Monday, December 17, 2007

Two Brothers

Otake Hideo calls it family feud in his book (Opening Theory Made Easy). My teacher always calls it 'two brothers'. As in 'One brother has a bakery, and his brother opens a bakery just down the street from him. Common sense tells that they will compete with each other for customers and hurt each other's profit.

I know the theory, I know why it is not good to play this way, and somehow I still haven't internalized it enough not to do it in a tourney game.

This was my second game during the MGA tourney. This is the game position. I am white and it is my turn.

As you can see, my LL group is somewhat weak. But I look at the board, and start worrying about white not having enough. Instead of staying calm, and finding move B, I panic and play move A. Bad habit. Such a perfect example of two brothers.

We play for a bit more, I live, but at what a cost.

I was not amused at all. Minue reviewed this game and told me 'It is a very losing position, hopeless for white now.'

allpotti [8d?]: lets make income-expense statemnt of this invasion
allpotti [8d?]: white took 5pts, breaking 10pts
allpotti [8d?]: so, 15pts income
allpotti [8d?]: expense is
allpotti [8d?]: this, and much weaker white dragon
allpotti [8d?]: not easy to make exact numerical evalution of this expense
allpotti [8d?]: but, much bigger than 15pts for sure

Sobering thought. I did realize that in the game, but still decided to play on. I did live with my dragon, and eventually won the game, but this was just such a bad idea from me. I have to be way more careful not to get myself into the two brothers situation. It is not like it is rocket science, I don't know why I even played this way. It feels more like discipline than like knowledge. Looking back at this board, it feels almost resignable. I talked about that with minue too.

allpotti [8d?]: Right attitude about your mistake is,
allpotti [8d?]: "Ok. I made big mistake, and messed up. But if I make a big mistake, it means my opponent also may make it."
allpotti [8d?]: So, be tenacious...and don't give up easily
NannyOgg [-]: yeah, often when I am ahead by a lot, I pay less attention to the game, since I have won already
NannyOgg [-]: So can hope my opponent is like that.
NannyOgg [-]: Winning a won game isn't always easy
allpotti [8d?]: Yes,
NannyOgg [-]: Which means winning a lost game is always possible
allpotti [8d?]: Right.

This time it worked. But I could have saved myself so much trouble by not invading improperly in the first place. Die and learn. Or in this case, I lived. Let's hope I still learned.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Did It!

I finally decided that yes, I should go to the Oza in 2008. It wasn't hard to convince myself, even if it was a bit harder to convince my family. On Sunday, I took the jump and booked flights, hotel, and registered for the tournament.

I will go to the Baltimore one and am tremendously looking forward to it. My very first Oza.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Western Mass. Go Tournament

Yesterday, three people from our go club drove down to Massachussetts for the Western Mass. Go Tournament. We had my trusted GPS to actually get us there in time, as opposed to the time when I did not have my GPS and got lost in a snow storm. Uphill both ways!

The first game, I played my friend Rich, who is a nidan. We had a wonderful game, even if we both missed a big move, and I ended up resigning during byo yomi madness. Lots of study material in that game though.

Second game was against Bill S., a shodan. Before we played, he had lots of questions to ask me. 'How much do you study? What is your AGA rank? Who is your teacher? Do you go to the woodlands every time? Do all your kids have the same father?' I was so tempted to blame our mailman! Or the milkman. But I behaved. Mostly, that is.

We play. I find out his knowledge of joseki has room for improvement. But I leave a weak group so he takes advantage of that and I live with 40 stones and 2 points which annoyed me greatly. Now he had my attention. Up until now, I had been amused. At this point, I got serious.

I was wearing my new sweater. That should have warned him.

He invades. I attack. He says 'that will NEVER work!' I smile at him sweetly and say 'Prove it.' We fight for a while and when the dust settles, his invading stones are dead. Then I cut off more stones. In the process of that, he puts down a stone killing even more of his own stones. Stares at the stone for a few seconds. Goes 'Oh SHIT!' and takes the stone back...

I let it slide, I was winning already anyway. I was enjoying myself too much. He complicates, trashes around, and tells me he is going to live, pointing to his one-eyed group. He says that if he dies, he will resign. I play one more stone and he realizes that yes, he is really dead.

