How to study

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Jakub Zeilinski

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Mar 25, 2001, 2:33:18 PM3/25/01
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I'm a beginner considering coming back to Go after a very long interruption
due to illness and other commitments in life. In the few months I spent
playing go regularly, I reached the rank of IGS 17k. At that time, I read
Janice Kim's "Learn to Play Go", the first volume of "Graded Go Problems
for Beginners" and half the second. I've been considering doing some work
with the "Graded Go Problems", "Elementary Go Series", or "Get Strong at
Bo" books to improve. I was wondering what the most effective method for
quickly gaining stength is -- what sequence of topics (tesuji, L&D,
endgame, opening theory, joseki, etc.) is best for organizing one's study.
I gather it's good to do some of each as one progresses, as in the Graded
Go Problems, but I'm curious which of the more specialized texts I ought to
start with to improve the fastest and get the best perspective on the game.
Any comments on when and how to study joseki would be appreciated too.

Bantari

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Mar 25, 2001, 6:33:22 PM3/25/01
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Hmm... in my experience, almost everybody's study habbits are a
little different, so all I can say is what I myself consider to be the
best course for around 17k.

Ok - here is the core material:

Firs and foremost, study Life&Death. A lot! Try to analyse
simple L&D problems, and if you cannot fully understand them try to
memorize them. The best book for this is, in my opinion, "Life and
Death" from Elementary Go Series. But other books are OK too. If you
need more problems, try the "Get strong at L&D", but I think the EGS book
is better.

Second, and almost as important, is the study of basic tesuji.
Same approach as with L&D. Again, the EGS book "Tesuji" is excellent. I
found the "Get strong at tesuji" book too easy and unorganized to be the
main text on the topic, but its good for additional problems.

Third - play games. Fast games, slow games, any games. Try to
use the ideas you have learned from the books. And do not worry about
losing - the more you lose, the more you learn. Try to go through your
games with a stronger player - but do not always take his word for
granted. Many times stronger players would try to explain you things you
are not ready for yet, but do not worry about this - just grab whatever
buts and pieces of knowledge you can from such lessons. Many time
stronger players will explain moves by offering some generalization which
will mean nothing, like "This move is too low". Do not worry about it
for now - try to understand, but if you do not, still play your game.

Fourth - think for yourself. Try to make moves you understand,
even if people tell you these moves are inferior to other moves. If you
win/lose due to moves you do not understand, you usually do not know why
you lost/won. If you lose due to moves you understand, you might learn
not only to change your moves, but more importantly - to adjust your
understanding and thus consciously think for better moves. It is easier
to understand more advanced moves if you know why the other moves do not
work - and then you are also more ready to accept the reasons.

This is pretty much it at your level. If you look for expanded
material, here is what you might want to try:

End-game - "The Endgame" book from EGS is very good, and, as the
follow-up, the "Get Strong at Endgame" is ok. Do not worry about the
endgame too much for now, but make sure that as you soak in the L&D and
Tesuji, you make the endgame your next priority. It might not be
absolutely necessary to nitty-gritty calculate the exact value of each
endgame moves, but recognizing elements like sente, gote, double sente,
and so on will help you make better decisions - not just in the endgame.
There are many standard endgame moves/tesujis (bending on first line,
monkey jump, and so on) the knowledge of which is very useful - and not
hard to learn. Try to understand them and how to play/counter/defend,
but do not worry about numbers too much for now. These standard moves
belong maybe to the "core material" and should be study as part of
"Tesuji" section.

Joseki - try to learn some, maybe from the "38 Basic Joseki" from
EGS. Do not try very hard to memorize the patterns, just to try to
visualize final positions - for example, "Aha, W gets the influence here
while B gets the corner" and try to think how further game should procede
- for example, what are good follow-up moves, and so on. Again - do not
worry if this temporarily sets back your win/loss ratio - you are on the
right track, and sometimes it is necessary to make a step backwards to
make two steps forward. Stay away from the "Get strong at Joseki" books
for now - they are a little too advanced, I think.

Opening theory - There are two good books on elementary opening
theory - "In the beginning" from EGS and "Opening Theory Made Easy" by
Otake. Both offer many ideas, and in some ways they complement each
other. Its good to have them both. "Get strong at opening" is too
advanced for you, I think. A good practice I have found with respect to
openings is to pick one simple opening and concentrate on it full time -
play it in your games whenever you can, and so on. At your level I'd
suggest some teritorry-oriented pattern, like maybe parallel komokus, or
maybe komoku and san-san... but it sure depends on your temperament. I
just think that its easier to understand territory play than moyo-and-
influence play. I might be mistaken, though.

Study games - both pro games and strong ama games. Do not worry
about understanding the moves - even the best of us often have problems
there. Pro moves are often justified by hundreds of moves deep reading
and years of knowledge. "Guess the right move"-approach is often
useless and pointless. What you should try to get from such games is the
overall flow of the game. Try looking at the whole-board position and
connect it to the moves made - he has influence there, how do players
play around it, do they play close, do they play far, do they try to use
it for points or for attack, and so on... It is usually not easy, but
might be potentially very rewarding. Just remember - do not get
frustrated if you cannot understand what's going on. Soak in the shapes,
especially in serious pro games. Try to spot ideas you learned from
Opening study and Joseki study in such games.

Hope it helps.

On 25 Mar 2001 19:33:18 GMT, Jakub Zeilinski (jmzi...@artsci.wustl.edu)
said...

--
________________________________________
-Bantari
e-mail: kapr...@yahoo666.com (remove the 666)
homepage: http://home.san.rr.com/rafgo

Eric Osman

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Mar 25, 2001, 7:46:03 PM3/25/01
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The value of doing those "graded go problems for beginners" books is
immense. At a minimum, keep a copy by the toilet. And listen up,
dan-level players. The volume 4 of that series is nothing to sneeze at,
and is something to write home about.

What happens is this: The more you do those problems, the more you'll
see things on the board.

For example, when you're under attack on the board, and you're tired
and don't want to think, the more problems you've been doing in that
graded go problems series, the more likely you are to find a correct
move .

Similarly, of all the times your opponent makes a wrong move, or
neglects to protect, you'll vastly increase the number of times you'll
catch their mistake and can bounce on it.

/Eric (2d aga, 3k* nngs)

Ted S.

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Mar 25, 2001, 8:05:22 PM3/25/01
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Somebody claiming to be ban...@mynet.com (Bantari) wrote in
<MPG.1528201c...@netnews.msn.com>:

>
> Hmm... in my experience, almost everybody's study habbits are a
>little different, so all I can say is what I myself consider to be the
>best course for around 17k.
>
> Ok - here is the core material:
>

> Firs and foremost, study Life&Death. [...] The best book for this


> is, in my opinion, "Life and Death" from Elementary Go Series.

[...]

> Second, and almost as important, is the study of basic tesuji.
>Same approach as with L&D. Again, the EGS book "Tesuji" is excellent.

[...]


> End-game - "The Endgame" book from EGS is very good,

[...]

> Joseki - try to learn some, maybe from the "38 Basic Joseki" from
>EGS.

[...]

> Opening theory - There are two good books on elementary opening
>theory - "In the beginning" from EGS and "Opening Theory Made Easy" by
>Otake.

Do you write for the Elementary Go Series by any chance? :-)

BTW: Your comment about winning/losing with moves you know is interesting.
My rating on IGS has fallen from 25k to 29k, and I frankly don't know what
I'm doing wrong in having my rating fall as opposed to what I was doing
right in getting up to 25k in the first place.

--
Ted, Fedya2 on IGS
To reply by e-mail, change .spam to .net

S.G.Fawthrop

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Mar 25, 2001, 8:12:46 PM3/25/01
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L&D first, without a doubt. Then tesuji. You may be interested in reading
something I put together a while back for a friend:

http://www.eklectika.net/ORIGINALS/HOW_TO_STUDY_L&D.HTML


The Nose Who Knows

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Mar 25, 2001, 11:24:37 PM3/25/01
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On Mon, 26 Mar 2001 01:05:22 GMT, Ted S. wrote:
> Do you write for the Elementary Go Series by any chance? :-)

The series (published by Kiseido) is very highly regarded in the
English-speaking Go scene.

> BTW: Your comment about winning/losing with moves you know is
> interesting. My rating on IGS has fallen from 25k to 29k, and I
> frankly don't know what I'm doing wrong in having my rating fall as
> opposed to what I was doing right in getting up to 25k in the first
> place.

My guess, from your postings here, is that you're starting to experiment
with many new ideas. Because you don't have the hang of them yet, you
aren't using them as effectively as you could, and they often fail.
Keep at it; discover the holes and misunderstandings in your current
play by playing lots of games (as you seem to be doing already). As you
refine the ideas you're trying out, you will make fewer mistakes and
your play will improve.

In short -- you currently don't need *more* things to try, but rather to
polish the things you are currently trying. Once you have improved your
level of play by being comfortable with the tactics you are using, then
it will be time to try some new things.

--
\
`\
_o__) BIGNOSE (13k KGS)

Bantari

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Mar 26, 2001, 12:24:30 AM3/26/01
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On Mon, 26 Mar 2001 01:05:22 GMT, Ted S. (fe...@bestweb.spam) said...

> Do you write for the Elementary Go Series by any chance? :-)

Hehe... nope. But its still the best books around for double-
digit kyu players, I think. So, if a recomendation is in order, I
usually recommend them.

>
> BTW: Your comment about winning/losing with moves you know is interesting.
> My rating on IGS has fallen from 25k to 29k, and I frankly don't know what
> I'm doing wrong in having my rating fall as opposed to what I was doing
> right in getting up to 25k in the first place.

