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May 27, 2013

Played two games on KGS today. Got the trembles again. Seems to set in around midgame. Trying to acknowledge it's presence, then ignore it. Still takes a lot of discipline to make myself start a game.

- [ext] http://senseis.xmp.net/?Chonas - Sorry to edit your blog, but I see that you've recently become somewhat active again. I started a go club in Huntsville (see my profile for info) if you're still looking for one in our area. We meet once a week and have a range of players from 1d-30k.

May 26, 2013

I haven't played go for a few days now. I'll be at work planning on playing when I get home, but I'll usually find some way to procrastinate. I'll either start on some household chores or just sit in the EGR on KGS. And thus I've discovered my problem with fear again. Before I've discussed being afraid to play, but I've taken a good look at myself, and here's what I've found.

  • I'm not afraid of losing. I've found I don't mind losing at all.
  • I'm not afraid of playing badly. While I will be frustrated with myself after a game where I made simple errors, I don't find that is what holds me back from playing again.
  • When I'm playing a fast game and the fighting gets intense, I start to shake and feel my blood pressure go up. Adrenaline rush and mind racing.

I think, therefore, my fear is not FearofLosing, as much as Fear of Conflict.

I don't really think I'm afraid of playing. I think it's more along the lines of finding the sensation unpleasant. That's a terrible excuse but it's hard to rationalize why I don't play even though I want to.

Comments and discussion are welcome from readers.

May 12, 2013

Back on the goban again. I've stopped playing for a while, but I can't quit go even if I wanted to. It keeps calling me back, no matter how long I forget about it. I made a stand for my table goban which converts it to a floor goban. It was fun to build, and I plan on making an instructable soon for anyone who's into woodworking. Also been studying javascript, python, html & css. Got a new job which doesn't allow much time for hobbies, but I think I can make time for go. Played a few games on KGS with a new username, "aloe". Beat a 22k bot. Lost to a 15k bot. Definitely need to sharpen my skills again. Can't believe I was almost SDK once.

August 7, 2012

I've been busy signing up for school and trying to pay bills, so I haven't played much. Played someone from Japan on IGS as re. Won, had a good game. Still thinking about starting a go club. anxiety = 11kyu kgs jiujitsu = 13kyu? kgs

June 20, 2012

YungJu has taken another student, nosgoth. Both guys are getting better faster than I am. I really need to get over my fear of playing.

Played against a 8 and 6 kyu bot several times. Lost every game.

My girlfriend says she'll buy me a floor goban when I hit 7kyu. Better get studying and playing.

June 13, 2012

YungJu has taken Tyro and I as pupils. So far the lessons have been great. Last night we talked about Chinese high and low openings, and attacking. Tonight we talked about how to use 3-3 invasion joseki to our advantage, and which way to extend, based on the surrounding stones on the sides.

Didn't play any games tonight though. Nervous about my surgery. Supposed to read chapters 2-3 of "Fundamentals" by our lesson on Saturday.


June 6, 2012

Current Rank- 13kyu {kgs} I'm back, after a several year hiatus. Every time I quit Go, I find myself wandering back to it. I love the game, but life is so busy sometimes. I need to make myself play every night. If I'd played daily since 2006, how strong would I be by now?


September 15, 2009

Current Rank- 20kyu {kgs}

Just tonight, I dropped from 19 to 20kyu again. I keep going on up and down on this verge, despite my hours of study at SL and goproblems.com.

Here is the game, I played black, my opponent was matic(18kyu):


My joseki was thrown off in the upper right, and I was rattled from there.

And I made such a beginner mistake in killing the group on the bottom, move 75. When I made such a mistake, my opponent said, "Thanks" for me not killing his group. While we had small talk up until that point, I was angered that he would "thank" me for moving incorrectly in a game. While I rather enjoy conversation about coffee, or having just woken before the game, but teasing or taunting during a game is taboo to me. If it were a free game, or a game between friends, perhaps I could laugh about it.

From that point on the game was a train wreck. There was nothing I could do. I managed to make small amounts of territory, but with his victories so early in the game, I was done for.

Frustrated, I asked for help from higher kyu, 2kyu with an odd name, I can't recall.

He started with my opening, he said I should have approached the bottom left with a one-stone jump from his white, but I'm afraid of the pincer. He quickly pointed out my beginner mistakes, of which I was ashamed. I felt like such a child being shown such elementary problems in my game, from the seemingly obvious response to his off-joseki play in the corner, to the basic eye killing move at move 75.

