Saturday, August 27, 2016

Returning to regular play

Our club's recovery from Congress is slow, but we are recovering.

In particular...  Walther's back!  I played him at Diesel on Thursday.  I resigned when a group of mine died, but it was so nice to have him back and to get to play with him again.  And we have our next dan level class scheduled.  On September 15th, we'll study (at Mr. Park's suggestion) this  game between Ma Xiaochun (b) and Yi Chang-ho (w) from 1997:

(;GM[1]FF[4]SZ[19]AP[SmartGo Kifu:4.2]CA[utf-8] GN[1997-10-09a] PW[Yi Ch'ang-ho]WR[9d] PB[Ma Xiaochun]BR[9d] EV[2nd Samsung Cup]RO[Semi-final] DT[1997-10-09] PC[Silla Hotel, Seoul] KM[5.5] RE[W+0.5] CP[GoGoD Collection Copyright © 2001-2015 John Fairbairn. All rights reserved.] CH[1];B[pd];W[dd];B[qp];W[dq];B[do];W[co];B[dp];W[cp];B[eq];W[cn];B[dn];W[dm] ;B[cq];W[dr];B[bq];W[cr];B[cm];W[cl];B[br];W[er];B[bm];W[bn];B[bl];W[bp] ;B[fq];W[fo];B[en];W[dl];B[ap];W[ao];B[fr];W[bk];B[cs];W[fm];B[np];W[jd] ;B[cc];W[cd];B[dc];W[fc];B[fb];W[qj];B[gc];W[fd];B[hb];W[gd];B[hd];W[he] ;B[hh];W[id];B[hc];W[fh];B[hf];W[ge];B[bd];W[be];B[bc];W[cf];B[jf];W[nc] ;B[qg];W[qm];B[pc];W[ne];B[lf];W[ld];B[ri];W[oq];B[op];W[qq];B[pq];W[pr] ;B[pp];W[rr];B[or];W[rp];B[ro];W[nq];B[ps];W[qr];B[nr];W[mq];B[mr];W[mp] ;B[kq];W[mo];B[pn];W[sq];B[pm];W[ko];B[so];W[sp];B[kc];W[kd];B[ng];W[qi] ;B[rj];W[qh];B[rh];W[pg];B[qf];W[nh];B[mh];W[mi];B[li];W[ni];B[qk];W[lj] ;B[lh];W[kj];B[ii];W[kg];B[kf];W[mg];B[lg];W[nf];B[fi];W[iq];B[jp];W[hp] ;B[jo];W[jn];B[in];W[io];B[kn];W[jm];B[km];W[jl];B[gh];W[ln];B[kp];W[hj] ;B[fg];W[eh];B[gf];W[ff];B[eg];W[dg];B[ef];W[ee];B[lo];W[df];B[fe];W[qo] ;B[ei];W[qn];B[dh];W[mm];B[ip];W[ho];B[hq];W[pk];B[ql];W[pl];B[rm];W[rn] ;B[ec];W[ed];B[bh];W[ie];B[ob];W[lm];B[pj];W[oj];B[kl];W[ll];B[gp];W[go] ;B[lq];W[jb];B[hm];W[kk];B[gl];W[ep];B[ij];W[nb];B[ib];W[ko];B[jc];W[kb] ;B[lb];W[lc];B[ic];W[lp];B[kr];W[hk];B[bj];W[fn];B[es];W[em];B[ds];W[ak] ;B[fk];W[hl];B[mb];W[ma];B[ja];W[ek];B[ik];W[il];B[cj];W[ck];B[bg];W[mc] ;B[ka];W[pf];B[ph];W[qb];B[pb];W[qe];B[pe];W[re];B[mf];W[rc];B[rf];W[se] ;B[of];W[me];B[bf];W[ce];B[oe];W[od];B[pi];W[gk];B[fj];W[fl];B[ok];W[ol] ;B[nk];W[nl];B[oi];W[nj];B[rl];W[ki];B[kh];W[ae];B[ji];W[dj];B[di];W[aq] ;B[na];W[oa];B[pa];W[qa];B[na];W[ad];B[ac];W[oa];B[sr];W[ss];B[na];W[if] ;B[ig];W[oa];B[sf];W[qd];B[na];W[dq];B[dr];W[oa];B[sb];W[rb];B[na];W[eo] ;B[dq];W[oa];B[sc];W[sd];B[na];W[ks] (;B[gq];W[oa];B[oh];W[mk];B[na];W[jr];B[ir];W[oa];B[sm];W[sn];B[na];W[ls] ;B[lr];W[oa];B[qc];W[sa];B[na];W[hr];B[jq];W[oa] (;B[sc] (;W[sb];B[na];W[ci];B[bi];W[oa];B[ar];W[cg];B[ch];W[na];B[la];W[oc];B[og] ;W[qs];B[os];W[ej];B[aj];W[af];B[ag];W[ap];B[hi];W[gj];B[ff]) (;W[rq])) (;B[so])) (;B[la];W[hr];B[gq];W[jr] (;B[is];W[js];B[ls];W[hs];B[lr];W[os];B[ns]) (;B[lr];W[os];B[ns];W[ls];B[is];W[js];B[jq];W[ir];B[gr])))

