Reaching professional status, and reinstating Go of Ten

Time sure flies! It has been well over a year since I last posted on Go of Ten. My apologies to the people who have asked for updates: I decided I wanted to direct my energy fully to improving on my game, and as a result blogging got left forgotten in the background.

As the Nihon Ki-in officially announced me as a professional go player from 2016 on, I believe we could say that the decision paid out! Starting from now on, I imagine I will have the time and will to write a blog post once in a while again.

My first official professional game is likely to get scheduled for late April or May. Before that, I will go back to Finland for two weeks to spend the Christmas with my family, and between January and April I will be attending professional study meetings, doing teaching activities and possibly writing a theory book in English on endgame calculations.

I would like to extend a big thank-you to all the people who supported me to get this far, and I hope you will keep following my adventures in the future as well!

Insei report after the first weekend

Insei training isn’t light, I’ll give you that! The schedule is strict and incredibly full, and being an insei isn’t just about playing go. The school is, after all, meant for children who are potentially going to become professional go players. In addition to gaining playing strength, then, the teachers will do their utmost to also get the children to act like professional go players should. This also goes for wannabe-pro foreigners who find their way to the school. In a sense, it’s kind of like I’m back in elementary school, just the manners that are being taught are from a different culture. It is a relief that the teachers, while being strict, are also nice, and recognize that I’m to break the form at times, coming from a different culture myself.

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In China, part five: Up against an 8 dan professional

Yesterday, on Saturday, was another special occasion in the Experience Go in China trip: the main organizer’s, Peter’s, teacher — an eight-dan professional — came to visit the program, and to play simultaneous games against some of the students. Six students were picked to play, including me, and the rest of the students were following my one-stone handicap game against the 8 dan in the other room, with Ben 3 dan professional commenting the game.

I started the game with my standard opening as of now, the modern sanrensei, and forced the 8 dan to invade. My handling of the invasion group was deemed a bit questionable, though not a complete failure, since I did end up getting a fair amount of territory and outside influence. I however failed to use the outside influence to attack the opponent’s positions, and seemed to fall a bit behind in territory. Later on in the game, I had to depend on two complicated ko fights to even the game. Though white seemed to be better off, he had no easy way to take the win home. Finally, white decided to ignore a big ko threat by black, and the result was pretty much decided for black’s favor. The end result was a black win by 12 points. Kifu is given below, with short comments based on what the teachers told me after the game!

[sgfPrepared id=”0″]

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Questions and answers, part three; the 6-4 point

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.

[sgfPrepared id=”1″]

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.

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Preparing for Rabbity six, part three: learning from past mistakes

Long time no write! The past week has been a bit busy for me, hence the small amount of posts here. Right now I’m in Tampere, ready to play in the Rabbity six tournament which begins tomorrow. I decided to share with you readers what I reviewed with Jeff concerning the game I played with smartrobot on KGS last week. I had black in the game.

Generally, I thought the game was very good, the number of noticeable mistakes being rather small for both. Apart from this game, I’ve played several other games as a preparing for the tournament – also in the European Team Championship tournament on IGS. My general feeling is that I’m pretty much in top shape now!

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Preparing for Rabbity six, part two

Hi there! Today is a time for more professional game analysis. There are already a good number of questions sent, but I’ll wait a few more days if even more appear, and then answer them at one time! Some people might’ve seen me play an interesting game against smartrobot on KGS last Monday – I’m planning on reviewing that one here a bit later, as well.

Today’s game is played by the enigmatic pro player whom I named to have had the biggest impact on my style. He’s playing black in the game – can you guess who he is? The game itself is very interesting, with many nice strategical ideas.

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Preparing for Rabbity six, part one

One of my main ways of studying go, probably not unlike most mid-to-high dan players’, is to review games by professional players. As long as you understand what the players are going about, this way of studying is pretty much as useful as reading a go book. The understanding part however is not quite so simple, and can often require a lot of thought work. I shall use this blog to present my thoughts about professional games that interest me, and also to sort out my thoughts to myself.

The game I’m reviewing this time was played in 1995 by Kato Masao (white) and Fujisawa Shuko, the latter being my favourite professional player. He has a nice, solid style, and is able to play in an incredibly relaxed way. As you shall read later, however, he is actually not the one to have the greatest influence on my playing style. Feel free to guess in the comment section who the most influential one is!

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