Coyote/GoTrainingBlog jan06

Sub-page of Coyote

Coyote's Go Training Blog, January 2006 Archive

Table of contents

Tuesday, January 31st 2006, 3:06pm EST

Last night I watched someone play themselves at Go. It was very interesting because the final score was white by .5. This type of result never happens when I play myself as I often favour one side, considering it to be myself and the other side my "opponent." This leads to selfish reading and other bad habits.

If one could play oneself and tie, then both sides are reading equally. While I'm sure strong players won't recommend this as a major study focus, I think it could definitely help one stop reading selfishly and honestly looking for your opponent's strongest move. I think it has merit as an exercise to combat a specific bad habit.

Today I went up to 100 moves in the Pro game I've been studying, have been making progress in Graded Go Problems and Tesuji. Now I just have to make the energy to go to this evening's UofO meeting. The parking is such a pain (there is none) and the weather poor. I may just stay home and look for a game online. I feel bad, if they met someone in the east end of Ottawa I'd be more likely to come out regularly.


  • 12 problems from GGP vol III
  • 100 moves memorized.
  • Finished Ko chapter.


  • find a game online
  • or go to the club
  • keep on keeping on.

Monday, January 30th 2006, 2:50pm EST

Hurray, it is almost the end of the month. I can perform a monthly archive and reduce the size of this pig of a page. Today I dove deep into my new books. I'm now on chapter 4 of Tesuji. Progress has been slow because if I struggle on the end-of-chapter problems I will re-read the chapter. I also finally started actually doing the problems from Graded Go Problems for Beginners. I've found them to be just right, where I can see the best move immediately some of the time, and have to work at it the enough that it's helping my reading.

It took me so long to get started because I found the first problem very impossible.

How should black play as to completely surround the white stones.  

I was thinking that I had to capture the white stones. Once I realized I was just surrounding them, I found the right move.

I didn't make it to Chinese Go Club this Sunday. I figured it was a pass because of Chinese New Year. I did get a good game online with Rikitiki. I did well, naturally making many mistakes, but not making some that I'd made in other games. I also forced myself to find moves I normally would be afraid to play and did well playing them. It was a very good game, and the review afterwards was very helpful. I wasn't able to get through it all, but that's my plan for tonight.

I know I should tell Kiseido about their mistake, but considering that I think vol III is right for me after-all, I will not. In the end they did me a favour and I'm sure they'd correct it if told them, so it's as good as done, neh?

I've been working on a new theory that I call Karmic Go. It is a synthesis of my experiences and reading, and while it probably isn't completely original, it is my own opinion and not just a parrot of some book I haven't read.

Basically, all that happens on the Go board happens because it can happen. It is Karma that your opponent invaded your territory. You cannot stop it from happening, you must live with it. If you cannot stand the invasion you must play so that it cannot happen, and make sure that any weakness your opponent leaves trying to grab more territory then he can defend is exploited, because that is your opponent's Karma.

A revelation if you've mostly done Life and Death problems.  


  • played and reviewed a game of KGS.
  • 3 chapters from Tesuji
  • 19 problems from Graded Go Problems
  • 50 memorized moves from a game between Takagawa Kaku and Rin Kaiho in the 13th Round of the 1975 Meijin Tournament.


  • review my game some more.
  • more problems
  • finish Chapter 4 from Tesuji (It's about Ko, which I think will need serious study.)

Saturday, January 28th 2006, 12:08pm EST

One of the reasons I like Go is that it is the only game that I feel I understand and improve at. Most other games go poorly for me. Last night my loyal British Indian Army was walloped by the traitorous Germans (they went over to the Bolshies earlier) and Chinese Warlords. I wasn't even in contention to wrest the scepter of something-or-other from the hideous Yeti.

This is a game I play with miniatures set in the Back of Beyond setting. It's 1925 colonial pulp adventure, set in Xinchiang during the events of the Russian Revolution. I have some pictures of my miniatures on my [ext] website. It's all in good fun and no offense is meant to the Germans or Chinese (or Yeti) at it is the players that is traitorous, not the country.

Really, I write a blog entry today in order to start a new page: Balancing a Warped Goban. My 1inch board is slightly warped and wobbles during play. I notice other's have the same problem and I've discovered a solution that not only keeps the board stable, but increasing the resonance when a stone is played.

Forget the progress and goals, I haven't done anything since I last wrote, though when I'm done here I'll be reading more Tesuji.

Friday, January 27th 2006, 2:49pm EST

I think programming javascript causes brain cancer. My head feels like an over-ripe melon. On the upside, my books arrived last night. Mostly. It seems Kiseido thinks I'm stronger then I let on because they sent me Graded Go Problems for Beginners vol III instead of vol II. At first I thought it was my own mistake, but the invoice they sent shows vol II. Also, how come postage is so cheap from Japan?[2]

So, I've been enjoying reading my books and am struggling just enough to know I'm learning. I haven't decided if I want to inform Kiseido of their mistake. It's a book on problems and I'm sure I'll benefit from the study.

