It is currently Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:11 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
Offline
 Post subject: Think and Grow Strong
Post #1 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:04 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 556
Location: Carlisle, England
Liked others: 196
Was liked: 339
IGS: Reisei 1d
Online playing schedule: When I can
I'm feeling more optimistic, so I have decided to rename my SJ accordingly.

To what extent I can improve my go I do not know, but what I do know is that I have improved my appreciation of the truly beautiful game.

I've nearly finished Nagahara's Strategic Fundamentals of Go and together with Attack and Defence by Davies/Ishida I feel that I have acquired a better grasp of the tools by which one can play go well. In the past, I was lazy and misguided, and concentrated on the verbal descriptions, but this time I have focussed on the game diagrams. My motto from now on is "fewer shortcuts, more attention to detail!".

However, I am going briefly to describe some key ideas in my own words, as a way of consolidating what I have learned.

From A&D:

* Indirect play can succeed where direct play fails. For instance, a leaning attack can support an attack elsewhere on the board. More locally, many joseki abound in leaning tactics: you switch directions in order to "borrow strength" to help you settle your earlier play.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B White leans on Shusaku's strong diagonal to capture Black's probe at 5
$$ ------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . 1 . . . . .
$$ | . . . , 3 . 9 . .
$$ | . . 2 . 6 7 . . .
$$ | . . . . 8 . . . .
$$ | . . 5 . . . . . .
$$ | . . . 0 . . . . .
$$ | . . 4 . . . . . .[/go]


* Chasing is very vulgar. Typically you end up running amok over your own farm. Indirect tactics, such as leaning, tend to be much more effective.

* It's often enough to attack just to build up your thickness or to gain profit.

* Defence is important: a stitch, in time, saves nine. In other words, taking the trouble to repair a defect before you go attacking can save you all kinds of losses later in the game.

* Good defence is not passive: a repairing move may have a big follow-up to look forward to. You can use the technique of sabaki for helping your stones while inflicting losses on the opponent.

* There are many specific sequences (mid-game joseki and tesuji) in A&D that one simply needs to know thoroughly. For example, there are several ways to handle the invasion into the daigeima extension.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B There are several ways this might continue:
$$ ----------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . O . 1 4 .
$$ | . . . X . . . 2 3 O
$$ | . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . X . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . .[/go]


From SCOG:

* Miai and Aji: I never made the connection before, the miai and aji are deeply connected concepts. Miai is a fork for tormenting the opponent: you make moves with two or more follow-ups, guaranteeing that you can take one or the other should you so wish. Aji provides one prong of the fork. A fairly simple miai technique is to invade the opponent's prospective territory with a move that threatens to grant some dead stones a life-giving connection (using their aji) or to connect out in the opposite direction. Aji is not just something that might ripen; it is something that you can actively nurture and work upon throughout a game.

* Thickness and Korigatachi: They are like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A thick shape has no weaknesses. Therefore, you can use it to support aggression far away (like the mighty castles of Edward I Longshanks of England). You can use it as a base for grand expansion. You can use it to block off the opponent's retreat.

However, shapes can become too thick. If you use more stones than you need, then you become like the boxer Frank Bruno, who was slowed down by his impressive musculature. Allowing yourself to become over-concentrated is like using your stone to add yet another tower to an already impregnable fortress when your soldiers elsewhere are desperately trying to shelter behind bushes; it's like using all of your remaining iron to cast yet another cannon for your royal castle when the troops elsewhere need metal to make swords. Do you "know what I mean?"

At this point, I took a quick diversion to Yang Yilun's Fundamental Principles of Go. He gives a game in which the amateur follows the ranking system of playing moves in the opening apparently correctly, but ends up with an overconcentrated position. This was a satori moment for me. I have been struggling with the opening for ages and ages, and getting myself bogged down into insanely checklisty ways of playing (I recall writing here a long time ago an infamous post here in which I mentioned the 0th Order of Play - all I can say now is "Good golly, Miss Molly!"). Now I see that you have to think about the game from the point of view of how the stones work together across the whole board.

* Kikashi and Sabaki: These are also touched upon in A&D. Put briefly, forcing moves can - if chosen wisely - create aji to work with, and can inflict korigatachi on the opponent. As A&D explains, you probably do not want to be forced, and so it is often wise to seek ways to resist an attempt at kikashi, and often better still to respond to it with an indirect counter-attack. Sabaki is a combination of kikashi, sacrifices and light moves that help one to set up a fighting position in an unfavourable area. It is like using guerilla tactics: the cost of attempting to exterminate the infiltrator can often be unacceptably high. The guerilla party loses a few low-ranking fighters, while the occupier ends up committing whole battalions and tanks to an area.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W White uses kikashi to set up a simple sabaki sequence
$$ ----------------------
$$ | . . . . 0 . . . . . .
$$ | . . . 6 5 4 9 . . . .
$$ | . . . 8 X 3 . . . X .
$$ | . . X , 7 . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . 1 . . . . . .
$$ | . . . 2 . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . .[/go]



Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W Corner White plays lightly to make sabaki
$$ ----------------------
$$ | . . . . X . . . . . .
$$ | . . . X . X O . . . .
$$ | . . . X X O . . . X .
$$ | . . X , O . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . O . . 1 . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . .[/go]



Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B Black gets vindictive and White just larfs
$$ ----------------------
$$ | . . . . X . . . . . .
$$ | . . . X . X O 5 . . .
$$ | . . . X X O 1 2 . X .
$$ | . . X , O 3 . . . . .
$$ | . . . . O 4 . O . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . .[/go]


Black only adds a couple of points by bloody-mindedly capturing more stones, while White squeezes from the outside. Black ends up with korigatachi.

