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 Post subject: Needo's Nonsense
Post #1 Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:13 pm 
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I'm starting this go journal to keep me motivated in my pursuit of a better game.  Although I enjoy playing go presently, from past experience, I have found that I enjoy games even more when I am good at them.  With that in mind, I will earnestly pursue 3 Dan before dementia sets in.  I really hope this can be done within 20 years.  I am afraid that after age 70, I will cease to see any improvement.  Yeah that's right, I'm 50 now.  That is the least of my impediments to achieving this goal.  My biggest problem is I don't like work.  I will have to trick myself into thinking that I am playing.  I also hate loosing with every fiber in me.  I still can't enter a serious game without concentrating on not shaking.  This doesn't  just happen with go.  When I was playing before, I let this last problem prevent me from playing enough games to see real improvement.

I started playing go shortly before turning 42 years old.  I played for about 30 months before taking a break.  Work became really hectic after getting promoted.  During the 2.5 years of play I only managed to raise my rating to 11 kyu  on the KGS server.  It's 6 years later l, and after 2 weeks of play I am right back at 11 kyu.  I still don't know if I should be encouraged by or disgusted by this.  It's too much work to think about anyway.  I probably would  have returned to playing earlier, but I felt like I was playing in a vacuum.  There were no clubs within 3.5 hours of where I live.  I don't have the schedule to start such a club.  Even if I did have the schedule, it wouldn't work because I have the leadership of an anchor. 

Last week, I found out that Robert Holeman did start a go club in Amarillo a little over a year ago.  They have a Facebook group and are listed in the AGA and have weekly meetings.  This has probably motivated me to play more than anything else.  I just found out about the club a week before the 4th of July.  And, I made it back to town 3 hours late due to work.  I hope to make this next meeting and actively participate when work permits.

Now for the plan!

(1) spend at least 5 hours per week studying. (mostly tsumego)

(2) loose 30 games each month.  If I make this a goal, I think it will help me stay motivated to play without worrying too much about rank.  My slow progress last time was definitely due to not playing enough games.

(3) review every game and make it a point to find my larger mistakes.  I plan to post some of these reviews in this thread to give me something to track my progress by.  I would also like to see how my thoughts change over time.

I am pretty sure that this plan isn't enough to get me to my initial goal.  But, I think this will be a good place to start and see if I can build up any discipline while still having fun.


This post by Needo was liked by 2 people: Jika, yakcyll
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Post #2 Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:01 am 
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:)

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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #3 Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:04 pm 
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I don't understand how I can be so schizophrenic. Both of these games are against the same bot on the same day a little over 8 hours apart. I did spend about 2.5 hours studding contact fights by Bruce Wilcox in between games. And, I only have a weak grasp of the intermediate concepts at the moment. I think when I get on these loosing games I get in the mode of trying to secure territory too early instead of developing a larger moyo early on. If I could figure out what my difference in mindset is and follow the better one, I think I can improve by 2 stones easily.





I should have done a croscut on move 23 for the first game and set a different tone. As it was, it just looks like I am playing scared for the rest of the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #4 Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:32 pm 
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1) In the first game, some moves you played were very slow. Can you find them?

2) I think you should play against humans, and not bots.

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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #5 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:33 am 
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One general thing I would point out from a very quick skim is that almost every move you made was very close to your opponent's previous move. Basically you were always telling your opponent that it had sente, whether it really deserved it or not. It is very difficult to win playing like that.

I also agree that you should play humans rather than bots.

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Post #6 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:42 am 
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Hi Needo,

My $0.02:
Two angles on a certain tendency:

- follow-itis, ( thanks to Bill ); you follow your opponent, like a lost puppy;

- another way to think about it ( thanks to a friend ): Go is like a conversation, of opinions: yours and your opponent's: with each move, each of you states, "I think this is the biggest ( or most valuable ) move atm." Now, if you follow your opponent a lot, or most of the time, you're saying you agree with its opinion on many or most of its moves. It says, "This is the most valuable move ( or region ) atm," and you simply agree with it, most of the time; it's like you have no opinion of the board independent of your opponent.

See if this helps you evaluate the board on each move, critically, independently. :)

I think it's OK to play humans or bots, as long as you learn from the games.


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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #7 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:56 am 
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A few comments. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #8 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:00 pm 
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I want to thank everyone that replied. I did a quick recap on the analysis of the first 100 moves in each game.

