Elusive tsumego

Jeff recently returned to China for a short period of time, and brought several tsumego books as a souvenir. One of them turned out to be excellent practice, with a lot of the problems being Igo Hatsuyo-ron level, but with relatively uncommon shapes.

In general, classic tsumego collections don’t give me too big of a challenge anymore, because I’m more or less familiar with the shapes—there’s only a limited amount of those, and once you’ve seen a big portion of them, remembering them also gets fairly easy. This book, however, still regularly confounds me with tesuji that I haven’t seen before, or at least the way of application seems novel. Below is the front cover of the book.



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Last weeks in Japan, part 2: final 30-minute tsumego test

This time I’m presenting (likely) the last 30-minute tsumego test I’ll do at the Mimura go dojo. I’m still going there one more time, on next week’s Wednesday, but it’s not sure if we’ll have a test then or not. This time around the tsumego were fairly easy, relatively speaking, and kyu players should have a fair chance at getting them right as well. Some five-six students (myself included) got a perfect result, and even the rest got something in the range of 15-22 correct (23 was maximum).

As usual, expect the answers to the tsumego later on in the comments section. All problems are black first, but remember to look for the best result for both sides.

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Tsumego of the week, part two

Here comes the latest 30-minute tsumego test we did at the Ichikawa go dojo. I got the highest score out of all the students, but still made a simple misread in the last problem. The problems aren’t actually all that difficult, but a hint may come in handy: remember, search for the best result for both players. That’s what tsumego is all about.

Black goes first in all problems. Sometime later I’ll add the answers as a comment to this post!

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Tsumego of the week

I felt like putting some tsumego up after I stated I won’t be scribing the 80-tsumego test. Here are my two favorite problems from the last collection I worked through, 求真詰碁2. Finding the answers needs some out-of-the-box thinking! Target audience is dan-level players.

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Status update and a 30-minute tsumego test

The last week’s been usually busy again. Around last week’s Wednesday I caught a cold, although for a Finn, the temperature’s been really high for this time of the year. During daytime, it’s something like 5°C here in Tokyo, while it’s been -30°C in my hometown of Oulu for the last week or so. That’s the kind of temperature that you cannot be sure whether you’re able to start your car or not!

While I did catch the cold, it wasn’t luckily too big of a deal. I probably had a temperature, but nothing past 37.5°C — not enough to prevent me from participating in the weekend’s insei games. The headache that came with the cold made playing slightly difficult though, and I noted an interesting shift in my play: playing the opening game was easy, as I wasn’t able to over-think things, but I lost control further into the games. In the end, I did manage to win three of the six games, which is a fine defense.

For the past week, I’ve been continuing my professional game memorizing plan, although at a slower rate of new games. In addition, I’ve done something like a whopping 1000 tsumego just this week. When I yesterday returned to the Ichikawa dojo from about one week’s absence, I scored both three wins out of three games (including a win against Mimura Kenta, insei B class), and also got the top score at a 30-minute tsumego test we had. Usually I would have trouble even solving all the tsumego in time, but somehow this time around I finished five minutes early — and while I did miss two solutions, I still got the top score out of the students. As we didn’t hold our English class this week, and the last weekend’s games weren’t of too high quality in the end, I thought to include the afore-mentioned tsumego test this time for the readers’ interest. All the 15 tsumego are in the following sgf file!

edit February 9 20:55: Whoops, forgot two key stones from the very first problem. Sorry! Fixed now.

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Excerpt from the Weekly go newspaper: ten classic tsumego

For this week’s Weekly go, they’d asked 130 Japanese professionals about the best tsumego; this research appears to have been conducted in a poll-like manner, giving the professionals a larger set of famous tsumego and then the pros picking their favorites. The ten most popular problems were then published in the newspaper, in an article named “Fundamentals are important”. The problems aren’t of exceptionally high level, but very important to know — which is why I’m posting them all here. I would imagine stronger kyu players can get most of them right even without initially knowing them, and dan players should know them all by heart — if not, here’s a chance to correct that!

As with tsumego normally, the objective is to find the best result for both sides. That’s why, this time around, I won’t be telling which side is to go first. In most problems, though, it’s still fairly obvious. All diagrams have again been made with jGoBoard.

#1: 48 votes

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