* Furikawari and Yosu-miru: Go is a trading game. When you see that a previous play has little potential for development, then you can offer it to the opponent in exchange for something more desirable elsewhere. Furikawari (exchange) relates closely to the other concepts: it relates to aji because you can use the aji within one group as leverage to get a better deal for another. In one example that Nagahara provides, White switches direction, but uses the earlier play to get more for her side of the bargain:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W White trades her initial approach for a position on the top
$$ ----------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . X . . 3 . . 5 .
$$ | . . . , . . . . . . .
$$ | . . 1 4 . . M . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . 2 . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .[/go]


The beauty of this exchange is that White, for example, later get another play at X aiming at reawakening 1. 1 is not fully dead, and removing it will cost Black time. During that time, White can build up elsewhere. So, she might play like this when she believes that directly pulling out 1 with a simple joseki would not be satisfying.

After reading this, I realised that going for furikawari could be the way forward for me: I don't have to cling to a weak or unpromising position. I can trade, instead!

Yosu-miru (probe) is a very valuable technique, but one that I have struggled with for many years. I think I'm beginning to see the light now. A probe is a move that sets up aji at little cost - just like a kikashi. The classic mistake, at my level, is to become attached to one's probe moves. Perhaps you know what I mean: you play a probe and then desperately try to make it live. The better way is to use it sacrificially: you can use the threat to make it live as one prong of your miai fork, you can generate ko threats from it later, you can find out what part of the board your opponent desires most.

That's my brief run-down of what I've learned in the last month. Still, the words describe sequences and go strategies - they are not the sequences and go strategies themselves. On account of that, I am beginning to feel that the next big step in my learning programme will be to study real games critically. While the verbal texts in SCOG and A&D were indeed enjoyable, especially in A&D, what I really found valuable was the diagrams. I want to see how pro players use the stratagems; and I am also interested to see the mistakes amateurs make.

The other thing I want to focus more on in the future is practising my reading, but with the aim of consolidating my grip on the fundamentals. I have a number of tsumego books that I brought home from Japan. I used to read them with the emphasis on quantity over quality, but now I wish to interrogate each problem deeply, so as to get the fundamental shapes of life and death into my mind, and to be able to use them combinatorially. What is for sure is that I actually remember what I've been studying afterwards, whereas with the force-feeding approach I ended up wondering exactly what did I learn half an hour ago.

In that connexion, one little thing dawned on me. Up to now, I have tended to think "White, Black, White, Black" when reading. I now think that it's no good. I am now starting to believe that it's better to use the names of the moves: "kosumi, sagari, nobi, hane, warikomi" and so on. Somehow, I find it easier to keep track of the shapes when I do this, while the "W, B, W, B" approach just makes my head swim. I'm sure thinking in English is just fine, too, it's only that the Japanese words feel cleaner in my mind, perhaps because they do not have many other connotations for me. Maybe if I were Japanese, then using English would have the same effect for me.

To finish up my inaugural TAGS post. Here are some things I like:

Hikaru no Go - I love it. I watched it from start to finish recently, and was bowled over by just how very, very well done it is. The voice acting (in the Japanese version!), the detail and realism (I've been to the Nihon Kiin in Tokyo several times, and it looked just like it did in HNG), and the strength of the story. If one cannot be Hikaru, then one has to choose who else to be: a simple-minded go bully like Akota-san? (who nevertheless begins to redeem himself when he learns to treat others kindly), an irredeemable bully like Dake-san? a generous supporter of go like the owner of one of the go salons where Hikaru, Waya and Isumi play? a star-struck fanboy/girl like the chap who gets Honinbo Kuwabara's autograph in Sapporo? a deluded duffer like the pompous town official whom Akira trolls by setting up multiple jigo? a dedicated and strong amateur like the Dutch or American champion? There are so many characters in the story who are just like the ones you meet in real life. I feel a particular sympathy for Isumi, because I have had many struggles with my own emotions over the years; I only wish I could be strong like him!

In fact, I would go so far as to say that one of the main appeals - or compelling factors - of HNG is that there is a little bit of Hikaru, Akira, Isumi, Waya, Honda, Ochi, Dake, Akota, Shuhei, Kawai, Mr Ooijer, Pompous Town Official in us all. I can only speak for myself, but I'm sure we've all acted like Akota once or twice, even like Dake sometimes, and also had our moments of growth and triumph over the odds. And, last but not least, who has not felt some of the righteous indignation that Sai so frequently displays?

NHK Cup - great stuff!

