Friday, February 1, 2008

3 Month Update on Dad's Go Progress

Well if KGS rank has any meaning, it seems that I managed to improve slightly since last month. I am now barely 12k online which surprises me because I remember thinking a month or two ago that most of the games I had with 12k were hopelessly one-sided. In fact I don't think I actually won many games against higher ranked players, but I've become more consistent about winning against 14k and lower so I guess that's improved my rank some.

Shamefully, I have less motivation to actually study anything or do tsumego problems while my rank is still progressing just from games. I did pick up a copy of Fundamentals of Go by Kageyama which is a nice book that I would recommend highly. I like his conversational style and I found his examples to be quite interesting and enlightening. The unusual thing about this book is that many of the reviews of the book suggested that it is useful to read several times at different stages. Essentially reviewing this book helped a lot of people get over developmental blocks at successively higher levels of strength. They made comments which in effect said that the material is basic enough for someone like me or around mid-teens kyu to get something out of, but when you are much stronger, you can come back to the same exact material and find deeper insights still.

I especially liked the emphasis he puts on reading. I have to admit that I am sometimes lazy over the board and play many moves based on my meager intuitive grasp, when if I just sat and concentrated I could probably read out a solution.

In a game today against a 14k, I recalled specifically the first lesson in his book which requires reading out a ladder across the board. I had a similar situation in this game where I had a center facing stone caught in a ladder. I played an approach to the upper left corner which I had read out to be a ladder break. But my opponent failed to realize the ladder break was in place and proceeded to chase me for about 10 moves in a broken ladder. Of course, once he realized his error, his entire game fell apart as my diagonal thickness and his excess aji were too much to overcome. He resigned shortly afterwards.

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