First Gooften essay!

I figured a few days ago that instead of writing yet another small status update about “soon publishing the kikashi essay”, I’d rather just take a few more days, actually write the essay, and then talk about it. Here’s a late Christmas present for my readers!

It has probably been nine years since my first encounter with the go term kikashi. Back then, I was neither much in touch with Japanese go terminology nor strong enough to figure out what was actually meant with the term, so I, like many others, assumed the more common western understanding of kikashi: that of a simple “forcing move”. While I’m certain many western players do have the right conception of kikashi, I’ve experienced that the term is also often misused. While this essay will never reach the whole of its target audience, I think it will be successful if even a few readers reach a moment of clarity after finishing reading.

My main incentive for writing this text wells from now having studied go in Japan for a few months. When I arrived in Japan,  I didn’t have an accurate conception of kikashi myself, but now I feel I have mostly figured the term out. Since most western players don’t have a similar opportunity to go absorb correct go terminology, I feel it’s my duty to contribute something on this part. If, after reading the hopefully-not-too-long essay, you feel you’ve learned something and you like what you’ve learned, I would like to hear any thoughts or commentary you have about it!

Kikashi: taking advantage of the opponent’s plans


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!

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C class kicks off

Like I already mentioned both on Twitter and Facebook, I got a two-wins-one-loss result today, on my first C class day. The loss was against insei number 12, and the wins were against 8 and 9. Of these, only insei number 9 was in C class in the last month as well. Number 12, Fujiwara (actually a girl!), is turning into an antagonist at a fair pace.

As the more careful readers might have noticed, there’s something mysterious with the way the classes are organized this month: insei number 9 was in C class last month, and insei number 8 was in D class. I’m at place number seven. There seems to have been some reorganizing as this month, there is a female-only tournament named 女流特別合同予選. I’m sorry, I have no idea how that is supposed to be read, and even the meaning escapes me. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a female-only professional exam, or something similar. As female insei from several classes are taking the tournament, there has apparently been some rigorous reorganizing in the normal insei classes. A funny side effect is that this month, three insei from C class get promoted, while four get demoted. I don’t feel up to answer the myriad additional questions the new setup brings on, so here we have both the pairing table of C class, and the whole insei setup. Sorry for the poor quality!

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