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Go School Forum > General discussion > Go, Computers, Training and Me. A guide for the confused.....

Go, Computers, Training and Me. A guide for the confused.....

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2014-11-15 10:18
Buri Greetings,
for what it`s worth, here is an account of my experiences with this site, computer `stuff` and Go in general.
It has taken me a long time to discover what I think is the simplest truth about success or failure in Go. That is, one has to read what is going to happen if you place a stone. This is probably to everyone else but I have heard Guo Sensei complain that westerners don`t like to do tsumego so much, so perhaps it is a self-evident truth that is also ignored as well...:)
Anyway, I reached a reasonable beginner level of around 12 kyu, and with the help of Guo and this site I learnt a lot about the game, different openings, joseki and so on. But never seemed to get much further. The reason has always been my lack of reading in the middle game where it is all won or lost.
With the new easy to use ipad technology etc. it is actually easy to collect many books for tsumego, tesuji and opening problems. So I worked on those and still didn`t improve much at all. At this point I had to come to terms with my basic attention deficit disorder. I am not good at visualizing anything so allowed this attractive technology to lure me into always taking the easy way out. Rather than running through every possibility in my mind before placing a stone (like one should with a book and real board) I was clicking almost randomly in approximately the right area , waiting for the boooo symbol to come up and trying again. this has the absolute effect of making a player weaker in the middle game:)
After some time off thinking about this and what to do I went back to real books and have been sweating on tsumego a great deal. The sweating itself is quite funny. I actually find that during this kind of thinking it feels like the inside of my head is sweating. It`s an amusing sensation at the best of times.
The question for me then became how to make the most of the New Training System. It would be extremely easy for me to fall back into the old non-focused study habits by doing a lot of problems everyday. Indeed I started at 100 but that absolutely doesn`t work for me. Around forty is my magic number. This is something to experiment with.
I also find that these problems are not actually the most powerful part of the system for me. In fact the cramming is what I really utilize.
I have to confess my favorite lectures are the Beginners Joseki. I don`t think they are actually beginners in the sense of being easy. recently for example, I noticed that one of the very complicated versions of a joseki (maybe lecture 21) appears in the finals of a major competition being used by Lee Chang Ho. Actually, I have won quite a few games at my level using Guo`s `how to punish` joseki moves. Sometimes they seem so sharp the opponent actually just resigns before the middle game even starts. that happens surprisingly often. Good for me because then I dont have to read anything....:)
These lectures are well suited to using the cramming. after listening to one, I do the cramming mode and the result is that every point is completely reinforced. This makes the staggered timing problems all the more effective. I also cram at least three joseki lectures a day since that takes very little time and is excellent review.
Using this system an paper tsumego I have moved up two kyuu in the last two months.
trouble is I`m beginning to meet people who are good at reading....:)
Anyway, it`s all tremendously helpful, so thanks to everyone

2014-11-16 21:51
Darrell Malick Hi Buri, I enjoyed reading that. So, you've gone up two ranks since you started the Training System? Awesome! Here's my two cents on some of the things you brought up. This is just me talking - another amateur, no expert. I don't think even strong go players read all the variations on all the moves they are making. I think stong go players only occasionally have to read lots of moves out. I've asked a few about this and that's what they tell me. Most moves are based on the larger board or else on known shapes. Shapes being corner josekis, side josekis, middle game josekis, etc. I believe my "reading" skills have improved because of the training system, because I've actually explored shapes and become familiar with the different outcomes. You commented that you like cramming mode. Me too. I use it less than you, but I do use it. When I come to a problem that I've forgotten in the training system, and don't even know how such a tortured position came about, I go back and do that problem set in cramming mode. It's great because I get a quick review of how that position came to exist. I'm actually working to change the Training System a little. Currently, the problems from a problem set are presented in random order from the first viewing when using the SRS. The change I'm making will present them in original order the first time through and slowly randomize the presentation. I suspect you will like this better. My personal Go has some similarity to yours. I used to lose a lot of games by misplaying corner joseki. Now I win games or gain an advantage from my opponents misplaying them. Naturally, now I mostly lose to people that outfight me in the center. But when my losing games get reviewed, it's usually a wrong joseki choice or a wrong directional choice or a slow move that preceded the fight in the center that actually was the cause of my loss. I'm losing the center fight, but the *real* mistake was actually earlier. Anyway, I'm rambling a little. Thanks for sharing!

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