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How to improve [#2816]

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thanatos13: How to improve (2012-06-02 16:45) [#9447]

Hi there. It's good that you're aiming to become a pro. Here's some advice, take it with a grain of salt, if you want. StartingPoints on the sidebar of sensei's library is a great way to improve. However, the quickest way to improve is by getting some teachers (interchanging between teachers is best, so you don't receive too many of their bad habits).

How to get a teacher:

1. Try your hardest to go to a go club and always ask a stronger opponent to review. (and review for the weaker players of course)

2. Go on KGS. There are many people willing to teach you, on the KGS Teaching ladder, the beginner's room... etc. If there isn't a game up for teaching, then put up a previous game that you want reviewed by others (choose one that you lost preferably). Then ask politely in the chat if anyone can review it.

Have fun. If you have fun playing go, you'll improve in no time.

Hal9666: Re: How to improve (2012-06-02 18:28) [#9448]

Regarding the starting points, I've already read through the Beginner Study Section(I should note that somewhere). When I get to the part of my study plan where I "read material relevant to my mistakes" that's usually what I read.

As for finding a teacher, I actually found a go club about a third of the distance of what I thought was the closest go club, I'm going to a meeting tonight to see if that club will work out. I'll try the KGS idea, I've already submitted a game to The Go Teaching Ladder, but the more reviews I can get the better.

I had planed on getting some online lessons, but I'm not sure how regularly I could do so, so I didn't mention it on my study plan.

Thanks for the advice.

X Re: How to improve (2012-06-02 19:10) [#9450]

KGS+ is a good way to get lessons in the form of lectures. If you have scheduling problems the lectures are archived and you can watch and listen any time. You can take one-on-one lessons from pros on line, too. They are more expensive. Guo Juan, Yilun Yang, Minjiu Jiang, and James Kerwin, etc., are good professional teachers. SOme pros may be better than others for players at your level, and you would undoubtedly benefit from studying with strong amateurs, e.g. Cornel Burzo, Christian Pop.

Hal9666: Re: How to improve (2012-06-04 02:29) [#9454]

I'll look into those KGS lessons. As for the one on one lessons, I already know of quite a few professionals and strong amateur plays who offer lessons. Also, my reason for not being able to regularly take lessons is lack of money not time.

thanatos13: Re: How to improve (2012-06-02 23:57) [#9451]

yay! okay. you'll improve in no time then. cheers!

tapir: ((no subject)) (2012-06-04 15:36) [#9455]

The main problem (next to realistic self evaluation) might be the attitude. How in the world can you "plan" your ascent to top professional when you just started playing? Try to improve, get strong... if you do so sufficiently there might be an opportunity to turn professional, but it simply does not work the other way round.

I don't agree with interchanging teachers. The point of a teacher is that you listen to him/her, if you are not willing to accept the teaching do not take a teacher.

Hal9666: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-04 23:24) [#9457]

I'm not really sure what you're getting at; you may have misunderstood me. I don't have a timetable for becoming a professional player. It may take me a decade to go pro, and then I may break the record for oldest person to be promoted to 9-dan the day before I die. I realize I can't become a top pro overnight, and I have no delusions that it will be easy. When I say my goal is to become a top ranking professional go player, I mean that I will devote all my extra time, money, and energy to reach that goal and I'll never be satisfied with how good I get.

If you didn't misunderstand me and you simply meant to say that I have almost no chance of ever becoming a pro, then let me share with you one of my favorite quotes.

"Tragedy lies not in setting your goals too high and failing. True tragedy lies in setting your goals too low, and achieving them." - origin unknown

As for the part about teachers, that's really a rather philosophical matter. I believe, and I highly doubt I'm alone on this, that the goal of learning from a teacher is to get as much knowledge as possible. Nobody has complete knowledge of any subject, so in order to amass as much knowledge as one can, one must learn from many teachers.

One last thing, I'm not sure why you put "plan" in quotes. I never actually used the word plan to refer to my goal of becoming a top ranking pro. I used "quest", "goal", and "long journey"; I may have been wrong in assuming that those implied that I realize it will be very difficult.

Slarty: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-05 04:57) [#9458]

You can set your goal at infinity, but that doesn't tell you what to do next - only achievable shorter term goals do that.

