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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #21 Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:23 am 
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I prefer real-time or at least 'blitz' turn based games which will not take longer than a week. I completely agree with the reasons DrStraw gave in his posting.

Since I started playing again in March this year I improved about 4 stones by playing and finishing more than 200 games and studying books and lectures. Had I only played (medium/slow) turn-based games I would just be finishing the second (maybe still first?) set of games right now. I don't think that would have done me good.

I enjoy the way you can try stuff in real time games to see how it turns out. I tell myself not to be afraid of moves which I know should be played but will lead to difficult situations (or unfamiliar situations rather). Afterwards I review the games, study the Joseki and the positions in question and immediatly can start a new game applying the newly gained knowledge.
In turn-based games I do not think that possible. I would not make such moves because I'd be afraid to suffer from mistakes for too long. Of course you could try the variations beforehand, I don't mind if my opponent does because then he does it for all games and his rank has been chosen regarding that, but personally I prefer to rely on reading and I believe trying out variations on a board beforehand will make you lazy.

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #22 Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:58 pm 
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Maybe its all just personal preference but I think it's useful/fun to play both. I'm playing 7 games on DGS right now but also playing blitz on KGS. Blitz seems good for playing many games, DGS seems good for having the time to read out the sequences properly (I don't try out sequences a game but do consult Joseki dictionary to learn), and trying new things I'm not comfortable I can read out in real time. In turn based Go you can think "hmm I should invade", go away and read a book/chapter on the subject then try out the invasion.

As for suffering from your mistakes, well they do say you should play your best even when losing (and you can always resign).

Turn based Go is also good when you have recently been blessed with an extension to your family.. (would insert a tired smiley if there was one)

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #23 Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:23 pm 
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Playing Turn-Based games is not the best way to improve, but it is better than nothing. Is it a 'good' way? That depends on the individual. Games played is a strong indicator of development.

I am stronger now that when I started over a decade ago and I have played by far more Turn-Based games than Real-Time games. Now, I've only advanced into the teens kyu, but I have learned from those games.

For me, if I weren't playing Turn-Based games, I wouldn't be playing at all. Finding the time to play Real-Time or Over the Board can be very difficult at times. I've been playing a string of games with my wife for almost as long as itsyourturn.com has existed. On DGS, there is a player there that I've been playing almost constantly since that server was created (over ten years). This has included 4 military deployments where we can't always connect to a Real-Time server or have more than 30 minutes at a time on the computer. Being able to drop a move in when the opportunity is there is great. It also allows me to play those with incompatible timezones. (The player I mentioned on DGS is in New Zealand and I have played my wife from Kyrgyzstan.)

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #24 Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:38 pm 
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For me it's a very organic way to sink my teeth into each aspect of the game a little deeper. Most of my improvement came from fanatically studying books and problems a few years ago (I played a ton too). But I don't have the time or inclination to pursue go in that fashion right now, so by having 8-10 Dragon games going, and consulting references, my knowledge increases, my awareness increases, and if i play a few quick games a week i can keep my intuition onboard.

Honestly I don't know if it'll help me gain a stone or more. But for now I like it. I'm never going to be a really strong go player. That's not selling myself short - I just have no desire to fixate on go to that degree. So Dragon is a leisurely way to get fairly deep into the workings of the game. For me it focuses less on the competitive aspect of the game and more on the aesthetic and reasoning aspects. For me. For the time being, that suits me.

In short: I think turn-based go can help your game. But it's probably not the most efficient way to use your go time if you're hell-bent on rank improvement. If you have the patience or the temperment, it can open up new levels of appreciation for the game. If you desperately need to improve, well, it's time to crack the cover of that tsumego encyclopedia...


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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #25 Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:58 am 
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I haven't played turn-based go games in a while (used to, a couple years back), but I'm thinking about getting into it again.

For one thing, it's very work-friendly. I often sit around and wait for something to happen, e.g. a call, an email, a colleague needing something, the sh*t hitting the fan, etc. I don't know when my attention is needed. This can easily conflict with a real-time game online. Sure, some people don't mind "brb, back in five minutes", but it feels as if you're wasting someone else's time, and besides, sometimes those five minutes can turn into half an hour.

Another thing is that turn-based matches are just really very different from real-time games. Especially if you play a number of them simultaneously, each move becomes a whole board problem. You can look up josekis or fusekis, you can play out variants, etc, so the way you play is very different from what you do OTB or in a real-time game. The way you improve is therefore also different. It's somewhat related to replaying pro games and doing problems, I guess, and you also don't fall as easily in the "click" mode where you play too fast.