Qthulu {2-5kyu) told me to "play 20+ games a day, you'll be 10k in no time!"

20 games? I don't know if he was kidding or serious... maybe he was insulting me, because compared to him, 10 isn't very impressive at all.

I was so rattled by each of matic's moves. Many seemed like he was in my head, every move I wanted to make, he got there first, or even when I had sente, he had a good answer. After move 76, I was done for. My head feels weird from the tension, the pressure.

And to rub salt in my wounds, after the match, matic was promoted to 17kyu while I was demoted to 20. Why would our ranks be affected here? When a 18kyu beats a 19kyu, the rank should not change, in my opinion.

Sigh. Overall, a depressing night. If I'm going to start playing 20 games a day, I should start brewing coffee or something...

September 17, 2009

So recently, my Go playing has been slow. Other than teaching games on a 13x13 with my friend (who is starting to get addicted, thank goodness), I haven't played much. Last night, I played a teaching game with Emiel 8k, where I was terribly slaughtered. I need to learn to distance my emotions from my play, because each move he made frustrated me further and further. With a single stone he could seem to shut down each attempt to gain territory. Even though it was a teaching match, I felt stressed like it was an important ranked match.

On a happier note, I received my Yellow Mountain Imports package from UPS today! It contained a 1.75 inch Shin Kaya board with beautiful wood patterns, and set of yunzi stones and Go Seigen style bowls, complete with a black vinyl bag to hold them in.

I must say I was most surprised about the weight of the stones. The difference between my glass stones was impressive, and holding two or three stones at a time only proves this point. The sound of drawing or dropping a stone into the bowls gives me a chill down my spine: exquisite. I only had one broken stone, white, which is even better.

While the stones are definitely exciting, the board was a great point as well. Looking down on the board, the difference in length and width was rather apparent, intersections forming little rectangles instead of squares like on my homemade goban (cutting board + sharpie = cheap). What really opened my eyes was not the beauty of the grain, or the perfection of the lines compared to my squiggly sharpie lines, but the sound. I tapped the board on the side, and I heard the sound resonate throughout the entire board, not just the edge I tapped. This board has better acoustics than my $700 electric guitar! (Which I got from a pawn shop, I promise I'm not that rich. If only.)

All of this for a total of $130 absolutely made my day. I only wish I had the extra money when I ordered so that I could have put it on rush order: The 8 day wait was absolutely antagonizing. I checked the UPS package tracking service more than a teenage girl checks her facebook.

September 19, 2009

I encountered my first escaper tonight. I set up a free game in the Beginner Room on KGS, and was accepted by a 14kyu. I accepted the game with no handicap, but I had black.

So I began the opening, which I felt went rather well. However, after move 39, he made no move. I waited for about a minute, until he disappeared from the board and KGS told me he had disconnected.


So I sat there for 5 minutes studying the board, waiting for him to reconnect and continue, which he did not. Therefore, I'm here left wondering...

Did he leave because of how I was playing? I can understand if because I accepted the game with no handi and he was 6 stones stronger, it could have been boring. It seems to me that the game was proceeding evenly up until that point. KGS's score estimator actually puts me as winning by 48.5 moku, even though it's inaccurate at this stage in the game.

Or was it merely a connection problem?

He wasn't a guest, because he had a picture in-game, so I suppose I shall see when he connects in the future.

September 21, 2009

Tonight I played a free game against Ivy15. She's making me worried: She's learning so quickly and I'm getting nowhere.


I had a review after the game (Ivy left, so it was just me and basicpract, a KGS player). He showed me many mistakes in my game, and frequently mentioned "reading". I'm not quite sure how to read or what to read, however.

I'm pretty sure he was talking about reading out sequences, but I don't understand how to read in the opening/middlegame, which is where he pointed out most of my mistakes. I can read out L&D rather well, but he's talking about influencing the center and such.

He also mentioned simple mistakes I had, giving away sente, missing free forcing moves. It's disheartening because they seem so obvious when he shows them in the review.

Every time I get a review I run into another problem. The more I learn about Go, the more I see that I am an absolute beginner.

September 27, 2009

Made it to 18k! I'm psyched to play more, but I need to keep practicing reading/tsumego.

October 11, 2009

Haven't been playing much recently. For some reason, I've been afraid to play. Or specifically, I'm afraid to lose. I'll play bots that I know I can beat, but I haven't played a human opponent in a while, and because of that, my rank has drifted to 16k?, something I'm not particularly proud of. This fear of losing has been getting worse, ever since 20k. I still love Go, and I read Go comics (the empty triangle in particular), study Opening Theory Made Easy, and watch games in the EGR and Beginners' Room. Is there a name for this Fear?

