Monday, June 26, 2017

First Day

First day of Go camp!

I won my first league game today!  My opponent was Arthur Touchard from Paris:

I played the Yunguseng opening.  I made a mistake coming out with my group, so he cut me off, which was a good result for him.  Later, he made a reading mistake and resigned.  Here it is, with a few comments from Maeda-sensei:

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[0.00] PW[Arthur Touchard]PB[Becci]LB[ne:2][mi:1][qk:3]C[B+Res. Reviewed by Maeda-Sensei] ;B[pd] ;W[dd] ;B[pq] ;W[dp] ;B[fq] ;W[cn] ;B[ip] ;W[qn] ;B[po] ;W[rp] ;B[pl] ;W[pn] ;B[on] ;W[om] ;B[nn] ;W[qo] ;B[pp]LB[qo:A][pp:B]C[Bad exchange for White.] ;W[pm] ;B[ql] ;W[pi] ;B[oj] ;W[ol] ;B[pj] ;W[qh] ;B[qj] ;W[qf] ;B[qe] ;W[pf] ;B[nc] ;W[mk] (;B[mi]C[This is not a good idea because it leaves a cut.] ;W[mg] (;B[ne]C[This is a mistake, because now White can cut.] ;W[ni] ;B[oi] ;W[nh] ;B[nj] ;W[mj] ;B[nl] ;W[nk] ;B[ok] ;W[nm] ;B[ml] ;W[mm] ;B[ll] ;W[li] ;B[lj] ;W[mh] ;B[lk] ;W[mi] (;B[rk] ;W[mn] ;B[mp] ;W[kn] ;B[cf] ;W[lp] ;B[lq] ;W[kq] ;B[mq] ;W[kp] ;B[dr] ;W[cq] ;B[iq] ;W[ji] ;B[ci] ;W[fc] ;B[bd] ;W[cc] ;B[ik] ;W[im] ;B[gk] ;W[dj] ;B[ek] ;W[cj] ;B[bi] ;W[hj] ;B[hk] ;W[fi] ;B[fn] ;W[fp] ;B[gp] ;W[go] ;B[fo] ;W[ep] ;B[ho] ;W[gm] ;B[gn] ;W[fl] ;B[hm] ;W[hl] ;B[hn]) (;B[rm]LB[rh:A]C[Black should play here. This take's an eye from White in the corner, and then this move is not sente for White. Black can live this way because Black has A.])) (;B[oi]C[Maybe here?])) (;B[mj] ;W[lk] ;B[oh]LB[qj:A]C[This is one idea. Black's A group is not strong, so Black should fix the problem, not leave a cut.]) (;B[oi]C[Or maybe just turn here.]))

In the afternoon, we had lectures by Maeda-sensei (introducing our homework) and then by two pros, Frances Meyers 1P and Takami Hoshikawa 4P.

