Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Not just me

My goal is to reach 5 dan in 5 years (well, 4 years now).  But not just me -- I want the rest of my club (those who are not already there) to reach 5 dan with me.  We have a lot of low-dan and SDK players in our club.  I'm hoping we can all push each other and climb together.

This is kind of the opposite of what a student of ours said last year.  When getting ready for our exam, this student wanted to be able to bring graph paper.  I pointed out that I couldn't allow that, because then I would have to let everyone do that, and then we'd have to check that the paper everyone brought in didn't have any writing on it and it would take forever.   This student (completely serious) said, "No, not everyone -- just me."

Meanwhile, I'm hurtling toward D league in AYD.  I've lost all three of the games I've played so far.  (Ugh!  I just can't get my head in the game after working all day and with a full day following.)  My first game actually wasn't too bad:

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[7.50] GN[2016-09-06a]PW[Michel Babany]PB[Becci]DT[2016-09-06]EV[AYD ]PC[Toronto]CH[1] ;B[pd]C[White: Michel Babany Black: Becci ]N[Michel Babany vs Becci] ;W[dc] ;B[pq] ;W[dq] ;B[co] ;W[cl] (;B[dn]C[This is not the proper move.] ;W[gq] ;B[bq] ;W[nc] ;B[lc] ;W[qc] ;B[pc] ;W[qd] ;B[pe] ;W[pb] ;B[ob] ;W[qb] ;B[oc] ;W[qf] ;B[ic] ;W[ci] ;B[qo] ;W[oq]C[Michel and I both thought this was a good move, but In-seong says it just helps Black.] ;B[op] ;W[nq] ;B[pr] ;W[np] ;B[oo] ;W[jp]C[Black gets a strong shape and sente to play the right side.] ;B[qh] (;W[rf] ;B[og] ;W[gd] ;B[ce] ;W[cd] (;B[ch] ;W[de] ;B[di] ;W[cj] ;B[dh] ;W[ek] ;B[gh] ;W[id] ;B[jd] ;W[ie] ;B[hc] ;W[ih] ;B[gj] ;W[bn] ;B[bo] ;W[gl] ;B[gf] ;W[ge] ;B[ig] (;W[jg] ;B[if] ;W[jf] ;B[je]C[This cut is good for Black.] ;W[jh] ;B[hk] ;W[jk] ;B[hl] ;W[jm] ;B[gm] ;W[fl] ;B[im] ;W[fn] ;B[gn] ;W[en] ;B[jj] (;W[kj] ;B[ij] ;W[ki] (;B[jn] ;W[km] ;B[kn] ;W[lm] ;B[ip] ;W[iq] ;B[hp] ;W[hq] ;B[kp] ;W[jo] ;B[ko] ;W[io] ;B[ho] ;W[jq] ;B[in] ;W[kq] ;B[mo] ;W[nn] ;B[no] ;W[ke] ;B[kd] ;W[le] ;B[lg]C[This is painful for White.] ;W[nb] ;B[na] ;W[ma] ;B[oa] ;W[md] ;B[mb] ;W[qj] ;B[mh] ;W[kf] (;B[ql] ;W[nj] (;B[ol] ;W[rh] ;B[qi] ;W[ri] ;B[pj] ;W[hi] ;B[gi] ;W[hj] (;B[gk]C[This move is a mistake. Black had a chance to kill the large White group in the center. ] ;W[ik]C[But after White cuts, game is ok for White.] ;B[fb] ;W[cr] ;B[br] ;W[cn] (;B[do]C[This is a mistake. ] ;W[bs] ;B[ep] ;W[fp] ;B[eq] ;W[er] ;B[fq] ;W[fr] ;B[dp] (;W[fo] ;B[dl] ;W[dk] ;B[cm] ;W[bm] ;B[dm] ;W[bk] ;B[fm] ;W[el] ;B[em] ;W[pk] ;B[qk] ;W[rj] ;B[oj] ;W[nk] ;B[ok] ;W[sm] ;B[mr] ;W[mq] ;B[rm] ;W[sl] ;B[sk] ;W[rk] ;B[sn] ;W[rl] ;B[qn] ;W[nr] ;B[be] ;W[bd] ;B[ff] ;W[eb] ;B[fc] ;W[ed] ;B[jl] ;W[kl] ;B[il] ;W[kk] ;B[cq] ;W[dr] ;B[hh] ;W[ii] ;B[nl] ;W[ml] ;B[mj] ;W[ni] ;B[lj] ;W[mi] ;B[li] ;W[lk] ;B[lh] ;W[mk] ;B[gp] ;W[df] (;B[bh] ;W[oh] ;B[pg] ;W[nh] ;B[ng] ;W[bf] (;B[bi]C[Black missed a chance here.] ;W[al] ;B[bj] ;W[an] ;B[ef] ;W[fd] ;B[dg] ;W[cf] ;B[mn] ;W[fa] ;B[gb] ;W[os] ;B[ps] ;W[mc] ;B[la] ;W[ld] ;B[ga] ;W[kc]) (;B[aj]C[Black can kill by playing here.])) (;B[bi] ;W[bj] ;B[bg] ;W[dj] ;B[ad] ;W[ac] ;B[ae] ;W[bb]C[This way, the game is good for Black.])) (;W[dm]C[White can kill by playing here.])) (;B[cq]C[Black can live by playing here.])) (;B[hh] ;W[ii] ;B[ik] ;W[gk]C[Black is afraid of this cut, ] ;B[fg]C[But Black should be able to live here. Then White is in trouble.])) (;B[mj]C[Black should look for a strong move for separating White.])) (;B[mj]C[Black can jump here -- the whole White group is so weak.] ;W[lk] ;B[nl]TR[qj]C[Black can capture the marked White stone as a bonus after attacking the whole White group.])) (;B[kk]C[Black should cut directly.])) (;W[ij]C[Again, White should hane inside.])) (;W[hg]C[White should hane this side.])) (;B[de]C[Black MUST nobi here -- just can't give White that awesome tiger's mouth. (I'm learning how to use these attachments, and still not doing very well.) ] ;W[ed] ;B[dh] ;W[ch] ;B[cg] ;W[bg] ;B[bf] ;W[dg] ;B[eg] ;W[cf] ;B[df] ;W[cg] ;B[bd] ;W[bc] ;B[ff]C[Looks fine for Black.])) (;W[qg]C[This is the proper move for White.] ;B[ph] ;W[pj]LB[og:A]C[Later, this is the place for White to invade. White aims at A.])) (;B[eo] ;W[fp]C[If Black jumps out, the two Black stones become a burden (with any pincer).]) (;B[gq]C[So Black should consider this counter-pincer.] ;W[ep] ;B[jp]C[If White comes out, Black should just give it away. ] ;W[dn]C[Even if White comes back, Black can still do something in the corner.] ;B[qk]C[So Black can leave it and play for the right side.]))

