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 Post subject: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #1 Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:51 pm 
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Rank: OGS 10 Kyu
KGS: zafuri95
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Hello all, I'm a new member here in Life in 19x19.
I'm actually not new to this forum, but recently I'd given myself a thought of documenting my own journey of improvement, such that someday when I look back I would be able to appreciate all the hard works and struggles that propelled me to my ultimate goal. And of course, nonetheless, to appreciate the help I've got along the way. So I've registered myself a user and started this thread.

I'll be measuring my ranks on KGS.
I'm currently having an undefined rank in KGS, because I've not played much games online. I mostly play in real life, though I find the progress too slow and I figured that I need online game experiences.

Here's my daily routine and also my documentation of ranks by timeline.
I'll be posting updates on weekly basis to discipline myself that I do not fall off the training to Shodan, even though sometimes one may fall off tracks (getting to a boundary and not able to make progresses).

Username: zafuri95
Ranking (KGS)
04/12/2019 - 29K[?]

Routine
Weekdays
Morning: Tsumegos
Night: One Ranked 19x19 games
Before Sleep: Read technique books

Weekends
- Play two ranked 19x19 games + Review (with/without AI)
- Learn 2 joseki patterns (may repeat the same joseki variations to ensure mastery)
- Theory studies

Current Study Materials
Tsumego:
- Weiqi Tsumegos 1000 Problems (1/2)
- Go Elementary Series - Tesuji

Technique Books
- Cho Hun Hyun's Baduk Techniques Volume 1/3

Theory Books
- Go Elementary Series - In the Beginning

The resources of studies that I'm using will be updated time to time. I've quite a number of books on hand that I surveyed and bought but I don't think I can read them all at once, so I thought I should just focus on understand / at least read through them before moving onto next one. I may revisit the same books, as I understand repetition brings mastery and also a whole different perspective of understanding when one gets stronger.

Hope I'll be able to reach Shodan in foreseeable future (I actually aimed to reach Shodan in year, so December of 2020 !)


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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #2 Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:24 am 
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Hi zafuri95,

welcome and good luck with your goals. Have fun on your way.

Two things:

One question because I'm curious: How old are you?

And one advise: Play more games.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #3 Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:55 am 
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joachim wrote:
Hi zafuri95,

welcome and good luck with your goals. Have fun on your way.

Two things:

One question because I'm curious: How old are you?

And one advise: Play more games.


Hi there !
I'm 24 years old. I've some basics with Igo actually. But I've only ever know the rules and played a bit of games. That was 3 years ago when I first learned this game. Now that I've found a strong passion with it, I'm returning to this game and decided to put in some work.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #4 Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:13 am 
Gosei
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Your goal is rank based, which is fine. Your methods are oriented to study, which is also fine.
It's a very common combination, at least we've seen many people write about their progress here in this fashion.
It may not be the best combination, at least we've seen the same people writing about their lack of progress and frustration.

If your 1 year goal is to become shodan, you must do those things that bring you there. There's little scientific evidence about it but it's generally agreed that players who play many (serious/high quality) games and learn from them, are more likely to rank up quickly than players who invest a lot of time in studying the game. Studying a lot raises the expectations towards performance and hence frustration when performance doesn't follow the inner experience of improvement.

If studying a lot is what you like, then by all means study a lot, but don't set yourself up for disappointment when stating performance based goals. Rather say something like: by the end of the year I want to have read x books on the opening, replayed y pro games and done z tsumego. These are goals which are totally under control and still you'll find it hard enough.

With AI and Go Servers in abundance, 1y for 1d sounds possible. Just play and review often enough.
Quick wins are to be found in fighting spirit, time management and playing games under the right conditions. See my https://senseis.xmp.net/?DieterVerhofst ... mesmanship

Good luck!

Edit: we also have a report by negapesuo, who reached 1d in 3y. You may learn from his path.
https://lifein19x19.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16813


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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #5 Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:28 pm 
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Knotwilg wrote:
Your goal is rank based, which is fine. Your methods are oriented to study, which is also fine.
It's a very common combination, at least we've seen many people write about their progress here in this fashion.
It may not be the best combination, at least we've seen the same people writing about their lack of progress and frustration.

