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 Post subject: Review: Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step
Post #1 Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2023 4:45 am 
Judan

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GENERAL SPECIFICATION

* Title: Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step
* Author: Young Sun Yoon
* Publisher: Korea Baduk Association et al
* Edition: 2022-12-25
* Language: English
* Price: EUR 0 (plus any commission or postage)
* Contents: life and death
* ISBN: none
* Printing: good
* Layout: good
* Editing: intermediate to weak
* Pages: 270
* Size: 153mm x 224mm
* Diagrams per Page on Average: 2
* Method of Teaching: selected examples
* Read when EGF: 7k - 1k
* Subjective Rank Improvement: o
* Subjective Topic Coverage: -
* Subjective Aims' Achievement: +

OVERVIEW

The book Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step contains life and death problems, answer diagrams and accompanying text. Besides short introduction, diagram index and appendix, the main part comprises 50 chapters on 229 pages. 36 chapters contain the problems while 14 chapters refer to their joseki origins. In the former, every chapter has 4 problems and a brief summary. Subtracting one duplicate, there are 143 problems. Within each chapter, the difficulty increases from the first to the fourth problem typically with a position a few moves earlier. Apart from the appendix, there is no structured theory.

PROBLEM SELECTION

The book claims to present basic corner shapes and this is mostly correct. Of course, no single book can cover all shapes. The curios omission, however, is the most frequent basic corner shape resulting from the 3-3 under 4-4 invasion. Otherwise, the author has selected the shapes well: they occur rather frequently and offer a decent variety of techniques. The selection differs from All About Life and Death and more basic life and death books so makes more shapes accessible to the English literature.

ANSWERS

For the four problems of a chapter, there are altogether about half a dozen to a dozen answer diagrams with short commenting texts, which contains hardly any further variations. The diagrams show solutions, variations, failures, or sometimes additional analysis.

The author speaks of the most relevant sequences in the diagrams. Some of them are relevant indeed but the reader must not fall under the illusion of sufficient diagrams. The greatest weakness of the book is the missing variations. The reader must read about two or three times as many relevant variations as shown. As a related aspect, the author mentions visualisation, memorisation and neuroscience in the introduction and appendix but fails to explain tactical reading and its decision-making, which would also consider the missing variations. A reader knowing tactical reading and reading all relevant variations can, however, profit more from the book by overcoming the author's or publisher's desire of pretending easy teaching and prominent layout.

READERSHIP

Some of the problems might also be suitable for 10k - 8k players but such readers face the difficulties of the missing variations and presumed knowledge, although the appendix, which introduces bent-4, 10000-year-ko and approach ko, might mitigate this a bit if read in between. A few problems have some variations of intermediate difficulty suitable for low dans but a dan would not read the whole book just for them or a basic type of ko previously neglected in other texts. Hence, the core readership is 7k - 1k. A dedicated low dan should not condemn the book though, as it is a reminder of what he should know but probably partially might be missing. A reader can first solve the problems and then consult the book again for memorisation.

MISTAKES

Although the book must have undergone some proofreading, there are many minor mistakes of language or sometimes contents but they do not obstruct reading significantly. An accompanying leaf only lists a few of them. There are occasional relevant mistakes of contents, such as swapped diagrams, a suboptimal solution disregarding the endgame, a few terms on ko types and counting versus scoring used wrongly, and consequences of shapes in the appendix for rules application. A reader of a free book can easily forgive such but should not blindly trust everything.

AVAILABILITY

The author has been enabled to create the book so that it can be free. However, it might not be easily available because reasonable postage cannot be offered everywhere these days. Therefore, you might have to await distribution at some large tournaments or possibly pay some commission to a retailer.

CONCLUSION

Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step is a welcome addition to the English literature offering suitable practice for problem solving but should show more relevant variations, include the most frequent class of shapes and receive better proofreading.