Dwyrin's go lectures on Youtube - he is very witty and entertaining, although sometimes I find him a little bit too salty. I very much enjoy his real-board lectures and discussions of contemporary developments in pro go. I only wish that he would play against players of his own level more often. As we used to say at school: "Pick on someone your own size!". For sure, there is an education in seeing how a strong player handles the mistakes of a weaker one, but I would respect Dywrin even more if I could watch him play equally strong opponents, even if that would mean him losing half the time.

Brady's Blunders - A very brave and original idea.

Nick Sibicky's go lectures - Very lucid and entertaining.

Haylee's go channel - I met Haylee in Seoul back in 2008 and remember that she was very sweet and modest. It's wonderful to see her sharing her expertise on Youtube in such a charming way.

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:


This post by Tami was liked by 3 people: Bill Spight, Elom, Kirgan
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #2 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:37 am 
Lives in sente

Posts: 1247
Liked others: 562
Was liked: 364
Rank: AGA 4k KGS 2k
GD Posts: 61
KGS: dfan
Great post! A lot of it resonated with me too. One thing in particular:

Tami wrote:
Up to now, I have tended to think "White, Black, White, Black" when reading. I now think that it's no good. I am now starting to believe that it's better to use the names of the moves: "kosumi, sagari, nobi, hane, warikomi" and so on. Somehow, I find it easier to keep track of the shapes when I do this, while the "W, B, W, B" approach just makes my head swim. I'm sure thinking in English is just fine, too, it's only that the Japanese words feel cleaner in my mind, perhaps because they do not have many other connotations for me. Maybe if I were Japanese, then using English would have the same effect for me.

I recently switched from "White, Black, White Black" to "1, 2, 3, 4" and think that it has extended my reading ability a little bit. Since I don't visualize, it's a little hard for me to keep track of stones, and it makes it easier to be able to say "stone 5 is here" rather than "this point is White". Of course, you do have to remember that it's stone 5 from this variation, and not stone 4 from the previous variation...

I can see how naming moves can help with that part (and can also reinforce your "visualization", since you sometimes have to imagine future moves to say that move 5, say, is a wedge).


This post by dfan was liked by: Elom
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #3 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:18 am 
Judan

Posts: 7769
Liked others: 2125
Was liked: 2723
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W Corner White plays lightly to make sabaki
$$ ----------------------
$$ | . . . . X . . . . . .
$$ | . . . X . X O . . . .
$$ | . . . X X O . a . X .
$$ | . . X , O . b . . . .
$$ | . . . . O . . 1 . . .
$$ | . . . B . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . .[/go]


(Typo in graph corrected by adding :bc:.)

This is one of those book lessons, one that I learned in my first year of playing go. At some point I realized that I had never seen it in a pro game. ;) Usually because Black did not allow the kikashi.

Out of curiosity I checked Waltheri. No hits there, either. Tenuki was an option. Also "a" and "b", "b" being the move your mother warned you against. ;)

_________________
The Adkins Principle:

At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?

— Winona Adkins


This post by Bill Spight was liked by: dfan
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #4 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:27 am 
Lives in gote

Posts: 693
Location: UK
Liked others: 364
Was liked: 70
dfan wrote:
Great post! A lot of it resonated with me too. One thing in particular:

Tami wrote:
Up to now, I have tended to think "White, Black, White, Black" when reading. I now think that it's no good. I am now starting to believe that it's better to use the names of the moves: "kosumi, sagari, nobi, hane, warikomi" and so on. Somehow, I find it easier to keep track of the shapes when I do this, while the "W, B, W, B" approach just makes my head swim. I'm sure thinking in English is just fine, too, it's only that the Japanese words feel cleaner in my mind, perhaps because they do not have many other connotations for me. Maybe if I were Japanese, then using English would have the same effect for me.

I recently switched from "White, Black, White Black" to "1, 2, 3, 4" and think that it has extended my reading ability a little bit. Since I don't visualize, it's a little hard for me to keep track of stones, and it makes it easier to be able to say "stone 5 is here" rather than "this point is White". Of course, you do have to remember that it's stone 5 from this variation, and not stone 4 from the previous variation...

I can see how naming moves can help with that part (and can also reinforce your "visualization", since you sometimes have to imagine future moves to say that move 5, say, is a wedge).


Perhaps in addition to a tradition to make it easier for those replaying the game over radio in it's original form, move names are stated in the NHK cup because that's how pros hear their moves in their mind when they read.

_________________
On Go proverbs:
"A fine Gotation is a diamond in the hand of a dan of wit and a pebble in the hand of a kyu" —Joseph Raux misquoted.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #5 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:41 am 
Lives in sente

Posts: 1247
Liked others: 562
Was liked: 364
Rank: AGA 4k KGS 2k
GD Posts: 61
KGS: dfan
Is there a standard comprehensive list of the Japanese names for move types anywhere? Sensei's Library has a big list of Japanese terms but they're all mixed up. The closest thing I've seen to what I think I'm looking for is the list of 45 chapter titles in A Survey of the Basic Tesujis (choose "Look inside" and scroll down to the table of contents), although the Japanese term is not given for all of them.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #6 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:31 am 
Lives with ko

Posts: 139
Liked others: 11
Was liked: 29
@dfan

You are probably looking at something like the index of the book 501 tesuji problems. The 45 names are listed on senseis
https://senseis.xmp.net/?FiveHundredAnd ... jiProblems

