As you might have noticed, I have not been able to play as much or blog as much in the past 6 months… mostly this has been due to work commitments… I have even timed out (again) on games I was playing on DGS (my apologies… again). This year will be busy again, but I will try to post at least once a month on a game I played, some of them older ones that I still would love to share. The only real update that I have now is that I am 14k (yay!) and lets see how far I get by 5th of January 2017!
Since I have not found the time to actually post on this blog about any recent games I’ve played – work is keeping me too busy – here is a reblog from Weiqi To Go… A few problems to keep you busy while I sort my losing streak out.
I think that a 19×19 board definitely is the perfect size, though it personally seems more like something that evolved out of tradition. In this maybe it is happy coincidence that the board evolved to the perfect size?I’m not sure, old boards in Chinese were found 17×17, which still seems like a great size
The size of a go board has gone through many changes, from 9×9 to 15×15 to 17×17 and then finally to 19×19. Actually no matter what the size is, a proper game of Go can be played. It can even be enlarged to 21×21 or 23×23. Why then, is it that it stops at 19×19?
This is actually related to the idea of balance. As we all know, on a go board, the 3rd line is the territory line, while the 4th line is influence line. If we want to get all the points on the 3rd line and below, we need 56 stones, and get 136 points in total. If we want to get all the points in the centre on the 4th line and above, we need 48 stones, and can get 121 points in total.
When I logged into KGS, I usually check out the empty triangle room; sometimes there are really fun conversations happening… And to my surprise, there was an announcement of two new comics at the Empty Triangle! I love the Empty Triangle, it is my favourite webcomic (tied with xkcd)! Please do check them out here and here. I am all giddy now ^_^
So basically the author, Chidori, has been too busy getting a degree; I can relate to that, but I’ve got my priorities sorted though: mindless internet stuff will always take priority over getting assignments done for school. Anyway, she revived her comics briefly as she is selling some merchandise at the European Go Congress in Liberec, at the request of someone who is part of the organising team. she kinda states that this is the last of E3A, but my theory is that if she sells enough she might reconsider. As EGC is happening right now, please go buy everything she has! Her T-shirts, pendants… Frakkin’ yeah, even her board and stones! And her shoes and coat! Maybe, just maybe, she’ll understand that I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT REGULAR E3A COMICS!
Also, she might draw a nice banner to replace the crappy cat-on-a-board I drew when I started this blog… ^_^
So I entered the SAGA Winter League, which has replaced one of thee quarterly internet tournaments. The league has two groups, and I’m in Group B with people ranging from 5k to 18k (the 18k being yours truly); Group A has all the players upwards of 5k in it. While Group A plays even games, in Group B – due to the bigger rank difference between players – the choice is to play proper handicap -2. So far, I have played all games with the handicap, and have lost 1 and won 2, with 4 more to play. In the process I’ve move from 18k to 16k (with some help from 2 regular games I played during a club night).
I found this game interesting, as I usually play badly online… I tend to speed up really fast, just clicking away… It doesn’t matter if I start out with all sorts of good intentions. This game, I sat back and didn’t touch the mouse until I knew where to move… I got all excited when I managed to play slowly… Though after this game I played another free game on KGS, and clicked myself to an early grave; guess that lesson didn’t stick.
So here is my third game, and my second win, against a 6k:
The overall result is good, I think I made one major mistake when I let the five stones at E17 die; if I hadn’t the result would a 42.5ish instead of 23.5 point win. Considering the proper handicap would be 10 stones (i.e. 9 stones plus an adjustment of 9.5 reverse deom [덤, komi]), it was quite a good win. In fact this win got me from 16k to 15k in one go, as league matches – like tournament games – count 1.5x on the SAGA ranking system. I played my two previous games over the board (either is allowed, since the players are divided between Johannesburg and Cape Town), with one loss at 7 stones against a 5k and a win at 5 stones against a 10k; I’ll post the latter game later, as I snapped a few pictures of the board.
