I play as Gostone on KGS.
Currently just a KGS 14kyu. I was about 11 Kyu before I stopped playing regularly. I am working for more strength.
I am a member of the Cranes Nest Go club In New Orleans. We meet regularly, Wednesday and Friday nights. Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Rue De La Course at the corner of Carrollton Ave and Oak St. uptown New Orleans. Friday Nights we meet at 8 p.m. at The Coffee Bean at the corner of Severn Ave and 17th St. in Metairie. All are welcome...
Well, we evacuated for the hurricane for it to actually hit the city. Usually these things are mini vacations and we go back after a day or two. Most of us are stranded with our family pictures and 2-4 days worth of clothing and toiletries.
I hope the rest of the guys in the Crane's Nest Go Club got out alright. The city is a war zone right now. My brother is an LT in NOPD at ground zero. We are worried about his safety. We get one ... sometimes two messages from him a day.
Sorry, this isn't very GO related this time. Having Internet I have been on KGS watching games but don't have the heart to play yet. Hurricane Katrina has been like losing that big chunk of chain that connect sall of your groups. Suddenly you have to make life everywhere on the board or start giving stuff up. Things are looking up recently. National gaurd and other armed services have arrived in time to help out.
Good luck to all the displaced out there.
It's been awhile. I have been playing Varisik(KGS Name) still during our lunch hour. I am now giving him 3 stones and we are on a Kadoban game for 4. It has been tough. He loves to fight and will start these enormous battles at which he is usually good at lopping off a chunk of my group and keeping his stones alive. This has made my use of tesuji and study of tesuji much better. My fighting is getting better. I think he would be a much stronger go player if he would just look at the big picture instead of just at the local context.
I also have been playing on KGS a little. I have scheduled a weekly game with muto(formerly fauxgo on KGS) a friend of mine. we have been bouncing back and forth on wins and loses. He has a better grasp of shape than I do and that makes a big difference in our games. We our both trying to shake our question marks.
The other night I played an 8k? (peteg) and I thought we had a really good game. I took six stones and he resigned but mostly because of a small capture I made in the middle game that seperated a portion of one of his groups. We reviewed the game afterwards during which he told me about a misclick. He never asked for an undo. The misclick would have given him a fighting chance to save the group. He played through a bunch of scenarios which still would have ultimately led to the capture of the group if I would have played correctly. That is a huge if! He also gave me some pointers on other moves. So, I give kudos to peteg. He is a real class act and stand up guy. This is the kind of person I love to play. He was extremely friendly and helpful and his review was very enlightening. I hope we get to play again sometime. Thanks peteg!
Anyway, I guess that's all for now. Anyone get Volume 2 of Fujisawa Shuko's Tesuji Dictionary? Is it any good? I am still working on the first volume. I love it.
Hicham: It is a good book. If you like the first you will surely like the second as well, as it just is more of the same. Only thing is that I got tired in the end when I was working my way through it, but it was my forth month of dayly tesuji practice, so after that I changed to 501 Opening Problems for a change.
So, I've managed to get myself back on KGS. I'm working nights at the store so I usually can only watch. I'd hate to lose a game on time because I had to help a customer or lose a customer because I was working on my game. Just hanging out on KGS has helped break my psychological barrier about playing. I still play way too fast. I played last night and my opponent was a 12 kyu giving me two stones. He had the game set for 40 minutes which is unusual for kgs ... but I guess he wanted to play a slower game. At the conlcusion, with me losing by 5o something he had used something like 25-30 minutes and I think I had 30 minutes left on the clock. I was using his time to study the board but still made too hasty of moves.
But I digress ... I also have stopped worrying about rank so much and have just begun to enjoy playing anyone and everyone. I figure the rank will come if I work at it. If not, Oh well...
Is anyone else excited about the second english volume of Fujisawa Shuko's Tesuji Dictionary? I know I am!!! The first one is a great book. I am addicted to Go Books. I love them.
I think I will try to start a go books rumor page where we can compile the list of forthcoming go books. Maybe we can get the Book companies to give us a heads up ... would that be against wiki rules?
I wish someone would take up the Korean Go book Translating torch a little faster. I tried a Japanes go Book and I found it really dificult to translate the little that I needed to. People do it, I just got too impatient.
Oh, kudos to Goproblems.com ... if you haven't used this resource yet it is fantastic. I do their time trials over and over and over. It's a ton of fun and helps your game.
Oh by the way, shook the ? and made it back to 14 kyu ... hooray!
I didn't lose it all...
