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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #21 Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:20 am 
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Then you could set a goal like: reach KGS 1d after 1000 games (but don't play blitz). Or if the goal is too remote, set a goal like "reach x kyu after y games". It may or may not work, for me it didn't but it's certainly doable.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #22 Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:58 am 
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Cool. That's quite an alternative though not really to my liking.

That aside, in many games I'm forcibly trying to apply theories I learned so perhaps that can be the reason I kept losing. Many games I threw into AI analysis I was leading until one point where I blinked and my opponent turned tables, yet I do not know why and how to prevent, I guess I'm still at learning stage.

I'll work slowly and prefer steady approach. Preventing mistakes and understand basic tactical moves and how to answer them.

Speaking of which, how does one understand the direction of play (not opening, mid game that kind) ?

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #23 Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:35 am 
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I don't think that "direction of play" is a well-defined concept. To my limited understanding, it includes ideas like

  • Making different areas of the board interact with each other.
  • Visualizing how current groups will develop, where new groups could be created,...
  • Determining in which direction to make a wall to get the most efficient result, or try to predict in which direction the opponent will make a wall. In particular, when attacking a weak group, decide whether to attack from the left, or from the right, or from the top.
  • Imagine the development of moyos, and decide whether to expand one's moyo, or to reduce or invade the opponent's moyo.

Anyway, whatever the terminology, none of the preceding topics is easy.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #24 Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:37 am 
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zafuri95 wrote:
Speaking of which, how does one understand the direction of play (not opening, mid game that kind) ?


Direction of play is one of those concepts that the bots are telling us we have to reconsider. That said, there are some things that still hold true.

For instance:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Box shape
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . 3 . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |[/go]


The enclosure in the top left wants to develop towards the top side, because :b1: and :b3: work with it to form an ideal box shape framework. We say that the enclosure faces the top side.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Box shape, not!
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . X . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . 3 . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |[/go]


By contrast, if the top left enclosure faces the left side, then :b1: and :b3: do not form an ideal framework.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Direction of play (?)
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . . a . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . 1 , O . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |[/go]


Carrying the idea further, :b1: was considered an ideal approach for Black, given the top left enclosure, because it starts to develop the top side for Black. Before the 20th century, a was also considered ideal, but it was easier to pincer than the high approach.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Popular no komi opening
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 2 . . . . . . . . . . 4 . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , 1 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |[/go]


Carrying the reasoning even further, :w2: was considered a good reply to :b1: -- it still is, BTW --, because it prepares :w4:, in anticipation of a possible top left enclosure. IOW, :w2: followed by :w4: is the correct direction of play.

This reasoning takes a few steps, and there is some doubt with each step. And it may be correct. However, the bots are telling us that any effect is small, 2% or less.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Bot opening
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 2 . . . . . , . . . 5 . , 1 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 4 . . . . . , . . . . . 3 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Through :b5: we have one of the openings played by AlphaGo. Elf likes :w6:, but :w6: violates the direction of play. AlphaGo prefers a, but it violates the direction of play, as well, since it allows an ideal pincer in relation to the top right enclosure.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm6 Bot opening, continued
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . X . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . 6 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . 4 X 2 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


:w6: allows :b7:, which leads to an ideal Black development of the right side. Just looking at the board, Black looks ahead. But remember that White has the move and Black is giving 7½ pt. komi. Elf thinks that the play up to now has been even. (Elf also is more optimistic about Black's initial chances than other bots, but that's another question.) OC, Elf could be wrong. But, IMHO, it is unlikely that :w6: is a game losing play.

What follows is my opinion.

It is not that plays dictated by the traditional understanding of direction of play are bad. Rather, the line of reasoning behind it is open to question. (This is true, BTW, of long variations, even ones that claim to be one lane roads. Each move is open to question.) In addition, there are other good plays, perhaps even better plays on the board early in the game. But late in the opening or early in the middle game, the plays indicated by direction of play are much more likely to be the best plays, because the good alternatives have already been taken.