My comment below is getting at the difference between knowledge and wisdom. I assure you there's much too much knowledge about Go to make focusing on that worth anyone's time. The classic example is trying to memorize joseki. You sound a little headstrong, not that that is necessarily bad.

thanatos13: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-05 06:52) [#9459]

Okay, so here's the whole thing about teachers :D Having one teacher is fine, if he's 6 stones stronger. If said person is 8kyu (i would say 3dan, but for now, stick with 8kyu :P ) or less, this information is not solid, but there is some basis anyways, so listen and try what he/she says, until a stronger player says otherwise. Therefore, my comment about having multiple teachers is about being practical with whom you are going to get taught by (probably not dan players unless if you're lucky).

As for Slarty (and of course, Hal9666), thine below comment is true for most of us. However, when a double-digit kyu plays too many off-moves without being punished properly, they form bad habits.

As for the comment that I'm replying to (Same guys), the goal is huge, but there is no reason to kick someone off a horse when he hasn't even gotten on yet. It won't even hurt him . . . (disclaimer, have contingency plan :D ).

Take your time, because go is all about balance. The balance between each move: black, white, black, white. If he first has the knowledge, understanding it becomes easier after being made aware (if one knows to understand each move). If he understands the principles, knowledge will come even easier.

@Hal: Take your time, understand and learn the shapes of the board, and feel the ebb and flow of each move. Just remember to understand after you learn, because it will help you improve to be strong. I'm not gonna assume that you'll make it, but I'll not demean your aspirations, as we all had it. "stay foolish, stay hungry." -A guy that i kinda don't like but is very wise.

tapir: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-05 14:41) [#9460]

If you have true ambition to become one of the strongest players in the world, you wouldn't waste your time talking about it. It is the kind of lazy fantasy people engage in when they are not actually trying.

For me the most important part of receiving lessons was not "more knowledge" but thinking less about irrelevant stuff during each move and stick more to the relevant stuff I already know and really apply it instead of thinking about it.

Also, imo, overplays are less of a bad habit than it might seem. Your play will become more solid naturally (after being devastated several times - if you keep a flexible enough mind to change your ways) - professional games might seem calm because the opponents are shadow dancing looking for an advantage / weakness to exploit all the time and they are willing to strike hard when an opportunity arises. You can play such a calm game only if you trust your fighting strength, imitating it when you fear fighting will not work.

Hal9666: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-06 06:22) [#9465]

I find it amusing that you think the amount of time I waste talking about it is non-trivial. More to the point, I made my goal public as a means to motivate myself. If I kept my goal to myself I could quietly abandon it in the future without anybody knowing. Since I made it public, if I ever feel like quitting I'll remind myself that people will think me a quitter and I may let down some random person out there inspired by my quest. I also think that if I achieve my goal, a chronicle of how I did so would interest many people.

I made a statement about teachers in general, you're making a statement about go teachers specifically, but this isn't the place to discuss such things.

In the future, please keep your comments about my chances or dedication to yourself. You'll never convince me to abandon my goal, nor do I believe that is your true intention. You seem to be more interested in mocking me than anything else.

I'll never manage to convince you that I am sincere about my goal and that I stand a chance of achieving it. You will never convince me that I don't have a chance. Only time will tell who was right. I will either reach my goal or die trying. I will make sure that if I do die trying, somebody posts a copy of my obituary so that you may laugh at me for wasting my life on a crazy dream.

tapir: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-06 13:42) [#9466]

Public announcement usually does not help in achieving what you want on the contrary. ([ext]

Unlike the other respondents who give you generic beginners advice but don't take your plan serious at all, I at least try to take you serious and motivate you. You know, you set yourself a formidable goal and there will be tougher obstacles on your path than an occasional doubter on the sideline. I mean, why don't you challenge me say in a year from now, instead of threatening to send me your obituary?

Hal9666: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-07 05:04) [#9472]

I'm not here to have a debate on this topic, but I will say that not everybody works the same way. I've found that personally I tend to stay motivated easier when I know that my failure will be public. I also assure you that I am in no danger of completely losing motivation, I'm worried about the loss of a small part of my motivation. I would also like to point out that I have other means of staying motivated that aren't really worth getting into. I phrased my earlier post poorly, my reasons for making my goal public are probably more like the following.