Hicham: I would definitely let them know. Tell them that you really wanted the second one, and they might send it out for free. I you want to make sure, tell them it was for a gift;)If you dont like this in your blog entry, feel free to edit me out or move my comments. Anyway, keep the book, you'll be ready for it soon if you keep up the hard work.

No kifu's or even games last night. I decided to skip Go Club as I was pretty tired from work, knew I was going to be out all tonight, and wanted to watch the hockey game. I'll probably go to the Chinese Go Club this Sunday, and will make a kifu there. The last person I played there complained about me being too fast, so I'll doubt he'll complain about the extra time.


  • my books arrived, plenty of problems and studying


  • play at the Go Club
  • play on KGS
  • enjoy my books.

Thursday, January 26th 2006, 4:10pm EST

Tonight I will be recording a game at the go club. While it's been great that because of the club I'm playing regularly, since it is offline I've no way to review with my friends on KGS. Someone suggested I make a kifu, which I think I will. Hopefully I will not be too long with my first game tonight. Normally I play two, but I'm thinking that I'd like to leave early to get my game reviewed, especially since I'll be busy Friday night.

I've printed out some game record sheets, and even followed the directions on drawing a go board freehand to make my own. I attempted to record one of the pro games I was replaying today and found the 2 records per sheet layout was very cramped and difficult. This is why I've drawn a board freehand (with a straight-edge), to fit one board on a page, and also so the lines with be pencil, which should make reading the numbers easier. Also, switching pens is a pain. Then again, during the actual game I will be taking my time, instead of just recording move after move without pause.

I'm still looking forward to the arrival of my ordered books. I've done the first two levels of the Korean Problem Academy on [ext] gobase a number of times and was feeling like I wanted to do some puzzles I hadn't seen before. Since Graded Go Problems hasn't arrived yet I decided to try level 3. The last time I tried it I found it very difficult and didn't see why the right answer was the right answer. Now, while very challenging, I've been getting more right then wrong, and when I am wrong I see why immediately. So I definitely think my reading skills are getting better.


  • 40 level 3 problems on Korean Problem Academy
  • replayed a couple of pro games


  • play a solid game at Go club
    • record it accurately
    • get it reviewed
  • go problems as normal
  • books? I hope against hope.

Wednesday, January 25th 2006, 3:14pm EST

Last night was another exciting installation of Go Club. I played a couple of games and did well in my second. It came down to a count, and although I was behind I still felt I'd done well to hold my own.

I find that my lack of practical experience is very telling right now. If the game unfolds in a way I am familiar with I do well. If it doesn't, I feel lost. Not to say I've focused on one opening too much, just that I haven't played enough to even become familiar with the most frequent openings one would expect.

My strategy to overcome this, aside from playing more, is to study more Pro games. Right now I've been replaying Takagawa Kaku's matches. A quick apology to Jwaytogo, I still have trouble with Japanese names and words. When you mentioned that Kaku was Honinbo Shukaku? I thought you'd said Honinbo Shusaku and my comments were based on that misunderstanding. While I'm breaking the fourth wall, thanks to those who've been correcting my typos and spelling errors. I try not to have too many and will try not to rely on your efforts, but if I'd noticed them I would have fixed them myself, so I appreciate you saving me the work.


  • 50 problems
  • replayed a pro game (Takagawa Kaku vs. Otake Hideo)
  • replayed the 100 moves from memorized game to keep it fresh.


  • enjoy Wings Go Club meeting.
  • have my Kiseido order arrive through force of will.

Tuesday, January 24th 2006, 3:50pm EST

Today was not fun at work, but I did replay a few pro games between busy periods. [ext] Gobase is such a wonderful replay utility as you can be interrupted without losing your place, unlike kifu's which require you to remember which move you're on, especially in the later stages. Perhaps that's partly a beginner thing though, as a better player may be better able to remember the last move after an interruption, and find the next move if it is a tsuji. Then again, I know a couple of 5-6kyu players that can't find a new move if they didn't see it played.

Tonight is Go Club. My wife will be joining me, but not playing. Instead she's going to study her school-work while I play. Still, it'll be nice to have her company on the drive home.

Speaking of Go Club I'm now suffering the results of winning a game at the last club meeting. Instead of not caring whether I win or lose I want to continue winning. I'll have to work that out of my system before tonight. Right now I'm just concentrating on not screaming at customers. It's not that bad, but I definitely need to focus on my customers to get through today.


  • replayed some Pro games.
  • finished reading the sections of Shape Up! I was missing.


  • have fun at Go Club.
  • more problems.

Monday, January 23rd 2006, 3:41pm

Resuming a long adjourned game can be a hard process, especially when strength has been gained in the meantime. I had a long game on KGS with a player named Gryn. It was untimed and we both enjoyed ourselves and took our time. However, it was running long and I asked for an adjournment. I think it was one to two weeks that the game was paused for. When we came back to it last night I had a hard time re-connecting with the game, and it went from me being behind but close to being completely finished. Reviewing afterwards I could see a few points where, if I'd played it today, I'd have made much bigger moves.

