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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #301 Posted: Mon May 10, 2021 12:41 am 
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It's been mentioned here that Sumire has won her way into Division C of the Kisei league. From what I've seen, the point being focused on is that she is female. Fine, but it seems more remarkable to me she is youngest player to achieve this - 12 years and 2 months.

But, while reading about this achievement, I was rather more interested in a comment on how she is improving. Her Kisei achievement is not a one-off fluke. Her record this year is already 21-2 and she has an 11-game winning streak. According to pro opinion, what has made the difference from last year is that she is no longer making unreasonable attacks which end up leaving her own weaknesses exposed.

It's fascinating that such a simple thing as a change in attitude can have such an impact even at pro level.


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Post #302 Posted: Mon May 10, 2021 11:05 pm 
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I don't think the main point here is that she is female, but her age. The whole thread began with that, but well, your opinion. BTW, for those who really care that she is female, you can follow the achievements of Sumire and others in another interesting thread very easy to find :lol:

About the change in attitude: your words reminded me of a video I saw some time ago, by Dr. Baduk. Here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VuBOrnk5UE

The comment was the same: she was strong, she fought well, but she lost because at a certain point, she went for a wild attack that shouldn't work (and didn't). But if she could improve her judgement, she would be much stronger. Time has proved him right.

And it is surprising that even at pro level, this can make such a difference. One tends to think that getting stronger means deeper reading ability, or proper counting, or knowing more joseki. But just making better choices (better direction of play) is an important skill too.


Last edited by pajaro on Tue May 11, 2021 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #303 Posted: Tue May 11, 2021 2:38 am 
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I'm fascinated by her progress and I want to thank John and everybody here for contributing news and games and achievements for those, who can't really get this information because of the language barrier.

I think both factors, age AND (unfortunately) gender are noteworthy aspects. Even though female pros in Japan are on a roll atm this nothing to take for granted. One day, I wish to experience the same thing in the west, too.

John Fairbairn wrote:
It's fascinating that such a simple thing as a change in attitude can have such an impact even at pro level.

I'm actually not that surprised that attitude makes such a difference. Of course I can only imagine it, but since at the pro level every game is incredibly tightly played (amateur games especially in the kyu but probably in the low dan ranks as well tend to tend to tilt mostly because of some kind of larger mistake(s)), attitude must be an important factor.

Maybe I should replay some of her games from last year and from this year. I seem to be in a similar situation like Sumire in the last year (though much, MUCH weaker, of course!), and probably would benefit of trying to get a feeling of this change of hers. But I guess I'll start with the Doctor's video first. Thanks for linking it, @pajaro!

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #304 Posted: Tue May 11, 2021 4:18 am 
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This "attitude" reference seems to have struck a chord with some people, so it seems worth sharing another one, this time by Takao Shinji on Ueno Asami. The occasion was the handover, on 12 March 2021, of the winner's diploma and Docomo Cup to Asami as the Women's Kisei.

Takao is the national team coach and he remarked there that Asami has already shown her mettle on the go board but recently, in line with her character, she has been starting to play more peaceful go, and so her horizons have been able to expand. Despite the calmness Takao spotted, Asami herself revealed that the match (with Suzuki Ayumi) was really hard and on the eve of Game 2, already one down, she had a dream that she would lose, and so she was fretting and felt like giving up - but she got an upset victory.

It was on a different occasion but around the same time that Asami revealed another reason for her return to winning form. I don't believe Takao would have ever spotted it, nor 99.99% of people here, who are all male I imagine, but like most of the ladies she has been playing with a pony tail (I assume it's easier when you have to wear a mask), and there is now a phrase "ponytail go". But Asami noticed that she was losing when she had a pony tail and changed back to a bob. She started winning again.

So all you guys out there, stop "invading" and "punishing" of course, but above all, if you really want to improve, get rid of your pony tails.

Incidentally, some of you may have noticed from other threads that I've been working a lot on old Chinese go vocabulary recently. What is special about it is that it is the words of the masters themselves. It is not the literary gushings of an amanuensis nor the dumbing down of a journalist.

