Season’s greetings!

Ie. Merry Christmas from me! This year’s insei training concluded last weekend; I played against insei numbered 3-6, 8 and 9, winning five games and losing one against 齋藤, more or less because of a poka. With a total result of 13 wins and 11 losses, I kept my seventh place in C class for the next month.

Up until now, I’d been playing rather peaceful games, quite unlike my usual style — my reasoning to that was that Japan would be the perfect place to train more on that. Since my staying in class C was in danger, last weekend I went for my more usual crazy fighting games, which may be why last weekend’s result turned out as it is.

Now, we’re having two free weeks from insei training, which means some time for relaxation and looking around Tokyo for a change. A complete break from go is of course no good; I’ll be at least doing tsumego each day in order not to accumulate any rust in my play. Once I find a suitable timing, I’ll probably start planning and writing the kikashi essay I thought of earlier.

Here’s the final C class results sheet and one of my crazier games last weekend! The kifu is shortened a little bit from the end (mostly because I don’t remember exactly what happened), but has all the required information as to what finally happened.

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C class third week update

As some of you may already have read from my Twitter page, I got three wins and three losses last weekend. It’s easiest if I just show the photo of the results sheet now that I managed to take one:

The photo’s quality is again a little bit bad: I lost to insei 11 by half a point, and to insei 2 by 2.5 points. Yesterday, at the Mimura dojo, I played a dojo league game against Mimura junior and lost by 1.5 points — all of these losses seem to be caused by my donating away free points in the endgame! Some endgame training is definitely in order. I did also play a 10-second game against Mimura-sensei yesterday, and the game stayed quite interesting until early endgame, when I finally messed up and lost any hope of a close game. Also, as I wrote just a bit ago, I also got a nice tsumego collection to work out from Mimura-sensei.

Seeing from the results so far, it now seems impossible for me to rise to B class next month, as I’ve way too many losses. I’ll be working my hardest not to drop to D class instead!

Continue reading “C class third week update”

Insei tsumego, part 2

I was at Mimura-sensei’s go dojo again, yesterday. This time he nicely printed me a set of 110 go problems with seemingly basic shapes, for some good regular training. I’d seen other insei having similar stapled tsumego collections earlier, and this was the first one I got for myself! I’m not exactly sure what kind of a convention the dojo has with these, but just as a precaution, I’m thinking of doing all the tsumego by the next time I go to the dojo. Better to be an overworker than a slacker!

Here’s a photo of the tsumego collection, named 山田の詰碁2, Yamada no tsumego 2, and a excerpts from inside. This time, the problems are much less inhuman, and I’d imagine stronger kyu players can get them right as well. There are some recurring shapes here, completely on purpose. I again compiled the problem diagrams with jGoBoard.

Edit evening 13th December: All problems are black to play.

Yes, those are the page numbers up there. Yes, all the pages are similarly full of problems.

Continue reading “Insei tsumego, part 2”

Newsflash: Finnish championship final 10-11 December

It hasn’t been advertised very publicly, but the final stage of the Finnish championship 2011 tournament is played just this weekend. The two players with the best results in the Finnish championship league, Javier-Aleksi Savolainen 5 dan and Vesa Laatikainen 5 dan, play a best of three match to determine the Finnish champion of 2011. Game number one is scheduled for Saturday, 11:15 AM EET time, number two for Saturday, 15:15 PM EET time, and number three, if necessary, for Sunday, 11:15 AM EET time. The games will be broadcast live on KGS in Sauna room by the FinFinal account, and on EuroGoTV-FI. Please come watch and enjoy the show! I will be definitely following the games as well, once I get back home from the Nihon Ki-in.

C class insei games

I’m still in a power-saving mode because I’ve been incredibly busy lately again, but I figured I’d quickly post two of the C class higher-end insei games I’ve played.

The first one here was against the second-ranked insei: this was probably the game that I lost the most badly last weekend. Comments are mostly courtesy of Kobayashi Chizu-sensei, who kindly analysed most of my last weekend’s gamest when we met last Wednesday. She gave me some tasty French cheese and bread as a present, too!

Continue reading “C class insei games”

Endurance training starts

Happy Finland’s Independence Day! Finland is now 94 years old.

Last weekend marked my first negative result in insei training, and quite strikingly so: my result after the weekend was one win to five losses. While losing isn’t especially fun in itself, I do welcome the idea of finally starting to get the tough training I came to Japan for.

There is something mysterious behind my weekend result too, however. During and between Sunday’s games, I remarked that my mind felt for some reason really cloudy, and as of now, I can no longer remember what went through my head during the games themselves — even remembering the games takes quite a bit of effort now, which is not usual for me. The last game of Sunday, which was against my nemesis, Fujiwara, was pretty much completely dominated by me up to the very last dame, where I for some reason missed the simplest of atari, turning an 8-point win into an 8-point loss. Ouch! I’m not sure, but it might be that I wasn’t in the best physical condition to play; whether this hunch of mine is correct or not, I’m next going to improve on my physical fitness and see if that’ll make a difference.

All that’s left, after that, is to cast aside winning and losing from my mind, and focus on the search of the best move.

For the more worried readers, my game is definitely not in a slump. I’m performing as normal at wbaduk 8 dan level, and also beat a professional 4 dan player at a go salon just last Friday. All this goes to say that the stronger C class insei really are something else!

My weekly go schedule has gotten ever more full. From now on, I’ll be going twice or thrice a week to Mimura-sensei’s go dojo in Ichikawa; normally on Monday an Wednesday, but on Fridays as well whenever I’ve the time. Add to that the weekly English lesson, and I’m getting instruction by professionals almost every day!

Mimura-sensei’s dojo has about 10-15 pupils present most days, all of them children — some insei, some not. Along with Mimura junior, who is also in C class now, we’re the two strongest pupils. Daily training consists of league games within the dojo, drilling through go problems, game analysis and teaching games with either Mimura-sensei or a strong amateur instructor. So far I’ve seen two different amateur instructors in the dojo, and I played and beat them both. In both of the games the instructor utterly defeated me in the fuseki, and I’d no chance but to devise a do-or-die attack; in both games, a huge group died as a result. I’ve played Mimura-sensei twice as well, and got all my plans refuted both times.

On today’s agenda I have a visit to the Finnish embassy in Tokyo. I met the Finnish ambassador’s wife two months ago when I received the sponsorship for my insei studies from the Japan-Finland Society, and got an invitation to the embassy’s independence day party as a result. Needless to say, I’m already very much looking forward to the event!