As I also tweeted earlier, I missed getting promoted to B class by a hair (that means, by the amount of one single win — I’ve got to work harder in February!). My score for January was 13-11 in the end, which is not too good a winning percentage yet. As added pressure, Kobayashi-sensei just recently returned from her trip to the US, and brought me a small gift to celebrate my promotion to B class — which I finally didn’t make. Now I possess the gift, but am not allowed to open it before I do get promoted. The usual Japanese reaction to this would be to exclaim “厳しい！” (= “kibishii” = severe/strict) The aforementioned gift looks like this, and will be situated right next to the go board I’m using for the time being:
Seems I got it wrong last week: we didn’t get ten most popular endgame moves this week in Weekly go, but instead ten most popular joseki! These are incredibly classic ones; all single digit kyu and dan level players are recommended to learn these if not already familiar with them. As usual, diagrams have been made with jGoBoard.
I’m pretty confident we’ll get ten most popular fuseki next week! What do you think will be the most popular one?
For those not familiar with the go terminology that appears in the following image captions:
- Keima (“knight’s move”) means a shape similar to how the knight moves in chess (two spaces apart in height, one in width)
- Ōgeima (“large knight’s move”) means a shape similar to keima, but three spaces apart in height instead of two.
- Kosumi means a diagonal shape (one space apart in both height and width)
- Slide is a play that literally slides under the opponent’s position, while (at least loosely) connected to one’s own stone that is exactly one line above. This means that a slide is usually also a keima, ōgeima or a daidaigeima (“very large knight’s move”).
To confuse all the readers who got in the habit of reading new blog posts here on Gooften about once a week — or even a bit less often than that during Christmas — here’s a surprise update! Finnish readers may be interested in knowing that there is also a new update at Insei Japanissa, posted yesterday.
Today was this month’s second week, and this time I got a clean result, getting wins against the insei number #5-7. Of these, only the last game was relatively difficult; the first two against 齋藤 and 新井 were relatively easy, me killing some larger groups from the opponent in both games. Here’s most of the current results in jpg format:
Today, Yoda Norimoto sensei was also present and doing some game commentaries. My games were taking too long for me to get him review any of my games, unfortunately.
This time I won’t be posting a game record, but instead some more insight into specific joseki along with explanations. No, we’re still not getting out from the 3-4 point with a one-space high approach and a one-space low pincer!
Today marks the 1-year anniversary of Gooften! Exactly one year ago, the first text was posted, and although I didn’t end up changing the look of the page as I said back then, I can still say that we’ve come a long way. In the beginning, Go of Ten had something like 50-150 visitors per day, depending on when the last post was written. Now, on a blog post day the number is something like 500-1000, and on a non-post day it’s still 250-500. The average number of visitors for this November is 474 so far. This is my 51st blog post so far, giving pretty much a pace of one blog post per week. Let’s hope that the numbers keep on going up in the future!
Last weekend’s insei games ended up with six wins out of seven games. On Sunday, on the first round, I ended up losing against insei number nine; I made my first big blunder in an insei game so far, and ended up losing some 50 points just for that. That was in the middle game, and by the endgame I counted I was about 10 points behind and resigned. The two other games on Sunday were pretty much easy wins. Summing up, so far my record in D class is 18 wins and 2 losses, for a winning percent of 90%. Unfortunately I didn’t find a good opportunity to take a picture of the results sheet, so we’ll have to do without for now.
Long time no write! I’m now back from one month of quite intensive university studying, and also from a six-day trip to Dublin. Ireland was a completely new experience to me, and also a really nice one: I very much liked the feel to Dublin as well as the architecture, not to mention the natural sights. The tournament went reasonably well: I got a 4-1 result, beating Wang Wei after a lucky turn in the game, but lost to Ondrej Silt in quite a similar fashion. In the end, we had a completely even score with Wei, and so ended up sharing the first place!
The Takapotku Open 2011 tournament is now well over! The situation got very interesting towards the end: I lost a game to Su Yang (known as Jeff) 6 dan, who in turn later lost a game to Juri Kuronen 5 dan. So, in the end there were three people from the top group with five wins, and the winner would be decided by the sum of their opponents’ scores (SOS). My and Juri’s games ended well before Jeff’s, and for the last two hours we were zealously calculating how the SOS scores would turn out – it seemed I was in the worst position of the three. In the end, the unlikely event of four different games ending up in my favor occurred, and so I beat Juri by one SOS – only losing by one to Jeff! A bit ironically, the calculations proved gratuitous: prize money was divided evenly between us, save for the fact that Jeff wasn’t eligible for the Pandanet prize money.