One of the dominant - and I mean VERY dominant - themes is safety, expressed by a handful of words that all, in a sense, amount to honte play but are expressed in an "attitude" way rather than a "shape" way. Some examples off the top of my head of recommended ways to play (often several times in each commentary): 稳 'for safety', 自在 'to set oneself at ease', 安逸 'to gain peace of mind'. There are others a little more "shapey" such as settling a group or moving out into open pastures, but fundamentally they too are about attitude. Very revealing, I think, Far from the usual image of old Chinese go as mad fights. But, if you think about it, if you FIRST get yourself into a safe position, you THEN fight very robustly simply because you are not risking much.

As far as I know they hadn't yet discovered the pony tail tesuji. But nor did DeepMind. One for humankind!


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #305 Posted: Thu May 13, 2021 5:42 am 
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New win today in the prelims of the Judan against Mitsunari Horimoto 5p.

There is a risk to think "one more, what is new now?" for us, the public. But every step is a hard fight. I wonder, what thoughts must be in her head? I must win? It's just another one?
The next one is the last of the prelims. Then, comes Preliminary A. Even if she loses, at least next year she is going to be seeded higher.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #306 Posted: Fri May 14, 2021 4:59 am 
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I was just looking at Sumire's win in the Judan B/C Division. She beat Horimoto Mitsunari and so goes on to face Nakane Naoyuki 9-dan in the final of this division, in one of the "easy" sections in that it for the Osaka/Nagoya players. Sumire is now in the tougher Tokyo region but she still lived in the Kansai when this Judan term started.

So she is now on 24-2 for the year (92.3%) as of 13 May 2021, with a streak of 13 wins in official games.

All incredible, but what really caught my eye was that in her game with Horimoto, which was at 3 hours each, she used almost all her time (and Horimoto used all his). I instinctively assumed Sumire was a super-fast player, partly because she is just a kid and partly because she has played (successfully) quite a number of games with Mickey Mouse time limits.

I wish I'd paid more attention to her time usage before. Using the best part of her 3 hours or whatever could indicate both an ability and a willingness to spend time wisely (and suggest she is actually thinking as opposed to reading out intuitively), but this particular game was said to have swung back and forth more than once, even though she won handsomely by 5.5. Perhaps it was being a in predicament or two that made her play more slowly in this particular case. Has anyone kept tabs on her time usage?

I see she is still wearing my tartan for her face mask. What a canny lass!

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #307 Posted: Fri May 14, 2021 11:46 pm 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Has anyone kept tabs on her time usage?


I have not paid special attention to this, but I'd say that her time usage is the usual, according to the allowed time. Sometimes, I have thought more or less the same than you, it's hard for a kid to have patience, she's more likely to rush than an adult, and so on.

Now that you make me think about this... I don't know if the game with Yoshihara Yukari was her first one with 3 hours of time, but I think it was the first one I watched (when I say watch, I mean I have it in the background while I work) with this allowed time, and also with a time keeper. I was expecting her to play faster than Yukari, but she took her time to play. And also, she did what other players do: even when she is going to play the obvious move, she spent time reading the whole sequence that would come after, with the not obvious moves.


Last edited by pajaro on Sun May 16, 2021 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #308 Posted: Sat May 15, 2021 1:41 am 
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Actually, I've thought since last Globis Cup that Nakamure Sumire likes slower games rather then faster games. This is because her performance in other tournaments seemed to be better than her performance in the Globis Cup preliminaries, and now it's seems the same. I thought Ueno Asami might be better at fast games since she she reached the finals of the Ryusei. However, if professional players sometimes do better or worse just in specific tournaments, I couldn't know if she wasn't as good at fast games for sure . . .