Also, I left a spot open which I knew was an urgent point for a group. I knew, but I felt that fixing it would have wasted an opportunity. However, the opportunity was worth much less then the points I lost when my opponent finally played on that spot. Don't go back and patch up is a proverb, but we must remember the intention is to not leave an urgent point unplayed. Otherwise we are asking for defeat.

Tonight is the federal elections in Canada. I will be spending most of my time waiting in line to vote and doubt I will get much chance to play tonight. On the upside, my wife has consented to play a bit of 9x9 with me. Using my new teaching philosophy of not playing the trick plays in a handicap cap has already paid off. Last night she won easily with a 5 stone handicap, and next game I will only give her 4 stones. I knew from our previous game that she would win the next, but decided it was important that the win, instead of just reducing the handicap because I knew it was too much. A little positive reinforcement never hurt.

I've ordered some books from [ext] Kiseido. I ordered Graded Go Problems for Beginners Vol. II, Elementary Go Series vol III Tesuji, and Mastering the Basics vol I 501 Opening Problems. I'm very much looking forward to their arrival. I also picked up Kawabata's Master of Go on Sunday and finished it today. I haven't played through the game in the book yet, but I enjoyed the story.

I didn't order Learn to Play Go because it wasn't available from Kiseido, not because I don't appreciate people's advice.


  • 100 problems
  • finished my game with Gryn
  • replayed a couple of pro games


  • 50 problems tomorrow
  • Vote
  • review game with Gryn tomorrow.

Friday, January 20th 2006, 8:42pm EST

Hmmm, I was concerned that I might miss a day and made sure I had time to write a blog entry. Of course, I come online to write one and realize I managed to miss a day without noticing. Wierd. I guess I was just too psyched about the go club meeting. Plus I actually worked a bit at work, so that kept me busy.

The meeting went very well. There were less people there, just 4 of us this time. I played two games against the same opponent. He was about 16-15k DGS. At first I was tempted to take a handicap, but decided against it, figuring that I would learn more from an even game. I did pretty well on both game, although definitely did much better on my first. I did good enough to move my rank to 18k. I will need more games against most people to get a better idea. It could just be my style of game was difficult for my opponent.

I haven't really been able to review these games I've been playing because they were in real life. I tell you, if you haven't had the chance to play a game on a real board, find some way to do so. It feels great, sounds great, and I find it more relaxing then playing online. It's also a lot easier to chat with my opponent as well.

I have mostly been doing problems and replaying pro games. I've been replaying Chen Linxin's games, one of my pros who have styles I want to emulate. I think replaying these games has really had a good effect on my game, specifically in the opening where I was constantly falling behind in order to make unexpected moves, or because I just didn't understand how to respond. The pro games I replayed seemed to help me understand more normal moves.


  • Replayed pro games
  • played a couple of games
  • plenty of Go Problems


  • Going to order some books since today is payday
  • Finish game with Gryn.
  • get my wife to play a game of Go.
  • more Pro Games

Wednesday, January 18th 2006, 4:57pm EST

I can't believe it's quitting time already. The day really flew by. Unfortunately, that means I didn't do my L&D, but will most likely get them done tonight. I did replay a pro game and most of another, but I got distracted by other things.

In my study of pro games I've decided that I'm going to look at specific pros who's styles feel more natural. I'd rather go with my instincts then against them. Above I've compiled a list of pros who's games I will replay.

I did get my games in last night. I went to a meeting of the University of Ottawa Go Club. A little inconvenient, being on campus, but a good place to go for games. The people there seemed nice and I plan to go back. This time I'm bringing my own board (both, in fact) since it isn't as organized as the Ottawa Chinese Go Club and there are no club sets. I played an even game against a stronger opponent, and then two high handicap games. I lost all three, which was frustrating. Then again, I really think that I'm still in the lose 50 games stage. I certainly haven't 50 games in my career. I've won more games then I've lost, but most of the game I've won were giving new players 5 stones on a 9x9. I think that the proverb is really true. Until you've lost your first 50 games you really aren't good enough to benefit from winning.

After the club I had Monday night's game reviewed by Nanny Ogg, Flameblade, Jwaytogo, and some other's who's nicks are harder to remember accurately. I learnt a lot from the review, and while reviewing by myself really helps focus my questions better, I still need strong players looking at my games, and will continue to seek reviews. So, yes, I know my variations below aren't very good. I think my style is very unfocused. Nanny commented that many people focus on defense, then rebound and become very aggressive. Only as they improve do they integrate both ideas into a balanced approach. I think one of my problems is I'm balancing without knowing what it is I'm balancing. I'm trying to skip parts of my development and it isn't working.

Maybe it's just me, but when I see someone say "5k players make this mistake and need to overcome it before getting better," I think that I should also avoid that mistake. However, there's a specific development path that most 5k's take to get to their current position, which is why they share a similar flaw. Trying to avoid this too early is like driving off a cliff to avoid hitting a speedbump. I figure, work out the flaws that 20k players make and work on those. When I reach 5k, I'll worry about 5k flaws.