_________________
If something sank it might be a treasure. And 2kyu advice is not necessarily Dan repertoire..


This post by bayu was liked by: dfan
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #7 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:46 am 
Lives in sente

Posts: 1247
Liked others: 562
Was liked: 364
Rank: AGA 4k KGS 2k
GD Posts: 61
KGS: dfan
Thank you! There is a lot of shared content between A Survey of the Basic Tesujis and 501 Tesuji Problems (unadvertised, unfortunately), so I bet it's the same list.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #8 Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:39 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 556
Location: Carlisle, England
Liked others: 196
Was liked: 339
IGS: Reisei 1d
Online playing schedule: When I can
dfan wrote:
Is there a standard comprehensive list of the Japanese names for move types anywhere? Sensei's Library has a big list of Japanese terms but they're all mixed up. The closest thing I've seen to what I think I'm looking for is the list of 45 chapter titles in A Survey of the Basic Tesujis (choose "Look inside" and scroll down to the table of contents), although the Japanese term is not given for all of them.


Being lovely, I decided to attempt to satisfy your request: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=15931

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:


This post by Tami was liked by: dfan
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #9 Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:06 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 556
Location: Carlisle, England
Liked others: 196
Was liked: 339
IGS: Reisei 1d
Online playing schedule: When I can
I'm within "touching distance" of getting back to my old KGS rank of 1k. But because I had a lot of sub-par games while de-rusting in July, I am of course affected by all those games I lost while down at 4k or 5k.

I think it's time for me to switch server. There's so much about KGS that I like, but I would like to see my rank go up, even if only temporarily, when I am doing well. That's encouraging and gives one an opportunity to play even with better players. The thing that I find quite frustrating on KGS is that when one is on the borderline of a promotion, it seems to take forever to rack up enough wins to get over that line; and of course one is more tense than usual, which means that dear old Bonzo gets more involved than he should.*

So what are the alternatives?

OGS - I have an account there and like the look of it. The only issue for me is that it still seems more focussed on correspondence play than live games.

Tygem - I haven't got an account. Is it worth the effort of setting it up? What would be an appropriate starting level for somebody around 1k on KGS?

Fox - is it any good?

IGS - I found the ratings/ranking system easier to understand than KGS, and I generally knew how much I needed to get over the promoting line in any given case. While I was learning the basics, IGS was about the only popular server around, and I used to get such a confidence boost every time I ranked up. What's more, I usually found that once I reached a new rank, I could usually manage to stay there and keep progressing. BUT it all feels so "crunky" compared with modern servers, and I'd love to have the option of playing byo yomi controls rather than Canadian system, and I don't know what to set for my starting rank either.

I want to play on a server that is friendly, has attractive software, has a large playing pool, has a rating system that one can understand and which offers fluidity to move up and down according to form, and that doesn't necessarily bombard me with gambling-related information.

Which server do you think best meets my needs?


* Search for my postings about The Chimp Paradox for more on Mr Bonzo the Limbic Brain

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #10 Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:36 am 
Dies in gote

Posts: 60
Location: France
Liked others: 9
Was liked: 8
Rank: FFG 1d
I would suggest Fox. Setting an account is easy, all you need is to find the right link to download the client. You promote (demote) if you win (lose) too many games over the last 20 you've played since you join that rank. In your profile you can easily track where you stand. Pool player is large. None of the Asian (fox, tygem, IGS, Wbaduk) is really friendly. Y'oure better off playing games there and then review them with friends on KGS/OGS.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #11 Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:41 am 
Dies in gote

Posts: 53
Liked others: 3
Was liked: 9
Rank: 1k
Hi,

I would recommend 3dan Tygem for a 1kyu KGS, which is the same ranks i have on those servers.
I presume Fox is about equivalent to Tygem ranks from what I've heard. Or start at 2dan to be conservative.

There is a GoPanda2 client for IGS which is quite nice, no one plays byo-yomi though. I do find I have more thinking time though with 1/10min Canadian, and get some serious games. 1kyu KGS = 1kyu/1dan IGS

Definitely give Tygem and Fox a try, it might take a few games to get used to the change in style of play :) I've had some of my most fun games there.

I keep thinking that hopping servers is like a gambler switching between betting shops. Not sure why the analogy has stuck in my mind. Mybe I'm trying to tell myself something....

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #12 Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:11 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 556
Location: Carlisle, England
Liked others: 196
Was liked: 339
IGS: Reisei 1d
Online playing schedule: When I can
nasdaq wrote:

I keep thinking that hopping servers is like a gambler switching between betting shops. Not sure why the analogy has stuck in my mind. Mybe I'm trying to tell myself something....


There is a crucial difference: you're not risking anything. Go may be addictive, but it is ultimately self-limiting, and in the meantime your marriage hasn't broken down, you've not lost your job, and you haven't stolen from your kids to support your habit.

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #13 Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:29 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 556
Location: Carlisle, England
Liked others: 196
Was liked: 339
IGS: Reisei 1d
Online playing schedule: When I can
I downloaded Tygem - but still can't bring myself to take a break from KGS! Meanwhile my graph inches upwards, weighed down by the games I played and lost horribly when I first returned after my three-year hiatus.