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Post #2 Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2023 4:29 pm 
Lives in sente

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A glowing review? And this book is available for free somewhere? :scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: Review: Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step
Post #3 Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2023 11:26 pm 
Judan

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I think you need to be patient until the book becomes available more easily when the author and her helpers figure out how to distribute it. German postal services are not what they used to be and it can be difficult to offer a reasonable postage from most parts of Germany. Actually, I am not even sure if the books might be printed in Korea and still be on their way to other continents. Presumably the European Go Congress is a chance to get hold of a copy. Otherwise, you might try asking the author directly.

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 Post subject: Re: Review: Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step
Post #4 Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2023 1:14 am 
Gosei
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On the Youtube presentation of the book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL3gFYMaGEA she says in the comments: "This book is made with government subsidies and cannot be sold. I am currently distributing Go books mainly to Go associations and clubs."


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 Post subject: Re: Review: Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step
Post #5 Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2023 3:37 am 
Judan

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In the video, she says that the book would make the reader 5 dan [at life and death]. No, definitely not! Not by European or Korean standards. If a player does similarly for all positions of similar difficulty, 3 dan at life and death maybe but it would still be a bit of an exaggeration. She is not the first professional making awkward predictions on amateur rank achievements. Maybe it is harder for strong professionals to relate rank achievements because they have moved too far above amateur low dan level? Or maybe it is because strengths of amateur ranks have also increased in the last 10 or 20 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Review: Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step
Post #6 Posted: Tue May 02, 2023 7:31 pm 
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This is a bit frustrating. Why "publish" a book without giving people any way to get a copy of the book? And I can't find any way to get a message to the author other than posting comments on the YouTube channel. (There's a contact email address at https://www.yoons-baduk-cafe.com/sample-page/ but I get a "return to sender" error from it.) I don't imagine printed copies reaching Australia any time soon. It would be great to see an online version (PDF or similar).

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 Post subject: Re: Review: Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step
Post #7 Posted: Tue May 02, 2023 9:31 pm 
Gosei
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They have distribution problems at the moment but hope the situation will improve in a few months.

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 Post subject: Re: Review: Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step
Post #8 Posted: Tue May 02, 2023 9:49 pm 
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Well yes, it's clear that there are problems. But if they don't want money in exchange for the book, then why not post a PDF online? Why the emphasis on distributing printed copies? It feels like a very strange way of doing business in this day and age.

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 Post subject: Re: Review: Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step
Post #9 Posted: Wed May 03, 2023 3:15 am 
Oza

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Quote:
In the video, she says that the book would make the reader 5 dan [at life and death]. No, definitely not!


No, definitely not! That's definitely not what she said. At least that's what I understood, but lip-reading English from a Korean speaker is a bit harder than from an English speaker. With that proviso, I think she said (a) if you master this book and (b) she added that you also had to master the 50 videos she plans to make based on the book.

The last point seems important, because I don't think this announcement represents publication in the normal sense. and that point would go some way towards answering questions such as "why no pdf?"

I'm not privy to all the details, but I have the impression that Robert's review rather jumped the gun. The Youtube video, as I understand it, is just the announcement phase of a longer-term project, rather in the way software companies announce the next phone or the next computer game to drum up interest. There are several follow-up strands being pursued already, so I think we should wait to see how these pan out.

At this stage, we should surely be focusing on the fact that the Korean Baduk Association (and tiny Luxembourg!) has decided, unprompted, to do something significant for the western go world. It would be nice to see reactions other than Gimmee, gimmee or Wéivill kascht dat?


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Post #10 Posted: Wed May 03, 2023 5:32 am 
Judan

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I have noticed her reference to also 50 videos but have expected them to redo the 50 main book chapters, one chapter per video. If so, 5 dan L+D level is out of the question.

Judging from the pace of contents in her videos, although I have looked only shortly into them, they focus on kyu viewers. Even if she enhances the scope in those videos, therefore I do not even remotely expect 5 dan L+D level by the end of those 50 videos.