  • played 3 games last night
  • reviewed an earlier game with stronger players
  • replayed 2 of Chen Linxin's games from the 2003 Chinese Team Championship.


  • finish game with gryn? if I see him.
  • play a quick game on KGS
  • 50 problems on
  • follow routine as normal, except reviewing tonight's game instead of replaying pro games.

Tuesday, January 17th 2006, 4:04pm EST

Today was the first day of my new schedule and so far it turned out well. I happened to have played a game last night for today's review. I still miss having someone providing the review though. I don't know if certain moves are good or if final shapes are truly secure. The issue is during the review my opponent is myself, and I don't know if something happens because it follows from earlier rules, or because my opponent isn't responding properly. I'm sure this will get smoother with practice. I think my review points may be too much just now. Picking one spot for a variation and discussing it seems like all I can do. I'm not too worried, as I was already trying to do more then what was initially recommended.

I also know I will be achieving tonight's goals. I've found another Go Club in Ottawa, currently housed in Ottawa University. They meet twice a week and tonight is one of their meetings. I should definitely be able to get at least one game in tonight.

Here is my examination of an opening play in the game I reviewed tonight. I wasn't sure if my play war proper here, so I played it out. I think it is actually what I wanted. Obviously white played too passively in response to my move. Note, neither of us study Joseki. The top is interesting for black, the left interesting for white (although less interesting then black's top)

Corner Sequence  
How it went  

B1 is a mistake, but W2 doesn't punish it at all. After B3 white looks like he gave too much for

too little

Would have been better for W  

This is better for white as it grabs more territory on the left. I'd be interested to hear if white could have done better here. discuss it here

During the review I think my biggest mistake is aji-keshi in cutting at my opponent too early. I would fair better if I let those cutting points grow, so that they are more damaging once I do use them.


  • played quick game last night
  • reviewed quick game
  • 50 problems


  • play tonight at Ottawa U Go club
  • follow schedule.

Monday, January 16th 2006, 12:34pm EST

Today is a nice relaxed day. Seems everyone is off celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. day and not calling us. I've already replayed a couple of pro games and done 50 problems. The 50 problems didn't go that great, as I felt I wasn't reading so much as just playing the most likely point. My mind wasn't into reading today, though I did the problems because I still enjoy them.

Yesterday I played two games at the club. They were both against the same opponent, one where I was white (not sure why that was) and the second with 2 stones as black. I lost both, though I did better in my second where I created a couple of large territories and did a good job of reducing my opponent's territory. Unfortunately both my good reductions were negated by pushing a little too far.

I wish there was an English club in my town. I watched a few games at the club and the players and onlookers were discussing the game in progress. Unfortunately, since I don't speak the language I couldn't follow along. Other then that everyone was very friendly and the club organizer said I should come back next Sunday as well.

I will come back, I did have fun. I just wish I could understand the kibbitzing.

Antic, by-the-way, never showed and never cancelled, despite me seeing him online on KGS, and then logging in before I left in case he'd left me a message. No explanation afterwards either. Very disappointing.

I was given advice at the club different from the direction I'm currently leading. I think I need to play more, but my opponent suggested I study more, especially pro games. I think this was more because he thought I was mostly playing and not studying, rather then mostly studying and not playing. Still, I think they were a little impressed that I was replaying a pro game from memory before everyone showed up. Thinking about it, that's probably why my opponent thought I was closer to his level on our first game.

I'm starting to question Mitda's rules, specifically rule 2. Yes, you must attack your opponent's weak groups, but you need to be careful that you aren't just forcing your opponent to strengthen his groups while adding strength to an already strong group of your own. Then again, Mitda's rules are purposefully basic for application by weak players such as myself.

Oh yeah, and I'm KGS 17k? now, but I'm not changing my rank up top since I haven't played a ranked game since I was 19k?.


  • Played at Ottawa Chinese Go Club
  • 50 problems done


  • Still need to review my games with Nanny Ogg
  • Still need to finish my in-progress game
  • 50 problems
  • play through a couple of pro games, focusing on interaction of stones during opening.

Sunday, January 15th 2006, 11:51am EST

Today is the big day. Today I visit the Ottawa Chinese Go Club, meet antic (this antic? I don't know) and play a game of Go in person where I'm not giving 5 stones on 9x9 and trying to not win through trick plays. I'm looking forward to it.

However, I want to address a concern of mine. Nanny Ogg's [ext] blog mentions a new training style where she needs to study more pro games. This got me to thinking about what I should be studying. Every study path I've taken I found interesting on its own merits, rather then because it would make me stronger. However, while I'm enjoying studying it would be nice if I chose a curriculum that best suits my level and personal strengths.

My plan was to find a very strong player and have them work out some program. Like, study problems for 1 hour every day, then 30 minutes replaying Pro Games and 30 minutes something else. I lamented my lack of mentor to ask about this.

