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 Post subject: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #1 Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:07 am 
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A new "study journal" for a new way of looking at Go.
This is my second study journal, as I don't feel the same person anymore that started the first study journal (The Story of a Loser).

So suffice this small summary to sum up the previous one:
For the first half of 2018, I studied Go extremely intensively. I read books, played games, reviewed games, studied with a Sensei, studied with peers...
I managed to grow from about 22 kyu to SDK, not a bad achievement, I believe. It's given me the absolute basics of the game of Go.

But now things are going to be different. The reasons why are numerous, but let me state two that already make it obvious I can't/won't continue the path I've taken these past six months:

- I'm not aiming to make Go my professional career.
- I have so many interests and hobbies, some very dear friends, a very rewarding job, a high love for being outdoors...

These two facts combined make me look back on those 6 months with pride that I've learned so much, I really did. But they also keep me grounded and made me realize that way of looking at Go has come to an end.

So this journal is for the new way. What is the new way? Well, many things are going to change in my "Go career". 3 things are essential for me. These are:

Attitude about Go
While those 6 months were really great and made me improve a lot, they also brought me a certain amount of stress and pressure. In my new way of Go, I don't want any pressure from such a beautiful game. Meaning I have no (short term) goals about the game, nor any obligations towards the game. Instead I see it more as my other hobbies: I'll play when I feel like it. If I don't want to play Go for 2 weeks, that's fine. If I want to spend an entire rainy Saturday playing Go, fine too. The only stress should come from playing an actual game, where a little stress is to be expected.

Meaning I've finally done away with the "silly" I-want-to-be-such-rank-in-such-time-attitude. In fact, I'm quite unconcerned about rank entirely at the moment. Maybe it'll return with time, but now I really don't care at all what my Go rank is. I just want to enjoy the game when I play it. If I don't, I'll do something else.

Method & Philosophy of Improving
Obviously the previous also makes for a different approach to improving. While improvement is not my primary interest, it would be dishonest of me to state I don't want to improve anymore. Improvement in any discipline/hobby should be sought after. Playing my keyboard, I'm always looking for new ways to challenge myself and improve.

But it's not longer the driving factor in playing Go. My philosophy at the moment is the following: I've laid the very base for my Go playing in these past months. Now I have an entire lifetime to improve on them, (or not). If I keep playing Go as a casual player, I may still improve over the years. Maybe I'll still be as strong as I am now in 10 years, maybe I'll keep growing steadily and become quite strong. Maybe I'll go all obsessive over Go again when I go on retirement in 40 years :lol: Then again, maybe my interest in Go will only decline further and I'll play 1 game a year in a decade. All is possible, all is fine by me, if it means I'm happy about life at that point.


So how to improve, then? It's quite simple: I'm going to try to improve with a natural and intiutive method. The most ancient one of all: by doing what I want to do.
Do I want to solve some tsumego during a 10 minute wait? Then I'll do so.
Do I want to play a game? I'll do so. Want to review? Do so.
Want to play a bot before dinner? Do so.
Want to read a Go book for fun? Do so.

Don't want to play online anymore? Stop doing it.
Don't want to make an effort in Go right now? Stop doing it.

Meaning I'll make use of this site when I feel like it. Posting games for analysis has always been something that helped me improve, so I'll keep doing that. I no longer want to burden my Sensei with all the work he's done for me, but I may ask for occassional help and I believe he'll give it to me when I ask for it.
Same with this study journal. I'll use it when and how I want.

And I'm certain the above things will change constantly. For example: I'm done with online Go for now. But I can already see myself playing online games during the dark Winter months, when it's freezing and snowing outside.

The point is that it's going to be on my terms. Which sounds so damn logical it's amazing I've had to wait six months to figure that out.

Focus
Lastly, there will be one focus, sort of obligatory. One part of my Go-playing I'll have to develop.
Since I'm a teacher at school, and I do believe in the many benifits Go brings to (young) people, I will start up a Go-club at my school come September.

So in about a month, I'll be guiding young minds through their journey in Go. I want to make that commitment, I have no problem with that.

Secondly, the Go club I've started here in my town. I'll try to keep running it. Partly because it's still nice to play people face to face. Also because it brings together people, and I'm all for that.