Ok, so much has changed since my last entry. My wife and I opened a craft/art store which has taken up most of my time. I stepped down as president of the Crane's Nest Go Club and handed it on to Sean who is doing an excellent job ... maybe we'll have that tournament after all. Actually, today is JapanFest here in New Orleans and I got to stop by for about an and hour and a half. This is our biggest recruiting event of the year. Feels weird not to have organized it and be working it all day. It's fun to teach Go. The guys looked like they were having a great time and the crowd was really big. Last year we doubled our membership, hopefully this year will bring similar results.
My KGS play is totally non-existant lately. I was on a couple times for the first time in months and watched a couple of strong players battle it out. I still find that exhillarating. Good to see The Captain is still playing ... his games are always a good time.
No that things are evening out at the store I have been able to get back into GO. I started by re-reading Yilun Yang's Fundamentals book which is a great book for someone in the 15-12kyu range I think. He breaks down the opening moves into levels of importance as guidelines ... it helps you get a better feeling about the opening.
I've also been playing Sean, the new President of the Crane's Nest Go Club, during our lunch breaks and sometimes at night at the store. His style differs from mine quite a bit. We've had some really good games lately. He plays more solid than I do and tends to exploit my shape weaknesses. It's been quite a learning experience.
So I feel like I am back on the horse after a couple of months of falling.
I have a question for anyone who reads this: Has there ever been a book/thesis/discussion about doaism and Go? Has anyone heard of such a thing? Having just read the Dao De Jing I think my playing will be stronger. Of course, I found Lao Tzu's book life chaging.
Last club meeting of the year was last night. I had my best game in a long time. I played David, 1kyu, our resident expert and took 6 stones and won by 19 points. I have had a bad time against Dave in the past... he's really strong and something psychologically intimidates me when I play him. He's a nice guy but playing someone who is a lot stronger than me has that effect. I think he's probably stronger than 1kyu. I have in the past taken 7 and 8 stones from him and had to resign. Not this time. It feels good to give someone stronger a decent game. I noticed during the game that I recognized a Joseki and some tennuki opportunities that gave me the bigger point on the board. I also felt like I was able to attack and make territory at the same time pretty well in the game. I counted twice during the game too. These are big steps for me. Studyuing is paying off I think.
I broke down and bought Yilun Yang's Fundamentals book. I can't wait for it to come in. The excerpt looked like the kind of information that I could really use. I will be sure and post opinion when I get it. I have been slowly working my way through the first Enlgish volume of the Fujisawa Shuko Tesuji book. I totally recommend this book. I can't wait for the other volumes to be released. (Way to go Slate and Shell!) Each page contains one tesuji with a problem and description at the top and then three diagrams down the page. The first diagram is usually what a kyu player like me would doand the second usually the tesuji followed by the third diagram of followup. All the diagrams have good explanations to tell you what is going on. If you cover up all but the top portion the book becomes like a problem book. Interspersed between the tesuji are segments of games using some of the demonstarted tesuji. The book is organized well into sections like shape or enclosing tesuji. I read a big portion of it while on vacation which may be why I played so well against Dave. (Not to harp on that Dave but I am proud of the game...if you even read this)
The club has been lite lately but I think that's because of the holiday's at least I hope it is. As a New Year's resolution, this year will be the year of our first tournament if I have to run it by myself. Hopefully I won't but we'll see.
OK, well happy New Year to all. I hope all your Go wishes come true in 05. Till Next year.
Ok, so two club meetings have gone by since my last entry. At the first meeting I won 3 out of 4 but last night I lost 3 of 3. In all three games I lost big pieces of chain while attacking. All 3 groups I was attacking were dead to rights except for them capturing to get out. I guess I got too focused on the kill and lost sight of my own group's safety.
I am already off the wagon as far as my KGS training. I am resolved to log back on and play. I have been keeping up with my reading but I feel like playing is where the real learning is at.
I've also taken to writing short articles about what I think about Go for our club newsletter. Right now I am just introducing the new guys to some common Japanese terms and concepts, i.e. atsui, atsumi, movement of stones. My take is that if I can elevate some of the younger guys to at least my level than maybe they can help me grow further. I'll get caught up in the momentum.
I don't know about the rest of you but I am really digging all the new English Go books released just recently. I love a new Go book. I don't have a lot of the current selection yet but I am working to change that. (Any donations would be appreciated. ;) ) I picked up the 1st Fujisawa Tesuji book and am loving it. I figure being exposed to the tesuji cannot hurt. I use it like a problem book in that I cover up the bottom portion of the pages and try to figure out the tesuji on my own. I am currently coveting the Yilun Yang's Fundamental Principles of Go. It looks like a great book.
