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 Post subject: Kyu player's experience with pro games
Post #1 Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:51 am 
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I have taken in replaying of pro games since anything else (tsumego, books, reviewing of my own games in my private journal) did not help me break the plateau that stuck me at 4k KGS for more than a year.
This journal is meant to keep track of my progress, and to provide the community with an empirical case as to how a kyu would fare with this training regimen.
Some background; I am in the fifties with noticeable decline in my memorizing capability, with 10 years active in the game (30 years of inactivity in between) which probably have solidified bad/kyu-level moves/thoughts/habits that probably clouds my progress. I am quite sure most readers would progress faster than me.

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 Post subject: Re: Kyu player's experience with pro games
Post #2 Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:17 am 
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Result of my first 100 games

Having read the post in this forum that memorizing the first 100 moves of 100 games would put them into dan, I took up memorizing the first 100 moves (i.e. replaying them until I can reproduce the game without looking at the diagram). The pro that I took up was mostly Otake Hideo 9p, who, together with Kato Masao, Kobayashi Koichi, Yoda Norimoto, and Hane Naoki, were suited for beginner and intermediate players with relatively uncomplicated playstyle, according the Ishikura Noboru 9p. The games were both commented and uncommented. I also took up some commented Shusaku, and Hane Naoki games since I had a book on them.
It took about 5, 6 repeats before I could play out the 100 moves out of my head. Commented games provided me with more information, obviously, as to aim/purpose of the move. Uncommented games, on the other hand, led me to find out aim/purpose of the moves by myself which, in turn, allowed those aim/purpose to "sink in" to my memory.

Result; Nothing happed in my own games except for two things. a. I noticed that pros leave their seemingly weak group and go on to gain some points elsewhere when they have an opponent weak group next to it. That probably is because they knew exactly how they could live/escape. I, the kyu player with non of such reading, copied it with painful results, and quickly dispensed with it. b. On the first day of replaying pro games, I, strangely, were able to spot a dan-level tesuji. The games on the day were as though a dan were sandbagging a 4kyu. However, that completely disappeared the next day and I was back to my 4kyu.

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 Post subject: Re: Kyu player's experience with pro games
Post #3 Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:22 am 
Lives with ko
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Just to see if your background can be compared to that of other people: how old were you when you noticed a decline of your memorizing capability? How long does it take to learn 100 moves, and how long after that are you able to replay them without any mistake?

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Post #4 Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:27 am 
Honinbo
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Hi k.l., happy holidays.
Quote:
Having read the post in this forum that memorizing the first 100 moves of 100 games would put them into dan
Anecdotal v. statistical evidence v. reality ? :study:
Wishful thinking. ( Also, what are all the variables and control ? ) Age is definitely a huge factor.
Quote:
I took up memorizing the first 100 moves
Quote:
how long after that are you able to replay them without any mistake?
Same question as jlt's: Time frame? ( How's the memory/recall after 1 week? 1 month? 6 months? ) :study:

Most likely scenario: there are pros and cons to memorizing the first 100 moves of 100 pro games. (e.g. familiarity of certain common shapes and sequences; memorizing sub-(super-human) moves. )

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 Post subject: Re: Kyu player's experience with pro games
Post #5 Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:15 am 
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Result of my second 100 games

The same training regimen as my first 100 games (100 moves, repeat them until I could "memorize"=reproduce them once).

Result; a. Started to recognize how pros would play next in my own games (shapes, flow of stones during a running battle, middle game josekis), b. the moves that naturally came up in my mind when played turned out to be moves that I have not played before. This is probably because those pro game moves/thoughts have been written on my unconscious memory ("the intuitive level" as described in SL).
At about the same time, my win percentage on peaceful/building games improved noticeably from around 4 wins/10 games to around 6 wins (dropped to 5 wins upon my promotion to 3 kyu). I have also recognized changes to my fighting style, from mainly attacking/chasing/killing weak groups directly to occasionally playing elsewhere and try to attack/kill when, for example, there is no escape route or extra room for two eyes anywhere (every time I kill them I feel that I was only lucky to spot them before my opponent does, but this occurs every now and then).
As for my rank, I was bumped up to 3kyu by 0.25 kyu server-wide boost during August-September, but I am able to maintain my rank level so think there is some improvement in my play, although I do not consciously recognize it myself.

On the other hand, I was quite shocked that I had completely forgotten the game that I have replayed/"memorized" a few months ago (not even a single move was recognizable), so I took up spaced repetition and "memorized" the last 20 games *3 times during the course of these 3 months.
Also, I am beginning to think that playing my own games solidifies bad/kyu-level habits/thoughts/moves of mine and overwrites pro moves/thoughts that I acquire from the pro games. Therefore, I make it my the new year's resolution to replay/"memorize" one pro game before I play one game of my own. (I probably played close to 2000 games during my time replaying/"memorizing" 200 games.)

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 Post subject: Re: Kyu player's experience with pro games
Post #6 Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:46 am 
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Jlt and Edlee, thank you for your interest.
A decline in my memorization is such that any work related idea that popped into my head, at home for example, should be immediately noted or else I would forget it the next hour. Or for tsumego, I have repeated five tsumego problem books, each with around 200 problems, for 20 rounds, and I were not able to solve any one of those books with complete marks (the best record were 198/200 problems for two of the books).

As with my replaying/"memorization" of pro games, I clear the board and repeat it the moment I have finished the 100 moves (I use the real board and stones, by the way) and my 5 or 6 attempts are done within probably 1 hour or little bit more. I usually start to forget them when I move on to another game (occasionally get mixed up with the game that I have replayed/"memorized" the same day), or the next day.

As for becoming a dan after the first 100 games, I read it on some other post (I guess it was under a topic that sounded like how to become a dan) a claim by a go teacher that anybody could become a dan after replaying/"memorizing" the first 100 games, which I thought was overly optimistic but nevertheless took it up since I had no other hope. Although my progess is vastly slower, I seem to be going on an upward path, so I will stick to this regimen, at least for the year 2019.


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 Post subject: Re: Kyu player's experience with pro games
Post #7 Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:53 am 
Lives with ko
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Thank you for your answer. For comparison I looked at the first 100 moves of the 7th Gosei title match 5 between Otake Hideo and Cho Chikun:

I didn't use a board but clicked on my smartphone. It's faster than putting stones on a board but probably less good for memorization because it involves less senses. After 3 times I was still making 6 mistakes, and after 6 times, 1 mistake. I only got it right the 7th time. The whole process took 55 minutes.

So far, I have looked at more than 100 uncommented games this way during these last few months. Apparently this didn't help me improve (or if it did, then I progressed by less than 1 stone), but I enjoy that activity as much as watching a good movie. Generally, I can "memorize" (100 moves of) Japanese games of the 1970s or 1980s in less than 1 hour, while modern games often take at least 1.5 hours. Older games (like Shusaku's ear reddening game) can be difficult to memorize.

A game stays in my memory a few hours. The next day I can still replay it with 3-4 mistakes, provided I haven't looked at another game in the meantime. After a few months I can't replay it at all from memory but it remains familiar, so re-learning wouldn't be too hard.

Otherwise I am not yet 50 (but closer from 50 than 40) and have been playing go for 2.5 years. From what you are saying, your memorization ability is comparable to mine, so either yours is not so bad, or mine has already deteriorated. We would need other comparisons to find out (although I am pretty sure we cannot compete with children/teenagers). Either way, after seeing this message, I know it is still possible to learn and reach a high level well after 50.

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