Whether someone improves probably boils down to how someone learns. It's not the same for everyone. If you don't know if it'll help you, you could mix it up with real-time games and see how (and if) it works for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #26 Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:41 am 
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Harleqin wrote:
... I believe that doing it right involves treating each move as a whole-board problem for itself.


Mivo wrote:
Another thing is that turn-based matches are just really very different from real-time games. Especially if you play a number of them simultaneously, each move becomes a whole board problem.


Shouldn't we view every move in every game as a whole-board problem?

You make an interesting point that turn-based games tend to encourage 'stepping back' and viewing the whole board dispassionately, especially if you've been playing other games in between and have to reassess the board each time.

In a real-time game it seems easier to get caught up in the emotion of a local skirmish, although ideally that's something we should aim to overcome.

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #27 Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:05 pm 
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DrStraw wrote:
Of course, if you use DGS like I do and have very short time limits then it is a completely different matter. But most people don't.

Can you elaborate what a short time limit is? I never heard of people playing games that do not take months.

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #28 Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:30 am 
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CnP wrote:
Also, on DGS at least you can setup your account so the last dozen (any number you want) moves are numbered, so it's as easy to see sequences as reading a Go book.


Thanks CnP, was not aware of this feature. Pretty cool.

Interesting thread. For some reason I'm reminded of Hikaru's conversation with his mom on their way to the Japanese Go Institute for his Insei examination where she's asking him what was wrong with the go class he went to before and he says "That place is where a bunch of old ladies who don't improve go to play for fun." Anyway, I've had the feeling that turn based play could have a legitimate place for improving one's play. After reading some of the idea's expressed here that feeling's become almost cathartic. Never been a huge fan, but I usually keep a few games of both go and chess going, always at or near the longest time settings so that I don't feel tied down to them if, for example, there happens to be several days where I have very limited time for the game and I want to spend it doing a few tsumego or something, or just doing something else :shock: . I agree with the seemingly prevailing sentiment that beginners should play quicker time controls, it keeps things fun and allows for many positions to be experienced over a short period of time, but maybe taking the extra time (which TBP allows) to look a little deeper into positions, having that time to apply things one is learning through game reviews and reading books ect would seem to add a nice element of balance.

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #29 Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:26 pm 
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Should I necro this thread with my thoughts?....

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Post #30 Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:11 pm 
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Well, it looks like you've already done the necroing part :). Now you might as well share your thoughts.

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #31 Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:45 am 
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First of all I'll agree with those who say turn-based Go is not good for total beginners. When you are 30k you just need to play a lot to build up experience and get a feeling for what works and what doesn't. With turn-based Go the feedback loop for learning between doing things and finding out if they make you win is too long. But once you are maybe 20k+, I think it can be useful.

Let me illustrate with an example: me. I started playing Go around September 2005, playing a few games a day on KGS. Around 15k I slowed down my play to 1 hour main time. As well as playing; reviews from the kind folks in the KGS Teaching Ladder, shygost's lectures, Sensei's Library, real-life club, and books helped me improve. I got to 1 dan around 1.5 years later. By then my progress was leveling out, gone were the joyous DDK days of gaining a rank every few weeks. I went on a Go trip to China for 2 months in summer 2007 (I skipped my university graduation!) and went up to 3d (my rank graph is a pretty good advert: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/andrew.j.s ... graph2.png).

After that I got a job and no longer felt like putting in the time/effort for a whole serious game in the evening after a hard day at work, so switched most of my playing to the turn-based OGS. In the 4 years since I've gone up to 6d OGS and the top player there (though a few strong players have joined recently). However, I'm still only 4d KGS and 3d EGF.

So, what conclusions to make? My switch from shooting up through the ranks to slow improvement correlates near exactly with my switch from real-time to turn-based play. So is this a damning indictment of turn-based play? It may seem like it, but I don't think so. If I had continued to play on KGS, I don't think I would be 9d by now; as you get stronger it gets harder to get stronger. There are a few lucky people, such as kghin or artem92, who kept on rocketing through the dan ranks, but I don't think I'm as talented as them. I feel like low dan is about the level of my innate talent at this game, and to get stronger than that requires a lot more work than getting here (is this realism or a defeatist attitude that holds me back?).

However, in the years since I switched to OGS, I do feel like I have got better at Go: my Go has matured and my direction of play and strategy have improved. However, I don't think my reading has improved commensurately. This is because on OGS I get lazy and instead of reading, I play out variations on the computer. Another thing I've not gotten much better at is winning real-life tournament games. I play slowly, and am prone to playing blunders in overtime. OGS doesn't help me eliminate these.

