Thursday, September 4, 2008

Single Digit Kyu

Apparently I've officially crossed the threshold to single digit kyu (SDK) on KGS. It's taken me almost 10 months (less a 2 month break).

I thought I would outline on this occasion some of the things that I thought were most helpful to me on my way up the ranks.

26k to 20k -- I played against the computer on 9x9 go. I was fairly quickly able to get to the point where I could win with a 2 stone handicap.
20k to 16k -- I started to play 19x19 go on KGS. Many of my early games were very peaceful set-ups with each player mapping out huge moyos then turning them into territory then failing at invasion.
16k to 14k -- Around this time I got my first go books: Fundamentals of Go by Kageyama and Janice Kim's Learning Go Series. Both of these were very helpful. I began applying some opening concepts like: play in open corners, enclose, extend. I still could not invade anything but a huge moyo and would often lose entire groups in the corner. Most of my improvement came from just playing a lot of games, over a hundred in the first few months. Mainly I learned a little bit about ladders and some basic concept of making enough space to make eyes.
14k to 12k -- I picked up some more books. The most useful at this time were Tesuji by Davies, and Attack and Defense. Much of my improvement here came from getting a little better at local fighting, a little better at life and death in the corner, and I started preventing my opponent from getting large territory through reduction and invasion.
12k to 11k -- Here I think the most important thing I learned was a little bit more about opening theory, I experimented with moyo type openings. My middle game improved a little and I learned to take indirect profit from attack, how to make more optimal extensions. I would credit most of my strategic improvement to Audio Go Lessons, where I took the full beginner course and many others just for fun. I would especially recommend the lessons on how to attack by Jennie Shen and of course Go Juan's lessons for beginners.
11k to 10k -- I think I got a little better at middle game play here and my opening improved a little. I also read Get Strong at Invasion. I also played several 9 stone handicap games with a dan player and tried to study ways to make use of the handicap stones properly.
10k to 9k -- I felt I got a little better at using thickness properly and became a little more flexible in my game plan. I make slightly better choices about whether to emphasize territory or influence. I am getting a little better at finding big end game moves and getting a little better at playing sente moves when it matters. I am now better able to appreciate pro games and currently am studying Invicible (a Shusaku game collection).

There is so much more to Go than what I know now. It will be interesting to see how I develop from here.

No comments:

Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide