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 Post subject: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long break
Post #1 Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:05 pm 
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Hey guys,

I am back to go after a 2 years break more or less, so i wanted to shared my impressions of what stayed with me and what left, and i would be interested to know if some others have the same feelings.



  • Overall level have hardly changed. was 6k (kgs); i am 7 k now but i feel confident that i will climb back to 6k without huge issues.
  • "fundamentals"( not sure what it is-- here i mean avoid obvious bad shape, recognise basic tesuji) are the same i think - not great but enough to fight against 6-7k
  • Joseki are mostly gone. i knew few of them to begin with; now I only remember the basic 3-3 invasion; i do not miss them
  • Reading suffered at first, but it seems to be back to the dismal level it was before
  • Way of playing ('style' would be pompous for a sdk i feel) i reread a book about moyo and it turns out i do a lot of those lately: i like to be invaded and chase weak groups, i do not like to be forced to invade and live. i am more inclined to try unusual fuseki
  • Wise words for L19ers: still there! 2 years later i can remember some posts here:
    Ed Lee and broken shape (i still do it though :blackeye: ) joaz on proper use of walls ( i am getting better); advice from shaddy to fight more, explanation for topzag on the 3-3 aji after a kick ... and lots others: sometimes i hear them in my head while i play. Maybe i should see a doctor :scratch: , but thank you for that l19ers !
  • What i call anti-flow is gone, that's the biggest upside of the break

I want to develop the last point. The 'anti flow' is what made me quit more or less last time (well that + the kids); its a state of mind when I play without really wanting too, and at some crucial juncture, I know I have to read a bit, but its a bit complex, and what I want to do doesn't really seem to work... so i play it anyway, thinking , maybe the opponent will let me get away with it, and if I fail , it will just be one more loss.
Its a lazyness coupled with lack of fighting spirit, resulting in a lot of frustrating lost games.

I wonder if a lot of you experience that ?

Anyway, my goal was to reach fun when (re-)playing go in less that 1 year, and i managed immediately, so I am happy.

It is also a pleasure to lurk here again, and see the same familiar names still trying tirelessly to educate the masses :bow:

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #2 Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:19 pm 
Oza

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I did not play for three years and improved from 1d to 2d. I did read quite a bit. About 12 years later I took another three years off and did not study. I maintained 5d during that time. Couldn't be more specific because it is all too long ago.

Since that time I have played online almost daily and have dropped one or two ranks.

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #3 Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:39 pm 
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I only got back into the game last october. I was surprised how little I had slipped back.

I think I went about three years without playing much.

I feel much more motivated and relaxed about playing than I did before I drifted away. I'm not sure if that isn't just personal emotional development rather than anything go-specific, though.

I'm pretty sure I know some joseki well enough to misuse them with confidence, but I haven't actually tackled them in a systematic way. I know them because I saw them being used, and have very patchy knowledge about how to punish mistakes in them. They're just there in the back of my head.

I'm not sure if my reading was that much worse when I started up again, but I've been doing entirely unreasonable amounts of tsumego since I returned, so obviously my mistakes have been replaced by new ones of more advanced nature.

I know sometimes I would drop into a bad funk and lose lots of games in a row, but since restarting, I've kept a strict policy of stopping immediately as soon as that comes back. The negativity is chased off by a good night's sleep. It's enormously important to me that I enjoy playing, so if it starts to feel bad, I just resign and play again another day.

I'd say coming back was a great decision, since not only do I relive the previous fun, but I got better at enjoying the game.

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #4 Posted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:54 pm 
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Just back after 1-1.5 year break. Reading is coming back pretty fast though still below what it was, not that it was ever that good. Joseki almost completely forgotten though I knew few anyway. The midgame is very confusing, the opening feels ok, the endgame feels a bit better than it was though that could be illusion. For me there are a lot of health things that have changed and they certainly affect my go a lot but have nothing to do with the break.

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #5 Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:07 pm 
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Yes, this is similar to what I tend to experience after my breaks (had quite a few): joseki gone, better large scale thinking, quickly returning rank, and life and death "skills" (oh my) returning somewhat later.
And I know exactly what you mean with the anti-flow playing mode.

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #6 Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:19 pm 
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peti29 wrote:
And I know exactly what you mean with the anti-flow playing mode.


I'm actually fairly confused by what you all mean by "anti-flow". Would somebody mind clarifying?

