Thursday, December 6, 2012

Eidogo: A healthy source of vitamin joseki

As I've been memorizing games from various professionals I've been wondering about the nutrition value in each one. How much will this game help me in my day to day playing? The one that helps me the most now is the one that taught me a new joseki that I added to my day to day games. I'm kind of slow though so I didn't actually understand what I was supposed to do until after the next paragraph.

In a recent study game with my good friend allara[5k] he devastated me in the fuseki. He then told me I needed work on opening knowledge. After the game I went to Josekipedia and Eidogo  (two websites for studying joseki). I found out that Eidogo lets you view a whole bunch of pro games for every joseki you type in. 

This is life changing! all I have to do is type in unknown joseki, memorize a pro game or 2 from it and boom! Now I can get the benefits of 2 kinds of study at once. It's even better than a protein shake.

other posts you might enjoy

Some great books for getting deeper knowledge of opening play

Monday, December 3, 2012

Play Go!

Go is not automatic. Fun is not automatic. Learning is not automatic. When you play go you must play go.
Devise strategies, take unexpected turns, and play deeper than you ever have before. Throw yourself into each and every move. Go cannot and will not play itself.

The moment you are content with the first move that comes to mind is the moment you will stop improving. It doesn't matter how many thousands of games you play. You will not improve without stretching yourself to think in ways that are hard for you. Your brain makes connections when you do new things. If you rely on what you are already comfortable with then your brain won't make new pathways and you'll be stuck in a neural rut.

When you learn a new concept and apply it to the way you think about go it is difficult at first. Once you understand it fully it becomes automatic. And once it is automatic you must look for a new concept to apply to your thinking.

We learn things one thought at a time. Every move is a chance to think in a new way and understand a little more. Think outside your comfort zone or it will imprison you. Chaining you to the walls of apathy. Holding you back from the unknown. Yes, learning is scary, but not learning is far scarier.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Memorize 100 Masters Games

I was recently challenged by Ikebrawler, who is my sensei/teacher/friend/tomodachi what have you, to memorize professional games as a way to improve my game. As you all know by now I'm never one to pass up a challenge and as usual I have quantified the challenge and am approaching it systoporadically (systematically/sporadically).

Memorize 100 masters games at least 150 moves deep
Have them in working knowledge all at one time

So far I have 3 games Memorized. I'm picking my games from, but you can get them from wherever (yes I am assuming you are joining me in this challenge). I mainly look for ones that end in +0.5 so that they are fairly close. You can also look for games from your favorite pros. 

Memorized games so far

Many go players believe that memorizing games is basically useless toward improving your go, however most of professionals advise it and Insei (young people in go schools) do it as part of their training.
In in interview with the late Hans Pietsch (a German go player who moved to japan to be part of the insei program) he says  

"From my experience, for amateurs, where there is still a lot that can be improved, the method to memorize games is very helpful. Of course it depends on how hard you are willing to work in order to improve. Memorizing means that you have to be able to play many games to the 150th move within 5 minutes. The meaning of that is not on a rational, logical level. You are trying to reach a deep point in your brain where you develop a feeling for shape and position. This is going to help you especially during the fuseki. 

Check out the complete article a

I'm sure your tired of reading my ranting by now good luck!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tsumego: Speed up by Slowing Down

I'd like to start this post with a short portion of my favorite book of all time.

Suffering produces Endurance 
Endurance produces Perseverance
Perseverance produces Character 
Character produces Hope
and Hope does not put us to shame.

There are many many things I could say about this passage, but I'm not talking about this passage. Today I'm talking about Tsumego. Tsumego can be opposed to Tsumeshougi which I just learned a few days ago and gives me some more context for what tsumego means. If you don't understand what I just said that is by all means completely fine and you are not missing out on much more than a joke between school friends. 

Several months ago I was going through Cho Chikun's elementary and intermediate Tsumego collections which I finished in just under a month going at an alarming pace of several hundred per day.
The results were in and I gained about a rank and a half on KGS. Although it was fun and I did have some gains, I have now switched my whole methodology of doing Tsumego.

