Monday, July 04, 2005

Memorizing Pro Games

A few months ago, Nachtrabe got me interested in memorizing pro games, but somehow I never actually sat down and did it. Well, I half heartedly started on one, but life and other go studies kept getting in the way, and I don't think I can still do more than 30 moves or so of that one, if that much.

Then last week, two things happened. First, we finally got IGS working with our firewall (had to set up some proxy stuff) so I could watch the last game of the Honinbo finals. It was quite an experience, very intense game, and it was a lot of fun to discuss moves while they were being played. Black (Cho U) was ahead most of the time, but White (Takao Shinji) managed to pull off a .5 win with extremely skillful play. I spent most of a night watching the game, but had to go to sleep at 5am or so. The game was still in full swing when I logged off.

The next morning, I wanted to know who had won, and spent quite some time web surfing trying to figure it out. Amazing how even CNN doesn't cover important events like the Honinbo finals! Finally found a Japanese newspaper which had covered it and then used Babel Fish to translate it. Now I had closure. Of course, still had to find the kifu and play the game, but at least I knew who had won. I had hoped for Cho U to win, because that would have given us one or two more games.

Second thing which happened was a few days later at go club. Our dan player was talking about the game, and commenting on it, and playing it from memory! He said he hadn't even tried to memorize it, just had been replaying it so many times, that it got stuck in his mind. Hmmmmm, well, if he could do that, I figured I should be able to do that too.

I seriously started memorizing this game a few days ago, and even although life and other studies still are getting in the way, I have been able to memorize the first 150 moves so far. Shouldn't be too hard to memorize the rest. The game has amazing depth, every move has so much meaning. And I have to admit that it just is fun to memorize it. I am also hoping that it will help me with memorizing my own games, which I have been wanting to do for ages. I can sometimes recreate the first 20 to 40 moves or so, but that's it. And I am not able to do that every game anyway. So much to work on, so little time!

1 comment:

Tristen said...

When I was about 4-kyu (and having never studied go before, only played), I decided to lift my game and do some study. I memorised the entire bango between Ota Yuzo and Shusaku (from "Invincible"). Within a month I had left 4-kyu behind, where I had been stuck for some years. Of course, I've forgotten the exact sequences now, but I still remember the games

Memorising pro games is one of the best things any player can do. There's a lot of subconscious learning going on, and it helps with your own games. I'm now chipping away at the 1971 Honinbo Tournament.

Keep at it!