Hope you go up soon. I have often seen such wide fluctuations in
ranking in people at your levels. I think its a good sign - the pot is
stirring and the ideas are bubbling. Maybe you just need to re-think
what you were doing and the rating will soar. The rating at 25-30k level
is not very exact anyways. Do not worry - just do your thing. :)

Robert Jasiek

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Mar 26, 2001, 6:23:45 AM3/26/01
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Jakub Zeilinski wrote:
> Any comments on when and how to study joseki would be appreciated too.

Everybody should have a rough idea what joseki is all about:
fairly sharing a corner. At your level you do not need joseki
other than those simple ones with 1 to 6 moves, i.e. one
player takes one side, the other player the other side.
Forget about understanding advanced joseki. At your level
you have little chance because you make so many big mistakes
that any one such mistake can completely spoil every
advanced joseki. So keep things simple. When you are around
European 13 Kyu (I don't know what that is on IGS), you might
cautiously start studying more joseki. Intense joseki study
might begin around 10 - 5 Kyu. How to study joseki? Currently
you need to know only one thing: KEEP THINGS SIMPLE! When you
will have become stronger, you might be lucky if my books
about good ways of studying joseki (The Key to Joseki Study)
will be ready. Other joseki books fail to explain well how
to study joseki; they do little more than offering a more or
less useful selection of variants. Although I managed to
learn joseki that way, it was VERY time consuming, and
learning by analysing variants (and comments of the type
"Believe me - this variant is good for Black because the
following 20 diagrams show that White 1 does not work!")
oneself can only be recommended in view of the lack of
better joseki books so far.

--
robert jasiek

Dan Schmidt

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Mar 26, 2001, 10:12:27 AM3/26/01
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Bantari <ban...@mynet.com> writes:

| Firs and foremost, study Life&Death. A lot! Try to analyse
| simple L&D problems, and if you cannot fully understand them try to
| memorize them. The best book for this is, in my opinion, "Life and
| Death" from Elementary Go Series. But other books are OK too. If you
| need more problems, try the "Get strong at L&D", but I think the EGS book
| is better.

Most of LIFE AND DEATH is too hard for a 17k, in my opinion. I would
read up until the L groups, and then put it aside and do more problems
from GRADED GO PROBLEMS volume 2.

I learned most of my life and death (so far) from Cho Chikun's
dictionary, which has very gentle explanations, and GRADED GO
PROBLEMS.

Dan (5k AGA, 6k NNGS)

--
http://www.dfan.org

Bill Spight

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Mar 26, 2001, 12:51:15 PM3/26/01
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Dear Jakub,

> I was wondering what the most effective method for
> quickly gaining stength is -- what sequence of topics (tesuji, L&D,
> endgame, opening theory, joseki, etc.) is best for organizing one's study.

You can talk in general, but I believe that the personal equation is
very important. What topics do you enjoy studying? Which ones seem
easier to comprehend? That's where you will make the quickest progress,
as a rule. :-)

Now for general comments:

1) *Not* the endgame. The payoff is too small, though you can learn some
general principles.

2) Study pro games, and your own. For your own games, try to find the
game-losing move.

3) Fuseki, at least to a certain extent. The payoff is large, as a rule,
although some niceties in the opening are worth less than 1 point.

4) Throwing stones away. There are some books devoted to this topic, but
I don't think that there are any in English. The topic is dealt with in
books on tesuji, middle game, and joseki. You have to learn how to use
thickness (see fuseki). Here, too, the payoff is large. Many games are
lost through failure to throw stones away. IMX, learning to throw stones
away made the most difference in my strength than anything else.

5) Keshi and invasion. Large payoff.

6) Sabaki. Large payoff.

7) Shape and tesuji. Variable payoff.

8) Life and death, at least to some extent. Variable payoff. (If you
throw stones away, you don't have to make them live. ;-))

9) Joseki. I used to advise against studying joseki, but it is a way to
learn tesuji, life and death, and throwing stones away.


Good luck!

Bill

Simon Goss

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Mar 26, 2001, 5:37:40 PM3/26/01
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Dan Schmidt writes

>Most of LIFE AND DEATH is too hard for a 17k, in my opinion. I would
>read up until the L groups, and then put it aside and do more problems
>from GRADED GO PROBLEMS volume 2.

The L group itself, definitely.

Getting the full story on the L+1 groups, though, is *hard*. The basic
idea of killing by hane to reduce to the L group is simple and important
and it's worth learning which is the main (*) vital point to live for
each one, but all the twiddly cases involving extra hanes and stuff are
too hard for double figure kyu, IMO.

(*) "main" because, for example, this one has more than one way to live
with territory

| . O O O
| . # # # O O
| . . . # # O
| . . . . . .
+-------------

but the only one that is importantant is the 2-2 point, which is
involved in all the more complicated positions too. The knowledge of
other moves that live in the basic position is pretty much academic and,
I think, only serves to obscure the important part of the picture.
--
Simon

Eric Osman

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Mar 29, 2001, 12:23:33 AM3/29/01
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"how to study" should be tailored to the particular weaknesses
of the individual player, which can be revealed by game records of
that player.

For example, if a stronger player reviews a game record of a weaker
player and spots a place where this sort of thing happens:

. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . X . . .
. . . . X . . . .
. . . O O X X . .
. . . . . O . . .
. . . a . O . . .
. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . .

Let's suppose it was X's move and the X player should have made a
shape-ruining move at "a" and failed to do so.

When such a mistake is spotted, it would be great if some
database-assisted software could list out a number of books and page
pointers that give examples of this kind of move, so the player
could practice.

Another example: Suppose a stronger player is reviewing the opening
of a game, in which the criticism is that the player blocked a
3-3 invasion on the "wrong" side. it would be valuable if some
software could assist in pointing to a list of books and page
references that deal with examples of how to determine which side
to "block" on when responding to a 3-3 invasion.

Countless times I've reviewed weaker player's games, and when spotting
an error, I think to myself "gee, I've seen good examples for practicing
what to do in this situation, but I just can't remember what book
and page it was on".

If for each obvious error the reviewer spots in a game, the player
could be directed to some practice problems in books that deal
with that specific error, the player's study would be efficiently
directed towards exactly what s/he needs to concentrate on next.

kuh peesh ? /Eric

Charles Matthews

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Mar 29, 2001, 4:31:33 AM3/29/01
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Eric Osman wrote

>"how to study" should be tailored to the particular weaknesses
>of the individual player, which can be revealed by game records of
>that player.

Yes, game records, when looked at sympathically by a stronger player, can
reveal what you could call root mistakes: those coming from misconceptions
or technical weaknesses or missing patterns.


<snip>

>If for each obvious error the reviewer spots in a game, the player
>could be directed to some practice problems in books that deal
>with that specific error, the player's study would be efficiently
>directed towards exactly what s/he needs to concentrate on next.


I think that's a bit simplistic. If you don't know how to kill the J-group,
fine, read that up. But error is many-headed. Making heavy groups seems to
be a hydra - tell a player not to do it in one kind of position and you can
rely on hir to do it in another way.

A genre of books that needs more contributions is "trade secrets" - where
you do get short treatments of particular areas that one must somehow get
past to become stronger. One difficulty is that the natural way to write
about these is in the form of a magazine article, and simply putting 50 of
these together doesn't necessarily look like a book. (Conversely books on
say, proverbs, can be recommended to improving players just because they
contain many short "studies" on diverse topics.)

Charles


Eric Osman

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Mar 29, 2001, 11:22:09 AM3/29/01
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> I think that's a bit simplistic. If you don't know how to kill the J-group,
> fine, read that up. But error is many-headed. Making heavy groups seems to
> be a hydra - tell a player not to do it in one kind of position and you can
> rely on hir to do it in another way.
>


This is where the skill of the reviewer comes in. Perhaps when
the player is criticised for making the group heavy, the reviewer can
use the database in several ways, even both of the following:

1) The reviewer recognizes that the group became heavy early
in the game when the player should have made a base for the
group rather than merely taking a big move elsewhere, so the
reviewer uses the database to point the player to several
exercises in books (such as "Get Strong at the Opening" !)
that have examples of just this very thing.

2) The reviewer recognizes the kind of heaviness the player
created. For example, perhaps the player should have made
some light contact plays in order to give up a few stones
for the purpose of settling a major portion of their stones.
Use the database to point to examples of that.

The main point I'm making is that when we as reviewers spot errors
in games, we often know just the sort of exercises we think would
help this player "if only we could remember what book and page
they were on" and this is where the proposed database would assist.

/Eric

Charles Matthews

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Mar 29, 2001, 12:59:54 PM3/29/01
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Eric Osman wrote

>This is where the skill of the reviewer comes in. Perhaps when
>the player is criticised for making the group heavy, the reviewer can
>use the database in several ways,

<snip>

But that's where I disagree. Without the will not to make heavy groups -
without the conviction that making heavy groups is for losers - the problem
eludes indexation.

Charles


Ted S.

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Mar 29, 2001, 10:23:53 PM3/29/01
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Somebody claiming to be os7...@mediaone.net (Eric Osman) wrote in
<3AC2C75F...@mediaone.net>:

>
>
>"how to study" should be tailored to the particular weaknesses
>of the individual player, which can be revealed by game records of
>that player.
>
>For example, if a stronger player reviews a game record of a weaker
>player and spots a place where this sort of thing happens:
>
> . . . . . . . . .
> . . . . . X . . .
> . . . . X . . . .
> . . . O O X X . .
> . . . . . O . . .
> . . . a . O . . .

> . . b . . . . . .


> . . . . . . . . .
>
>Let's suppose it was X's move and the X player should have made a
>shape-ruining move at "a" and failed to do so.

Stupid question: Why is 'a' a shape-ruining move? What if White responds
somewhere like 'b' in an attempt to capture the stone at 'a'?

