem to agree that Tsumego is the best and most important way to improve, so Tsumego I will do.
There are some teaching ladders around, but they all seem to expect at least a few real time games -- I prefer correspondence because finding the time for a full game is very difficult for me.
So having newly discovered this site, I decided to do Malkovich comments for some of my DGS games, and perform a review on them.
I will record the results here.

Author:  EdLee [ Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi kirjoittaessani,

Welcome. How do you pronounce your username ? :)

Author:  kirjoittaessani [ Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

EdLee wrote:
Hi kirjoittaessani,

Welcome. How do you pronounce your username ? :)

Thanks! It's nice not to go totally unnoticed on such a large forum.
The pronunciation is something like keer-yoit-tah-ess-sah-knee.

Author:  tj86430 [ Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal

Tervetuloa (based on your username I assume you speak Finnish regardless of the location)

Author:  EdLee [ Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:37 am ]
Post subject: 


Are the primary stress and secondary stresses approximately like this ? :)

/ ˌki:r yoit ˌtə ess ˈsa ni /

( Similar to the stresses in inter-continental:

/ˌintərˌkäntəˈnentl/ ? )

Author:  kirjoittaessani [ Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal

@tj86430: Kiitos! Yes, I do speak a bit, but I'm afraid my command of the language has deteriorated a bit in recent years. So many fascinating things to learn, so little time...

@EdLee: primary stress is on the first syllable. This is a basic rule of the Finnish language.

Author:  kirjoittaessani [ Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal

Three steps:
-started Tsumego; I've installed an app on my phone (Tsumego Pro by LR Studios). For me, this is much better than a book or flashcards: my phone is always at my side, I can do a problem virtually anywhere, anytime, without any preparation.
-started one Malkovich game. More to follow whenever a new game comes along.
-started a Zen Go game. This is still waiting for two further players.

Results so far:
Although two days is much too early to see any improvement, Tsumego practice has already changed the way I play: I spend more time on my moves, thinking things through. Previously, I would quite often play the first move that looked right, or do sloppy reading, hoping "things will work out". In the Malkovich game, I am extra diligent -- actually writing down what I want seems to be a very powerful tool.
[Edit: typo]

Author:  kirjoittaessani [ Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal

The Tsumego app I use has three modes: six daily problems, two each from three difficulty classes; a classic book-like collection of graded problems, where the app keeps track of which problems you've already solved; and a "progress" mode that evaluates which problems you solve at first attempt, assigns you a rating, and presents you with appropriate problems.

I use all of them: the daily one is good to ensure I do at least a few problems every day; the classic one is for systematic studying without pressure; and the last one for, well, tracking my progress. For now, I seem to have settled on 14k with a slight tendency toward 13k. That is actually good news because it hints that my DGS rating (17k) might not yet be settled, and OGS (12k) is not overrating me quite as much as I had feared (at least as far as reading is concerned).

Author:  kirjoittaessani [ Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal

Yesterday, I stumbled across Kageyama's Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go again, and decided to re-read it. I got stuck around page 200 about four years ago, so it's back to page one for me.

Author:  kirjoittaessani [ Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal

My Tsumego prowess seems to develop in waves. After quickly rising to 14k, I slowly crept to 13k and briefly to 12k before dropping down to 14k again. Now I'm on the rise again, at 13k.

Author:  Ian Butler [ Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal

Interesting. I'm an absolute beginner (22k on OGS) and tsumego is just giving me headaches. I've solved some, but mostly I'm quite wrong.
At least you've got the right attitude to improve your game so I don't see why it shouldn't pay off :)

Author:  kirjoittaessani [ Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal

I'm sure it will pay off sooner or later--it remains to be seen how long it will take.
As for getting most of them wrong, I know that feeling. After a few hundred problems, some pattern seems to emerge, though: with tightly enclosed problems I often see the vital point very quickly. When the "inner space" is larger, I am at a loss quite often. Another thing I often fail at is squeezing: I dismiss a sequence as not feasible because I fail to see that one group looses most of its liberties.
Did you try graded Tsumego? They seem to be available for every possible strength.

Author:  Hrabanus [ Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal


i can confirm the benefits of tsumego. I started playing Go again in December after a break of approx. 9 month (about 20-18kyu before).
After about 2 weeks of daily practice i noticed that i could read ahead a lot easier during my games. (i did at least 25 a day in this time, sometimes up to 100)

At the moment i aim for 25 problems each day, mostly easy to intermediate and only a few hard ones.
On the “right approach” to do them, there are different opinions, probably best to try out different ones.

kirjoittaessani wrote:
I dismiss a sequence as not feasible because I fail to see that one group looses most of its liberties.

Ach ja … *seufz*
Me too :)
And the other side of this coin: i often don’t see a future atari; but i’m confident that this will become better with time and practice. :)

Author:  kirjoittaessani [ Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal

Tsumego doesn't go well of late. After crashing to 18k, the app now has me at 17k. On the other hand, I enjoy my Malkovich games very much. I seem to experience these a lot more intensely than my other games.

Author:  kirjoittaessani [ Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: kirjoittaessani's journal

Good news from Tsumego: I've made my way up to 15k. I'm not convinced all problems are graded accurately, but I think there has been a lack of diligence on my side. I might have relied on intuition without reading properly.

On another note, this came my way via Twitter:
"if your move does not have a clear follow-up after your opponent responds, don't play it!" good advice

Reflecting upon this (by in_sente), I've noticed I react much more than act in many of my games. I'll try to change this in the future.

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