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 Post subject: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #1 Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:26 pm 
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I've started playing Go when I was 18. Now I'm 26. 2019 and about the first half of 2020 I focused on my studies and took a break from Go. Before the break I was stuck for quite some time at 2-3k KGS. Since I'm trying to get back into Go I realise that I'm still stuck at the same level.

These are the ways I've used to try to overcome the wall:

Tsumego. Before the break I had more time and have been doing them pretty consistently. Now I try to squeeze a session in whenever I have time. Either I can solve them or I can't. Eitherway I don't see any progress in my reading ability.

Lectures at internetgoschool or yunguseng dojang: A lot of the lectures they offer are joseki/patterns. Knowing these patterns can be a great help in games no doubt. However if I wanted to learn all the patterns they are offering, at best I would be able to do it, but I'd have to spend all my time repeating the patterns and wouldn't have any more time for playing games. Maybe that is why some people say "don't memorize joseki but understand them". But just from watching a pattern lecture one time and understanding it, I still can't come up with the sequence in my games...


So some part of me wants to give up on Go all together. Maybe pick up some E-sport. Backgammon also seems interesting. (I heard you'd still have to learn some sort of probability chart. But I don't think it'd compare to the countless different variations Go offers.)

But another part of me would at least like to hit Dan level (no matter where I play). Any advice for how I could overcome the wall ?

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Post #2 Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:46 pm 
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Do you review your games with AI or with a stronger player?
How many games a week are you playing, and with which time settings?
How long do you spend on tsumegos every day?

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 Post subject: Re: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #3 Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:54 pm 
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jlt wrote:
Do you review your games with AI or with a stronger player?


I have Crazy Stone Deep Learning. It can be helpful sometimes. But other times it gets in super deep sequences. Letting it play them out would take too much time also it'd turn my laptop into a fan.

jlt wrote:
How many games a week are you playing, and with which time settings?


Currently about 1 or 2 games a week with 30 mins 5x30 Byoyomi

jlt wrote:
How long do you spend on tsumegos every day?


Before my break I used to do about 10 tsumego everyday. So maybe 30 mins. Nowadays I also do 10 tsumego, but it is more like every other day.

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 Post subject: Re: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #4 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:31 am 
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People say that you have to play at least 1000 games to become 1 dan. The path from 3k to 1d is longer than the path from complete beginner to 3k, so at least 500 games.

You resumed go about 30 weeks ago, so you've played about 45 games since then, this is probably not enough to see a significant improvement on your rank graph. On the other hand, do you feel you are learning something? Do you experiment josekis that you are not familiar with? Do you try to incorporate new moves into your arsenal? Do you feel that your way of thinking is evolving?

About the use of AI: you don't need to understand every move suggested by the AI. If the AI's move requires reading complicated sequences, then the AI's suggestion is probably useless. On the other hand, many AI suggestions are understandable and can be learnt from.

Human help can also be useful. Explanations with words rather than with sequences can be easier to understand.

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Post #5 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:34 am 
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How about looking at professionel games?

Use a real board and a kifu on paper or from a book.
Just lay out the moves and think a bit about what they are doing.

This might improve your feeling for shape and enhance your flexibility.
Especially the latter might help a lot. At your level it is one of the most
common things to learn if you want to reach dan level.

Try games from the 70th and 80th from Japan. Or games from Go Seigen.

This worked for me to get to 1d and 2d.

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Post #6 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 5:33 am 
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Whilst striving to get better is good, and I'd advise just playing through professional games (commentary isn't needed) on a real board (don't use software that clicks to get the next move) to improve your feel for what is the correct move, at some stage you'll reach a barrier which you can't break through.

When you get there, and I have, you need to go back to just enjoy playing Go, without thinking you MUST get better.

So enjoy!

Jon


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Post #7 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:50 am 
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If your satisfaction really depends on rank improvement, then I guess it's tough to be stuck.

Do you actually enjoy studying and/or playing go in itself?

Is it that you want to hit dan level and then retire from go?

I don't want to demotivate you further, but reaching dan level is not like achieving enlightenment or anything like that.
At best it's like climbing to the top of a hill, only to discover the mountain ahead.

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Post #8 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:30 am 
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gennan wrote:
I don't want to demotivate you further, but reaching dan level is not like achieving enlightenment or anything like that.
At best it's like climbing to the top of a hill, only to discover the mountain ahead.


