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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #461 Posted: Tue May 19, 2020 3:56 am 
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Interesting to hear!

I started with them when I was a stronger SDK and didn't get much out of it. Most of the "problems" were over my head and the format with "problem" and solution on one page made figuring stuff out a bit tedious.

I'll guess second chances are in order : )

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Post #462 Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2023 9:06 pm 
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Hi everyone — I hope everyone has been well.

It’s been a hectic 3 years for me — Covid, breakup, finishing the LSATs, getting cold feet in law school applications, switching to product management and moving to New York. Needless to say, I haven’t played a lick of go, but did watch some pro game commentaries from time to time. I suppose taking and returning from 3 year hiatuses are my thing.

I played a few games today to see where I was. I won a game easily against a 5K and beat a couple 2Ks. Either way, I’ll be starting again as a 1D on KGS and a 3D on Tygem and see how things go.

I’ve forgotten all the common shapes and tesujis, but hopefully they’ll come back soon. Excited to continue sharing this journey with you all.

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Post #463 Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2023 10:37 pm 
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Also, just had a quick readthrough of some of my old posts and games… and man I was one enthusiastic 20 year old. It’s also quite amazing how I struggled back in the lower levels and yet I can come back after 3 years to just pick it up like I’ve never really left.

Really goes to show — baduk is a very intuitive game. Building familiarity with shapes and the flow of the game is so important.

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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #464 Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2023 2:15 am 
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hl782 wrote:
Also, just had a quick readthrough of some of my old posts and games… and man I was one enthusiastic 20 year old. It’s also quite amazing how I struggled back in the lower levels and yet I can come back after 3 years to just pick it up like I’ve never really left.

Really goes to show — baduk is a very intuitive game. Building familiarity with shapes and the flow of the game is so important.


Welcome back!

Have you beaten your dad yet? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #465 Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2023 10:18 am 
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Hey Knotwilg - no, and I doubt I will for a while :)

Anyways, played a game against a KGS 1D today. Had it won, made an incorrect read under time pressure, and died everywhere. All I am realizing is that my reading is my weakest link. Thus, I'll be focusing heavily on L&D and tesuji problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #466 Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2023 6:08 pm 
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hl782 wrote:
I suppose taking and returning from 3 year hiatuses are my thing.

Yep, I've done a few of those myself. Go stays with you for life. It can be dormant sometimes, but comes back when you least expect it. Enjoy the ride :-)

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Post #467 Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:26 pm 
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Hi everyone,

A small update. I forgot my ID for my main Tygem account, so I had to create a new account. They only allow users to start at 1Kyu nowadays instead of 3D, and so I've been playing a handful of games vs. 1Kyus and 1Dans on Tygem. I am currently 12-2 and looking for 3 more wins for a double promotion to 2D.

I decided to treat L&D and Tesuji problems separately. I am currently 50 problems into Weiqi Life and Death 1000 Problems by Wang Zhipeng, and 1 chapter into Fujisawa Shuko's Tesuji Dictionary.

There haven't been too many noteworthy games, so no self-review as of yet.

Might be ambitious but I am hoping to reach a stable 5-6D on Tygem by the end of the year. Let's see how it goes. Cheers to you all!


***************************************
Edit: Just got the Tygem 2D promotion

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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #468 Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2023 4:09 am 
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I realized my old document/guide that summarized my baduk journey was removed from Google Drive for some reason - and so I wrote a new version here. If anyone would like to discuss, please feel free to leave comments on the document!

The books section includes the books/resources that I think are sufficient enough to get past that specific level if studied appropriately. I hope everyone enjoys the read and finds it helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #469 Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2023 1:01 pm 
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Is anyone else having trouble uploading SGF files? I'm trying to upload a couple of reviewed games, but the file uploads are not going through for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #470 Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 11:57 am 
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Bit of an update.

