Thursday, January 26, 2006

Annoying Invasions

Just venting about a game I played last night, on one of my mess-up accounts. I played a 12k on KGS and things went ok until he started a bunch of unreasonable invasions in my corners. The first one, I thought he just had misread, even although it seemed far fetched. After that, it just got annoying. I felt that he was hoping for mistakes from my side, because there was no reasonable way that any of his invasions could work. Very annoying.

And of course, there are the times when an annoying invasion like that does work, because I do screw up. On the other hand, then I usually see it as a learning opportunity to play the whole game.

Last night wasn't one of them though, I ended up winning the game by almost 60 points, some of which he had given to me for free.

Good reminder for me to only invade when it is reasonable, since those senseless invasions are just rude.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Consistency seems to be my biggest issues in games at the moment. I feel that I can play anywhere from 3k to 23k in one game, mostly good moves, but once in a while a really bad move to make up for the good ones. Half of the time I forget about my new playing style. Another half of the time I go for experimenting instead of for the win. And the last half of the time I just plunk instead of think, often too fast. Yes, I know those are three halves, just wanted to stress the frustrations I am feeling over all this.

One reason could be that I am experimenting with a more territory oriented style. I always have been more of an influence player, so this is quite new to me. I guess the only thing I can do is plodding on and hoping for the best. Once in a while I do have a good game which gives me hope, but they are still too rare.

I am really enjoying my new study plan though. I am studying pro games almost every day, and learning a lot from it. Which makes me experiment more too, so it might be a mixed blessing. Still doing problems too, but not as many as I used to do. Pro games is my focus for now.

I guess I should work on my consistency, but not sure how to work on it. Maybe it all comes back to focus yet again, and maybe I should just accept that experimenting might mess up my games in the short run, even if it makes me stronger in the long run.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

2005 Statistics

Generated by the KGS statistics page.
Player 'nannyogg'. All games.

From 2005-01-01 to 2005-12-31 (365 days).

Number of games played: 650
Number of unfinished games: 6
Number of forfeited games: 0

Number of wins: 272
Number of losses: 378
Average number of games per day: 1.78
Win ratio: 41.85 %

Number of games played as white: 241 (win ratio: 54.36 %)
Number of games played as black: 409 (win ratio: 34.47 %)

Number of different opponents: 262

Random remarks:
  1. I didn't play enough games, less than two per day!
  2. I do a lot better as W than I do as B (ok, makes perfect sense anyway, but fun to see it in numbers)
  3. More different opponents than I had realized.
  4. The top five of people I have played most frequently are shygost, FlameBlade, hurkle, Kipawa, and GoChild.
  5. I was too lazy to actually include my Rated accounts, but it's not like I have played a lot on those anyway, would add maybe 20 or 30 games at the most. Some day I might feel organized enough to include them, but not today.
  6. Didn't include turn based either, but that is almost a different kind of game, I do both better and worse on turn based (better because I can think longer, worse because I sometimes forget about things like fighting a ko when making a move hastily.
  7. Didn't include real life games either, so maybe that would add another fifty or so.

I wish I was at the MGA tournament or the OZA instead of stuck at home, cleaning things I didn't particularly want to clean, but which are staring me in the face now.

Pesky Weather

"... Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect from 1 am to 4 PM
EST Sunday...

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect from 1 am to 4 PM EST

Expect 3 to 6 inches of snow. Also strong northwest winds will
also cause any snow to drift and could suddenly reduce
visibilities for motorists. The quick cool down will also cause
any ponded water to freeze... making roads and walkways very
slippery late tonight and Sunday."

Since it's a two hours drive to the MGA tournament in good weather, and the weather doesn't seem to be particularly good today, I have decided not to go to the tournament. This sucks. But somehow it seems too much to drive five or six hours through weather like this, just to play a few games. Well, at least that is what I am trying to convince myself of.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Luo, King of Ko

He did it!! He did it!!! Luo Xihe defeated the nr 1 player in the world, Lee Changho. Heck, he also defeated nr 2, 3, and 4 before he beat Lee.

This was yet another spectacular game. Complicated ko fighting, in the end resulting in a 5.5 points win for Luo. His new nickname by the Chinese team is 'King of Ko'. The game lasted 360 moves, I wonder whether that's a record for a pro game.

Some pictures have been posted on

Luo rocks!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

New Study Plan

Yet another change in the making. I have decided that I will focus more on reviewing pro games and less on doing problems. This is after Janice Kim's article on getting stronger in the Jan 2nd AGA Ejournal. She says that study time should be spent on game records and tsumego problems, in a time ratio of about 2 or 3 to 1. My current studying is more like 1:10, I do way more problems than studying pro games.

My new study plan will be to use about 2/3 of my time on pro games, and 1/3 on problems. The first pro I want to study is Yamashita Keigo, because I like his style, but the last few days I have been distracted by Luo Xihe games, because of the Samsung finals. He lost his game last night, by 3.5 :( Tonight will be the deciding game, he'd better beat Lee Changho!