If your 1 year goal is to become shodan, you must do those things that bring you there. There's little scientific evidence about it but it's generally agreed that players who play many (serious/high quality) games and learn from them, are more likely to rank up quickly than players who invest a lot of time in studying the game. Studying a lot raises the expectations towards performance and hence frustration when performance doesn't follow the inner experience of improvement.

If studying a lot is what you like, then by all means study a lot, but don't set yourself up for disappointment when stating performance based goals. Rather say something like: by the end of the year I want to have read x books on the opening, replayed y pro games and done z tsumego. These are goals which are totally under control and still you'll find it hard enough.

With AI and Go Servers in abundance, 1y for 1d sounds possible. Just play and review often enough.
Quick wins are to be found in fighting spirit, time management and playing games under the right conditions. See my https://senseis.xmp.net/?DieterVerhofst ... mesmanship

Good luck!

Edit: we also have a report by negapesuo, who reached 1d in 3y. You may learn from his path.
https://lifein19x19.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16813


Thank you for the insightful reply!
I'm aware of the trap of "studying too much" and leads to frustrating experiences. Hence why I'd came up with this training regime. I've cut down many urges to just keep reading books and not playing games.

That aside, I've some side goals aside from getting to 1 Dan:-

1. Be able to keep the balance and bring games into mid-game showdown - Because I find myself generally weak in openings and have to rely on dog fights to prevail, which puts a tax on myself to not make reading mistakes.

2. Understand thickness and direction of play - To magnify my mid game fighting strength

3. Improve on end games - Able to calculate and find the big end game moves. I've been closing game submissively and realized that I did not made a difference in end games, which leads to having games where winning / losing becomes a toss of coin.

4. Positional Judgement - I will pick this up after I'd done understanding the Elementary Go Series. Cho Chikun's High Speed Game Analysis is what I'm looking at after this. I think it may be able to help me in terms of knowing which strategy to deploy depending on how the game twists and turns.


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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #6 Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:28 pm 
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The title, objectives, methods, and I must say final destination - seem awfully similar to my own. Definitely piques my interest for sure.

I'm guessing you're not actually 29 Kyu, but somewhere around 15 to 8 kyu based on the books you are studying!

I hit 1D on KGS in roughly 1 year and 4 months of playing time all I can say is, it's totally possible as long as you keep it simple.

Forget the details like "utilize thickness", "improve endgame", "positional judgement", "study X pro games who have a certain style"... blah blah blah the list goes on. Just do consistent tsumego, play games frequently and you'll get there. Keep things simple - focus on taking big points, count 3 times in a game and stay woke and don't let your groups die lol.

I personally cannot fully agree with Knotwilg's comment of "It's generally agreed that players who play many (serious/high quality) games and learn from them, are more likely to rank up quickly than players who invest a lot of time in studying the game", as it's likely that the ones playing many serious games are the ones also investing plenty of time to their studies. If anything, frustration towards a lack of progress is an indication that you still care about improvement. Never lose that driven mindset and you'll get to 1D in no time.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #7 Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:02 pm 
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hl782, how many games did you play before reaching 1d KGS?

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #8 Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:29 pm 
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jlt wrote:
hl782, how many games did you play before reaching 1d KGS?


Good question! I just went back through the KGS archives and added up all games from my current and old accounts, and I played roughly 1000~1100. That averages to about 2 games a day over 16 months, which sounds about right (considering there were days where I played 0, and some days where I played up to 8).

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #9 Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:07 pm 
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zafuri95 plans to play 9 games/week. He needs 2 years and 3 months to reach 1d KGS if he improves at the same rate. That would still be fairly good.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #10 Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:41 am 
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hl782 wrote:
Forget the details like "utilize thickness", "improve endgame", "positional judgement", "study X pro games who have a certain style"... blah blah blah the list goes on. Just do consistent tsumego, play games frequently and you'll get there. Keep things simple - focus on taking big points, count 3 times in a game and stay woke and don't let your groups die lol.


