Saturday, May 20, 2006


It's over! I played 19 out of 20 games and ended up 10th place out of 59 players. Phew, such insanity. But also such fun. I wish I could say that I will never do this again, but I'd better not make promises like that.

This tournament has shown me clearly that I shouldn't play go during the daytime though. My playing quality goes way down with the continuous interruptions. I'll go back to my normal schedule of studying during the day, and playing at night. Much better.

Spending some time studying all the mistakes I made during this tournament. After I get some sleep, that is ^^

Friday, May 19, 2006


The iron man insanity is still going on, and I have to say that I have played a nice variety of opponents. Yesterday included a 24k and a 5d, today I played a 2d and a 30k so far. Nothing like getting wiped off the board first thing in the morning ^^

Last night at 1am, I decided to take a short nap before my 2am game. I put my alarm clock on 1:45, so that I would not miss my game. I check the settings about three times, just to be sure I wouldn't oversleep. Next thing I know, I wake up and it is 2:10am. So I missed that game, I was annoyed with myself and checked my alarm clock again to figure out why it didn't wake me up. Very simple. I had set it for 1:45 PM. I wish americans would use 24-hours time, like civilized countries do.

That was the only game I missed so far though, I am now at 18 out of 19 games, not too bad. Still annoyed though ^^

One more game to go, I hope I can make it. I have something going on tonight, but could be back in time to play. And otherwise, oh well. I am not going to have perfect attendance anyway ^^

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

One Colour Go

Today, at club, I played my very first game of one colour go. I had heard it wasn't that hard, and I have to agree. It was amazingly easy to remember which stone was which colour. It was made even easier by the fact that I stayed away from complicated fighting situations ^^ It also was made easier by the fact that I eventually resigned.

What I found hard was seeing the health of groups at a glance (which got me into trouble) and reading out aji around groups. I guess I will have to practice it more.

After the game, my opponent made me change all the W stones to real W stones, just to test whether i recalled correctly. I missed one W stone somewhere, but everything else was fine. Interesting experience.

Bad, Bad, Bad Mistake

Last night, I finally had a focused tournament game. I played against a 5k. He opened high chinese, I played one of the Chinese counter strategies.

When I played D7, I expected him to take E4, but he decided to split the top instead. I happily took E4 myself, and this position felt good for W. Although I have to admit that I my positional judgement is not strong enough to say that for sure.

He replied E5, and of course, I should have played the outside hane at F5, for which this result is to be expected.

This seems an ok result for W. But instead of that outside hane at F5, I made a bad mistake and played the inside hane at D5. Bad, bad, bad mistake! Very hasty. This was one of those moves where you click, stop, and stare in horror at the board. Where you get that sinking feeling of 'OMG, why the heck did I play that move???' in your stomach. This is the result I got. Bad for W. Sigh. I still can't believe I did that. Not like I didn't know it should be the outside hane. I end up with this sucky result (12 @ 7 )

I was very annoyed with myself. I had only one person to blame for this position, and that was me. I sighed and went on with the game, expecting to lose, but wanting to fight back and play good moves the rest of the game.

We played and we played, and we played. He got a huge moyo, I got a somewhat smaller moyo. I tried to grab points where I could and play actively. Still, I counted myself behind. Not by a huge amount anymore, but behind nonetheless. We were so far in the game already that I decided to just play it out, it seemed a shame to resign when there were only 20 or 30 moves left. I tried to catch up as much as I could in end game.

We played one of those manhood ko's, which I thought wasn't going to make much difference in the outcome. Still, this being an iron man tournament after all, I was committed to winning it. We found ko threat after ko threat, until he played away from the ko, even although he still had a ko threat left. I filled the ko, we both passed and I watched the counting. OMG!!! W+1.5 !!! That was quite a surprise. I clearly need to work on my counting. I tend to overestimate my opponent, while I under-estimate myself. Which doesn't impact games with a somewhat bigger margin, but in this case, it clearly did impact the result I counted.

I must have gained in yose, I will have to sit down and look at this game today. I was tempted to resign a few times during this game, but I am happy that I managed to get back into the game instead.

This morning, things didn't go so well. I managed to turn my stones into an earth worm which was just pathetically thrashing around. After a while I resigned in disgust, I had made too much of a mess. Yes, I could have lived, but with a horrible stone efficiency and I had really hurt two of my other groups. It was too painful to continue the game.

We are halfway there, ten games down, ten to go. Yes, this tournament is insanity, but I have to admit that I enjoy playing in it and trying to beat the challenge of playing as many games as I can. Not to mention the fact that I have played a nice variety of opponents.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Now I Remember...

Why I usually don't play day time games on line. Just too many distractions, I have managed to lose every single iron man game so far. On the upside, I did make it to all seven of the rounds. Of course, this means that I am now more committed to play as many games as I can, if only to remind myself that day time is for go studying, and night time is for playing :) I always joke I lose seven stones when all the kids are awake, and that seems pretty close to the truth.

I am sure each one of those games will have lessons to teach me, so I'll sit down later and calmly go through today's games. For now I just want to have some tea and study on my goban.

The ironic thing is that during my last game, I had 12 kids running around, a plugged toilet, and general chaos. And now that the game is over, almost all the kids are on a walk, back to their own home, asleep, or just doing something quietly. They have a good sense of timing ^^

I have been working on tesuji study, trying to do it in a more organized way. I want to improve both my speed and my reading depth. Lots of room for improvement.