So is it worth studying direction of play if you haven't already? I don't think so. The plays that accord with direction of play in the late opening or middle game can be derived from simply considering development, which is easier to do and has fewer steps of reasoning. :)

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #25 Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:04 pm 
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Thank you for the insights !
I'm well aware of the direction of play in the opening and the reasoning behind and that was a very detailed explanation :)

I've spoke to the stronger players in my club, apparently they all agreed my weakness is in the "middle-game" as many times and often, my advantage in the opening does not translate to a win - even bots agreed too after I ran analysis with KataGo.

Few things I noticed:-
1. I'm having hard time dealing with attachments
2. I did not translate good attacks into profits, i.e. missing out on defensive points.
3. My judgement on which point to play in the middle game ran out of radar after opening. I understand from Baduk Doctor's advise that if there's no weak group to attack, you can think of reduction plays and that's only as far as I know.
4. Tesujis does not always involve life and death. Cutting and connect, eye stealing, etc. are also important.

Would there be any suggestions on improving mid game judgments? I know there's this "Attack and Defense" of the Elementary Go Series and that's the current book I'm reading now. It seems the concepts are striking at my weaknesses that I'm eager to solve.

Are there any other resources / methods that I can look for to improve middle game?

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #26 Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:14 am 
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Your questions are too general, everybody has a problem with the middlegame, hard to say anything without concrete examples. Maybe you need to work on tesuji? This is an advice I often hear from Bill.

I don't think there is a general method of handling attachments. If the opponent attaches, you basically have 5 options: hane (2 possibilities), extend (2 possibilities) and tenuki. Hane can lead to complications because can be followed by connect-connect, or extend-extend, or crosscut-extend... and you need to read variations and decide which one is best... Maybe this book can help https://senseis.xmp.net/?CrossCutWorkshop but I don't have it so I don't know for sure.

You say that you miss defensive points. Maybe that's a sign of lack of reading? Leaving weaknesses is OK if you are aware they exist, and know how to respond if your opponent attack them. Or it could be a problem of shape ? Bad shape may create weaknesses, e.g. because of lack of liberties.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #27 Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:02 am 
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jlt wrote:
Your questions are too general, everybody has a problem with the middlegame, hard to say anything without concrete examples. Maybe you need to work on tesuji? This is an advice I often hear from Bill.


Yes I'm working on tesuji at the time being to be tactically confident so I can work further on fundamentals of strategy thinking.

I'm trying to embrace a more open minded approach to the game as I was too stubborn to give up my own group of stones often in games. I find that sometimes it is better to let go than hold on and use the aji to one's own advantage.

That aside, I've updated my study schedule and it looks like below:-

PRACTICE (Daily)
1. 手筋 - 精讲与精炼 (Tesuji: Lecture and Practice)
2. Lee Chang Ho's tesuji and Life and Death series

THEORY (in reading order)
1. Shape Up for a Stylish Baduk (Daily read)
2. Milton Bradley's: Improve Fast at Go (Next daily read)
3. Elementary Go Series: Attack and Defense (Weekend self-taught theory class)

GAMES
1. Daily 1 game with review
2. Weekends 2 games at least with review

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #28 Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:28 am 
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zafuri95 wrote:
I'm trying to embrace a more open minded approach to the game as I was too stubborn to give up my own group of stones often in games. I find that sometimes it is better to let go than hold on and use the aji to one's own advantage.


A good lesson. :D :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #29 Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:04 am 
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zafuri95 wrote:
jlt wrote:
That aside, I've updated my study schedule and it looks like below:-

PRACTICE (Daily)
1. 手筋 - 精讲与精炼 (Tesuji: Lecture and Practice)
2. Lee Chang Ho's tesuji and Life and Death series

THEORY (in reading order)
1. Shape Up for a Stylish Baduk (Daily read)
2. Milton Bradley's: Improve Fast at Go (Next daily read)
3. Elementary Go Series: Attack and Defense (Weekend self-taught theory class)

GAMES
1. Daily 1 game with review
2. Weekends 2 games at least with review


Today's update is some of my realization on my own study materials. I've come to realize the shapes I studied do not always come up in real games, not sure if it is still effective to understand the "shapes", but when they do came up, I find that I can immediately spot the weaknesses and give maximum pressure in fighting. I still lose big board fights sometimes though, and now I understand what it means by "only enclosed groups can be killed" because too often I hit their weak spots but they ran out anyway and I got a very awful position for chasing the opponent's too far.