Last game I gave 9H to a 9k or 10k. He played reasonably well for his level, but I mst gameanaged to eke out a win by 12.5. Wasn't easy. But good challenge.

So I ended up going 2-1 and placed 2nd place in dan division, which sounds a lot more impressive than it is. The tournament was tiny, only 10 people, but it sounds good, right?

Fun thing, I got to meet db1 from KGS in person. I have known him on KGS for ages, but never knew he actually was a REAL person ^^ Very nice person too, I enjoyed meeting him.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Go Tournament Tomorrow

Tomorrow, I will play in the Western Massachussetts Go Tournament. It will be good preparation for the Oza in January.

It usually is a small tournament, so I expect to play at least a few handicap games. Will be interesting. I got a new PDA to record my games and transferring my PilotGone information was painless, I am impressed. The hardest part of the job was getting the PDA out of the stupid plastic casing it came in.

Now just need to remember to bring my PDA. And to find focus and calmness when I play. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Study Paying Off

I have spent a lot of time with Cho Chikun's Life and Death Dictionary, studying all those pesky corner shapes. I can feel that it is improving my game, but that's just a feeling, not always shown in a tangible way.

But then, there are games where I can see that yes, studying does help. My opponent had a keima enclosure from hoshi and I invaded it.

We played the normal ko variant. We fought the ko for a few moves, when he connected at A. This enabled me to live without a ko.

The rest of the game was awful, and the invasion was badly timed, but I still felt really good about having my study pay off in such a visible way. It was a simple sequence, but six months ago, I might have screwed it up anyway.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Puzzling Fuseki

Last night, I played some guest on kgs, and got totally lost in his fuseki. I still haven't figured out how I should have replied. This was the position. I am white.

The black formation at the bottom threw me. Opening theory says to approach an unfinished corner. But A seemed really bad with Black 7 in place. I pondered B, but that didn't seem much better. Maybe D to check an extension from his corner. I ended up playing C, mostly because I had no idea what else to do.

Looking back, maybe D was better, since the bottom is still so invadable. At least, in theory.

He pincered my approach stone, and I took sansan. We played out the usual joseki, although I felt that his Black 19 was slow, I expected him to play it at F17 instead.

My turn again, and yet again, hard decision. Looking back, I think I like A or B. I briefly considered C, and then I did what I do best. I panicked! Against better judgement, I jumped in at D, he pincered at F3 and things went downhill FAST from there. I won by making a lucky kill, but I feel that my troubles this game started when I played at D. So any opinions on this fuseki and how white should have played are very welcome.

If interested, the whole game can be found here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another Victim?

My six years old son is starting to show some more interest in go. Although for now, he mostly wants to do go problems, not play. But I can still hope, right?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ten Thousand Years Ko

Presenting the infamous 10,000 years ko.

As you can see, white will have to give black quite some moves to win this ko, making it almost same as the seki. But this ko is gote, and the seki is sente, which means that the sente seki often is the best play in this position.

Still, it is important to know that this is a possibility in this position too, and to be able to choose the right one for the board.

Go is so much fun!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Sente Seki

Here is the sente seki solution for the L+1 with two hanes group. It is what we learned first and for a while we thought was the only solution.

Simple and elegant, we were happy that we knew everything there was to know about this shape. Apart from the fact that we didn't :p

Tomorrow, I will post the 10,000 years ko. It starts with the same white attack at T2, but white can follow a different line of play after that.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

L Group Fun

I am finally mostly done studying the standard L and L+n groups with and without hanes. At least I think I am mostly finished. This position is the one which has given me the most fun, or maybe it would be better described as 'almost made my head explode'.

This shape seemed so simple. I like the double ko you can make when White attacks at T3. And I knew the sente seki White can make when attacking at T2. That was all there was to it, till I found another variation in a book. Instead of a sente seki, White made a 10,000 years ko.

Seeing that, made me half remember that, six months ago, J showed this ko to me. I remember saying to myself 'That is interesting' and immediately forgot.

I also think there was a thread on, although I couldn't find it when I looked for it. Naturally, I had just half read that discussion, and immediately forgot it too. I am amazingly good at forgetting things.

After I had seen the 10,000 years ko line in that book, I needed to convince my study buddies. They were not easily convinced at all, and our mailboxes were overflowing with refutations of the ko, and refutations of the refutations. One of my study buddies and I sat down in real life, and played it out and studied it on an actual goban. We agreed that yes, the 10,000 years ko seemed a valid option.

More research and bouncing it off people (J and minue) gave more clearness into the whole 10,000 years ko issue, and how the sente seki usually is better for White anyway. The ko still is a good variation to know though, just in case we find ourselves in a game where a 10,000 years ko is better. Not to mention that the 10,000 years ko is cuter than a boring seki, which is what really counts.

I'll post the sente seki and 10,000 years ko (which is gote) in a few days, so that you can spend some time looking at it yourself, if you are so inclined.

We have moved on to the long L-groups, which coincidentally also have a 10,000 years ko in the most basic shape.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tsumego of the Day

A few days ago, a friend sent me this tsumego. He couldn't find the solution.

We spent quite some time looking at it in our club's room on KGS, but could not come up with a solution either.

For now, we are considering the problem to be incorrect, but I wanted to post it on my blog to see whether someone can find a solution that we have missed.

The problem is black to play.

Have fun!

Monday, October 29, 2007


Over the last few months, I have found myself more and more in love with gogrinder. The problem was, I would learn something, and would say 'Wow, interesting!' and then go off and forget it right away. You know, when you are in a game and you look at position and say 'I KNOW I have studied this before, but I can for the heck of me not remember what I am supposed to do now.' Sometimes I still can remember what I am NOT supposed to do, mostly because the consequences of the mistake caused me more pain than learning the correct way.

I tried many different methods. For a while I was using uligo to review things I had learned. It wasn't bad, and actually is better than gogrinder when replaying pro games. But what I missed in uligo, was the historical data. Yes, I made 80 % on those problems today, but is that better or worse than I did yesterday? What about last month? Is there improvement, or did I just forget everything I knew perfectly a month ago?

This is where gogrinder is great. It keeps track of current and past high scores, both for the collection you are working on as for bigger collections. It is very easy to organize your problems into meaningful collections and keep track of how you are doing. It also enables to quickly and effectively review something I was studying a few months ago.

Every morning, I do some gogrinder collections and weep about how much I still have to learn ^^

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Aikido and Go

This weekend, I have been participating in an aikido / swordmanship workshop with Mr Dave Lowry. One thing that struck me a few times are some similarities between aikido and go.

Yesterday, he was talking about not showing your intentions to your opponent, which brought me right back to 'Preserve the aji' in go. So many of the same reasons behind it, both in aikido and go. Keep your options open. Don't reveal your plans to your opponent.

Today, he was showing how masters in swordmanship work on eliminating every superfluous movement. It was like listening to someone talk about stone efficiency. Very interesting to see the similarities.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Back to Basics

Yet again, I am finding myself going back to the basics. The last few days, I have been studying the L-group. We all know that the L-group dies as it stands. But what about a L+1 with two hanes? How the heck do I get that double ko in L+1-group? So many basic questions.

I discovered fast that I still had not mastered the simplest of groups with all its variations, so I have been studying and studying, so that I can see a certain L related shape and know immediately that it is alive for now, but I can make a gote seki later.

The study is both fascinating and frustrating, it makes me realize yet again how deep go is, how many variations you can get from a simple shape with a few variations. During my workshop, it was amazing how many people did not know even the simplest way to kill an L+1-group. It made me even more determined to know this shape in and out and in all variations, since it comes up in games all the time.

So many L-group vars, so little time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Back from Workshop

Last night, I came home from my workshop. It was excellent as always, I learned a lot of things. I feel that this time I understood bigger concepts. Maybe I was more ready to learn about them than during earlier workshops.

One big thing I learned is that my plans need to be more flexible. I cannot base my play on some future situation that will never show up, instead I should look at the board and decide on best move right now. Yes, it sounds so simple. But I managed to screw it up too many times.

Another thing I learned is that I often already know how to play, but for some stupid reason I convince myself that this isn't good idea on this particular board. I guess I need to be less hasty.

I also learned that dan players can have amazing gaps in their knowledge, making me realize yet again that we just know nothing.

Many people asked her how to get stronger, and every single time her answer was 'do tsumego.' Not surprising, but it's good reminder.