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Post #2 Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:39 am 
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For now, my Go "regime" consists of the following items:

- After a break of already 3,5 weeks, I've re-acquanted with Go by replaying a commented game from 'Understanding How to Play Go' by Yuan Zhou. I may do another one in the near future.
- I'll put three Go books next to my bed, for whenever I feel like doing a little Go. These 3 are: Get Strong at Tesuji. 1001 L&D. Jump Level Up 3.
- Play face to face when the opportunity presents itself.

- Research/think about how I'll be handling the Go-club at school. Probably re-reading 'Go as Communcation' as a source of inspiration.

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Post #3 Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:50 am 
Judan

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Ian Butler wrote:
Focus
Lastly, there will be one focus, sort of obligatory. One part of my Go-playing I'll have to develop.
Since I'm a teacher at school, and I do believe in the many benifits Go brings to (young) people, I will start up a Go-club at my school come September.

So in about a month, I'll be guiding young minds through their journey in Go. I want to make that commitment, I have no problem with that.


Good luck with that! :clap: :clap: :clap:

You might be interested in contacting Professor Jorge Nuno Silva of the University of Lisbon, who heads a program for the use of intellectual games in the Portuguese schools. I went to a talk he gave a few years ago. IIRC, the program is used from the first grade to the twelfth. See viewtopic.php?p=195178#p195178 .

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Post #4 Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:47 am 
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Thank you, Bill.

Yesterday, we had someone new at the Go club at my house and we played a round of Zen-Go. Basically you play with 3, alternating turns, meaning you end up playing both sides. It's about trying to find the best move in every situation. It's also a lot of fun when there are differences in strength (and there were!)

Anyway, a very interesting corner situation came up in the game. We pondered it for a while: can black be killed in the corner?
Actually the surrounding situation was extremely complex itself, with white threatening to be surrounded by black. The game was amazing, with groups going back and forth in the "safe - almost dead" range. This corner was a great example.
There were even ko's going on for the connection of several groups.

But that's not the point. The point is the following corner situation. I have yet to read it out deeply, or try out the variations, but my guess during the game was: black is alive at this point. But if the surrounding situation changes, black will need to answer (meaning he doesn't have 2 eyes, YET)

Here is what happened later in the game, only focus on what I write below, the game record itself is crafted and doesn't resemble the game:
:w4: black is able to block at A because of the liberty at B
:b7: was played to completely finish the corner and make it alive. The question is: was this necessary?
:w8: was played later on. Question is: does black have to react? He did in the game with 1 rather than 2. 2 is probably better because it leaves one less ko threat.
:w10: was a ko threat
:w12: was an interesting ko threat, because it was bad for white. White still needed :w14: otherwise black could link up his (by then) dead stones in the middle of white territory. Thus white makes this threat and loses the ko.


Another interesting situation that happened in the game included threat of a snapback, with a ko involved.

So in the end, a great evening and it had been like a month since I played a game. It was amazing. Makes me want to play a little more again :)


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Post #5 Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:20 pm 
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How about :b5: at B instead? :study:

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Post #6 Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:29 pm 
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Let's try.

1) I think :b7: was necessary:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W
$$ ----------------+
$$ . . . 3 O 2 7 6 |
$$ . . X O X X 4 1 |
$$ O . X O O X . 5 |
$$ . . . . O O X X |
$$ O . X . . X X O |
$$ . . . . O O O . |
$$ . . X . . O X . |[/go]


2) I think Black needed to react to :w8:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W
$$ ----------------+
$$ . . . . O 2 1 . |
$$ . . X O X X 3 X |
$$ O . X O O X . . |
$$ . . . . O O X X |
$$ O . X . O X X O |
$$ . . . . O O O . |
$$ . . X . . O X . |[/go]


3) If :w5: at B, it seems Black is alive.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ ----------------+
$$ . . . . O . 3 . |
$$ . . X O X X 2 a |
$$ O . X O O X . 1 |
$$ . . . . O O X . |
$$ O . X . O X X b |
$$ . . . . O O O . |
$$ . . X . . O X . |[/go]


Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ ----------------+
$$ . . . . O . . . |
$$ . . X O X X 3 . |
$$ O . X O O X . 1 |
$$ . . . . O O X . |
$$ O . X . O X X 2 |
$$ . . . . O O O . |
$$ . . X . . O X . |[/go]


I hope I didn't miss too many variations.