Hamlet is a personal hero of mine in his whole think without acting schtick. So, instead of going ahead with my plan I thought about it more. I read other [ext] blogs from people around my level and what they were studying. I thought about why we shouldn't memorize Joseki. This is what I came up with.

Joseki is a mental shortcut for visualizing the possible outcomes of specific local exchanges, to quickly compare them to the whole-board position. It is important to know what the sequences are to get the final position you choose, and also what variations can occur. This leads to two traps for beginners:

  1. Playing a move hoping that your opponent will blindly follow, and having no response if that doesn't happen.
  2. Learning the answers to the exam without knowing the material.

Not much explanation needed for the first. This is just a more advanced version of atari, atari, atari play.

The second point leads me to my main study theory. It's basically a balance thing. Learning joseki means you're very strong in a single variation but weak everywhere else. You passed the exam but can't use the knowledge in the real world.

One thing I hate about people telling others not to learn Joseki is that they don't explain what they should be learning instead. Obviously, being able to make local exchanges where there's a local, 50-50 split, and coming off better in the long term is the reason people want to study Joseki. Since studying Joseki is so terrible, what can we do to get the same results?

Practice reading.

If you can read 10 to 20 moves ahead you will know most of the basic joseki variations without having to study them. You will also benefit in other areas of the game, like the middle-game and yose. The skill is also linked with memorization, which means you'll be better able to memorize joseki if you then decide to study them, or pro games, or your own games for review. I'll make a Go analogy.

"Learning to read is like playing a stone that accomplishes 6 things at once. Learning joseki is like playing a stone that does one thing, and which can strengthens your opponent if he responds correctly.

So, in conclusion I will practice my reading skill above all else. I will study what improves it, which is basically problems. Funny that this is the thing that most strong players recommend studying.

Although I am willing to entertain suggestions on other study that will improve reading.


  • I'm mostly through a very good game against an opponent who is about my level. Had to adjourn, but plan to resume it this week.
  • Did my 50 problems.


  • Get Nanny to review my game vs. Mitda
  • Finish my game and have Nanny and others review
  • Have fun at the Ottawa Chinese Go Club.
  • Get their info to give to the CGA to update their site.

Friday, January 13th 2006, 2:08pm EST

I have to do this on the fly. I work technical support for an outsourcer. A VIP from the contract I support (my company's customer) wants to sit with an agent and audit his calls. My supervisor has chosen me. Which means I had to put away my go board, sit straight and look professional. That was this morning and I haven't seen or heard anything about the VIP. I'm not able to bring back my board until the danger has passed, but I'm going to sneak in this blog entry.

Not that I have much to report. Last night I did nearly 100 problems on [ext] while watching my beloved Sens lose to the Sharks. I also replayed the pro game evaluating it with Mitda's rules. Of course, the Pros can break the rules, so it didn't follow perfectly, but it did explain some plays made by each side.


  • 98 problems on [ext]
  • replaying 100 moves from pro game with Mitda's rules in mind


  • Have Nanny review my teaching game with Mitda to see if I applied what I learnt from our game, and to re-inforce things I may have forgotten
  • Play at least one game this weekend online.
  • Go to Ottawa Chinese Go Club.
  • 50 problems a day.

Thursday, January 12th 2006, 3:29pm EST

Why is it that we can never do everything all the time? I've played a lot more this week, but have been neglectful of my problem regime. I'm going to get the bad off my chest to better enjoy the good.

Doing Go Problems at work can become troublesome if things get busy. While I could always do 50 problems a day I often want to do other things, like replay a game, as well. I have to decide if replaying a game is better then doing problems. I think that right now, it definitely is. As I play more each individual game will become less important. I believe that right now, not reviewing games is a bigger waste then not doing a full 50 problems.

My other concern is that I'm doing the same problems too much. I'm going to look at getting a book on Go Problems to increase those I have access to. Not all websites are accessible from work, when I am usually doing problems. Physical books bypass firewalls very nicely.

The good news is that I've played a game two nights running, although last night's game was not a full game. It was a teaching game from Mitdahand of the Wings Go Club. It was the weekly club meeting and I was the subject of the regular teaching game that Mitda offers.

I think I did well, better then my last game. The score wasn't better, but I feel that I played better moves and improved some of the mistakes I had made vs. NannyOgg. I still made plenty, but Mitda's review was excellent and helped clarify some of them. There was one mistake I recognized myself, and when saying it someone thought that I was referring to Attack and Defense. I wasn't, which lead to that happy special feeling one gets when figuring out something by one's self

If there was one thing Mitda wanted me to take away from the teaching game it was this:

Order of Play

  1. Do I have a weak group that is important?
    • If yes, save it.
  2. Does my oppoent have a weak, important group?
    • If yes, attack it.
  3. Is there a big move for making or reducing territory
    • If yes, play there.


  • Played a teaching game with Mitdahand 1k.
  • Reviewed teaching game with Mitdahand.
  • Did roughly 20 problems.