On a somewhat different note, for the last month, I’ve been attending a philosophy and systems intelligence course in my university. The most important part of the course are weekly 3-hour lectures, in which the lecturer aims to provoke dynamic living experiences for the attendants – the themes vary each week. Last week I found one of the themes very close and applicable to go: the will to get results. The lecturer’s points were as follows:
- Do what works
- Fix what doesn’t work
Simple, huh? The main thing to look out for, here, is that you don’t start lamenting the situation or looking for guilty parties. Further applied to go, this means that if you find you have made a mistake, you are not to lose heart or to throw the game immediately away by doing something utterly reckless. Instead, keep going at it, carefully formulate a plan on how to turn the game around – one by one fix the problems on the board, and do what works. Rome wasn’t built in a day, either. A key thing in all this is to analyze the whole board carefully.
The lecturer also provided the attendants with his analysis of the key points of 007 philosophy, very closely intertwined with the will to get results. I’ll list the points that are easily applicable to go:
- Never get annoyed
- Act immediately (if there is a point on the board that you really need to take, don’t do “something else” first)
- Be confident (don’t doubt yourself)
- Let your style be a part of your playing strength (play the kind of game you’re familiar with – unless you’re looking to learn new things)
The lecturer even told a short James Bond story that I also found analogous to go: in one movie, there’s a situation in which Bond is thrown off a flying airplane, without a parachute – we might call this an awkward situation. Bond doesn’t get shaken up, however, but instead analyzes the situation carefully, looking for other flying objects, and indeed notices a parachute further down below. He then takes an ideal flying posture and flies down straight for the parachute. Talk about improbable!
Further on the theme “the will to get results”, I’ve got here the game I lost to Jeff in Takapotku last weekend! I had white.
I had for long thought that I could develop for myself an ideal style of play – one with which I could, without much thought, play moves ordinary to me – and then I would win every game. That was my long-term goal, anyway, even if it was unachievable. For a period of time I experimented upon a really high-flown style of playing, where I usually ended up with a huge framework in the centre of the board. I liked that way of playing so much that I started playing like that all the time.
Then I met an opponent who, instead of challenging my plans like the others had, let me have my way. He, too, had his own grand plans for the game field, and wasn’t concerned with what I was building. I got baffled, challenged his plans, and even though the game went fine for some time, I eventually lost it. The same thing repeated with the same opponent for several times. I really couldn’t take it when my opponent let me have what I wanted.
For me, this course of events felt like first I was on my way to develop a perfect sword fighting style, which no other swordsman could counter, and then I met a guy with a gun.
Today’s post’s theme revolves around strategy based on the 3-3 point, as per Joachim’s inquiry. The example game in question was played yesterday in the Pandanet European Team Championships: I defeated Catalin Taranu of Romania by resignation, getting revenge for my loss to him in the European Go Congress 2010. The game this time was very good, with few apparent mistakes for both sides. I received commentary for the game by An Younggil 8 dan professional right after the game; some bits of what I write here come from there. I play black.
More sharp-eyed readers might notice that I differentiate between writing about black in first person and in third person: when I write in first person, I am reflecting on my thoughts during the game, and when in third person I’m looking at the position now, after the game.
Continue reading “3-3 strategy; Pandanet European Team Championships, round three”
Hello world! Now I finally found the time to answer to Michi’s query regarding the 6-4 point. Like with normally with the questions and answers series, please write new questions as comments to this blog post!
First off, I compiled an sgf file (updated on 10 November 2011!) with some more normal variations along with my comments. The eidogo plugin in this blog doesn’t show comments for now, so please download the file (the download link is just below the plugin) for the comments.
The following, here, is for whole-board fuseki. Please check the joseki file first!
If black played double 6-4 points, for example like this, I feel that white 8 is a really feasible counter. After white 8, black can practically no longer have a big right side, which makes black 3 kind of useless. Later, if white gets the chance, he’ll take A. Black can surely make a game out of this, but it shouldn’t be so out of ordinary for white anymore.
If white plays double 6-4 points, black is simple to play as well. There are a few moves I would consider: black A is one, making white 2 rather useless again (black B later, then, given the chance). Black C instead would split the left side, not giving white 4 much to work for. Or, black could also just play his own game with D – there’s really no hurry in making the white stones useless.
As a summary, I do consider the 6-4 point playable, but it is making a player’s intentions painfully obvious (white 2 in the last figure clearly aims for the upper side, and white 4 for the left side). Personally I favor the 4-4, 3-3 and 3-4 points, which give a lot more flexibility to the follow-ups.