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.