  • replay 100 moves from memorized pro game, applying Mitda's rules.
  • Do Go Problems during hockey game intermissions. Go Sens!

Wednesday, January 11th 2006, 10:07am EST

Today's entry comes early thanks to Nanny Ogg. We played a Wings Go Club monthly league game, my first 19x19 in a while and it was intense. Nanny gave me 9 stones, and I needed every one of them. It came down to very end where fatigue and inexperience with yose took it's toll. Fatigue is not just some excuse, it is integral to my loss. Though this wasn't my longest game[1], it was certainly my longest timed game and by the end I just wanted it to be over. You know the feeling, when you just wish you could play slow, solidify the territory you have, meanwhile your opponent is reducing it like crazy. It's important to stay calm here, as I'm learning. Poor reactions on my part led to White being able to do more damage than is normally possible.

Double Ladder Breaker  

The game was reviewed afterwards by Nanny and some others. I plan on replaying the game today. There is one specific move I'd like to show you. It surprised both players, though no-one saw it's potential at first. I call it a double ladder breaker.

White's marked black stone breaks the ladder twice. I played the marked black stone, thinking to defend, but white could have escaped. Fortunately, during the game white didn't notice until after black fixed things.

There's a lot more to learn from this game, something which I'm about to do. Just a bit more news and I'm off.

Before I played Nanny I got in a quick game of 9x9. It had a short timer, 1 minute main and 15 seconds of byoyomi. Too fast to really think but I still won easily. It would have been harder, but my opponent insisted on no handicap. Still, it's a little strange to make plays without any real reading or thought and come out ahead. I wasn't concerned about reviewing the game last night. Now I think I might, if only to confirm whether I made good moves or bad.

Finally, I am pretty sure I'm strongly thinking about considering a visit to the Ottawa Chinese Go Club (their proper name) On KGS I met another player from my city and he suggested we meet there. I still have time to back out without being rude, but I really think I won't. Now my friend who can't make it will really be sore.


  • Played a 9x9 and 19x19 game.
  • had 19x19 game reviewed by opponent and others.


  • replay 19x19 game.
  • 50 Go Problems
  • study some tesuji

Tuesday, January 10th 2006, 3:51pm EST

Another day at work is coming to a close. Time for a new entry. Last night I fully intended to find a game, but then I heard that some people were watching and commenting on the first game of the Samsung Cup title match between Luo Xihe and Lee Changho. I couldn't resist as it was my first chance to watch a pro game live (as in; being on watched on wBaduk and copied to KGS for us).

Tonight I doubt I will catch a game either, as Shygost is giving a free lesson. Undeterred I have made plans to help ensure that I will play. I am screwing up my nerve to return to the Go club that I left so long ago.

Or at least I was. I was planning on bringing a friend as moral support, but it turns out that he's caught an unusual shift at work the same day as the club meeting. I'm hoping to go, but it will definitely be a lot more intimidating.

The club is the Chinese Go Club of Ottawa. I've been there before, back when I played Go two years ago. My fear of the players was as powerful as it was unwarranted. Once I'd played one game with a player I wanted to only play them from now on. I was terrified of asking for games.

What was worse was that the player I latched onto turned out to be lacking in the Go Etiquette department. For example, he liked to hold a stone in his hand while waiting for his opponent to play. If his opponent took too long he'd toss the stone noisily back into his bowl. He also liked to take back bad moves he'd just played. Sure, some people debate the severity of this practice, but for someone claiming to be 10k to be doing this 10-20 times a game is excessive to say the least. I played a number of games with this player. Our last was my last with the club. Through a combination of strong play by me and lousy play due to fatigue by my opponent (at about a ratio of 1:10) I won the game. However, my opponent's chosen method of resigning bothered me. He suddenly began pulling stones of the board and muttering to himself. Not quite clear on what was happening (being a rank beginner) I asked him if he was resigning. His response is not fit for printing here. I never returned.

Until this weekend, maybe.

For the record, everyone else there seemed very nice. It was shyness on my part that kept me from interacting with them.

Hicham: Only one good way to handle this kind of player. Don't play them anymore! They dont deserve it. You are wasting your precious go-playing time, so dont feel guilty. Taking back a move in a friendly game might be ok sometimes IF both players have no problem with it, but too much is too much. And rudeness while playing go is unforgivable in my book. (Hope you don't mind me writing in your blog)


  • 50 Go problems
  • replayed 100 moves from memorized pro game to keep it memorized
  • watched and listened to comments on a pro game


  • attend Shygost's free lessons
  • squeeze in a game.
  • e-mail local clubs to determine if they are active and when they meet, including the hugely intimidating Chinese Go Club.

Monday, January 9th 2006, 2:41pm EST

Well, the tournament sure was exciting. It the first I ever attended, and while I wasn't playing I had a lot of fun. I've been hanging out with NannyOgg this last week, so cheering for her made things even more exciting. Unfortunately she didn't do that well in the tournament. This was offset by some excellent moves in her games by both players. It just proves that the enjoyment of Go isn't winning, but playing good moves in the moment. As time passes only the good and bad plays are remembered, not who won in the end.