This is also my take on the quickest path to Shodan.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #11 Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:02 am 
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Updates on my progress:-

Lately I was drawn to FoxGo a bit and got deviated from my original plan to play KGS. So I happened to jam some quick games on the go (It's also year end here in Malaysia so I'm struggling to find time other than work) and I'm now 2 Kyu with 13x13 only game records at FoxGo. But I don't think that reflects my actual strength very well, for I feel like I'm still somewhat weak in 19x19 if I play against a stronger player.

Today I got time and played a few games on KGS. It shows that I'm 7k[?] still with the [?] sign.

1. Won against a 11k bot
2. Won against a 8k opponent
3. Lost against a 6k opponent
4. Lost against a 2k opponent

In the games I won I was clearly in control and I can sense my opponent's bad shapes and strike them. However, in the games I lost, mainly the lost against the 6k opponent, I think I've to work on joseki abit ... Not sure Elementary Go Series:- 38 Basic Josekis would help? I felt like I'm always at loss when play with unknown josekis and I'm fairly uncomfortable with pincer attacks.

In the game I lost to the 2k opponent, post game I ran a quick review I realized that once my opponent is also playing without very obvious weaknesses I tend to become kinda headless to judge the situation. Perhaps I may still be lacking in 19x19 game experiences. It seems my overall board judgement isn't very well on point. I understand shapes, tesujis, but I find it hard to implement the knowledge I know. Perhaps I may need to play more 19x19 games and get reviews on whole board thinking... At least that's what I'm thinking now.

That aside, I'd made some changes to my training regime to better fit my schedule:-

Weekdays
- 1000 Tesuji Problems (2 pages (18 questions)) Timed: 30 minutes to complete
- Lee Chang Ho's Fundamentals Practice (2 pages (20 questions) Timed: 30 minutes to complete

Weekends
- Play 19x19 games + reviews
- Study Elementary Go Series (Current: In The Beginning, Tesuji, 38 Basic Joseki)

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #12 Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:39 am 
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Playing on 13x13 for fun is fine ofcourse, but it may not be the best time investment for learning at your level.

I recommending starting to play on 19x19 around 20k (what I consider the transition from a beginner to a basic player). At 15k I think players should play on 19x19 regularly to improve. For a 7k trying to improve, I think playing on 13x13 is not very effective anymore.

So I think it's better for you to play on 19x19 exclusively. And yes, besides studying tactics like you've been doing, studying some basic joseki and some basic opening theory is becoming important too (I don't really agree with advice from others to more or less ignore those aspects of the game).

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #13 Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:06 am 
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Don't study 38 Joseki - that book is ridiculously outdated. It's not going to be an efficient method of studying.

And as for joseki, I highly recommend you study 2-3 of the most common variations for the 3-4, 4-4 and don't bother to study other ones too deep. If anything is confusing, just either enclose a corner, approach a corner or invade the 3-3.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #14 Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:41 am 
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wow, u beat an 8k already! congratulations! I'm glad you changed your study schedule. I've noticed I don't learn much when studying right before bedtime.

good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #15 Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:34 pm 
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It has been four months since this thread was started.

And I'm here to update my current progress. Frankly speaking, I'm now at the lowest moment of Go after having getting into the game.
On KGS I hit 6K and halfway I moved over to OGS because my local Go club started a group on that server to get everyone together for discussions and arrange league games.

I've only won a few games out of the games I'd played recently. Like 3 out of 10 that kind. Too many consecutive losses had put me in doubt and I kept on thinking "What have I done wrong?"

I've dropped my rank to 10k on OGS and I'm working my way back up. But my issue was that I'm lacking real game experiences right from the beginning so I guess this is normal? Having issues on figuring out direction of play and handling invasions and attachments are some of the weaknesses I noticed in my games.

I play at least 1 timed game per day now and totally omitted small board games. I still continue to do tsumegos but I'm more focused on getting it right within a time limit (e.g. 1 minute) and honestly I made a lot reading mistakes given such short time. I've also reduced the books I'm reading and switched to more "Play and Review" mode. Currently the only book I'm reading is "Attack and Defense" of the Fundamentals Go series that gave me superb insights to change my way of thinking, and I carry one problem book by Cho Hun Hyun about tesujis to read and solve the problems whenever I'm taking a break.

I hope my downturn in Go is normal although it's quite frustrating at this point. I stayed positive and kept telling myself I can grind through this.