After the lectures, they did teaching games.  I got to play a simul game vs. Takami Hoshikawa.  I think all 4 of us might have won our games (not sure what happened in Gabby's game), which makes it seem like that might have been intentional.  We did have large handicaps (he gave me 5 stones) but still...  Anyway, here's the game.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]HA[5]KM[0.00] PW[Takami Hoshikawa 4P]PB[Becci]AB[dd][pd][jj][dp][pp]C[B+Res.] ;W[qn] ;B[nq] ;W[nc] ;B[kd] ;W[qf] ;B[oe] ;W[qc] ;B[pc] ;W[qd] ;B[og] ;W[pe] ;B[pf] ;W[qe] ;B[od] ;W[pb] ;B[ob] ;W[qb] ;B[cf] ;W[fq] ;B[cn] ;W[jp] ;B[dj] ;W[fc] ;B[ec] ;W[fd] ;B[hd] ;W[ef] ;B[dg] ;W[hc] ;B[ic] ;W[gb] ;B[hb] ;W[gd] ;B[gc] ;W[eb] ;B[db] ;W[hc] ;B[hq] ;W[hp] ;B[gc] ;W[ce] ;B[de] ;W[df] ;B[cd] ;W[hc] ;B[iq] ;W[ip] ;B[gc] ;W[cg] ;B[be] ;W[hc] ;B[jq] ;W[kq] ;B[kr] ;W[lr] ;B[lq] ;W[kp] ;B[mr] ;W[gq] ;B[ls] ;W[he] ;B[dr] ;W[bf] ;B[ce] ;W[id] ;B[ql] ;W[qp] ;B[qq] ;W[rq] ;B[qr] ;W[po] ;B[rp] ;W[ro] ;B[qo] ;W[do] ;B[co] ;W[qp] ;B[go] ;W[fo] ;B[qo] ;W[ep] ;B[dq] ;W[qp] ;B[gn] ;W[gp] ;B[qo] ;W[dh] (;B[qp] ;W[eg] ;B[qg] ;W[rg] ;B[qh] ;W[rh] ;B[qi] ;W[pl] ;B[mo] ;W[qm] ;B[rl] ;W[pk] ;B[qj] ;W[om] ;B[oo] ;W[ml] ;B[kn] ;W[in] ;B[kl] ;W[nj] ;B[lj] ;W[nh] ;B[mf] ;W[li] ;B[ki] ;W[lh] ;B[mj] ;W[mi] ;B[oi] ;W[ni] ;B[dn] ;W[hl] ;B[jg] ;W[lf] ;B[mg] ;W[kh] ;B[jh] ;W[kf] ;B[me] ;W[ld] ;B[le] ;W[ke] ;B[lc] ;W[jd] ;B[md] ;W[ii] ;B[ji] ;W[il] ;B[ln] ;W[fn] ;B[cj] ;W[el] ;B[cl] ;W[kb] ;B[lb] ;W[kc] ;B[oc] ;W[ri] ;B[rj] ;W[bg] ;B[ea] ;W[fb] ;B[pn] ;W[pm] ;B[gj] ;W[aj] ;B[bk] ;W[gk] ;B[fj] ;W[hj] ;B[jf] ;W[ld] ;B[em] ;W[fm] ;B[kd] ;W[je] ;B[ka] ;W[ja] ;B[la] ;W[jb] ;B[rn] ;W[rm] ;B[so] ;W[hr] ;B[is] ;W[nn] ;B[no] ;W[sm] ;B[oj] ;W[nk] ;B[oh] ;W[oa] ;B[na] ;W[pa] ;B[si]) (;B[eg] ;W[qp] ;B[eh] ;W[sp]C[This is good for Black.]))

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Yesterday I went to Mt. Takao to do some hiking.  It was beautiful (and very popular).

They promised views of Mt. Fuji, but it was too cloudy.

It was such a lovely hike; I could have gone on forever.  I ended up hiking at least 16 kilometers, much more than I thought I would.  To get to the last peak I hit, I ended up on a side path that was *much* harder than the main path.  I descended all the way to the bottom of valley between the peaks and switchbacked up the very steep side.  There were fewer people on that path though.  And the top (where I enjoyed a beer served with pickles) was stunning.

There were shrines all along the path where you could pray to the gods for good fortune.  Someone tenderly provides bibs and little knitted hats for them.  

I loved this old worn-down one:

I was not expecting any Go-related adventures on this outing, but I ran across one anyway.  On the way down from Mt. Takao, I chose one of the less-traveled paths.  It was more like the hiking to which I am accustomed in the US (dirt and stone paths, often along a stream bed instead of paved path with ice cream stands every half kilometer).  Even on this path they had educational signs posted every so often.  One of them was this:

I might have slipped a small piece of slate into my pocket as a souvenir...  (Not nearly so bad, I think, as stealing a cobblestone from Blarney Castle.) 

Today we take the Shinkansen to Osaka!  We're headed to Go camp!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Nihon Ki-in

Shawn and Pete and I spent the day touristing around Tokyo yesterday.  One of our highlights was a stop at the Nihon Ki-in.

They had a little museum downstairs with some Go artifacts.  My favorites were the old handwritten kifus.  

Unfortunately, we couldn't go in to the fancy playing room because this game was being played in the room while we were there:

(;EV[4th Japanese Aidu Chuo Hospital Cup, final 3] DT[2017-06-23] PB[Xie Yimin]BR[6p] PW[Fujisawa Rina]WR[3p] KM[6.5]RE[W+R] SO[] ;B[qd];W[dc];B[pq];W[dp];B[nc];W[qo];B[qk];W[op];B[oq];W[np];B[mq];W[qq];B[mp];W[pp];B[mn];W[nq];B[nr];W[qr];B[ce];W[ci];B[fc];W[ed];B[fd];W[ef];B[fe];W[ee];B[gg];W[bd];B[mf];W[pj];B[pk];W[oj];B[ok];W[nj];B[ri];W[lj];B[jg];W[fq];B[jj];W[ml];B[nm];W[km];B[gp];W[gq];B[ip];W[mm];B[ph];W[ln];B[lo];W[ko];B[kp];W[jo];B[jp];W[nn];B[mo];W[ng];B[nh];W[pd];B[qc];W[mg];B[mh];W[lg];B[lh];W[kg];B[kh];W[og];B[oh];W[ke];B[jf];W[md];B[kc];W[nd];B[pe];W[lc];B[nb];W[kb];B[kd];W[jb];B[jd];W[mb];B[ib];W[oe];B[nf];W[mc];B[le];W[qe];B[pf];W[of];B[ld];W[pg];B[qf];W[qg];B[re];W[rf];B[qe];W[qi];B[qh];W[rh];B[qj];W[pi];B[sh];W[rg];B[rk];W[rm];B[pm];W[qm];B[pc];W[od];B[nl];W[nk];B[om];W[sj];B[no];W[si];B[rj];W[on];B[pn];W[oo];B[sk];W[pl])