Today was my first day back on a mostly normal shift at work. I'd lately been able to dedicate 10hours to Go because I worked a 10 hour shift where nothing else happened. Now, I'm working an 8 hour shift during the day when it's busy. At least I'm still able to do Go Problems between calls, and I've already done the day's 50. I'll probably do more because I enjoy them, but it's nice to be in the gravy.

What I will miss is having a strong player suggest solving 50 Go problems a day and being able to respond: Well, I did 400 last night, is that good?

For those of us that don't like doing problems as much as I do I have a suggestion. Yesterday on KGS I did some Go Problems with others. This made it a bit more fun, although it isn't as good as doing them alone. It's too easy to not read the problems through and just let other people answer. Even with good intentions, things may just move too fast. However, if you won't otherwise do the problems on your own, online or with friends at least turns your mind to it, plus it's social and fun.

You'll notice there's a change in my goals today. It's not that I've given up these goals, just that some, like finishing Charles Matthew's Shape Up! aren't as important to my current development then playing games


  • Watched the tournament (I count watching games as studying)
  • Watched a review of some tournament games.
  • 50 Go Problems


  • Play some games. I didn't mention in the body of my post that I hadn't because I should be ashamed.
  • 50 Go Problems
  • Locate some literature that is better for my current development.

Sunday, January 8th 2006, 9:26am EST

It's about an hour and 15 minutes from the Wings League King Tournament. It's an invitational, with invitations extended to those that have won on of Wings Go Club's monthly leagues. I'm still trying to find my first game for the league. Unfortunately, I doubt I will find many today due to the tournament.

Not that I've been completely slacking. In addition to doing my 50 Korean problems I also watched a strong player replay some of his recent games while commenting. His comments were good and helpful, although many I will just be taking on faith. I also watched a few games in progress and listened to the review.

I've noticed that watching games online can be difficult. I was watching one game which I attempted to recreate on my Goban. However, players went so fast in spots I struggled to keep up, not playing stones in their proper order in favour of getting them on the board and not falling behind. I think there's an advantage to the game in real life which is missing from online. Watching a player reach for a stone and place it lets you draw your attention to the board when a play occurs. Sometimes online you hear - tak tak tak - and you can't see where the middle stone was played easily.

I do need to play more, but it looks like I'll be getting more action during the week after work.


  • completed 50 level 2 problems on Korean Problem Academy.
  • watched a number of games and their reviews
  • listened to a strong player comment on his game as he replayed it.


  • 2 league games this weekend may not be possible, as I was not considering the tournament. Should have gotten them in on Saturday.
  • 50 problems
  • Watch and enjoy the tournament today.

Saturday, January 7th 2006, 8:43am EST

I'm trying to play more. I managed another game this evening and offered a Wings league game for this morning. Unfortunately the game was frustrating and I got no takers on my offered league match.

The game I played was with a guest to KGS. He took black without comment and beat me. To be honest, during the game review by DavidB, it was apparent that I was playing terrible Go and my opponent was only slightly better. Nothing like getting told that a specific move is bad and knowing you'd done it repeatedly in the game.

After resigning I was feeling pretty miserable. I felt like the guest had just been looking for someone he knew he could beat. However, instead of fleeing after the game, or interrogating him on his rank to confirm his sandbagger status, I asked him if he was new to KGS. He said he was, having played on Yahoo. So I just thanked him for the game and welcomed him to KGS.

It's funny, I feel good about that, but I realize that it is simply what I should have done anyways.

On the upside, during the review of the game the reviewer mentioned a couple of moves as being more important at a specific point. I recognized one of them from the game I'm memorizing and noticed that it seemed to contradict the reviewer's advice of another move being bigger. Then I remembered that the bigger move had already been played by his opponent. This validated both the reviewer's comments and the benefits for memorizing a game.


  • played a game and reviewed it with opponent and stronger player.
  • didn't do my 50 Go Problems.
  • replayed 100 moves from memorized game.


  • 50 Problems on Korean Go Academy a day.
  • memorize 50 more moves from memorized game.
  • play a couple of league games (My long-term goal is to play the max allowed - 6)
  • read some of Charles Matthew's Shape Up on [ext] gobase
    • 7.1, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6
    • Problem Set 2: First 6
    • 11.1
    • 13.1, 13.2, 13.4

Friday, January 6th 2006, 2:36pm EST

Woooo. Man, my heart is racing. And it's not just the two large, very strong cups of coffee or the history of heart disease in my family. I just played a game of Go and my adrenaline is flowing. This usually happens when I play. It's so strong that I often feel like I need to either run in circles or sit very quietly to calm down.

I don't play much. Between my schedule and being intimidated playing online I get in few games. Which means, when I do play and get my adrenaline rush, I've not built up much tolerance. That should be a goal, play more to get over being intimidated.

On the upside, my reaction to playing indicates that I'll maintain my motivation to get better. An adrenaline rush is addictive.