1st game:
Followitis:9,11,15(better at k4),17,29,33,35,59,69,79,97

Slow:5,45,55,69,79,97,99

Not Following BW: "BW" is short for Bruce Wilcox.

Should have x-cut on 23(always pick a fight when you have familly to help)
N11 was a half-hearted attempt at attacking the cut at o9. N10 was the right move here.
I think move 87 at G4 was actualy a good containment move.
95 would have been better at D2(failure to understand life and death)


2nd game:
Followitis:5,7,13,23,25,29,33,45,79,81,

Slow:9,15,53(J13 would be better),63,73,75,79(wasted move that group was super-stable)

Not Following BW:9,65(bambo join more effecient),71(what is with the Mty triangles? S7 much better),93(bamboo better)


:b47: actualy planned on sacrificing the K14 stone to get the cut.
:b87: :b89: aimed at capturing O8 group as well as last stones played.


The same faults were found in both games in about the same proportion. The only difference, (besides luck) was my attitude in the 2nd game. In that game I actually had a few concrete goals and even intentionally sacrificed a stone to get a specific result. I think the followitis is going to be very tough for me to break. I wasn't even aware of how bad it was until you all pointed it out.

As for playing bots: I wasn't ready to deal with the extra dimension that people bring to the game. Loosing feels more personal, and opponents actually have motives that add extra strengths and weakness to the game. I was hoping to get the mechanics partially figured out before jumping into the deeper end of the pool. Ultimately, I will have to play other people to experience a richer game. For now, it feels like the difference between a 9x9 board and a 19x19 board. I do plan on spending more time against people than bots in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #9 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:34 pm 
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Game 1 Followitis:

:b17:, :b29:, :b31:, :b35:, :b37:, :b41:, :b43:, :b45:, :b51:, :b53:, :b59:, :b63:, :b67:, :b69:, :b71:, :b77:, :b79:

And others, I suppose. :)

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Post #10 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:07 pm 
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Quote:
followitis is going to be very tough for me to break.
Old habits die hard... one search returns dating back to before 1450.

Robert's phrasing is "disobey your opponent" ( caveat: when it's good for you, obviously. )

Again, it means you evaluate the board on every turn as best you can.
Quote:
9,11,15,17,29,33,35,59,69,79,97
Quote:
( :b17:),( :b29:), :b31:,( :b35:), :b37:, :b41:, :b43:, :b45:, :b51:, :b53:, ( :b59:), :b63:, :b67:,( :b69:), :b71:, :b77:,( :b79:)
6/17 ~= 35%

2 steps:
- increase your awareness ( pattern recognition ) of the slow, followitis moves ( toward 100% );
- prune them ( toward 0% ); play faster, better moves.

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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #11 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:14 pm 
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Slow moves in game 1:

:b5: was not slow. A rule of thumb is that corners are big, so making a corner enclosure like your move 5 is always big.

:b95: was also slow. Since corners are big, you should have played around D2 to protect your corner and try to kill the F2 group.

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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #12 Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:05 pm 
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Mid-week update and some thoughts:

I have already put in 11 hours of study in this week so far and I am still on track to get my 30 losses in for the month. I finally made it to our local go club meeting in Amarillo. It was every bit as enjoyable as I thought it would be. I found out that helping newer players is nerve wracking in its on way. I want to bring them up to speed as fast as possible. But, I also want them to have fun so that they will keep coming and get better. This is a tough balancing act that is made harder by the fact that I don't understand most people very well. In addition to helping a new player Improve on a 9x9 board, I did get to play a serious game with no handicap. Ignoring a pincer in the corner turned out to be a bigger no no than I thought it would be. This might be a bad habit that I have gotten from playing bots. I am going to have to bite the bullet and not play bots for the rest of this month. I did notice one other side effect that came from taking a 6 year break from go. My ability to read tsumego problems has deteriorated significantly. I feel like one of the victims from "Scanners" when trying to do life and death problems. The only thing I'm missing is the nose bleed. I hope after a few months that this will get easier. I still can only get about 60% of the answers right in the "Contact Fights" course. This tells me that I still don't understand his book. I think that once I understand the lessons, I will have a big platform to start building my game. I sure hope I can laugh at this post when I look at it a year from now.

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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #13 Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Needo wrote:
Mid-week update and some thoughts:

I have already put in 11 hours of study in this week so far and I am still on track to get my 30 losses in for the month. I finally made it to our local go club meeting in Amarillo. It was every bit as enjoyable as I thought it would be.


