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 Post subject: A teaching game 13x13
Post #1 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:00 pm 
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A few months ago I gave a lecture on Alpha Zero to introduce Monte Carlo and other machine learning techniques in our learning society at work (the software department of digital mapping company and navigation software provider TomTom).

One of the attendants knew the game but had only played a few times, enough though to buy himself a board and stones, which he today brought to the office. We played 13x13, which was quite right for his level and the time we had. We played a no komi (teaching) game. In retrospect I missed a few opportunities to set up a problem at his level. The aji I left was too hard for him to exploit.

Anyway, the game led to three lessons:

1) when attacking, avoid contact plays but pressure from a small distance
2) make your stones work efficiently, maximizing liberties, influence, pressure ...
3) exploit/don't leave an excess of cutting points


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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #2 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:07 pm 
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:b7: How about the counter hane at L-05?

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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #3 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:35 pm 
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Small improvement in the endgame. :)


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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #4 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:12 pm 
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Wow if you did tell all this it's by far a lot for someone who just played a few games.
If he did follow all with shiny eyes he is already a promising player!

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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #5 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:10 pm 
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Vio wrote:
Wow if you did tell all this it's by far a lot for someone who just played a few games.
If he did follow all with shiny eyes he is already a promising player!


Well I don't usually overexplain and I don't know exactly how many games he had played. From this game I would think he's already past beginner stage. He's a smart guy too so I reckon he can handle the information.

But you're right in general: the review shouldn't contain too much information.

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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #6 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:31 am 
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Well, it was my very first feeling, and it was comparing it with how I would have handle it myself. I usually restrain myself as much as possible to comment on someone else way of teaching as it is very hot topic, especially on Internet with someone you aren't his friend yet! But here it is not like usual as your post is not oriented to your student but to us spectators so I felt invited.
When b for kakari did a contact move my feeling would be more mixed, the move is quite not that bad considering the lvl of my opponent, in the right direction first, and with a nice global view. OC it's not considered the optimal move to come, and it has a beginner taste that I would share your will to show, but it's not in my too bad move category. Indeed I think you created the 3_3 cut weakness in an attempt to sanction the contact move. And B over concentration will remain something a bit hard to explain too.

Because I feel we are more and less both same strength it's a bit hard to give a variant, I was thinking to go the path of "hane on the head of 2 stones" could be safer and a good didactic too, but eventually I would maybe just not try show anything yet and wait for a bigger failure to explain. Later in my own way I would feel very embarrassed to leave the cut weakness at 3_3 because I am playing psychologically, using the fact that my opponent knows by now I am strong so he will not try to cut and at same time I give him wrong idea of what is working or not. Well you had the very nice attitude to show him afterwards what he could have done.
In fact I am maybe a bit more relax and lazy, waiting to sanction bigger mistake with a low ddk. And I would have been more near your choice with a low sdk.
First try on my side to comment on pedagogic choice, so forgive me if you feel any rudeness, that is OC not in my attempt.

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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #7 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:11 am 
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Vio wrote:
Well, it was my very first feeling, and it was comparing it with how I would have handle it myself. I usually restrain myself as much as possible to comment on someone else way of teaching as it is very hot topic, especially on Internet with someone you aren't his friend yet!

Same here :)
Vio wrote:
But here it is not like usual as your post is not oriented to your student but to us spectators so I felt invited.

And you were.

Vio wrote:
When b for kakari did a contact move my feeling would be more mixed, the move is quite not that bad considering the lvl of my opponent, in the right direction first, and with a nice global view. OC it's not considered the optimal move to come, and it has a beginner taste that I would share your will to show, but it's not in my too bad move category.


You and Bill have convinced me that the contact play in the opening is not as bad as I told the guy, but my decision to talk about it was inspired by his playing the attachment 3 times. When I see a pattern of a (more or less) bad move, I consider it worthwhile to mention it.

Quote:
eventually I would maybe just not try show anything yet and wait for a bigger failure to explain.


Absolutely. However there weren't any bigger failures, besides two tactical mistakes that he already nodded to in acknowledgment during the game.

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Later in my own way I would feel very embarrassed to leave the cut weakness at 3_3 because I am playing psychologically, using the fact that my opponent knows by now I am strong so he will not try to cut and at same time I give him wrong idea of what is working or not.