If however, I should have missed much 5 dan contents in her earlier videos or she should bring it up in the planned videos, please wake me up:)


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Post #11 Posted: Tue May 16, 2023 4:20 am 
Oza

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I have just received an unsolicited copy of this book. I was given it because I am mentioned there. I have not been asked to do a review, but my impression of the book is so different from Robert's that I think a countervailing opinion is called for. It's not that what he says is necessarily wrong or that I am necessarily right. It's more a case of glass-half-full versus glass-half-empty, though with the important caveat that, in the case case, I think the glass is almost full as opposed to almost empty.

The first thing that struck me, instantly, was our different initial perception of what the book comprises. Robert said "The book Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step contains life and death problems, answer diagrams and accompanying text." That's superficially true. But what my eyes saw was literally a book that helps you master basic corner shapes step by step. The problems are incidental. It's the process that matters. Even the cover illustration tells you that. To copy a tv advert famous in Britain, this product does "what it says on the tin."

To explain why I see it all so differently, I think the first step there is to note that the author is a pro, a trained educator, a Korean, a woman, and is married (I believe) to a German amateur player. She is Young Sun Yoon (or as I would have it, Yun Yeong-seon: 尹暎善 or 윤영선).

Each of those components is important, so let's take them in turn. As far as I know, she is a pro 5-dan. The flyleaf of the book say 8p, but ((unless it's an honorary degree or a mistake for 8-dan amateur) that doesn't accord with the Hanguk Kiwon site. Regardless, that's high. Higher than Sumire, for example. And she has won six titles in Korea. I think we can safely assume she knows what she is talking about on the go board. More than any amateur, anyway.

She got a master's degree in baduk (go) education from Myeongji University. That's rather more significant than it might seem. When Korea first started making a splash on the international scene, there was a huge nationwide push to teach ordinary Koreans to play go. This meant that every locality, even each block of flats, was to be assigned a go teacher, and, typically, children would go there after school. The demand for go teaching was enormous, and the courses at Myeongji University were tailored specifically to researching the teaching requirements and supplying the teachers. The frenzy has tailed off significantly but the results are still visible in the likes of Sin Chin-seo (Shin Jinseo). So, again, I think we can assume that Yoon, as a trained educator, knows what she is doing.

That pedagogic process was specific to Korea, but I mention Korea separately for another reason. In fact, I wish to contrast the whole of the Far East with the West in this regard. The dominant sense of why people play go in the West is that it is simply a hobby, and the purpose is to get as strong as you can - even to be a pro. Or, if you are like Bobby Fischer, to crush the other guy's ego. But in the Far East, there is a strong undercurrent of various ulterior purposes. Commonly, go is meant to teach you how think, how to socialise, how to get into a better university, and so on. And the people behind all this are mainly the parents. The above-mentioned drive in Korea was mostly parent-driven, even if some of them did treat it as a free Kindergarten service. Even in the past there were significant differences. In Japan especially, go was treated as a trade to be passed from parents to children, who would go on to run the family go school. These sorts of viewpoints seem lacking in the West. I have often advised people responsible for go publicity in Britain that the best way to promote the game may be to write up women's go in women's magazines, so as to point up the wider (and proven) educational advantages to the mothers who mostly make the educational choices for their kids. Think of snowplough (or lawnmower) parenting in the West. By contrast, Asian mothers drive combine harvesters! I have been totally ignored, of course, but I'm used to that.

Next in my list is the fact that Yoon is a woman. I think that is important mainly because female teachers have taught me far more than male teachers, and I think that's a widespread experience. I find that we men are more interested in ourselves; women are more interested in the pupils. Even guys as brilliant as Richard Feynman or Steven Pinker like to put on a show (think of the hair, for a start). Even last week I learnt more in an hour from a talk by a single female curator at the British Museum than I've ever learned from any male curator over a rather long period. And that was because she focused on the audience, telling them simply how to view a forthcoming exhibition she has curated on China. We learned little about her - it wasn't even clear if she knew any Chinese! I think Yoon is in the same mould. She is barely a presence in the book. She is clearly more interested in her readership, and specifically in teaching them how to think - lessons that will have benefits in fields outside go.