Sunday will be the MGA tournament. We will go there with three members of our go club. Looking forward to a serious day of playing. I have decided to just enter at 5k and see whether I can get my rank up by playing. I have no idea what would be a good number otherwise anyway, so can as well use my official rating. Now I just need to win all my games :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Go, Luo, Go!!!

Last night was the first game in the Samsung finals between Luo Xihe and Lee Changho. It was yet another amazing game for Luo. He seemed ahead from almost the start, but at some point things didn't seem too good for him. Lee managed to create a disadvantageous ko for Luo. Luo turned it all around with another ko and managed to win the game by resignation.


Only one more game to win!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Wings League King Tournament

Let's say that I still have room for improvement in my tournament play. I managed to play 0-3. Impressive, huh?

Actually, it wasn't that bad. I did lose all my games, but felt I mostly played well. I lost on a few big mistakes as opposed to lousy play throughout. Things like throwing away a won game and such. A friend desribed it very well. 'Your moves were like strong - strong - strong - strong - weak and the weak ones negated the strong ones.' So I just have to get rid of the weak moves and I'll be fine :p

Every single game I made one or two big mistakes to lose the game. Oh well, I had fun anyway. And as always, I learned a lot when we reviewed the games later.

I think part of the problem was that these were daytime games, so lack of focus was an issue. Hard to focus when baby has to go to the potty for the 54th time in 30 minutes. Or when fights had to be mediated. Or when some one wants yet another sandwich. I even missed an obvious atari, which is a bad sign. One of those 'where did my stones go???' ones :)

Still feel good about my games, since I mostly played well. Just have to get rid of those few weak moves. And it was just fun to play in this tournament, who cares about winning or losing anyway.

Next weekend is the Boston tournament. Let's see whether I can do better in a real life games setting, without my kids to distract me.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Utter Failure

After the good game against sarge, I managed to play a bad game against kongkaroo. It started out ok, but I focused way too much on territory, couldn't find a balance. Heck, didn't even try seriously for a balance. Got a bit hyperfocused on territory instead.

He got a massive moyo, which I helped him convert into territory. I did get a tengen stone in there in time, but then failed to connect to it, because I was too busy making territory. It's all about balance.

I got properly yelled at afterwards, and now see how my joseki choices and other factors lead to my demise. So I learned a lot and this will never again happen to me! (yes, you can stop laughing now)

Today is Wings League Kings Tournament, for the winners of the monthly leagues. Let's see whether I can play my new and improved style and not fail utterly this time.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

New Playing Style

Writing the post on playing down to weaker players, and reading other people's thoughts on it has helped me to figure out the problem. At least I hope so. I just do too many overplays and silliness against weaker players, I am going to get rid of it. My new plan is to play any opponent as if he is firebolt (KGS 5d) or shygost (AGA 6d). They are the strongest players I play, and somehow they don't let me get away with anything. I should assume that everyone plays that way, even if they don't, so that I'll play the right move. And resist the temptation of pushing just a bit more than I should, or invading just a tad deeper than is reasonable.

Sounds good, right? Sounds very reasonable. The hard thing is to actually do it. Last night was the first game I seriously tried it. Since I was experimenting anyway, I decided to also go for territory instead of my normal influence based games.

The whole game I kept these three things in mind:
  1. Territory
  2. Strong moves
  3. Calmness

I resisted playing so many more fun moves. I never jumped into places I would usually have jumped into. My play felt soooooooooooooo slow. But somehow, I managed to win anyway. I calmly took territory, split two groups, surrounded them, and killed them. Or maybe he killed them himself, since he was defending things he shouldn't have, while he was running. Whatever the case, I felt very good about my game, I hope I can keep this up.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Playing Down to Weaker Players

I have noticed an interesting phenomena in my games, when I play on my ranked accounts on KGS. Because I usually only play on them when tired, or dealing with a lot of interruptions, they tend to be a bit underranked. Sometimes the game goes just fine, but I have too many instances when I start playing weaker when I play a weaker opponent. Making bad moves and bad decisions. I have been thinking why this is the case, but haven't come up with the perfect explanation yet. If only I understand it, I can fix it, right?

I seem to try out more unreasonable things on weaker opponents, which is not a good way to play, playing the opponent instead of the board. I kind of count on them not being able to punish correctly, and get an ok result. Sometimes they do punish correctly anyway. So part of it might be underestimating my opponent.

The opposite is true too, they do things which I know shouldn't work, or are bad moves, but I am not always able to prove that to them, and they still get a good result.

Another thing which was brought up by a strong player 'When I play a game of go, I play with my opponent. When weak players play go, they play against their opponent' This was an interesting way of looking at it. I sometimes feel that I not only play against my opponent, but also against myself, losing the game all by myself, without my opponent having to do anything.

And of course, there is the obvious fact that I usually only play on these accounts when I am tired, so it could very well be a lack of focus. A few nights ago i played games in which i missed basic atari's. Very very bad.

Maybe I should stop playing when I am tired, but it is nice relaxation. And at that point, I am usually too tired to study too, so playing always seems attractive. But I also am interested in figuring out what I can do to start playing more strongly against weaker opponents, since some of my games have been ridiculous.