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #7 Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:51 am 
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As for me it means that I'm not in a good mood for playing. I feel tired and unimaginative. I should not play in such a mood, but I do anyway. It's the kind of mood when people defeat themselves: all they see is bad moves, they don't notice the good moves thus they become overly passive, or to try to compensate they make aggressive plays that even they think should probably fail - but they play them anyway hoping that that somehow they end up working.

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #8 Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:51 am 
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perceval wrote:
[*] Wise words for L19ers: still there! 2 years later i can remember some posts here:
Ed Lee and broken shape (i still do it though :blackeye: ) joaz on proper use of walls ( i am getting better); advice from shaddy to fight more, explanation for topzag on the 3-3 aji after a kick ... and lots others: sometimes i hear them in my head while i play. Maybe i should see a doctor :scratch: , but thank you for that l19ers !


:



Could someone post a link on those two explanations? I am unable to find them :oops:

Thank you :)

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #9 Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:14 am 
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peti29 wrote:
As for me it means that I'm not in a good mood for playing. I feel tired and unimaginative. I should not play in such a mood, but I do anyway. It's the kind of mood when people defeat themselves: all they see is bad moves, they don't notice the good moves thus they become overly passive, or to try to compensate they make aggressive plays that even they think should probably fail - but they play them anyway hoping that that somehow they end up working.


There's also this highly negative sense that you SHOULD be winning, and anger that it isn't happening. It just spirals down until you stop playing. In this kind of mood, you end up playing far, far worse than you could if you had the right attitude.

Really weird how you can become your own worst enemy. I'm not sure what causes the buildup to begin with, since I definitely don't have it with every mistake. Most of the time I just shrug it off, but sometimes a mistake just offends my very being and I get angry with the entire world.

I made that mistake though. Why am I blaming the world?

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #10 Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:29 am 
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Krama wrote:
perceval wrote:
[*] Wise words for L19ers: still there! 2 years later i can remember some posts here:
Ed Lee and broken shape (i still do it though :blackeye: ) joaz on proper use of walls ( i am getting better); advice from shaddy to fight more, explanation for topzag on the 3-3 aji after a kick ... and lots others: sometimes i hear them in my head while i play. Maybe i should see a doctor :scratch: , but thank you for that l19ers !


:



Could someone post a link on those two explanations? I am unable to find them :oops:

Thank you :)

invasion after a kick
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1297&p=24490&hilit=invasion+kick#p24490

on proper use of wall it was on some game comments, joaz posts too much for easy search :roll:

skydyr wrote:
peti29 wrote:
And I know exactly what you mean with the anti-flow playing mode.


I'm actually fairly confused by what you all mean by "anti-flow". Would somebody mind clarifying?


to me its playing a move that i feel are not too good because i am too lazy to look for alternatives, and just hoping that it would turn out ok. It comes when i not i a good mood to play.
:sad:
I oppose it to the "flow" described by some where good moves comes naturally and in an effortless way (never experienced that) :sad:

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #11 Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:31 am 
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Back in 2005/2006 i stopped playing for about a year. Not a total quit but i only visited a handfull of tournaments, no online-games or club activities.
I was 7k before that break, afterwards i quickly settled in as 4k. Maybe i was just doing so much before that break, that my mind needed the time off to process it all, i don't know.

My most recent break was 2013, before the christmas holidays i played like 2 games that year. When i started playing during the holidays again i felt a bit rusty. My reading wasn't as good as it was, joseki knowledge didn't change that much, but i was never really good at joseki and the basic ones i do know are probably deeply hardwired in my brain right now.
I quickly stabilized on my old rank of 2k on KGS, but before my break i considered myself a strong 2k, maybe even nearly 1k. I am currently at that point again, but i have spent a lot of time (and money) in 2014 to improve, so thats might have skewed things a bit.

Regarding this anti-flow mode. I can totally relate to that. For me its like choosign between A and B and thinking/reading: "Ok A probably doesn't work.. hm.. maybe B is better." and then playing A anyways because, i don't know.
Also i somehow haven't completly regained my tournament-mode for online play yet. Previously when i played an important game on KGS with tournament-like time settings (like in the Bundesliga f.ex.) i could get myself into the same deep-thinking mode like i can be in when sitting in front of the real board at a tournament. Double-checking every plan i make, using my opponents time to count/or think up possible outcomes. Nowadays i play these games also like the 25-minutes casual games on KGS. But i think i'm slowly getting there.