As an aside I would like to say to those of you who have questioned me in private, public, or begrudgingly in the back of your minds that it is impossible for a 10k to go through Cho Chikun's Elementary and Intermediate Collections, I offer my complete agreement and condolences. I'm quite sure that I did not get more than 60% of the Elementary and probably less than 20% of the Intermediate correct. I was young and niave`, however I must say that I did still get something out of it.

My new methodology is something I invented in about 8 minutes one morning sitting out on my porch after an argument with my mother. I had spent 4-5 hours on the computer supposedly doing Tsumego but when all was said and done I had watched 2 anime episodes, browsed the internet, played a game of go and done only 11 Tsumego problems.  Thus leading my mom to, quite wisely if I may say so, take away my computer privileges until after 4 o'clock.

As an aside I would like to say that I do not, in fact, speak with a british, australian or texas accent.
However if it would make your reading experience more interesting I highly recommend that you pretend I do have one of the listed accents as you read through this post. I believe it may make your already enjoyable experience more entertaining and enjoyable.

The new method is simply this
I am going to go through Cho Chikun's Elementary Again at 30 a day by splitting my work into 10 12 minute sessions and doing 3 problems per session. this will allow me 3-4 minutes on each problem to fully think out the problem. If I finish the problems early in the 12 minute period, good for me and I can  take a bit of a break. if I do not finish a problem in the given time I will simply post it on KGS and have 
one of the stronger players there help me figure it out. After about 30 days at this pace I will have finished the set.

Step 2

Repeat step 1 doing twice as many of the Tsumego in the alloted time.
This basically means spending 10 12 minute sessions going again through the same set of problems but doing 6 problems every session. this time it will take 15 days to complete.

Step 3-7
keep repeating and doubling your speed until you reach the point at which you can solve atleast 100 problems in each 10 minute session.

if this takes more than 7 steps go ahead and continue until you make it there. But it probably wont.
After this point I sugguest going back through the whole set in 1 day twice a month to keep it in your mind. And also starting this same process again with the Intermediate set  or any other large set of tsumego you come across that you like.


Well that's basically the method. One problem allot of people who have done this have said is 
"It's hard to get the perseverance to keep on keeping on with these problems" My advice to you 
is to go through a bit of suffering. It will help you build your endurance and perseverance.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rival Grindy[5k-4k]: upcoming match

A match between me and my considerable stronger rival Grindy is coming up on may 31st (this year (2012(AD not BC))). Which means I have about a month left of training. Grindy is, like me, also working on tsumego. He is trying a new method of tsumego to try to boost his reading level even further. instead of just doing the problems, he looks at the problem, turns away, tries to re-create the problem in his visual mind, and solve the problem without looking at the book.  While his method may or may not be superior to mine, his pace seems much slower as I've done about 1600 problems in 10 days and he's done about 600. Feel free to watch the match. Tickets are 0$ (USD) and the time is so casual it is unspecified as of now.

my Journey today

Cool so I've been working hard at tsumego. I've Averaged 180 a day since 10 days a go (really 200 a day but 0 on sundays). Now I'm sure I can hear my multitude of blog followers wondering how its affecting me. Well I thought I wouldn't have answers for a while but something came up.

Nick23 tested my reading level yesterday. It kind of felt like a Gameshow. There were about 30 people
watching. Anyway Nick would ask a tsumego and I would have a minute to come up with an answer and then state my confidence in percentage. The problems were 6k-1d level and I think I got about half of them wrong. Anyway after the test Nick said my reading level was about 7k  so I guess that means I've made about 3 levels of progress in 10 days. I don't know if this is a fluke or misconception yet but I'm going to keep doing tsumego and have my progress tested in another week or so

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

500 tsumego, ring a bell?

The reason I haven't posted for a few days about my tsumego progress is that I've been busy doing tsumego!

saterday  - already posted about this but 150 tsumego
sunday - 0 tsumego, it was the sabath and I told God I wouldn't work on Go on sundays
monday - 500 tsumego AMAZING tsumego day, I found a new techniuqe
tuesday so far - 150 maybe I'll do some more today.

