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 Post subject: Re: Takagawa Kaku
Post #21 Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2023 9:15 pm 
Oza
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Ferran wrote:
You can get Lee Sedol-Gu Li's jubango in severel formats, at least one of them a free book. Not so Takagawa.


To make probably the same point as John, it's unreasonable to expect high quality content for free. The publishers of the Lee-Gu jubango have figured that out the hard way.

Ferran wrote:

But, at that level, a meme (in the original sense) keeps popping up, for people who like to follow pro games, because their brain works that way. Well, two memes. One is "don't bother, git gut". The other is Takagawa.



The main feature of a meme is that it gets strengthened every time it is repeated. So maybe we should stop doing that if the meme is the problem :)
If the meme says "beginners should study Takagawa", I disagree both on the meme and on it being a meme. Beginners should not study Takagawa. They should play on small boards and all. There are so many - free! - guides for beginners. Not one that I know mentions Takagawa. I do agree there's an idea out there that for amateurs (not beginners) IF they want to study pro games, Takagawa is a good choice because his moves are easier to understand. A similar idea exists about Otake. I'm only mildly supportive of either idea. More than anything, as Bill would say, study what you like. And don't underestimate the depth of analysis below what looks superficially easy to understand.

Ferran wrote:
And there're basically no vids on him. There're games commented on Go Review, Go World, Modern Masters and Final Summit. Not ONE of those is available through my local Amazon. Sure, they're somewhat available through some online retailers. Retailers a newbie doesn't know to trust. Not yet. Also, I don't think the comments in those books are geared to a contemporary beginner. Not the magazines, for sure, but I haven't read the books yet.

So... I think my point stands.

Take care


I guess it stands but there are a couple of ways out, as others have said here: 1) forget about it 2) invest in it, by analyzing his games for yourself. We have the extreme luxury these days of full time availability of pro level evaluation, for free. BTW, I started doing just that, only I'm too busy right now to report on it. So your call already bore the fruit of me studying Takagawa. Thanks for that!

Take care.

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 Post subject: Re: Takagawa Kaku
Post #22 Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2023 9:41 am 
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I'll be mixing my replies to Mr. Fairbairn's and Knotwilg, since they mostly touch the same points.

John Fairbairn wrote:
Quote:
So... I think my point stands.


To tell the truth, I'm not sure quite what your point is.


Fair. And, from something Knotwilg says later, it seems I really wasn't clear enough.

Quote:
I'm inclined to say that doesn't follow my own experience, as I don't think I've heard a recommendation to study Takagawa for decades.


I found one earlier this month, looking for things on him. On reddit, I'll grant you, but it was realtively recent. I'll also allow that people are more interested in new players than 20th century ones. Somehow, the 20th century has not managed to become a classic, only old. It's easier to find youtube commentaries on the Godokoro houses than it is to find commentaries on pre-6,5 komi.

BTW, if you can follow French (which I barely can, and thank God for youtube's speed adjustements), FulguroGo is one of the few (Western) channels I've seen who regularly does. Nordic Go Dojo's got some videos, too, but their channel doesn't seem to have their videos grouped by subjects.


Quote:
But if we accept the observation is an accurate one for a lot of people, it seems to me that at least two points can be inferred. One is that people who recommend Takagawa for study are either fibbers or bampots. Fibbers because if material really is scarce, what did they use to study? Maybe they are just lazily repeating what they think is received wisdom, in which case they are bampots.


You sure like your idioms... ;)

I subscribe to another theory, myself. I think they've forgotten what it means to be a beginner. To get a kifu and think... "O-kay... How do I even start?". What's the difference between move 10 and move 12? Is move 37 important?

I don't really like to talk about this off-circle, but I've seen this in martial arts. People new to the art, whichever it is, trying to follow something getting utterly confused with a new technique. One of my usual recommendations is "focus on the feet". Hands are flashy things, but you can't do a thing if your feet are not in the right position. Instructors know this... but they've often forgotten they had to learn it, the feeling of confusion when you start...

Quote:
Another inference is that they did study Takagawa themselves at a time when material was available. But it's not now, so they are smug cads.


I don't know if it's less available. I certainly couldn't have got my hands on Go Review/World or GoGoD 20 years ago. Not reliably. And certainly much more expensive than now.

Quote:
As far as I can tell, you are making one or both of these points, or something like it.


