Self-study, self-study

Ever since I returned from Japan, getting a lot of self-study in has gotten more and more important for me. As you may remember, I got a tremendous gift from Mimura-sensei in late March this year, and have every since been busy at making use of it. The Fujisawa game collection I received consists of twelve kifu books, all of which have about 150 commented games. Right now, I’m finishing book number two, meaning 300 reviewed professional games up till now.

Along with reviewing professional games, I still try to do 30-60 minutes of tsumego daily, and play in tournaments whenever possible. I have somehow come to abhor playing on the internet, possibly because I experienced in Japan that it’s possible to get around even without doing it (and a real board and opponent sure make for a better playing experience!).

Since, for me, professional games are now the word of the day (or week, or month, or year), I patched up a small professional game reviewing guide for the reader’s perusal. I’d be interested in receiving comments for it, too!

In addition, here is a sample from the Fujisawa collection I’m going through. The game is from year 1957, between two of my favorite players, Fujisawa Hideyuki and Sakata Eio. I have translated and included most of the commentary included in the book, and added several notes of my own to clarify some things up. For an optimal experience, you may first want to read the above-mentioned professional game study guide. Enjoy!

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8 thoughts on “Self-study, self-study”

  1. I think self-study is the most important thing for western players, and at the same time the most difficult.
    I have a few questions on that: you do 30-60min tsumego and study professional games, without playing any actual games apart from tournaments? I mean if the study you do consists only in pro games and problems. And also, how many hours a day aproximately do you study?
    Thank you very much.

    1. I do play some games as well, it’s just a relatively small number for now. I go to a go club about twice a week, and play 1-2 games each time. Add to that about five random, not-so-serious internet games a week and that’s pretty much where I am now. I’d imagine I use about 3-5 hours for go studying a day nowadays, meaning at least some two hours of professional games.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to write this commentary; it was much more enlightening than most of the pro game commentaries that I’ve seen. Do you have any tips on where to find good commentaries?

    1. You’re welcome, and thanks! I’m afraid I cannot help much with the commentaries — I myself mostly use Japanese material, eg. Go World, alongside these Fujisawa books. If you didn’t read Invincible yet, that’s also a good way to go. For newer games, Tournament Go 1992 is quite excellent.

  3. A post I can completely empathize with. Self-study seems like the only route for me since getting lessons is outside of my financial means right now, but I have to admit that I’m torn between doing tsumego and trying to get a better grasp on theoretical principles of Go such as the opening, attacking and defending, and the endgame.

    In regards to your commentary, I agree with the previous comments about how helpful it was! You definitely help to simplify things in a way that didn’t go way over my head. I’m looking forward to following your go blog!

    Always nice to meet another go blogger!

  4. Good post and thanks for share..But i wonder why they study old things in Japan.They have a lot of top players after 90’s and ofc nowadays YamashitaKeigo IyamaYuuta is super strong. Dont you think you should study games of new era?
    ps: sorry for my bad english.

    1. They do study a lot of new things too — I’d actually say, mostly new things. For example at the children’s dojo I used to go to, the teacher printed out a collection of games for the children to memorize each week, and 90% of them were very recent games, part from Japan, and part from Korea and China. The last 10% consisted maybe of Takemiya’s old games or games by Honinbo Shusaku and Shuei.

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