I am currently clunking through Tygem 2D. I am at 9W 11L so far with a lot my games having a similar pattern.
1. I kill a group to take a huge lead
2. I've entered byo-yomi
3. My opponents are making random cuts left and right to shake me up.
4. Somehow manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Doing some basic review with Katago to make sure I don't throw away more Ws.
SGF uploads are still not working for me, so no games to post so far.

As for problems, since returning, I've completed
1. A first (and light) read through of Shuko's Tesuji Dictionary Vol. 1 (I just solved the problems, and skipped the real-game examples).
2. All the 3-4 star problems of Get Strong at Tesuji
3. 5 Moves to Live & 5 Moves to Kill from 1001 L&D.
4. Section 4 of GGPB Vol. 4

I'm going to go through the LCH Tesuji and L&D series vol. 1~4 as my final set of warmups.

For all Dan players, I highly highly highly recommend the Shuko Dictionary. This should be considered a bible for Dan level players.

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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #471 Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 6:09 am 
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hl782 wrote:
Is anyone else having trouble uploading SGF files? I'm trying to upload a couple of reviewed games, but the file uploads are not going through for me.

It's not just you.

You can also post games by just pasting the contents of SGF into your post, with [/sgf] at the end and [sgf] at the beginning. It's not the preferred way, because it breaks the "download SGF" link, but at least it's a way of getting the game onto the page.

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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #472 Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 8:58 am 
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Thanks for that tip.

Here are a couple games I played on KGS vs 3Ds. A win and a loss. I've self reviewed them.





I've stabilized around a 2-3D on KGS again as well.
In the meantime, my time in Tygem isn't going that great. Perhaps playing the game on my phone is affecting my game?
IDK. Either way, rocky return so far. Wrapped up LCH tesuji vol 1, 4 and LCH L&D Vol. 1 for some basic problem drilling.

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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #473 Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2023 5:23 am 
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I noticed something interesting in the first game. I realise it's a bit unfair to go over this with KataGo, after you've done an honest self-review without. But it's a great example of something I've been trying to learn:

hl782 wrote:
(move 75) This was lax. I was secure everywhere and had no reason not to go in straight for the kill... (move 86) Black is dead


First, it's something of a miai situation:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc19
$$ +---------------------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . X . O . O . X . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . O X . O . O . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . O . X O X . . . . O O . |
$$ | . . O O . . . . . O O X X O . X X O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X O O O X . . . . X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X O X X . . . b . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X X X O . X . X . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . . O . O . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . a . . . . . . O X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . c . . . . . O O . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . |
$$ | . . X X . X . . . . . . . . . O O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X . . O O O O X X X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . X X X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]


If black b, then white attacks at a. Or if black a, then white one point to the right of b. (Actually, KataGo wants to play c first, push black around a bit in the centre, with the option of coming back to b later. But same idea.) White is winning either way. For what it's worth, KataGo thinks the game move is the lesser evil. But that's not the real point...

The thing that's been on my mind is that living in the middlegame can be either static or dynamic:
  • Static: just make the second eye (usually gote).
  • Dynamic: you have 1 1/2 eyes and some weaknesses to aim at. You keep the opponent off balance so that they never get time to poke out your second eye.
(Of course, some time before the end of the game, you do usually have to come back and make that second eye. But you can delay it for a surprisingly long time.)

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc19 Variation for move 77
$$ +---------------------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . X . O . O . X . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . O X . O . O b . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . O . X O X . . . b O O . |
$$ | . . O O . . . . . O O X X O . X X O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X O O O X . . . . X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X O X X . . . . 1 . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X X X O . X . X . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . . O . O . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X . . a . . 2 W X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W W . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . |
$$ | . . X X . X . . . . . . . . . O O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X . . O O O O X X X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . X X X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]


So here, if black plays :b2: instead of the game move at a, then KataGo shows a bunch of complicated variations... but the key idea is that the :wc: stones can end up under attack if white tries too hard to kill, and there's also issues around b. So while black is definitely not in a healthy condition, and white ought to win this game, the black group probably shouldn't actually die.