Someone asked about the PDA I use. It's a Palm M105, which I picked up for maybe $40 on ebay last year. Even then, it was old technology already. It is perfect for my purpose though, I use it for go and geocaching. I use PilotGOne for my go studying, and am mostly happy with the program.

Ah, kids are back home with some animal bone, zombies and other assorted goodies. I'll go find a quiet corner and hide with my goban.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Temporary Insanity

Argh, I did it again! I wasn't going to sign up for the KGS Iron Man Tournament. Twenty games in five days, every 6 hours, is insanity. Last year, I managed to play all 20, so I feel that I have been there, done that and could try to behave more sane this time around.

It didn't work. I was strong till about 15 minutes before the tournament. When the announcement came up about the tournament starting in fifteen minutes, I was inevitably drawn to registering. And I can't even play all the games this week I think, I have some other commitments. But that won't keep me from trying anyway ^^

I played one game so far, against a 6k, I did mostly ok till he outread me in the end. Clearly shows I should work more on my tesuji problems. Was a fun game though. This morning, I was supposed to play a game, but my opponent never showed up. He had registered for both the open and the handicap division, and chose to play his handicap game. I had to wait for 45 mins for him to time out, what a pain. So I won on time, but I'd rather lost by playing a good game. Oh well, it is within the rules, but I wish KGS would make it impossible to enter both divisions at the same time.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Problems, problems, problems, problems

Have been doing tons of them, I guess that's an advantage of traveling. It turns out I brought way too many books though, I could easily stay another few weeks / months / years and be ok on the go books. Most of the time, I have been using my PDA, it is working out well. It is small and it is totally filled with go problems. My only regret is that I don't have a way to get new games / problem collections on there. But that is not really a big issue.

I have been playing a few games on KGS, but I was not really in a very focused mood, so they were not the best games I have ever played. It was nice as a distraction though. Gotta love the internet, where you can play go with your friends, wherever you are, whenever you want to.

Still don't feel very good at them, I just am way too slow, I will have to do more and more and more till my speed improves.

So much to study, so little time ^^

Saturday, May 06, 2006

You Know The Days Are Getting Longer...

... when dawn is breaking, and the birds are singing when you finally log off from KGS.

This means that there are more hours in the day to study go, right?

I will be traveling next week, so I won't be playing much, will be a good time to focus on problems. I will be stuck in bus, train, airplane for way too much time. The good thing is that I can do go problems without any interruptions. I am putting together a collection to put on my PDA, and I will take some books too, just in case something happens to my PDA collection.

Yes, I do realize that normal people usually don't spend more time on packing their go stuff as opposed to things like clothes. Or shoes. I have friends who have to take just the right shoes everywhere. I guess they have weird priorities. Glad I am not them ^^

For your entertainment, Morsus just added this poem to his user info.

Nanny Ogg has got a knack
At writing blogs she is no hack
But on the board her moves were slack
'Til Minue the whip did crack
And got Nanny back on track
Now she's got a new attack!
Burma Shave

Friday, May 05, 2006

MGA Spring Tourney

Last Sunday, three players from our go club drove down to Somerville to play in the MGA Spring tourney. It was a good tournament and one of our club members even managed to play a perfect 4-0 and win the tourney.

I didn't do as well, played 1-3, but one of the losses was yet again due to time.

My first game was even, and I got behind, but managed to pull back in an endgame exchange (mutual destruction). This was when byo-yomi madness got to me. I panicked and made a few bad moves, so I resigned.

The second game was another even game, and this time I managed to make enough bad decisions to get myself behind without coming back in end game. Another resignation.

Third game was more of the same, but the fourth game was better. The first three games, I didn't really care about winning or losing, but with the fourth game I did.

You see, the fourth game was against an opponent who I had played before. The last time I played him, I had killed a huge group of him. He continued playing and complicating in the hope of making me run out of time, and he succeeded. Yes, it is within the rules, but the way he did it felt kind of iffy. Especially when he later told me proudly 'The only hope for winning was to make you run out of time' Whatever.

This made me very determined to win my game this time. This was my only handicap game this tournament, I got 3H. I started out badly with a mistake in the corner, I was so annoyed with myself. I had some more doubtful moves, but I managed to pull off a solid win, even after I got into byo yomi. The MGA has a lot friendlier byo yomi than last week though. This was canadian, 25 stones in 5 mins. Much easier than the 4 times 15 secs we had last week.

I enjoyed all my tournament games, and did ok. Not as well as I had wanted to do, but good enough for now. I met a fellow KGSer, snip, which was very sweet. Only that was worth driving up to Boston already. The games were a nice bonus :)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

So much to study...

... so little time. The last few days, I have been swamped with real life, very annoying, less time to study go. Luckily, today is better, and I have played through the ear reddening game already, will do some go problems next.

Last Sunday, I went to the MGA tournament with two friends from club and met a bunch of other friends there. It was fun, even if my performance could have been better. I played 1-3 as 3k and one of the losses was yet again due to time. I want to dedicate a seperate post to the tourney, but today is reserved for studying and go club.

I have been replaying the first 180 moves of the ear reddening game and the Game of the Century every day. It is interesting to see that there seem to be new insights every day. I had never stayed that long with the same game, it's very different and it feels like the games are starting to become more part of me. I am sure it will be even more be ingrained once I have played them 10,000 times.

Today is a yucky and rainy day, perfect to stay indoors and study and play go. Off to do my problems!