11 November 2005

Club Night, and Progress

Well, I have made definite progress since the workshop.   I played two games at club, both losses, but good losses.   The first game was against  someone I have regular matches with (Flameblade on KGS) and I’ve gone from losing by 25 points in a nine-stone handicap to only three.   I lost my second game  by komi (1/2 point!!!) after making one of those idiotic, bonehead moves you only make once and never make again, so that’s a good loss, I guess.   I certainly learned a lesson.

On the home front, I’ve gone from taking six stones against Many Faces of Go  to actually beating it on the hardest setting in an even game, by three points.   And I’ve gone from the 45-50 level to the 65-75 level on the Go problems feature of the program.

The biggest jump has been finally getting some sense of the middle game.   As a 24-kyu, you often start the game in possession of a lot of potential territory.   I had a nasty habit of thinking of this as my territory, and defending it at all costs.   My strategy was based on getting at least 75% of the inside territory, which was killing me.    The Maginot line didn’t work for the French, and it didn’t work for me.

Instead I am learning to see the board as a conflict between several groups.   I am now looking to constantly keep my opponent’s groups separated and weak, while strengthening and expanding my own.    Instead of simply staking out an outlandish claim to territory and defending it, I look for how to develop within the center in a more efficient way than my opponent.   And I (try to remember to ) always ask three important questions before choosing a move:

Do I have a liberty problem?
Do I have a connection problem?
Do I have an eye space problem?

If I answer these questions before deciding where to move, it makes all the difference in the world.

Unfortunately, I can already feel some of the mojo fading.   I no longer hear Mr. Yang’s voice in my head, and I feel some of my old bad habits returning.   But at least there’s forward progress, and I’m happy about that.

I asked a couple of the Dan players what book I should read next, and they said I’m not allowed to read anything else until I’ve played at least 50 games.   I know I can get confused by reading too much, so I think I’ll take their advice.   Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a lot open games on KGS at the times I log in, so we’ll see what I can do.   In the meantime, I’m at least reviewing one professional game and doing 50 tsume-go problems a day.


Anonymous hdoong said...

Hi, welcome back. Great to hear that you have had a great Go time :))

I think the advice given by the Dan players is quite cool and I think they are not far wrong (being a dan player myself). 50 tsume-go a day is super! keep it up. I am not able to do that many a day, due mainly to time constraints and other commitments (work, family, friends, other hobbies) but I do about the same number per week :)

12:52 PM  

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