When we went back to the nearest subway stop, we saw this:

Thursday, June 22, 2017


I made some new friends in a diner/bar in Tokyo last night:

It definitely felt like a Japanese version of Cheers, with me as the topic of last night's episode.

It was a great test run of my limited Japanese language skills.  They dug out a few laminated cards with questions on them (in English for me and in Japanese for them) like, "Where are you from?" and "How long will you stay in Japan?"  I managed to communicate that I'm a Go player, at an amateur 2 dan level (but hoping to get to 5 dan and hence going to Osaka for 1 month to study), that I'm from Boston and teach math at a university (this elicited an excessive amount of awe), and that it was my first time in Japan.  I *think* the wife of the husband-wife proprietor team was trying to tell me that another woman there (who left before this photograph, but after going out and coming back with parfaits for everyone) was some sort of TV personality.  Oh, and the wife-owner also asked me if I was single and then proceeded to try to hook me up with everyone in the bar.

I also got to test out my cards that say I'm allergic to shrimp and shellfish, which seemed to work and resulted in much of the evening spent on a discussion of what I could/should eat.  The guy with the mustache in this photo wanted to get me to eat natto, but I know better.

In the photo: next to me is the wife-owner, the husband-owner is waving, and the other folks are a couple who are clearly regulars.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I'm off!

I'm in the Seattle airport, waiting to board my flight to Tokyo!  I'll have a few days in Tokyo to recover from jetlag, and then off to Osaka Go Camp!

I've been enjoying a lovely layover in Portland and Seattle with Lauren and the Burgess family.

We'll do a bit of sightseeing in Tokyo, but I'm really looking forward to settling down to study in Osaka.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

AYD game 2

I won my AYD game against Andrew last night.

I screwed up a shape that I know:

I know this!  But for some reason I blanked when White captured.  Black can play A, but I chickened out and played B.  Part of it was a lack of confidence.  But part of it was also that I didn't want my stones in the middle to get attacked.  But In-seong says because Black's head is out to the center, White can't do much there anyway.

Apparently, I don't know that shape as well as I thought I did.  But Guo Juan has a pair of Lunch Special lectures on it, with problems!  So I'll know it much better soon.  :)