I've been looking back through my library of go books. I have many collections of tsumego of various types, and they're good fodder for practising with. As I now remember some of these tsumego books from when I bought them some 8 or 9 years ago, it is interesting to go through them again with a different approach. My emphasis is now on quality rather than quantity (deliberate practise indeed!), and I find that with my approach of mentally naming the moves when reading step-by-step that I can go a couple of plies further than before. I expect this kind of practise to translate eventually into the ability to read deeper in a flash. To continue the monkey model (okay, I do know that the Chimp is actually a great ape, but I like the word monkey better!), it seems to me that deliberate practise is what the Human does, while the computer is where the results are stored, to be used or abused by Human or Mr Bonzo as the situation goes.

Other things that I have been doing include looking at old games by Shusaku and Shuwa. I find Shuwa's style particularly attractive. Some of his manoeuvres are amazing. I feel that I'm coming to understand the meaning of sabaki, aji and miai better. Of course, these games make it look so easy: but at least they give some demonstration of how to put these concepts into effect.

Somehow, connected with this are some of the ideas Go Seigen presents in his A Way of Play for the 21st Century. I'm giving it the real board treatment, although I have read it before just as text and have commented on Sensei's Library about liking it. What is particularly resonating with me are some of the probe sequences he shows: it is astonishing to see just how much use he could extract from a single move - for instance, using it to set up a miai connection while invading nearby, or perhaps using it to expose weaknesses in the opponent's shape. Shuwa seems to do the same thing: he will play a move, abandon it temporarily, and then find ingenious ways to use it later.

Another thing Go Seigen's book illustrates for me is how to think about tenuki. In the third part of Chapter One, he shows an example in which White makes successive tenuki in order to develop rapidly over the entire board. The thing that struck home is that when Black followed up in those regions, White replied in a light way, aiming for sabaki. It is so easier for us amateurs to try and have our cake and eat it, to play tenuki and then expect full equality in the those areas when play returns to them.

Returning to Shuwa, again. Something else I noticed was how he deftly switches directions frequently. It reinforced the chapter on furikawari in Strategic Concepts of Go. If you don't have a good direct move - you can play somewhere else (tenuki) or you can play locally, but from a different direction. Then, your earlier move can function like a probe, supplying both information and aji.

And, if there is a "master principle", some over-arching generality that one can adhere to for comfort, then I would imagine that it is the directive to "think about the whole board". That's what I get from so many specific games and diagrams that I see - it's the endeavour to make the stones work together harmoniously; not just in forced sequences (as in tesuji), but over the entire position, so that what may be a concession in one way might be just right for the global picture.

Inspired by reading 361points.com, I have changed my attitude towards faster time limits. The big attraction is that a moderately quick time limit means that you can play more go, and try out more ideas, and - important for me - that having a game of go doesn't have to consume the entire evening. I'm coming to think a little bit of gentle time pressure can be constructive - knowing that you have to decide quickly means that you have to focus and get to the point. Often, in contrast, a slow game can result in pondering rather than real thinking and in such inefficiencies as second-guessing yourself, or worse still, trying to play "the one and only correct move".

I find that in quicker games (I like 5 minutes with 5 lots of 20 seconds byo yomi), I can be more relaxed and more willing to try different approaches. This is very important: I'm sure one reason for older adults not improving is frequently that conservatism tends to set in. You simply have to step outside your comfort zone if you want to get anywhere with anything in life. Also, I have the impression that a lot of variety close together is probably better than variety spread over a long time. It's easier to compare experiences if they're closer together.

There is, of course, a danger. Bonzo likes to play fast games, too. When fatigue sets in, the inner Chimp can take over before you know it. Still, so long as I maintain a reasonable attitude, I find it enjoyable and constructive.

Returning to the concept of "gentle time pressure". As you all know, I'm a musician. I do a lot of slow, thoughtful practise as a matter of course. But I equally value other kinds of practise, such as endeavouring to play a piece without stopping at tempo, and, natually, actually performing it in public. Such experience helps to make the transition from "Human" mode to "Computer" mode. Learned techniques become automatically executed skills in the crucible of performance. My theory, then, is that quick practise games can be that, if played in the right way.

As a post-script, I have played many thousands of 5-minute chess games online and in-person. I'm about 1900 Elo (my ECF is currently 168, but has been higher). I am certain that playing all that blitz has helped a lot. You read something in a book, and when it crops up a few times in blitz, you begin to get the hang of it, and then you're no longer in agony trying to remember what you read when that situation arises in a slow game.

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:


This post by Tami was liked by: Bill Spight
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #14 Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:09 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 556
Location: Carlisle, England
Liked others: 196
Was liked: 339
IGS: Reisei 1d
Online playing schedule: When I can
It can be tough to get the balance right. I have been looking for the ideal time control for a quick game, so that I can play as much go as possible. For a while, I experimented with 5 minutes and 5 lots of 20 seconds byo-yomi, but I found myself becoming emotional or, if not emotional, then not fully engaged (mindless playing).

So, I've switched to 5 and 5 lots of 30 seconds. It doesn't sound like a huge difference, but it does feel a little easier to focus properly.