Feel free to tell me that this this is the sort of stuff I as a ~27k don't
need to know yet. (However, I have serious difficulties finding the
correct moves for eye shape; this has caused me to lose large groups of
stones due to moves from my opponents which I would never have found.)

Pekka Karjalainen

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Mar 30, 2001, 1:09:08 AM3/30/01
to
In article <9073EC7B0fe...@207.106.93.76>, Ted S. wrote:
>>
>> . . . . . . . . .
>> . . . . . X . . .
>> . . . . X . . . .
>> . . . O O X X . .
>> . . . . . O . . .
>> . . . a . O . . .
>> . . b . . . . . .
>> . . . . . . . . .
>>
>>Let's suppose it was X's move and the X player should have made a
>>shape-ruining move at "a" and failed to do so.
>
>Stupid question: Why is 'a' a shape-ruining move? What if White responds
>somewhere like 'b' in an attempt to capture the stone at 'a'?

First of all, as long as the stone at a is not captured, O cannot make
an eye in the space diagonally adjacent to it. Having in the first place
invested all those stones in making shape and then getting no eyes from it
should make white somewhat vexed.

If O plays at a, she now has an eye here and a good shape. Why do we
say that the first example is bad shape and this would be good? It is
mostly about the eye (or lack of any) and the possibility of making the
two required for life.

Groups without eyes are heavy and easy to attack. You don't want any of
your own colour on the board. Of course, making eyes in the opening is
too slow, so you have to find a balance between rapid development and
potential eyes for your stones. And a lot of other things besides.

>
>Feel free to tell me that this this is the sort of stuff I as a ~27k don't
>need to know yet. (However, I have serious difficulties finding the
>correct moves for eye shape; this has caused me to lose large groups of
>stones due to moves from my opponents which I would never have found.)

Nope, you should study tesuji and shape at your level. Have you looked
at James Davies's book Tesuji yet? It is has a few chapters on
eye-making and eye-stealing tesuji. A lot of beginners' books shouls also
cover the topic quite well.

Only a ~27k who does not want to improve can afford to miss out on
studying eye shape. It is that important. Only things I can think at the
moment that are more important is understanding 3rd vs 4th line balance,
two points extension on the side and direct capturing tactics such as
ladders and nets.

I think I improved about 4 stones when I started using the two point
extension on the third line to make a base for my groups. At least I
stopped losing one to two every games. Learning about eye shape was worth
at least as much and got me past 20k IGS.

>Ted, Fedya2 on IGS
>To reply by e-mail, change .spam to .net

Pekka K.

Of course, my .sig is somewhat appropriate to what I just wrote. But
you should know to take the advice from us so-called stronger players
with a grain of salt already :-)

--
"To generalise is to be an idiot." -- William Blake

Pekka Karjalainen

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Mar 30, 2001, 4:17:52 AM3/30/01
to
On 30 Mar 2001 06:09:08 GMT, Pekka Karjalainen <pkar...@paju.oulu.fi> wrote:
>In article <9073EC7B0fe...@207.106.93.76>, Ted S. wrote:
>>>
>>> . . . . . . . . .
>>> . . . . . X . . .
>>> . . . . X . . . .
>>> . . . O O X X . .
>>> . . . . . O . . .
>>> . . . a . O . . .
>>> . . b . . . . . .
>>> . . . . . . . . .
>>>
>>>Let's suppose it was X's move and the X player should have made a
>>>shape-ruining move at "a" and failed to do so.
>>
>>Stupid question: Why is 'a' a shape-ruining move? What if White responds
>>somewhere like 'b' in an attempt to capture the stone at 'a'?

Forgot to add: b does not capture. The stone at a will eventually
threaten to cut so O will have to connect in bad shape to avoid that. A
move like b feels to me like a foolish attempt to patch up a botched
situation...

Black can just crawl out by playing a diagonal move or an extension next
to O's move b.

Pekka K.

Ted S.

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Mar 30, 2001, 12:18:21 PM3/30/01
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Somebody claiming to be pkar...@paju.oulu.fi (Pekka Karjalainen) wrote
in <slrn9c88o4.i...@paju.oulu.fi>:

[...]

> Nope, you should study tesuji and shape at your level. Have you
> looked
>at James Davies's book Tesuji yet? It is has a few chapters on
>eye-making and eye-stealing tesuji. A lot of beginners' books shouls
>also cover the topic quite well.
>
> Only a ~27k who does not want to improve can afford to miss out on
>studying eye shape. It is that important. Only things I can think at
>the moment that are more important is understanding 3rd vs 4th line
>balance, two points extension on the side and direct capturing tactics
>such as ladders and nets.

Well, I've been studying life and death, which from what I can tell has a
lot to do with figuring out where to play so as to destroy your opponent's
eye-shape, or to make the two eyes for your own group. Of course, at this
point, the two big problems I'm having are:

a) I can't even solve half the problems that are marked "easy";
b) The positions that come up when I'm playing on IGS are positions that I
don't recognise from the problems that I've done.

> I think I improved about 4 stones when I started using the two point
>extension on the third line to make a base for my groups.

I understand this too, but I still have difficulty figuring out when to try
to use the base to get more territory on the side and when to jump out into
the middle. My stones still get cramped on the side of the board.

Also, is there any good way of estimating whether one is ahead or behind?
I have a tendency either to be shocked when I find that I've won by 15 when
I thought I was going to lose by about 20, or to think that I'm winning
comfortably only to lose a whole bunch of territory to an unforseen attack
from my opponent.

--

Pekka Karjalainen

unread,
Mar 30, 2001, 2:03:33 PM3/30/01
to
In article <9074769E0fe...@207.106.92.76>, Ted S. wrote:
>a) I can't even solve half the problems that are marked "easy";
>b) The positions that come up when I'm playing on IGS are positions that I
>don't recognise from the problems that I've done.

a) What book(s) are you using? It might be that there are easier
problem collections out there than the ones you have. Other than that,
just keep working on the hard ones and they will start to make sense. For
some this is easier than for others, but I don't think it is impossible
for anyone who is dedicated to reach at least a fairly good level in
problem solving. (Milton Bradley has that theory of brain wiring, but you
don't know whether your brains are wired for go or not yet, so please
don't worry about that.)

b) That is always the case. But more problem you have solved the
easier it will be to cope with these never-before-seen ones.

>I understand this too, but I still have difficulty figuring out when to try
>to use the base to get more territory on the side and when to jump out into
>the middle. My stones still get cramped on the side of the board.

I could say the same myself. Maybe the idea I was after was that when I
was at your level I had trouble with my groups dying horribly all too
often. So I played solidly, even too solidly, and they didn't die
anymore. And that helped me to improve, even though I later had to come
to terms with the fact that sometimes I just have to leave weaknesses and
play lightly.

If you tend to stay low on the third line or get cramped, play more
higher moves on the 4th line. See what comes out of it. Think of it as a
test.

>Also, is there any good way of estimating whether one is ahead or behind?
>I have a tendency either to be shocked when I find that I've won by 15 when
>I thought I was going to lose by about 20, or to think that I'm winning
>comfortably only to lose a whole bunch of territory to an unforseen attack
>from my opponent.

There are some hints for fast counting in the group FAQ. Other than
that, it is all a matter of practice. Note that counting a finished game
in various points can show where the balance of territories shifts or
seems to shifts. But it is a lot of work to do this.

The latter problem you mention is not a problem with counting. As long
as you make those (and I do so sometimes as well) counting accurately is
not always possible. Do your best, but if you get surprised by something
unforseen, take it as a learning experience and go on :-)

Pekka K.

Dan Schmidt

unread,
Mar 30, 2001, 4:17:37 PM3/30/01
to
fe...@bestweb.spam (Ted S.) writes:

| Well, I've been studying life and death, which from what I can tell has a
| lot to do with figuring out where to play so as to destroy your opponent's
| eye-shape, or to make the two eyes for your own group. Of course, at this
| point, the two big problems I'm having are:
|
| a) I can't even solve half the problems that are marked "easy";
| b) The positions that come up when I'm playing on IGS are positions that I
| don't recognise from the problems that I've done.

What problems are you attempting to solve? I recommend Graded Go
Problems volumes 1 and 2.

--
http://www.dfan.org

Jackie & Barry

unread,
Mar 30, 2001, 10:03:08 PM3/30/01
to

"Ted S." wrote:

> Well, I've been studying life and death, which from what I can tell has a
> lot to do with figuring out where to play so as to destroy your opponent's
> eye-shape, or to make the two eyes for your own group. Of course, at this
> point, the two big problems I'm having are:

> a) I can't even solve half the problems that are marked "easy";
> b) The positions that come up when I'm playing on IGS are positions that I
> don't recognise from the problems that I've done.

I'm not a strong player, but the following might help.


"Easy" is a relative term. Keep working the problems and eventually the
most probable solutions will become intuitively obvious. It takes time,
it's like learning a language. If you could learn English, you can learn
Go.


You may never write a best selling novel or turn pro at Go, but you can
certainly get better with practice.


> I understand this too, but I still have difficulty figuring out when to try
> to use the base to get more territory on the side and when to jump out into
> the middle. My stones still get cramped on the side of the board.

Beginners often place too much emphasis on territory.

Play along the sides to get a base for your stones, jump to the centre
to escape, and/or offer help to your other weaker stones. Focus on
connections and eye shape, rather than on territory.

> Also, is there any good way of estimating whether one is ahead or behind?
> I have a tendency either to be shocked when I find that I've won by 15 when
> I thought I was going to lose by about 20, or to think that I'm winning
> comfortably only to lose a whole bunch of territory to an unforseen attack
> from my opponent.

In Go, it's very difficult to keep "a whole bunch of territory" -
because it's usually not really yours in the first place, it's just an
area in which your stones are strong.

Forget the territory for now, concentrate on living and connecting
efficiently.