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Post #7 Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:33 pm 
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In your starting board position, B can push through at Q15 for an instant win. So to make this a real problem, you need to add a W stone around P14 (or remove the B stone at O15). To get the basic prototype for this problem, remove all of the extraneous outside stones and remove the W hane at Q19. This simplified position is one of the most important life-and-death patterns to learn, since it arises frequently in real games. Try to figure out the status of this basic pattern first. Then figure out how the status changes if B loses the outside liberty at Q15.


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Post #8 Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:39 pm 
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Basic position:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B Black to play
$$ ----------------+
$$ . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . 4 3 5 . . |
$$ . . X 6 2 1 . . |
$$ . . . . O b . . |
$$ . . . . a 9 7 . |
$$ . . . . O 0 8 . |
$$ . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . |[/go]

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Post #9 Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:26 am 
Judan

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Further study:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ ----------------+
$$ . . . 2 . . . . |
$$ . . 1 O X X . . |
$$ . . X O O X . . |
$$ . . . . O . . . |
$$ . . . . . X X . |
$$ . . . . O O O . |
$$ . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . |[/go]


Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ ----------------+
$$ . . 2 . . . . . |
$$ . . 1 O X X . . |
$$ . . X O O X . . |
$$ . . . . O . . . |
$$ . . . . . X X . |
$$ . . . . O O O . |
$$ . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . |[/go]

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Post #10 Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:26 am 
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Ian Butler wrote:
Yesterday, we had someone new at the Go club at my house and we played a round of Zen-Go. Basically you play with 3, alternating turns, meaning you end up playing both sides. It's about trying to find the best move in every situation.


What an interesting idea! I've never heard of it before. I wonder if any servers can implement it.

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Post #11 Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:54 am 
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Hi daal,

ZenGo ( spoilers alert ):
You play :b1: :
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ | . . . . . . . .
$$ | X X X X X X . .
$$ | O O O O O X . .
$$ | . 1 . . O X . .
$$ -----------------[/go]
Frenemy A: :w2: tenuki.
Frenemy B: :b3: tenuki.
You:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ | . . . . . . . .
$$ | X X X X X X . .
$$ | O O O O O X . .
$$ | . 1 4 . O X . .
$$ -----------------[/go]

You play :b1: :
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ . . . . . . .
$$ . . . X . . .
$$ . O O 1 O O .
$$ . . . . . . .
$$ . . . . . . .
$$ -------------[/go]
Frenemy A: :w2: tenuki.
Frenemy B: :b3: tenuki.
You:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ . . . . . . .
$$ . . . X . . .
$$ . O O 1 O O .
$$ . . . 4 . . .
$$ . . . . . . .
$$ -------------[/go]

You play :b1: :
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ | . . . . . .
$$ | O O O O O .
$$ | X X X 1 O .
$$ | . . . X O .
$$ -------------[/go]
Frenemy A: :w2: tenuki.
Frenemy B: :b3: tenuki.
You:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ | . . . . . .
$$ | O O O O O .
$$ | X X X 1 O .
$$ | . 4 . X O .
$$ -------------[/go]

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Post #12 Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:51 am 
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daal wrote:
Ian Butler wrote:
Yesterday, we had someone new at the Go club at my house and we played a round of Zen-Go. Basically you play with 3, alternating turns, meaning you end up playing both sides. It's about trying to find the best move in every situation.


What an interesting idea! I've never heard of it before. I wonder if any servers can implement it.


I can only recommend it. It's a lot of fun, it stimulates discussion and you learn a lot from it. And at the end, you're all winners & losers equally :cool:

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Post #13 Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:56 am 
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Yesterday I played some online games. Mostly 13x13.
I lost them all :lol:
I played a 9 kyu OGS, a 10 kyu OGS and a 12 kyu OGS. (not in that order, though)

I've always been pretty bad at 13x13, and I got better every game. But the most interesting part was that I didn't really seem to mind. My go-break and new way of playing has really changed to game for me. I enjoy playing a lot more and losing doesn't upset me. I'll progress way slower because I've decreased studying to probably like 5% of what it was. But on the other hand, I won't mind the slow progress, so who cares ;-)

One negative, though, something to learn from: a 13x13 game is faster & shorter because it's a smaller field. I make the mental mistake of actually playing my moves faster, too. I should be mindful of that. Especially since mistakes are even more important on a smaller field.


