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 Post subject: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #1 Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Hello everybody! I have been reading this forum for a while now from work, but I haven't posted much. I started playing go about a year ago and I shot up 8 kyu in about 3 months, but haven't made much progress since then. My current kgs rank is 7 kyu. I think my main weakness right now is that my reading is horribly shallow. To counteract this, I have been working out of graded go problems for beginners, but have found it difficult to keep a consistent study schedule. I have started this journal in order to properly motivate myself to study. The goal I have in mind is Shodan by January 28th (my 27yh birthday). I will probably want to work through Graded Go Problems at least twice before moving on to something else.


I have noticed that my strength seems to go up several stones when I play very seriously. Since joining the ASR League a couple months ago I have managed to win against several players ranked much higher than me (including a couple 1 kyus). As part of my study, I will be posting some of my ASR games in this journal. To start here are two games that I have played this past week. Feel free to comment and show me the error of my ways :)







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Post #2 Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:13 pm 
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DJLLAP wrote:
I have noticed that my strength seems to go up several stones when I play very seriously. Since joining the ASR League a couple months ago I have managed to win against several players ranked much higher than me (including a couple 1 kyus).

I was stuck at the 7 kyu area for a long time. What helped me to advance a few stones (and obviously helps you as well) is playing serious games where you force yourself constantly to read out the positions as much as possible.

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Post #3 Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Your play against that 2d was really good up until he blasted you in the endgame, and your play seems to have a lot of novelty and interesting ideas. (In fact, the way you play reminds me a lot of the way I played when I started)

What got me to Shodan in a year was a few things. (These may or may not work for you, but I sense a kindred spirit here)

1) Tesuji problems, tons of 'em. And try not to do them too slowly, if you can't figure it out in a reasonable amount of time, it means that you don't have a feeling for the shape yet, go ahead and look at the answer, and it will give you a leg up in similar positions.

2) Find people considerably stronger than you, in real life. With your rate of advancement, I don't think they'll mind playing you. Then alternate playing correct handicap and no handicap. Try not to play too slow, breaking past 7k is more about getting the feel of the flow of the game.

3) Never let yourself be cowed by an opponent, play at the razor-edge of efficiency. Always look for an opportunity to tenuki. (If you can't read how they can punish you, then you shouldn't play somewhere just to be safe)

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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #4 Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:58 am 
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Thanks for the advice guys.

@Shapenaji - Do you have any suggestions for tesuji problem books or online resources? I am borrowing the Davies Tesuji book from a friend right now, but it is a little annoying in that it doesn't really give much of a chance to practice what you have learned. The only other book I know of is Get Strong at Tesuji.

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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #5 Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:06 am 
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"Get Strong at Tesuji" is really good (in my opinion the best english Tesuji problem book). The Graded Go Problems for Beginners series has quite a few Tesuji-problems, too. Yi Ch'ang-Ho Selected Tesuji Problems series is also very good. "501 Tesuji Problems" is said to be quite good as well, but it might be too hard for you at the moment. The same thing goes to the various Tesuji dictionairies like Shuko's Basic Tesuji Dictionary or the Segeo/Go Tesuji dictionairy.

Then there is book called "200 Tesuji Problems", but sadly I don't know anything about it.

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Post #6 Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:08 am 
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DJLLAP wrote:
Thanks for the advice guys.

@Shapenaji - Do you have any suggestions for tesuji problem books or online resources? I am borrowing the Davies Tesuji book from a friend right now, but it is a little annoying in that it doesn't really give much of a chance to practice what you have learned. The only other book I know of is Get Strong at Tesuji.


Get Strong at Tesuji is my favorite, largely because with my above strategy (Spend 20 seconds looking at a problem, if I don't have the answer, check the answer and move on) it makes it super quick (Turn the page and look in the same spot).

There are some chinese and korean problem books that are worth it too. I don't know the names, unfortunately.

Other than that, I really recommend goproblems.com and http://gochild2009.appspot.com/

goproblems is great for just logging on and doing things randomly. I feel doing 1 tesuji problem in a string of L&D, endgame, and opening problems is really useful. When you're not necessarily sure if it IS a tesuji problem, you have to look a little deeper to verify.

gochild is something I've started using more recently, I think it's great, but since I haven't broken past my current rank since I started using it, I can't actually say that the organization is ideal. I just think it has a lot of great problems.