Lastly, Yoon is (I gather) now part of the amateur world in Europe. She therefore probably understands her audience and its needs (which are many).

All of that is also why I stress that the what you see on the cover is what is inside the tin: the step-by-step process of "mastering." Not any "Master tsumego in 10 days" rubbish. The content is an awful lot more than mere "accompanying text." It is an integrated whole in which the text is a vital part, because it is that which provides the navigation to make each step in the right direction. It may seem as if the book (in its layout as well as the contents) is featherweight light. But that's because it's written by a pro who can produce the same effect as a ballerina standing on her toes while smiling and looking like a fairy. We don't see the many hours a day of barre practice, or the bandage on the broken toes - but all that effort has been put in already.

So you can see that I am strongly recommending the book. I would, in fact, go further. I would happily say that it is better than the important books by James Davies or the Kiseido books, though if you were limited to those you would not be suffering much hardship. I'd say the real difference is that the previous western books give you a look out of the window. Yoon's book instead takes you on the first steps of an exciting journey.

The elephant in the room, of course, is the alternative approach of brute-force exhaustive search, which does have its (few?) proponents. My views on this are conditioned by the fact that I was hired to help out with the world's first shogi computer. It was to be written by programmers who had already produced first-class chess programs, but computer chips were then nothing like as powerful as they are now. The first major problem was that even shallow brute-force searches were impossible. The shogi board has far more squares (81) than a chess board (64), and there were no 9-bit chips but there were 8-bit chips (8x8 = 64 of course), and so bitwise operations in shogi were a non-starter. But much worse than that was the fact that shogi re-uses captured pieces which you can "drop" on (almost) any vacant square. That meant that the number of possible moves in each position, rarely more than 40 in chess, was usually of the order of a few hundred in shogi. My task in the assignment was to devise a list of proverbs and shapes (meaning mainly castles in shogi but also empty areas on the board) that the programmers could use to make the searches manageable. We succeeded to the extent that when we took our electronic board to Japan, we defeated a top pro at the Nihon Shogi Renmei taking a four-piece handicap (though I do believe he was being a little bit gentle with us).

I never tried to program go, but I would have taken the same approach. After all, even relatively simple problems have too many possible moves. Turning to a shelf behind me, I grasp the first tsumego book I can see (by Kudo Norio 9-dan). I flip the pages randomly and look at the problem at the flip's end. It has 7 possible starting moves. Only 7 - most problems have rather more. But with just 7 we get 7x6x5x4x3x2x1 moves to look at, and that assumes no captures! I can't be bothered to work out what that sum comes to, but whatever it is it is a lot, and Kudo estimates it will take you three minutes to solve the problem. That's very handy when you play at 30 seconds a move!

When you look at the solution, however, you will see instantly that there are themes you can use to speed up the search. There are three here. Even kyu players will recognise them and know to use them: miai, shortage of liberties and the 2-1 points. Some move-by move search is still needed, of course, for verification - that's why three minutes should be allocated. But two points can be usefully made.

One is that the problem may take three minutes the first time you have seen it, but once you have done this kind of problem over and over again, so that it becomes a ur-type stored in you memory, you can do it easily within 30 seconds. The brutal part of brute force is not so much in solving problems in a game but in the mind-numbing repetition needed to get to that state.

The other thing to mention is that shapes, pattern or dynamic sequences (or whatever else you choose to suit your own needs and temperament) are typically presented as helping to find a solution ("there is often a good move at the 2-1 point"). What tends to be forgotten is that such shapes, patterns and sequences, can also help you identify failures quickly. The Kudo book in question seems to do a good job in that regard, and so, it seems, does the Yun book. One sentence caught me eye quickly: "Black 1 is a typical mistake here." There is so much professional wisdom hidden in that one word 'typical.'