Nowadays I compare improving to a Mandelbrot fractal. You will encounter the same things by going deeper but every iteration you have the chance to take in more details and thus improve. You either marvel or you bore out.

Regarding walls: Often times these just stem from the difference between how you think the world ought to be and how the world actually is.

Improving from a technical point of view is actually a steady road in my opinion.

You start with no knowledge, everything is new, so everything you do will yield some improvement. The more you know the less of the same will yield any improvement. You have to go back to the things you don't know. (This is simplified of course, disregarding "knowledge" you thought was eternal, which has to be painstakingly unlearned later.)

If you don't know where to start improving in your current state: Ask a strong player (5d+) to look at your games. If they have teaching experience, even better.

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 Post subject: Re: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #9 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:37 am 
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Geoff Rowley - professional skateboarder wrote:
Yeah. I've hit my head.
I've broke my arm. I've broke my brain[sic]. I've smashed my teeth. But you know what?
It doesn't really matter, 'cause I love it. And I'm ready to do it all over again. But much more.
You got to love it, otherwise you're gonna hate it.


I used to think that this professional skateboarder was talking about skateboarding but I now realise that he must have been playing go on the side.
I think go is hard and you give a lot of yourself to it. I think it's important that you love it or that just won't pay off.

My advice is to do enough of the go activity that you really like to keep it fresh and exciting. goquest? fun problem sets? fast games? corespondence? online community stuff? Do some heavy learning IF that's what feels good. If it's not feeling fun then maybe take another break and maybe do something else - I'd bet that you will come back with new appetite at some point.
(I'm only 1/2d on kgs so fairly similar really)


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 Post subject: Re: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #10 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:14 am 
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SoDesuNe wrote:
Regarding walls: Often times these just stem from the difference between how you think the world ought to be and how the world actually is.


I've begun over time to think of walls as points where we've accumulated a critical mass of problems/bad habits/whatever in our game *that we're blind to.* We always have these but it's useful sometimes I think to look at it not as playing as well as a 2d but playing as poorly as a 2d. If our engrained habits mean we make far more mistakes without seeing them as such it's natural to feel like we're at some kind of wall as we're probably spending most of effort fixing that which doesn't need fixing yet and missing the low hanging fruit.

I've found watching pros or strong amateurs play online whilst trying to think where I would play here, where is the big place etc has helped me find a lot of bad first instincts. Review with stronger players and/or the AI (especially playing out different lines with the AI not giving you the best moves but move valuations) can help too. Mostly the idea is to internalise a lot of good go. I'd strongly agree that it's a far better idea to derive pleasure from the game rather than rank improvement though, at least long term.


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 Post subject: Re: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #11 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:00 am 
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You could always make this less about you.

I've been playing go for more than forty years. I got comfortable with my 18-12k skill level a l-o-n-g time ago. After some objective analysis with my teachers, I concluded the amount of effort required to advance was of little interest to me. I decided to enjoy playing, organize the local club, and teach total newbies during the Hikaru No Go surge. Using my MacBook to show edited HNG clips and AGA's prezo, I gave away a hundred of AGF's punch-out 9x sets and taught dozens to play go. A few of my students remained interested, discovered the online servers, and quickly went from taking nine stones to giving me two or three.

Turn your energies toward advancing go, teach, approach chess and backgammon clubs and offer demonstrations, organize your local club for online play (and, hopefully, to meet over real boards soon), help some of the many thousands of folks who are 5 to 15 stones less experienced to advance. Showing them what you know will probably help you learn more about go and maybe yourself. Your mileage &c.

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 Post subject: Re: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #12 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:32 am 
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In slower games do you almost always have a purpose for every move? As you said, there are many many patterns of moves in go. You can't learn them all and, besides, opponents often don't follow a pattern. So you have to know why moves are played, not just because they are part of some pattern. You need to have strategic plans that probably will have to be adjusted during play, and play moves that fit into your plans. If you are thinking this way I think you'll find that go is more interesting and satisfying to play.

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 Post subject: Re: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #13 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:35 am 
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Lots of great advice already!