So my skill on OGS is higher than my real-life play. As an example, there is one player, an AGA 5d (which is about the same as EGF 3d), against whom I lost my first game, but I've won all 12 since. This doesn't mean I'm lots stronger than him and if we played on the board I could lose to him, but on OGS where I can spend a long time analysing (sometimes I probably end up spending as much time on OGS as it would take to play a whole serious game on KGS!), I can control the game and win. There is another player, an AGA 7d that would probably beat me quite badly in real-time, but on OGS I can hold my own against him. But I do think my real-life play has improved too, just not as much (e.g. I have beaten Matthew Macfadyen 6d, 25-time British Champion, which I don't think I would have been able to do immediately after going to China).

I also find playing on OGS a useful driver of study: I try out new pro openings, see what pros did in similar shapes etc.

As one final point, I think my playing turn-based Go not only helps me improve, but could help others improve too as it makes me a better teacher. As I spend a lot of time on my OGS games I can remember various shapes from many of them and thus am building up a mental database of hundreds of my games. When I am giving lessons I am able to bring up example games invloving the various ideas being discussed to better explain them in a real-game context.


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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #32 Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:45 pm 
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I think turn based games can be very useful and a great way to squeeze in a lot more go into a busy life. This is especially true if you have a smart phone. Both DGS and OGS have android apps (not sure about ios). These apps let me squeeze in go as I wait for my girlfriend to get ready, go #2, am in the backseat of a car, on the train, etc... I think more go can only mean more improvement. I also get really invested in the turn-based games and find them highly entertaining.


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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #33 Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:37 am 
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So there seems to be two schools of thought here: play a few games very seriously and analyse them thoroughly or play a lot of games concurrently to maximise exposure to patterns, shapes and so on. Would anyone care to expand on these two conflicting ideas? Couldn't one just do both with a bunch of fast games going and a couple of slow games and take a hybrid approach?

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Post #34 Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:55 am 
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In language learning (which I don't think is that much unlike Go), it's usually taken as true that more exposure of whatever caliber is better, up to a point. I think that's still definitely true at my (low DDK) level--I'm improving just by playing and reviewing games. Most of the quibbles are about what is optimal, but this seems mostly beside the point in real life.

I've been playing turn-based games over the past couple of months, but am going to stop once my current batch of games runs out. It doesn't really work for me for a couple of reasons: Giving me days to think doesn't really help me--my thoughts aren't really deep enough it turns out, nor do I have the patience to exhaustively analyse open positions or every possible variation--I am sort of unhappy with myself every time I give up and move, bc I still could've taken more time; and also that I find it difficult to turn on my thinking about Go when a move comes in, reorient myself with the game, make my move (suspecting I didn't think about it hard enough), and then to just turn off my interest in it for however long it takes my opponent to move.

For me, it seems that right now it works much better for me that I get a certain finite amount of time to play the whole game, do the best I can, review it, and put it in the past, but it's more a matter of temperment than anything else, I suspect.

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #35 Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:32 am 
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Boidhre wrote:
Couldn't one just do both with a bunch of fast games going and a couple of slow games and take a hybrid approach?
Yes :)

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #36 Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:15 am 
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I'm a Go newbie and only played a few games against the computer. Usually I cannot afford the time for realtime games. So I registered at DGS, which I love... I play a few concurrent games now and I'm sure I will get more experience from this instead of not playing at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #37 Posted: Thu May 17, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Hmm, I seem to be improving from turn based, or at least my regular sdk opponents on KGS and at the club tell me so. I won't claim to have gained 2 stones on KGS yet as I haven't played enough games for me to consider the ranks solid but people have been noting an improvement in my live play with them. The improvement hasn't been massive, and maybe I'd have improved faster if those games had been real time games but there seems to be something going on.

I play a lot of games though turn based though, I can fit them in pretty easily to my day. Real time games on the other hand are a much trickier proposition.

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Post #38 Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:27 am 
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For me it's a false dichotomy.

I play DGS on the phone during lunch breaks, commutes, etc. I wouldn't play a kgs game at those moments.

I play KGS when I have 1h+ of consecutive free time (never). I wouldn't dedicate an hour to DGS, among other things because I'd have to be playing fifty simultaneous games to have something to do for an hour.

I don't care which one is better for improvement because I wouldn't be able to replace one for the other even if I wanted to.


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 Post subject: Re: Improvement from Turn based games
Post #39 Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:40 am 
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I really play on turn based servers to improve and there is a simple reason: I tend to play to fast in tournament games. There are only 2 other players in my city and from them I claim to be the strongest by a few stones. Therefore a long time my only "serious" games were on KGS and tournaments. The result was that I was playing far to fast in tournaments and nearly never used more than half a hour while my opponents were in byo-yomi. With playing more on OGS I learned to think more about my moves. You can see that improvement on OGS: Long time I was 8k-7k there, now I'm around 4k and have the feeling I finally can brake through to the real (tournament) life 1d.

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