Hmmm...

My main point is that there's not enough material for beginners. And I don't mean Fearless-level free (beer) quality, but anything from books on him to youtube lessons. I'm assuming Mr. McKee felt something similar when he shot his videos on Kajiwara-sensei.

And, well, it happens. There's a lot of pros who have even less material in English. You know that better than I do. But they're not popping up time and again.

Quote:
But there is a third possible point we can infer. I imagine you are not making this particular point, however. But we must consider it. There are over 1200 games by Takagawa in the GoGoD database [...] There are no comments, of course, but when you have that many games, you can learn a lot just by comparing the games - what openings does hie like or avoid, and so on, how did he change over time, etc. Are these go "influencers" advising you to do that?


Hmm... I like it. Since I don't think I can really study all 1200 of them, how would you recommend choosing the games? My initial impetus would be to limit myself to those against a couple of his adversaries, maybe three. Seigen and Fujisawa, maybe Sakata? But that's an off the cuff idea.

Some time ago, I had the idea of getting to study the games of some secondary Japanese players, the kind who barely won prizes, but who played against all the best players of their time, and get to see the differences. I have some collections, but I haven't decided to go forward. Since we're kind of talking about it, do you think it would be a good idea?

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But if the gripe does come down to the lack of commented material pure and simple, you can't blame the guys who want to write the material or the publishers who would like to publish it. Most of the go world has decided they don't want to buy books or go magazines. They have learned to count up to "free" and stopped there. Or they prefer the bling of videos, where it is usually a case of "never mind the quality, feel the width".


I can't, for love of life, understand why some of those replay videos exist, with or without AI.

I kind of old-school (hush! only kind of), so I like books. Printed books, by preference.

The gripe... there are two levels, I guess. One is a request, of sorts, to have books, or articles, on Takagawa and similar pro players. But I acknowledge the difficulty on getting those on shelves. Specially books that can reach a wider spectrum of hability.

The other one is more towards content creators (and I'm including reddit posters here). For some of them, to please include people such as Takagawa in their discussions. How was it? Respect the past to build the future? I don't see how (yet) another video on AlphaGo is going to help us improve. A video on a... relatable? classic, might. And, most specially, to those who DO recommend Takagawa, to put their efforts where their mouths are. It's easy to say "you should study X"... without a single word on HOW. That word could be a general guide on studying pro games at different levels of Go, or a commentary on a specific game.


Knotwilg wrote:
To make probably the same point as John, it's unreasonable to expect high quality content for free. The publishers of the Lee-Gu jubango have figured that out the hard way.


Fair. Although I frankly thought it'd become free once it went out of print.

But that's not what I'm asking for. I'm asking for either high quality content (not necessarily for free), or for introductory content (which might be free or not, but needs to be easily available, without extra hurdles; and, sorry, subscribing to a new service IS one)

Quote:
There are so many - free! - guides for beginners. Not one that I know mentions Takagawa. I do agree there's an idea out there that for amateurs (not beginners) IF they want to study pro games, Takagawa is a good choice because his moves are easier to understand.


That's why I separated both kinds of beginners. The one just barely learning the game, and the one who's comfortable with the rules but needs more games under the belt. Also, if I phrased it that way, my apologies, but I didn't mean that beginners should study Takagawa, but that beginners with an interest in replaying games should focus on him.

Quote:
A similar idea exists about Otake.


Oh. Hadn't found that one. Same reason? I mean, the name had popped up, but not significantly so.

Quote:
More than anything, as Bill would say, study what you like. And don't underestimate the depth of analysis below what looks superficially easy to understand.


Yes. And precisely. But that's a bit like telling someone "eat what you like". Unless there's some extra information (guides, books, videos...), it's similar to getting someone with an appetite and dropping them in front of a wholesale grocer/abattoir, without even a guide, a recipe book, or nutritional information.

Quote:
I guess it stands but there are a couple of ways out, as others have said here: 1) forget about it 2) invest in it, by analyzing his games for yourself. We have the extreme luxury these days of full time availability of pro level evaluation, for free. BTW, I started doing just that, only I'm too busy right now to report on it. So your call already bore the fruit of me studying Takagawa. Thanks for that!


My pleasure, but I don't think I can claim the merit.