You are right. Leaving such a complicated thing to figure out (at his level) is more bullying than teaching. That's what I said in the OP: I should have created easier things for him to take advantage of.

Quote:
First try on my side to comment on pedagogic choice, so forgive me if you feel any rudeness, that is OC not in my attempt.


Thanks for the debate. That's the point of the forum!

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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #8 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:50 am 
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O my bad, I did miss bill analysis, I hope I didn't overlap too much!.

As low sdk, I had myself the hard way to lose to a low ddk with leaving a cut like yours and I can tell you it's hard to be pedagogic then with a bit of a sarcastic wind in the air...

O one more thing, I am not used to try to create things my opponent could use at his level (not to say I don't generate that by my own failure),maybe it's a path I could explore for better teaching. I am so focused to try to play my best moves!

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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #9 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:48 am 
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Thank you for this interesting post!

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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #10 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:53 am 
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A few thoughts on some points :).

Finding Patterns using abstract reasoning—
Can beginners use pro games to find patterns? (Pro mode)
Leave them to play games themselves and show you the patterns they find? (Amateur mode)

Playing up to yourself—
Start of with a few teaching games at even (Amatuer mode). Then suggest a handicap to the weaker player to play at full strength (pro mode)—their choice though.
If they want to becom pro yet don't want a handicap, they could have more to learn than go techniques... This comes from a memory of a time I went to learn table tennis. I only wanted to try things out-- getting good wasn't in my thoughts, so asked for my experienced opponent to keep serving at his full strength.

:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #11 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:21 am 
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I don't have so good memories from beginners refusing to take handicap: I had that happen a few times especially with chess players ("we don't do that") It ended in something too humiliating with the newcomer running away and me deeply sad to lose a player.
I had same problem with players who want to understand everything in their first game, spending hours of thinking the unthinkable.

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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #12 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:14 am 
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Vio wrote:
I don't have so good memories from beginners refusing to take handicap: I had that happen a few times especially with chess players ("we don't do that") It ended in something too humiliating with the newcomer running away and me deeply sad to lose a player.


I have let that go. It's true that an even game won't teach them anything because we can cruise on autopilot and their inefficiencies will accumulate to a big loss without us having to apply effort. You learn more from the even battle forced by the handicap. BUT ... if they resist handicap, forcing them into it will close the door for all learning, as they will be occupied with the humiliating feeling of having to take handicap.

Beware when you do have people who take handicap. If you play to win and win, it's adding injury to insult.

Vio wrote:
I had same problem with players who want to understand everything in their first game, spending hours of thinking the unthinkable.


This is easier: I just tell them to play and we'll figure it out together later.

I've kept a blog of my teaching activities: https://senseis.xmp.net/?DieterVerhofst ... xperiences


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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #13 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:17 am 
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Vio wrote:
O my bad, I did miss bill analysis, I hope I didn't overlap too much!.


All I did with regard to the attachment was to suggest a counter hane for :b7:. :)

In the SGF I showed an improvement for Black at the very end. Instead of gaining 1 pt. on the bottom, Black could have played a ⅔ pt. sente on the top first and later won the final ko.

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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #14 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:06 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:
Vio wrote:
I don't have so good memories from beginners refusing to take handicap: I had that happen a few times especially with chess players ("we don't do that") It ended in something too humiliating with the newcomer running away and me deeply sad to lose a player.


I have let that go. It's true that an even game won't teach them anything because we can cruise on autopilot and their inefficiencies will accumulate to a big loss without us having to apply effort. You learn more from the even battle forced by the handicap. BUT ... if they resist handicap, forcing them into it will close the door for all learning, as they will be occupied with the humiliating feeling of having to take handicap.

Beware when you do have people who take handicap. If you play to win and win, it's adding injury to insult.

With handicap I feel pretty safe. Firstly I am very happy if they win, we can put a stone away.
Then I can play relax only correct moves, no hamete besides maybe the last game before changing handicap if they proved some nice progression,
As said before I just focused on showing how their most terrible moves are.

Thanks for the link to your blog, I will check that.
Happy teaching!


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 Post subject: Re: A teaching game 13x13
Post #15 Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:41 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:

I've kept a blog of my teaching activities: https://senseis.xmp.net/?DieterVerhofst ... xperiences


Thank you for such a wonderful blog!

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