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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.


This post by Ian Butler was liked by: fireproof
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 Post subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
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 subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
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 subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
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 subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
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 subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
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 subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
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 subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
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 subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
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 subject: Re: Ian Butler's Journal
Post #10 Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:26 am 
Oza
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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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