I'm trying to draw similarities of playing and learning Go akin to learning a new language. So I'm sticking to my study schedule for sometime now with a little addition to kifu replays. I'm an aggressive player myself so Iyama's game drew my attention the most. I treat replaying kifu as "reading articles" in language learning.

GOAL
To reach 5k by July **Currently: 10k ~ 8k**

PRACTICE (Daily)
1. 手筋 - 精讲与精炼 (Tesuji: Lecture and Practice)
2. Lee Chang Ho's tesuji and Life and Death series

THEORY (in reading order)
1. Shape Up for a Stylish Baduk (Daily read)
2. Milton Bradley's: Improve Fast at Go (Daily read)
3. Elementary Go Series: Attack and Defense (Weekend self-taught theory class)

GAMES
1. Daily 1 game with review, and replay Iyama's kifu (multiple replays with memorization and understanding)
2. Weekends 2 games at least with review

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #30 Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:19 am 
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Here's some weekly updates on my progresses:-

1. I've been practicing sometime across the week with OGS's Spectral 4k bot.
2. I occasionally won some games but generally I got punished by the bot.
3. I find that I gave my opponent influence too easily. Even though I get the territory I wanted, due to the massive influences I don't get to fight or reduce them at all. It looks like I need to buckle up and learn how to balance influence and territory.
4. I've been doing tesuji drills and life & death on daily basis.
5. My "Shape Up!" reads doesn't help me too often, I don't come across many situations where I can put them to use. But I keep reading it since I committed and tried to create a collection of shapes that I will encounter most often to refer. Hope it helps.
6. The book that helped me the most was Elementary Series: Attack and Defense. I took a peep at "All About Influence" to fix my worry and anxiety to handle thickness / influence. I may include that book into my study in future.

Conclusion:-
I'm trusting the daily drill of tesuji to help my games, and I wish I calculate more often in games. The time pressure puts me to play on "feeling" too often and I think that will develop really bad habits, I'm trying to shake this off. I'm also learning more on practical theories that I will encounter more often so I can put them to use. Concluding this week's performance, I'm still at the same rank at OGS 10K and no changes despite all the wins and losses. I hope I'm able to see my OGS rank progresses in coming weeks. I've also started an IGS account at 10k and have not played any game yet as OGS is my main server now. I'll continue this weekly reflection post on Sundays for coming weeks.

Weaknesses encountered:-
1. Influence handling
2. Direction of play
3. Josekis (Not corner josekis, they are josekis of reduction, invasion etc.)
4. Lacking fighting spirit (Wanted to settle down too often and choose sub-par moves and put less pressure to opponent, not confident to handle cuts)

I've also posted my sgf for reviews at "Game Analysis" session. AI reviews don't help because I don't understand the "whys". Please point out what I can do better to improve :)

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #31 Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:11 am 
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zafuri95 wrote:
Here's some weekly updates on my progresses:-

1. I've been practicing sometime across the week with OGS's Spectral 4k bot.
2. I occasionally won some games but generally I got punished by the bot.
3. I find that I gave my opponent influence too easily. Even though I get the territory I wanted, due to the massive influences I don't get to fight or reduce them at all. It looks like I need to buckle up and learn how to balance influence and territory.
4. I've been doing tesuji drills and life & death on daily basis.
5. My "Shape Up!" reads doesn't help me too often, I don't come across many situations where I can put them to use. But I keep reading it since I committed and tried to create a collection of shapes that I will encounter most often to refer. Hope it helps.
6. The book that helped me the most was Elementary Series: Attack and Defense. I took a peep at "All About Influence" to fix my worry and anxiety to handle thickness / influence. I may include that book into my study in future.

Conclusion:-
I'm trusting the daily drill of tesuji to help my games, and I wish I calculate more often in games. The time pressure puts me to play on "feeling" too often and I think that will develop really bad habits, I'm trying to shake this off. I'm also learning more on practical theories that I will encounter more often so I can put them to use. Concluding this week's performance, I'm still at the same rank at OGS 10K and no changes despite all the wins and losses. I hope I'm able to see my OGS rank progresses in coming weeks. I've also started an IGS account at 10k and have not played any game yet as OGS is my main server now. I'll continue this weekly reflection post on Sundays for coming weeks.

