Thursday, July 23, 2009

Boston Results

It was a good tournament. The disadvantage of a smaller tournament (26 people) though is that one ends up playing a lot of handicap games. In this case, I gave handicap twice out of four games.


I gave 3H and lost.
I gave 9H and lost.
I clearly have room for improvement in my handicap game skills.


Thankfully, the other two games were even and I won one and lost one. Perfect ^^

End result 1-3. Good enough for a rusty player and I am learning so much already from the game reviews. More details later.
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Boston Go Tournament

I kind of forgot that there was a go tournament in Boston this week, but luckily my friends helped me remember and pushed me to actually attend. Tomorrow the four of us will drive down to Boston and meet another member of the Upper Valley Go Club there.


Today I considered panicking that I wasn't ready and that I couldn't play, but instead I did many go problems and replayed a shusaku game twice. My five years old assisted me by excavating some dinosaur bones right next to me and by making fairy dust out of leaves, which somehow ended up all over my goban.


Guide dog in training Giant helped by making sure the cats wouldn't interrupt my studies.


It will be interesting to see how my games are tomorrow, I have been having a bit too much life and not enough go, but who cares. I will do the best I can.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Playing Go at Borders

Once a month, our go club visits the cafe at our local Borders book store and plays a few games. We also are available to teach anyone who is interested and have the times publicized in our local newspaper 'activities calendar' so that people know about it.


Even although one would think that tons of people would show up for free go lessons, we tend to usually have only one or two on a good day. We still continue playing at Borders because we feel it is good public outreach to play in such a visible place and tell people about the game.


Last Saturday we played there and had a great time. Five of our members showed up and one new person joined us. He had played go in the past and was happy to get to play again, even if he was a bit rusty.


One little boy asked about the game, but he did not want to learn how to play. At least now he knows about the existence of go and maybe some day he will be interested to learn.


I wish I had more time to do more public outreach like this, maybe when things settle down after the move.
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Resigning Free Games II

Thanks for all the reactions, I have pondered them all. I would like to highlight kirkmc's

"Apparently, your cat only pukes on your laundry when you play free games: if it were me, I'd only play ranked games then.

Seriously, though. Whether it's a free game or a ranked game, if something serious happens you'll have to stop playing. I don't think free games should be treated with such a flip attitiude. I sometimes play free games when I'm trying out new stuff, but I don't play any differently, other than, perhaps, taking more risks than I would in ranked games. I also know some people who only play free games, who don't have a rank on KGS.

You should respect your opponent no matter how you play, free or ranked, slow or blitz. Granted, you resign, rather than escaping, but it's still a strange attitude to think that such games are "throw-away" games."


I play free games, I play them seriously, but I am willing to resign and not worry about them if unexpected life happens. This is considered rude by some. Which I am willing to accept as their opinion even I personally do not consider it rude.

Kirkmc plays free games, takes more risks than in ranked games, which one could consider 'less serious', but he does not consider that rude to his opponent. I don't either, I am just having a hard time understanding why one can be considered rude, the other can't.

In my kgs play, I will continue to free games with the option of resigning occasionally. If my opponent resigns unexpectedly, fine. If he experiments, fine. My rule in life is to assume good intent and that's what I do in my games, and in my reaction to my opponent's choices.
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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Resigning Free Games

Yesterday's post about playing free games on KGS so that I can resign if an unexpected happening comes up brought interesting reactions.

kirkmc said 'Wow, that's pretty disrespectful of your opponents. Just because they're free games doesn't mean people don't play seriously. I'll make sure to never play you on KGS: what's your name there?'


pmurk said 'With respect to resigning unrated games on KGS, I agree with kirkmc. This is why I play more on OGS than on KGS: I can walk away any second and just use some spare minutes in between.'


Hmmmm, that was a point of view which hadn't entered my mind. I never stated that I don't play a serious game. Usually the reason I play free games is that I can resign if I need to because of unforeseen circumstances. Which do happen occasionally in my life. Maybe more likely to happen to me than to the 'average KGS player' but who knows.

I think the mindset of a free game for me is 'Let's relax and have fun'. Sometimes it's a time for experimentation, but often it is just knowing that the reality of my life is that I do not always have an hour of uninterrupted time even if I think I will.

Yes, I could offer to continue the game at a later time, but my presence on KGS is very unpredictable and it seems better to say thank you and resign. I had not realized people would consider it rude, and I still think it is a very subjective matter. Thanks for making me think about this. I am interested in other people's reaction to this issue.

So readers, please tell me your opinion. Is it rude to resign a free game because the cat just puked all over the laundry, or any other life happenings? Or is it exercising my right to finish the game when I need to, as a friend stated when I asked him?

And kirk, my name on KGS is NannyOgg.
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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Five Ways I Fit Go Into My Life

I have been thinking about how to get as much go into my life as possible, while at the same time parenting seven kids, selling a house, buying a house, finding my garden (I think it is somewhere in those weeds over there), and baking bread.

A few ways which work for me:

1. Get up early. Even although I prefer to sleep in till 7, I can get in a lot of go if I get up at 6am instead. (Yawn...)

2. Take go problem books everywhere. Good study material during all those times I have to wait for people.


3. Play free games on KGS (use autoplay). This means I don't have to worry if I get interrupted and I can just resign without it having any effect on my rank.

4. Play turn based go on the dragon go server.

5. Do go problems before I check my email. (which I don't always do, but it is a noble goal, right? ^^)

How do you fit go into your life?
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Monday, July 06, 2009

Success and Failure

Success: I did my daily fifty easy go problems early this morning, and even pondered going to one hundred a day, since it is fast and good practice.


Failure: After I did my go problems, I had a few minutes left and played moves on the dragon go server, a turn based server. I went through my games fast. Click, submit, click, submit, click, submit. Notice how the thinking part got skipped? Which came back to haunt me as I clicked, submitted, and realized I just suicided my beautiful group and I watched it die right in front of my eyes, too late to do anything.
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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Playing, Go Problems, Life

I had been hoping that I could get play more, but I was wrong. The good news is that even when I am not playing, I am still trying to do my go problems, mostly just many easy ones. I try to do fifty easy ones every day, and most days I make that.


My goal for the rest of July is to do those fifty problems every day and hopefully play every day if I can. But between my divorce, selling house, buying house, dealing with seven kids in ten different camps and the normal summer madness, the playing time might be hard to find.

Today I did ten go problems so far and played a teaching game with minue so life is not bad at all ^^
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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Teaching Go

Last week, I taught go in a library in a small town in Vermont. They were focusing on Japan and Japan history for the summer, and were interested in covering some go in that program.


It was a very small group of people, I taught three adults and one kid. I brought my three young ones, so they could help me teach, which they did part of the time. The rest of the time they were playing with their friends and sometimes noisier than they should be in a library, but luckily it was the kids department of the library anyway. My hope was that seeing little kids play go would make it less overwhelming for the new adults. 'If this little one can play go, so should I!'


I started them off with capture go, which was a good way to learn about liberties before we went on to the rest of the rules. They enjoyed playing and got a good introduction to the game.


An interesting phenonema was the difficulty a chess player had with seeing liberties. I made a one space, one eyed group at the edge of the board, surrounded by enemy stones, to start talking about eyes. He kept insisting that this one eyed group had three liberties, so I clearly had not explained the concept well enough. I will have to ponder this for the next time I teach beginners. I hadn't had this particular issue before, usually they see the number of liberties by the time we get to this part of the introduction.


Four more people introduced to go!
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