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 Post subject: TwentyTwentyOneDan
Post #1 Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:34 pm 
Beginner

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Rank: KGS 10 kyu
KGS: SinKing
OGS: J__P__
I picked up Go about a decade ago (in fact my old study journal from 2010 is here (https://www.lifein19x19.com/forum/viewt ... =48&t=2058). I got very into it, got to about 11 kyu in a few months, then life got in the way and I didn't really play again until the last year or two when I found myself bored at a very undemanding part-time job.

Back in November (after watching The Queen's Gambit) I thought it would be nice to take it a little more seriously and after a few months getting back into it, and last week I managed get that SDK on KGS.

The nominal goal for this journal then is to get to one Dan by the end of 2021, a stone per month, with one to spare. In reality, it will be a set of games played and puzzles solved and reviews reviewed. I'm not letting myself get too hung up on the actual time frame here, any improvement is good by me.

If people have any suggestions as to what’s best to study/read/do to improve at this level I’m 80% ears.

Currently, I’m reading through the first six of the Elementary Go Series (just finished the book on openings and skimming through the one about 38 joseki). I think it’s a little out of the recommended order, but those six books seem to cover all the major points from fuseki to yose, so I’m using that as a refresher before setting myself a more serious tsumego based curriculum.

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 Post subject: Re: TwentyTwentyOneDan
Post #2 Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:07 am 
Lives in gote

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I'd like to note that rank progress in go typically doesn't go linearly with effort invested. Typically, the relation between effort and progress is an exponentially decaying function.

So (for example) when going from 30k to 10k takes you a unit of effort x, adding that same amount of effort may only bring you to 6k. Adding the next unit of effort may only bring you as far as 4k and the next to 3k. So even when your progress is 1 rank per month initially, chances are that you won't be able to keep that same rate of improvement.

In my opinion, setting goals like this for your progress in go is harmful. Most likely, you're setting yourself up to end up being disappointed with yourself. So I would recommend to just invest the amount of effort that you are willing to sustain and not care too much about your rank improvement.


Last edited by gennan on Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

This post by gennan was liked by 2 people: Bill Spight, gowan
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 Post subject: Re: TwentyTwentyOneDan
Post #3 Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:46 am 
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A few suggestions, based on what I haven't always been doing right:

  • Study everything: opening, josekis, life-and-death, tesuji, endgame, reductions, invasions, how to attack, to defend, to make good shape, to play with or against a moyo, to use influence, etc.
  • Don't play only on KGS but try Asian servers as well (Fox, Tygem) to get a variety of styles.
  • Review your games with AI or with a stronger player and try to extract 1-2 useful ideas from the game review.
  • Try to incorporate new ideas or new moves into your games. Trust the advice of stronger players or of books, even if they seem counter-intuitive, you need actual game experience to fully understand why they are correct.
  • Watch pro games, or games between high-dan players. You won't understand everything but may pick up good shapes, or techniques you wouldn't have thought of by yourself.
  • Most importantly: don't care about rank, but care about learning. Enjoyment comes from understanding, seeing things that you used to be blind to.


This post by jlt was liked by 5 people: Bill Spight, daal, gennan, gowan, SoDesuNe
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 Post subject: Re: TwentyTwentyOneDan
Post #4 Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:09 am 
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I agree with not setting goals for a particular rank and you mentionned that any improvement is fine which is good.

There is one good way to not care about rank but still stay competitive.

Having rank anxiety myself (I think this is what it is called) I've tried many things to overcome the problem.

If you play on OGS, there's an option to hide ranks everywhere. You still play competitively but don't see drops or bumps in ranks.
On KGS I use automatch and I accept 2 ranks difference and allow unranked players and free games + fast and normal, no blitz for studying.

After a few games I got used to playing free games (thus not seeing the rank move) and playing free or rated became the same.
Of course I encounter guests, sandbaggers, trolls, escapers but I gather game experience.

I also used to get emotionally attached to an account and once I reached a certain rank I would just stop playing so that it doesn't not go down.

If you have the same problem, you need to create a random account, call it xy14d7 or whatever, set the automatch as above and just press play without thinking whenever you have the time. Get as much game experience as possible make it a habit to just play and not think that maybe you haven't improved, maybe you should watch another video before playing a ranked game...etc.

I've been playing for quite some time and got stuck at the same rank for the reasons above.

I've just started to recently apply the stuff above. I don't think my rank has increased yet, but my attitude toward the game changed dramatically.
Live game anxiety disappeared, fear of losing disappeared and I can focus on studying, learning, enjoying the game again.

Oh and on asian servers, I like to register as high a rank as I am allowed to. This is the only way I found to play against strong players on a regular basis.
Just never, ever sandbag or set your rank a few stone lower so that you at least get a few wins in the beginning. You're wasting study time. Play strong opponents and lose a lot :)

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 Post subject: Re: TwentyTwentyOneDan
Post #5 Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:14 am 
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Aiming at defusing rank anxiety and paralysis, I'd just point out that 1d or shodan is a moving target and, by itself, is not well defined. For example, an American 3k might well be 1d in Japan; an American 1d might be 4k on OGS or 3k in France; an American 1d might be 4d on Tygem. My point is the rank designation is not the important thing about playing go, enjoying playing is what really counts. I knew a man who loved go, played in tournaments regularly for many years, and never got (American) rank higher than 12k, but he really loved to play.

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 Post subject: Re: TwentyTwentyOneDan
Post #6 Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:59 pm 
Beginner

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Rank: KGS 10 kyu
KGS: SinKing
OGS: J__P__
Thanks for the advice guys. I am on a Mac so hitting up the Asian servers is a little harder. I managed to get Tygem and WBaduk working on my phone though, I've set my ranking a bit high and will airbag for a bit until my rank stabilises.

This week's likely a bit busy to do much Go, I have end-of-month deadlines and I've let them stack up a bit. Though I will try and squeeze in a few games here and there. My goal at the moment is to finish skimming "38 Basic Joseki" and try and hit 50 games for Feb (I'm at 35/50 atm).

I'll have slightly more ambitious goals for March I think, I'll think about what's practical and desirable before the first.

I'll also try and figure out teaching ladders and posting games for review to these forums.

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 Post subject: Re: TwentyTwentyOneDan
Post #7 Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:56 am 
Beginner

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Rank: KGS 10 kyu
KGS: SinKing
OGS: J__P__
Thanks for the good advice. I've got a crazy number of writing deadlines for the end of the month. So my goals for Feb are just to finish "38 Basic Joseki" and get to 50 games (am at 42 for the month so far) played on a mix of servers.

I'll also put in some thought about what my SMART goals are gonna be for next month and do some refamiliarising myself with some of the tools on the L19 forums.

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