: Re: how about sizes?
(2008-03-27 11:22) [#4561]
I see Dieter using board sizes of 5x5 and 7x7 for the stone counting teaching method. Dieter, how do you implement this, do you have special sized gobans for this or do you hide a part of the 9x9 board. The latter implementation might give introducees the impression that they are not playing the "real" game after all.
Yes, I hide part of the 9x9. It's unfortunate more from a practical standpoint than a philosophical one. Let them play the real game from the start and you'll have them frustrated, for sure. Believe me, no one ever complained about the small board, on the contrary: the goal was clear (living stones) and the end was near (small boards). The focused faces made a real difference with the puzzled gazes I've witnessed with the classical method or larger board sizes.
Also, how do these games end. It seems to me that one of the players will destroy all the stones of the oponent, or do living groups evolve on such small boards with beginner players?
Mostly, one destroys all stones of the other on 5x5. It doesn't harm: they rematch immediately. As soon as they understand how to keep the first stone advantage, I move to 7x7.
What if living groups do arise, will beginners fill up their own eyes in the end or won't they do that, and how do you facilitate these events as a learning experience?
That is proabably the biggest weakness of the method. Beginners do not see the danger coming of filling eyes. So they need a few failures before they understand this. Too many failures and they're frustrated, so he're I'll jump in and explain the two eyes concept. Still, I want to have them discover it at least partly.
I am giving an introduction course in the near future, and I would like to adapt the stone counting method. However, I would like to feel comfortable with it, before I start.
What is the topic of the first continuation lesson, so what do you teach the first thing after the stone counting game. It seems that using the stone counting game, the pupils get naturally introduced to life and death, do you still go into this matter in the next lesson?
Yes. For newcomers who just want to taste the game, I let them play as much as possible, with no teaching, just intervening for questions about suicide, life, ko and possibly seki. If they get the taste of it, I give a few easy L&D exercises such as vital points of three in a row. Really basic stuff. Remember they haven't gotten to the point where the eyeshape abstracts the group and outside liberties don't matter. For beginners, all liberties are the same.
If you're teaching a preconditioned audience, you can be more ambitious, though I think they should play, play, play. I'd rather move in some cultural stuff (Chinese origins, Edo Go, Korean dominance, where do computers stand ...) than any of sente, thickness, aji, miai ...
I hope you can give me some answers to my questions, especially Dieter seems to have some experience with this matter.