In the review of my second game, in which I lost to someone whose username is "shtfrbrns", In-seong basically said that sometimes I play well and sometimes I play like crap (this is not quite the way he phrased it) and he didn't really know what to say. It's totally true, and I don't have an answer for it either.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

One year down, four to Go

I'm now one year in to my 5 Years to 5 Dan plan!  That means it's time to look both back and forward.

Looking back:  I went 4-2 as 2 dan at the Canadian Open, and my AGA rank is officially 2 dan (for now, at least).  I think that's pretty good for the first year (having started at 1 dan last year).  If I continue at this rate, I'll meet my goal.  :)

I did not meet my goal of 357 games for the year.  I clocked in at 285, which is 80% of my goal.  (Actually, I stopped counting at the end of August, so this was short of a full year by 2 weeks, though I certainly have not come anywhere near meeting that goal in the past two weeks.)  But my summer got congressed, which was a huge contributing factor to not meeting those goals.

Looking forward:  My next medium term goal is to be 3 dan by this time next year.  I'll consider that goal met if I get to AGA 3 dan and/or I play with at least an even record as 3 dan in some kind of significant tournament.  (That means I'll need to be playing in tournaments...)

I have a lot of things working in my favor.  I'm doing AYD during the academic year, which is totally insane.  I'm having a really hard time playing decent games at night after a long day of work (more on my particular games coming soon).  But I'm playing and getting games reviewed, as well as getting lectures to go along with them.  So that's great.  I have An Huang in my department, so I'm getting regular games with a 6 dan.  It's clear that I have a lot to learn from him, so I'm really happy about that.  I'm so lucky to have him there.  And, of course, I have the best club in the country, full of strong and fun players to learn with and from.  :)

So I have all of that during the academic year to get ready for next summer, when I plan to go to the Osaka Go camp.  To that end, I'm starting to learn a tiny bit of Japanese, using Mango through my library, combined with making flashcards for Anki.  Sukoshi nihongo o hanashimasu!