Here are a few more comments from In-seong on my game with Andrew.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[6.50]TM[2400]OT[3x30 byo-yomi] PW[hndrewaall]PB[greyhound]WR[1d]DT[2017-05-23]PC[The KGS Go Server at]C[Black + Res.]RE[B+Resign] ;B[pd]BL[2384.73] ;W[dp]WL[2398.068] ;B[qp]BL[2381.487] ;W[dd]WL[2394.81] ;B[nq]BL[2377.951] (;W[qf]WL[2386.205] ;B[pj]BL[2358.101]C[In-seong says this pincer is nice for Black.] ;W[qc]WL[2356.007] ;B[qd]BL[2351.016] ;W[pc]WL[2353.843] ;B[od]BL[2349.532] ;W[rd]WL[2352.137] ;B[re]BL[2347.788] ;W[rc]WL[2350.984] ;B[qe]BL[2346.193] ;W[nc]WL[2349.02] ;B[pf]BL[2339.726] ;W[fq]WL[2318.394] ;B[cf]BL[2329.589] ;W[ch]WL[2295.193] ;B[cc]BL[2294.227]C[In-seong hesitated with this move. I also didn't like it. But he didn't really offer a better option. ] ;W[cd]WL[2291.001] ;B[dc]BL[2292.601] ;W[ed]WL[2274.407] ;B[bd]BL[2290.852] ;W[be]WL[2270.707] ;B[bc]BL[2289.635] ;W[ce]WL[2267.02] ;B[fc]BL[2288.208] (;W[hc]WL[2231.434]C[This White move was slow.] ;B[gc]BL[2244.683] ;W[hd]WL[2225.557] ;B[jp]BL[2232.843] ;W[qo]WL[2208.711]C[This is the wrong invasion for the large knight's enclosure.] ;B[pp]BL[2219.796] ;W[ql]WL[2191.688] ;B[rk]BL[2194.934] ;W[ol]WL[2143.045] (;B[nj]BL[2170.067] ;W[mm]WL[2102.824] ;B[on]BL[2132.449]C[But this is also good for Black.] ;W[om]WL[2078.773] ;B[pn]BL[2123.56] ;W[km]WL[2027.952] ;B[im]BL[2061.924] ;W[il]WL[1989.932] ;B[hm]BL[2047.375] ;W[jl]WL[1983.812]C[Now Black is ahead, and can easily erase White's side.] ;B[cj]BL[2008.781] (;W[cg]WL[1949.093] ;B[cn]BL[1995.394] ;W[cl]WL[1908.815] ;B[bl]BL[1886.155] ;W[bk]WL[1818.423] ;B[ck]BL[1881.162] ;W[bm]WL[1812.359] ;B[dl]BL[1874.703] ;W[cm]WL[1790.105] ;B[dm]BL[1869.299] ;W[al]WL[1782.3] (;B[dn]BL[1690.569] ;W[bo]WL[1763.005] ;B[me]BL[1629.584] ;W[mc]WL[1697.978] ;B[hq]BL[1593.721] ;W[dk]WL[1561.246] ;B[ej]BL[1437.811] ;W[fl]WL[1520.651] ;B[ek]BL[1423.065] ;W[fn]WL[1509.491]LB[cp:B][dq:C][eq:A]TR[bm][bo][dp][fq]C[I knew White's shape was weak, but I couldn't find the move to exploit it. I looked at A and B, but C is the move. Once In-seong pointed it out, it was obvious.] ;B[bn]BL[1377.817] ;W[an]WL[1505.671] (;B[bj]BL[1373.653] ;W[co]WL[1497.59] ;B[gk]BL[1336.395] ;W[gl]WL[1484.672] ;B[hl]BL[1285.209] ;W[hk]WL[1438.569] ;B[fo]BL[1262.195] ;W[gn]WL[1400.507] ;B[fp]BL[1231.398] ;W[eq]WL[1335.561] ;B[ho]BL[1176.942] ;W[eo]WL[1225.281] (;B[gj]BL[1153.15] ;W[fh]WL[1167.722]C[It's slow for White to connect though...] ;B[ii]BL[1125.839] ;W[ik]WL[1149.259] ;B[hh]BL[1093.646] ;W[hj]WL[1131.614] ;B[gi]BL[1072.637] ;W[hi]WL[1128.665] ;B[gh]BL[1070.42] ;W[ih]WL[1127.484] ;B[ff]BL[983.506] ;W[fg]WL[1107.007] ;B[hf]BL[972.78] ;W[ge]WL[1072.776] ;B[gf]BL[965.732] ;W[hb]WL[1054.107] ;B[ji]BL[896.846] ;W[kp]WL[1028.734] ;B[kq]BL[888.255] ;W[lq]WL[1022.545] ;B[lp]BL[869.641] ;W[ko]WL[958.888] ;B[lr]BL[829.843] ;W[en]WL[911.031] ;B[je]BL[792.477] ;W[lh]WL[810.614] ;B[lj]BL[733.036] ;W[le]WL[700.391] ;B[lf]BL[668.311] ;W[mf]WL[696.353] ;B[ld]BL[625.124] ;W[ne]WL[633.246] ;B[ke]BL[612.395] ;W[nd]WL[631.649] ;B[nf]BL[593.051] ;W[mg]WL[629.768] ;B[of]BL[547.261] ;W[nh]WL[613.684] ;B[oi]BL[440.322]) (;B[en]C[Apparently Black can just cut here. I wasn't 100% sure, and didn't want to risk it.])) (;B[dq]C[This works. (Pretty obvious, huh? Why didn't I see this in the game!?)])) (;B[bn]C[Black can (and should!) play down here.] ;W[dn] ;B[cq]C[Black can take the corner.])) (;W[cl]C[In-seong suggested this instead. Black can't do much against White's group. Better to endure this way than to be too passive.])) (;B[nk]C[In-seong suggested this as a possibility, so that White has to push Black from behind.] ;W[nl] ;B[mk] ;W[ml] ;B[lk])) (;W[jp]C[White should play here to increase/reduce.])) (;W[qj]C[White usually splits, especially with the large knight's enclosure.]))