The way I'm using AI evaluation, right now, is to check it against existing commentaries and "gut feelings". Frankly, certain combinations AI suggests are useless, to me; I wouldn't think on that in a million years. Some are... aspirational. The kind of thing I might be able to do sometime down the line. But sometimes there's an... "Why are they not closing that? Is it already closed and I can't see it? Shouldn't it...?" Paper commentary often doesn't touch that, and AI allows me to check if I'm seeing a mirage or something. For example: in the Atom Bomb Game, I kept thinking someone should play between stones 9 and 10. There are several points, before the 1-3 corner gets settled, that don't have anything urgent that claims priority. And it kept bugging me. AI says I'm not out of my mind (well, not because of this, at least). I don't trust AIs much more than that.

Next one on my queue is the one Mr. Fairbairn suggested (Sakata-Takagawa, 1952 Honinbo, I believe). I've done some of it, but...

[EDIT] BTW, move 33... At that point, is there a reason, besides simplifying things?

BTW... The Atom Bomb Game. It's one of the most (in)famous games, and yet I've been able to find 2 e-ink sources (Go Review, and Honinbo, early years) and... Four? public videos... in three languages. If that's what you can find on one of the most known games...

Thanks to both. Take care.

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 Post subject: Re: Takagawa Kaku
Post #23 Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2023 5:45 pm 
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Ferran wrote:
snip

...I didn't mean that beginners should study Takagawa, but that beginners with an interest in replaying games should focus on him.

snip


You seem to have an idea about replaying games that is different than mine and, I expect, different from most of the people replying to this thread. For old fogies like me, replaying games means to sit down with the game record and replay it stone by stone while trying to absorb what is going on in order to add to my own understanding of Go (for an extreme example, featuring Takagawa's games[!], see the novel First Kyu). You seem to see it as sitting and watching/reading someone else replay the game and providing "beginner-level commentary" so that you learn from the commentary rather from the game itself. For my version of replaying games there is already a lot of material available on Takagawa. For your version, not so much.

However, since you are planning to learn from the commentary rather than the game, why do you care? Why would Takagawa be preferable to anyone else since you are relying on the commentary rather than the game content? You should want the games/players that the commentator is best able to render into beginner-helpful commentary. Choose your favorite commentator and ignore specific players. I would imagine that you are better off with a variety of players, since that would allow your favorite commentator to better cover a variety of relevant topics.

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 Post subject: Re: Takagawa Kaku
Post #24 Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2023 2:06 am 
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ez4u wrote:
You seem to have an idea about replaying games that is different than mine and, I expect, different from most of the people replying to this thread.


I don't think so.

First, I used "study" not "replay".

Replay is replay. I'd assume that it includes some effort; otherwise, you can simply time a kifu viewer and claim you've "replayed" it.

Now, let's assume you're replaying with intent. Trying to understand the flow of the game, the priorities... If your instincts are not good (and, by definition, a beginner's aren't), you might well be practicing wrong. I know some people who've turned doing things wrong a specific way into an "art". Cleansing those bad habits is a struggle; a disheartening one, because you realize what you're doing wrong, how long it's going to take you to reeducate yourself and how much time you've wasted already.

The way I see commented cames is as a guide, a check. When you trek, for example, you don't need to have your GPS continually yelling were to put your next step, but having map and compass is good. Part of the issue is that most of the maps available are for Himalayan trekkers, not for Joe Citizen. And there's no information on the proper use of a compass and a map, even. I know someone who used to guide children for "Sunday school" (of sorts; different cultures) treks... who'd NEVER been SHOWN (much less taught) how to read a map, or how to use a compass.

Let's see if I can use the Atom Bomb Game for an example.

It's a game I replay relatively frequently, a handful of times a year. At least for its anniversary and every time I get some sort of new equipment. A board, stones... I hope to get bowls one day. Often also during Christmas and Easter.

That's replay. I do it with different sorts of intent, depending. Sometimes it's more of a memorial. Sometimes I try to get the "flow" of the game. Sometimes I stop and treat it like a tsumego.

I don't need more than the kifu, for that. And I do prefer the kifu to the SGF.

But I'm certain I'm missing things. Having comments helps in several ways. It helps seeing which plays are important, or exceptional, which are unavoidable (which often shows because there are NO comments). It helps seeing the difference in style among players and commenters; what is a truly bad move and what is a matter of preference? But, like I mentioned, most comments are for people above my level. Sometimes I can understand them, sometimes they feel within grasp; sometimes it's a "are we even talking about the same game or was that rugby?" Even so, a commentary like "Black 37 threatens to kill the corner" gives me two points of interest: I can set the board to White 36 and think how to kill that corner, or use Black 37 as a tsumego.