Since I have not been playing very well, and have been prone to tilt, I decided to think from a slightly different angle. For a start, I've always felt that the opening was just the largest of my many weak areas, so I have decided to go through some games evaluating the openings through the lens of Yang Yilun's maxims as expounded in The Fundamental Principles of Go and also with reference to Mizokami's 30 Second Positional Judgement (30 Byou De Wakaru Kyokumen Handan), which John F. mentioned in a post entitled "A slew of books to consider". (Disclaimer: I don't own a copy: I just gleaned as much as I could from the free sample amazon.jp provides.) When playing, I think it's necessary to take a certain kind of leap of faith: to resist one's impulses, and to play the reasonable move. As for knowing what a reasonable move is, well, this is where perhaps my exercise could come in helpful: you look at a pro game, then when a move seems to go against one set of guidelines, you look for the reasons for it (for example, it may be tactical, or it may be that a special-case principle comes into place). Naturally, being a weak amateur, there's a good chance of getting it completely wrong, but at least it gets you thinking, and it's better (in my opinion), than just reading verbal advice. It is, in essence, a form of deliberate practise.

The virtue of this method is that you get a) verbal pointers and b) concrete examples that show you what such-and-such principle actually looks like in a real, well-played game.

Lamentably, I appear to possess a very special talent for choosing the worst possible move whenever confronted with a new joseki. It happened yet again in the game I have just played. But this is where the above-mentioned exercise actually came to the rescue. With tears in my eyes (I really was feeling despondent), I stuck to my plan to play in as principled a fashion thereafter as I could. And, against all my expectations, I actually managed to win the game.

This could be a foundation for some further growth: try to see what the situation is, and remember whatever proverbs, principles and real examples that I can that could be relevant, and then have the faith to play from that basis.

I have the faith, too, that I can become stronger. It's a matter of putting in the required effort. Certainly, this particular plateau has lasted for much longer than I would have liked, but it's worth trying to overcome it. When I started to play go, I decided that I would learn as much as I possibly could in order to excel at it. Go is one of the things that I believe to be worth the pain of acquiring real ability in.

And, in other news, I have produced the first draft of my other summer project. It was to have been a polychoral Magnificat, but ended up as a Jubilate Deo instead. Having done this, I can move into what I find the most enjoyable phase of composing music: the editing and refining stage. I find that my creativity is always very high when I know for certain that I have a new piece to offer, come what may. And this can be relevant to playing go, too. One of my favourite scenes in Hikaru no Go is in Episode 5,* in which Hikaru explains to Kaga that he just enjoys playing, because the placing of stones on the board make him feel like a creator god, devising his own universe. It is the same when you compose music: you gradually build up a new edifice with each note (stone) and pattern (joseki). Now, I just compose the music that I want to write. I think the same attitude might be good for playing go: just create the best position that you can with what you know, and don't let victory or defeat affect you unduly (in the same way, while I do get a great deal of satisfaction for hearing my music performed well and hearing that other people like it, I don't worry unduly if a piece is rejected).

And, yes, sometimes I don't exactly enjoy playing. If I'm frustrated with a mistake or with my lack of knowledge or my inability to comprehend a situation, then my inner Chimp really does screech. It's just that little-by-little, and with setbacks, I (Tamsin) am learning to maintain control.

* The music that accompanies this scene is wonderful. It is highly reminiscent of the Adagietta from Mahler's Fifth. The soundtrack is just one of the many superbly done elements in HnG.

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #15 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:16 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 556
Location: Carlisle, England
Liked others: 196
Was liked: 339
IGS: Reisei 1d
Online playing schedule: When I can
I've decided to concentrate on IGS and the other Asian servers from now on. Ironically, it was being promoted suddenly by KGS that prompted me to make the switch. Basically, I have never liked the way ranks are determined by KGS, and I have found it a real discouragement over the years. It rewards periods of improvement too slowly, and punishes tilt too heavily, and is just too jolly hard to understand. I don't even believe it fulfils its own purpose, which was to provide close games and achieve stability. My opponents tend to vary in strength considerably, and close games are no more frequent than 20+ wallopings. If I am doing well, I want to be rewarded. I don't want to be held back by how I was three months ago or by how my opponents are doing! Am I misguided to believe that rewards for making progress or achieving new insights are extremely helpful in making that progress more permanent? I also want the freedom to be able to try a new strategy with the knowledge that any failure and demotion won't take months, potentially, for me to correct. In short, I do care about my rank, as I use it to measure my progress in something that I would eventually like to be good at, and I don't feel it is unreasonable to wish for a ranking system that I can a) understand and b) gives me more short-term feedback. It irritated me to be promoted overnight last week when they adjusted the anchors - because it took away the pleasure of achieving that promotion for myself (which I was very close to anyway).

Besides, it seems to me that Tygem, Fox and even ancient IGS are where the action is these days.

As for go itself, my main thing recently was reading Yilun Yang's The Fundamental Principles of Go, which I have also reviewed here.

Also, I am revisiting an old idea of mine, viz., the Compass. I proposed on Sensei's Library the idea of using the cardinal points of the compass as a mental image for directing your own approach to go (or any other subject). The idea is that it is simple enough to hold and refer to from one's working memory, and can be used to give shape to one's thinking. In particular, my idea now is to use the Compass as a way of addressing specific issues that one discovers, either through reading, tuition or self-review.

