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 Post subject: My triumph at SWA Dan Certification Tournament
Post #1 Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:31 am 
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Rank: KGS 4 kyu
Universal go server handle: siowy
3 years ago, I attended the Singapore Weiqi Association (SWA) Dan Certification Tournament. The report is here. The result was that I came away with 5 wins, needing 6 to be in the top 20% to make the cutoff for 1-dan.
http://www.lifein19x19.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=7311

Life and work took over since then, and I didn't spend much time on Go, just playing a bit online on and off. About two months ago though, I happened to be in the Bishan area with time to spare, so I dropped by the venue at Bishan Community Club and found out that this semi-annual tournament was coming up again, and I decided to try one more time. It has been my goal to become 1-dan since shortly after I learned the game 6 years ago.

I practised by playing games on wbaduk not concerning myself about my rank but with only a mindset to improve. I frequently played faster games on public transport and had a number of disconnects which were counted as losses. I did problems using the android app Tsumego Pro. I re-watched and studied Hwang In-seong's (who is a very skillful player and an incredible teacher) free lectures on ASR (Advanced Study Room). I watched and studied gocommentary's "The Secret of Corner Invasion" series (of which I find the probes/invasions against komoku-keima and star-keima the most useful). I posted some positions in this 19x19 forum which I needed help with. I read dan reviews of others' 1kyu-5kyu games, but not before reviewing the game myself and then comparing my thoughts to the dan's.

I made a list of things to remind myself of in-game, as I very rarely play with physical stones and even more rarely play in competition matches.
1. Consider basic instinct, atari and moves to short liberties. Practical.
2. Count five liberties for tactical stability. Good to keep at the back of mind.
3. Be 100% sure of your connections and the sente moves against them. Most important.
4. Don't attack to kill unless 100% sure. This is how my losses online usually go.
5. Look and evaluate post-sente board states. Useful to keep at the back of mind too.
6. Win by no more than 35 points. Incredibly useful. Playing safe when sufficiently ahead is a useful tournament skill.

The top 9 of the tournament, determined by 8 swiss rounds, were promoted to 1-dan. Rounds were timed at 45 minutes absolute (which was tight for me, as I'm used to 20-30 minutes and 30sec byo-yomi[(I ended all games with less than 10 minutes to spare, and 2 games with less than 2 minutes left]). There were 46 players in the tournament this weekend, of which only about 5 were not children whose parents came from China (they were raised in Singapore, and most spoke English well). The children attended weekly Go lessons, and also played with their parents, who were often skilled players themselves. Being Chinese parents, they subjected their children to extra homework and pressure in the form of problems. The kids were therefore mostly experts in basic instinct, local tesuji and fights. The strongest kids combined that with a keen sense of whole-board thinking and a patience in reading.

I encountered an incredible variety of personalities on the Go board in these two days. Some players just want to kill your groups. Some players want to build beautiful moyos. Some players just want to make you react to them. Some players passively protect their territory when you threaten it. When a player is too single-minded on any of these things, it can be taken advantage of.

I promoted to 1-dan today, winning 7 of the 8 games (with a Day 1 loss) to rank first in the competition by points and strength of schedule.

Ranks in Go mean different things across different arenas. A KGS 1-dan is different from an AGA/EGF 1-dan is different from a wbaduk 1-dan is different from a Singapore 1-dan. Nevertheless, I feel happy that I have achieved my goal, but I also realise today how much further there is to go, before I can honestly think of myself as "strong". The road ahead is a beautiful one, and it stretches out into the horizon.


Last edited by siowy on Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

This post by siowy was liked by 3 people: Catuskoti, Drew, ez4u
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 Post subject: Re: My triumph at SWA Dan Certification Tournament
Post #2 Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:35 am 
Oza

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Location: ʍoquıɐɹ ǝɥʇ ɹǝʌo 'ǝɹǝɥʍǝɯos
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Online playing schedule: Every tenth February 29th from 20:00-20:01 (if time permits)
Well done. How does Singapore shodan compare to shodan elsewhere. I suspect it may be stronger than most.

_________________
Still officially AGA 5d but I play so irregularly these days that I am probably only 3d or 4d over the board (but hopefully still 5d in terms of knowledge, theory and the ability to contribute).

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 Post subject: Re: My triumph at SWA Dan Certification Tournament
Post #3 Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:50 am 
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DrStraw wrote:
Well done. How does Singapore shodan compare to shodan elsewhere. I suspect it may be stronger than most.


I can't say. I have only played on the physical board in Singapore. However, I am still no stronger than ~10kyu on wbaduk, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: My triumph at SWA Dan Certification Tournament
Post #4 Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:52 am 
Beginner

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Rank: KGS 5K
KGS: icyblizard
Hi, congratulations on your 1D certification! :salute: May I ask a few questions?
How do you get a kyu certification and how much does it cost?
How many players were taking part?

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: My triumph at SWA Dan Certification Tournament
Post #5 Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 12:45 am 
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Rank: KGS 3kyu
KGS: goshunryou
It's a bit late but congratz on your promotion!
I hope to achieve 1d too someday :)

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