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.