Maybe my approach to study and getting better might be interesting, too, since
** I've been stuck at about the same level as the OP with a little glimpse of overcoming the barrier last summer (but not succeeding because I had burned out then and took a break and was where I left)
** I've also been a member of Yunguseng Dojang
** no matter how frustrated I've been in the past about my (in)abilites in this game, I never was able to turn my back at it. Never wanted to seriously do it either and I never gave up on wanting to progress. I do admire everyone who has made his/her peace with his/her abilites and is content with what has been achieved. I couldn't accept that yet to this very day for me (maybe stubbornness issues..? :scratch: ), I still want to go on but I felt paralyzed, like arubber band pinning me down where I am. Might enjoy a short glimpse of the stronger rank but then crash down again. Last year I realised that I had to change both my approach to studying as well as my approach of the game towards enjoying it more instead of beating me up for that disheartening situation where I thought nothing would or could help me to be able to do it. Sometimes you have to experience it and no matter how many times people tell you something it's no shortcut to really understand it.

This is quite some wall of text and it's my very personal way to tackle this wall. There is no 100% formula to rank up in this text or in general, too, everyone has to find his/her own way to do it from a certain point on when it's starting to get hard. So keep in mind that's my approach and it (looks like it) works for me, it might be different for you. But maybe some parts of my way are helpful for you. If you want it quick and dirty, go to the last two paragraphs.


I've also been frustrated a lot about not progressing for many years although I had the impression I was working quite a lot on my Go - and therefore was expecting some change, just like you. 2 years ago, I started bullet journaling and I really liked it a lot and I thought why not use it for Go as well? In the end the result of tracking my efforts was quite embarrassing: I did WAY less than I thought but still had expected my rank to raise constantly because I was watching the lectures and playing the league games and watching the reviews. Seeing in the tracker the meager amount of work I put into Go I finally realised that my perception and the reality were quite different and that what I'm currently investing is not going to get me anywhere.

Last year I tried to use the bullet journal to force myself to play more, which, according to In-Seong, is what I need to progress: Get more game experience. In the end I failed to reach my target number of 200 games (20-25 minutes base time minimum + byo) by a relatively close number but I learned many lessons much more valuable than that game experience I obtained. Some things are included here that I already read about many times before but didn't experience and therefore thought not as much of as I do now. Sometimes, you gotta experience it and no one can spare you that. My top 7 takeaways are:

1. I need a constant effort. I'm talking about 10 minutes of tsumego a day here as a bare minimum. I CAN do more, but should try to never miss those 10 minutes. I prefer the Cho Chikun Encyclopedia because I can use my printed copy and because they don't have solutions in them. I also try not only to read the solution but as many branches as possible - because the training is about the actual reading and not only about the solution. It does take quite some time for me to actually see the progress, probably the same for you. But, as all study, it does pay off in the end.

2. As a procrastinator it does help a LOT to break down large goals into small, bite-sized chunks (helps also when you're not procrastinating!). X games/reviews/minutes of tsumego/pages per week is something I found very helpful.

3. I have to take into account my strengths and weaknesses and create a study plan to work on my weaknesses and bad habits I am struggling with - In-Seong's reviews and especially the personal report is GOLD for this. Have you already received one? Cannot recommend them highly enough! Take it as a roadmap of where you are now and make a plan. Pay the smallest bars most of your attention. Everyone has to work on his/her own weaknesses, so this is very subjective but going about it in a planned out way I felt some progress after 4 weeks already: I have recently studied basic shapes a lot and I was over the top when last weekend I could kill my opponents corner group actually quite easily. If you know where your weaknesses lie you will see some quick progress, if you do what you're already good at you won't because the bad parts will always drag you down again.

4. There are goals you have influence on and there are goals you just haven't. Can't force a server to make you Xk/Yd because you want to and without proof/winning ore games. If you focus only on goals that are beyond your influence like "I will win the next 10 games" or "I will be rank X by end of the year", you're sailing in dangerous waters and will probably sink sometime soon. Not only will it drain you from all the fun and motivation you might have, you're probably going to develop an obsession with your rank and this is not helpful at all. I'd recommend to focus on goals you can measure and influence like the amount of study you put into, the number of games you play etc. If you keep at that, then progress in the form of a stronger rank will be a byproduct of it. And you'll be very proud of what you did if you look back after some time and enjoy yourself a lot more.

5. The mindset is so important, too. I'm still struggling a lot with this one as I've been kinda obsessed with ranks and ratings myself, which made me anxious about many things related to Go, playing online probably being the most important one. Imagine fearing what you actually want to become better at.. it's pretty ridiculous! But fears are never rational and just like bad habits overcoming them is quite some task. For me that's probably the most important thing that's holding me back at the moment, my fear of doing something stupid, of not getting enough points, of losing streaks which might hurt my trust in the process etc. Last summer, when I had played a lot and didn't feel like dragging myself to the digital board several times a week but instead logged on in a good mood, I really noticed a difference and In-Seong noticed it, too. That was a happy moment! But because my planning had been bad at that time, I tried to do too much in too short of a time and kinda burned out. In the end, I couldn't keep up with it, ending up frustrated and doing nothing for several weeks. After that, I was standing before that familiar brick wall again...