Barry

RiceGorice

unread,
Mar 31, 2001, 8:05:43 AM3/31/01
to
If your seruis about improving and quickly,
study tesuji, then life and death, then harder life and death. The stratagy
aspect
is one in the same things as the tactics of the game....

Thats from my own experince and is biased towards it. I dont read go-books but
i have some, must of which are just for fun.

The best book I have is james davis tesuji

If i had more money id buy life and death problem-books.


David Godinger

unread,
Mar 31, 2001, 12:37:18 PM3/31/01
to
Try the following site that was put together by David Mechner, who studied
in Japan with Go professional students. I found it very helpful, both for
the beginner and the advanced player. Might be interesting to hear comments
in this thread about Mechner's ideas.

http://cns.nyu.edu/~mechner/go/improve.html


"Jakub Zeilinski" <jmzi...@artsci.wustl.edu> wrote:

>I'm a beginner considering coming back to Go after a very long interruption

....

>I was wondering what the most effective method for quickly gaining stength is

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
< Please delete "ANTI-SPAM" from email address: de...@ANTI-SPAMbigfoot.com >
< David Godinger, Go player, student of Mahatma Gandhi, the Buddha, >
< and Dr. Martin King >
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Charles Matthews

unread,
Mar 31, 2001, 1:28:26 PM3/31/01
to
David Godinger wrote

>Try the following site that was put together by David Mechner, who studied
>in Japan with Go professional students. I found it very helpful, both for
>the beginner and the advanced player. Might be interesting to hear comments
>in this thread about Mechner's ideas.
>
> http://cns.nyu.edu/~mechner/go/improve.html

Well, you asked for it :). Snipped but even so ...

>Playing
Playing is the most important element of an improvement regimen. Unless
you're a genius on the order of Go Seigen, you just can't improve without
playing. If you want to improve a lot, you're going to have to play a lot.
No way around it.

Disagree. Playing just enough to absorb what you study can work too.

>Applying the concepts you read about to your games is the hard part. This
is where attitude is crucial. You have to constantly be striving to do what
you think is right rather than what you feel comfortable doing. Complacency,
fear, and greed will try to get in the way.

Agree.

>To improve, it's crucial that you analyze your games afterward. Have a
critical attitude; try to figure out what your mistakes were, even when you
won.

Only agree with some of this. Yes, be critical. It's a counsel of
perfection to get benefit from winning - doesn't work with the grain of
human nature.

>Record at least two serious games per week, and go over them with a strong
player.

Probably too much input unless go is the only thing in your life.

>Life & Death
Reading ability is the single most important element of go strength. I once
wrote an article for The American Go Journal saying that studying life and
death was like exercising - if you don't work up a sweat, it doesn't do you
any good. I'm no longer sure that's true. Though visualization skills and
mental discipline are crucial for reading ability, there are other elements
too, mainly intuition for the vital point and knowledge of common shapes.
The first two you can only get from hard practice, but the second two I
think you can get from sort of flipping thought problems - giving each one
just a minute of thought, then looking at the answer. It's easy to get into
bad habits doing this though. It may be that both are useful, but for a
serious student I think it's important to practice doing problems
"perfectly" - read it out until you're certain that you have the answer.
Since if you try this with a problem above your level it can be very
frustrating, it's best to use problems that are challenging for you, but not
impossible. There are many excellent books with tesuji problems and life and
death problems in them:


Graded Go Problems for Beginners

Basic Techniques of Go
Tesuji
Strategic Concepts of Go
Life & Death
Maeda's Tsume Go Vols. 1-3 (in japanese)

Plenty to disagree with here. I probably win 20 nine stone games a year
with White in which reading isn't the issue. Shape and direction are such a
large part of "knowing what you are doing", even in the middlegame. There
are far too few tesuji books in English.

>Just memorizing joseki makes it easy to get into trouble by getting into
complicated positions without understanding the meaning of the moves that
got you there.

It's such a long time since I consciously memorised a joseki that my
agreement might not be worth much. If joseki knowledge overrides the
instinct to play the simplest good choice, the knowledge is at fault.

>As for books, I would strongly recommend skipping 38 basic joseki. Reading
"in the beginning" (Ishigure), and "opening theory made easy" (Otake) will
do a lot more for your opening and strength in general. If you're ready for
the headache of serious joseki study, Ishida's dictionary is great.

There are no "good" joseki books in print - I agree with Robert Jasiek on
this, but my reasons are different. Looking round the British Championship
earlier in the month, I was (as usual) horrified by the plethora of
shape-fixing joseki played very early in the game.

>The "proper" way to study joseki is to try to convince yourself of why each
move in the sequence is the best move. Unfortunately, this is really hard,
even for strong amateurs, but the exercise is very instructive. Since all
joseki are even results, it gives you a lot of positions to calibrate your
judgment against.

I can agree with this, but if you bring strong amateurs (say 5+ dan) into
it, the whole board position is factored in so much that joseki ceases to be
a separate subject.

>Traditionally, a staple in the aspiring professional go player's course of
study is to study the games of the old masters, and to follow current top
tournaments for advances in opening theory. I've met a lot of amateurs that
figure if it's good enough for the pros, it's good enough for them. But in
my opinion, at least until the upper amateur dan levels, this is probably
one of the least efficient ways to spend your study time.

Disagree. If you're improving rapidly, yes. If you're not, you have to try
to move in the direction of pro play - it's a more sound foundation of
permanent improvement than anything else.

>The positions in regular "instructional" books, which are hand-pick for
their pedagogical value in the context of the principle the author is
illustrating, will typically be of more benefit than a random pro game.

Sadly, they can also be cliched. And also interpreted far too dogmatically.
Can't say whether this is correct or not independent of the pedagogic theory
in operation - some go teachers seem not to have got beyond the "learn your
French irregular verbs" insistence on the devil in the details.

>Before every move (even in the middle of a fight), figure out what the
biggest area of the board is, and then try to figure out what the best move
in that area is.

Interesting heuristic (especially as classified under Attitude). Yes, if
you have the skills, this is perhaps even enjoyable as a discipline.

Charles

Eric Osman

unread,
Mar 31, 2001, 5:09:38 PM3/31/01
to

My response to:

> b) The positions that come up when I'm playing on IGS are positions that I
> don't recognise from the problems that I've done.
>
>

> I understand this too, but I still have difficulty figuring out when to try
> to use the base to get more territory on the side and when to jump out into
> the middle. My stones still get cramped on the side of the board.

Please post an actual game (the .sgf file) and some of us will be glad
to review it.

I have the same response to the above comment that I have in dance
classes.

These students ask the teachers questions about difficulties the
students
are having with certain dance steps. The teachers attempt to give
some technical answer.

But that's so inefficient. I wish the teacher would just say "please
show me. do the step". Then the teacher could immediately see what
needs fixing the most.

Same with go games. Just show us a recent game, and we can show you
exactly some of the major problems with the moves. That is the most
efficient way to study that I know.

/Eric

Robert Jasiek

unread,
Mar 31, 2001, 5:52:44 PM3/31/01
to
Charles Matthews wrote:
> There are far too few tesuji books in English.

All those tesuji books that are just diagram collections
can be in any language. In fact, strange languages help
their readers because one can concentrate on the shapes
more easily. (OC, this applies to such collections only.)

> If joseki knowledge overrides the
> instinct to play the simplest good choice, the knowledge is at fault.

Quite the contrary. Overriding _understanding_ justifies
an instinct about the quality of the simplest choice.

> If you're ready for
> the headache of serious joseki study, Ishida's dictionary is great.

Headache? I used to say that the Ishida reads like a crime
story about who kills whom;)

> There are no "good" joseki books in print [...] my reasons are different.
> [...] I was [...] horrified by the plethora of


> shape-fixing joseki played very early in the game.

Why? Would you agree that joseki books do not suggest tenukis
frequently enough? Strictly, playing elsewhere is always
worth a consideration.

--
robert jasiek

Ted S.

unread,
Mar 31, 2001, 5:55:19 PM3/31/01
to
Somebody claiming to be os7...@mediaone.net (Eric Osman) wrote in
<3AC65631...@mediaone.net>:

Since I'm actually the one who posted the comments to which you replied,
I'll post a game.

Well, I've got two good candidates. This one was about two weeks ago, but
I still can't figure out how I got so far behind.

