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 Post subject: My experiences from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #1 Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:51 pm 
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Like last year I plan to blog a bit about this U.S. Go Congress.

My preparation is not auspicious. I had this experience today:

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If you ever play on Tygem, you know what happens next... :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #2 Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:44 pm 
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Great, Calvin! I look forward to a detailed report :-)

And what are you doing playing a guy named "utterjerk", anyway?

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Post #3 Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:50 pm 
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Calvin Clark wrote:
If you ever play on Tygem, you know what happens next... :evil:
What happens next ? :)


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Post #4 Posted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:52 am 
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EdLee wrote:
What happens next ? :)

For many people it could be serious question, so...

It's an occasional practice for the losing player to refuse scoring on Tygem or to drag out the game in hope the opponent will get frustrated and resign a won game or get confused and lose on time. There is a technique they can employ which I don't completely understand and may or may not depend on client bugs, but some players can pretty much force any loss into a win any time they want either this way or through psychology. I've seen this on WBaduk, too, though I never play there any more. Just like KGS has escapers, Tygem has this. On IGS/Pandanet people pretty much behave. That is just my experience (though I know I am not alone) and others may have other experiences.

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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #5 Posted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:36 am 
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So I took my first Uber ever to the Go Congress. (I wanted to save my first one for something simple and not urgent.) It was actually a pretty good experience. I think there are a lot of Uber drivers in the Boston area.

Registration was pretty straightforward.

Views from BU Dorm. This one is about 1 mile away, but it's nice because it's air conditioned. I was in Newton some of last week when it was even hotter than today, but I'm still glad to have that.

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Post #6 Posted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:44 am 
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Quote:
This one is about 1 mile away
From the US Open venue ?
So you have to walk 1 mile each way every day ? :)

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Post #7 Posted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:14 pm 
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EdLee wrote:
Quote:
This one is about 1 mile away
From the US Open venue ?
So you have to walk 1 mile each way every day ? :)


I lied. It's only 0.6 miles. I was looking at the time estimate for a 15 minute walk and assumed it was longer. There is a shuttle, but I'm not sure of the schedule. There are nearer places to stay I think. I plan to walk. It's pretty level. Some of the far dorms in Black Mountain were pretty steep; shorter, I think, but slightly more of a workout if you're in a hurry.

I'm not that out of shape, but it's been a while since I did bridge circuits. I recommend those for runners at the USGC, though. They can be fun and scenic.

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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #8 Posted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:27 pm 
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So, ready for US Open Game 1 tomorrow?

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Post #9 Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:41 am 
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Calvin Clark wrote:
EdLee wrote:
Quote:
This one is about 1 mile away
From the US Open venue ?
So you have to walk 1 mile each way every day ? :)


I lied. It's only 0.6 miles.

yours is a little bit closer, I think mine is literally 1 mile each way. I'll be missing dinner each night... no time to walk back one mile for dinner and a mile back for evening rounds.

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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #10 Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:36 am 
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Kirby wrote:
So, ready for US Open Game 1 tomorrow?


I clearly wasn't.

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Post #11 Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:49 am 
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Quote:
I clearly wasn't.
Jet lagged ?

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Post #12 Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:59 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Quote:
I clearly wasn't.
Jet lagged ?


Can't use that excuse as I was here last Wednesday.

I posted game1 in the review forum. Have at it!

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 Post subject: Sunday at the US Go Congress 2016
Post #13 Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:19 pm 
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I think the venue is very nice. I'm a little biased because I lived in the Boston area for over 10 years. Some people in dorms without air conditioning were complaining about the heat. I wish I could have warned them about that, but it's too late now. I like the food. I eat mostly vegetarian (I was pretty strict for about 18 years) and usually that's not a problem but it was in one Congress (Portland of all places). There is no problem at BU.

The main playing room is large, with nice space between tables:

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I recorded my games with an iPad mini. (When I am in shape I can remember 90-120 moves without that, but I'm not that in shape, probably because what little playing I do is online.) I expect that soon device recording will be forbidden. I used to record on paper, but I made many mistakes that way. Why is move 62 on there twice, for example? :) Devices are less error prone in my experience, and easier to use when you show someone else the game.

While I lost my first game, in retrospect I resigned too early. Actually, that's a long-standing bad habit of mine. Considering the games I lose by blunders in the endgame, maybe I shouldn't give my opponents that much credit right now. I also have to learn to count more accurately. When I count, I count by 1s. I don't count by 2s, like books or DrStraw recocommends, because I make too many mistakes in which 2s I've counted. I know it's probably just a matter of practice, but any tips of course are welcome. Yilun Yang 7p once said that until 2d, don't bother counting at all, just play the best move. But others have different opinions.

I had coffee this morning and won my second game.. Yesterday I had none and lost. This is not a scientific study. :)

I thank Norman Tsai 7d for spending some time casual time with me watching the City League finals and sharing his insights in the game. I'm going to have to check the results and see if they agreed with what we concluded would happen when we quit watching. I saw Jennie Shen 2p and asked her about it (she commented live on the top board) and she said it wasn't that interesting a game. (I hope I didn't misquote her on that. I really like Jennie, her commentaries, her lectures and everything and I'm not alone. She gets a lot of applause at the Go Congress.)