So, from time to time, I check what I'm seeing with a comment. I'm currently trying to edit a compilation of all the information I have on that game. Compiling, checking and trying to see it from other people's eyes. Trying to find a way to explain it. Learning to teach a subject tends to help learning the subject itself.

So, I think that... maps are specially useful for beginners. Among other things, there's very little information on HOW to study a game. I'd hoped 'Appreciating Famous Games' would give pointers, but it doesn't.

Quote:
For old fogies like me, replaying games means to sit down with the game record and replay it stone by stone while trying to absorb what is going on in order to add to my own understanding [...] You seem to see it as sitting and watching/reading someone else replay the game and providing "beginner-level commentary" so that you learn from the commentary rather from the game itself.


I suppose I've already answered that, but just in case, I think of commentaries as an entry-level help. With the issue that many of them are geared toward people who're already in; maybe not far in, but in.

Quote:
For my version of replaying games there is already a lot of material available on Takagawa. For your version, not so much.


With the caveats above, granted.

Quote:
However, since you are planning to learn from the commentary rather than the game, why do you care?


I care because it keeps popping up. I'm currently collecing some info. I don't know if I'll want to study Takagawa, or not. And I don't have enough of a contact with a sizable group of newbies to see how much this in influencing them. I'm assuming, tough, that for every beginner who asks "which player should I study?" there are several who READ it. And I feel the information is faulty.

Quote:
Why would Takagawa be preferable to anyone else since you are relying on the commentary rather than the game content? You should want the games/players that the commentator is best able to render into beginner-helpful commentary. Choose your favorite commentator and ignore specific players. I would imagine that you are better off with a variety of players, since that would allow your favorite commentator to better cover a variety of relevant topics.


I agree (again, with the caveats on playing-studying above). But I think that's the first time I've seen that suggestion written down. I'm partial to Cho Chikun, myself, for example. For a completely stupid reason, but I am. One of my next "projects" is doing the same I've been doing with the Atom Bomb Game with one of the 7th Kisei games, probably the last one.

Take care.

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 Post subject: Re: Takagawa Kaku
Post #25 Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2023 7:38 am 
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Ferran: My interpretation of what you are saying has become a lot clearer, thank you, but I must admit I had made the same assumption as ez4u that you were just watching videos and counting that as replay. My sense now of what is going on is that you are someone like a normal fan at any spectator sport. You try watch intelligently (and I think this may be what you mean by "study") but for enjoyment rather than to become a linebacker, phenom pitcher, or hockey goalie yourself. But if you can understand more of what is going on, you find your enjoyment is much enhanced. While you appreciate everything that John Buck is telling you, the flash of insight from a pro such as Tim McCarver is really what you crave.

That, at any rate, is how I treat go. But go seems rather skewed compared to most pro sports. There are rather more people who want to actually play than to watch. Many are obsessed with their grades more than try understanding. What is provided by commentators probably reflects that. A new trick move probably finds a bigger audience than a pro telling you that playing over games physically, the way he did it, is the best way to study.

Quote:
Among other things, there's very little information on HOW to study a game.


And that may well follow from the above. But is it really true?

One thing I've noticed in go, over very many years and with great surprise, is how resistant many people are to being given advice. I believe this trait is very strong among players who think the game is about counting. As it happens, Takagawa himself made a very similar observation. He remarked that he had a feeling that too many players were obsessed with trying to wrest an extra point or half-point out of each move, and in his experience that led to those players becoming greedy and losing a sense of balance over the whole board. His recommendation was that players had to overcome this through training and self-discipline. That's VERY powerful medication and so we must infer he thought the disease was VERY serious! I can imagine certain people here who will retort that Mr T was talking tripe. But lets' not turn this into a coconut shy.

Yet that example illustrates another trait of certain kinds of players. They might heed his advice to strive for balance, and so they would start playing "logically" an equal number of moves on the third and fourth lines. But that's not what he meant at all.

