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 Post subject: Plateau at 4k, how to keep up interest.
Post #1 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 am 
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Hi all,

It seems that I've plateau at 4k, and I am losing interest in go, I think it happens at all go players sooner or later.

I describe my situation:

1) I can basically play ONLY correspondence go, for at least 2 reasos: one is that I have a 3yo daughter that absorbs almost all my time and my phisical energies, two is that real time play stresses me too much: not funny -among other things- play a good winning game and blunder some decisive stones in the final stage just for a distraction. Or play for 40 min and then lose/win without making a serious review. (Yes Lizzie can help, oh yes, but a human review is way simpler to learn all-board consistency and direction of play) I simply can't accept that.

2) I am a self-taught player of chess, backgammon, go. In all three games I reached a pretty good level given the fact that I had very little help: 2000 elo in chess, PR7 in backgammon, 4k in go, all by myself and whatching videos online. But never with an instructor, I really needed one.

3) I live far away from big city and my nearest club (choose one random game from the list above) is at least at 40 km (about 25-30 miles) distance. Not easy at all to reach them with regularity. And the only decent club is chess, as you may easily guess. No chance to have a "social life" with go for example.

4) When you plateau you need a guide to improve, that's a fact. In go is not easy to find one without spend too much money, and even if you sacrifice some money you can't find individual and regular lessons since all instructors prefer group lessons to save money and time. I need a sort of friend that teaches me some free tips and point out my mistakes...and generally speaking it's not that satisfying to play without a friend, cuz you find yourself doing every evening the same moves.

How do you keep up interest in go if you find yourself in my same situation?

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Post #2 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:51 am 
Honinbo
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Hi Fllecha, please see PM.

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 Post subject: Re: Plateau at 4k, how to keep up interest.
Post #3 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:34 am 
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Fllecha wrote:
How do you keep up interest in go if you find yourself in my same situation?


I am not in the same situation, but I know people who registered in an online go academy (such as the yunguseng dojang) and were satisfied. For that you need to invest some money, and enough time (like 2 hours without interruption each week). Game reviews help you determine which weaknesses you need to work on, and in which direction you should change your way of playing. If you don't want to invest so much money or can't play real time games, then maybe you could have a few games reviewed by a professional.

Note: so far I haven't tried any of the above.

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 Post subject: Re: Plateau at 4k, how to keep up interest.
Post #4 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:35 am 
Judan

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Do you need to play and/or improve to keep up interest in go? I've kinda plateaud at 4d and don't play much anymore: I rarely have opportunity/time/energy to sit down for an hour uninterrupted and play a game. However, I find it interesting to watch pro games, analyse things with bots and chat about go on the internet, activities which can be fitted into odd moments throughout the day. As 4k rather than 4d though pro games might not be as understandable so less interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Plateau at 4k, how to keep up interest.
Post #5 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:09 am 
Honinbo

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Fllecha wrote:
When you plateau you need a guide to improve, that's a fact.


With go, the really applies when you reach a plateau after playing for at least 8 years. :) In my case it was after 13 years, but during that time I spent 5 years not playing go because I was living where nobody else played it.

Quote:
How do you keep up interest in go if you find yourself in my same situation?


Go is a game, a hobby. Now you have other rewarding things on your mind. If you stop playing go you can always pick it up again. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Plateau at 4k, how to keep up interest.
Post #6 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:29 am 
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I'll second the recommendation for In-Seong's Yunguseng Dojang. It's excellent. The time commitment is a lot more than two hours a week, though: there are three lectures a month (minimum of an hour each), games (fiver per month) take between 90 minute and two hours and the reviews usually take an hour if you watch all the reviews in your group (do it. It's Honte) so I'd say that the minimum commitment is about 4 to 5 hours a week. To get real value out of it, you'll also be wanting to peruse the lecture library (all the past lectures, ever) on a regular basis and to keep up with the "This Week's Highlight" series of short videos and possibly even sit in on the review sessions for stronger groups.

This WILL make you stronger if getting stronger makes Go fun but, more importantly, it WILL give you something to enjoy that's not all about winning.

Another thing to try is to try to find interest in something other than winning at your proper rank. I've had friends who tried to see how strong they could get just by playing the Great Wall fuseki or starting every game with Tengen, for example. Another made a new account on KGS just to see how many "dog's face" or "sake bottle" shapes he could make in one game -- playing it whenever the position allowed. (He was 3 dan, at the time.) Personally, I love starting games with the "Sunjang Baduk" shape as the starting position and seeing what develops (hard to do, online, without cooperation from your opponent). I've also tried playing "Pair Go"-style with my wife (without communication) on the KGS automatch ladder... which taught her a lot and taught me a lot about fixing broken positions when you only have one move with which to do so -- she's about 12 kyu, now, and we're still married... somehow.