( ; FF[4] AP[Jago:Version 3.64] GM[1] US[Brought to you by IGS] CP[
Copyright (c) NKB, Inc. 1998 Permission to reproduce this game is given,
provided proper credit is given. No warrantee, implied or explicit, is
understood. Use of this game is an understanding and agreement of this
notice.] GN[Fedya2-Raskolnik(B) IGS] RE[B+Resign] PW[Fedya2] WR[25k*] NW[
7] PB[Raskolnik] BR[23k*] NB[ 9] PDT[2001-03-19] SZ[19] TM[60] KM[0.5]
LT[] C[Fedya 25k: I've been trying to play more "strategically", that is,
looking for bigger moves, moves that attack my opponent while allowing me
to claim territory, and the like. When I've done this against players
ranked about where I am, I do fairly well. So I decided to challenge a 23k
to a game. I don't feel as though I made tactical blunders, yet the game
ended disastrously for me: Black clearly ends up with vastly more
territory.]; B[pp]; W[dc]; B[dp]; W[qd]; B[oc]; W[pc]; B[md]; W[jc] C[Fedya
25k: Here I wanted to try to restrict Black's territory on the top. I
thought that squeezing him from the left would be a good idea. Either
Black will be forced into the center, or I can get both territory along the
top *and* influence toward the center.]; B[pb]; W[qb]; B[ob]; W[od] C[Fedya
25k: Is this a bad move? I felt I needed to protect my stones in the
corner, but perhaps I should have been doing something to limit what Black
would be able to do with the group. Would L15 have been better?]; B[nd];
W[lc] C[Fedya 25k: Is this move too small? Perhaps I should have done
something to let Black have more territory there while trying to claim
territory in another part of the board. Right now, P15 springs to mind,
since I need to defend against that. I'm also thinking of L15.]; B[mc];
W[mb] C[Fedya 25k: Is this move a mistake too? I don't think I've been
handling the past few moves correctly.]; B[oe]; W[pd]; B[ld]; W[kc] C[Fedya
25k: This is why I think I should have played L15 earlier. Black appears
to have more central influence now, and I think L15 would have prevented
that.]; B[lj]; W[cj] C[Fedya 25k: I figured that since Black jumped out
into the center, I ought to do something to try to claim territory along
the left side.]; B[cm]; W[cf] C[Fedya 25k: This looks like a good move to
me.]; B[gd] C[Fedya25k: I don't think that Black should be able to do well
here, but I'm not sure how to punish this move.]; W[fc] C[Fedya 25k: Should
I have played a touching move here, like G17? I know that in general,
touching moves are considered defensive, but that there are times when
they're the right thing to do. Looking at the board now, I should be able
to connect G17 either to the group at K17 or to D17. G17 should also make
it tougher for Black to get territory.]; B[gc]; W[fb] C[Fedya 25k: This
doesn't look very good now, but I can't think of anything better, which is
why I probably should have played G17 earlier.]; B[fd]; W[gb]; B[dd];
W[cd]; B[ec]; W[eb]; B[ed]; W[cb] C[Fedya 25k: I really mishandled the play
in the top left, didn't I? I should have come out of it with more
territory *and* influence.]; B[kd]; W[jd]; B[je] C[Fedya 25k: This may seem
like a silly question, but in general, how should one go about limiting
what one's opponent can do with central influence? In looking at several
of the games I've played recently, I've come to realise that one of my
problems is not being able to do much to stop my opponents from using their
central influence to gain lots of territory, while if I'm the one with the
central influence, my opponents are usually able to take away much of the
territory I would have been hoping to control.]; W[qj] C[Fedya 25k: It
looks to me as though the two biggest areas of the board remaining are
around R10 and K3/K4. I thought this would be better to play since I've
already got stones in the top right-hand corner. Based on what actually
happened in the game, though, I wonder if K3 might have been better. As
played, R10 only served to strengthen Black in the center while I got very
little territory out of it.]; B[pj]; W[pi] C[Fedya 25k: I was under the
impression that this is one of the times when a touching move is too
defensive. But I don't know if I handled it correctly. I should have been
able to get more territory on the right side. Would R6 be better?]; B[qi];
W[qh]; B[qk]; W[rj]; B[rk]; W[ri]; B[oj]; W[jp] C[Fedya 25k: I don't look
to have gotten very much on the right side. Now I *have* to attack down
here.]; B[mq]; W[fp]; B[eq]; W[fq]; B[cq] C[Fedya 25k: I think this move
leaves me sente. I'm not certain what the biggest move to play here is,
however. Should I do something to shore up the group on the bottom, should
I try to restrict the territory of Black's stones in the bottom left, or
should I try to jump out into the center from the left?]; W[lq] C[Fedya
25k: I realised that here I definitely *could* play the touching move, in
that I can respond to M4 with L3, connecting to K4.]; B[lp]; W[kq]; B[kp];
W[ho] C[Fedya 25k: I think here I should have played K5 instead. Would
this have given me more territory toward the center and restricted Black in
the bottom right? I don't think I'm doing very well as is.]; B[oi]; W[oh];
B[nh]; W[og]; B[ng]; W[of]; B[nf]; W[pe] C[Fedya 25k: Here I've had to play
defensively along the top right, and Black makes me pay for it. Not only
does Black have a lot of central influence, along with the territory to
make up for it, Black is sente, as well. The game is probably lost
already.]; B[gj] C[Fedya 25k: And Black uses the sente to full advantage.];
W[ff] C[Fedya 25k: Now I'd better try to do something to isolate the Black
group in the top left. Of course, I'm probably lost already. It looks to
me as though Black has a *huge* advantage.]; B[gf]; W[gg]; B[hg]; W[gh]
C[Fedya 25k: Should I have played at H14 here to try to attack the two
Black stones?] TR[gf] [hg]; B[hh]; W[ef]; B[jo] C[Fedya 25k: I really
*should* have played here instead of H5 all those moves ago. This really
helps Black.]; W[ip]; B[im]; W[em] C[Fedya 25k: I thought the best thing to
do would be to try to restrict the territory of the Black stones in the
bottom left.]; B[bk]; W[bj]; B[aj]; W[ai]; B[ak]; W[bi]; B[ck]; W[dk];
B[lr]; W[kr]; B[mr]; W[cl]; B[bl]; W[dl]; B[bn]; W[ge] C[Fedya 25k: I still
thought I could do something to keep the Black stones from connecting.]
TR[dd] [ed] [fd] [gd] [gc] [ec]; B[he] C[Fedya 25k: I hadn't considered
this response. I expected Black to play at H14.]; W[hf]; B[if] ( ; W[gf]
C[Fedya 25k: I think this was the mistake. I should have played H16
instead. A white stone at H16 can clearly connect either to G18 or K17.
I don't know if I would have gotten enough out of it to win the game,
however.]; B[id]; W[ic]; B[hc]; W[hb]; B[nb]; W[ma]; B[ir] C[Fedya 25k:
This is a very subtle move that I didn't know how to respond to, and never
would have found. I was extremely worried about the cut at K3.] ( ; W[jq]
C[Fedya 25k: Should I have played at J3 instead? This would have prevented
the cut at K3, but White is still in trouble if Black plays K2. See the
variation.]; B[fs] C[Fedya 25k: Another subtle move that I never would have
found if I had been Black.]; W[hr]; B[gr]; W[hq]; B[hs]; W[fr]; B[er];
W[ep]; B[eo]; W[fo]; B[en]; W[fn]; B[dm]; W[fi]; B[gi]; W[fj]; B[gl];
W[fl]; B[gm]; W[fm]; B[gn]; W[go]; B[qa] C[Fedya 25k: Realising just how
far behind I was, I decided to resign.]; ) ( ; W[iq]; B[jr] C[Fedya 25k:
White still has to play at K3.]; W[jq] C[Fedya 25k: Now Black can't play at
F1 because Black can respond at H2, killing the two Black stones. I'm not
sure how play would continue in the variation. At any rate, it's clear
that I need to learn more about eye shape.] TR[ir] [jr]; ) ) ( ; W[hd];
B[gf] ( ; W[fe] ) ( ; W[hf] ) ) )

--
Ted, Fedya2 on IGS.

Bill Spight

unread,
Mar 31, 2001, 7:11:09 PM3/31/01
to
Dear Robert,

> > There are no "good" joseki books in print [...] my reasons are different.
> > [...] I was [...] horrified by the plethora of
> > shape-fixing joseki played very early in the game.
>
> Why? Would you agree that joseki books do not suggest tenukis
> frequently enough? Strictly, playing elsewhere is always
> worth a consideration.

I agree. :-)

Best,

Bill

Charles Matthews

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 4:16:29 AM4/1/01
to

Robert Jasiek wrote

>Charles Matthews wrote:
>> There are far too few tesuji books in English.
>
>All those tesuji books that are just diagram collections
>can be in any language. In fact, strange languages help
>their readers because one can concentrate on the shapes
>more easily. (OC, this applies to such collections only.)

It is a factor holding back the level of play in the West that no tesuji
dictionary, ie collection of 500-1000 tesuji arranged on a rational scheme
of some sort, is available in English (or other European language).

>> If joseki knowledge overrides the
>> instinct to play the simplest good choice, the knowledge is at fault.
>
>Quite the contrary. Overriding _understanding_ justifies
>an instinct about the quality of the simplest choice.

Not sure I understand the comment.

>> There are no "good" joseki books in print [...] my reasons are different.
>> [...] I was [...] horrified by the plethora of
>> shape-fixing joseki played very early in the game.
>
>Why? Would you agree that joseki books do not suggest tenukis
>frequently enough? Strictly, playing elsewhere is always
>worth a consideration.

That's part of the problem. Since I've been writing about the side as a
unit, I naturally look to see if I can understand joseki played in thise
terms - and when not, I worry.

Charles

John Fairbairn

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 5:56:56 AM4/1/01
to

"Charles Matthews" <cha...@sabaki.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:986114858.1380.0...@news.demon.co.uk... (answering Robert
Jasiek)

>
> >All those tesuji books that are just diagram collections
> >can be in any language. In fact, strange languages help
> >their readers because one can concentrate on the shapes
> >more easily. (OC, this applies to such collections only.)
>
> It is a factor holding back the level of play in the West that no tesuji
> dictionary, ie collection of 500-1000 tesuji arranged on a rational scheme
> of some sort, is available in English (or other European language).
>

I don't have the teaching exsperience to say whether the lack of such a book
holds back western go, but I think it is worth pointing out that good books
do exist and have long existed in Japanese. The latest and best seems to be
the Fujisawa Tesuji dictionary which makes very liberal use of the Katsugo
Shinpyo from the 19th c.

What distinguishes the Fujisawa book is that tesujis are classified by usage
and sub-usage. An explanation is given as to sorts of circumstances in which
such a tesuji can or should be used, when it should not be used, what sort
of preparations are needed to play it, and (since few of the tesujis end in
a clear cut "Black kills" kind of way) what criteria are used to judge the
outcome (a bit of positional judgement, if you like). Furthermore, the very
comprehensive examples are a splendid mixture of old and new, familiar and
unfamiliar.

It is no surprise to note that this massive book has been translated into
Korean, Chinese and "Taiwanese". To call this book just a diagram collection
is like calling a Marco Pierre White meal just meat and potatoes.