Even as late as move 86:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc19 Mostly dead
$$ +---------------------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . b b . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . X . O . O . X . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . O X . O . O . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . O . X O X . c . c O O . |
$$ | . . O O . . . . . O O X X O . X X O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X O O O X . . X O . O |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X O X X . O X X O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X X X O . X . X . X . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . . O a O . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X . . X O . . O X O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . a . . O O . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . |
$$ | . . X X . X . . . . . . . . . O O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X . . O O O O X X X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . X X X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]


KataGo is saying white has something like a 20 point lead/98% winrate, but it's not saying the black stones are dead. They can still wriggle out with aji around a, b, c, ...

I know there's better examples in pro games of living dynamically, where the side being dynamic and slippery actually comes out ahead and wins the game. But somehow this one caught my attention today :-) Thanks for sharing a couple of interesting games.


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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #474 Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2023 10:58 pm 
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Quick update - I've been trying a different strategy on Tygem. Instead of picking the fight first, I've been just making sure to settle my groups with thick & proper shapes, and just capture some key cutting stones when I can. Most of those games have turned into 10-15+ point wins where I close them out with some very mediocre endgame in a comfortable margin.

Now I am currently 4Ws away from a promotion to 3D.

I've also wrapped up LCH Tesuji Vol. 2 and LCH L&D Vol. 2 as well, and did about 150 of the 501 Tesuji Problems for fun.

I figured I'd be near Tygem 3-4D if I were to go through all 12 of the LCH series and some of the English tsumego books I solved in the past as a refresher, and I think I'm on track.

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 Post subject: Re: Path to 9Dan, step by step.
Post #475 Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:49 am 
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hl782 wrote:
Quick update - I've been trying a different strategy on Tygem. Instead of picking the fight first, I've been just making sure to settle my groups with thick & proper shapes, and just capture some key cutting stones when I can. Most of those games have turned into 10-15+ point wins where I close them out with some very mediocre endgame in a comfortable margin.


That's also how I won against AI with 5H and next took some easy victories at my level.

I've been thinking about this proverb upgrade. Not "attack to make profit" but "defend and make profit".

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Post #476 Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:13 pm 
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It seems that I'm gonna carry the theme of specific wording in the English language to my journal too (heh)... but I think "attacking to make profit" is still "correct" rather than "defending and make profit".

It's just a matter of attacking until you have to defend.

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Post #477 Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:54 pm 
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Knotwilg wrote:
I've been thinking about this proverb upgrade. Not "attack to make profit" but "defend and make profit".


It's funny you mention "attack". I've thought for a long time that word lacks sufficient nuance as it applies to English go language and I remember thinking it again at the club last night as a weaker player was talking about his game. Too often the idea of an attack is a kill, although with weaker players it's not always clear which side the kill will be on.

In go it feels like a more common image should be closer to stalking, like a wolf hunting. The first part of a wolf hunt involves nosing around the prey and making it nervous before it finally breaks into flight. Especially when hunting herd animals (e.g., caribou) a wolf pack needs to induce a panicked stampede in order to split a few targets from the herd. In go terms, stalking involves playing moves in the area that are big in their own right but also make the opponent sufficiently nervous for them to play defensive moves. Inconvenient gote moves are the profit to be earned from the attack, plus likely a thick endgame in the area.


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Post #478 Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:01 pm 
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pwaldron wrote:
Knotwilg wrote:
I've been thinking about this proverb upgrade. Not "attack to make profit" but "defend and make profit".


It's funny you mention "attack". I've thought for a long time that word lacks sufficient nuance as it applies to English go language and I remember thinking it again at the club last night as a weaker player was talking about his game. Too often the idea of an attack is a kill, although with weaker players it's not always clear which side the kill will be on.

In go it feels like a more common image should be closer to stalking, like a wolf hunting. The first part of a wolf hunt involves nosing around the prey and making it nervous before it finally breaks into flight. Especially when hunting herd animals (e.g., caribou) a wolf pack needs to induce a panicked stampede in order to split a few targets from the herd. In go terms, stalking involves playing moves in the area that are big in their own right but also make the opponent sufficiently nervous for them to play defensive moves. Inconvenient gote moves are the profit to be earned from the attack, plus likely a thick endgame in the area.