I took a bit of a break while writing this entry. I was offered a teaching game by an AGA 1d. It would be wrong to turn it down, especially as I was in the process of writing that I need to play more when the offer came. I still need to review the game as there was a lot presented quite quickly. However, now I've played two games in one day. Speaking of playing more, I've joined the Wings Over Calm Waters Go Club and have entered the January club league. This should increase the amount of games I've get.

I actually think I study too much for the amount I play. This is because I can study at work during my 10hour overnight shift. Studying keeps me from being bored, which keeps me studying. The good news is that I've going back to a more regular 8hour day shift. I'll actually be working during it as well. Still, I will be able to practice Go Problems. Two people have recommended 50 problems a day and I think I can manage that during my new shift. It gives me more free time in the evening, so I'll also be able to get more games in. This should balance my studying versus playing.


  • Played two games on KGS, one a teaching game against a very strong player.
  • Joined league to play more.


It's Friday night, so these are actually my goals for the weekend.

  • 50 Problems on Korean Go Academy a day.
  • replay moves 51-100 of memorized game.
  • replay both of today's games.
  • play a couple of league games (My long-term goal is to play the max allowed - 6)
  • read some of Charles Matthew's Shape Up on [ext] gobase
    • 7.1, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6
    • Problem Set 2: First 6
    • 11.1
    • 13.1, 13.2, 13.4

Thursday, January 5th, 2006. 8:34am EST

It was a good night. Got a lot of done, despite being distracted by a co-worker claiming eggs were a dairy product (depends on how you define it, turns out). I've pretty much memorized 100 turns from the game. I get a little shaky near the end, which tells me I'm not understanding those moves I forget. Which makes sense, as it's often the tenuki that throw me.


  • 100 moves of 1st memorized game
  • Completed up to Problem Set 1 of Shape Up. 8 right of 12 problems.
  • Went through levels 1 and 2 of Korean Problem Academy.

Thursday, January 5th, 2006. 0:00am EST

Good morning. Yesterday I attended my first meeting of the Wings Go Club. I must say I was a little underwhelmed. Either the club needs more description of what a meeting entails, or they need someone monitoring the main room to greet new members.

I did come in with the wrong expectations. In the VRHC, a "club" for the online game WWII Online, club night is game night, when we get together as a club and play. I've been a member of that club for over 5 years, yet for some reason I was expecting something different from Wings. I expected people would be sitting around and chatting. I soon realized that my expectation was silly, club night should be about playing, not chatting. That is exactly what was happening, a strong member of the club was giving a teaching game which he later commented.

My problem is that there was no-one there to explain this to me. I'm new to Go, new to online Go servers, and new to the club. I mean, even a MOTD explaining things would have been good.

As it was, I missed the game, but saw the replay of the first part. I'm looking forward to my next meeting now that I know what's happening.


  • was able to recall 50 moves of memorized game without difficulty
  • watched partial replay of teaching game at Wings Go Club.


  • Go through levels 1 and 2 of Korean Problem Academy
  • memorize moves 51-100 of memorized game.
  • read some of Charles Matthew's Shape Up on [ext] gobase
    • 1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    • 2.1 to 2.5
    • 3.1, 3.4, 3.5B, G and M
    • 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6
    • 5.1, 5.3, 5.4
    • Problem Set 1: First Half
    • 7.1, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6
    • Problem Set 2: First 6
    • 11.1
    • 13.1, 13.2, 13.4

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006. 5:52am EST

There, got my blog up and running. Until now I was keeping notes in a small notepad. However, I'm concerned about losing information so plan on making a blog tracking what I'm studying. I hope to update this blog every day that I train. I'll probably update at the start of my work day (when I usually study, I've got a 10 hour shift of doing nothing to fill), but for now want to get things started.

As I mentioned, I'm studying at work. Basically I'm being paid to answer calls in a phone queue that receives no calls. Although it's a good gig and great for studying, I can't access any Go Servers to play (which would be great) and my off-time is so short that I don't often have time to play. All work and no play makes Coyote a dull boy. Oh well, we do what we can with what we have.


This will come after progress in later posts.

  • Memorize Pro Game
  • Study Korean Problem Academy on [ext] Go Base
  • Start Blog


Normally before Goals, as it'll be progress on the previous post's goals.

  • Memorized 50 moves from Pro Game
  • Started blog
  • Added 8:58 AM: Studied Korean Go Academy Problems, level 2.

[1] My longest game, not including turn-based games, is roughly 8 hours. At my old job a friend and I would play between fielding phone-calls. With so many interruptions a game took nearly our entire shift to finish.

[2]"how come postage is so cheap from Japan?"
Phelan:They probably shipped it from SchaakEnGowinkelHetPaard, in Holland. When I ordered from Kiseido, my order went through them.

Coyote:Nope, post markings were definitely Japanese or Chinese, not Dutch. Also, please be careful using footnotes, as there's already a 1 here.

Coyote/GoTrainingBlog jan06 last edited by on January 25, 2015 - 22:12
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