I also read a very, very interesting post on reddit, where I think my playing style is explained:

In other threads (longer ago) I've advanced the argument that there are two major categories of strength in this game which are fundamentally different: tactical strength, and strategic strength.

Tactical strength concerns all of the smaller-scale, detail-oriented, calculational skills, including reading depth, reading breadth (number of variations considered at each branch), accuracy (group statuses and estimation of territory, influence, liberties, aji, and ko threats), and speed (e.g. efficiency of identifying vital points and eliminating branches unlikely to work).

On the other hand, strategic strength concerns larger-scale, big-picture skills. Things like direction of play, choices between and prioritization of objectives, knowledge of playing principles and proverbs (and their exceptions), that sort of thing.

The way I see it, tactics-focused players tend to be able to reliably accomplish the objectives they choose to pursue, but often pursue inferior objectives, while strategic-focused players tend to pursue the superior objectives but more often fail to accomplish them. Thus, players who tend to have a higher degree of tactical strength than strategic strength appear to have more "stable" play -- against a slightly stronger player they will tend to lose almost all of the time, while against a slightly weaker player they will tend to win almost all of the time, and most of their games look more representative of their rank. Whereas a player whose strength is more strategic and less tactical tends to look less "stable" -- sometimes, they appear to play far beyond their means for their rank, while other times they appear to play far below their means ... so against a slightly stronger player they will lose a majority of their games but still win a significant number, while against a slightly weaker player they will win a majority of their games but still lose a significant number.

It sounds to me like you probably are (like me) more of a strategy-oriented player. I think this is especially evidenced by the fact that you say that you often gain a lead in the opening -- where strategic concerns tend to dominate who comes out ahead -- and that you often make really big reading errors and lose that lead in the middlegame, where tactics concerns tend to decide fights and small differences in raw calculational abilities start to add up as the game progresses.

I think it's unlikely that you've "lost brainpower" or are "getting weaker" -- you probably still have all the same strategic and tactical strength that you always have had. But rather it's probably more likely that your strategy is a lot more developed than your tactics, so you tend to overperform in the opening and underperform in the middlegame, and your strength doesn't feel stable because you are often pursuing objectives that you don't have the tactical strength to see all the way through. Consequently you often feel like you've been "robbed" or "tricked," you find it easy to identify your mistakes after you've made them but hard to avoid making them during the pressure of a game, and you become concerned with how often you fail to accomplish your goals, which can be lofty (and those goals are usually "correct," just more difficult to obtain). You often lose games that you know you "shouldn't have lost."

I would recommend that you focus on developing your tactical strength, which unfortunately I think is going to feel a lot like smashing your face into your desk over and over again. The most important thing is: tsumego, tsumego, tsumego -- cram them over and over until you are absolutely sick of them, and then cram them some more. Focus on the quality of how you do them: try to solve them as thoroughly as possible, painstakingly read out every last branch to completion -- even the ones that don't work. Figure out why they don't work, be certain that you know what the vital points are and what the problem is with the shapes that don't hit those vital points right away. Don't rely on looking at an answer key ... read the problem out so thoroughly that you are confident that you know the answer without having to look. A tsumego problem is like an iceberg -- 90% of the ice is under the water (i.e. 90% of the reading is in the wrong variations, not the right ones); it doesn't matter that you're reading a right or wrong variation, it matters that you are reading it and judging it correctly whatever it is. The point of solving tsumego isn't merely to find the answer, the point of solving tsumego is to increase your abilities. It matters more that you are pushing yourself just a little bit further every time. Reading one move further. One more branch. One more counting of liberties. One more group status evaluation. It should hurt your brain. No pain, no gain -- pain is just weakness leaving the body mind. When you feel mentally exhausted and you can't take any more, that's exactly the moment when you should just push yourself a little further. Building up those reading capacities is very slow and incremental -- there's no epiphany, no breakthrough in understanding that's going to happen overnight and suddenly you won't be misreading things anymore. It's going to feel labored, like you're memorizing things by rote and not really "learning" anything, but that's not true -- you may not be gaining any new communicable knowledge that you could form into words and teach to another person, but you'll be slowly building up tacit knowledge, the kind that you gain more through experience of repeatedly doing. You're training muscle memory for your mind, which is why the learning-by-rote method will be effective. You're not learning new tricks, you're committing to mastery of old ones ... and that means doing the same old boring exercises over and over again, like practicing a kata. If it feels like homework ... well, it should, because it basically is! :p

Hope that helps.