There's just a chance that you might discover something that allows you to break through, this way.


This post by Charlie was liked by: dfan
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 Post subject: Re: Plateau at 4k, how to keep up interest.
Post #7 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:00 am 
Gosei

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Another enthusiastic recommendation for the Yunguseng Dojang, although
  • There is a fair amount of group instruction, which you are not as interested in (but you definitely get individual attention too)
  • It takes some time commitment (but I think you can get a lot of it without putting in as much time as Charlie)
  • It costs real money (about $100/mo if you play in the leagues).

It has undeniably been good for my ability, but it may be even better for keeping up my interest, which is your actual question. I am pretty bad about sticking with things, and YD has made it a lot easier for me to stick with go for the last couple of years. Automatically being scheduled for a serious game every week that you know will be reviewed by an 8d is a great way of making sure that you keep up your practice; there have been months where I'm super excited about go and months where it's more of a side interest, but it's been a constant that I'll play my game and get it reviewed. Also, one of In-seong's explicit goals is to make people appreciate and love the game more, not just get stronger. If you can afford both the time and the money (neither of which are trivial), it's a great way to stay excited about the game (and also improve!).


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 Post subject: Re: Plateau at 4k, how to keep up interest.
Post #8 Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:48 am 
Gosei
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I was in your exact shoes, was 5k on KGS and getting frustrated with lack of improvement and about to quit. That was when my parents let me go (was 16 at the time) on a 2-month Go program in Beijing, which aside from letting me improve 3-4 stones, had me come back to the US with a huge amount of passion for the game that carried me into the dan levels. Something similar (like perhaps the Yunguseng Dojang program which I've heard many great recommendations on) might help.


This post by Solomon was liked by 3 people: Elom, Kirgan, yakcyll
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 Post subject: Re: Plateau at 4k, how to keep up interest.
Post #9 Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:12 am 
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The way to blackbelt.

Rate your progress in terms of understanding :).

I can now understand higher level games more, even if my rank became weaker. I find it encouraging as it was always the main goal!

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 Post subject: Re: Plateau at 4k, how to keep up interest.
Post #10 Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:56 pm 
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First as 4k you are reaching the bottom of the mountain. You may consider that if you have some reaching Dan level objective, you will have to spend more time as the time you spent to reach 4k since you discovered the game.so it's important to not underestimate the difficulty ahead.

Plateau are common facts, and may happen at lower and higher levels. You become an overpowered player for weaker and underpowered for stronger. You feel stucked, even could get bored... Some do accept not being able to pass and keep playing at that level, fair enough.

But if you feel you still have a way to go, then in many times to pass you need a crisis. I mean you need to get that view of "how could have played so stupidly?".For what you wrote, getting more consistent could bring you a level or two at most. Not what I call a crisis and its solution. You say you are able to listen so the problem could lie more in yourself at first. To change the way of thinking/playing you learned is the most difficult (like getting rid of bad habit). But when successful, it's very rewarding!

How to get that crisis is a bit hard to say. Watching others playing, reading books, getting good reviews of your games could help surely, but may be not enough to trigger a real deep reconsideration of your way of playing.

Until that crisis happen there are a few more to consider:

- you can get more muscles by practice reading (there is a side pleasure effect in it, just don't try too hard)

- social life is an important aspect of the game, there are so many nice people around that game who could finally keep you entertained.

- Having a break doesn't mean that you will never come back to the game. It doesn't mean either that you will lose some levels, even you may play better when coming back later


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 Post subject: Re: Plateau at 4k, how to keep up interest.
Post #11 Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:07 am 
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They said...
Quote:
If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be.
Your desire to desire to improve ...can be a drawback.
Release your grip for a while. Do not play for a month or so and wait for the result. Just my 2 cents.
Enjoy!
Galation

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Post #12 Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:00 pm 
Gosei

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When I used to go to the US Go Congress I always came home fired up to play and learn more. Being around people who are passionate often transfers that energy to you. I second the suggestion that being part of a group or community of enthusiasts helps maintain your interest. The big question is do you really want to be more interested and why? Having been an enthusiastic player, reaching a plateau, and taking a break from playing is no reflection on your personal value or even on your love for the game. There are many people who post on this board who don't play much now but enjoy being part of this community and who enjoy the game in other ways. I am one of them.


This post by gowan was liked by 2 people: dfan, Vio
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