Thursday, September 29, 2005


Beware the jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

My favorite opening the last few months has been mokuhazushi (3-5 point). It can lead to some interesting variations, of which the Taisha definitely is the best. I still remember the first time some one hit me with the Taisha. He totally crushed me and then in review told me 'Beware the Taisha! The joseki of a thousand variations.' That got my attention and soon I started looking into the taisha. And playing it of course, with varying degrees of success. I have to modestly admit that I am getting better and better at messing up the taisha, so I am making progress there.

When browsing through Sensei's Library some day, I discovered that my favorite opening had a name. Well, kind of. A fun name too, some one named it Jabberwocks!

This inspired me to see whether the Jabberwock user id had been taken on KGS. To my utter surprise, nobody had grabbed it yet. I couldn't resist the chance to become a Jabberwock, so that's me now. Decided to use it as my very own wacky openings account. Mostly jabberwocks, but I might experiment with others too.

I wanted to experiment anyway, having heard from people that it's hard to get games with a question mark rank. It was unexpectedly easier than I thought it would be. I just put up a game offer and waited to see what would happen. My first ranked game was against a 5k, who utterly destroyed me. Rank was still a question mark after that. Second game was against a 19k, who couldn't quite crush me, and this got me my first rank, a [12k?] Still a question mark, but at least a rank attached to it. (the average of 5k and 19k, which made sense). And yes, I know I could have played ranking bots, but I wanted to see how hard it was to find real people to play. Not to mention that bots are just boring.

I have played a few more games, bouncing up and down in rank, it seems not too hard to find an opponent. I tend to get an offer within 5 or 10 minutes of putting up a new game, even with a question mark rank.

And to illustrate the success of the jabberwocks opening strategy, it was recently played in the last match for Oza challenger decision match, by Yamashita Keigo against Nakaonoda Tomomi. What a great game that was! Jabberwocks won Yamashita the priviledge of challening Cho U for the Oza title. I am looking forwards to their matches.

Tomorrow, Feng Yun will be at the Middlebury, VT go club. It will be wonderful to see her in person. Who would have thought that one of the only two female 9p's in the world would come to Middlebury, of all places.


ChiyoDad said...

I had heard of the taisha joseki but have yet to find an in-depth analysis of it. My understaning is that whole books have been written on it. Any reading suggestions?

Tristen said...

Dictionary of Basic Joseki Volume II goes through the taisha in some depth.