Here is my current model:

N - Teamwork to Build (looking for big moves by seeing how the stones work together or against each other to create or deny growth potential)

W - Honte (as defined by Hane Naoki, "honte" means moves that are both necessary and have follow-up aim(s)

E - Be reasonable in fights (I found in my reviews that I tend to be greedy, allowing myself to be ripped off in certain scenarios)

S - Ko is the secret weapon of the player who holds a thick position (something that I found by reviewing some of Takagawa's games recently)

The main thing to bear in mind is that one's Compass is a personally constructed thing. It consists in those ideas that you are assimilating at this moment in time, and can be referred to flexibly when needed. It is not a checklist or "paper computer", but just an idea for navigating the ocean of concrete variations and situations that arise in every game.

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #16 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:07 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 584
Liked others: 42
Was liked: 137
Rank: 6-7k KGS
Quote:
Lamentably, I appear to possess a very special talent for choosing the worst possible move whenever confronted with a new joseki.


You're not alone. It seems as though every time I'm confronted by a move I haven't seen before and have to resort to playing from first principles, that's when things start to go wrong. :mad:

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #17 Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:45 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 556
Location: Carlisle, England
Liked others: 196
Was liked: 339
IGS: Reisei 1d
Online playing schedule: When I can
I've started playing around with streaming in the last few days. It certainly adds a bit of a frisson to the experience of playing online, and it is definitely harder than it looks. My original angle is to mix in a bit of chess with my go streaming.

Last night I attempted to incorporate a theme: "War and Peace". My idea was to play one game in a peaceful manner, and the other in a deliberately maximalist style. In go the peaceful manner meant not getting into avoidable fights, but rather just taking big points so long as it did not mean playing submissively (there is a difference between avoiding fighting and just obeying orders). In chess, the idea was to play prophylactically: keeping the position stable and healthy, and wait for the opponent to overextend before taking advantage thereof at a later stage. Conversely, the maximal approach to go was to have been to try and play the biggest point, no matter what the risks - if I had to fight to get what I wanted, then I would fight. I don't mean just being an unreasonable clown by this, but rather being uncompromising: i.e., if one is leading by 10, then it would not do to win by 9. In chess, I meant going for middlegame checkmate.

What was interesting for me was to discover how hard it can be even to stick to one single "strategy" in a real game. The first go started peacefully enough, but after I misread something in an early corner exchange, I found myself in serious trouble - and the only way out was to "shake" the game by attacking violently and stretching my groups to the limit. I won, but I should not have done. The "peaceful" chess game started off quietly enough, but my opponent more or less invited me to launch a sacrificial mating attack. Even Petrosian (my favourite chess player) would flatten his opponents like a juggernaut if they asked for it, after all.

The second go game was meant to be warlike, and followed the "script" somewhat more closely, but with the lamentable ending of me losing by 8.5 (I am playing at 2k on IGS and was white up against a 3k, to whom the server made me give a 5.5 reverse komi). It was difficult indeed to make decisions about exchanges while talking and fending off sleepiness (past midnight and apres sauna). The second chess game was supposed to have seen me playing like Rambo, and I played the Najdorf as Black to this end, but found me stoically avoiding his attack, and just mopping up when he went too far.

It was a lot of fun for me, even if I only had one viewer LOL (and that was only for a short time!). I consider it a kind of practise. The lesson was that go (and chess) is a two-player game: the situation is always changing, and you cannot inflexibly play according to a pre-conceived strategy, be it ever so simple an idea.

There will be more streaming, but for the time being they will be live-only. I'm not prepared to upload footage until I'm a bit more polished in my presentation. It's probably the way that I'm wired, but I am not much of a multi-tasker (even though I am a girl). I don't know how my brain processes work most of the time, and trying to describe them in situ seems to interrupt the mechanism, but perhaps the more streaming I do, the more I will find a viable modus operandi.

I think we are in a very exciting era in go. Since I came back, I have seen the game is changing before our very eyes in the wake of the AI revolution. I don't know how Go Seigen did it, the flexibility of his play and various ideas of his that I've read or read about seem to have be truly prescient. The new go seems to be much more flexible and open-ended: probe and counter-probe, plays across the whole board, escalation rather than settlement. Even at my lowly level, it's not the same game I was playing five or six years ago!

And talking of different games: I am glad that I have started playing on servers other than KGS. For a start, I don't worry if I lose a game on IGS, as it's not going to cause me some incalculable cost, and I know that if my vanquisher went on to have a bad day then he's not going to drag me down in his wake. Same with Tygem and Fox. And the style on each server is subtly different: KGS players do, indeed, seem somewhat textbook (although the above-mentioned flexibilty seems to be percolating through to it), while IGS players seem to love the influence, while my limited experience of Fox and Tygem suggests an almost comical love of FIGHTING. It is almost as if Fox, Tygem, IGS and KGS each other a completely different game, but played with the same equipment.

