Hiya. My name is Paul Thordarson, and I'm a 24 year old student at MIT (in hiatus till I get money so I can go back and finish my undergraduate thesis!!!!!!!). I played Go once a real long time ago knowing just the basic rules and none of the strategy with someone else the exact same (Game play started around Tengen and then radiated outwards. :-) ). I'm now about 1 kyu AGA, and about 3k on KGS depending on how well I am playing, I find it easy to not take games over the internet as seriously at times and make silly mistakes at times.
I enjoy discussing Go with anybody, regardless of the topic. I'm also eager to get more people to play this wonderful game. I'm trying to teach my 8 year old sister, but it is proving a little difficult. Any suggestions?
I can be reached at mailto://email@example.com
Have fun and don't listen to Snappy
Here is a GameIWantBack
Here is a list of books I've read and liked:
- The Learn To Play Go series vol 2-4: These were the first books I read. I was advised against reading the first book if I already knew the basic rules of the game. These books were excellent. Very easy to read, and they do a wonderful job of pulling the lowest of beginners up to a level of basic competancy where they can avoid basic beginner mistakes, understand advice, and appreciate games at some level even if they are played at a rank way above them. I'd recommend them to anyone who is just learning Go.
- The Direction Of Play: My favorite book on Go I've read so far. It a most profound effect on my thinking and the way I approached the game as a whole and each move. It is full of sage advice and opens your mind to whole board thinking. I swear my strength jumped more then five stones after reading this book. I can't guarentee it will have the same effect on anyone else, but it's a must read if you have a decent grasp of Go fundamentals.
- The Chinese Opening: A very specific book, but definitely a good thing to read. Does a good job showing how to play the Chinese Opening effectively, as well as play against it. Probably a useful thing to know as it is widely used and goes slightly against conventional fuseki strategy.
- Positional Judgement: This book is a little dry and not the most enjoyable read, but it is definitely helpful in learning to estimate the score and approxomate the values of territories and moyos.
- Strategic Concepts of Go: This is a truely wonderful book. I'd continually brushed over it, thinking it would have the kind of basics that I'd already read about but I was dead wrong. It's full of a bunch of advanced concepts such as aji, kikashi, and yosumiru as well as a bunch of great problems to help you learn these concepts. I highly reccomend this book.
Here is the most /Bizarre Game I've played I think.
Random question, to anyone who might stumble up this.... Last year at this time, I was still NR* on IGS (two ranks below 30k*), now my club rating is definitely at least 5 kyu. Up until now, I've been reading a bunch of books, doing some problems here and there, occasionally reviewing a game or getting it reviewed. My question is, if I started seriously pursuing it, would I have any chance of reaching pro in the next 7 years? (i.e. before 30) Because I'd really like to try if it's possible but I'm not sure if I could afford the time if I don't at least have a shot.
JamesA: Realistically, there's no chance. The number of pros in each of Korea, Japan and China number only in the hundreds. This is in countries where there are literally millions of go players and where a 10 year old child will often be a dan player. It's really too late for us 20+ year old kyu players I think. Anyway, why not just enjoy being an amateur player - from what I've heard professional play is a very stressful way to earn a living!
As another example, the strongest player in Britain (for about 20 years running!) took about a year to get from 1k to 3dan, and he is still below the standard of pros now. At 5kyu, a pro would be able to give you 9 stones and still thrash you without needing to think. They really are incredible players! (I say this having been destroyed by Haruyama 9dan with 7 stones - I realised the difference then!)
That said, anything is possible I guess but I'd start by aiming to beat 3kyus, then 1kyus, then 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 dans. Then start thinking about whether to become a pro.
Arno: I agree that the odds are against you. When I was 3kyu, a 5dan told me how lucky I am still having room for improvement (I went from 20kyu to 5kyu in about a year, from 5kyu to 3kyu in a year, and from 3kyu to 1dan in 3 years). If someone is good at board games (chess, go, ....) than I think with regular play they can become 2-4d depending on ability. 5dan already needs some serious study. In order to become 6d you have to work hard and devote much time to it (i.e. Go becomes your only hobby, you study 3-4 hours/day). 7d (=1p) can only be reached if you have a pro sensei teaching you. OTOH, I don't know you personally, so you might be the 1 in a million genius who becomes 1p within 7 years by his own. For comparison: pros usually start playing at age 5-6 and become 1p at age 12-14. And they study 8/hours per day (or more). Add to this that children usually learn stuff easier than adults .... Just my $0.02.
Mark Wirdnam: Hi. Just in case you're interested, there's an article about Catalin Taranu, one of the very few westerners to become pro, here. Some facts about when he started playing go and how he improved are mentioned.
BillSpight: Paul, your progress is about the same as mine when I started. I think that reasonable goal is AGA shodan next year, and eventually AGA 5 or 6 dan.
Your main bar to progress is the bad habits you may pick up or already have. Books won't tell you about yourself. I believe that there are one or two pros living in your area. Take lessons.
Tamsin: Well, after all the (slightly) discouraging remarks above, I'd like counter with a famous quotation attributed to Sir Winston Churchill: "Never, never, never, never give up!" Sometimes people succeed against all the odds. Please do your best and show 'em what you're made of.
Sorry, I'm being shy and am not posting this to the Hikaru No Go/Archive but... The American anime companies have not used fansubs to "get a good feel" of the anime scene for many years. In fact, most are now directly or indirectly involved in anime production, and thus see the anime long before it even airs on TV. Moreover, fansubs, by the letter of the law, are illegal as Japanese copyright laws grant exclusive translation, distribution and reproduction rights of broadcast audio/video to the creator. (See the Japanese Copyright Law, Articles 21 through 28. Hikaru no Go is protected according to Article 9 (Scope of Application: Broadcasts). Read it for yourself at http://www.cric.or.jp/cric_e/clj/clj.html.
Feel free to use this information however you want, or just delete it. It doesn't particularly matter in the long run, I suppose. --Cookie3
hey Thor, your email isn't working!!
cliftut: Hello! Sorry to add stuff to your page, but I just realized that I may have been the person you mentioned on the User Created Go Slang page; the one that was "cooking the chicken"! I'm not sure, but if you could point me to the person who mentioned that to you, we could find out if the game is in my KGS game list. I'm extremely curious now! (I've got a section on my page for comments and stuff, you can respond there if you prefer that over responding here.) That made me laugh a lot, because I could very well be the source of that term. ^_^ Regardless, it's hilarious.