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Tale of Two Games

Last week I lost my first AYD game.  But then, the next morning I played a game that I knew would be reviewed by Guo Juan.  In my AYD game, I had played Black.  In my GJ game, I played White and my opponent obligingly played the exact same opening I had played as Black the day before!  So I got to try the same game from the other side.  :)  Unfortunately, I didn't get my AYD review until after my second game.  Here are comments from both.

AYD game:
(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[6.50]TM[2400]OT[3x30 byo-yomi] PW[boltar]PB[greyhound]WR[1d]DT[2017-05-16]PC[The KGS Go Server at]RE[W+Resign] ;B[pd]BL[2381.788]C[boltar [1d\]: no problem, works better for me too ] ;W[dd]WL[2390.361] ;B[qp]BL[2372.476] ;W[dq]WL[2384.902] ;B[oq]BL[2360.233] ;W[qf]WL[2382.066] ;B[pi]BL[2352.092] ;W[nd]WL[2319.785] ;B[pf]BL[2343.375] (;W[pg]WL[2311.561] ;B[of]BL[2340.096] ;W[qc]WL[2251.359] ;B[qe]BL[2323.704] ;W[pc]WL[2248.709] (;B[rf]BL[2318.958]C[But this opening is pretty ok for Black.] ;W[jp]WL[2214.295] ;B[cf]BL[2268.379] ;W[fc]WL[2134.712] ;B[do]BL[2222.807] ;W[dl]WL[2099.643] (;B[eq]BL[2176.909] (;W[er]WL[2046.58] ;B[ep]BL[2172.882] ;W[fr]WL[1992.905] ;B[cq]BL[2168.879] (;W[cr]WL[1988.247] ;B[dp]BL[2163.537] ;W[dr]WL[1986.479] ;B[hp]BL[2156.975]LB[cp:A]C[Now White's cut at A is not big (Black can extend and squeeze) and White is pressed down to the second line.] ;W[ch]WL[1809.669] (;B[lq]BL[2108.25] ;W[bq]WL[1694.073] (;B[lc]BL[2067.852] ;W[nb]WL[1678.963] ;B[ic]BL[2061.339] ;W[df]WL[1594.144]C[Good move locally, but right side is more urgent.] (;B[dg]BL[1975.776]C[Black should also play the right side, which is bigger. Also, locally, this is not the right move. This is a well-known bad move. ] ;W[cg]WL[1588.806] ;B[de]BL[1948.907] ;W[ef]WL[1586.815] ;B[cd]BL[1933.321] ;W[ee]WL[1583.2] ;B[ce]BL[1918.805] ;W[cc]WL[1484.614] ;B[dc]BL[1908.3] ;W[ed]WL[1482.179] ;B[bc]BL[1893.977] ;W[cb]WL[1480.614] ;B[bb]BL[1891.044] ;W[db]WL[1478.427] ;B[bg]BL[1829.142] ;W[bh]WL[1475.516] ;B[bf]BL[1758.447] ;W[iq]WL[1436.622] ;B[hq]BL[1754.224] ;W[hr]WL[1433.97] ;B[hm]BL[1703.659] ;W[qo]WL[1321.654] (;B[po]BL[1663.593] ;W[qn]WL[1318.579] ;B[rp]BL[1661.832] ;W[pn]WL[1308.399] ;B[oo]BL[1659.78] ;W[qk]WL[1293.912] ;B[rj]BL[1624.182] ;W[nm]WL[1263.208]C[In-seong prefers White now, though Black is not behind by points. But White was bad before, but now made an even game.] ;B[nk]BL[1469.054] ;W[lm]WL[1159.95] ;B[mn]BL[1437.103] ;W[mm]WL[1097.264] ;B[ko]BL[1424.167] ;W[lk]WL[1055.995] (;B[jl]BL[1401.319]C["better than nothing" but not really doing much.] ;W[li]WL[1023.828] ;B[ie]BL[1377.265] ;W[kr]WL[926.481]C[White does not need to play here.] (;B[ek]BL[1360.275]C[Black gets a chance to come in, but this move is slack.] ;W[dk]WL[905.428] ;B[ej]BL[1356.348] ;W[di]WL[831.616] ;B[cm]BL[1346.036] ;W[dm]WL[698.441] ;B[cn]BL[1334.074] ;W[fm]WL[693.889]C[Black is thin.] ;B[gn]BL[1307.496] ;W[gk]WL[677.545] ;B[bk]BL[1292.899] (;W[dj]WL[669.419] ;B[rd]BL[1143.49] ;W[rc]WL[663.929] (;B[rk]BL[1024.412]C[This move is also wrong.] ;W[hh]WL[487.505] ;B[kj]BL[972.155] ;W[lj]WL[484.075] ;B[ij]BL[967.669] ;W[hi]WL[467.468] ;B[jh]BL[916.979] ;W[oj]WL[462.498] ;B[pl]BL[876.76] ;W[ql]WL[371.127] ;B[oi]BL[826.648] ;W[nj]WL[325.259] ;B[qj]BL[805.328] ;W[pj]WL[314.9] ;B[rl]BL[767.949] ;W[rm]WL[294.046] ;B[on]BL[753.468] ;W[om]WL[278.377] ;B[pk]BL[747.069] ;W[qm]WL[275.783] ;B[ni]BL[742.954] ;W[mi]WL[238.997] ;B[ok]BL[732.005] ;W[mj]WL[232.715] ;B[pm]BL[710.007] ;W[sm]WL[145.26] ;B[ro]BL[705.753] ;W[mk]WL[142.007] ;B[lr]BL[682.923] ;W[ba]WL[91.863] ;B[ad]BL[667.995] ;W[jd]WL[30]OW[3] ;B[jc]BL[651.704] ;W[id]WL[30]OW[3] ;B[hd]BL[640.47] ;W[hc]WL[30]OW[3] ;B[ke]BL[521.385] ;W[he]WL[30]OW[3] ;B[gd]BL[487.727] ;W[je]WL[30]OW[3] ;B[jf]BL[482.339] ;W[kd]WL[30]OW[3] ;B[ld]BL[477.603] ;W[if]WL[30]OW[3] ;B[kc]BL[476.2] ;W[ie]WL[30]OW[3] ;B[gc]BL[445.962] ;W[kf]WL[30]OW[3] ;B[jg]BL[420.519] ;W[le]WL[30]OW[3] ;B[gb]BL[411.896] ;W[il]WL[30]OW[2] ;B[im]BL[321.282] ;W[nh]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[og]BL[276.266] ;W[ji]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[ii]BL[200.146] ;W[jn]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[jm]BL[168.995] ;W[la]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[kb]BL[141.641] ;W[ls]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[jr]BL[29.574] ;W[kq]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[ir]BL[13.746] ;W[hs]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[ms]