I did do the winter series of Guo Juan's internet go school. I recommend it. When I was active with it, I probably temporarily improved by 2-3 stones. Her personal advice to me was to the effect that I know some stuff but have to work on basics. That's not news to me :) It's almost as if I wake up some mornings and I can read a bit and other days I can't. It's pretty inconsistent.

That main playing room closes at midnight, so there is no Midnight Madness Tournament. (There hasn't been for a while, poor Martin Lebl.) Self-paired and Midnight Madness have been replaced by something called "Night League" which is a ladder-based thing that runs at handicap - 2 with a max handicap of 4 and some challenge system. I think the TDs will still do some kind of self-paired for you if you ask. The communication around this is pretty sparse, IMHO, but I heard that fewer people were playing self-paired games than in the past.

The AlphaGo keynote was pretty good. Aja Huang was restricted from disclosing much and didn't say much more than what has already been said. Andy Liu 1p expressed some doubts that AlphaGo could give professionals a handicap, but Aja said he thinks maybe. The Google/Deepmind team is very secretive. Honestly, though I am in the industry, I enjoyed Fan Hui 2p's bit more. He was very genial and funny.

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I had to do laundry on Sunday, so I didn't have much time to attend lectures and whatnot. Instead I played a couple of fast games on Tygem in the evening. I know, it's sad. All these people to play in person and I was on the Internet. (I did play one of those Night League games, though. Lost. Bad attention.)


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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #14 Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:33 pm 
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Regarding counting, Inseong even recommends counting more than 2 at a time, sometimes. For example, if the territory has a 3x3 square, plus one intersection, that's 10. So if you practice, you can get good at finding these shapes - kind of like playing tetris. Of course, depending on the precise shape, you have to be flexible. Maybe something like "10-20-30-32-36", counting the left over stuff that doesn't fit into that shape.

But you're right, I think. Practicing this a lot makes it speed up.

If you really want to get good at it, game records that don't end by resignation have the score already in the SGF file. So you can make flashcards or something with endgame positions, and you can practice this fast counting (e.g. counting by 2s, 10s, or whatever floats your boat).

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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #15 Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:33 pm 
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Oh, and thanks for the updated post. I like your posts here, especially the pictures. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #16 Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:44 am 
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Kirby wrote:
Regarding counting, Inseong even recommends counting more than 2 at a time, sometimes...


I remember Edward Kim - a strong player in the Seattle area - would estimate the score with his fists. He'd ball up his hand into a fist and use it to roughly determine that he had (say) four fists worth of territory and his opponent only had a little more than three fists. Obviously as you get into endgame your counting will need to be more precise, but I found Edward's middle game assessment to be novel.


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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #17 Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:26 am 
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Thanks for the reports, Calvin. I haven't been able to make it to a congress yet, so I appreciate the insider's perspective. :-)

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 Post subject: Monday at the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #18 Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:46 pm 
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Monday, I played my game. Why did I win my game? I do not know, but I was eating my breakfast through half the game. Maybe I was more relaxed. Also, my opponent's daughter interrupted him at a critical point which may have disturbed his concentration. I know the feeling...

One nice experience on Monday was meeting other students of Guo Juan 5p. Some of them are long-time students and/or people heavily involved in the internetgoschool.com website, and others are people like me who at one point or another took a class. It was good to put faces to names that I only knew on the internet.

I've been trying attend the teacher's workshop classes. I don't know if I'll get enough hours this week to get a certificate, but the certificate doesn't matter much to me. I like to hear about how other people teach go. Myungwan Kim 9p started this workshop idea taught some lectures last year. One of those that I enjoyed was on afterschool programs. He also taught a class in mathematical endgames. (If you are a mathematician this is not quite, say, Berlekamp level, though Howard Landman showed up at the Congress and said he was helping Myungwan improve his content. He said at lunch that he saw his name listed as co-presenter even though he hadn't seen Mygungwan's content and only had a couple of days to sort it out. It's much appreciated, though. :)) Myungwan is very ambitious. He thinks the U.S. can become the center of go education in a few years. Some people in the audience were skeptical but he reminded them that some years ago people were skeptical of the program to create American professionals, too. Now we have them.

Lee Dahye 4p is teaching a number of classes with some draft material that she using for a baduk curriculum in Korea. This is beginner material and there is different order of topics for teaching children than teaching adults. (The children's books also have lots of cartoons and other games.) She is also a frequent personality on CyberOro (see, for example this video: this video.) I hope that her curriculum eventually gets translated into English, but it's early days.

I saw the Bao Yun blindfold demonstration:

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Nearby (and I mean in the same room, within earshot and in the direction he is facing), Mingjiu Jiang 7p was commenting on the game:

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It's pretty impressive to watch, but it's not as if this is a controlled environment. The retired James Randi would have had fun with this one.

In the evening, I attended Yilun Yang 7p's lecture. Sometimes he likes to talk about unusual openings, and he spent pretty much the whole lecture discussing how to think about opening on the 4-9 point:

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 Post subject: Re: Monday at the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #19 Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:35 am 
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Calvin Clark wrote:
I saw the Bao Yun blindfold demonstration:

That was fun... watch for my EJournal article to be published soon (today, maybe)


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 Post subject: Re: Monday at the 2016 U.S. Go Congress
Post #20 Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:42 am 
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Calvin Clark wrote:
In the evening, I attended Yilun Yang 7p's lecture. Sometimes he likes to talk about unusual openings, and he spent pretty much the whole lecture discussing how to think about opening on the 4-9 point:


So... what did he say?

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