Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cho Chikun Defends Judan Title Succesfully

Last night, Cho Chikun defended his Judan title against Yamashita Keigo. It was quite an exciting game, I watched it till 5am when I was too tired to stay up any longer. This morning, found out that Cho beat Yamashita by 3.5, not bad. This is Cho Chikun's 3rd consecutive title in this event and also his 71st champion of his career. Seventy one championships, hard to imagine.

This was the second year Yamashita challenged Cho for the Judan title. Yamashita is the current holder of the Kisei title.

Jan van Rongen has a site dedicated to Cho Chikun at his My Friday Night Files.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Boston Tournament

Yesterday, I played in the Boston tournament, was much fun. I met old friends and new friends and played games too!

I had been having my normal pre-tourney 'I am going to lose ALL my games' stress-out and had been whining my lack of self confidence. But thanks to the help of some wiser people, mostly got over it. Mostly ^^

It also helps that I spent most of Saturday outdoors, enjoying the sun, hiking, spending time with friends. Kept my mind of my suckiness at go :p

The tournament started off badly by losing my first game against a 1d. I messed up a local fight, badly so.

Second game, I had to give 2H to a 2k. I had been wondering whether I would be able to give stones, and it was hard, but not impossible. I managed to pull ahead till I ignored some aji in one of my groups and lost too many stones in the process. Lesson of the game 'When ahead, play thickly' Yes, I know, I have heard that before, this was a good reminder.

Still, even with the loss, I felt mostly good about my game and was more confident about the notion of giving stones. Good, because the next game, I gave 3H to a 3k. This didn't go as well, I was behind in territory. But he left weaknesses in his groups, which I could exploit and he resigned. Lesson of the game: 'When ahead, play thickly'.

At least I won one game now, so the last game didn't matter as much. I know it shouldn't matter at all, but I am afraid it still did. I played a 2d, I took B, no komi. I will have to study this game more, I feel I made too many mistakes and he managed to kill a small group of mine. Now I was behind by so much, I followed Guo Juan's advice 'When behind, look for something to kill'. I found it, and killed a bigger group of him right back at him and this was eventually enough to make him resign.

That last game was the only game I entered byo yomi, so I guess I am getting better at managing my time.

Looks like I can't deny AGA shodan rank any longer, I am happy on the one hand. But on the other hand, it is so ridiculously weak, that I realize even more how much I still have to learn.

Since this was origially a shodan challenge blog, will summarize my tourney time table for reaching shodan:

Jan 2005: Boston, 13k, went 1-3.
Apr 2005: Vermont, 11k, went 2-2
July 2005: Boston, 8k, went 2-2
Dec 2005: Massachusetts, 5k, went 2-1
March 2006: Vermont, 3k, went 1-3
Apr 2006: Massachusetts, 3k, went 2-2
May 2006: Boston, 3k, went 1-3
July 2006: UVGC, 4k, went 0-4
Dec 2006: Vermont, 2k, went 1-2
March 2007: Montreal, 1k, went 2-1
Apr 2007: Boston, 1d, went 2-2

Thanks to all the wonderful people who have helped me reach my original goal! I am amazed about how giving the go world has been, and fully intend to keep giving back to it. Now I am ready to start learning about go :)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Yamashita - Cho 2 - 2

Wow, Yamashita beat Cho in only 106 moves. They are at 2-2, the next game will be the deciding one. It will be played on April 25th, looking forward to it.

Tomorrow, I will play in the Boston tourney, wish me good games. Today is filled with kids activities, so not much time to do tourney prep, I'll just have to empty my mind and hope for the best.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sorin's Lessons

Today, finally got around to taking a look at a bunch of Sorin's Lessons on his 361points web site. I only looked at the first five so far, and learned new things and found things to ponder in every single one of those. What keeps coming back is keeping an open mind and not automatically playing the reflexive move. Good reminder.

If you haven't checked them out yet, they are well worth it.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The End Game

Today at go club, we yet again studied the end game. We went into swing value, move tally, miai counting, sente threats, temperature of the board, and much more. Makes me realize how much I still have to learn. Even although I know the basics of this, I usually do not take the time to actually calculate the miai values around the board and play my end game based on that. I kind of eye the different plays and wing it. There sure is room for improvement.

I will pay more attention to my end game and try to improve it at least a bit. The Magic of Go has some articles on the end game (156, 157, and 159, and 160)

So much to study, so little time.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Yamashita Pulls Back in Judan Finals

The 45th Judan finals are going on, with Yamashita Keigo challenging the current Judan Cho Chikun. This is a best-out-of-five series of matches, and things did not look very good for Yamashita when he was 2-0 behind. But yesterday, he turned around by beating Cho in game 3 of the series, in which he played san ren sei, and made a beautiful moyo, forcing Cho to invade.

Interesting game, we studied it at go club yesterday. The next round will be played on April 19th. Looking forward to watching that game.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Playing W in a Handicap Game

Last night, I yet again discovered that I have a hard time giving stones to someone who half knows what he is doing. I started out pretty calm, was going to win on calmness and better stone efficiency, but at some point in the game I was at a loss and decided to pick a fight. A quite unreasonable fight I might add. Things only got worse from there ^^

I have been contemplating what's the best way for W to play in handicap games. Most books seem to focus more on learning to play B, W is supposed to know what she is doing. Studying pro-pro handi games have helped me improve my W play a bit, but I feel there still is too much I am missing.

Maybe I should review pro-pro handicap games again and focus on the W play. I haven't found any books which were particularly helpful to learn how to give stones, it might just be a combination of experience and learning from my mistakes. After reviewing last night's game with strong players, I have more ideas for next time. We'll see what happens.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Atari Blindness

A few days ago, I played a game where I suffered from total atari blindness in the first 50 moves. I managed to not have ONE case where I missed an atari, totally missed it, but TWO of them! Badly missed as in being very surprised when those stones were taken off the board...

Very weird, both of those were not very complicated reading situations either. I saw the glaring mistakes, and the atari without any trouble in review.

Makes me wonder how this could have happened. Was I trying to read too deep and too fancy and not looking at the basics? Was I not in the right go playing mindset yet (this was a daytime game, with kids interruptions) Do I just need to do 10,000 more simple problems and this issue will be solved?

It's interesting. This doesn't happen very often to me anymore, so I was uber annoyed to have it happen two times during one game.