Monday, December 15, 2008

There and Back Again!

I did it! I drove all the way to Philadelphia and attended Jennie's work shop!

I had a wonderful time. I got valuable new insights, played fun games, realized I still know nothing about go, ate good food, and got my car impounded.

Last night I spent driving, so I am slightly short on sleep. Will write more once I get some rest in, which is not going to be easy today, since my life didn't quite stop to give me time to catch up.

I hate the signage around Philadelphia and New York. Or maybe I am just really good at getting lost!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Remember that Jennie Shen workshop? The one starting tomorrow? I had it all set up. I would leave early in morning, after getting my kids on the school bus. Drive my 6.5 hours during the day, and arrive in time for 6pm start.

Life is what happens when you make other plans.
- my van broke down
- there were unexpected school complications
- and the weather is sucky

"... Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 1 PM EST Friday...

Expect 3 to 5 inches of snow and sleet followed by freezing rain. One-half to one inch of ice accretion is expected.

Significant amounts of freezing rain sleet and snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel... keep an extra flashlight... food... and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency."

Life here is never boring ^^

I will still make it to the workshop, but very possibly will not make it to the Friday night part. Oh well, at least I'll be there Saturday and Sunday. I can't wait! Maybe I should finish packing instead of writing blog posts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jennie Shen Workshop!

Thanks to goddess, I found out about the Jennie Shen, 2p Go Workshop. Hmmmmm, that sounded good, but the question was whether I could get logistics figured out?

I spent a few days planning and plotting and suckering friends into taking care of my Oggettes. Things were looking good. Yesterday I felt things had fallen into place enough that I could actually commit and officially sign up! Wow!

I just need to find myself a place to sleep over there still, but I am confident I will be able to do so.

Very much looking forward to it!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

You're not obligated to win. You're obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day. -- Marian Wright Edelman

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dangerous Move

Followup on the dangerous move. This was the board position, where A was an unexpectedly dangerous move. Well, unexpected by me, I am sure stronger players would have seen it before they played it.

White can probe:

If lower right corner wasn't there, this ladder would be quite disastrous:

To minimize damage, black has this sequence:

This is big profit for white. Ouch!
Just thought it was interesting position, during the game it seemed such an easy thing to hane at A, not really reading all the followups, but assuming white would submissively answer and follow me around. Bad bad bad bad habit.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Iron Man Review: Dangerous Move of the Day

First iron man game: dangerous move A. Turned out ok because of the ladder breaker in the bottom right, but it was way more dangerous than I had imagined. Maybe some day I should try reading during my games.

Challenge for you guys to figure out why it is so dangerous.

To help you, this is the correct move for black:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Joys of Ladders

Today, played a night time fun game on KGS.

It started very innocently. I was black. I wanted mini Chinese, but he didn't give it to me.

I said 'Sure, I'll go for territory and we'll see about your potential, shall we?'
When he approached at 22, I wasn't sure about best play, but thought pincer would be fun. I chose one space low.

We played one of the 'boring' joseki, until he played 12 and I said 'Yeah, I guess he does have the ladder, doesn't he?' So we followed up.

Here, I stupidly forgot to play A, and played B instead.

He pounced, and tried to kill my stones.

But! He kind of must have forgotten to read this other ladder, starting at move 4, for which I had a really beautiful breaker stuck to his White wall.

He still didn't realize the trouble he was in and stubbornly played out the ladder. He even stopped a few times, presumably to read the ladder again, but kept convincing himself he was fine. Till the last move when he must have used not so choice words. And resigned.

I was a bit surprised that he didn't seem to be able to read this ladder. It is not a particularly hard read, I know it kept giving the same result for me every time I read it. And if opponent insists on playing it out, usually one would double check the results. Oh well, I had fun anyway ^^

Friday, October 17, 2008

First Iron Man Game: Big Mistake!

I ended up playing only those three games, but hey, I did get to play and am having fun reviewing the games in between too much life.

First interesting big mistake in the first game:

I was Black, trying to play mini Chinese, but White did not not agree and played 6 instead of the expected C14, so I punished by playing 7 at C14 myself. White's reply at 8 was labeled 'big mistake' by sendol.

Black can play A or B now, what would be your choice?

I thought it would be best to play A now, but interestingly enough sendol recommended B.

