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How to improve fighting strength?


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2012-04-06 11:04
globulon I feel I have an understanding of basic strategic ideas, but often lack the fighting power to follow through. I recently had this confirmed when a high dan player told me I had good ideas but lacked power after a teaching game. I have also heard Guo Juan talking about the importance of fighting strength in the San Ren Sei lectures. Basically I am curious if there is a specific training technique to build fighting strength. I do tsume-go pretty much everyday, but often these problems seem very localized and definite as opposed to the sort of open fighting where the idea not often about the life and death of an isolated group. Should I just focus on doing tsume-go and be patient for my strength to increase, or is there a more direct route to fighting ability such as studying shape? Lecture recommendations or other recommendations are welcome.

2012-04-07 02:37
djhbrown from your question, i would guess you are fairly new to go. if that is the case, then it is first of all absolutely 100% certain that you cannot possibly have a good understanding of basic strategy - since strategy is the hardest thing of all to learn.

second, fighting strength is not just one thing, but the result of a lot of things. for high dans, fighting is important, but not as important as overall view and balanced judgement. i remember seeing a Guo Juan lecture on a game by the British Champion in which she commented that he often fights when he doesn't have to!

tsume-go is only about life and death, but it is not about judging the "lifeness" of a group, which is more usually called "good shape". most tsume-go problems are artificial and studying them can lead you in the wrong direction. the fundamentals of life and death (real and false eyes, etc) are more important for across the board play.

fighting involves reading, so do some experiments to see how far you can read. as a 3kyu, i usually dont read very deeply at all, but then neither do grandmaster chess players! they learn to "see" the best move straight away, and only use reading to verify that it does indeed work.

in general, fighting involves cutting, so learn what can be cut (especially keima and ogeima) and the patterns that follow attempted cuts.

2012-04-07 04:45
sr Hi globulon, you are on the right track doing tsume-go (life & death problems). Guo Juan mentions this a lot in her lectures. Doing a few problems every day is really good for building up your reading ability.

As for lecture suggestions on this topic... I really liked the Basic Course, Important Stones, and All About Attacking. But I think any lecture in the Middle Game category would be helpful so look there for something that interests you.

2012-04-08 15:35
Guo Juan Playing games; continue solve problems; learn josekis where you can learn many shapes; Our 'Important shapes' lectures are helpful.

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