Weaknesses encountered:-
1. Influence handling
2. Direction of play
3. Josekis (Not corner josekis, they are josekis of reduction, invasion etc.)
4. Lacking fighting spirit (Wanted to settle down too often and choose sub-par moves and put less pressure to opponent, not confident to handle cuts)

I've also posted my sgf for reviews at "Game Analysis" session. AI reviews don't help because I don't understand the "whys". Please point out what I can do better to improve :)


Studying techniques, L&D, concepts, openings ... is definitely going to improve your game but only in the long run. If you are sensitive to short term (rank) progress, you'll have to consciously integrate aspects of Go which matter most to the outcome. At this level, these are often aspects of gamesmanship (not giving up, managing time, think of alternative moves) and very mundane things like keeping track of liberties of a group (to avoid stupid losses).

Basic techniques will get you a long way. See https://senseis.xmp.net/?BasicInstinct

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #32 Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:08 pm 
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Knotwilg wrote:
zafuri95 wrote:
Here's some weekly updates on my progresses:-

1. I've been practicing sometime across the week with OGS's Spectral 4k bot.
2. I occasionally won some games but generally I got punished by the bot.
3. I find that I gave my opponent influence too easily. Even though I get the territory I wanted, due to the massive influences I don't get to fight or reduce them at all. It looks like I need to buckle up and learn how to balance influence and territory.
4. I've been doing tesuji drills and life & death on daily basis.
5. My "Shape Up!" reads doesn't help me too often, I don't come across many situations where I can put them to use. But I keep reading it since I committed and tried to create a collection of shapes that I will encounter most often to refer. Hope it helps.
6. The book that helped me the most was Elementary Series: Attack and Defense. I took a peep at "All About Influence" to fix my worry and anxiety to handle thickness / influence. I may include that book into my study in future.

Conclusion:-
I'm trusting the daily drill of tesuji to help my games, and I wish I calculate more often in games. The time pressure puts me to play on "feeling" too often and I think that will develop really bad habits, I'm trying to shake this off. I'm also learning more on practical theories that I will encounter more often so I can put them to use. Concluding this week's performance, I'm still at the same rank at OGS 10K and no changes despite all the wins and losses. I hope I'm able to see my OGS rank progresses in coming weeks. I've also started an IGS account at 10k and have not played any game yet as OGS is my main server now. I'll continue this weekly reflection post on Sundays for coming weeks.

Weaknesses encountered:-
1. Influence handling
2. Direction of play
3. Josekis (Not corner josekis, they are josekis of reduction, invasion etc.)
4. Lacking fighting spirit (Wanted to settle down too often and choose sub-par moves and put less pressure to opponent, not confident to handle cuts)

I've also posted my sgf for reviews at "Game Analysis" session. AI reviews don't help because I don't understand the "whys". Please point out what I can do better to improve :)


Studying techniques, L&D, concepts, openings ... is definitely going to improve your game but only in the long run. If you are sensitive to short term (rank) progress, you'll have to consciously integrate aspects of Go which matter most to the outcome. At this level, these are often aspects of gamesmanship (not giving up, managing time, think of alternative moves) and very mundane things like keeping track of liberties of a group (to avoid stupid losses).

Basic techniques will get you a long way. See https://senseis.xmp.net/?BasicInstinct


I've wondered what the qualitative difference might be between solving 'easy' tsumego (tsumego aimed at a few ranks below yourself) and 'hard' tsumego (tsumego aimed at a few ranks above yourself). My impression is that instinctual training from easy tsumego is long-term improvement plan while gamesmanship is more so about mental fortitude and perhaps overriding bad instincts most kyu players may have? In any case, it seems, according to the reasoning I'm using here, is that the former works best for long-term improvement and the latter for short-term elevations in gamesmanship. Would you say that's true in your experience? I thought of focusing on long term strength from short games in the week and short-term strength from long games on the weekends too.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #33 Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:49 pm 
Honinbo

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Elom wrote:
I've wondered what the qualitative difference might be between solving 'easy' tsumego (tsumego aimed at a few ranks below yourself) and 'hard' tsumego (tsumego aimed at a few ranks above yourself). My impression is that instinctual training from easy tsumego is long-term improvement plan while gamesmanship is more so about mental fortitude and perhaps overriding bad instincts most kyu players may have?


