Sep 1st- Won a game this morning on KGS. I'm 18k and my opponent was 16k, so I took two stones handicap. I went up to his 4-4 opening stone with the low approach and the resulting fight went well for me; I spent the rest of the game chasing a big heavy baseless group around the board. A younger me would have gone all-out to kill it, but people have advised me to chase in a more leisurely way, and use the opportunity to enlarge my territory and frameworks. That worked well. I ended up with a big territory on the right side, a smaller one in the bottom left corner, and about 20 prisoners. My opponent could have resigned much earlier, but in a way I'm glad he didn't because it made me focus on guarding my cutting points and not make sloppy mistakes while ahead. I still did make mistakes though. I let a big dead group connect with a live one because I overlooked a shortage of liberties on a group of my own, and that cost me ~15 points of territory. I need to read better.
Sep 13th- I haven't had opportunity or motivation to play for the last two weeks due to being extremely busy at work. But yesterday I went back to the club and played two games, which I enjoyed immensely. In the first game I started off badly, allowing my opponent a large corner moyo that I could not find the time to reduce. In the end it came down to a long, complicated semeai. In the process of grabbing more liberties for my group I found myself worming my way into that moyo and so I was able to both win the capturing race and reduce my opponent's territory. I won by resignation. My impressions were that my opening is very weak still, but that my reading is getting better.
In the second game I played an even game against a much stronger opponent. This is the best I have played in my life. For much of the game the balance of territories was about equal. My opponent kept cutting me to pieces and making my groups weak, but somehow I was able to make life for the important stones and guess correctly which ones I could sacrifice. In the end it came down to another complicated fight. If I won it, I would win the game by ~10 points. If I lost it I would lose by ~40 or 50. Well, my opponent's experience, superior reading and knowledge of tesuji did me in. I couldn't get a real second eye (I mistook a false one for a real one for a long time) and resigned. But I took a lot of encouragement in pushing a strong opponent all the way.
Sep 20th- Again I've neglected to play online during the week. Part of it is that I dislike the anonymity, and part of it is that I worry about being interrupted by real life stuff if I'm on the net at home. I went to the local go club again and played another even game against the stronger opponent from last week. I won the Nigiri and took black, but that was about all that went right for me. After an even opening, white's tesuji skill and experience destroyed me again. It didn't help that I played two or three needlessly slow moves that put me behind. In the end I lost by resignation.
Sep 27th- Played on line again, and just confirmed my dislike of it. It seems that I'm 4 stones weaker on KGS than I am in real life. And I don't enjoy playing online. Still, I think I should stick with it because I can't improve if I don't play.