Leaving aside what he meant by balance, I recall an even better lecture by him (in a Japanese book) on "big points." He remarked that this was the aspect of the game that most amateurs either ignored, underplayed or misunderstood. So he pointed out that 'big' here doesn't mean 'big' as in counting, but means 'significant' or 'important' (in various ways, such as timing, or whether moves have follow-ups or make connections) and 'points' are not specific but refer to a region. He said the problem amateurs faced (because of lack of attention to big points in the first place) was assessing the value of big points in this way, and then ranking them. When it came to ranking them, he did not mention a single count or use the word territory. He ranked them instead as groups he called primary, secondary, and so on. And within each group the choice of which one to play would be determined by local conditions, not by shape or numbers, though often any big point within the primary group would do as well as any other (in amateur play).

He then went on to talk about how big points are manipulated or set up, and he did this by stressing the value of what are normally called "points at the intersection of two moyos" (a Tennozan point) but noting that because they are so important they should instead be considered "points that must be fought over". In other words, play must proceed elsewhere in such as way that you can be first to the Tennozan. This is to be based on your assessment of the influence available (NB not thickness). This is a tedomari way of thinking that goes a bit further than the usual sense of tedomari in the fuseki, and as it happens he uses Tennozan also in an extended sense. Rather than just a high-ish move in the centre, it can also be a move on the third line. To put that in another way, it's a reminder that there are rather more big points on the board than you might think. Even just the primary group is likely to have at least three in his examples (in different areas).

Once you establish which points to fight over, and fight accordingly, thickness will emerge naturally from the contact plays. Of course, you were supposed to see that coming and so should have plans in place to use whatever thickness emerges. Note that he sees it as emerging naturally - you do not 'make' thickness. You 'get' it.

Reading all this, I can imagine a lot of people thinking it makes perfect sense (it's "obvious" even) and then they will go away and use their own definitions of balance, big points, tedomari, Tennozan, influence and thickness. Then they wonder why they don't improve. They are not 'taking' advice. They are just treating it as background noise - "yeah, whatever."

It follows, however, from my interpretation of all this, that pros like Takagawa are teaching us HOW to study. Yet too many people want it served up as their usual mushy hamburger they cram into their faces as they watch a video, instead of a steak you have to take a knife and fork to and give attention to.

Because of my professional background (technical translating and journalism), I automatically take notice of which words are used and how, and even which words are not used, and also what associations the words used may have. I even have a sort of clock counter in my head. That results in reading the Takagawa lecture in the specific way I have described above. Other people may find it hard to get on the same wavelength. Yet others may come to a quite different interpretation. But I hope that everyone may at least concede that Takagawa and the many other pros who write similar things are actually trying to tell us HOW to study. They are not obfuscating or being exotically "oriental". They are simply passing on advice. Even if they do obfuscate or mangle the language, their advice should be treasured. Just remember Yogi Berra!

Personally, I think the most important step for western amateurs is to aim for the 'big points' of language. Make sure you are using terms in the free and rich sense the pro uses, and not the limited and limiting "logical" sense of western definitions.

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Post #26 Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2023 9:24 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
My sense now of what is going on is that you are someone like a normal fan at any spectator sport. You try watch intelligently (and I think this may be what you mean by "study") but for enjoyment rather than to become a linebacker, phenom pitcher, or hockey goalie yourself. But if you can understand more of what is going on, you find your enjoyment is much enhanced. While you appreciate everything that John Buck is telling you, the flash of insight from a pro such as Tim McCarver is really what you crave.


With the caveat that a pro explainer need not be a pro player. Sometimes, amateurs can explain an activity better than pros.

Also, I want to become better, a better player. But, let's be real, I'm not going to be the next gaijin sensation of Go. Also, by myself, I tend to be someone who understands, then does, rather than someone who does, then understands. Sort of. It's complicated. In any case, I do sort of have a certain obligation to be a good opponent to whoever sits in front of me, or whoever asks me for beginner's advice. That's what grows the game.

The fact that I'm pretty adverse to competition doesn't help. My time limit is supper time with the family, not a digital clock. To the point I'm trying to decide what to do about the next EGC, which is about 5h by train, because I can't find much to do that isn't tied to a clock. Never been to one, I must be missing something; and yet...

Quote:
Many are obsessed with their grades more than try understanding.


https://www.quotes.net/mquote/50348

I (barely) know a Japanese kendo instructor. A "young" 8th dan prodigy (kendo 8th dan CAN'T be young, in Western terms). The way his pupils train for, say, 2nd dan test is by reaching 4th dan level.

