Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Evils of MultiTasking

Today I was playing a game and doing quite well. I played thick moves, I didn't make a lot of stupid mistakes (just a few :p) and I knew I had this game won. At the same time, I was chatting with two friends in another window. Did I mention my kids were interrupting me a few times too to ask me things, so yes, I was multitasking as usual. But that was ok, because my game was so easy by now...

I had a corner group, an L+1 group. I have studied that group only two thousand times, so I know without thinking that it can live with A or B. I also know without thinking that A is superior, so in my 'I have a won game and I don't have to try so hard and I know so much better than my opponent' grandiose thinking, I played B...


As we all know, B is inferior because there is a gote seki to be made for white now. The worst thing was that I didn't even realize I had made this mistake. In my universe the trumpets were sounding to announce my victory and I blissfully worked on killing my group...


We got to endgame, and I stubbornly kept thinking that group was just fine, even after white had played a throw-in at A.


I happily filled up all my liberties, till I got a rude awakening when white went for the kill. By ko, but thanks to my filling up of my own liberties, I could not crush this shape but had to play the ko... How stupid! I started to realize that maybe I should hold off on those trumpets for a bit after all. And that next time I should live the RIGHT way with that group.


Things actually weren't too bad, the game was won enough that even without that group I still had a big lead. So I spent time trying to find the best ko threats. So much time that my byo yomi clock ran out and white won by time.

I guess next time I will turn off my chat programs when I play :D
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Friday, December 16, 2011

New Book Store on the Block

I was happy to find out that the excellent Go Game Guru blog now sells go books. They have a lot of the classics, Life and Death, Tesuji and more, and a bunch of new books I had not seen yet. I might have to find myself a Christmas present on their site ^^ Go check them out at! And yes, I am still alive, just have been playing and studying a lot instead of blogging. Good excuse, right?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Unexpected Move

A few days ago I had someone play this against me.


I had not seen it before and suspected it wasn't joseki, but the question is how to deal with it. If you want to see the game and how I dealt with it, click here.

Another interesting situation which came up in that game has to do with a capturing race starting at move 176. It is a simple capturing race according to the Hunter book (Counting Liberties and Winning Capturing Races). Still, I was as always surprised to see how much harder it is to read this out in a game, in 30 seconds byo yomi,than from the comfort of your arm chair in studying the Hunter book. Looking back I should have tenuki'ed from it much earlier I think.
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yet Another Go Tournament

Two tournaments in one month. Such a miracle! This was in Boston and I won one game (out of four :D) The game I won surprisingly was the one in which I was giving handicap (2H to a 2k) which usually are my weakest games. Interesting.


Picture by John Uckele.
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Butterfly Conclusion

This position white can live, although depending on board situation, white might choose a ko anyway.


Here is David (from Go Game Guru)'s comment on it, which includes a link to a sensei's library page which is a good and thorough summary of this position.

As you and badge have said, white still can live, as shown at length here:

However, I've found in practise that it's often better to fight the ko as white. This is because it's a heavy ko for black and often you can force black to back down and let you live more comfortably.

Anyway, who wants to grovel for a small life when you can die gloriously in ko...

Interesting position, and thanks to my studying this, the last time it came up in a game, not only did I live, but I managed to 'cut black into pieces' like senseis library says. Ah, the sweet fruits of studying!

Don't worry, I'll find another position in which to die ^^
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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Butterfly Followup

Thanks Badge, for your input. I had forgotten about the butterfly name. I do remember it is considered bad shape because of the sansan invasion. But when I invaded... It didn't end so well for me.


This was your proposal, which is basically correct apart from missing an atari on the way. Of course is easier to see on the board than when you type a sequence.


This is how I have learned the invasion (but without the extra okeima stone at N17. As you can see, black's hane at 13 looks weird and superfluous now. Just showing it here for completeness.


One day I was playing a black who agreed and instead of the O17 protection decided to atari me at A. For a few moments I was overconfident as always, because I knew that the punishment for that is to cut at P17. No problem, ha, I would kill him so badly!


Isn't it great how we can be totally overconfident in our games, even when it is not quite warranted. Soon after he played A, and I cut at P17, I found out that the stone at B was very significant indeed. And instead of the cut being a punishment for him, it actually got me into deeper trouble.

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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Random Study Subject: Invasions

Since I am studying more again, I have been looking into invasions. This was one of my interesting ones that I didn't know yet before it jumped up and started attacking me.


When I played white in a game, I confidently invaded, because we all know that an okeima star point corner lives without any problems, right?


There was the tiny issue of the other okeima. But this was a nice and sunnny day and the birds were singing, so I was willing to pretend that other okeima wasn't there, since it was too far away to count anyway...

I bet you can predict what happened. Yes, indeed, I died a totally miserable death...

Reader input: What is status of this corner with TWO okeimas?
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Thursday, October 06, 2011

You Can't Get There from Here

Finally, I played a real life tournament again. On Sunday I drove to Middlebury in Vermont and was amazed and shocked to see the damage hurricane Irene had wrought. Even our favorit snackbar in Woodstock has been mostly washed out.