A small while back Iyama Yuta played in a title match with a pro relatively younger to him (Ichiriki Ryo I think) who lost but had quite a bit of time left at the end . . . But for some reason I get the feeling she likes to win and be sure of winning and would use more time in a similar title match.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #309 Posted: Sat May 15, 2021 3:57 am 
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But for some reason I get the feeling she likes to win and be sure of winning and would use more time in a similar title match.


I like that suggestion, and it would fit her Kansai background - if you believe in stereotypes.

When I first started following go, long time limits were still the norm and there were countless comments or anecdotes about time usage. For example, Kada Katsuji was notorious for spending a lot of time in the opening, and 3 hours 54 minutes for one move was his record. That's far more than players normally get for a whole game nowadays!

Today, time is rarely mentioned at all. In the Mickey Mouse games a loss on time is only noted in the result. Once upon a time it would have been a major story.

But I suspect that, past or present time usage, is to some degree seen as a psychological too or weapon, either to psych yourself up (or down if you're too hyper) or to psych out the opponent, and so it still seems worth mentioning. However, the scope for making use of variations in time usage is probably not very great in the now usual games of 1 to 3 hours each.


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #310 Posted: Sat May 15, 2021 9:40 am 
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pajaro wrote:
And it is surprising that even at pro level, this can make such a difference. One tends to think that getting stronger means deeper reading ability, or proper counting, or knowing more joseki. But just making better choices (better direction of play) is an important skill too.


There's hidden depths here: Making it difficult for your opponent to form good judgements is also an important skill.Tempting them to go wrong with their judgements is also a high level important skill.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #311 Posted: Sun May 16, 2021 7:51 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
In the Mickey Mouse game


All right, now I have to ask.

Say it once and I think "what? :scratch: " But twice... :shock: What are these Mickey Mouse games? Games for new pros? First prelims? Some other slang that I don't get?
And what's the time limit for those games?

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #312 Posted: Sun May 16, 2021 8:39 am 
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Say it once and I think "what? :scratch: " But twice... :shock: What are these Mickey Mouse games? Games for new pros? First prelims? Some other slang that I don't get?
And what's the time limit for those games?


First I'll quote the Oxford English Dictionary on Mickey Mouse. "[as modifier] informal of inferior quality."

In Britain, at least, it is also connected with a phrase from Glasgow which describes systems that don't work, i.e. they are in Disnaeland (this disnae work, that disnae work; disnae = 'does not' in Scots).

In go I have applied it often to games that have ridiculously shortened time limits just to pander to tv (or, nowadays, YouTube type) audiences. I have not been alone. Many top pros have voiced their disapproval, most notably Cho Hun-hyeon. These games were especially common in Korea, which is why his disapproval counts for more than most. However, Japan and China also flirted with these MM games. But there has been a fairly large pushback against them. If anything, time limits are creeping back up even in the already slowish tournaments (e.g. 2 hours to 2.5 hours).

It's a subjective matter as to what constitutes ridiculously short, but as a rule of thumb if the players don't have time count properly at least a couple of times, they are unable to show the full range of their talents. Such games may be exciting for exhibitions and the like, but to award titles and promotions on the basis of such games has to be questionable.

The acceptable lower limit as far as I can judge is the old but still popular NHK format of 30 seconds a move plus 10 x 1 minute. The 1-minute sessions (which of course can be used consecutively) allow plenty of scope for counting. Such games tend to take about 2 hours. Games at 20 minutes each and 10 seconds byoyomi belong in Disnaeland as far as I'm concerned.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #313 Posted: Sun May 16, 2021 9:16 am 
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"Mickey Mouse" refers to fast games. A bit like Mc Donald's.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #314 Posted: Sun May 16, 2021 10:02 am 
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Thanks.

I come for the stones, I stay for the side dish.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #315 Posted: Thu May 20, 2021 4:50 am 
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Sumire went out of the 47th Meijin when losing to Komatsu Hideki 9-dan on 20 May 2021. That brought her score for the year to 24-3 (88.9%).