New techniuqe = the stop watch! I found
this online stopwatch, set intervals to 25 seconds and set sound to ting tinge
then whenever I hear the beep I switch to next problem whether I'm finished or not
and if I finish early I skip ahead and maybe give myself 2 beeps 'cus the first one doesn't count or whatever.
using this method I can do about 120-150 an hour. and even though sometimes I didn't get to finish a tsumego I found that was still getting the answers finished about 80% of the time.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

150 out of the way.

after an exhausting 9 hours I've finally finished my 150 Tsumego for the day.
here's the story.
At 11:35 I began on Cho Chikun's Encyclopedia of Life and Death elementary problem 150. I went for about an hour and ended somewhere around 180. I took a break read my bible, ate breakfast, drank a smoothie, and got back to work.
finally around 3:00 when I was on problem 220 and was incredibly tired of Tsumego I found a thread on the internet that suggested listening to music while you do problems. It was amazing. I downloaded Spotify and started listening to phantom of the Opera. my pace tripled and here I am at 8:15 finished with problem 300.
Thank you Lifein19x19 community! Well that's about it. I'll tell you where I am at tomorrow evening.

Tsumego with a fury

I've decided I won't play on kgs until I have done 150 tsumego for the day
and that I'll keep that up atleast untill I've finished cho chikun's elementary go collection.
so far so good I've done 28 problems today and its only noon.
wish me luck. The long road is ahead. I'll post again when I've finished this goal.
my current rank on kgs is 10k  but I've changed it to - for the duration of this experiment.

Friday, April 6, 2012

My Eternal Rival - NOT DEAD AFTER ALL

When I started playing go the first person I called my rival was a guy named Sparks[17k]
He was a bit stronger than me at the time, but he showed me a cool chatroom called stream of go stones
and introduced me to some of his go colleagues. In fact he might be one of the main reasons I got as strong as I did. Anyway I took a break from go for a month or so and when I came back he was gone. Hadn't seen him since untill today. Sparks has been playing under a pseudioname which he kept secret so his ex girlfriend  stalker couldn't find him. Great to know my eternal rival is still alive. unfortunetly at this time I can not reveal his identity

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I beat a rival Kalin1[5k?]

Some days he plays well and some days he plays poorly. He's been a huge obstacle for me during my go journey. He's kalin! He plays on kgs 6-7 days a week. I've been looking forward to being able to play him as an equal for months now. This was a huge motivation booster for me, as you can probably tell since I decided to write about it. :P oh here is the kifu

87.5 w (kalin1)
110 b (me(dukedaniel))

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dsaun's shape lectures.

Dsaun[1k] taught me sooo much today using one of his lectures. He teaches an audio lecture almost monthly (which is available for free on kgs, you can view recordings of his past lectures for free, although they do not include the review games he does afterwards reinforcing his points) After the lecture he went through 7 high dan games showing examples of how to use shape as he went. I learned how important good shape can be and how to use it effectively. I would reccomend every player struggling with shape or who does not understand shape to come to one of his lectures. I'll be writing a post as soon as his newest lecture is scheduled.

about Dsaun

He was born in germany (as an U.S. citizen.).
He speaks french.
He loves go (especially teaching it).
He started playing go seriously in 1993 though he first learned the rules in 1975.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Hey I got to 12k matches are getting a little harder now.
sorry for this mostly blank blog entry. haha.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What do I do in my spare time? + A WIERD COINCIDENCE

So when I'm not learning Japanese, playing Go, or writing a blog about learning Japanese or playing Go, What do I do? Well lots of stuff but A big thing I do is design and program video games. In fact today I was doing just that. But as any good programmer knows, programming is not fun if there is noone to share it with. So I was in my usual programming chat room! It had been a while since I had visited that room so of course one of my acquaintences asked me were I had been for the past few weeks. When I told him I was playing Go he had no idea what I was talking about. (now here is where it gets interesting). So we had a short conversation about what I was going to be working on and then another of my friends logs in. The first thing he says is 'So does anyone want to play go?'
I thought he must have had an alt logged in or something. But nope. He had no Idea I had been playing Go. I asked him his rank. '12k' he said. This must have been the biggest coincidence ever.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Played against a 9d on kgs with 15 handicap stones:

Yeah I was black. I had FIFTEEN handicap stones. I lost by over 50.
In this game I was 13k btw.
Egad should stop fooling around with kgs and go pro haha.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

