Thursday, February 10, 2005

Go for Kids

A few weeks ago, I bought the book 'Go for Kids', by Minlon Bradley. I had really bought it as a little nudge for my kids, to get them more interested in the game. But today, I picked it up myself, and was surprised how much I still could learn from it. A lot of 'magic formulas' or rules of thumb which I never consciously knew about. Often the flow of the game would make me play there anyway, but reading this book will make me step back and consider the whole board more often.

For example, I never know that the influence of a shimari is projected at right angles to the base formed by its two stones, and in direct proportion to the spacing between those stones. It makes total sense, and I had an intuitive grasp of it, but seeing it visually, and verbalizing it really helps to consolidate it in my mind. As does the advice to extend in the direction in which the shimari's influence is strongest. I had always just extended which side looked best, and am pretty sure that I must have extended in the wrong direction pretty often. Now I'll pay more attention to my extension moves.

The only thing I missed in this book was an index. I wanted to look up something, and I had a hard time locating it, because of the lack of a good index. But apart from that, it is a very well written book, interesting for kids, but not bad for adults either. I know I learned more than I thought I would.

Now maybe some day, my kids will become more interested in go. I have a few playing half-heartedly once in a while, but they haven't really gotten into it. Oh well, maybe some day, or maybe not.

I think I have been playing a bit too aggressively. I am invading more often than I should. It is hard to find the balance between minding my own business, and making sure my opponent doesn't get too much territory. I am going to try to take a step back and be a bit less aggressive. But only a bit :-)

I am really enjoying the DragonGoServer, there is a more relaxed quality to the games, and there is more time to think about a move. And as another go blogger pointed out to me 'It is like playing simultaneous games, forcing you to see the whole board situation in a glance every time'. Very happy that some one gave me a gentle nudge to start playing on DGS.

Still playing The Many Faces of Go when I don't have time to play a full KGS game. Yesterday, I beat both level 6, and level 7. Up to level 8! The program has 10 levels, so I am getting closer to its highest level of play.

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