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #12 Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:34 am 
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perceval wrote:
I oppose it to the "flow" described by some where good moves comes naturally and in an effortless way (never experienced that) :sad:


You've never had a tesuji or similar just appear really obvious to you? Or do you mean good moves in a "something someone many stones higher would be happy with" kind of way? For me what you describe relates more to instinct screaming "play here!" and rusty reading or just not being used to the game causing me to back off and play elsewhere only to have that move pointed out later in review as the only move or at least far superior to what I'd played.

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #13 Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:49 am 
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Quote:
I oppose it to the "flow" described by some where good moves comes naturally and in an effortless way (never experienced that) :sad:

Because i also had some difficulties with that in the past, i now take the "flow" not as "good moves come naturally" but "natural moves are good moves". I think when we try to come up with a good move we too often try something really complicated or look for something really awesome, when in most cases it's just the normal move that is right. At least i have been a victim of that thinking.

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #14 Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:59 am 
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that what i mean by flow:

http://www.lifein19x19.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=76877#p76877

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #15 Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:25 am 
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I think I know why a break can result in removing what you call "anti-flow".

When you return after a long break, you will subconsciously put yourself at a lower level than you were before. You were 6k and when coming back you think of yourself perhaps "rather a 7k". A loss against a 6k or a 7k will not upset you. You probably even play against them without fear of losing. This alone can already make a difference. This reduced self image is one key element against anti-flow.

Also, after a break, you will be more critical of your moves. You know you haven't played in a while, so you pay more attention. There's less automatic play. You pay more attention to the fundamentals, which are more clearly distinguished from the mere details, after such a hiatus. You don't remember joseki, but you do remember that one should avoid being surrounded, in general. When fundamental principles stand out and concrete sequences vanish, that's likely to improve your game.

The third element is love for the game. Why did you come back: because you missed the game. Anti-flow is a result of loving yourself more than the game and hating the game for not confirming your ego. You'll find that very good players, after being disappointed by a loss, quickly return to the game, through a new game or the analysis of the previous one, marvelling at all the secrets Go still has in store, rather than kicking themselves or the game for losing.

When you come back, your self image is low in a healthy way, you're thirsty for the game and you're looking at it with refreshed fundamentals.

Unfortunately, after a while, if you start studying again or have become used to a winning percentage (perhaps even a higher rank) fear of losing and frustration kicks in again. You need to replace love for your ego with love for the game. If the ego keeps playing the major role, anti-flow will reappear sooner or later.


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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #16 Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:33 am 
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I was out for 30 years and can hardly remember what my play was like back then, but I think it was probably at what is now a low ddk level although at the time I was ranked 11 kyu on IGS. Anyway life, work and children took over. Now that I'm playing again I find that I enjoy it more than before although my skill level hasn't improved that much. What I find both surprising and positively heartening is the immense growth of the go community and the valuable resources available to all levels. Fred

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #17 Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:37 am 
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Krama wrote:
perceval wrote:
[*] Wise words for L19ers: still there! 2 years later i can remember some posts here...



Could someone post a link on those two explanations? I am unable to find them :oops:

Thank you :)


They - or similar posts - can be found here:
forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=667

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Post #18 Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:36 am 
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After languishing for a year and a half as a shodan in Hawaii, I moved to the mainland to a place where there were no go players. (No internet in those days.) I didn't quit the game entirely, playing over a pro game about once a month. After a little more than two years I moved back to Hawaii for a while and made 2 dan in a month. Six months later I made (weak) 3 dan. (In the previous month I had been winning all my games as 2 dan and losing all my games as 3 dan. ;))

I was puzzled by my rapid advancement in those months, but I was in my twenties and finally chalked it up to emotional maturity. :)

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Post #19 Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:34 pm 
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emotional maturity... gotta get me some of that.

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 Post subject: Re: back after 2years -- what changed for you afer a long b
Post #20 Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:22 am 
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Usually a break for about 6 months have been beneficial for me (tried it now once in go, but a few times in chess). I return to the game with new eyes, seeing the big picture better, and not being so focused on details.

My theory about why, goes something like this:

When we are having fun and learning things, the brain grows new connections. When knowledge is used again, the connections are strengthened and unused connections eventually disappear again.
By taking a longish break, many of the least used connections have gotten much weaker (or even disappeared) and only the more frequently used ones are left.
In this theory of mine, this is good. Since when we play, we are subjected to many 'patterns' on what is good and what is not. But since our game experiences are a bit random, many of the patterns are based on coincidences and are not significant patterns at all. Also some patterns that were relevant at one level when we learned the game, are not so relevant anymore. With a break many of these less observed patterns disappear, at least enough not to distract the stronger ones with noise. We can start learning new patterns again, more relevant to our current level.

Or something like that :D

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