Quote:
Your goal is rank based, which is fine. Your methods are oriented to study, which is also fine.
It's a very common combination, at least we've seen many people write about their progress here in this fashion.
It may not be the best combination, at least we've seen the same people writing about their lack of progress and frustration.


Too accurate. Exactly what I'm getting through now. Hence I quickly switched my study method to "Games and Reviews" and just keeping my reading strength strong enough to handle situations. Perhaps not 1D but high kyu (1 - 4 kyu) by the end of the year is more measurable looking at my current situation ?

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #16 Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:17 am 
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Progress is not always linear. Some people improve slowly but steadily, year after year. Others improve very quickly at the beginning and then get stuck. But if you feel you are doing something wrong and you don't know what, maybe a stronger player in your club could help you point out 2-3 weaknesses to work on?

How many games did you play so far, approximately?

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #17 Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:07 am 
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My interests are far different, zafuri, I play to have fun not reach any particular goal.

>[Background info: I rank myself 15-10k. The real number is not important to me so I don't play online on a server and I don't play competitively. I play go only for recreation and to teach new players. Oh, and because the equipment is so much fun to look at and touch. I have too many bowls, too many boards, too many stones!]<

At every step, as I have progressed toward single digits, I realize how little I can ever possibly know about this game. At this stage, I have a solid visual dictionary of silly mistakes that I try not to commit any longer. I try to stop often, catch my breath, and survey the whole board. I try to resist the urge respond too quickly or locally. I have begun to assess and then make some crucial moves before making big moves. I have begun to understand the importance of having a strategy. And those budding abilities allow me to alter that strategy as my opponent thwarts it.

But stronger players have two skills I cannot deal with effectively and these hold me back (not that I care much, just how it is): 1) Their superior knowledge allows them, within a dozen moves, to know exactly how much I know and then to play directly and precisely to my weaknesses; 2) They tend to believe they are accomplishing something by punishing my poor moves. This is more insulting and demoralizing than they realize. What they call "teaching moves" are, for them, may be common sense, but they are incomprehensible to me; such plays are past my ability to appreciate and assimilate. All it accomplishes is convincing me there's no reason to play go with that cad again.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #18 Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:04 am 
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zafuri95 wrote:
On KGS I hit 6K and halfway I moved over to OGS because my local Go club started a group on that server to get everyone together for discussions and arrange league games.

I've only won a few games out of the games I'd played recently. Like 3 out of 10 that kind. Too many consecutive losses had put me in doubt and I kept on thinking "What have I done wrong?"

I've dropped my rank to 10k on OGS and I'm working my way back up.


One thing that you may not have considered is that a given playing strength is not rated at the same rank on different servers. If you were to go back to KGS, you may find that the 6k rank is still accurate there, even though it's a lower rank on OGS.

Another thing to consider is that sometimes you drop in strength as you are starting to integrate something new into your game, only to jump ahead past your previous high water mark once it becomes more practiced.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #19 Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:15 am 
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bogiesan wrote:
My interests are far different, zafuri, I play to have fun not reach any particular goal.


It's only a game. :D

bogiesan wrote:
2) They {stronger players} tend to believe they are accomplishing something by punishing my poor moves. This is more insulting and demoralizing than they realize.


While it is true that some players enjoy beating up on weaker players, I have never met one at the go board. And, judging by what I hear, they not only punish mistakes, they make poor or questionable plays in order to induce mistakes from their weaker opponent. While you may find it demoralizing to have your mistakes punished, my guess is that your opponent probably does not mean to insult you by doing so. :)

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #20 Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:02 am 
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Rank: OGS 10 Kyu
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Online playing schedule: OGS
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jlt wrote:
Progress is not always linear. Some people improve slowly but steadily, year after year. Others improve very quickly at the beginning and then get stuck. But if you feel you are doing something wrong and you don't know what, maybe a stronger player in your club could help you point out 2-3 weaknesses to work on?

How many games did you play so far, approximately?


Ahh, I've to embarrassingly say, for 19x19 games, not even over a hundred. I only started playing 19x19 games when I started this thread. So maybe I still yet to lose my first 50 games

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