6. You've been playing Go for some time and you've been stuck for some time, just like me. We both reached a certain level of proficiency. Progressing from that point takes time, changing your bad habits will take effort and time. It can't be forced or squeezed in a certain frame of time, that's something you got to accept. It'll depoend to some degree on how much you invest and how useful the methods are you are using. Thinking too much about ranking up takes away ressources you better put into things you can influence like your training - progress will come as long as you're working towards your goals. I fight my impatience by focussing on the progress I make with my studies instead. Seeing what I already did and achieved since this year began and successfully applying things I learned in games makes me proud and makes me think less about if I should have ranked up or not. That'll come in due time. It's way more fun to look at the game like this, too. Thinking that way has taken quite some time for me because of me focussing on ranks - just like in Go when you have a fixed idea it can be hard to break that. Tracking stuff is helpful for me to bridge the time until I have "built enough muscle" to show in a rank change. I'm not expecting to see that in the next x week. Can't force it, I'll only imagine it to keep the motivation up. And enjoy the moment when it comes to the fullest.

7. Having someone who shares your passion is making the adventure much more fun. Maybe you can find someone of similar ambition and strength to play a serious game a week, review together, have a good chat when things are looking down - or up! - encouraging each other. It really helps to stand the slow crawl and even enjoy it, for both of you.

You say that you play 1-2 games per week and review them with AI. It's great that you're playing slow games and review them with AI, but as someone said before me, with this "speed" reaching your goal will probably a very slow walk (or rather crawl). I'd definitely recommend 4-5 games/week and, very important: Try to incorporate what you learned in the lectures. I know that this is sometimes easier said than done, but the more you play the more chances you'll have to apply your knowledge. I'd also focus on few lectures/new things and instead study them thoroughly. It's ok to go slow if you understand it. If you do, then forgetting the exact pattern is not a big deal because you learned the general idea before and can come up with the solution if you need to. This is way more valuable than cramming a lot into a short time and not taking enough time to digest it.

So my advice would be to first do what gennan suggests above and if you love this game and are adamant about progressing and not just want to reach Xd and then stop playing (which would be a ridiculous thing to do in my eyes, what's the point in that?), then
** look at what weaknesses you have - how can you work on them effectively and which ressouces (books, Yunguseng lectures, stronger players, ...) could help you here?
** think about how much time per week/day you're able and willing to invest on a regular basis. Be realistic here and keep in mind you're going for a longterm goal. Can you imagine doing that in 1 year from now, too?
** then think of some SMART goals (you might want to google that if you don't know about the smart idea) make a plan based on these goals, splitting them up in digestable bits. Start small, be consistent, create good study habits, increase the workload if you feel (too) comfortable. But always do the minimum. Stick to the plan for some time, let's say 4-8 weeks at least, then check how you feel about it and think about if you need to make some changes. If you notice something good. And: measure what you are doing (might track the good things happening as well, we tend to forget about the good stuff and focus on negative things).
** try to shift your focus on things you have influence on. Things you enjoy about go. Find pleasure in being able to apply your knowledge, in outwitting your opponents with what you learned. The rest is not important so you shouldn't pay it much attention.
I gotta admit I haven't been doing it for a long enough time to have any "real" proof that this is working. However, I'm starting to feel good coming from it and am confident that I'm on the right way. Always remember: It's a marathon, not a sprint. Might as well enjoy the sights along the way, pick a few flowers, have a chat with the people you're meeting and from time to time look back on all that has happened in the last few months/years, be amazed how you suddenly ended up here and then turn around again and focus on that far-off goal in the future. And if in the meantime you're walking through the desert, like you are now, suffering the heat, the thirst, the sunburns and all the other uncomfortable things you might experience there (scorpions!! :-? ): keep walking - or you'll stay there. This always your choice to make. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #14 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:51 am 
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Boidhre wrote:
[...] we're probably spending most of effort fixing that which doesn't need fixing yet and missing the low hanging fruit.


