Second to last insei weekend down

As the topic states, I’ve now exactly one weekend of insei studies left. It’s going to be weird once I start having empty weekends again, but on the other hand, I should be in top shape for any European weekend tournament — and luckily, I also know exactly how I’ll keep on studying once I’m back in Finland. Tsumego, games, Japanese theory books, Fujisawa kifu collection, several hours a day, rinse and repeat.

Ironically but also logically, it’s towards the end of my stay here that my results seem to get up. My first two weekends this month were both four wins to two losses, and this third weekend was five wins to one loss. With 13 wins and five losses, now, I’m currently holding the first place of class C (top three get promoted). There’s still the curse of the last day to watch out for, though.

Last weekend I was supposed to have another game with 王 (that’s Ō), former B class insei, but he was again absent. I thus played another game with Kamimura Haruo 9 dan, and again made it a good fight until I lost control in the early endgame. Once I was losing by about seven points with no way to turn the game, I resigned. Kamimura-sensei, as usual, reviewed the game, and also gave me some general advice on what I should pay attention to in my games and studies (according to him as well, my style is “outside-oriented”, that is, influence-oriented — that is fine, but I have to work more on my attention towards territory). Seeing the timing of this advice, it’s actually likely that that was for now the last time I receive teaching from him.

There was a positive side to my staying in C class, too: I got to play again with my self-proclaimed nemesis, 藤原 (that’s Fujiwara), after a few month’s break. We’ve played two games now, and are 1-1, with one more game ahead next weekend. In terms of the total score, I’m for now some four wins better off. I thought it might be interesting for the readers to see my return win against 藤原, so here goes, along with my commentary.

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11 thoughts on “Second to last insei weekend down”

  1. I like your way of commenting games; essential commentary that explains the situation, instead of endless variations. It reminds me of commentaries I received from professional players. :)

    Which Japanese theory books do you recommend?

    1. Thanks! I dislike having to navigate a huge node tree, too, so I’ll just add general comments and point out the starts of some sequences with A, B, C etc.

      Recently I’ve read and liked 依田ノート by Yoda Norimoto, 捨て石 and 三村流厚みの法則 by Mimura Tomoyasu (my teacher) and the 7-dan problem book series that’s published under the title of 最上位1%をめざす最強ドリル (five books in total, covering positions from opening until late middle game). 苑田勇一流基本戦略, by Sonoda Yuuichi, is really good as well.

  2. You wrote “13 wins and 8 losses”, instead of 5 (I think).

    Completely unrelated question: you mentioned reading Hikaru no Go in Japanese before leaving for Japan. Did you buy them online? I’m studying Japanese as well as go at the moment, and I have trouble finding those manga for a correct price. Any advice would be welcome.

    1. Wow, you’re completely right, thanks for the pointer! Fixed it immediately.

      My brother happened to own the Japanese manga in physical form — I’m afraid to say I’ve no idea where he bought them from, however. Maybe one of the readers would know where to buy it? Did you try Amazon yet?

      1. I have trouble with Amazon and other Japanese sites i tried. They have good prices on the whole collection but they won’t ship it abroad. The only way would be to buy them one by one but it would be at least 3 times as expensive (Japanese price was ~45$ for the whole set which would be very cheap even with shipping).

  3. what are the time settings for this game?

    Also those “if I were black I would play here” moves, did you point them out to the 9p to seek his opinion? haha

    1. The settings were 40 minutes main time, and a 40-second Japanese byo-yomi after that.

      I didn’t get a pro review for this game yet, so all of the commentary is my own.

  4. Maybe I’m just really sleepy, but instead of O12 (move 108), how about pushing with N12 or N14? Is black able to prevent being cut? Or taking sente to play H6 is just bigger?

    1. I vaguely remember checking that out during the game. If I remember right, I was dissatisfied with white n12, black o12, white n14, black m11, white o14 and black p10 — though I’m sure white will win the game that way, too. At the time of the game, white’s lead was evident, so I just wanted to take the easy way out.

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