I might put a sample up on the MSO site one day.

Here is the schema for Volume 1:

Attacking Tesujis divide into Separating Tesujis, Pressurising Tesujis,
Sealing-in Tesujis, Shape-destroying Tesujis, Probing Tesujis, Tesujis for
Creating Heavy Groups, Tesujis for Creating Weaknesses, Tesujis that Work in
Two Directions, Base-destroying Tesujis, Capturing Tesujis, Ko-threatening
Tesujis.

Defensive Tesujis comprise Connecting Tesujis, Tesujis for Advancing to the
Centre, Running-out Tesujis, Shape-making Tesujis, Sente-taking Tesujis,
Sabaki-making Tesujis, Countercutting Tesujis, Tesujis for Giving Respite to
Two Weak Groups, Base-strengthening Tesujis, Bridging-under Tesujis, Tesujis
for Resisting with Ko.

Here are a couple of sample texts to show the sort of comments that stud
the book:

OOGEIMA (Large knight's move) - p. 63
A leisurely way of sealing in. It leaves many gaps but it has great
flexibility to respond to the opponent's moves. Rather than trying to create
influence, it is about stopping the opponent's advancing into the centre.

KAKE 2 (Pressing move) - p. 68
A common situation in games is to be able to surround someone again once he
has broken out of an initial surrounding net.

SHIBORI (Squeeze) - p. 74
There is a difference between manoeuvres that simply seal in and those that
seal in more effectively with a view to later fighting. The main diagram is
from Katsugo Shinpyo.

TSUME (Blocking from a distance) - p. 78
There are many examples of sealing in that begin with a play on the point
that the opponent wants to escape or develop to. If that play also hints at
shortage of liberties it is even more effective.

PROBING TESUJIS (page 111)
These are tesujis that probe before deciding on the next move when the
opponent can defend one way or another. When the shapes are still undefined,
they are literally probing moves, but even when groups are mixed up
together, differences in gains and losses can arise depending on the way one
answers and these tesujis are often a way of forcing the opponent to defend
one particular way. However, if there is any error in the follow-up moves,
the effect is to strengthen the opponent. Care is needed in timing the probe
and in considering the opponent's counters.

NOZOKI 3 (Peep) - p. 130
Probes are not just local tesujis. They can be used to determine the overall
direction of play.

Ref. Fig. 18
Otake Hideo v. Takemiya Masaki, 22nd NHK Cup, final
White is forced, to prevent A. White 4 probes. After 5 White has B, C, D
and so can aim at something on the right side.
Ref. Diag Breakthrough
If Black 1, White can break through in the centre with 2 and 4. If Black 3
is at 4, then White A. White will not play this immediately, of course - he
has to go back to defend at B - but the fact he has this sequence means he
will enjoy the fight on the left. Instead of 2, White can also peep at C to
aim at a fight at the top, making his marked stone even more effective.
Against that, compared with the Figure, White's centre group is thin and he
has to give up plans to invade deeply on the right, though he can press down
Black's territory from the outside and so strengthen his centre group.

Nuff said?


Charles Matthews

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 7:50:56 AM4/1/01
to

John Fairbairn wrote
>
>"Charles Matthews" wrote (answering Robert

>Jasiek)
>>
>> >All those tesuji books that are just diagram collections
>> >can be in any language. In fact, strange languages help
>> >their readers because one can concentrate on the shapes
>> >more easily. (OC, this applies to such collections only.)
>>
>> It is a factor holding back the level of play in the West that no tesuji
>> dictionary, ie collection of 500-1000 tesuji arranged on a rational
scheme
>> of some sort, is available in English (or other European language).
>>
>
>I don't have the teaching exsperience to say whether the lack of such a
book
>holds back western go, but I think it is worth pointing out that good books
>do exist and have long existed in Japanese. The latest and best seems to be
>the Fujisawa Tesuji dictionary which makes very liberal use of the Katsugo
>Shinpyo from the 19th c.

<snip>

This book is found useful by players 1-2 dan with ambitions to go further.
(There is a more recent Nihon Ki-in large dictionary.) There are certainly
4 dan players who are less aware of tesuji than of their own tactical
preoccupations. But I don't recommend this kind of living on your wits -
stock tesuji make up a subject of reasonable size, seems no reason an
amateur player can't master them.

Charles

denis-feldmann

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 10:49:12 AM4/1/01
to

Charles Matthews <cha...@sabaki.demon.co.uk> wrote in
message : 986063430.29899.0...@news.demon.co.uk...

> David Godinger wrote
>
> >Try the following site that was put together by David Mechner, who
studied
> >in Japan with Go professional students. I found it very helpful, both for
> >the beginner and the advanced player. Might be interesting to hear
comments
> >in this thread about Mechner's ideas.
> >
> > http://cns.nyu.edu/~mechner/go/improve.html
>
> Well, you asked for it :). Snipped but even so ...
>

Cut :-)


> >> >As for books, I would strongly recommend skipping 38 basic joseki.
Reading
> "in the beginning" (Ishigure), and "opening theory made easy" (Otake) will
> do a lot more for your opening and strength in general. If you're ready
for
> the headache of serious joseki study, Ishida's dictionary is great.
>
> There are no "good" joseki books in print - I agree with Robert Jasiek on
> this, but my reasons are different.

Why is nobody mentioning Rui Naiwei "Essential Josekis"?? I think this is
really extremely good (much better than 38 basic josekis, for instance). Any
comments?

Looking round the British Championship
> earlier in the month, I was (as usual) horrified by the plethora of
> shape-fixing joseki played very early in the game.

Mmm.. And what have you got against fixed-shape, if the result is what you
want? This is one of the main reason for playing those josekis against
stronger players, anyway

>
> >The "proper" way to study joseki is to try to convince yourself of why
each
> move in the sequence is the best move. Unfortunately, this is really hard,
> even for strong amateurs, but the exercise is very instructive. Since all
> joseki are even results, it gives you a lot of positions to calibrate your
> judgment against.
>
> I can agree with this, but if you bring strong amateurs (say 5+ dan) into
> it, the whole board position is factored in so much that joseki ceases to
be
> a separate subject.

Yes, but the whole thread is about studying, presumably at the kyu level. If
you have a program for srudies for 5 dan, you should let us know (on the
other hand, what about: 1) first, learn "Invincible" by heart?)


>
> >Traditionally, a staple in the aspiring professional go player's course
of
> study is to study the games of the old masters, and to follow current top
> tournaments for advances in opening theory. I've met a lot of amateurs
that
> figure if it's good enough for the pros, it's good enough for them. But in
> my opinion, at least until the upper amateur dan levels, this is probably
> one of the least efficient ways to spend your study time.
>
> Disagree. If you're improving rapidly, yes. If you're not, you have to
try
> to move in the direction of pro play - it's a more sound foundation of
> permanent improvement than anything else.

Oh, sorry for the previous paragraph; I see we agree there.

>
>
>


Charles Matthews

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 11:50:52 AM4/1/01
to

denis-feldmann wrote

>Why is nobody mentioning Rui Naiwei "Essential Josekis"?? I think this is
>really extremely good (much better than 38 basic josekis, for instance).
Any
>comments?

Been discussed before here. I feel it is good in its niche, Robert ...
doesn't really.

>Looking round the British Championship
>> earlier in the month, I was (as usual) horrified by the plethora of
>> shape-fixing joseki played very early in the game.
>
>Mmm.. And what have you got against fixed-shape, if the result is what you
>want?

Well, of course, I didn't want those particular results.

>This is one of the main reason for playing those josekis against
>stronger players, anyway

Yes, cowardice - as if lighter moves are dangerous.

>Yes, but the whole thread is about studying, presumably at the kyu level.
If
>you have a program for srudies for 5 dan, you should let us know (on the
>other hand, what about: 1) first, learn "Invincible" by heart?)

Study the Kobayashi fuseki in depth?

Charles

Robert Jasiek

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 1:23:38 PM4/1/01
to
Charles Matthews wrote:
> It is a factor holding back the level of play in the West that no tesuji
> dictionary, ie collection of 500-1000 tesuji arranged on a rational scheme
> of some sort, is available in English (or other European language).
John Fairbairn wrote:
> I don't have the teaching exsperience to say whether the lack of such a book
> holds back western go,

My experience in self-teaching has convinced me that the best
way to improve at tesuji is to write a book relying on more
than a few rational schemes and being much better than...

> The latest and best seems to be
> the Fujisawa Tesuji dictionary

Nevertheless, according to your fine description this seems
to be worth "reading". Does it (its set) have an ISBN?

"Charles Matthews" <cha...@sabaki.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> This book is found useful by players 1-2 dan with ambitions to go
> further.

Usually I learn at least something from any tesuji book
for 5 kyu or stronger.

> (There is a more recent Nihon Ki-in large dictionary.)

Do you mean the NK tesuji encyclopedia or some other?

> >Quite the contrary. Overriding _understanding_ justifies
> >an instinct about the quality of the simplest choice.
> Not sure I understand the comment.

Instinct may select a simple move. Then one's joseki
understanding is applied to analyse the simple and the
difficult moves. The result may or may not confirm one's
intuition.

--
robert jasiek

Robert Jasiek

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 1:33:52 PM4/1/01
to
Charles Matthews wrote:
> >Why is nobody mentioning Rui Naiwei "Essential Josekis"?? I think this is
> >really extremely good (much better than 38 basic josekis, for instance).
> > Any comments?

> Been discussed before here. I feel it is good in its niche, Robert ...
> doesn't really.

This sums that discussion up nicely:) Denis, what lets you call
it extremely g...?! Please note, that you have even said
extremely~~~

--
robert jasiek

Charles Matthews

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 1:58:17 PM4/1/01
to

Robert Jasiek wrote

>> The latest and best seems to be
>> the Fujisawa Tesuji dictionary
>
>Nevertheless, according to your fine description this seems
>to be worth "reading". Does it (its set) have an ISBN?