- hikaruzero on REDDIT


I agree with a lot he says and I recognize myself completely in the class of the "strategic player". That makes me want to work on my tactical skills.
Therefor I have a new focus for the next games I'll be playing:
- focus on shape.

Of course, try to play strategically sound and whatnot, but with more and more focus on shape, tactics, local "battles".

Should be fun.

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Post #14 Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:47 am 
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Next few weeks, I'm gonna focus a bit on 9x9 games. They are easy to fit in my day without a large commitment. And it'll help my tactical playing, so that's good.

Biggest thing I've learned from my last 9x9 games, is that I'm a very lazy player. I play a lot on intuition and often don't read things out properly. Up until now, my strategic thinking has given me the advantage more often than not, but I think at the level I'm coming to, reading gets more and more important. So I need to get rid of this laziness.

Which is funny, because laziness is something typical for me, but recently I've been so busy, so non-lazy, that it's great it pops back up, in my Go playing :lol:

I'm sure it'll work out. All I need is to practise. Force myself to read and take time, not to play too quickly.

Besides that, go playing still very much fun. I'm losing 80% of my games at the moment, which means I am a little rusty (or rather, I was sharper before my break). I'm sure I'll get back to that level after a while. There's no hurry.

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Post #15 Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:44 am 
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No use making plans if you won't carry them through.
Playing 9x9 to increase my tactical playing.
Trying to get in the habit of thinking & reading before playing.

Some games. 9x9 is very hard for me, but some decent games today. I'm glad.


Game 1:
A nice victory, though I didn't play without risk. Maybe you can spot an overplay or 2 here...
Nonetheless, moves 18 and 20 were very nice to play. Move 28 settled the game.


Game 2. I had played him before, same day. I lost then. I tried a different tactic here, but komi is a bitch in 9x9. Honestly.


Game 3.
I like move 17, instinctively.
This was 40 seconds + 10 extra per move with 40s max. So quite blitz.
Happy with my quick L&D thinking up top. #Progress


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Post #16 Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:01 am 
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Ian Butler wrote:
Game 3.
I like move 17, instinctively.
This was 40 seconds + 10 extra per move with 40s max. So quite blitz.
Happy with my quick L&D thinking up top. #Progress


This is interesting. I might give it a try too!

One thought on move 19 in game three. Would A have worked? I played around with a it a bit and couldn't find a way for white to save the group on the left. But I haven't played 9x9 since I first learned the game ;-)

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc
$$ +-------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O O . . . . |
$$ | . . X X X O O B . |
$$ | . . . O X X X . . |
$$ | . . , O X . , . . |
$$ | . X . O . . O . . |
$$ | . . X O , a , . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +-------------------+[/go]

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Post #17 Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:01 am 
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@BlindGroup: I really recommend it, going back to 9x9 or 13x13 at times is challenging and forces you to make the most out of every move. I like it. It's also less time consuming. If you have only 30 minutes to play, mostly I'd rather have 3 9x9 games than half a 19x19 one :) Depends, of course.



Anyway, success is a very subjective thing. Were I to measure my success by my ranking alone, the past month has been "uneventful". After a rather amazing rise to 10 kyu from January to July, things were bound to slow down. But combined with my new "outlook" on Go, meaning no longer obsessively studying for hours a day, it was certain to slow down A LOT.

Yet I feel I've been very successful since my "2nd" career in Go. Only playing when you feel like it means you enjoy every game.
Not caring about your rank means you explore, experiment, open up with moves you ordinarily wouldn't do, aren't afraid to accept handicap matches...
And almost contrary to that is that I've finally managed to leave DDK level behind me. This week I've won a 4H stone match against a 15 kyu, a 2 stone match against a 12 kyu and an even game against a 10 kyu. All in which I was mostly blitzing, only in the first one was my opponent blitzing, too. I feel fairly confident I'd win most of my matches against a 10 kyu in an even match. Of course, I could be mistaken, in which case it'll become obvious soon enough.