Also looking at the rankings, If I make it to 13k, then I’ll be the best female player at SAGA; this probably says more about the lack of female players in South Africa than anything else, but still ^_^
The opening was started simple, it being an 8 stone handicap game it turned quickly middle game-y. We settled the top and the left side of the board fairly quickly:
Then we moved to the lower left corner, and danced around a bit. However, I was really sure I had made a mistake with the sequence after White played 55 at C3. Somehow, with the stone already at G4, I thought I should block at C4 instead of playing 56 at D3 and allow White to get the corner and link up, however in the end it turned out okay. So instead of doing the jeochim [젖힘, hane] underneath at C2, I attached with 58 at E6; I’m not sure if this was good or bad, but with the three stones there already, I though I could. My logic here was to not get white to simply box me in and start building a wall on the fifth line; though in retrospect, 5th line territory doesn’t sound too bad in exchange for a wall towards the centre. When white played 59 at F5, I panicked a little, and my first reaction was to safeguard my territory at F4 and sacrifice 58… But I didn’t, I ended up playing out a sequence that got me a small part of the corner, and enough liberties to ensure my group didn’t die; at the same time I was able to develop to the right… Part of me still thinks I was really lucky though.
Next we went to the other side of the board, and White made a low approach with 75; I decided to pincer with 76, thinking that if white played R3 I’d just give him the corner and take the wall. Instead White counter pincered with 77 at R6, and I didn’t know what to do at first. Now the sequence 78 and 79 is jeongseok [정석, joseki], though I’m not sure if 80 and 81 were… I’ve never dealt with a situation before, only seeing the situation up to 79 in a book somewhere with the note that it is jeongseok… But overall, I felt okay with the result, apart from losing my second corner.
We moved on, and slowly started to divide the rest of the board; I didn’t think I did anything majorly wrong, and by move 150ish I was ahead.
I did make one small mistake around that time…I played 160 at L7, aiming to gain a few points by swallowing the stone at L6… So far so good, but I misread when Black played 163 at O7; I thought I could save the two stones at N8 and O8 by moving underneath with 164 at O6… but I was wrong, I misread the push at N7 as I didn’t see that it would put my two stones in dansu [단수, atari]; having to capture the one white stone meant that White could play 167 and kill two of mine… Stupid mistake, and probably the reason why I am still DDK after a year of playing this game.
This is the biggest (obvious mistake I made), and something that should teach me the meaning of dwitmat [뒷맛, aji]; specifically I thought the stone at G17 was dead, and I just ignored it while I played out the sequence 181 to 185. After 185, I patted myself on the back on gaining some points and went sonppaem-ing [손뺌, tenuki]; we danced around the board, doing some endgame, until White came back and played 193 at G18… which cost me about 19 points… I was still happily ahead, but I just could kick myself for making such an obvious mistake. If I’d had played maybe E19 after White played 185, before going somewhere else, this could have been avoided… But ooooooh nooooooo HeJin just had to go and think she had seonsu [선수, sente]….
The rest was endgame, and in any case I did win. I then sent the game of to a dan player from the Cape Town Go Club for a review, while staring at the screen at my new status as 15k for a while. Though, if you want to see the game as a sgf, I’ve uploaded it on EideGo; we’re listed as 5k and 15k respectively, but that’s cause our KGS ranks aren’t the same as our SAGA ranks.
So this is a little problem that came up in my game… it is actually really simple, but my opponent made a mistake; granted, I made a follow up mistake to his mistake, and he followed up with a mistake that ultimately let me kill it anyway. In the actual game it didn’t make a difference whether it lived or not, but it was an interesting review of our mutual stupidity.
So tonight, at the regular club evening in Cape Town, I ended up playing 3 games against a 9k (SAGA ranking). Since I am ranked at 18k, we started with a 9 stone handicap; this first game I won, so we lowered it to 5 stones, which I lost… The last game we played at 6 stones. Overall, they were enjoyable games, but the fact that all three were played in under 2 hours means that we kinda rushed through it. Mostly it is cause both he and I have the tendency to play fast; when our opponents play slower, it kinda makes us slow down, but against each other it just speeds us up… Thus at time stupid mistakes are made.
So starting with the first one (above)… well, not much to say… I focused on keeping things connected; overall, experience has taught me that if nothing dies, you’re likely to win if you have 9 stones handicap working in your advantage. I do must note that my opponent has little experience with playing against such a handicap, which definitely works in my advantage; usually, with 9 stones, people are kinda forced into making overplays and odd moves to shake things up. We finished this fairly fast, as my territory was marked out pretty quickly, after that it was just a matter of playing things out.