I know ... I know stop reading so much and play more... that's the way to get strong.
I have not been able to get myself onto KGS every night like I wanted. I have played about 5 games though since the last entry and have brought myself back up to 12?. I expect I will settle somewhere around 10-12 ... hopefully closer to 10 but we'll see. Of note, I played a friend of mine, Jezork, who's a 4k and really nice guy. He gave me 8 stones and I won by 16.5 points. At our club if you win 3 in a row with the same handicap then you drop a stone in the handicap. Two more to go... He gave me some pointers after the game which helped a lot. So, I am gonna go back and review the 5 games I played on KGS. I almost think that would be better than reviewing the pro games. I blew it on the counting. I just flat out didn't do it. I did slow down a bit and made a point to read out a couple of moves ahead. One game I played I misread a ladder and had to resign. It is so easy to read a ladder on KGS and I botched it up. Oh well, chalk it up as a learning experience.
I have been reviewing commented games from Gobase. Jansteen's comments and the questioning he does during the reviews is very useful in guiding me through the games. I am finding that I am able to choose the next area of play sometimes. I don't get the move correct much but I'll work on that. It made me feel like I was at least grasping the direction of play.
600 seconds goes really fast... time to preview.
Here's a question for anyone reading this(If anyone does): When you are playing do you actually know the value for a few moves before you make a move or do you just instinctually play the biggest move?
The Crane's Nest meeting is tonight. I am really looking forward to it. I do not think our tournament will get off the ground until Jan or Feb unless I find someone to take ownership of it and set it all up. We'll see.
I am fighting to get stronger at this game that I've been addicted to for about 3 years. Right now I would say I am about 12-11 kyu and plateaued. I have returned to KGS from a pretty long Hiatus online to find a "?" status. I played a 13 kyu and lost by .5 moku the other night. I think that was my first game in months on the system. It is really hard to get a game when you have a ? rank. Throw a guy a bone. I guess I'll have to remember that when I get a bit stronger ... sort of giving back to the Go community. Play ? ranked players too, they're people too.
Playing on the computer is very different for me. I have always been a little weaker on KGS than on a real goban. I have not figured out why but I have noticed it. Does anyone else have this sort of issue?
So to get back on track I am re-reading as many of my Go books as possible starting with In the Beginning, Making Good Shape and Dictionary of basic Tesuji: vol 1. I am also studying some commented pro games from Gobase. And finally, I am trying to get back into playing on KGS regularly. This is my plan for growth.
In thinking about what aspects of my game that need work I realize ... what aspects of my game do not need work, they all do. When I narrow it down to a few topics that I think would really make an immediate difference(so I guess at this point I'm just picking what really interests me) it would be: Counting, life and death and Joseki.
I tried learning to count during my games but I usually get too caught up and play by instinct totally forgetting to count or to think out sequences. So the score usually is a mystery for me until the end. I can tell if I am extremely down or up in points but if it is close I usually have no idea. This also goes for the size of moves. I feel like I have a basic knowledge of value as in move a is bigger than b and c but not down to the moku. So sometimes I am wrong. (Don't get me wrong move urgency is completely another layer to add that I am not very good at either but let's start with counting first.) So in studying the pro games I am trying to count the board and move values hopefully I form some kind of habit. I also want to slow down when I play I think my lack of counting is a side effect o fthis partially. Stop, survey the board, choose 3-4 big and urgent moves, play them out in my head, try to figure out their value and choose the best one. Seems easy but in fact is very difficult for me.
For my other two issues, life and death and joseki, I am working on some problems. The pro games are helping here as well. Seeing there openings and correlating them to what I know has helped a bit and I try to work out if a group is alive or dead before they settle it in the game record.
At the club, we are trying to get our first local tournament going. Getting everyone to agree on a day, coming up with prizes, a place to play and equipment has been hard. It is not off the ground yet. Trying to run a club with a full time job and a full life is tough but rewarding. With the help of a few of the earlier members we have resurrected our club to about 15 meeting-attending-members and about a 30 person roster. I am proud of what we have grown into so far but would like to get the club to the next level. Hopefully by the end of the month our website will be up and flourishing our tournament will scheduled or done and our membership will be up.
This is a huge update. If you made it this far, thank you. Also, while I am at it: Thanks to everyone who contributes to Sensei's library. This is possibly the best resource for Go players on the web. This site and Gobase can fight it out for top honors. Till next time...