Dieter: Yes it is called fear of losing or online go anxiety. It is most probably strongly related to rating paranoia.

October 12, 2009

Browsing around KGS today, I was in "The Enclave" room when I heard someone talk about mentors. Definitely interested, I asked how someone got a mentor. They gave me a link to The Enclave's website, where I applied for a mentor. As soon as I returned to the room, both Wasuji(8k) and Ruad(11k) volunteered to mentor me. I loaded my recent game against Timmy so they could see how I play and decide who wants to teach me.

Through the game, they complimented my sense, and I explained I felt very good that game. Shortly after, Wasuji suggested a match between us, and I accepted.

I played Black, with 9 stones.


The nine-stone handi game was rather interesting. We played through to the end, where I lost by one-half moku, a tie without komi. We had attracted a rather large group of spectators, to which Wasuji joked that they had come to see him lose. Suicide actually started congratulating me before the game ended, and laughed when I ended up losing. They explained I made some questionable moves, made gote plays when sente plays were availible, and suggested that I play more games, review, and learn from my mistakes. I admitted I get sloppy in the endgame, since I missed a big atari in both Timmy's game and Wasuji's game.

A 6k suggested that I: A: Do about 10 tsumego a day B: Study lots of pro game, try to memorize them. C: Study games of players about 3 stones higher than me. and D: Played more games and studied them.

Overall, it was a very good night. Everyone said I'm strong for an 18k, which I took as a compliment, and encouragement to keep playing.


September 15, 2009

If you allow me ... otherwise just throw this comment away. At this point in your go career, you are 100% in a learning phase. We all keep learning, which makes it fascinating, but indeed at some point some pride and ego creep in, which is too human to avoid. The differences between 20k and 17k are just there to make the ranking system consistent. From my point of view, the difference is invisible. I literally can't distinguish between 20k and 17k and even if I could, it is completely irrelevant because you won't be stuck there for a long time anyhow. That is ... if you focus on learning from your games (bad AND good habits) and not on beating the opponent by any means. If you learn the important stuff, you're victories will come natural, like reaping fruits in autumn. If you get worked up about rank and how to get promoted, there is a strong risk of learning the less important (that fancy joseki) or even bad stuff (using time related issues to win).

You can read all about improvement on my home page. --Dieter

Thank you for your comment, Dieter

tapir: Some ideas, after W10 play a little longer there... S15 etc. are exquisite plays consistent with B9 after which you will end with much more strength to the outside. (But the position of B11 is fine, maybe a little inferior, I can't tell, but nothing to worry about.) Try to consciously sacrifice stones. The board looks as if you have established some stable groups and defended and extended from them with the opponent taking the rest of the board. Take a special look at B23, B25, B99 - as an example of this. Both groups are either stable or already alive and you spend another move (this is the reason your opponent got to the interesting places first) to take only 1 2 additional points there instead of establishing another group at another place. Imagine B23 at P4 or B99 at W100.

September 19, 2009

thanatos13: to many of us, a 14kyu is very weak and is not very different from 20kyu. The first time where you should actually have some difficulty in becoming stronger is 12kyu. (btw, Qthulu is much stronger than 2 kyu, he is a dan or so)

I suggest that you would play as many games as possible, perhaps in the KGS teaching ladder people usually give reviews there. I also suggest that you take a look at the basic tesuji and shapes. And last of all, slow down when playing. Playing blitzes is fine and all, but the slow games are what really count in tourneys and stuff.

I like the KGS teaching ladder. And I like to take my time and play slow, make myself think instead of impulse moves. When I make a free game, it's usually with no time limit. I don't ho-hum over every position on the board, but I may stop and weigh out certain moves for a minute or so. And my apologies about the rank, perhaps I checked his game record and the last game he won was against a 2k or something.

September 21, 2009

Dieter: Don't be put off by the "isn't-it-wonderful-how-much-I-know-and-wouldn't-it-be-great-if-you-knew-it-too" kind of reviews. Pick up a few things, put them to use in your games and don't chastise yourself for things you should know or apply but don't. Good luck!

Thank you for your comments Dieter. I really appreciate the time you take to drop by and give advice.

December 18, 2009 Wasuji: Oh I'm listed ^_^. (Wasuji's ego levels up). Damien...where are you? We miss you!

Damien/Go Blog last edited by Dieter on August 4, 2023 - 13:47
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