Yes, that's key in my opinion and it was also an eye-opener for me: If all you ever did was doing tsuemgo (like I did for a long time), more tsumego is hardly the efficient way to progress further. Still doing mainly tsuemgo and calling the slow improvement (or lack thereof) "hitting a wall" totally shrouds the problem. You don't improve because you hit a wall, you don't improve because you don't study right.

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Post #15 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:16 pm 
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Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and giving your advice. Yesterday was a little rough, so I might have been a little too negative.


jlt wrote:
People say that you have to play at least 1000 games to become 1 dan. The path from 3k to 1d is longer than the path from complete beginner to 3k, so at least 500 games.


Of course I haven't counted. But I'm pretty sure I've been above 1000 games even before I took my break.

joachim wrote:
Try games from the 70th and 80th from Japan. Or games from Go Seigen.

This worked for me to get to 1d and 2d.


Thanks, I'll try it sometime.

gennan wrote:
Do you actually enjoy studying and/or playing go in itself?

Is it that you want to hit dan level and then retire from go?

I don't want to demotivate you further, but reaching dan level is not like achieving enlightenment or anything like that.
At best it's like climbing to the top of a hill, only to discover the mountain ahead.


That is an interesting question. And I would say that I do enjoy Go. However I'd also like to be good at the things that I'm doing, especially when I've been doing them for quite some time. The kyu ranks are usually reffered to as the "student"-ranks, while dan being the "master"ranks. So for me "being good at go" equals reaching dan level. Now I can already hear the argument, that dan level is relative and I'd already be a dan in Japan for example. But I'd like to be a dan player no matter where I go. And of course I'm aware that there is a point where you won't improve a whole lot. But if that point were at kyu level for me, I'd be frustrated. Once I hit Dan level I wouldn't retire but I'd take it a little easier.


Ember wrote:
In-Seong's reviews and especially the personal report is GOLD for this. Have you already received one?


I had only joined as a spectator so no. But soon I'll graduate (fingers crossed) and then be a little more flexible financially. Thanks for your long and heartfelt post.

Ember wrote:
Can't force a server to make you Xk/Yd because you want to and without proof/winning ore games.


I wouldn't want that btw. Because then my Dan ranking wouldn't be earned but worthless.

Ember wrote:
You say that you play 1-2 games per week and review them with AI. It's great that you're playing slow games and review them with AI, but as someone said before me, with this "speed" reaching your goal will probably a very slow walk (or rather crawl). I'd definitely recommend 4-5 games/week and, very important.


This kind of hits in the heart of the problem, I think. Because I haven't seen any improvements lately, I am hesitant to put more effort into it, fearing it would just be for nothing. But I'll take your advise and try to focus more on the process itself. Would you like to play sometime ?

gowan wrote:
In slower games do you almost always have a purpose for every move? As you said, there are many many patterns of moves in go. You can't learn them all and, besides, opponents often don't follow a pattern. So you have to know why moves are played, not just because they are part of some pattern. You need to have strategic plans that probably will have to be adjusted during play, and play moves that fit into your plans. If you are thinking this way I think you'll find that go is more interesting and satisfying to play.


Could you elaborate a little more ? If I watch a Go lecture about a certain joseki, the teacher will explain why the moves are played. So by watching the lecture I should've done the "understanding" part, right ?


EDIT: Also a common theme was that I need to spend more time on Go. I do agree with that and I'll try to make a conscious effort towards it. Right now my free time starts at about 8:30pm. If I play a slow Game of Go and review it with AI later, my evening is pretty much filled. But I hope this will also change with graduation.


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Post #16 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:13 pm 
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Thofte wrote:
jlt wrote:
People say that you have to play at least 1000 games to become 1 dan.


Of course I haven't counted. But I'm pretty sure I've been above 1000 games even before I took my break.


I said "at least"... Most people don't get to 1 dan after 1000 games. I've played about 2000 games and am still 1k on KGS, and don't think I'll ever get to EGF 1 dan... but that doesn't matter.

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Post #17 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:55 pm 
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SoDesuNe wrote:
Boidhre wrote:
[...] we're probably spending most of effort fixing that which doesn't need fixing yet and missing the low hanging fruit.


Yes, that's key in my opinion and it was also an eye-opener for me: If all you ever did was doing tsuemgo (like I did for a long time), more tsumego is hardly the efficient way to progress further. Still doing mainly tsuemgo and calling the slow improvement (or lack thereof) "hitting a wall" totally shrouds the problem. You don't improve because you hit a wall, you don't improve because you don't study right.