From most to least important
Create a chronicle of my journey.
Solicit advice.
Prevent loss of motivation.

I really doubt you are even trying to take me seriously. I don't actually care that you doubt me, if you had been talking to me in person I'd have simply ignored you. I only reply to you because you have chosen to express your doubts in a discussion of my personal page. Not replying to you would make it seem like the thought of failure has never crossed my mind and your mention of the possibility has left me speechless. My reason for replying is to show that I do not take my goal so lightly that I would be dissuaded my some random person on the internet.

As for my comment about the obituary, it was a joke which I shall now ruin by explaining. I was implying that you are a sadistic and cynical person who would derive joy from somebody wasting their life away. It was also my way of subtlety admitting that I realize my chances are slim. Also I didn't say I would have it sent to you, I said I would have it posted. I meant that I would have it put here as the last entry in my chronicle. To clarify things, I'm not really going to do that.

About your remark that I should challenge you, I'm guessing this is just further mockery. You and I both realize that I have very little chance of closing the gap between IGS beginner class and KGS 2d, plus whatever skill you gain, in a year. Despite this, I will actually take your advice. I challenge you to a game one year from today, June 6th 2013, plus or minus a few days to avoid scheduling problems. The game will have no handicap, but I will let you take white.

From now on I will not respond to your mockery. I've already said that neither one of us will convince the other, though perhaps our game will convince you. If you don't think I can achieve my goal or that I shouldn't even try, keep that opinion to yourself it is neither original nor unique. Nobody is forcing you to read my pages, but you posting in my discussion section is the internet equivalent of taping a note to a brick and throwing it trough my window. If you want to discus something aside from my chances of achieving my goal, my dedication, or my sincerity in trying, then I will do so gladly since you are a more skilled go player than me.

Slarty: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-07 06:44) [#9474]

Maybe a moderator should review this thread for cynicism, mockery, negativity and the like. I can only conclude that this conversation was hilarious, which I did not notice earlier.

tapir: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-07 10:48) [#9475]

When 10 years to professional is your plan, 1 year to play an about even game with a shodan isn't mockery but just a necessary (though ambitious) first step on a long path.

Anyone telling you differently isn't honest with you.

thanatos13: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-07 17:00) [#9477]

Ah, don't misunderstand Tapir. He's actually a nice guy (imo).

The thing is, he's seen too many of these. How many go players start off stating their intention to go pro? Too many :P As a librarian, he sifts through a whole world of broken dreams. His first comment was really good advice. "Get stronger." Although he sounds quite negative, his comments mean well.

Think about all the Starcraft pros, they don't start off thinking "I'm gonna be a pro." They think: "I'm gonna be the very best, that no one ever was." Becoming a pro is a lifestyle that you want. Becoming strong is a conviction. I think that this is what he means.

I actually like Tapir's challenge to you, it's something solid that's there to motivate you to improve. Even if you don't reach shodan in a year, it should be a fun game to watch. I look forward to it. (so long as it's on good terms) It'll be a great showmatch. If you read the true meaning of Tapir's comments, they mean well, but are so negative that it can be used as ammo for a lightning cannon.

Have a fulfilling life, and honestly don't take things too seriously. Go is to have fun >.< People forget to have fun all too often, don't be one of them. :D


@tapir: Your comments. . . are too OP. Your latest comment is so crabby, you could've just said, "Oh dear, you misunderstood me. I just wanted a showmatch to see your improvement after a year. It'll also give you a solid goal, I mean who doesn't want to defeat me, Tapir, King of the Awesome(funny)-Looking Animals?"

tapir: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-07 18:26) [#9478]

OP doesn't compute. What does it mean?

To answer by analogy:

As long as Hikaru isn't serious he talks about becoming professional and winning a title or two forgetting that he is still losing to his fellow club member Tsutsui. When he becomes serious, he is more like "I want to get strong. I want to beat him. This arrogant... this... this scoundrel." but turning serious he stops the easy talking about his inevitable rise to the top.

Indeed, I am annoyed by Hal. And I am fascinated how much he misreads my comments. For comparison: Try to make a new account on Wikipedia calling an admin a sadistic and cynical person - the reaction won't be "Get stronger and beat me one day." So Hal, please start asking actual questions that may help you in getting stronger. (s. BigQuestionMark) Thanatos13 understood me so much better ...