13k a sense of weariness

Yesterday I got to 13k but today I feel like going on is pointless. I don't know why but I have absolutely no motive to continue in my go studies today. I think this will probably change but as for now I feel unmotivated. Uhg... will post further updates as to my mood. cya good luck everyone don't give up.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Heavy rank - kgs

after getting to 14k on kgs I got a huge burst of confidence and started studying like crazy.
I've won my first 9 games as a 14k. However my rank is not going up much. This is due to
the 'heaviness' of my rank. The more ranked games you play the less freely your rank moves. This is a problem in the kgs ranking system. If your rank gets heavy their are a couple things you can do
1. make a new account (obviously a new account is very light.)
2. play stronger players without handicap and beat them (this overcomes the heaviness by playing heavy matches)
3. take a break from ranked games for a few weeks(after a while your rank will become light again.)

Thanks for reading hope you don't have to suffer the same problem I am.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Egad'z Blitz Tactic

Egad: in blitz i try to taunt my opponents with bad moves that they can't seem to kill
Egad: then i press my face up against the glass and make blowfish faces
DukeDaniel: nice

These are his exact words. Feel free to try out his methods and/or comment your opinions of them

Friday, February 17, 2012

You play Go? what is Go?

14k today. yaya!

After a couple difficult matches I've finally made it to 14k.
I've been able to beat most 15ks for a while but now kgs recognizes me so that makes me happy.
Now moving back to tsumegos. I can't stop here or I won't make it anywhere.
Today one of my rivals who was 17k also advanced. So I'm not going tolet him catch me either.

Black's strategy in a 3-4 stone handicap game.

A common misconception for begginer players is that the advantage of a handicap game is the extra points you can get from the stones starting in place. The real advantage is that white must try to overcome that advantage and therefore play high risk deep deception attacks. A good strategy for black is to try to simplify the board as much as possible by settling the corners and sides. As black calmly addresses all of whites threats white will with growing frustration have to come up with even high risk high gain moves. At this point black should try to regocnize whites plot and punish it. In the end Black should seek to win by a few points.

Cool Beans: I'm a teacher!

My 3 year old brother agreed to me teaching him how to play go! In the past few days
he's learned how to: capture, count liberties, count territory and what constitutes a living group. Currently he is about 30k In a 19x19 games many of his moves seem to ignore what his opponant is doing.
But hopefully in a few months he will be able to play a respectable game. His name is lincoln and I expect him to be a great player someday. Teaching him is both fun and difficult as well as rewarding.
Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Breaking news from ASR: kotomi has run out of icecream

Kotomi[-] (high dan) has run out of icecream. Fortunately she has marbles to play with.

In other news locals of asr have discovered the corner to be the safest terrain on the map (t19 excluded (t19 as tesuji excluded from the exclusion))

Kotomi: -eats words-
Fayt: now speak
Kotomi: -speaks
Fayt: good girl *gives ice cream*
Kotomi: YES
Kotomi: -takes and runs to corner and eats icecream o _ o
DukeDaniel: corner is safe
Kotomi: yep
Kotomi: safest place
DukeDaniel: well t19 isn't safe
DukeDaniel: but around the corner
Kotomi: ice cream all gone o _ o
DukeDaniel: o.o I better write an article about that
Kotomi: what?
DukeDaniel: on my go blog
Kotomi: oh o . o
Kotomi: ok
DukeDaniel: how do you feel about running out of icecream?
Fayt: "t19 isnt safe unless used as tesuji"  done
Kotomi: i ha\/e mar6les
Kotomi: : D
Kotomi: 110 fo them
Fayt: thats how
Kotomi: theres a green one and i call it the awesome green mar6le of doom o _ o
Kotomi: i also has 2 dollars in my room somewhere
Kotomi: : D
DukeDaniel: cool huh?
DukeDaniel: I have about 80 readers a day so
DukeDaniel: everyone will know now
Kotomi: my room is a messsssssssss
Kotomi: this is the first time in ......... 8 years?
Fayt: should see mine
MrEmDash: hello my friends


