Friday, May 29, 2009


We spent a lot of time playing go. Seriously considering our moves. Reading, or at least pretending to read. Trying to remember a certain joseki. Lots of thinking.


Wherever you looked, there were always people playing go. Outside, inside, everywhere.


To balance all that mental work, we took a nice walk every day. On Saturday we walked around a local pond. It is amazing how much better one can play after having been outside for a bit. Feeling the grass between one's toes. Watching the geese in the water. I am glad it is part of our Woodlands routine.


This island was quite relaxing. And the walk reinforced the concept of balance both in my go playing as well as in my real life.


I guess I'll go to bed before I go all philosophical on y'all.
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back from The Woodlands and The Joys of Focus

We had an excellent workshop at the Woodlands. Four days filled with good friends, good food, and lots of go.


There are many stories and games which might or might not get posted, but for now just sharing some pictures.


Going to the Woodlands motivated me to get back into doing many go problems every day. Many easy go problems. Every day. No excuses. No bright and shiny distractions. Just the darned go problems.


And you know? I realize yet again that half of my issues aren't lack of reading, but lack of focus. Even while doing go problems. I will KNOW the answer and still click the wrong spot. Or click first and think later. Or make many other stupid focus related mistakes.


That was the wonderful thing about the Woodlands, I could actually FOCUS on my games, which was awesome. I will need to find that same inner calmness and focus at home. I am sure it is somewhere, and my game will improve just as much from improving my reading as it will from improving my focus.

So my new mantra 'Do many easy go problems and focus, focus, FOCUS.'
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Should Be Packing

Tomorrow I will be going to the Woodlands to play go all weekend.


 There will be lots of good food.


There will be walks and hikes to offset the sitting on our butts and playing all day.


There will be many good friends and there will be Survivor Go. In which I always hope to be voted out FAST so I can just relax without worrying about the pressure... Standing in front of the crowd, with a go stone in my hand, wondering where the heck I should put this stone to find the 'There is only ONE move!' location.


Anyway, I am off for the weekend and will come back tired, sun burnt and happy. And heck, I might even learn a thing or two about go!
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Take Advantage of Your Opponent's Weird Moves

Imagine me sitting down, ready for a nice relaxed game on KGS, a cup of tea in hand, waiting for my opponents move. Pondering the empty board, trying to get my mind in a state of calmness, and taking a deep breath. This move appears.

I see... Very interesting, and a bit puzzling. I wasn't sure what to do. I evaded the issue by taking some other corners first, but eventually had to come back to this corner.

According to my teacher, the triangle stone would have been a good move to take advantage of the weirdness of black's move.

If black approaches at R15...

Kick him and make him look really stupid.

If he approaces at O17, calmly make a shimari and wait for his reply.

Whatever black does, white will be ok.

Of course, I didn't quite play that move in the real game, and this is what happened. I played at R16 and he pincered. Now it is just like a 'normal game' in which the moves were played in this order.

White lost any advantage she could have gotten from black's weird move.

I guess the lesson is, try to take advantage of your opponent's weirdness and do not be content with reverting to normal game moves if you can avoid it.