Sunday, November 05, 2006

9x9 as Teaching Tool

We have been playing 9x9 high handicap games with Kate. Today we added the challenge: Try to kill every single W stone. This is after a discussion with minue. He said: 'L&D is the conceptual basis of Go, and concept of territory is just a derived one from it. So mastering L&D of stones is first thing to do. I want to let her practice basic Atari and killing problems in 9H game. Go is a game about "how to ensure survival of my present and future stones and prevent survival of opponent's present and future stones." If we do that job well, more territory is gained just automatically as a side effect. Sacrificing to gain more territory, giving up my weak stones is a sort of trade between death of my present stones and survival of my futher stones'

Interesting, makes a lot of sense. I never had thought about using 9H on a 9x9 board that way. It is fun to set up ways for her to kill stones :) She even often figures out the vital point of a group. And one game, she saw a W group had miai for life and she decided 'If I play here, he can play there and he will live. But if I play there, he will play here and live. So he will live anyway. OK, I will resign.' ^^ And she did. And went off to play a computer game :) Nice to see how she didn't get upset about losing, she was very matter-of-fact about it. I have been telling her how she is supposed to lose half of her games, and looks like she understands and accepts that.

Here she is setting up go problems for her 5 years-old brother, who is utterly uninterested in go. Fun to see how she made up her own problems, and made sure to keep them simple for him. He never wanted to do them, but she got her father to solve them instead ^^.

I hope sharing the way we teach Kate, will help other people who are teaching beginners. And I have to say that I am utterly fascinated by the way she is picking up the game and is figuring out things. It is cool to watch her alternate making amazingly good moves, and nonsense ones.


Ash said...

Are you using a 19*19 board and then just using a quadrant with Kate? As opposed to a 9*9 board. I hope to teach my son's fiancee so she can then introduce it to her class of 8 year olds. I was going to start with capture GO on a 9*9 to begin with, now that I understand what capture GO is!

breezy said...

:-) Kate is a special girl. Happy to see those lovely pictures.