Above, I mentioned a merit of the the Yoon book was that it starts you on a journey. I like that idea, because I often harp on myself about the benefits of dynamic sequences - and step-by-step is ultimately another way of saying dynamic. I dislike the word "reading" in go, but we are stuck with it, and so I see the process as "controlled reading," and I consider the best analogy to be driving a car. In fact, my choice of the word "controlled" comes from something I read many years ago. This was an explanation of why bus drivers have so few accidents, even though they are on very busy roads up to eight hours a day, five or more days a week.

The explanation given was that they were taught to drive with "controlled aggression" (aggression is fundamentally dynamic, of course). Now, I have to say that we cynical journalists have another possible explanation as to why bus drivers never seem to be blamed for accidents. By some miracle, it seems that another bus driver always just happens to have been passing and at the time and can say in court that the pedestrian deliberately threw herself under the bus. And maybe she did. In any case, I'm a great fan of bus drivers - first up in the cold winter mornings, and dealing with a constant string of stroppy passengers (and they were unsung heroes during the Covid lockdowns). You can see why they need controlled aggression, though I think "assertiveness" is a better word.

But, actually, we all drive something like that, don't we? As you go along the road, you see everything in your peripheral vision - even that discarded McDonald's hamburger box on the pavement. But you have learned shapes to look out for above all: traffic lights, potholes, idiots with no lights on, children near the kerb, dogs with no leash on, road signs (and, all the while, listening to music on the radio). You learn sequences so you can plan ahead - slow down for that curve, grab that parking place, and so on. But despite all these distractions you are still in control. You get to your destination. It's miraculous. Yet we think a tsumego problem with 11 stones on the board is hard??!! Maybe the real problem is that we just haven't spent enough time learning about go's road signs, potholes and wobbly cyclists.

Yoon's book is a very good way to start that process. Finishing the process and ending up as 5-dan does not, of course, follow from just reading the book. It is about mastering the process. You have to do that yourself. You have to spend a lot of time "driving" on the go board. But this book is an ideal way to start.

I still have some quibbles, though! Much of the terminology will be familiar: L-groups and tripods. But I missed the J-shape! On the other hand, there is a new S-shape. I think these names are as important as road signs. I also grimaced at the grocers' English (hane's instead of hanes) and the lack of indents for new paragraphs. I also sigh at the use of "her" for White. I'm also unconvinced of the need to say "the ogeima extension from hoshi" or to hyphenate ko-threats. But I mention these things to highlight, via contrast, that, for once, the English by a non-native speaker is truly excellent.

Three sponsors are listed on the cover: Korea Sports Promotion Foundation, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Baduk Association. Has "Korea Got Talent?" Yes, yes, yes!


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Post #12 Posted: Tue May 16, 2023 5:20 am 
Gosei

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I think that she is 8p in the same way that Alex Dinerchtein and Svetlana Shikshina are, or became, 3p.

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Post #13 Posted: Tue May 16, 2023 5:48 am 
Judan

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"the alternative approach of brute-force exhaustive search [...] 7x6x5x4x3x2x1 moves to look at"

Let me cite Margaret Thatcher: "No, no, no - NO!" Brute-force is not the alternative. Tactical reading is an alternative. It does not, repeat: not, require consideration of all moves. It can sometimes require consideration of all first moves but this does not mean required consideration of all subsequent moves. Tactical reading uses pruning methods. Brute-force does not use them.

"female teachers have taught me far more than male teachers, and I think that's a widespread experience"

My experience has been: there are good and bad male or female teachers, and about equally many male as female, except that in domains, such as go, with relatively few(er) woman there are relatively few female teachers. Nevertheless, even then the percentages of good teachers has been about equal regardless of man or woman.

"she knows what she is talking about on the go board. More than any amateur, anyway."

Playing skill and teaching knowledge are not always the same. Especially teaching on a particular topic allows some amateurs to teach it equally or better than some pros. There are amateurs weaker than me from whom I have learnt more, and sometimes even very much more, than from pros.

"There is so much professional wisdom hidden in that one word 'typical.'"

How does this distinguish pro from amateur teaching? Amateurs also use such words when teaching.