Anyway I made it to Middlebury just in time for the start of the tournament.


I played 4 games.
Game 1: Even, no komi against a 1k, I won by resignation when one of his groups died an unexpected death.
Game 2: Against a 2d, even no komi again, but this time I had black. I lost that game by quite a lot of points.
Game 3: Against a 1d, even, I took black after choosing for colour. I lost by one point on the board, but he had komi too, so 7.5 altogether.
Game 4: Against another 1d. This one I won by resignation again.


End result 2-2, not bad, but not stellar either. I'll try to post some interesting positions of the games over the next few days. In my spare time that is, so don't hold your breath ^^

I loved playing serious games over the board again, I am happy I made the drive up to there.
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Saturday, September 03, 2011

Still in Gamma but No Time to Play

Geez, story of my life. At least I got to play three games on the last day of August, but I haven't been able to get any games in since then. What is more serious is that I didn't even do any tsumego! Hoping next week will be more successful, did I mention I am an optimist?


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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fighting My Way Back Up

Hmmmm, was without internet for a while, had a lot of life, my handicap stones were home from school for the summer and I was trying to sell a house. Somehow I didn't get to play much go.

Not only did I manage to drop down to ASR League gamma this month, but in addition I am RED, which means that I will be demoted in a few hours unless a miracle happens.


Or if we are short on miracles, an opponent to play in my class in the next hour would be awesome too. My goal in September will be to promote from whatever class I find myself in, since my kids are BACK to school today! I might have one or two hours to play go once in a while. Maybe ^^

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Best Thrift Store Find EVUH


Wow, this is the first time I found a portable go set in the thrift store.


Life is crazy but happy. I just played my second ASR game of the month. I am selling a house, buying a house and having family visiting from overseas, not to mention that the rest of my life does not quite stop for trivialities like that. My goal for this month is to stay in Beta, since Alpha is too intense for my current level of interesting times. I guess the first step towards that would be to actually play four games
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Friday, July 01, 2011

Haha, Back to Beta

At least I got to play quite a few Alpha games, even if I lost most of them. But for this month Beta will be just fine since I am doing boring real life stuff like selling a house. Still, I have to admit that I am going to do my darndest best to get back to Alpha, just because I LIKED being in the top tier, even if I didn't manage to stay in.


I have all kinds of interesting moves and posts, so let's hope I manage to get some computer go time. For now I wanted to share the exciting news of yet another demotion. I am sure it will make me stronger in the end, right? Yes, I am an optimistic person ^^
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

New Opening Experiments

I saw this opening in recent Lee Sedol games and I have been experimenting with it. I like the results I have been having.
First time I saw it was in Nongshim Cup Game 1 review on audiogolessons.


Two examples of my own game (reviewed by teacher sendol) can be found here and here.

Alpha class in ASR is BRUTAL! I need to play way more games than I have in any of my other classes and I am still in the demotion zone! Not sure whether I will be able to stay in alpha. Oh well, I am having fun anyway AND I am motivated to play so life is good.
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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Made it to The Top


Happiness is making it to the top class of the ASR League! This month I am a proud Alpha ASRer.


Of course, I might not be able to play enough games and will bounce right back to Beta, but for now I am enjoying the view from 'the top'. It is nice to get to play a variety of strong opponents and have good games to review and learn from.


At the moment I am still in demotion zone, so I'd better get my act together and play, play, play.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wonderful Workshop

Last weekend I spent at a go workshop. It was a great experience.


We had lectures, tons of go, good friends, and a great location.


The Woodlands is an old boarding house and has lots of character. Many rooms, interesting passage ways, cool architecture, creaking wood, peeling paint, but an abundance of welccomeness.


We spent most of our time playing or reviewing, but there always is time for a daily walk around the pond or in the woods. It is a good balance between mind exercise and body exercise.


There were quite a lot of dan players which made me remember how I went here years ago, the runt of the litter, weaker than ANY of the kyu players around, and I would look up to the group of dan players and soooooooo long to be at the top of Mount Olympus with the dan gods. I knew that once I was there, the heavens would open with bright light, and every go secret would be revealed.


This time there I was. A dan player. But Mt Olympus from here looked more like a mole hill. Not a big one either. And the bright light and the go secrets? They are not quite here yet.


Maybe when I become a stronger dan player all those things will happen! ^^


I had some good games though, learned some interesting new things and feel all ready for a summer of study and getting stronger. Well, in between life that is.


The good news is that it looks like my ASR standing has not been hurt by this weekend away from home and I still am green and hopefully will promote to Alpha this time. Maybe that is where the real gods are!


One of the lessons of the workshop. 'Don't just play all sente! Often it is bad sente.' She even mentioned that FIFTY percent of all sente we played were bad sente. And she wasn't talking about the kyu group either, she definitely looked at the dans just as pointedly. Good reminder to preserve the aji instead of getting rid of it right away.


Now it is back to the normal life of children, dishes and bees nest in the dryer vent.


There will be another go workshop like this at Columbus Day though, so looking forward to that one already.

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