Komatsu is not one of the push-over 9-dans, and he said he had been looking forward to this first game with Sumire because he was friends with one of her teachers in Korea and had heard great things about her. At one stage AI put Sumire ahead but in the end she lost by 2.5 points. In a sense it was even closer than that, because, as Komatsu said, he won only because he had more ko threats at the end.

Everybody now: a big AAAAAHHhhhhhh.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #316 Posted: Thu May 20, 2021 7:32 am 
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Yes, finally, the winning streak came to an end. But still 24-3... no complains.

I read (meaning: used automatic translation + some other dictionaries) that she cried in the interview after the game. It has been discussed here before that she is still a child, and she really really likes winning. Takemiya said that she reminds him of Cho Chikun. Big words.

We also talked about her change in attitude, how her game is more balanced, and that led to a number of wins. This may be true, of course, but I think that this loss (and a few more) will help her too.
Her attitude in the game has improved, but probably her attitude in competition must improve too. When you win a lot (sometimes by pure luck) you tend to think that you can't lose. Or worse, that you shouldn't lose. The pressure increases. She has to learn this. When she became a pro, she lost a lot. But quite suddenly, she started winning a lot. No transition time when she wins some, loses some...

I think that at first she was overwhelmed. She was never an insei, she didn't pass the pro exam... probably, she was quite protected. But opponents show no mercy.

Don't worry. She will be tough as steel when she plays her first 2-day game.


Last edited by pajaro on Thu May 20, 2021 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #317 Posted: Thu May 20, 2021 10:08 am 
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pajaro wrote:
Takemiya said that she reminds her of Cho Chikun.


Exactly. I can't imagine why she hasn't played an exhibition game with him (of all the (too many?) exhibition games she played :) I don't think she played him or Wu Yimming who probably were the best choices for her to play).

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #318 Posted: Thu May 20, 2021 2:04 pm 
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I don't think she played him or Wu Yimming who probably were the best choices for her to play).


She played Yu Yiming twice at the end of 2019 and lost. Yiming is of course two years older, which is a huge advantage at such a young age.


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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #319 Posted: Thu May 27, 2021 5:02 am 
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Today has played her first game in the Kisei C league.

She lost to Tomochika Mizokami 9p. From what I could understand, she didn't seem too upset to have lost, and she is more focused on playing well rather than winning or losing. Good attitude.
She will play at least two more games. I'd say that one win would be a success. Keeping the seat might be too much to expect.

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 Post subject: Re: Following Nakamura Sumire
Post #320 Posted: Fri May 28, 2021 2:37 am 
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she didn't seem too upset to have lost, and she is more focused on playing well rather than winning or losing. Good attitude.


I found this an interesting contrast to Osaka Naomi who is in the news today for refusing to talk to the press. In some ways I'd say Sumire is even more under media scrutiny than Naomi, and yet she sweetly answers the same trite over an over again. In this latest game the interviewer asked her about a powerful move she missed. I gather (from press reports) that Naomi's reaction o such a question would be to burst into tears and rush off her to sports psychologist. As I understand it, allowing any word equating with "loss" into the brain is seen as a trigger for actually losing. So she has to avoid anyone who may say the L word. This despite taking all the money given to her for a contract she has signed and obliges her to talk to the press. But she can afford to pay the fines. What an unhealthy attitude. I've noticed before, tennis seems to bring out the worst in people. I went to Wimbledon once. Never again.

Sumire's reaction to the L word, i.e. the move she apparently missed and caused her loss, was simply: "I noticed it but..." Doesn't seem to say much, yet we all instantly recognise the moment, which is usually 2 milliseconds after you've played the duff move. Such a simple way to relate to the fans.

For those who don't know, the C Division of the Kisei League operates on the principle of a maximum of 5 games but once you've lost three you drop out. Sumire was ahead against Mizokami 9-dan, a former title holder, so there's no reason yet to be pessimistic. Mizokami's first title was the Phoenix & Chicks Tournament. He said his appearance in this year's Kisei was his first league game for yonks (which meant he was really trying), so here he was playing the phoenix against Japan's most famous chick.

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