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!