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Post #14 Posted: Tue May 16, 2023 5:58 am 
Gosei

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RobertJasiek wrote:
"the alternative approach of brute-force exhaustive search [...] 7x6x5x4x3x2x1 moves to look at"

Let me cite Margaret Thatcher: "No, no, no - NO!" Brute-force is not the alternative. Tactical reading is an alternative. It does not, repeat: not, require consideration of all moves. It can sometimes require consideration of all first moves but this does not mean required consideration of all subsequent moves. Tactical reading uses pruning methods. Brute-force does not use them.



I think you're confusing Margaret Thatcher with Ian Paisely, easily done since both are dead. Brute force is an alternative, not the (the only) alternative.

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Post #15 Posted: Tue May 16, 2023 6:12 am 
Judan

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Javaness2 wrote:
I think you're confusing Margaret Thatcher


No. I have seen her exclaiming the quoted text.

Quote:
Brute force is an alternative, not the (the only) alternative.


Point is: brute-force is not an alternative to drag tactical reading in a bad light, and (except for rules studies on small boards) the former is hardly ever used by humans.


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Post #16 Posted: Tue May 16, 2023 11:43 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
...so as to point up the wider (and proven) educational advantages...
(Emphasis mine.)

Please, if you know of any rigorous studies that have found such an effect, please share them.

I admit, I am rather skeptical that go, or any game for that matter, has such effects. I am of the gruff and grumpy sort, who believes that if you want to do better at your school subjects, then, well, use the time to study your school subjects*. But I would be quite happy to be proved wrong ;-)

(* Of course, if a student wants to delve more deeply into a subject outside the classroom, e.g., learning more history or biology on their own, then that can be very useful. It may even come back to help them in their courses. But in my opinion, this sort of extra study is different from studying go, interesting as the latter may be.)

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Post #17 Posted: Tue May 16, 2023 12:11 pm 
Oza

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Out of laziness, I am including chess in my answer, but there is the big Chess in Schools project in the UK and they quote things like a study by educational psychologist Stuart Margulies in 1996 which found that elementary school students in Los Angeles and New York who played chess scored approximately 10 percentage points higher on reading tests than their peers who didn't play.

The example I like best in go is that getting a 5-dan diploma in go is a good way to ensure entry into the elite Fudan University in Shanghai. Or so I was told.

Even over here, I have been struck by the number of who tell me they or their children take up Chinese or Japanese after learning about go (there is much more to go than getting to 1-dan, remember).


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Post #18 Posted: Tue May 16, 2023 3:53 pm 
Lives with ko

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John Fairbairn wrote:
Out of laziness, I am including chess in my answer, but there is the big Chess in Schools project in the UK and they quote things like a study by educational psychologist Stuart Margulies in 1996 which found that elementary school students in Los Angeles and New York who played chess scored approximately 10 percentage points higher on reading tests than their peers who didn't play.

Thanks. This may be Margulies' paper (or at least, a preliminary report):
"The effect of chess on reading scores: District nine chess program second year report", by Stuart Margulies:
https://rknights.org/wp-content/uploads/margulies.pdf

There is also this report, from 2017, which finds that chess may help with mathematics scores as well:

"Your move: The effect of chess on mathematics test scores", by Michael Rosholm, Mai Bjørnskov Mikkelsen, Kamilla Gumede:
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic ... ne.0177257
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic ... =printable

Interesting. This does raise the question, though: Is there anything special about chess? Or would other board games, such as go, but also checkers, shogi, and xiangqi, have similar benefits? Perhaps even gomoku?

It also suggests that the Nihon Kiin is missing an opportunity here. (Or perhaps they have already done this, and it shows my ignorance.) Japanese universities certainly have psychology departments (apparently the University of Tokyo has had one for well over a century). Perhaps the Nihon Kiin should fund some rigorous studies of these effects. If it all worked out, it would give them a very strong base for promoting the game to the public.
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The example I like best in go is that getting a 5-dan diploma in go is a good way to ensure entry into the elite Fudan University in Shanghai. Or so I was told.

