Resides near: Washington, DC
Languages: English, some Italian & Spanish
I began playing Go in a coffeehouse around 1994, and remained a poor casual player for a long time. From the beginning I was fascinated with the game on a conceptual level, to the detriment of practical improvement. It still has the taste of a Borges story to me.
I haven't played or studied seriously since my first year, because I couldn't find a real life opponent in college (I went to a very small liberal arts college), and lost my motivation. My work is in the arts, and currently leaves me enough time to make the game a serious part of my life again.
Around 2003, the guy who first taught me to play Go took me to a local club (I had just moved back to DC from New York). There I played against a 15-year-old who was drooling on himself while drinking a cup of Mountain Dew approximately the size of a bucket. Since the boy's father seemed not to notice, I decided I would not notice either, and never showed up again.
My early study of the game left a lot of holes in my foundation (perhaps everyone is like this), but it also planted some seeds which are proving quite hard to eradicate. I approached the game with an overly metaphysical mindset, and my first teacher encouraged my bad habit of reading 20 moves deep to find a subtle stratagem with a 10% chance of success. (He called it a knack for tesuji; but it has always been accompanied by a lack of proper basics.)
In any case, I always looked at the goban with an eye toward its beauty, smitten with Go mythology. Now I wonder if it is more like kung fu, and if the history of English translation has obscured the matter. I.e., perhaps "knight's move" conveys the wrong notion; perhaps "slanted stance" is a metaphor in the more culturally accurate direction, conveying an image of future-tense action rather than a move which has done its moving.
I think the imagination behind our understanding-- the imagination which powers it-- is often what we use to make decisions.
Recent correspondence with a friend in Aikido (Jan. 2011) confirms my suspicion that kyusho (vital point) is the general term for "pressure point"-- as may also be confirmed by searching Wikipedia for "kyusho."
Pages/Topics I like on SL
- Biggest Corner-- I wish I had exercises like this in the very beginning
- LameDuGo-- Did I miss something, or is this superficially simple approach indeed quite profound?
- Malkovich Game-- An idea I'd like to (modify and) pursue
Regarding your comments on Sakata's page:
 ajs3: Isn't Cho Chikun a Korean player? Perhaps "Among professional players" is better wording.
Hyperpapeterie: He plays in Japan--the comparison is number of Japanese titles. Cho has also lived in Japan continually since he was 6, so in every sense but the literal one of "where are you born" or "who are your parents", he is Japanese. You might see John's anecdote for how Cho sees himself: http://senseis.xmp.net/?Oteai%2Fdiscussion.
In any case, this has been done to death elsewhere on sensei's, though I can't figure out where. O Rissei's page is one place, though it probably doesn't belong there. I don't think Sakata's page is the place for the discussion.
ajs3: I agree that Sakata's page isn't the place for discussion; but neither is it the place for a misleading statement. "Among Japanese professionals" does imply that Cho, and not just his career, is Japanese. I don't see why the word is included at all. If it must be retained, then I would edit to "Among professionals in Japan."
Hyperpapeterie: Well, it's not necessarily misleading. It will only mislead people who both don't know Cho Chikun is Korean by birth and assume that the relevant classification is Japanese born players, rather than players who are recognized as professionals by Japanese go associations. So the complaint is pretty minor.
If you'd like to change it to "Japanese affiliated professionals" I won't mess with your edit. I do think it's unwieldy writing, an obnoxious thing to insist on and pointless.
ajs3: I agree: it's unwieldy writing (it's also not mine). But my suggestion as a professional editor is to clarify the matter by providing correct information which cannot easily be misinterpreted. "People who don't know Cho is Korean by birth" includes a lot of readers, especially new ones.
Perhaps what's needed is a review of the SL conventions regarding these items.