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[js]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[ip]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[jq]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[jo]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[mr]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[ks]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[ab]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[be]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[ls]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[rn]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[nl]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[ks]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[ag]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[af]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[ls]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[sn]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[ol]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[ks]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[oh]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[ph]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[ls]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[hj]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[gj]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[kp]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[is]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[mq]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[ns]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[nr]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[or]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[ms]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[qi]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[qh]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[mr]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[sc]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[sb]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[sd]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[nq]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[rb]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[qb]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[sa]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[md]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[ge]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[gf]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[qr]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[np]WL[30]OW[1] ;B[mo]BL[30]OB[2] ;W[kn]WL[30]OW[1]) (;B[pl]C[Black needs to play the shoulder hit. Much more annoying.] (;W[on] ;B[ql]) (;W[ql] ;B[on] ;W[om] ;B[pm] ;W[pk] ;B[ol] ;W[ok] ;B[nl] (;W[nj] ;B[qm] ;W[rm]) (;W[qm] ;B[nj])))) (;W[gi]C[White can just capture -- the cut is not working.])) (;B[cj]C[Black should invade directly. Much more annoying for White.] (;W[dj] ;B[di] ;W[ci] ;B[dk] ;W[ej] ;B[ck] ;W[ek] ;B[dh]C[White's stones are dead.]) (;W[di] ;B[dj] ;W[ej] ;B[ei]C[Working]))) (;B[jm]C[This one at least makes Black connected.]) (;B[cj]C[But invading here now is probably better.])) (;B[qm]C[Maybe Black should play this way, to still focus on the side.])) (;B[de]C[Black should wedge.] (;W[ce] ;B[ee] (;W[bf] ;B[ed]C[Black can push and cut -- good for Black.]) (;W[cd]C[White must connect.] ;B[dg]C[Ladder works for Black.])) (;W[ee] ;B[ce] ;W[ef] (;B[dg] ;W[cg]C[Now Black will not make this exchange.]) (;B[cg] ;W[dh] ;B[cd] ;W[cc] ;B[bc] ;W[dc] ;B[bb]C[Much better living shape for Black than the game.])))) (;B[pl]C[Black's potential on the right is bigger than White's potential on the top, so Black should just stay in her area.])) (;B[lp]C[Fourth line looks better, because Black cares about the right side.])) (;W[dr]LB[cp:A][gp:B]C[White should choose this variation, to look for A or B.] ;B[co] ;W[gp] ;B[bl])) (;W[ep]C[In-seong likes this move when White has K4.] ;B[dp] ;W[fq] (;B[cq] ;W[er]C[Black cannot give this ponnuki.]) (;B[er] ;W[cq] ;B[fr] ;W[eo] ;B[bp] ;W[bq] ;B[cp] ;W[en] ;B[dr]C[White's three stones are dead,] ;W[bo] ;B[aq] ;W[dn] ;B[br] ;W[ch]C[But White can squeeze and pincer (or kick) to attack.]))) (;B[fo]C[Better for Black to jump.] ;W[fq] ;B[ho]C[Maybe jump twice.] ;W[gp] ;B[go] ;W[lq]C[White needs to protect this rather thin connection.] ;B[di]C[Better for Black than the game.])) (;B[og]C[Usually, Black plays here (thicker, build the outside).])) (;W[qc]C[Professionals prefer to jump straight into the corner now.] ;B[qe] ;W[pc]C[This way Black is not as thick as the other variation.]))