We started a rematch at 5 stones, since we had finished the first game in less than 30 minutes and everyone was still on their first game. I again tried to mark out territory… but I made one crucial mistake: I put four stones (you can see the nice tetris -stone like shape in the middle at the 10-10 point) in dansu [단수, atari]… this meant that a push into what was formerly at least 30 – 40 points territory led to half of my black stones dying… Again, look at the centre of the board… there they are, valiantly they fought… bravely did they die… In the end that was a swing of at least 50 points, if not more… I got a bit flustered and he almost killed the entire group on the lower right side, but he made a crucial mistake… In any case, the result was a disaster for me… While I was comfortably ahead for the first half of the game.
We had a brief discussion about another game; this time I asked for 6 stones, considering my huge defeat at 5 stones. So off we went… This game ended up more close… I made only one mistake, which cost me about 6 points, but that’s it. Overall, this result was very good. Though this game has lead to the decision to revert back to 5 stones when we play again.
Hello everyone! The (imaginary) cat is back from hopping around Southern and East Africa! I haven’t played in a while, mostly due to work; and here I want to also apologise to all those who were in game with me on OGS and DGS… timeouts were the order of the last few months…
But I started playing again, I’ve got a few game running on OGS and DGS, and this time I’ll make sure to finish them! Also I’ve played two games over the board tonight at the monthly club evening in Cape Town. I forgot the take a picture of the second one, but let me start with the first one:
I took black in an even game with 6.5 deom [덤, komi] against a new player at the club. He’s 12k on IGS, and mostly has played online, so we were a bit unsure about the rank difference, but it should have been between 3-4 stones roughly. In any case, since it wasn’t a ranked game we decided to just play even and see what happens. My aim was to lose by less than 6 points. Overall my first opening moves were good, then I plunged into a grave that was digging myself… Basically all the black stones in the middle of the board should have been dead; until my opponent made one small error and allowed a pae [패, ko] fight to start, which I won… thus the amount of dead black stones was significantly reduced… I lost by 17.5, which isn’t too bad… I wish I could more easily capture these games in sgf files, so to comment on them…
The second game I played was again a 2d, at 9 stones handicap, and I lost by about 37.5 points… Also not bad, and while my opening sucked, I managed to kill off one group of his. I made a few reading mistakes that, upon review, would have given me a loss by only 10-ish points. Still I was proud of this achievement at 9 stones against someone who is at least 20 stones stronger than me.
I’ve played a few more games online, and slowly will start posting them… But for now, all I can say is: my cat is back :p
Hi my dear readers! So the counter on this website is nearing 3 000 hits! Considering that I’ve only had this blog for about 6-7 months, I think that is a fairly good run. Of course it has come at a price… I almost missed a deadline at work because I was intent on uploading a game review and was fiddling with the sgf to make snapshots of the board; I had to ask for several extension for school assignments, thought this might be more because they usually are due on Wednesdays and Tuesdays is the weekly club evening; My other blogs are fairly neglected, having only re-blogged other people’s posts rather than written my own; and since I started playing baduk, I have had no social life outside the context of this game.
Yet still, I am amazed by a small group of regular readers, and the occasional spikes in visitors who found their way through to this blog. Since I started this journey, I’ve had 1 538 visitors accounting for a total of 2 827 page views; I’ve accumulated 30 likes on posts and 125 comments; I have 18 dedicated followers (who clicked the “follow me” button). So yay to that! Also WordPress shows from which countries people are accessing my blog; and in first place, with 1 063 views, comes the USA! Second place goes to Canada with 219, and 171 secured South Africa third place. It is funky to see some of the more distant places as well… 1 view from Mongolia and 1 view from Iceland… From the African continent, only Egypt and Madagascar feature… I knew there was a small baduk playing community in Madagascar, but am surprised to see someone from Egypt checking this blog out… Maybe they were lost…
But thank you to all those reading, and I’ll keep on writing and playing in the mean time. If anyone wants me to share something, events, etc. or wants to be a guest contributor, feel free to let me know (as soon as I have a secure “contact me” thing on here). I will be traveling to Mexico, Kenya, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, as well spending a lot of time in Johannesburg… So posts might be few until April, but I’ll try to keep things running!
This is a problem that came up in a 9 stone handicap game I was playing on DGS. I ended up resigning after I misread this life and death situation, as ended up being behind by too much… But afterwards I looked it over again, I wonder if there is a way to save these stones. The situation is simple, save the square marked stones after white plays their marked stone (red triangle); it’s black’s move.
This actual problem looks simple to me… but somehow I just can’t figure it out… Where is Batman when you need him…