Ok, so we've all heard so many different things about joseki. Joseki are like 9p moves, Joseki are bad for beginners. If you can't understand each move in the sequence then you won't proceed and will have a fatal error.
The pros don't always use Joseki. Learn joseki lose 4 stones. Don't memorize. etc etc etc.
So for the average j=Joe what do we do with joseki? I study joseki this way. Pick a point 3,4; 4,4; 5,3 etc and look at a few joseki for it. Try to figure out why each moves is played and the overall effect it has on the board. Then when you are playing  a game try attacking someones stones approaching the way they did in a Joseki. Try it out several times and get the hang of it.
This is a great way to learn how to get good at attacking corners. After that the next step is to learn how to defend your corners. Once you understand allot of the joseki for a point you get a good idea of how you can defend the corner and get a good overall advantage from your defending moves.

Here is a really interesting website of my friend's he has some cool stuff and a good joseki study page.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Improving Visualization

Basically this is very simple. In order to be able to read more, you have to read. Read far. Read allot. Read read read. I especially recommend tsumego. But you can also improve your reading in the middle of a game. Just pick a random point on the board and 'see' in your mind the consequences of it. Our minds like to make sense of things so you won't be as focused if you try practicing visualizing random sequences of moves with no goals or objectives in mind. This is why tsumego have a goal. Even if the goal isn't written and you have to decide what it is for yourself, there is at least possibility to live or kill in a tsumego. You could just visualize random problems but that isn't as engaging. In other words, tsumego have goals to make them more fun. So to practice your visualization just read out patterns with goals in mind.

Critical Thinking and Visualizing.

There are 2 main ways we determine our move on the go board. Both are very important to your success. Today I figured I'd write a brief summary of what each does and how you can improve it.
The first way is critical thinking. Critical thinking is taking a problem and simplifying it. It's gives us people the advantage over computers in go. Some examples of critical thinking are: counting liberties, determining the biggest areas, deciding if a group is weak, knowing shape, figuring out where a good cutting point is.
Critical thinking is used to find many possible good moves and ideas.
The second method Visualizing and planning is when we take a point and see everything we can do from there
by reading ahead. We take a point and find out what we could do with it and how our opponent can respond.
Reading and planning can be applied to any point.

By improving both your critical thinking and visualizing you can use them synergistically to quickly determine the condition of the board find some high quality points and then find the best ones and the strategy and tactics to be implemented after moving depending on your opponents choice of response.

Improving visualisation

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rival match: Kalin2:[8k] Vs Therookie:[8k]

A newsworthy rivalry

Kalin2 and Therookie have been rivals for a long time. Therookie however didn't acknowledge
Kalin2 until 2 days ago (february 12th) when Kalin2 beat Therookie by 13.5
Kalin has been steadily making ground. Just last month Kalin was 12k and hadn't beaten Rookie at all.
Here is a kifu of the exiting match(Kalin is black Kalin also had a 2 stone handicap and Rookie was simuling). Its exciting to see new players rising in the Go world. we have an exciting year ahead of us.

The importance of a go community.

While this may seem obvious, you can't go very far in go by yourself. If you don't have friends, teachers, competitors and other people you know who are interested in go, then you won't grow as fast as you could. This is one of the reasons I have so many friends on kgs. That, and having friends is fun and they are great people.
I suggest bringing your questions to sites like life in 19x19 their friendly forums have been a huge help to me.

A go study group is a good thing. Where would Hikaru be if he never joined Waya's study group? HnG refrence aside It's really helpful to be part of a group that meets regularly to study. As your group grows stronger you will too.

Or at least I THOUGHT a study group would be good until I tried studying with my sister.

Ikebrawler: The upcoming pro

A new face is appearing on the world of Go. On kgs under the psuedonym 'ikebrawler' a go legend is growing.
He started go a few years ago when his dad first brought him to a Go salon. since then he has been advancing quickly. big name players like MrHyphen are looking to him as their 'potential rival'
here is a kifu of one of his recent games against myself (he gave me 9 handicap stones)
He beat me by 46.5 well its always fun to be smoked by the future pros.
anyway watch out go world new players are coming your way.