We played Survivor Go again, and I managed to get myself kicked out on my second move. And yes, that was yet another situation where I knew the right move, but hastily played the wrong move instead. Bad habit.

On the last day, we played simul. I totally screwed up one corner, but did mostly ok on the rest of the board.

I had a wonderful time, and am already counting the days till next year's Memorial Day workshop.

I uploaded many pictures if you want to see some.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Today, I will leave my house and drive through the Green Mountains to upstate New York. I was going to pack last night, but a friend asked for a game, and somehow the time got away from me. Oh well, I don't need much but a few books, and my PDA. I can easily do that in the morning.

I am looking forward to a weekend filled with go, serious games, and much learning to be done. I am looking forward to seeing my baduk friends again, and spend enjoyable time with them playing, watching games, and hiking.

And let's not forget the excellent food. Always amazingly good.

I'll see y'all back in a few days!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I Still Hate Talking Clocks

I had a great tourney, but talking clocks STILL are the bane of my existence.

The short story: I went 1-3, playing as shodan.

The longer story

The tournament was very small, only 14 players. Not unusual for Middlebury , but means there were a lot of handicap games.

My first game, I played against the only other shodan in the field, and tried to do my darndest best to attack his weak groups. I wasn't as successful as I wanted to be, but I managed to kill a big group. Thanks to the stupid talking clocks, it came back to life again in byo yomi... I was not happy. Luckily, my opponent wasn't happy either, because he unexpectedly ran out of time. I have no idea whether I would have won the game with the group back to life, at that point I didn't have enough time to count. I won the game on time.

My second game, I gave 2H to a 2k. I started out well, and had great thickness. I feel I wasn't using it enough though, will have to look at the game and figure out what I could have done differently. I screwed up a corner invasion, and by that time, I felt the board wasn't wide enough anymore to take compensation somewhere else, so I resigned. I will study that corner invasion.

Third game was challenging at first. I had to give 5H to a 5k, and I had serious doubts whether I would be able to do so. But lo and behold, I managed to do just fine and made a furikawari, and was ahead by about 15 points.

I was all happy, but he kept trying to live with his dead group, which ate up a lot of time and thinking, but eventually even he was convinced he was dead. By then, we were in endgame, and I was in the last 25 seconds of my byo yomi. This was not good. My Ing clock kept yelling at me. I glared at it, but it didn't help. I tried to ignore it, but was only half successful. I got hasty and made stupid endgame error. By that time we were the only ones left playing, so at least we gave the public some amusement. There was an audible, collective gasp when I gave away 15 points for no good reason at all.

I knew this was the game, but we were so close to the end that I finished it anyway. The counting revealed that B won by 0.5 points. Funny ^^ I made his day :)

In a way, I didn't really care, since I had proven to myself that I could give a 5k 5H after all. I had a very won game. I just needed to throw those Ing clocks out of the window.

By the time the last game came around, I was kind of tired and the best way to describe the game would be "a mess". After a while, I resigned in disgust at my own moves.

All in all, I had a great time. I have four games, all of which contain lots of learning opportunities. And I am happy I didn't lose all my games, but only three of them ^^.

Few observations:
  • Yet again, I was the only female, but then the field wasn't very big I guess;
  • I was the only one recording my games;
  • I was the first in the list of players in this tourney (from strong to weak) which was a very weird feeling. I am too weak to be the strongest;
  • Totally unrelated to go: I saw a river otter on the way back home, which was a nice bonus to the day;
  • Listening to Queen in the car convinced me yet again that "Another One Bites the Dust" would be on my go music play list if I actually would want to listen to music while playing;
  • I am happy I decided to go to this tourney after all. Last week I had myself convinced that I shouldn't go, but a few days ago, I unconvinced myself of that.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Tournament Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, I will drive up to Middlebury, VT, to play in a go tournament. Unlike usual, I don't seem to be suffering from much pre-tournament stress. Interesting. I think it helps that this usually is a very small tournament and I tend to know most of the people there. Not to mention that it will be a nice day off from other stuff going on in my life.

I am just going to regard it as a day to play three or four good games, and not care about losing or winning. Yesterday, I had good preparation at go club, where I played a small simul. I gave 3H to KGS 3k and 4H to AGA 5k. Won the 3k game, lost the 5k game. But I felt ok about my game in both instances and it gave me much more self confidence to play handicap games tomorrow.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Don't Panic!

Last week, I played a game which really taught me yet again not to panic. Yes, I know I have realized that before, but I am a slow learner.

The game progressed normally up to here.

As you can see, W is making a nice moyo, but B has good cash, so B can play calmly and win easily (I am Black). For a few moves, B did just that.

But suddenly, W's moyo grew and grew, and B's cash was getting smaller and smaller. I convinced myself that I was headed towards horrible doom. So I did what I do best. Panic!

I 'knew' I had to jump in, so I chose a likely spot, and did just that (F12). When sendol reviewed, this move got a dry 'looks deep' comment. Yeah, maybe it was just a tad deep indeed ^^.

The game went on and I did eventually win, but on my opponent's mistakes, not on my good play. Let's see what would have happened if I had really played calmly. Or as sendol said, the easy way for B. He showed me that it is hard for W to build the center.

sendol [-]: left side w is not big
NannyOgg [-]: i could just have stayed calm, i see
NannyOgg [-]: it felt HUGE :)
sendol [-]: not that huge^^
NannyOgg [-]: ok :)
sendol [-]: w cant make big area any more
sendol [-]: now yose

This game made me realize yet again that one should not panic, but count and play calmly. It sounds so easy in theory. But it definitely is an area in which I have tons of room for improvement.

Here is link to full review by Sendol.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Chinese Opening

This week is Chinese Opening week at our go club. We decided to study the Chinese opening by all listening to the first lecture at Guo Juan's audiogolessons, and study it together at go club.

The studying by ourselves went well, but we got kicked out of club early today. So we only studied for a bit together. Still, it was useful to have study buddies and motivation, and all look at the same lecture. I made an SGF file from the lesson, to help me look up details more easily. I knew most of the things in the first lecture, but it was a good refresher.

Today's go club was sad because of missing J, who had to go back to Singapore. It just isn't the same without him. But the good thing was that we had a visitor from London / Japan, who actually hiked six hours on the Appalachican trail to reach us (he was visiting his sister in a neighboring town). So he got to hike the Appalachian trail AND he got to play go at our club. Very nice gentleman, I enjoyed meeting him.

He was 6k, so I gave him 6H. I still am not good at giving handicap. I made big mistake when I took the corner at some point instead of jumping out. I was behind enough that I had to kill something, and luckily black obliged by not leaving a weak group. B flailed for a while, but eventually resigned. Not easy to play handicap as W, but I am getting better at it.

Next I played a 4k friend, at 4H. The game was pretty even (after he donated one of his corners in middle game) and I felt mostly ok about that game. I resigned because we wanted to get some studying in, but I feel that W was hopeful by then.

I will try to play a bunch of KGS games with Chinese opening, since I haven't used it seriously for quite a while. Will be interesting.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Playing my three year old. I love the way how she is seriously pondering the board.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Avalanche Madness

Minue has been teaching me several contemporary variations of the large avalanche joseki. It has been utterly fascinating to me, seeing all the half dead groups, learning interesting tesuji and new shapes.

I don't expect to use it in games much, but studying it is giving me a new sense of power. Of course, next time I play it in a game, I am just as likely to mess it up as to get it right, but I will be able to learn from that too, right?

And for now, it gives me something to do when I take the Oggettes to the playground.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Game Record of Mirror Handi Game

I uploaded the game record of the mirror handicap game. I still have no idea how I should have resisted his strategy. I did consider mirroring him after I played tengen, like someone suggested, but that somehow felt wrong. I didn't want to stoop down to his lows.

It is an interesting problem. He ended up winning the game by 10.5 points, so I guess his strategy was successful this game. I don't think he is learning much about go though.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mirror Go in Handicap Game

Last week, I was playing on one of my bogus accounts when I ran into this situation. I always play Chinese rules, so that means free handicap placement. This was a 4H game and he placed his handicap stones like this.

I thought 'Great! This is going to be an interesting game!' I wasn't too worried. I figured he might not know how to use this power. And if he did, we would have some good fighting, which is always fun.

Well... It didn't take long for me to realize what he was doing.

He was mirroring my moves... I know there are ways of breaking mirror go, involving ladders and such. But in this case, his four center handicap stones were interfering with that. I took a long break to ponder what to do and came up empty.