White is quite painful now. This is interesting sequence:

Move 18 is needed to make the hane at 20 sente. If the hane at 20 is omitted, White owns a dead J group. With the hane, the J-group is alive. Quite an important difference.

Expected followup could be like this, and now Black has a severe move to attack the three White stones at the top.

One of the possible scenarios:

More can be found in the sendol review of this game.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jumping Back In!

Yes, I know, too much life, not enough go.

But this week, I couldn't resist registering for the KGS Iron Man tournament

The timing is all wrong and I have tons of stupid legal matters to attend to this week, but I figured playing some games, even if not perfect circumstances, is better than not playing at all.

Result so far:
  1. Last night at 9pm, played a 2k, won when he suicided his cutting stones;
  2. Woke up at 3am, played a 1d, panicked, cut when I shouldn't and lost this game;
  3. Tried to play 9am game this morning, against a 2k, and resigned in disgust after I made stupid ko threat. Haven't reviewed the last two games yet, but I am sure I can learn much from them.

Anyway, don't think I can play anymore games today during the day, but happy I got those three games in, against all odds. It feels good to be playing again!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Hi There!

This summer is moving along too fast. The kids have so many summer activities that I am not studying as much as I should and I want to. Still, I am doing some, and have many posts for this blog in my head. Just need to sit down and actually WRITE them. Sounds simple, eh?

Today go club at Borders. We usually have a few people ask us about the game, which is why we play there. Will be nice to focus on go for the afternoon. I might bring second game of this year's Honinbo final, since I was studying that this morning. Yes, I am a bit behind on recent pro games ^^

Friday, July 25, 2008


Let's just say I still have lots of room for improvement in my tournament play.

First game against European 2d, I lost.
Second game, against American 1k, another loss.
Third game, against 2d, lost.
Fourth game, against 4k, giving 4H, lost.

Yes, that is 0-4. It happens. Will study my game records and get stronger. I feel good about getting tournament experiences and having good games to review. Now I just need to figure out how to win in tournaments ^^

Friday, July 18, 2008

Boston Tournament

Today made arrangements so that I can go to Boston on Sunday to play in the MGA tournament. Looking forward to a day full of go and serious games.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back to Basics Yet Again

And yet again, I find myself going back to basics. Corner shapes. Been there before, will be there again, and trying to regain my earlier mastery of L-groups, J-groups, and variants. Or should it be called mastery if I have forgotten so many details?

Anyway, I am studying basic corner shapes and pondering the fact that go study always end up going back to basics. How peculiar. And I never seem to have mastered any of the basics as much as I should. How annoying!

Maybe it's time to reread Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go, just need to find some spare time somewhere.

For now, a L-group problem for fun and entertainment, black to play.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

More of the teaching game against minue.

Second interesting situation in the game:

Here, we had a fight in the upper left, which got good result for black, and black needs to figure out what to do now. Sounds easy, eh?

I looked at the board, and decided that I wanted to pull out my F10 stones. Mostly for lack of finding better moves, not because I was convinced it was the right thing to do. The game goes downhill very fast from there. Bad bad bad idea.

What I didn't recognize, was how light my F10 stones were. I used them to get good corner result. They served their purpose and are disposable now. Instead, the focus point of the game is somewhere else.

Let's pretend black will pass, where would white like to play? White would love to get move A. Black just has to prevent white from doing so, and black's game is fine.

Black has pretty easy way of checking the top, for example this:

Game is good for black now.
Moral of the story: Don't try to save light stones by making them heavy.

The game review has more followups and variations.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Interesting Moves

I played a game against my teacher Minue with two interesting board situations. This was a 2H game. Here is the first board situation. Black to move.

This was where I wasn't sure what would be the correct move for this board. I ended up playing C12:

When I self reviewed the game, with some friends, I did not really like that move, and thought I should have played L17 or E16 instead. Minue didn't agree and said C12 wasn't bad, so that wasn't my big mistake this game. Although E16 got a 'This move is ok too'.

The interesting moves he showed me here were those:

I never pondered that follow up, will have to experiment with it. The other move I could consider was this one:

Interesting ideas.

My big mistake was later during this game, but that will have to be posted another day. Stay tuned for further developments!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Lesson of the day: stay focused!

Yes, I know that has been a lesson many other days. Today, it hit home when I had killed a group, was comfortably ahead, and listened to my kids playing instead of thinking about the game.

