The big day has come and gone. I met a friend at the local pub for some Scotch and Go. I'm trying to teach him the game and hoping I will be able to develop a local opponent.
I gave him 4 stones on a 13x13 board and then lots of advice. He's currently stuck in the phase where he takes a long time to play but isn't thinking anything useful. I remember being in that position, where I'd picture playing a stone at various points on the board with no idea of what would happen. Thinking about this more doesn't help. The only thing to do is to play, see what happens and play again.
Also exciting is the beginning of the CGA Handicap League on KGS, or CLIG. Unlike the ASR league where I play even games this league uses a handicap system for weaker players. It's also a much smaller league than ASR's Delta division. ASR is good for finding matches at any time, but I'm looking forward to having all members of my division in my buddy list.
I would describe my progress as slow and steady. I've been trying to play a game a day in the ASR league. These games are reviewed which is great. I've also been working through Graded Go Problems, Vol III. I've been re-doing the first section only. Some I've started to memorize but I try to read to confirm my answer. As long as I remember to do that in a game I should be fine.
I did buy the first season of Hikaru No Go on iTunes. I found the manga after discovering Go but I still enjoy it. I'm watching it with my four year old daughter, hoping it will make her want to play. It's been only somewhat effective. She doesn't play Go, but she plays with my board and stones. Sometimes she sets out "puzzles" for me like I tried with her. Other times she wants to make shapes with the stones and then bring dolls in to make a play-set. I try to be indulgent, I want her to have good experiences so that I don't drive her away, but last time she wanted to go straight to the dolls. I tried to make an exchange, she plays the game and then we play with dolls, but it didn't work out.
After a day off for some other gaming I was back on KGS and ready to play another ASR league game. This time I played someone who estimated their rank to be 2k. I felt really unsure how best to respond to my opponent's pincers to get the result I wanted. In the review my opponent suggested taking the corner. I'm not sure about giving my opponent so much outside influence. They also made a point about preventing a large reduction of my framework was bigger than making a small reduction in my opponent's framework, which I agreed with.
I'm starting to think I really need to begin recognizing common joseki so I have at least a chance of making the exchanges I want.
Wow, it's been a long time. As normal I tried to teach someone the game and it made me remember how much I loved the game. This is normal for me. I get excited, play for a while and then move on. I can't say it won't happen again, but I'm hopeful I'll be able to keep up some level of activity.
This time I am playing more online games than I ever managed before. I don't like playing random people online. I still don't, but I forced myself to this time. When I finally did find a little home on KGS, in the ASR League, I was able to play even more. Since rejoining KGS four days ago I've played six games. I hope to get another game tonight to meet the ASR requirements for the month, then some more on the weekend.
I'm really rusty after my long absence. Reading especially is poor compared to my previous level. A great lecture by Yunguseng Dojang helped my opening play and I'm really feeling like I need to learn joseki. Maybe not the whole patterns, but at least what is common for the first few moves.
I'll try to keep this blog going while I play. I found a great decrease in blogs and online clubs since I last played and it depressed me. This is my small contribution to the community.