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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #7 Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:09 am 
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A brief little update:

I have subscribed to Goproblems.com, and loaded all of the problems onto gogrinder on my phone for easy access anywhere. I am mostly working out of Graded Go Problems v4. I am trying to spend at least 30 minutes a day solving go problems. I am also using gochild a lot while at work, but I am not sure how beneficial it is being since I don't really have the freedom to seriously try and solve them, so I end up clicking around much too often.

I got my wife to allow me to buy a new go book every month, so soon I will be able to buy get strong at tesuji.

I have had a very hard time this month finding ASR games. after the first week when I got 5 games, I have not had a single one. I will most likely drop down to gamma next month.

On the other hand, my playing has been doing well recently. My KGS rank graph does not seem to be moving up much, but I am winning most of the games I play, so I hope to rise to 6k soon. I played a nice game on Tygem last night that I may post when I get home. I made some awful joseki mistakes in the beginning, but was able to scratch my way back from the edge of defeat. I intimidated my opponent into playing one last protective move against a nonexistent threat and won by half a point.

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Post #8 Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:37 am 
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This is probably irrelevant but in your game against 2d, black didn't deal with the 33 invasion very well. He was really over concentrated. And at move 47 he really should have tenukied..

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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #9 Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Eizero wrote:
This is probably irrelevant but in your game against 2d, black didn't deal with the 33 invasion very well. He was really over concentrated. And at move 47 he really should have tenukied..


I am inclined to agree with you. I was pretty giddy at that point in the game, and I felt I was significantly ahead. But if I was in his position I probably would have done the same thing without even thinking. Joseki, I suppose can be a two edged sword.

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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #10 Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:18 pm 
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Here is the aforementioned Tygem game. I like to play my casual games on Tygem because the players there let me get away with less than on KGS. And I don't mind losing as much because t is not my home server.


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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #11 Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:34 pm 
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At :b11:, you're the one who's being hyper-aggressive! Maybe you should focus less on applying labels ("this is too aggressive, that's no good, this is a good punishment") and more on reading and strategy ("here he permits me to hit his stones on the nose, this move will allow him to cut, I wonder what aji these weak black stones have"). :)

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Post #12 Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:19 am 
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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #13 Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:21 pm 
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As of Today I have officially reached KGS 6 kyu. I peaked into 6k for a single game a couple of days ago, but I was in an agitated state of mind (having just lost badly at halo due to slow internet :cry: ) and I lost badly. We will see if I am able to hold onto the rank permanently, but I have a feeling I will. I have attached here my promotion game.

Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #14 Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:43 am 
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Things have been going pretty well for me these past couple weeks. It hasn't even been 2 weeks since my promotion to 6kyu, and I am already well on my way to 5k. So far in my ranked games as a 6k I have a record of 12-4. I don't know if I suddenly got stronger, or if I am having a string of unbelievable luck. Before this winning streak, I was getting frustrated that all of my study was having little to no impact on my game. Maybe it all just finally caught up. In any case, seeing some results gives me more motivation to study hard.

I played and won 4 games today. I am posting the most interesting one here.




PS. I know I am sounding awfully overconfident, but I am just trying to enjoy the wins while they last :)

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Post #15 Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Keep up the good work! Let's improve together (aka, hope to see you on kgs).

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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #16 Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:51 am 
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I am glad to announce that I have reached 5k as of yesterday. I won a game late in the night and moved up, but when I logged on in the morning I was back to 6k :(

I managed to win the next game also and regained my new rank. It was a bit of an odd game actually. I was in the middle of a dangerous fight (with a bot). My opponent makes a move, and while I am trying to read out my options it just resigned. I will post this game in the review section if anyone is interested.

I am very pleased with my progress thus far. I have finished the Graded go Problems series, and worked most of my way through Get Strong at Tesuji. Once I am done with that, I have 501 Tesuji Problems to work on. Until I lost my job last week, I was also doing a 200-400 problems a day on gochild (mostly the easy ones).

I don't feel like my game has changed very much except for my increased ability to see useful tesuji. I no longer have access to dan level players IRL except on rare occasion, so most of my improvement must be made through study. If I can keep my level of improvement steady, I should be able to reach my goal of shodan by late January.