Advanced Study Room

Advanced Study Room or asr is a teaching room on kgs which has an ongoing League system. To join simple go to the advanced study room on kgs under the Lessons category. One of the best thing about asr is that the stronger players almost always offer to review the game.
       Another added bonus is the competition which is an added incentive to play go. At the end of the month scores are compared and the top players in each section move up. There are also various prizes awarded to players who did the best in their bracket as well as to the most outstanding players overall. for more info look at their website. (also if you are in gamma II bracket pm me username: dukedaniel I'd love to play you)

Nature vs Nurture GO style

Some people believe you can get to high dan rankings just by pure effort.
others believe this requires innate ability.
here is a quote from Guest1dan from kgs

DukeDaniel(me): would you say effort is the biggest thing? or is it natural ability
Guest1Dan: u need to be smart as mount everest

this seems to be up for some debate.
 wait for part 2 coming soon
Nature vs Nurture GO Style: The research

Killing 3,3

Okay, so any of us who have played go very long run into this all the time, you play a decent game and its about even and then at the very end someone plays the 3,3 right in the middle of your territory. Egadz.
fear no more today I will take you step by step and show you how to kill the ugly beast that has landed in your hometown. HOWEVER this will not work at the beginning of the game because you need a large influence in the area in order to make sure he cannot escape. Role film Jerry.

This is how the 3,3 usually works out in a game where the players are both unaware of blacks possibility to kill. black loses allot here and it isn't fun for him at all.

                                                        THE KILLING POINTS

 Number 4 on the left diagram is the killing move, after this black must prevent white from making 2 eyes
it can be difficult but if you think it through you can kill white.
On the right diagram move 2 does the same thing.

Knowledge is power! Test it out in some of your games till you get it down pat. soon people will be to afraid to play the 3,3 at all against you

Some simple suggestions

1. make sure white cannot escape through the top
2. don't let him get 2 eyes in the corner
3. don't play s5 or s4 in the beggining of the game or white will end up killing most of you and getting a large base

Monday, February 13, 2012

Reviewing games

Feel like you played so many games without learning a thing? Have a stronger player review your games.
This can make a world of difference in your rate of improvement. Stronger players know allot of basic principles they can impart to you which will make you a better player. These will come out when they review your games
and they can point out your weaknesses. If you can make friends with a strong player or pay a pro to teach you you could be much better off.
     Also try replaying your games later to reinforce what you learned. This will help you remember what you learned and also will help you see new things you missed last time you reviewed or while you played the game.
I try to review at least 1/4th my games.

Playing games

Probably one of the most important things you can do to get better at go is to play go.
I use to play with people all over the world. This is where I got my start in go.
There are many friendly people on the server who will be willing to teach you if you do the same to others.
They also have many cool tools for allowing you to make save files of your games and go back over them.
I have used this for the tsumegos I've made and posted on here.

Things to try in your games

1. experiment: This is one of the best things you can do, try out many many different things. try different openings and attacks, find out the best ways to attack certain groups. Try anything that comes to mind

2. Blitzing: when you don't have time for a slow game you can try blitzing. Set the timer for 10 seconds a move and play by feel. This helps you quickly evaluate the position of the board in general and develop a better overall sense of strategy.

3. Playing very slow games. when you have plenty of time try setting the timer for an hour and think through everything you can before playing a move. this will help you grow your reading and tactical thinking. As well helping in almost every aspect of the game.

4. FIGHT!!! If your not sure if you can kill someone, then try to kill them. don't be afraid of losing. if your willing to take risks then you can reap rewards. Sometimes you will lose everything but this will only help you become a stronger player and make you think deeper while launching attacks. Don't wait till you are a strong player to take risks.

1000 tsumego challenge

This is the first post on where my goal is to get to 1d and help others do so as well. My first challenge for myself (and to you) is to do 1000 tsumego. tsumego are go problems which you must read ahead and find the best sequence for each player black to kill white or black to live. For example I sugguest you read
until you are sure that you have the best solution for each side. by reading I mean visualizing the results in your mind and 'seeing' what will happen. Try reading out every possible response from the other side to be sure of your result. I am currently using Cho's Encyclopedia of Life and Death Elementary
as a source for problems it's and I highly recommend it to you. At the time of this writing I am only on problem 58 of that collection. here is an example problem (which I made)

find the best possible solution for black and the best response for white have fun!
(hint if black doesn't live no matter what then your solution is wrong)