So I played a bit more and then decided to stop the mirroring. I played 29 as a probe to see what he would do, he replied at 30.

I tried to set up things so that if he would mirror more, it would go bad for him, but not for me. I wasn't very succesful at it though. He stopped mirroring anyway.

I have been pondering what to do next time this happens. Play the tengen move sooner and take it from there? Are there other strategies I can use? It's an interesting question, I welcome any input people have on it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Sorry State of My Social Life

Oh noes! KGS is down again! Let's hope it's not going to be another three days.

The recent and current KGS problems have shown me something I hadn't noticed before. I hadn't realized that almost every single one of my gtalk contacts is a go player. During the Long KGS Outage, almost everyone's first message would be about kgs being down.

And if I hadn't lost misplaced my cell phone, you would notice that 95 % of my contacts on there are go players too.

I guess today will be go study day instead of chatting playing. Or maybe I should try having a life! OK, maybe not ^^ Time to work on haengma problems.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Yes, I know, I haven't been posting much. I have been playing and studying, but not as much as usual because of some family stress. In between all the stress, we still manage to get baduk in though, at interesting locations.

Click here
for more photos at this Vermont lake.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Baduk in Vermont

Playing go outdoors is addictive. This time, we got ourselves to the top of a local mountain.

Many more pictures can be found on my flickr site. Who wants to play indoors when the weather is this nice?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Last iwamoto game 4-4

Last week, I played my last iwamoto game. I yet again didn't feel very focused during the game and overplayed too much, ended up losing by a few points. Oh well. Sendol reviewed the game. I learned a lot of interesting things during the review, so happy about the game anyway ^^. If only that I made too many greedy moves :p

This was the last game in the tournament. I can't say that I played very well, but I guess 4-4 is a reasonable result. Next year, I'll have to enter again and do better.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Go in the Gorge

Last week, our go club took the gobans to a local gorge to play. There is something wonderful about playing on the rocks, in between water and nature.

We had a gorgeous day, sun, water, friends, and go. What more can one ask for in life?

I uploaded many more pictures to flickr.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Last week at go club, J brought those home baked 'goban cookies'

Everyone tremendously enjoyed them.

And no, those are not ing stones, those are black and white M&M's.

Thank you, j!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Iwamoto tourney 4-3

Last weekend, I played my seventh iwamoto game. It was 11pm, so my handicap stones were mostly asleep, which is always good. I won the game, but do not feel particularly good about it. I managed to pull ahead, but then made too many stupid mistakes. Still won by a few points, but I have many things I need to work on.

One more iwamoto game to go. I don't know yet when I will play.

Due to some family stress, I haven't played and studied as much as I would like. I hope things will calm down soon, and I can go back to studying more.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Kids Go

For months, I had been telling myself 'I really should take Kate to Kids Go at the MGA, it would be good for her to see other go playing kids.' Our own go club only has teenagers and adults, and it is not always easy to relate to those when you are eight years old.

Life kept getting in the way, but last week, we finally managed to drive down. Kate prepared herself by putting tattoos all over her body... Those were the temporary ones, in case anyone is wondering about us now.

It was the start of summer vacation, so there were only a few kids. Still, it was nice for her to play one of them. She also did a bunch of problems and had a good time. It didn't hurt at all that there were cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies ^^

After Kids Go, we went to a friend's house and had a great time. Such a great time, that Kate kept asking 'Can we go back tomorrow? Can we? Can we????' Although frankly I think this was more thanks to the video game she played at my friend's house, and not as much because of the kids go. But I'll pretend that it was the go drawing her back to the MGA ^^

We will definitely have to do this again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Iwamoto tourney 3-2

My fourth game of iwamoto tourney, I missed an extremely simple net. I still can't believe I missed that, feh!

Jing: I looked over your game. How did you miss the net? You know you will never hear the end of it now
me: The net... What net? Oh, THAT net!
Jing: Under basic stone catching
me: I will have to do stone capturing problems till i NEVER miss a net again.
I know. It's horrible.
Jing: Usually on page two on introduction to go. After ladders
me: ...
Jing: well, nice driving tesuji
me: right ^^ Just wrong application :p
Jing: pity the advanced technique is worse than the 30k technique here
me: when you just studied hammers, everything looks like a nail

B to play

Jing: It's focus during the game?
me: Oh, good point. Since this was a very interrupted game. You have NO idea how often i said 'If it is not blood or fire, I do NOT want to know about it' to yet another kid.
Jing: I mean if it was presented as a go problem, you would solve it instantaneously. So I do not think it has to do with knowledge
me: True. So back to focus
Jing: I dunno. This is one of the hardest things in go. You can work very hard, and study very hard. But at the end of the day, still have to use the knowledge on goban

This mistake put me far behind, but luckily I was not the only one making mistakes. I slowly could pull back till he resigned. Sendol reviewed this game.

My fifth game was just bad, not much interesting happened in it. Ended up in a massive capturing race, where I was exactly one lib short. Yes, it's always just one ^^

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Today, Kate played us at go club, 13x13, 9H. She did reasonably well, I still love the way she thinks out loud. She will put down bad move and then start thinking about it. I want her to do it the other way around ^^ I mean, think first, play later.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Joys of Suiciding

Last week was my third iwamoto game. After two wins, it felt like it was more important to win again, or at least try my utter best to play good moves.

Well, that lasted a few moves until my handicap stones started running around, and interfering. Still , I was mostly ok about the game till around here.

I mean White A and B groups both are weak, I felt I should be able to profit nicely from attacking them. So in a moment of utter stupidity, I decided to suicide my cutting group when he invaded at R3. Sigh.

A is losing move here. I looked at all the right moves, and then clicked the wrong one in a moment of hastiness.

From then on it was just flailing and I eventually resigned. Oh well ^^ This made me 2-1 in Iwamoto, resulting in a 17th place out of 92 in my group for current standings.

I uploaded review of this game by minue.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Replace day with game and this is very applicable to go.

Today, I played my first iwamoto game. I wasn't sure how well I would do, since I had some personal stress going on, but I managed to focus on the game enough to win. Feels good to start the series with a win, but there still are seven more rounds to go, so who knows what will happen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Calmness or lack thereof seems to be a recurring theme in my weiqi quest. I finally feel like I am starting to be able to reach some calmness when I play. I still have a long way to go, but I managed to do well against an opponent whose style usually is hard for me. I tried to play strong and calm moves, and mostly succeeded. I still made many mistakes, but feel good about my game overall.

It helped to get some peptalk before the game (thank you, flame ^^) and to just focus on the board and my breathing, not on the opponent.

It still is interesting to me how much of a difference state of mind makes in go. A huge difference.

The weather has been nice, so I have been taking my kids to the playground, bringing my goban to keep myself entertained while watching them. Works well.

Today, I am working through Cho Chikun l/d problems. A few weeks ago, I started using gogrinder, and I have found it a very useful study tool. I am determined to master all those shapes in Cho Chikun's encyclopedia of life and death, but it will take some time to do so. Good reading practice ^^

I signed up for the iwamoto tournament, looking forward to participating and hopefully playing good games.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Iwamoto Tournament 2007

There still is time to register for the Iwamoto Tournament 2007. This on line tournament is organized every year by Achgo and AAGO in honour of Iwamoto Kaoru Sensei. The tournament has eight rounds, and you are supposed to play one game per week.

I played in the 2005 edition and it was a lot of fun, I got some nice games in. If you like playing serious games, this is a good way to get them. The registration is open till May 15. Come on, go there and join!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Go and Emotions

I have more and more realized how much the emotions of the player do effect their game. I have not only seen it happen in my own games, but also in other people's games. If I start a game and I am not in a calm state of mind, my game will suffer. Helpful friends have pointed out to me that they could taste my state of mind in my game, and looking back at that game, I can see what they are saying. Interesting. I had no idea that they could even see my annoyance.

I mean, I knew that I play worse when I am tired (maybe I shouldn't have started a game last night at 3am ^^) and I know that my state of mind in the game does make a difference, but it is just even so much more noticeable than I thought it was.

Go is such a mind game, even more than I realized. Will have to make a more concentrated effort to calm my mind before important games. And I will play less games when I know I won't be able to pay enough attention to the game, since the game quality will suffer too much. At least, I'll try to ^^ Sometimes I can't resist a game, even if it's not the best timing.