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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #17 Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:12 pm 
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I have been suffering from a distinct lack of motivation recently. I have not been doing problems at a regular basis, and have not been playing very regularly either. To change up my pace a bit, I have started to memorize some Shusaku games, and have been working through "The Endgame" which gives me major headaches. I haven't made any rank progress since I started slumping.

Funny thing: even though my KGS rank has gone up 2 stones since I started this program my Tygem rank is steady at 9k and shows no signs of going up.

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 Post subject: Re: DJLLAP's study journal
Post #18 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:25 am 
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It has been a long time since I have written in this journal. The goal I set for reaching dan by my birthday passed by months ago and the time I spend actually studying has diminished to almost nothing. At least I have not been wholly wasting my life while neglecting my go studies. In the last year I have successfully started up my own wedding music business here in Denver http://www.flutevibes.com, and now I have just started a part time job at Home Depot to help pay off some debt while the wedding music becomes established. I have also spent a lot of time playing SWTOR lately.

Oddly enough, I have still made steady, but slow progress towards my goal with out studying or even playing very often. I usually have a few games from DGS or OGS running, but I never play seriously on those servers for some reason, so I don't think that they help me improve much. I am currently participating in 3 malkovitch games, which I do treat very seriously most of the time, whcih may be why I continue to improve.

In any case, I reached KGS 3K a couple of days ago. I expected that I would fall back down to 4k once or twice before really accepting that I am 3k, but I have now played 2 even games at my new rank and won both solidly by resignation, so maybe the rank will stick.

When I first started playing go, a friend of mine from the Go club mentioned that throughout the years he had been playing, the way he approached the game had undergone several severe changes as he had to adjust his concept of the game in order to improve. I have not found this to be the case for me. If it weren't for that little number next to my name or a couple stably ranked opponents with whom I reduce my handicap against, I have not noticed any change in how I actually play the game. I still kind of feel like I am a 7k, and am a bit intimidated by playing others of the 3k rank, even more so giving 4 stones to real 7ks. Neither do I feel that my reading skills have gotten significantly better. So I am a bit curious how skill in go works, and what exactly I am improving at.

I will post two games here, one from when I was 7k, and one from this week. If anyone would like to throw in their 2 cents, you are welcome to compare and contrast my play in the two games.





Actually, when I look at them side by side like this, it appears that my reading has improved dramatically. I made some huge reading errors in the zelda game. I think I have also developed a pretty good sense of whole board thinking, at least for a kyu. At lease I am usually instantly aware when I have over-extended myself and am about to pay the price.


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Post #19 Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:32 pm 
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OK. Well, it has been a very long time (again) since I have posted here. Heck, it has been a very long time since I have studied go. Or even played go, if you don't count the stream of correspondence OGS games that seem to start themselves whether I will it or no. I recently watched through the Anime of Hikaru No Go again, and then read the manga where it leaves off, and it inspired me to play go again after nearly a year away. So here I am. Since I have started playing again, my reading seems worse, I have forgotten some memorized things like joseki and other common sequences, but at least on KGS my rank seems to be steady at 3k still. Perhaps, I have also forgotten some bad habits. I have felt like the superior strategic player in most of my recent games, but with lots of mistakes in tactics. It seems every one is out reading me, even when I am a few stones stronger.

I joined ASR this month and was surprised to see how much smaller it is now. Only 1 Gamma class... I played my first game in the league yesterday, and today I realized that I had neglected to type #asr league the beginning. I was in the middle of drafting a message to an admin when I remembered that I had also not checked to see if my opponent was actually in the league. And sure enough he was not. Oops. Anyway, here is my second (first) game in the league - played just this morning. I made a large number of reading mistakes, finishing with failing to kill an L+1 corner group which lost me the game.



Mine own comments: :b15: is too small and lets me get sealed in, luckily my opponent did not.
:b55: wrong side. This caused a lot of problems.
:b95: is just plain stupid. CUT!

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Post #20 Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:30 pm 
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I started reading Attack and Defense again yesterday. It has been a good reminder of really basic things that I should never have forgotten. Today I played a game trying to keep in mind everything I had (re)learned from the first few chapters. My opponent gave me the easy way out many times, but I thought I would post the game with my comments. If anyone has input about better attacks, places I may have overplayed, etc. I would be glad to hear them.


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