Would I like to test for shodan at the Kansai kiin? Hell, sure. Is it worth implanting an embedded version of katago in my eye? Nope. And, frankly, that seems the wave of the future.

Quote:
What is provided by commentators probably reflects that. A new trick move probably finds a bigger audience than a pro telling you that playing over games physically, the way he did it, is the best way to study.


I agree. And yet, I'm not sure that's the most time-effective way for an amateur. It's also contrary to what attracts me to Go. If I wanted to have the biggest advantage in martial arts I'd go for practical shooting, not fencing.

Quote:
One thing I've noticed in go, over very many years and with great surprise, is how resistant many people are to being given advice.


That's not endemic to Go.

"He went from point A to point C in a slight arch."
"No, he didn't. He went straight."
"There's a leg right in the middle, at B. He can't go straight."
"He did."

ARGH!

Quote:
I believe this trait is very strong among players who think the game is about counting.


That feels weird.

Besides a couple of lonely articles (...in the early 90s?) my first exposure to Go was Arthur Smith's book, republished by Tuttle.

My second was Cho Chikun's book on counting (which is my stupid reason for feeling attached to him; it's grown since). Which I found a weird mix of "Duh!" and "This is going to take... a while". Also... well, Go. I'll trade your half point here for sente there.

Quote:
His recommendation was that players had to overcome this through training and self-discipline. That's VERY powerful medication and so we must infer he thought the disease was VERY serious!


It's powerful. It's also yucky.

I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be a professional with decades of experience and try to convince amateurs that they're wasting their time. Again. Again. Again.

Quote:
I can imagine certain people here who will retort that Mr T was talking tripe. But lets' not turn this into a coconut shy.


It's one of those small sentences that imply hours and hours of retraining bad habits.

Also, you know I just imagined a Mr T with mohawk and bling putting a stone, right?

Quote:
So he pointed out that 'big' here doesn't mean 'big' as in counting, but means 'significant' or 'important' [...] He said the problem amateurs faced [...] was assessing the value of big points in this way


I find that extraordinarily freeing. Thanks a lot. I suspect my "fight" with those moves on the Atom Bomb Game (regarding the top side) relates to that, but I was trying to find an... "excuse" to counteract the "urgent..big" and "corners-sides-centre". If you "redefine" big, you... cut a whole complicated branch of the process. It also becomes fuzzier, but I like fuzzy.

Quote:
To put that in another way, it's a reminder that there are rather more big points on the board than you might think.


There are more Tennozan on the board, Shusaku, than are dreamed of in your arithmetic.

Quote:
Once you establish which points to fight over, and fight accordingly, thickness will emerge naturally from the contact plays. Of course, you were supposed to see that coming and so should have plans in place to use whatever thickness emerges. Note that he sees it as emerging naturally - you do not 'make' thickness. You 'get' it.


Well... yes. Isn't that how Go works? You're not supposed to play a ponmuki right in the middle in your first 4 moves. I always assumed thickness worked the same way. I mean... we teach novices not to put their stones one after the other for a reason.

As I mentioned somewhere else, I met my first real life player about a year ago, so I might be missing some social cues.

Quote:
Reading all this, I can imagine a lot of people thinking it makes perfect sense (it's "obvious" even) and then they will go away and use their own definitions


One thing I first noticed when I read... The Prince? Five Rings? Is that there are a lot of things that are "well, duh" when you read them... and take forever to Grok. Classics tend to be this kind of book. For example, related to Go. Corners, sides, centre. Sure, right?

I played a game, recently. Correspondence time limits, some realtime bouts. I went for 3-5 and 4-5. Corners-sides-centre... and yet the 4-5 corner didn't get *enclosed* for 30 moves. Never mind settled. I didn't see it, my opponent didn't. And yet, it's obvious. It's a teen-percent loss on each of us almost every single move until it gets approached. I'm an idiot (Who doesn't even have a blue box).

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It follows, however, from my interpretation of all this, that pros like Takagawa are teaching us HOW to study. Yet too many people want it served up as their usual mushy hamburger they cram into their faces as they watch a video, instead of a steak you have to take a knife and fork to and give attention to.


I agree that people prefer fast rewards. And that Takagawa is teaching us a healthier way.