Yes.

(Sorry, that's intended as a joke ... Robert is either being public-spirited
or forgetting I sent him this quite recently.)

>> (There is a more recent Nihon Ki-in large dictionary.)
>
>Do you mean the NK tesuji encyclopedia or some other?

Yes.

(Sorry, that's still intended as a joke.)

The fuseki equivalent inserts "large" before the characters usually
translated as dictionary; you can call this an encyclopedia if you must, I
suppose.

Charles

denis-feldmann

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 3:15:35 PM4/1/01
to

Robert Jasiek <jas...@snafu.de> a écrit dans le message :
3AC766...@snafu.de...

Mmm... As we have quite different approaches to joseki studies, I suppose
you won't agree at all with my "reasons'. Anyway: I thought this was
extremely compact, and giving the reader a lot of work to do. And, in my
opinion, this is the main point of josekis: to give the student interesting
exercises in tactical and strategical thinking, in positions where, for
instance, he can be almost sure that if some move not mentionned occurs to
him, the result of it will at best be similar , and very often much worse,
than the official one.I would add that the intro by Rui says all: this is a
book for middle-kyu players (i.e. in the same range that 38 basic josekis),
and the meaning of joseki (my translation, anyway) is only "model sequences"
anyway, so this book selects and explains simple models for simple
players.Yet, almost all strong players in Europe are remarkably ignorant of
what is in this book. I still feel that most strong European players (say at
the 5 dan EGA level) should strive to play simpler josekis (and of course,
this is the oinion of Guo Juan, Saijo Snsei, etc. too. But here our paths
diverge :-)

> --
> robert jasiek
>


Robert Jasiek

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 3:44:42 PM4/1/01
to
Charles Matthews wrote:
> Yes. [...]

> sent him this quite recently.)

Ok thx, then I know which file to parse:)

--
robert jasiek


Robert Jasiek

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 4:00:43 PM4/1/01
to
denis-feldmann wrote:
> Mmm... As we have quite different approaches to joseki studies

Not quite. I do have your approach as well, however, besides
other approaches that I emphasize more:)

> I still feel that most strong European players (say at
> the 5 dan EGA level) should strive to play simpler josekis

Actually I enjoy meeting opponents who try to trick me by
choosing complex hamete joseki. Usually they trick
themselves;)

> (and of course,
> this is the oinion of Guo Juan, Saijo Snsei, etc. too.

Each of them likes to insist on one view during one lesson
and to insist on the opposing view in another lesson. They
may well suggest simple moves now and difficult moves then.

> But here our paths diverge :-)

You want me to believe that you play simple................?!
(And especially so on April 1?)

--
robert jasiek

Barry Phease

unread,
Apr 1, 2001, 5:35:41 PM4/1/01
to
On Sun, 1 Apr 2001 16:50:52 +0100, "Charles Matthews"
<cha...@sabaki.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>
>denis-feldmann wrote

>>Mmm.. And what have you got against fixed-shape, if the result is what you
>>want?
>
>Well, of course, I didn't want those particular results.
>
>>This is one of the main reason for playing those josekis against
>>stronger players, anyway
>
>Yes, cowardice - as if lighter moves are dangerous.

This is an interesting point. Every time you play you reduce your
options. If you are indeed stronger than your opponent then you want
to keep your options open as long as possible, to give yourself the
maximum chance of showing your superiority.

Large joseki help the player who is weaker in the opening but good at
endgame. If you want to get really strong then probably you need to
know these joseki but not initiate them yourself.

Eric Osman

unread,
Apr 2, 2001, 12:09:04 AM4/2/01
to


Here's my comments on the game. Please let me know if they
are readable using a reader such as winmgt.

/Eric

(;US[Brought to you by IGS]GN[Fedya2-Raskolnik(B)
IGS]RE[B+Resign]PW[Fedya2]WR[25k*]PB[Raskolnik]BR[23k*]SZ[19]TM[60]KM[0.5]C[Fedya


25k: I've been trying to play more "strategically", that is,
looking for bigger moves, moves that attack my opponent while allowing
me
to claim territory, and the like. When I've done this against players
ranked about where I am, I do fairly well. So I decided to challenge a
23k
to a game. I don't feel as though I made tactical blunders, yet the
game
ended disastrously for me: Black clearly ends up with vastly more
territory.];B[pp];W[dc];B[dp];W[qd];B[oc];W[pc]

;B[md]C[Here b is giving w an opportunity. b should have played P16
instead of N16. By playing N16, w gets a good opportunity to play P16
himself which simultaneously threatens to capture by playing O17, and to
extend down the side to something like Q12.];W[jc]C[Fedya

25k: Here I wanted to try to restrict Black's territory on the top. I
thought that squeezing him from the left would be a good idea. Either
Black will be forced into the center, or I can get both territory along
the
top *and* influence toward the center.

But b still has the strong P16 which threatens to press w low with R15.

];B[pb];W[qb];B[ob];W[od]C[Fedya

25k: Is this a bad move? I felt I needed to protect my stones in the
corner, but perhaps I should have been doing something to limit what
Black
would be able to do with the group. Would L15 have been better?

P16 punishes b well for not playing his own atari at Q16 before
connecting at P18.

];B[nd];W[lc]C[Fedya 25k: Is this move too small? Perhaps I should have


done
something to let Black have more territory there while trying to claim
territory in another part of the board. Right now, P15 springs to mind,
since I need to defend against that. I'm also thinking of L15.

as w, I would have played P15. However, instead of M17, here's a great
opportunity for w to make the eye-killing move at N18 that we discussed
recently.

];B[mc]C[b missed an opportunity to atari at P15 first. Then instead of
N17, shape at N18 would be better.];W[mb]C[


Fedya 25k: Is this move a mistake too? I don't think I've been
handling the past few moves correctly.

This is why b should have played N18 instead of N17. ]
;B[oe];W[pd];B[ld];W[kc]C[Fedya

25k: This is why I think I should have played L15 earlier. Black
appears
to have more central influence now, and I think L15 would have prevented
that.];B[lj];W[cj]C[Fedya 25k: I figured that since Black jumped out
into the center, I ought to do something to try to claim territory along
the left side.

As w, instead of C10, I would have played something like Q14. Notice
how if b plays Q14 or R14 now, it works in conjunction with M10 to make
big b area on right side. But w Q14 both expands w's territory and
prepares for w O13 to attack the upper b stones.];B[cm];W[cf]C[Fedya


25k: This looks like a good move to
me.];B[gd]C[Fedya25k: I don't think that Black should be able to do well
here, but I'm not sure how to punish this move.

If b follows G16 with something like K15, b is both building a moyo in
center as well as preparing to attack the K17 w stones. So, I'd prefer
as w to respond to the G16 b stone with K15. Notice how K15, K17, and
D17 work together to attack the G16 stone as well as prepare an attack
against the M16 b stones as well as strengthen the K17 w
stones.];W[fc]C[Fedya 25k: Should

I have played a touching move here, like G17? I know that in general,
touching moves are considered defensive, but that there are times when
they're the right thing to do. Looking at the board now, I should be
able
to connect G17 either to the group at K17 or to D17. G17 should also
make
it tougher for Black to get territory.

w F17 not good because it provokes b to do what he wants to do anyway,
namely g17 to split w in two. I still like w K15 instead of F17. It's
the w K17 stones that need help.

];B[gc]


;W[fb]C[Fedya 25k: This
doesn't look very good now, but I can't think of anything better, which
is
why I probably should have played G17 earlier.

I still like w K15 instead of w f18.

];B[fd];W[gb]C[w g18 ok because it connects the K17 stones (if b H18
next, w can clamp at j18)

];B[dd];W[cd];B[ec];W[eb];B[ed];W[cb]C[Fedya 25k: I really mishandled


the play
in the top left, didn't I? I should have come out of it with more
territory *and* influence.];B[kd];W[jd];B[je]C[Fedya 25k: This may seem
like a silly question, but in general, how should one go about limiting
what one's opponent can do with central influence? In looking at
several
of the games I've played recently, I've come to realise that one of my
problems is not being able to do much to stop my opponents from using
their
central influence to gain lots of territory, while if I'm the one with
the
central influence, my opponents are usually able to take away much of
the
territory I would have been hoping to control.

see my K15 suggestions before !

Also, you can answer this k15 with w j15 right now. By attacking the
upper left b stones you limit b's center influence.]
;W[qj]C[Fedya 25k: It

looks to me as though the two biggest areas of the board remaining are
around R10 and K3/K4. I thought this would be better to play since I've
already got stones in the top right-hand corner. Based on what actually
happened in the game, though, I wonder if K3 might have been better. As
played, R10 only served to strengthen Black in the center while I got
very
little territory out of it.


i like j15 for w here instead of r10.

];B[pj];W[pi]C[Fedya 25k: I was under the

impression that this is one of the times when a touching move is too
defensive. But I don't know if I handled it correctly. I should have
been
able to get more territory on the right side. Would R6 be better?

Since b touched at q10, I like your touch response at q11.

];B[qi];W[qh];B[qk];W[rj]C[
don't let yourself be forced twice. you were forced once by b r9. By
extending to s10 instead of just taking the stone, you let b force you a
second time with another atari at p11. Take the stone the first time so
b doesn't get two forces in a row.

];B[rk];W[ri];B[oj];W[jp]C[Fedya 25k: I don't look

to have gotten very much on the right side. Now I *have* to attack down
here.

Don't think of it as attacking. There are already 8 b stones down
here. you're merely establishing a presence.

