As some of you may have noticed from the upcoming tournaments notice on the right-hand side bar of this page, the biggest Finnish go tournament takes place this weekend in Helsinki. I have been fairly busy with school work for the past few weeks, and it’s a shame that I haven’t found the time to write the “preparing for Takapotku” blog post series – I’m sure many people would be interested in how I prepare for a tournament when there’s seriously limited time. Actually, that’s why I’m writing this post here and now!
The Takapotku tournament is part of the Pandanet Go European Cup, and consequently there will be game relays on the Internet Go Server (IGS).
I study in a university of technology, and it’s pretty customary here that the actual workload of studies varies a lot – there might be a month during which I don’t study very much, but after that there may come a month that I have nearly no free time at all. As you can deduce, the situation now is the latter.
Go, however, is still my main hobby, and I’m taking part in many go activities from which I cannot be absent – I continue my teaching, play my Insei league games, and also take part in the go club meeting nearest to me. I feel these activities alone make sure that my playing skill will not deteriorate with time.
Since it’s my free time that’s normally strictly allocated to neither studying nor “obligatory go activities” that’s being consumed now, I consequently have had less time for the go activities I do just because I want to – namely, playing wbaduk games, reading books and reviewing professional games. … Oh wait, I have been reviewing pro games, anyway! I’ve really got to hand it to SmartGo Pro, allowing me to study go while sitting in a bus or a train, when there’s otherwise nothing useful to be done.
So, this time around I’m entering the tournament from a “pretty normal situation” – there’s no specific training behind, but I ought to have my touch to the game, anyway. The pro games I’ve been reviewing lately have been by Honinbo Shuei, a go master from the late 19th and early 20th century. He excelled in positional judgement, and many professionals have said that the flow of his moves feels astonishingly natural. I’ll be “kind-of imitating” his play in this tournament, of course thinking why he might do something instead of playing moves without understanding them. Expect to read about my results after the tournament once I get rid of my most urgent school deadlines – there’s likely a bigger update next Wednesday or Thursday!