When Chun returns, I will declare Congress a success.  (Are you reading this Chun?  I said "when", not "if".)

We also had a special guest appearance from Devin Fraze on Thursday!

And I played my first game against An Huang, our newest tenure-track hire in the Brandeis math department on Friday -- he's probably about 6 dan!  I'm so lucky!  We didn't finish our game because we left to go to a Women in Science Initiative beginning-of-the-year event (free beer).

I'm planning to buy some more Go sets for the math department because we have a few grad students who are interested in playing, and we might be able to get Dave Hampton from the neuroscience department to come by (he stopped by briefly on Friday) and, while he's still at Brandeis, Neil, of course!  If we can get some regular play happening, I'll also invite the Brandeis club to join us.

Classes started on Thursday, so the craziness of the semester is picking up.  I'm trying to set aside my Go time from the beginning of the semester, in hopes of doing a better job of defending it.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Break the limit!

I received my first personal report from In-Seong for my first EYD season!

In the upper left corner, you can see my string of defeats as I travelled to play in the Canadian Open while simultaneously coping with the impending Congress.  My EYD games definitely got short shrift during that time.

For those who know my game, what do you think?  Is his assessment accurate?  I probably would have given myself lower scores in game experience and technique.  And intuition seems high.  I think he's right that my knowledge and life & death knowledge are better than my strategy.  And I think he's absolutely right that I lean toward the calm side on the aggressive/calm scale.  I think I've already come a long way toward the balanced middle, but I'm not there yet.

The big question is what do I do to improve my strategy and mind control?  It would be much easier to improve endgame or knowledge or life & death.  His study plan recommendation doesn't appear to be directly related...  maybe it falls in the experimental games category?  Maybe better local technique will help me improve my strategy (new ideas, etc.)?  

Meanwhile, I played my first game since before Congress last night!  I'm trying to return to actually being a Go player (instead of just hosting Go players) before classes start (two weeks from yesterday).

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


What a whirlwind! I was running around so much all week, I lost almost 5 lbs!

We had such an amazing team.  Everyone was working so hard, and we had about 50 people volunteering, with about 15-20 core folks.  I think if you picked any other group of people on the planet and put them through what we went through, they would all have been at each other's throats by day 3.  But throughout the whole event, I just wanted to hug everyone on our team.  They're awesome.

With Matthew's late nights and excellent handling of the US Open, we actually started our 400+ person tournament on time every day.  One day, we were even ready to go an hour early.  Matthew squeezed in a half hour of sleep every once in a while, while Walther kept us all going (even encouraging our napping):

On Friday morning, when we came in, Matthew warned us that the playing room would be a disaster because they had Pair Go there last night.  We walked in and it was pristene:

Andrew and his team had put everything back in place the night before.  (Mostly because Andrew didn't trust us to do it right.)

We had some catastrophic equipment failures.  I bought a new phone and new laptop on Tuesday because my aged machines just couldn't keep up with the pace.  Andrew's shoes died, so he repaired them while waiting for his emergency replacement pair to arrive:

I didn't play any Go all week, except a few partial games at the bar.  The exact number, like AlphaGo's future plans, is under discussion.  This is about what Jason looked like to me each night as we recovered at the bar:

Matthew and Audrey definitely won the Pair Go tournament.  Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

Ritter 1 and Ritter 2 got the unenviable task of desperately trying not to miss any of the millions of people who should be on our thank-you list.  But they were definitely the right people for the job because they had a significant group of their friends who helped out who don't even play Go.

It was absolutely impossible to get everyone to stop working long enough to get together for a picture, but here is a small subset of our team:

credit: James Pinkerton/American Go E-Journal