Knotwilg's gamesmanship qualities aside, IMHO most people who want to improve do themselves a disservice by solving easy tsumego. I used to be a bridge expert. In large tournaments with hundreds of pairs, my typical result was about 5th place. ;) One of my partners told me that of all her partners, I was the quickest to work out what was going on. (Bridge is a game of hidden information.) Maybe so, but I did not develop that skill by solving easy problems quickly. I took my to time to try to solve and thoroughly understand difficult problems. It was that understanding that enabled me to figure things out quickly at the table. :)

How much time you want to work on a problem is up to you. My feeling for kyu players is anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. But the problems should be hard enough that you get only around half of the right in that time. :) OC, you should review those you miss and overlearn them. And it doesn't hurt to review easy problems from time to time. Like one afternoon a year. ;) Solving easy problems is a long term plan for non-improvement. You have to challenge yourself. :)

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #34 Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:39 pm 
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Quote:
How much time you want to work on a problem is up to you. My feeling for kyu players is anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. But the problems should be hard enough that you get only around half of the right in that time. :) OC, you should review those you miss and overlearn them. And it doesn't hurt to review easy problems from time to time. Like one afternoon a year. ;) Solving easy problems is a long term plan for non-improvement. You have to challenge yourself. :)


Yes and in fact I find my progression fastest when I was solving tsumegos slightly harder than what I can cope with. It was exhilarating getting them right. That aside, my local Go club player handed me few questions coming from the Kiseido's book "GO Graded Problems for Dan players: 4 kyu - 1 Dan" and I could actually solve them within the suggested time frame.

My current frustration comes from the disparity between my ability to solve tsumegos and my actual game judgment, evaluation and decision making. In small boards, I played my way to 1 Dan in FoxGo, but that doesn't translate to 19x19 games. But I've learned from a Chinese article that this is actually normal and I should not equate tsumego solving ability to real gameplay ability.

So I concluded that I need to work on the bad habits and the correct mentality to play.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #35 Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:32 am 
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I did a lot of easy tsumegos for a long time and the main downfall I experienced is becoming complacent.

Easily seeing the answers gets you in a feedback loop that there is no need to check the lines to the end or really look for the strongest move (yours and your opponent's).

I ended up with playing "vital points", either not checking beforehand if they would work or just lazily reading out some (wishful) lines.

So, yeah: You have to be challenged to grow, it's a muscle thing : )

PS: Don't think too much of tsumego book titles. The regular Graded Go Problems series is way harder than the proclaimed target audience. The Graded Go Problems For Dan Player series is way below the average (KGS) dan-player. There is an essay in the book Treasure Chest Enigma, where the author hints that especially newspapers in Japan gave easier problems but wrote something like "30 seconds for 1-dan". It gives a cozy feeling to the audience, nothing more.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #36 Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:31 am 
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On the subject of easy tsumego, I've concidentally just started translating a short video by Japanese pro Yanagisawa Satoshi 5p (柳澤理志) on exactly this subject. It's part of a 4 part series of videos, 5 to 10 mins each, focused on how to use tsumego to improve. I intend to translate all of them and will share them on the forum if there's interest, but for now you may want to know that the first (and longest) video is about why you should focus on easy tsumego.

The reasoning is that more complicated tsumego are built on top of the simpler ones. This is an entirely literal statement. The positions found at the beginning of beginner tsumego can also be found 1 or 2 moves in to the solutions of a more advanced ones, and those advanced problems will again be found 1 or 2 moves in to the solutions of yet more advanced tsumego. It is by building this foundation step by step that one learns to solve more advanced problems.

He also stresses that it's important to repeat problems and always read out the answer thoroughly. This applies even when you remember the answer from last time you solved it. I'd also like to mention Kageyama's "Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go", which is a book available in English I think many people here have read*. The very first thing he has people do is read out ladders. Of course we all know the solution to a ladder, but that's not the point. It's about reading practice and fully internalising a common pattern.