He threatens to connect to his dead group and I totally make an unrelated move, taking a few points, but allowing him to get back to life.

What was an easy game, now turned into a 'grab every point you can!' one and I ended up winning by a few points. It helped that his resurrected group consisted of 30 stones surrounding zero points. Gotta love stone efficiency!

And gotta love focus or lack thereof. It is bad form to lose focus during game, just because one is winning. I guess after focus, I might revisit 'Winning a won game.'

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Simul Game

Yes, I know, I have been absent from this blog for too long. I seem to have an overabundance of life lately. Not in a bad way, just in an overwhelming way. One good part of life was becoming an American citizen yesterday. Wow! Huge step, I am no longer Dutch.

But back to the weiqi work shop in the Woodlands. The last day, our teacher gave a simul. We paired up to decrease the number of boards. The group was way too big for individual boards. The pairing up worked out quite well. It was nice to have someone to talk about the game and discuss best next move.

Of course, we ended up losing the game, but we had a great grand finale, in which we suicided our own corner. Well, technically it was a ko, but we had played all our ko threats as timesujis.

And yes, that was the Tsumego of the Day I posted last month. Enjoy watching us mess it up.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Tsumego of the Day

Just a little endgame fun in our (cynewulf and me) simul game . White to play and laugh.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quote of the day

Background: driving around with my 16yo after lifting weights. A discussion is going on about being right and wrong and whether people are willing to admit to being wrong. I think more about the subject and offer my 'One good thing about my playing go is that I have learned to be more humble.'

My darling son replies 'Well, if playing go makes you humble, you should play much more go!'

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Before I Post Any Games

I had to share this picture which my friend gottago sent to me. All thanks to the durians my friend tillydilly got for me. It's wonderful to have good friends, who are willing to drive for hours on end with durians in car.

What is a durian, you ask? Well, it is generally considered the King of Fruits, at least by people without a sense of smell. It is a tropical fruit which grows on trees. One durian is the size of a bunch of coconuts, and totally covered in spikes. It uses those spikes to jump out of trees and kill people. How can one not love a fruit like that?

The durian has been described as "A rich custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy. It is neither acid nor sweet nor juicy; yet it wants neither of these qualities, for it is in itself perfect. It produces no nausea or other bad effect, and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop. In fact, to eat Durians is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience. ... as producing a food of the most exquisite flavour it is unsurpassed."

Of course, other people aren't as in favor of it, and wrongly describe it as "... its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia."

An Indonesian go friend told me about them, and of course, a few years ago, I had to find one to try. I loved it!

Anyway, last weekend, Sean got two for me. I told people about them, and opened them on Monday morning. The reactions were interesting. More people than I expected were willing to try it, but there were a lot who stayed far away from it. Weird.

There were remainders, so I gathered them up in a ziploc bag to take it home. I made Bill promise not to tell Rich I had them in the car with me. I mean, some information is better not shared. We hadn't been on the drive for more than ten minutes, when Rich goes 'Karen!'. I had the feeling that I knew what he was going to ask. His tone of voice cued me into what he might be referring to. 'Did you bring any durian?!?!' Geez, it was in a ziploc bag, how could I know his sense of smell was so good????? I made up for it by sharing the durian with my carpool mates, some for Lihu's mom, some for Bill's wife, and some for Rich's goat...

Now if only I could get someone to bring a mangosteen to those workshops!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back Home

Last night, I came home from an awesome weekend, filled with the best friends, awesome food, lots of laughter, good wine, and oh, we played go too.

Some highlights:
  • The beautiful weather;
  • The walks;
  • The fantastic food;
  • The exciting games;
  • Survivor Go;
  • The joys of durians;
  • The midnight walk;
  • The camaraderie;
  • The aikido at the lake;

  • The simul which caused much weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth;
  • Hanging out with good friends, both old and new ones;
  • The fresh lychees;
  • Laying on the grass, gazing at the stars, enjoying the lake and the people around me;
  • The 1 am seven person rengo;
  • The trash talking;
  • Did I mention the food? ;
  • The late night sipping of good port and sharing stories;
  • The geocaching;
  • The picnic at the cemetery.

Everything about the weekend was excellent. More details to follow later, have to go lift some weights first.