You are totally right about that. With John F.'s help, we've been considering "pressuring" or "harassing", to take away the natural prospect of killing. That's how I think about "attack" these days. But even so, defending is often the more profitable option, as it leads to territory, while attacking more often leads to influence, which still needs to be converted.


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Post #479 Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 10:03 pm 
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Promo game to Tygem 3D. I was black and opponent was a Tygem 3D.

This game was peak ugly shithousery. I managed to snatch a W from the jaws of defeat. Whatever gets the job done I suppose :P

6 More Dan levels to go!

Self-review is included.

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Post #480 Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 5:09 am 
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Quote:
You are totally right about that. With John F.'s help, we've been considering "pressuring" or "harassing", to take away the natural prospect of killing. That's how I think about "attack" these days. But even so, defending is often the more profitable option, as it leads to territory, while attacking more often leads to influence, which still needs to be converted.


Let me say three more or less inter-related things about this.

1. STATISTICS
I don't know the actual figures for use of "attack" and "invasion" in western go, but I do take notice of word usage and long experience tells me that these words dominate our discourse. It is quite different in oriental languages. They have a richer palette of relevant words. As I have said elsewhere, usage of words either influences how you think, or betrays how you think. As a result, I believe western go nd eastern go differ in some fundamental ways.

We are really talking about four eastern languages here. Modern Chinese go borrowed heavily from Japanese, and in the process they have neglected much of the terminology used in classical Chinese go. The terms used in old Chinese go are nowhere defined, and some must have different nuances anyway because of group tax. When working on my Museum of Go Theory project, I therefore compiled a corpus (ongoing) of the vocabulary in commentaries. The purpose was not so much to see which terms were commonest, although that is illuminating, but to see what contexts (i.e. with which other words) each term was used, so that I could deduce the various nuances.

Before going on to talk about these nuances, I'll just throw in some raw meat into the cages of the numbers guys :)

By far the commonest technical word in old Chinese commentaries is 'jin' which I render as 'applying pressure'. This currently has 511 entries. The term 'bi' (gentle pressure) has 108 entries. Extreme pressure, as in forcing moves, shows up 255 times via either 'zhi' or 'luode'. Various moves come under a nexus of surrounding moves (as in Huang Longshi's Five Sieges), and as an example we may mention 'zhao' with 52 mentions. Other examples would include feng (sealing in) and capping.

Compared with all these diverse terms, attack ('gong') comes up with a measly 179 mentions.

We can see a similar pattern with what I called encroachment ('qin'). This has 178 mentions in that form, but various types of encroachment such as peeps and reductions and pitch-ins which have their own terms have to be added to that. Actual invasions? 91. Go figure.

2. NUANCES
What I have deduced so far is that there is a definite range of words to do with attack, and they can be said to form a template for attack. In simplified form (I say more in Go Wisdom), the terms can be ranked as follows:

(i) You start by applying gentle pressure. This is 'bi', which is the same word as Japanese tsume. Unfortunately this term is misrepresented in English, and too many people think it means a kind of extension. The Go Almanac is not entirely inaccurate, calling it a move that approaches the opponent's position to stop it from expanding. It then gives essentially the same definition for tsumebiraki (where it is -biraki = hiraki that supplies the extension idea. In contrast, Japanese definitions of tsume tend to go with equating it to tsumeyoru, which means to press upon, draw near, close in upon etc - no mention of extensions. And such moves can be made in the centre of the board. I have mentioned before that Shusai was very fond of pointing out that weaker pros didn't play enough tsume moves. I think of it as gentle pressure, but you might like to think of it as moving your troops up to the front, or Stage 1 of a battle. A distinguishing feature of such moves (bi) is that the opponent is under pressure, but as it is not so great, he will have a wide variety of responses, which might even include tenuki. So, this is pressure without real control. But note another attribute: because you are (or should be) approaching the opponent from your own positions, you are also strengthening yourself, and so protecting yourself from collateral damage when the balloon does go up.