GJ game:
(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[7.50]TM[2700]OT[5x30 byo-yomi] PW[greyhound]PB[Ethelor]DT[2017-05-17]PC[The KGS Go Server at]C[White+Res.]RE[W+Resign] ;B[qd]BL[2689.627] ;W[dc]WL[2686.238] ;B[pp]BL[2684.115] ;W[dp]WL[2680.581] ;B[oc]BL[2678.732] ;W[qn]WL[2672.213] ;B[pk]BL[2644.588] ;W[np]WL[2658.314] ;B[pn]BL[2629.337] ;W[pm]WL[2655.355] ;B[on]BL[2625.144] ;W[qq]WL[2648.988] ;B[qo]BL[2620.202] ;W[pq]WL[2646.631] ;B[rn]BL[2614.453] ;W[jd]WL[2635.338]C[Up to here, this is *exactly* the same as my AYD game from the night before, except this time I'm White. ] ;B[cf]BL[2606.162] ;W[cd]WL[2610.712] ;B[ci]BL[2596.17] ;W[ck]WL[2607.143] ;B[ef]BL[2584.176] ;W[dg]WL[2596.738] ;B[cg]BL[2481.998] (;W[dn]WL[2548.392] ;B[lq]BL[2375.91] ;W[nr]WL[2538.768] ;B[iq]BL[2358.396] ;W[qe]WL[2523.197] ;B[pe]BL[2353.008] ;W[qf]WL[2520.809] ;B[rd]BL[2351.696] ;W[pf]WL[2519.576] ;B[oe]BL[2349.917] ;W[qi]WL[2518.009] ;B[rj]BL[2348.955] ;W[ng]WL[2500.613]C[I probably would not have chosen this move (maybe P11 or something?) but my opponent the night before played this one, so I thought I'd try it too. :)] ;B[ph]BL[2321.475]C[My opponent jumped at the opportunity to play ths move immediately (the one I never got to in my AYD game, but was recommended by In-seong), but GJ didn't think Black had much to do here. Probably it's too early, so White can just run away. When In-seong recommended this in my AYD game the surrounding situation was quite different.] (;W[qh]WL[2405.215]C[This is not a good response. (White should have nobi'd up.)] ;B[of]BL[2308.547] ;W[og]WL[2356.961] ;B[pg]BL[2305.387] ;W[qj]WL[2239.72] ;B[qk]BL[2295.78] ;W[qg]WL[2144.703] ;B[oi]BL[2278.686] ;W[oj]WL[2099.227] (;B[nj]BL[2253.988] ;W[pi]WL[2081.592] ;B[cq]BL[2169.599] ;W[dq]WL[2061.277] (;B[cp]BL[2168.25] ;W[co]WL[2057.356] ;B[dr]BL[2161.795] ;W[er]WL[2036.614] ;B[cr]BL[2160.941] ;W[fq]WL[2034.185] ;B[bo]BL[2159.551] ;W[bn]WL[2032.122] ;B[ap]BL[2156.084] (;W[an]WL[2023.732]C[This is: a) too soon, and b) the wrong place to start, and c) I totally know both of these things, so this is extremely embarrassing. ] ;B[ar]BL[2132.607] ;W[kp]WL[1958.821] ;B[io]BL[2128.734] ;W[kq]WL[1951.446] ;B[ko]BL[2124.613] ;W[lp]WL[1941.963]SQ[ng][pg][ph]C[GJ says Black doesn't have enough territory now. It's hard because White's head is out and, with the two captured stones, White is very