HOW-ever... The original intent of this was geared towards beginners. People who might get, say, Cho Chikun's introduction to the game, or Bozulich's 2nd Book of Go; maybe something a step above that; not two. From amazon, because they don't yet trust sellers germane to Go. Or maybe they don't even know them.

I can't find any mention on this kind of books, or online posts, or videos, intented to guide people who have access to game records on how to study them. The closest I've found is "feel the flow", and I'm not convinced that a newbie without some decent prior experience in, say, dancing, maybe some martial arts, or team sports, can even understand the sentence applied to Go.

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They are not obfuscating or being exotically "oriental". They are simply passing on advice. Even if they do obfuscate or mangle the language, their advice should be treasured. Just remember Yogi Berra!


They don't obfuscate by being oriental (and I know you didn't join both), we obfuscate with Western logic. My feeling with Japanese is that it has a weird mix of rigidity and suppleness that confuses us, and we tend to get too fixated on specific words.

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Personally, I think the most important step for western amateurs is to aim for the 'big points' of language. Make sure you are using terms in the free and rich sense the pro uses, and not the limited and limiting "logical" sense of western definitions.


Sorry, I jumped the gun, didn't I?

I know of a koryu. Martial arts, focused in sword and spear, with several other weapons. The headmaster is chosen by the previous headmaster. Yes? Sure. It's been uninterrupted for 5+ centuries. Soke chooses soke. That's how it is. Oh, that soke? The one who became soke after the previous one died? A council of main instructors chose him and trained him. So... the council can choose a headmaster. No! Whatever gave you the idea? Soke chooses soke.

Take care. Thanks for several of your ideas.

PS: I received Final Summit today.

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 Post subject: Re: Takagawa Kaku
Post #27 Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2023 3:01 am 
Oza
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On the claim that there is not a lot of instructional material or advice on how to study, all depends on what you find "a lot" but I disagree.

https://senseis.xmp.net/?Improvement holds about 10 links to pages where players of various levels say how one should study and improve. They largely concur, notably on the need to play, review your games and do tsumego. They vary more on what you should use as a source of knowledge and at which stage of your career this is relevant. On pro games, opinions are notably divided, let alone which pro to study. Likewise opening theory and joseki. Even the extent to which tsumego are necessary. That's where Bill's "study what you like" comes in handy.

To me that's not at all the same as "we put the amateurs in front of a large, unstructured vault of available material and let them figure it out for themselves".

Again, if Takagawa's games are "only" available in uncommented format, there are so many commented games of other pros if that's what you are looking for. Many of these are extremely high quality. They come in book format, more than you can read in a lifetime, and then there are youtubers like Michael Redmond, Baduk Doctor (Korean ama of pro strength), Telegraph Go (young American going for US pro) ... which again you can spend days watching, if that is what you like.

The available study material is so vast that I would argue it rather prevents you from doing what matters (play, review, exercise) than that its scarcity or lack of structure be the culprit.

We started out with the lack of commented games of Takagawa. Which is true but in my opinion not really relevant to the topic of improvement. Now we're at a whole different argument, which IMO is simply not true: that it's hard to improve because it's unclear how to do it. It's rather clear but it's still very hard.

Digression

I don't usually like analogies but since we already compared Go to sports, hardly any tennis instructor, live or online, talks about professionals whose games you'd need to watch in order to improve. Watching tennis is mostly for entertainment. For improvement, you need to practice a lot, then play competitively and to some extent also record yourself in practice and matches to learn, by observation, what your game is lacking technically and tactically. The analogy is flawed in the sense that Go is about decision making in certain situations and these situations present themselves in pro games just like in your own, while tennis has a strong physical component which you simply lack behind the screen. The analogy is truthful in the sense that in tennis too, be it less so, players try copying e.g. Federer's serve, while unable to distinguish its stylistics from its fundamentals. If you master the fundamentals of the serve, you'll end up with your own stylistics or if you decide copying Fed's style, it will less affect the fundamentals.

The same is very much true about Go. Takagawa's style might be different from Sakata's, their fundamentals are the same. It's these fundamentals one should study and practice. The study material is abundant, in book form or video, pricy or free. Over time you might figure out that your personality is more like Takagawa's, avoiding battles, trying to win in the endgame. But even he knew when the fight was inevitable and then he knew how to fight. So what would you really learn from T's games, commented or not? Like I said, I once went through the exercise of studying Otake, to discover the whole idea was bogus.

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