I'm coming to believe that a good way to approach learning is to "learn and forget". Study hard, study casually, study here and study there - and then forget about it. What will remain is a kind of residual knowledge that will serve you well when you need it. Sometimes, the more you try to improve, the more you get in your own way. There is a lot to be said for simply taking in as much data as you can, and then leaving it to the unconscious mind to sort out over the months and years. I reviewed Yang Yilun's Fundamental Principles of Go recently: it's full of specific principles and full of concrete variations. I remember them pretty well, but I feel that they will do me the most good when I don't remember them at all. By this, I mean that I won't be effortfully recalling the variations during the game, but rather the appropriate ideas will be coming to me effortlessly - because I've already done the work. That's what I mean by learn and forget. Who actually remembers what's in a language textbook once you can speak a language? Do any of you non-English speakers ever think about the days when you laboriously wrote "I would like a pen" in your copybooks? I certainly don't think about the days of "Sumimasen. Shitsurei shimasu. Eki ha doko desu ka" very often or even "Yasui uisuki ga amari suki deha arimasen" (from Japanese in 30 Days, by the way, a highly recommended book for beginners).

I'm now 1k again on KGS, and seem about right at 2k on IGS (and this matches the Worldwide Rank Comparison Chart on Sensei's Library). I think as this summer draws to a close, and I have to start focussing my energies primarily on my work, that I can safely say that I've succeeded in de-rusting myself, have acquired a new passion for the game, got over the fear of losing, and can feel a definite sense of development in my play. And I've discreetly assisted two people in their own go journeys. So job well done. Feel free to pat me on the back!

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:


This post by Tami was liked by 3 people: Bill Spight, BlindGroup, Elom
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #18 Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:01 am 
Judan

Posts: 7769
Liked others: 2125
Was liked: 2723
Tami wrote:
The first go started peacefully enough, but after I misread something in an early corner exchange, I found myself in serious trouble - and the only way out was to "shake" the game by attacking violently and stretching my groups to the limit. I won, but I should not have done.


Of course you should have. You upped your game and met the challenge. As Victor Mollo says, par is an unworthy goal. ;) Omedetou!

Quote:
I think we are in a very exciting era in go.


Me, too. :)

Quote:
Since I came back, I have seen the game is changing before our very eyes in the wake of the AI revolution. I don't know how Go Seigen did it, the flexibility of his play and various ideas of his that I've read or read about seem to have be truly prescient. The new go seems to be much more flexible and open-ended: probe and counter-probe, plays across the whole board, escalation rather than settlement. Even at my lowly level, it's not the same game I was playing five or six years ago!


The 20th century was the century of Go Seigen. Not only was he a towering presence as a player, he changed the way everybody else played. The 21st century will be the century of AI.

Quote:
I'm coming to believe that a good way to approach learning is to "learn and forget". Study hard, study casually, study here and study there - and then forget about it. What will remain is a kind of residual knowledge that will serve you well when you need it. Sometimes, the more you try to improve, the more you get in your own way. There is a lot to be said for simply taking in as much data as you can, and then leaving it to the unconscious mind to sort out over the months and years. I reviewed Yang Yilun's Fundamental Principles of Go recently: it's full of specific principles and full of concrete variations. I remember them pretty well, but I feel that they will do me the most good when I don't remember them at all.


That's a good strategy. :) From what I've read recently, a good time to review is when you have almost forgotten what you are reviewing. That's a good trick if you can do it. ;)

_________________
The Adkins Principle:

At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?

— Winona Adkins

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #19 Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:22 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 556
Location: Carlisle, England
Liked others: 196
Was liked: 339
IGS: Reisei 1d
Online playing schedule: When I can
Well, I'm just streaming and recording my streams as a way of practising my simultaneous playing and presenting skills. It's not at all easy for me. It's even a little mortifying to think that Haylee can not only play go to a vastly higher standard while explaining it, but she can also do that while explaining in a second language. I think her English is better than mine, at least when I'm trying to play go! Hats off, too, to Peter Svidler, who can play chess beautifully while giving a wonderfully witty English commentary.

Perhaps I shall attempt to stream while explaining in Japanese. That should be hard - and it will definitely be funny.

Anyway, this is the first of my live streams that I'm happy to share. My twitch handle is gotamsin, in case you're interested in following me.



I was pleased with this effort for three reasons:

1) I managed to keep up a fairly cogent commentary
2) I kept my cool when things went wrong (as they usually do when I stream go)
3) I made a prediction - and it came to pass (just call me "Nostratami")

If you know more about SLOBS (the software I use to stream to Twitch), please could suggest how it is that I only get the Panda Egg display once I start playing? I wanted the webcam and tip jar and chat box to be shown, too.

Any tips on how I could improve my style? If I can't be very instructive, I would like to make it fun. What are the good points? What are the weaknesses?

Thanks!

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Think and Grow Strong
Post #20 Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:18 am 
Lives in gote
User avatar

Posts: 556
Location: Carlisle, England
Liked others: 196
Was liked: 339
IGS: Reisei 1d
Online playing schedule: When I can
I shall do another stream at 2PM on Wednesday, 5 Sept (UK time).

I'm finishing off the holiday with O Meien's Zone Press Park. I'll write a review soon. It's a very hard book in some ways, but it's a welcome counter-balance to the other things that I have read over the Summer.

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:

Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group