Hal9666: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-08 05:39) [#9481]

The only part I'll reply to is the part about BQM. I'm aware of Big Question Mark and have read a few of them, but I don't have anything that is BQM material, when I do I'll be sure to make a BQM.

Hal9666: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-08 05:36) [#9480]

Tapir just rubs me the wrong way.

I realize to somebody that doesn't know much about me I can come off as some hopeless dreamer who thinks it would be great to be a pro but has no idea what it takes to become one. I don't think that's a good reason to say that I'm not serious about my goal or dedicated to achieving it; if somebody views me this way they should just ignore me until I've proven them wrong. I also think it is always better to ask questions than to make assumptions.

I don't know anything about Starcraft pros, so let's not stick with that analogy. I do think that many go pros start off thinking they want to become one. I don't think most inseis get good enough to become an insei without having it as a goal. In general, I don't think accidentally accomplishing things is anywhere near as common as accomplishing them through hard work and dedication. I think the number of professional go players who became pros after they suddenly realized that, without trying, they became good enough to go pro is dwarfed by the number of pros who decided they wanted to become a pro then became strong enough.

I never forget to have fun, but I love learning and go, so learning about go is very fun.

Also, just an FYI, I'm writing a subpage on why my goal is what it is. It's mostly to save me from answering questions in the future, and from dealing with detractors, but you may find it interesting as well.

Dieter: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-08 10:12) [#9483]

Indeed Hal, just as much as one can criticize you for how writing about your goals is sucking up the energy to achieve them, one can wonder what drives the rest of us to spend time on criticizing you.

Obviously your goal, which is in the area of our interest, the game of go, unsettles the rest of us. Who hasn't secretly dreamt of being a pro? Who wouldn't like to be several stones stronger? All of us have made improvement plans, set high goals, set realistic goals, and now we're here, still 2 dan after all these years.

And there comes a kid who has been playing for 4 years and suddenly decides that at 25 years of age his goal is to become pro. Of course that provokes criticism and cynicism and of course that is not to protect you from doing something crazy, because we probably couldn't care less about your mental health, but it is to protect ourselves from the thought that after all we may have failed to do something extraordinary because we have settled for mediocrity.

That's where all good advice comes from that says "don't be silly", except for your parents', who share the risks more than the rewards, as Paul Graham put it so eloquently. We could indeed, as you mention a few times, ignore you and wait for you to become pro, but the thought is so provoking that it doesn't go unanswered.

That said, good luck! Dieter Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-07 21:26) [#9479]

That's an interesting link, tapir. I've heard it before or have thought so myself before. Extravert people (like me) share their thoughts and dreams. When they get pats on the back for the plan, they're already partly fulfilled. Introvert people are more likely to achieve great success, because they don't do it for the acclaim by others, but for the fulfillment of the activity itself.

Apparently our friend Hal9666 is of the extravert type and has announced his goals to make them more real. It might be that he's already deluding himself by doing so. It might also be that he's a wonderful exception to all theories. Nothing is impossible and he just might become pro one day ... but I agree he should stop wasting his time convincing us with mouth talk and start hand talk asap.

Hal9666: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-06 05:51) [#9464]

I don't really have anything to say about this, but I wanted you to know I read it. Also, thanks for the advice and lack of cynicism.

Hal9666: Re: ((no subject)) (2012-06-06 05:38) [#9463]

You may want to look at my page /MyStudyPlan to see my short term goals. I think goals for each day, week, and month are pretty short term; all those goals are also very achievable. My page /QuestForPro also lists my current (shortish term) goal of reaching 10kyu on KGS.

I'm not interested in getting into a discussion of knowledge and wisdom, not here at least. I would like to say that you can not teach wisdom, knowledge is all a teacher can teach you; wisdom comes from experience. I realize both wisdom and knowledge are needed to be good at go(or anything else for that matter) but I only brought up knowledge in the context of teaching.Please don't discuss this topic further, it will only cause me to further derail this thread.

Slarty: You (2012-06-04 16:20) [#9456]

You are your best and only teacher. In addition to the go board, analytic reading, and lessons, you'll need to tap the world beyond. For example, you'll need mental stamina and a loving work ethic. Exercise. Also, an ever flexible intuition.

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