Either way, I now have 3 accounts on OGS and they are 8.1 kyu, 8.4 kyu and 9.0 kyu, so I think that says something. Also note that I just said I don't care about rank and yet I list 3 rankings here :lol: However, I use rank as an estimator of strength and see if there is improvement or not. In this case, I see that there has been improvement and I have officially surpassed the DDK-SDK mark on OGS. A small celebration is in order. :D


Besides that, here's what I need to be attentive about:
- I play a lot of blitz games right now. It's a fun activity in the evening to play a Go game in about half an hour. (contradicting my opening statement in this post) The danger, however, is that it'd become my standard. I'll take note of that and "force" myself to play real/non-blitz games too. Also because direction of play etc are my strong suits. Tactical playing (requires reading & time) is my weakness. So blitzing doesn't help that a lot.
- L&D with throw-ins. I need to try to kill more with throw-ins and be weary of my opponent throwing in more. I almost never take it into account and it gets me killed often.


That's it for today. I've had a good weekend with plenty of Go games, on different dimensions. I lost against a 4 kyu in a tight battle, lost heavily against a 6 kyu twice, both times creating a dragon for myself after non-sente plays that my opponent left unanswered. (learning opportunity there), won many games, too. Against DDKs, also a 9x9 game against an 8kyu, which I consider a huge victory for me, with my weak tactical skills.

I'm learning all about sente these days. Thanks to dwyrin and his basic series, I'm making healthy decisions during my games.

:) happy Go learning!

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #18 Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:21 am 
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OGS: 14 kyu
Inspiring read!

How is your Go club coming along?

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #19 Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:36 pm 
Lives in gote

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rikuge wrote:
Inspiring read!

How is your Go club coming along?


Thanks!
The one at home is okay. We have some bad days (with just 1 or even no people), but yesterday for example there were 6 of us, that's pretty nice.
I played a friend, giving 6 handicap stones for the first time ever and won with 50+ points. Of course he's perhaps 10 stones weaker than me, so the handicap could be further increased, but it still felt tight for a while there. Never played against so many stones before.

The Go club at school is starting tomorrow, and I'm excited about that. We already have like 16 kids who want to participate! Hopefully we can keep most of them throughout the year!



I'm learning new things every day and that also includes Go. I've learned that playing handicap games is rather interesting. I almost always get in positions I can suddenly read out a variation that works so well for my opponent that I think: how did I get in this situation? Of course my opponent doesn't notice it and I get off scott-free, but I still got in that position.
Playing weaker players I also often get in a position where I think: had I been playing a stronger opponent, I'd surely lose the game from this position. Like I "give" them too much leeway or something?

I think it's all about concentration and knowing who you're playing. Handicap games showed me this.
I played against 6 stones. My first 20 moves where well thought out, read variations and such. As soon as I felt the handicap stones were made up for, my game slacked a bit and I get lazier in reading.
Playing an opponent you know is weaker without handicap, the game starts like that.
Maybe it's a natural thing and playing stronger players brings out the best in you. Only logical playing weaker players brings out... not a lot in you.
An observation that I'm not sure what to make of.
Make it a lesson to practise reading even in those games? Or accept that and just enjoy those games where I can practically do what I want on the board and have fun with my friends and teach them.
I'm not sure.
And I don't really care at the moment either :lol: we'll see!

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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #20 Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:40 pm 
Lives in sente
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Ian Butler wrote:
Maybe it's a natural thing and playing stronger players brings out the best in you. Only logical playing weaker players brings out... not a lot in you.


I can honestly say that I play as seriously against weaker players as against stronger ones. The big difference in handicap games is: as white you play against an excess of enemy stones on the board but your will power works better for you than for the opponent, as black you try to make the best of the excess of stones and keep your balance against the better targeted will power of the opponent. I overplay as White, but not in the sense that I play moves I know for sure don't work, rather moves where
I expect Black to back off more often when not needed or to play elsewhere when defence would be appropriate.

As Black I back off a little more than when playing even handed but not so much as to lose the advantage and certainly not when I don't see why I should answer.

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