So my opinion is that although SoDesuNe's experience of improving more from hard problems because they forced him to read is likely very common, the important difference was not the problems themselves, but actually that he was reading in one instance and not the other. In other words I think people are focusing on the wrong variable.

For anyone who wants to look now, here is the series I'm translating: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... Ay-YByI8DK

It's quite short so I think it makes more sense for me to focus on translation rather reproducing it here for the sake of discussion. I just thought it was worth letting people know it was coming because it seemed so relevant.


*I'm still near the beginning but I originally bought it based on recommendations from people here.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #37 Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:49 am 
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Sorry for double posting I need to correct myself. Yanagisawa did not say easy problems he said easy collections. So interpret that how you will. I think the general point reamains the same but the difference is not inconsequential as any collection will naturally contain a range of problems.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #38 Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:38 am 
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I can get behind easy collections ; )

As just a hobby go player I like to feel good when I'm pursuing my dreams. 50% failure rate in problems does not feel good to me. I'm more a 33%- to 25% kind of guy. Also reminds you to stay sharp but lets you feel good about yourself, too.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #39 Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:03 pm 
Honinbo

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Splatted wrote:
On the subject of easy tsumego, I've concidentally just started translating a short video by Japanese pro Yanagisawa Satoshi 5p (柳澤理志) on exactly this subject. It's part of a 4 part series of videos, 5 to 10 mins each, focused on how to use tsumego to improve. I intend to translate all of them and will share them on the forum if there's interest, but for now you may want to know that the first (and longest) video is about why you should focus on easy tsumego.


Because of copyright issues, I am not sure that posting a full translation here would be considered fair use. But surely summarizing his ideas would be valuable. :)

Quote:
The reasoning is that more complicated tsumego are built on top of the simpler ones. This is an entirely literal statement. The positions found at the beginning of beginner tsumego can also be found 1 or 2 moves in to the solutions of a more advanced ones, and those advanced problems will again be found 1 or 2 moves in to the solutions of yet more advanced tsumego. It is by building this foundation step by step that one learns to solve more advanced problems.


This reasoning has been the basis of many textbooks, probably for centuries. But research has shown that it is at best a half truth. Within limits, the order of learning does not matter. You don't have to build knowledge and understanding up logically, step by step. In the case of tsumego, suppose that I can get around half of 3-5 kyu problems right, and most of those I miss are because they are built upon 8-10 kyu problems that I would also miss, or never learned thoroughly. That does not mean that I have to go back and work on 8-10 kyu problems. Overlearning the problems that I miss will do just as well, if not better. Overlearning is a review technique. See https://senseis.xmp.net/?Overlearning

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He also stresses that it's important to repeat problems and always read out the answer thoroughly. This applies even when you remember the answer from last time you solved it.


Good point about reading out the solutions to problems you know. (Seeing the solution sequences is OK, too. :)) IMO, thoroughness is very important. See https://senseis.xmp.net/?GoProblemsTheFudgeFactor

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So my opinion is that although SoDesuNe's experience of improving more from hard problems because they forced him to read is likely very common, the important difference was not the problems themselves, but actually that he was reading in one instance and not the other. In other words I think people are focusing on the wrong variable.


There is a lot to studying and practicing go problems. A lot of people put emphasis on reading. Spaced repetition, not mentioned between us now, is also important, and well discussed on L19. :) But the emphasis on easy problems is, IMHO, misguided. The 50% rule is based on psychological research dating back decades. The research on overlearning goes back even further.

None of this is to disparage Yanagisawa or his videos. I look forward to your write-ups of them. :)

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #40 Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:29 pm 
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At the risk of pointing out the obvious, there's more than one way to do it! Some people learn better from constantly challenging themselves, some benefit more from repetitive drill to reinforce the basics. (And some even get good results by alternating these strategies, one month easy, one month hard or something.)

Unfortunately there's not a lot of controlled scientific studies on long term learning. (In the lab, you can see how much someone improves or retains over a few hours, or even days, but it's much harder to study what happens over a five year period.) So most of the evidence is anecdotal. But I believe that both approaches have about equally good results, for those who have the motivation to stick with it. Of course if the problems are so easy that you get bored and give up, or so hard that you get frustrated and give up, it's not a good long-term plan for you.

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