(ii) Ideally, you will continue preparation with other types of move such as call & response moves (zhaoying), which are centrally located moves that provide safe havens for groups that will later be mired in running fights. You may also send out 'ambush troops' - aji. Either way, once you feel strong enough to apply real pressure, you can switch to jin moves. A root meaning of this word is 'tight' and so you can perhaps think of it as tightening the noose. This phase tends to go on for a while, hence the large number of mentions, and a characteristic of it is that the range of replies by the opponent becomes much more restricted, though he does retain options. Another feature of this sort of play, which can turn into running fights, is that the profit rarely comes from killing groups (very few groups die in old Chinese go) but from two different ways of looking at territory. One is solidifying territory (most often in the corners) and the other is making boundary walls ('shou'; what the Japanese call yose). Boundary walls surround territory but it is not yet quite confirmed territory. Making boundary walls happens quite early in the game - far earlier than most western players think of yose. The Japanese think of this mainly as creating a thick endgame, but I find the old Chinese way of looking at it much clearer and, perhaps paradoxically, more nuanced.

(iii) Not a separate stage as such, but you will find as an attack proceeds that forcing moves can come into play. The main characteristic of such moves is that they apply so much pressure that the opponent really has only one way to answer. In other words, you have maximum control. But, to allude to a separate thread, control is not defined as mere sente. The wider idea of initiative (or Elom's meta-initiative) is always there. Having said that, one of the most interesting things about the commentaries by Xu Xingyou (who essentially put Huang Longshi's theories into written form) is that he starts using sente and gote quite a lot in the way we do. What is interesting about that is that it seems as if the Chinese have come to this whole initiative concept in an arsy-versy way compared to us. They began with meta-initiative (no doubt influenced in that by Sun Zi's Art of War) and learned the value of the tactical side of things later, via Huang Longshi. We seem to have started with the tactical version, and many people appear not to have latrched onto the meta-initiative yet.

I stress that the above has been simplified, but I think there's food for thought there.

3. PRINCE HARRY
I first came across this thread last night, as I checked in briefly before settling down to read some more of Prince Harry's memoirs. Not a book I'd specially recommend, but it talks about many people and places that I came across in my work - e.g. royals, diplomats and press photographers. But the section I started reading about after checking into L19 was an area that I know very little about - the military. I found it fascinating (and I'm not talking about the bit where he tells us how many people he killed). It was the training for his job in Afghanistan. He was assigned as a Forward Air Controller (FAC). This involved directing a battle from an aerial view, using drones or helicopter flights. This was possible because the Taliban had no aeroplanes. Harry's job was to assess the situation on the ground - chiefly where the enemy was and what his weak points were. Then he had to guide various forces, either on land (troops or artillery) or in the air to hit those weak points.

In films (obviously made by numbers guys :)) we usually see such scenes in terms of "heading 214.678 degrees, altitude 456.22" and such, but Harry said he was taught to do it using real words, and in hierarchical form, going from large to small. So, for example, he would guide in a bomber plane by saying "L-shaped wood" then "T-shaped dyke" then "silver barn". Then bombs away.

It struck me that this was a perfect way of looking at ago game when attacking. But I've never seen such a hierarchical approach to exploiting weak points in go commentaries. I don't know yet whether the idea really is transferable to go, but there's even more food for thought. (I've got food on the brain at the moment, as I'm getting ready to go to a Burns Day treat of haggis, neeps and tatties with whisky sauce.)

But if you can see go in alimentary terms, ponder also on this: Japanese tends mostly to talk about weak points in terms of thinness. It's a bit tiramisu-ey. Old Chinese very rarely uses the word 'thin', but does make very frequent mention of more concrete defects ('bing'). They appreciate nuts in their desserts.


This post by John Fairbairn was liked by: Elom0
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