]
;B[mq];W[fp]C[i would like f3 better to threaten the corner more and
start to make a base for your stones];B[eq];W[fq]C[well, be backed you
into a good position, since k4 is a good distance from the f3 2-stone
wall. b could have made things harder for you by playing f3 isntead of
e3. perhaps w's best response to b f3 would be g3, but then b pulls
back to e3, and if o protects at g4, b's corner is hard to invade, plus
the k4 stone ends up one line too close to the g3-g4 wall, not to
mention that b can then play k2 to scoop w out and keep him under
attack. this is why i prefer f3 to f4 for w.];B[cq]C[Fedya 25k: I think


this move
leaves me sente. I'm not certain what the biggest move to play here is,
however. Should I do something to shore up the group on the bottom,
should
I try to restrict the territory of Black's stones in the bottom left, or
should I try to jump out into the center from the left?];W[lq]C[Fedya
25k: I realised that here I definitely *could* play the touching move,
in
that I can respond to M4 with L3, connecting to
K4.];B[lp];W[kq];B[kp];W[ho]C[Fedya 25k: I think here I should have
played K5 instead. Would
this have given me more territory toward the center and restricted Black
in
the bottom right? I don't think I'm doing very well as is.];B[oi]

;W[oh];B[nh];W[og]C[if w plays o13 instead of p13, w can end in sente
here.];B[ng]C[how about w taking sente now right after b o13
?];W[of];B[nf];W[pe]C[Fedya 25k: Here I've had to play

defensively along the top right, and Black makes me pay for it. Not
only
does Black have a lot of central influence, along with the territory to
make up for it, Black is sente, as well. The game is probably lost
already.];B[gj]C[Fedya 25k: And Black uses the sente to full
advantage.];W[ff]C[Fedya 25k: Now I'd better try to do something to
isolate the Black
group in the top left. Of course, I'm probably lost already. It looks
to
me as though Black has a *huge* advantage.


I still like w j15 instead of f14.
];B[gf];W[gg]


;B[hg];W[gh]C[Fedya 25k: Should I have played at H14 here to try to
attack the two

Black stones?]TR[gf][hg];B[hh];W[ef]C[
how about your w k5 idea instead of e14 ? if b then cuts at f13, you
atari at e13, and give up the g13 stones which have already been paid
for anyway by w's plays at h13 and h12. also, you get biffer d12
territory by giving them up (and you have k5 already in this variation
and sente to make further incursions into the lower b territory, not to
mention the possibility of living starting with r4 or r3.

];B[jo]C[Fedya 25k: I really

*should* have played here instead of H5 all those moves ago. This
really
helps Black.];W[ip];B[im];W[em]C[Fedya 25k: I thought the best thing to
do would be to try to restrict the territory of the Black stones in the
bottom left.

w r3 or r4 look better than e7.

];B[bk];W[bj]C[

end of comments. by the way, w still has atari at g15 which could make
trouble for b.

]
;B[aj];W[ai];B[ak];W[bi];B[ck];W[dk];B[lr];W[kr];B[mr];W[cl];B[bl];W[dl];B[bn]

that I need to learn more about eye shape.]TR[ir][jr]))

Scott

unread,
Apr 2, 2001, 12:29:48 AM4/2/01
to
Um, care to share with the rest of us?

Anyone know where to buy these books (Japanese OK) online or by mail order?

s


"Robert Jasiek" <jas...@snafu.de> wrote in message
news:3AC785...@snafu.de...

Robert Jasiek

unread,
Apr 2, 2001, 4:36:46 AM4/2/01
to
Scott wrote:
> Anyone know where to buy these books (Japanese OK) online or by mail order?

Usually, one has to be lucky that someone offers something
somewhere. Otherwise, ask a friend to go to the Nihon Kiin
directly. My attempts to have publishers announce ISBNs
have mostly been in vain.

--
robert jasiek

Jan Meijer

unread,
Apr 9, 2001, 5:46:27 PM4/9/01
to
Fedya, Eric,

I can't resist the temptation to give my two cents' worth on this game.
First: during the whole game, up to the very end, W should have come in at
san-san or played tsuke at 3-4 in the lower right.
Second: the reduction of White territory in the upper right left Black with
a heavy group which could have been attacked. Therefore, I believe that W
was doing fine once he established himself on the lower edge.

In general, my advice would be to think as concretely as possible with only
"territory" or "attack" in mind (I do not know in which order :). You will
then soon begin to see how "shape" comes in, but only as a means to an end.

I must admit that I am but a lowly 5k* on IGS, so please do not take this
too seriously!


Eric Osman <os7...@mediaone.net> schreef in berichtnieuws
3AC7FBE4...@mediaone.net...

ro...@telus.net

unread,
Jun 14, 2001, 3:21:52 PM6/14/01
to
On Sat, 31 Mar 2001 19:28:26 +0100, "Charles Matthews"
<cha...@sabaki.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>Reading ability is the single most important element of go strength.

Pattern recognition is more important. A strong player can play
almost without reading, just by shape, and give up only a few stones
of his strength. Pattern recognition skill is based on the ability to
distinguish essential features from incidental ones -- signal from
noise.

>>Traditionally, a staple in the aspiring professional go player's course of
>study is to study the games of the old masters, and to follow current top
>tournaments for advances in opening theory. I've met a lot of amateurs that
>figure if it's good enough for the pros, it's good enough for them. But in
>my opinion, at least until the upper amateur dan levels, this is probably
>one of the least efficient ways to spend your study time.

Recent tournament games may not be very useful, because of the
pressure to find an odd move that happens to be better than the normal
move. But classic games are full of good shapes to learn.

>>The positions in regular "instructional" books, which are hand-pick for
>their pedagogical value in the context of the principle the author is
>illustrating, will typically be of more benefit than a random pro game.

True, but a random pro game will rapidly expose the student to a _lot_
of different positions, many of which may be instructive.

-- Roy L

Charles Matthews

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Jun 14, 2001, 3:59:34 PM6/14/01
to

<ro...@telus.net> wrote in message news:3b290b82...@news.telus.net...

> On Sat, 31 Mar 2001 19:28:26 +0100, "Charles Matthews"
> <cha...@sabaki.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >Reading ability is the single most important element of go strength.

No I didn't. That's what the David Mechner site says.

> Pattern recognition is more important. A strong player can play
> almost without reading, just by shape, and give up only a few stones
> of his strength.

And I wrote something close to this in the introduction to my book on shape
with SJ Kim.

Charles


Barry Phease

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Jun 14, 2001, 5:48:47 PM6/14/01
to
On Thu, 14 Jun 2001 19:21:52 GMT, ro...@telus.net wrote:

>On Sat, 31 Mar 2001 19:28:26 +0100, "Charles Matthews"
><cha...@sabaki.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>Reading ability is the single most important element of go strength.
>
>Pattern recognition is more important. A strong player can play
>almost without reading, just by shape, and give up only a few stones
>of his strength. Pattern recognition skill is based on the ability to
>distinguish essential features from incidental ones -- signal from
>noise.

I find it hard to distinguish pattern recognition from reading
ability. In my experience the two go hand in hand. If you quiz a
professional during a sumultaneous game (played mostly from pattern
recognition without deep reading) about a particular move, they will
justify it by showing a sequence of moves. In other word they
instantaneously read out a sequence up to 10 moves deep. Of course in
a slow game they would examine other sequences too, but the accuracy
of reading stems from this ability to see far ahead.

So your pattern recognition improves with practice in reading, and
your reading ability improves with your ability to recognise good
patterns.

ro...@telus.net

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Jun 14, 2001, 9:48:17 PM6/14/01
to
On Thu, 14 Jun 2001 21:48:47 GMT, bar...@es.co.nz (Barry Phease)
wrote:

>On Thu, 14 Jun 2001 19:21:52 GMT, ro...@telus.net wrote:
>
>>On Sat, 31 Mar 2001 19:28:26 +0100, "Charles Matthews"
>><cha...@sabaki.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>
>>>Reading ability is the single most important element of go strength.
>>
>>Pattern recognition is more important. A strong player can play
>>almost without reading, just by shape, and give up only a few stones
>>of his strength. Pattern recognition skill is based on the ability to
>>distinguish essential features from incidental ones -- signal from
>>noise.
>
>I find it hard to distinguish pattern recognition from reading
>ability. In my experience the two go hand in hand.

Of course. But they are different. Pattern recognition in go is a
virtually instantaneous apprehension of the salient features of a
position. Reading examines how those features can be developed by
subsequent moves.

>If you quiz a
>professional during a sumultaneous game (played mostly from pattern
>recognition without deep reading) about a particular move, they will
>justify it by showing a sequence of moves.

Maybe, but that doesn't tell you anything about their actual thinking
process.

>In other word they
>instantaneously read out a sequence up to 10 moves deep.

I doubt this. What they are doing is pulling patterns in sequence,
very quickly. If highly skilled pattern recognition did not allow
them to instantly discard almost all possible options at every ply as
unplayable, their reading could never get beyond a handful of moves.

>Of course in
>a slow game they would examine other sequences too, but the accuracy
>of reading stems from this ability to see far ahead.

The accuracy of strong players' reading is based more on the quality
of their pattern matching than their depth of lookahead. A lot of it
is the ability to recognize potential subsequent positions where the
fight would be effectively over, without having to read them out to
the bitter end.

-- Roy L

ro...@telus.net

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Jun 14, 2001, 9:48:54 PM6/14/01
to
On Thu, 14 Jun 2001 20:59:34 +0100, "Charles Matthews"
<cha...@sabaki.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>
><ro...@telus.net> wrote in message news:3b290b82...@news.telus.net...
>> On Sat, 31 Mar 2001 19:28:26 +0100, "Charles Matthews"
>> <cha...@sabaki.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>
>> >Reading ability is the single most important element of go strength.
>
>No I didn't. That's what the David Mechner site says.

Sorry for the misattribution.

-- Roy L

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