Exactly and I think it's a lesson broadly useful in life also. The same trap exists in many learning activities both physical and mental. Too much focus is given on learning new things when it comes to improvement when much improvement stems from figuring out the flaws in our understanding of what we already think we know.


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Post #18 Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:17 am 
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Thofte wrote:
Ember wrote:
In-Seong's reviews and especially the personal report is GOLD for this. Have you already received one?


I had only joined as a spectator so no. But soon I'll graduate (fingers crossed) and then be a little more flexible financially. Thanks for your long and heartfelt post.

Ember wrote:
Can't force a server to make you Xk/Yd because you want to and without proof/winning ore games.


I wouldn't want that btw. Because then my Dan ranking wouldn't be earned but worthless.

Ember wrote:
You say that you play 1-2 games per week and review them with AI. It's great that you're playing slow games and review them with AI, but as someone said before me, with this "speed" reaching your goal will probably a very slow walk (or rather crawl). I'd definitely recommend 4-5 games/week and, very important.


This kind of hits in the heart of the problem, I think. Because I haven't seen any improvements lately, I am hesitant to put more effort into it, fearing it would just be for nothing. But I'll take your advise and try to focus more on the process itself. Would you like to play sometime ?

[...]

EDIT: Also a common theme was that I need to spend more time on Go. I do agree with that and I'll try to make a conscious effort towards it. Right now my free time starts at about 8:30pm. If I play a slow Game of Go and review it with AI later, my evening is pretty much filled. But I hope this will also change with graduation.


I'm glad it is helpful for you. All the best for your graduation! Maybe that should be the focus for now and some scheming on how to start right after your last exam ist over. It took me a few weeks to figure out a plan, too. Might sound long, but thinking it through thoroughly prevents much frustration. And I feel you with only squeezing in 1 game + review per evening and then it's too late to do something else, too. Same here with a job and 2 cats. But you're willing to invest, that's what counts. Give it enough time to plan and to keep at it and you can do it!

And of course I'm up for a game! I can't make it happen this week though, I have a tournament game every evening until the weekend and then a weekend tournament (no obsession here for sure! :blackeye:), but next week looks much better. Maybe drop me a message on OGS or on Discord, that's what'll work best for me. You can find me there as KamiKatze (on Discord via the Yunguseng Dojang channel). :)

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 Post subject: Re: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #19 Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:36 am 
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These days there are many people on twitch who stream their Go games. If you find watching the games of BattsGo or others entertaining, it can be a way of being in contact with the game in a quite relaxed way, for times when you do not feel like playing a game yourself. While watching, you will still think about direction of play, do some reading, etc., so it will improve your own game. Also, you will learn some new sequences, patterns, ... when watching stronger players.

Besides that: use AI to review every one - yes: EVERY ONE - of your games afterwards.

PS: I forgot the most important one: Have fun! If there is no fun anymore, take a break.

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 Post subject: Re: Overcome the wall or give up
Post #20 Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:05 am 
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Great advice from everyone. My favorite "Have fun or take a break"

Here are my cents...

- Big part of level is reading ability, but if you are already doing tsumegos perhaps you are lacking tactical and strategical insights. That is what you want to achieve with your reading. Also check out your tesuji problems/books.

- Read books. There's a whole thread about them. If only one book, half of us would say "Lessons in the Fundamentals..." :D But maybe a deeper book. It should be a book that goes deep into professional thinking. Read slowly, play out the diagrams. I only know the old ones "Strategic Concepts", "Middle Game", "1971 Honinbo tournament", "Invincible". Maybe there are newer and better ones but I don't think it matters so much, one good book is enough for starters.

- As people have said, fixation on rank is not very healthy. This is also not healthy but maybe it works: play to win. Get a friend, a rival, an enemy, a shodan player, and try to beat them. Or lower/rise handicap. A Go club or community helps, it's easier to try to beat someone you know than a random person on the net. This way you can apply what you study and have a goal for your preparation. (be aware this may bring more frustration when you lose)

- Same idea: play tournaments or competitions. Serious or friendly. But try your best.

- If you can, play once in a while with longer or no time control. That way you can train to read deeper. This plays out to reading faster later.
(I'm aware this last two are not easy if you are time constrained)

TL;DR practice tesuji, read strategy books, get a rival, play slowly, strive to win

Good luck and tell us how it's going!

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