:D

Quote:
I found out that helping newer players is nerve wracking in its on way. I want to bring them up to speed as fast as possible. But, I also want them to have fun so that they will keep coming and get better. This is a tough balancing act that is made harder by the fact that I don't understand most people very well.


Go provides a good balancing act: handicaps. Play newer players with proper handicaps, so that they win half the time. That provides a good challenge for learning. And it's fun. :) Besides that, answer their questions.

Quote:
I still can only get about 60% of the answers right in the "Contact Fights" course. This tells me that I still don't understand his book. I think that once I understand the lessons, I will have a big platform to start building my game. I sure hope I can laugh at this post when I look at it a year from now.


It sounds like Contact Fights provides a good learning challenge for you. :) Good luck!

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Post #14 Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:30 pm 
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Quote:
It sounds like Contact Fights provides a good learning challenge for you. :) Good luck!
Yes. :tmbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #15 Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:53 pm 
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I can't wait until I learn how to read, so that I don't do moves like 121 again.



Still concentrating on followitis, slow moves, and applying contact fights. I'm not doing too well on the last part.
Followitis:19,95,99

Slow:17(had to repair the gap),67,69 unnecessary peep,

Not Following Bruce Wilcox:21(mty triangle should have played B7),73 butting heads against stable string,77 adding to stable group(didn't want to give him eye space),79 bending against stronger group

some of the moves might look like followitis because I am trying to continue the contact until stable


On the bright side I am well on my way to achieving my monthly and weekly goals that I have initially set for myself.


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Post #16 Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:37 pm 
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Hi Needo,
Quote:
I can't wait until I learn how to read, so that I don't do moves like 121 again.
That's good.

:w21: Can you find a better local move. ( Your empty triangle :w21: is a red flag. )
Quote:
Not Following Bruce Wilcox: 21 (my triangle should have played B7)
Not quite. Please try again.
B9 push-forward. ( B7 is "timid, pull-back feeling"; B9 is more work, but a good foundation shape to pick up. )
Can you see if :black: also gets B9, :black: makes a good shape with the tiger's mouth;
thus B9 is a "local, shared, key point" -- both :black: and :white: want it.
:w35: Your top right corner in dire condition. Tenuki requires reading of the Life-and-death here.
Quote:
some of the moves might look like followitis because I am trying to continue the contact until stable
:w53: follow-itis...(?); did you play :w53: because you count only 3 liberties for your R4 string ?
( This is an exception where more contact is worse off for you.
One way to fix your local shape is S2, instant life; another candidate is N2 hane. )

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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #17 Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:58 pm 
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Move :w17: was necessary because :w7: should have been at B4.

Is your corner alive after :b34: ?

For :w37: I would have chosen the other hane at R4, this connects your two stones better.

After :w57: the cut at R3 looks problematic.

I don't think the peep :w69: was bad, it helps you to escape. On the other hand :w71: was slow. Your :w69: stone doesn't need to be saved.

:w79: was necessary if you want to keep some hope to save your corner...

...however, is your corner alive if Black 148 were at T15?

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 Post subject: Re: Needo's Nonsense
Post #18 Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:16 am 
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Top of the head comments:

:w11: B-05. White is secure and cannot be cut.

:w21: B-09. Black cannot cut White in two.

:w36: Q-18. Save the group in the corner.

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Post #19 Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:13 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Not quite. Please try again.
I just saw that by playing B9 i was still safe from the B7 cut.


EdLee wrote:
did you play :w53: because you count only 3 liberties for your R4 string ?

I t was because of the 3 liberties. Also it was a hugely misguided attempt at protecting my R8 group. Now looking at it, I just made things worse.

jlt wrote:
Is your corner alive after :b34: ?
I thought It was. But with Two other players questioning move :w35: I am not so sure now. The reading is further than what I can do now. But I think that I will make a life and death problem out of it to further explore why it is or isn't alive.

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Post #20 Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:02 am 
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Needo wrote:
I thought It was. But with Two other players questioning move :w35: I am not so sure now. The reading is further than what I can do now. But I think that I will make a life and death problem out of it to further explore why it is or isn't alive.

Scratch that! After looking at :b148: at T15, I was dead If I didn't use :w35: to secure life.

I really need to learn how to read! I guess that means more tsumego for me. :study:

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