I would have to say, this example is not as clear as I would like. It seems to show that Fudan University is willing to take a 5-dan diploma as a measure of how well someone will handle the academic program. And I am willing to agree with them.

But my concern is more this: If our hypothetical 5-dan had not studied go, would he still be a strong student? True, he might not have been admitted to Fudan. (It is probably very competitive, and it probably helps to have something that distinguishes you from others.) But Fudan's policy does not really answer this question.
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Even over here, I have been struck by the number of who tell me they or their children take up Chinese or Japanese after learning about go (there is much more to go than getting to 1-dan, remember).

Well, yes, I was one of those. But I found I was too old for those languages. French and German are enough of a challenge for me ;-)

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And the go-fever which is more real than many doctors’ diseases, waked and raged...
- Rudyard Kipling, "The Light That Failed" (1891)


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 Post subject: Re: Review: Mastering Basic Corner Shapes - Step-by-step
Post #19 Posted: Sat May 20, 2023 5:04 am 
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tundra wrote:
Is there anything special about chess? Or would other board games, such as go, but also checkers, shogi, and xiangqi, have similar benefits? Perhaps even gomoku?

Quote from a conclusion in those articles:
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the effect was limited to children who were bored and unhappy while no effect was found for happy children who were not bored. This could indicate an indirect effect of chess instruction on math through reduced boredom and increased happiness.

So any activity that's interesting enough to reduce boredom and increase happiness for bored unhappy children may be expected to have similar benefits.

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Post #20 Posted: Sun May 21, 2023 4:40 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
I have just received an unsolicited copy of this book. I was given it because I am mentioned there.


The important question though, remains.
I am very interested in reading the book (especially after your glowing review), but how can most people get a copy or if they are planning to do a pdf version, at least.
I mean if the book is meant to be free, what is easier than uploading a pdf on a website?


John Fairbairn wrote:
These sorts of viewpoints seem lacking in the West. I have often advised people responsible for go publicity in Britain that the best way to promote the game may be to write up women's go in women's magazines, so as to point up the wider (and proven) educational advantages to the mothers who mostly make the educational choices for their kids. Think of snowplough (or lawnmower) parenting in the West. By contrast, Asian mothers drive combine harvesters! I have been totally ignored, of course, but I'm used to that.


I am very surprised when I see, time and again, this important note being ignored by so many people that want to promote the game.
Everyone in marketing is going crazy about "getting the younger generations" yet Go promotion seems to be somehow focused on the sort-term gains of getting the older people that can afford to buy books, boards, lessons or attend tournaments and conferences.

Well, if your kid is good (or wants to get good) at Go, then you, as a parent, will be very keen to spend the money to buy books, boards, lessons and take the kid to a tournament or a conference.
As long as the parents are convinced that this is beneficial for their child, they will be willing to spend more for their child than they would have been willing to spend if Go was their own hobby, so the "sort-term gain proponents" should have been happy with that approach, but somehow things do not seem to be rolling along those lines.


John Fairbairn wrote:
I also sigh at the use of "her" for White.


I got quite a few complaints for my book not following that "convention" (which I was not aware that it existed and I was White in many cases, so they practically wanted to gender-swap me, but hey :lol: ) and at the time the people that made the complaint couldn't pinpoint from whence that idea came from.
So, since you mentioned it, is this really an actual convention nowadays that is being followed?

John Fairbairn wrote:
But I mention these things to highlight, via contrast, that, for once, the English by a non-native speaker is truly excellent.

Three sponsors are listed on the cover: Korea Sports Promotion Foundation, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Baduk Association. Has "Korea Got Talent?" Yes, yes, yes!


Since there are important sponsors and since the whole idea is to promote Go and provide a free Go book of quality, could we promote to the author the idea of opening it to free translations by the community, so that we can provide a good Go book to non-native speakers of English, that would like to study Go in their own language?

For example, if there is a way to contact the author, I would be willing to translate the book in Greek for free and, rest assured, other people will be willing to do so for their own languages in order to help promoting Go. :)

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