strong.] ;B[lo]BL[2120.599] ;W[nn]WL[1845.17] ;B[mn]BL[2101.314] ;W[no]WL[1669.304] ;B[nm]BL[2097.073] ;W[jo]WL[1667.07] ;B[jn]BL[2092.779] ;W[jp]WL[1665.214] ;B[in]BL[2081.651] ;W[ip]WL[1663.205] ;B[hd]BL[2033.31] ;W[mc]WL[1643.933] ;B[ok]BL[2005.645] ;W[oh]WL[1639.697] ;B[me]BL[1998.862] ;W[ob]WL[1545.43] ;B[nb]BL[1987.843] ;W[nc]WL[1543.479] ;B[pb]BL[1986.542] ;W[od]WL[1531.97] ;B[pc]BL[1982.483] ;W[mb]WL[1528.913] ;B[oa]BL[1981.125] (;W[nd]WL[1526.94]C[White's cutting here is a bad idea.] ;B[mf]BL[1979.306] ;W[pd]WL[1513.436]C[Cutting does not give White any territory.] ;B[jf]BL[1969.942] ;W[ie]WL[1490.896]C[This is also a bad move for White, because...] ;B[kc]BL[1947.181]C[Black has this nice rush invasion.] ;W[jc]WL[1360.665] ;B[kd]BL[1937.419] ;W[kb]WL[1352.5] ;B[ib]BL[1928.264] ;W[jb]WL[1329.238] ;B[ig]BL[1892.492]C[But once White is ok, the game is just hard for Black.] ;W[nf]WL[1242.404] ;B[ne]BL[1883.881] ;W[ke]WL[1207.3] ;B[ld]BL[1877.694] ;W[je]WL[1202.329] ;B[lg]BL[1867.998] ;W[hc]WL[1162.937] ;B[ic]BL[1858.142] ;W[id]WL[1148.906] ;B[ni]BL[1854.528] ;W[ri]WL[1125.843] ;B[rk]BL[1839.438] ;W[re]WL[1099.856] ;B[ek]BL[1826.905] ;W[fl]WL[1043.749] ;B[fn]BL[1759.816] ;W[el]WL[972.935] ;B[hp]BL[1757.806] ;W[hl]WL[950.734] ;B[ik]BL[1724.472] ;W[il]WL[947.701] ;B[jl]BL[1723.336] ;W[hk]WL[921.726] ;B[ij]BL[1721.657] ;W[mh]WL[918.545] ;B[mp]BL[1707.101] ;W[mq]WL[909.613] ;B[lj]BL[1512.656] ;W[gc]WL[838.5] ;B[hj]BL[1459.706] ;W[hg]WL[754.748] ;B[hh]BL[1362.79] ;W[gg]WL[731.229] ;B[gh]BL[1361.329] ;W[fg]WL[720.482] ;B[fh]BL[1360.157] ;W[eg]WL[718.152] ;B[dh]BL[1358.946] ;W[df]WL[699.495] ;B[rp]BL[1345.72] ;W[hq]WL[669.133]) (;W[jf]C[Better to just come out or something like this.])) (;W[ar]C[If White is going to play here now at all (which White shouldn't, because White is just throwing away ko threats), then White should start here, to gain 3 points in gote later.] ;B[br] ;W[an] ;B[aq])) (;B[bp]C[Normally, Black plays this way when White has D6.] ;W[bn] ;B[dr] ;W[er] ;B[br] ;W[ds] ;B[cr])) (;B[ni]C[Black missed this chance. (I saw this in the game, and was expecting to have a terrible result at this point, but my opponent missed it.)] ;W[pj] ;B[mj] ;W[ok] ;B[qm] ;W[mk] ;B[lk] ;W[ml] ;B[ll] ;W[mm]C[Black is outside.])) (;W[pi] (;B[oh] ;W[qh] (;B[of] ;W[qk] ;B[qj] ;W[pj] ;B[ql] ;W[ok] ;B[rk] ;W[og] ;B[pg] ;W[nh]C[The whole thing is kind of small, and White can even come back to kill the Black stones.]) (;B[oi] ;W[of]LB[qk:A]C[White runs away, and White still has A.])) (;B[qh] ;W[ri] ;B[oh] ;W[rh] ;B[of] ;W[qk] ;B[qj] ;W[pj] ;B[rk] ;W[ok] ;B[ql] ;W[og] ;B[pg] ;W[nh]C[Same.]))) (;W[kq]C[GJ recommends closing this, to avoid the annoying Black attachment at O3. ]) (;W[] ;B[nq] (;W[mq] ;B[oq] ;W[op] ;B[mr] ;W[lq] (;B[mp]C[In this case, the ladder is good (just) for White, but...]) (;B[pr] ;W[qr] ;B[lr]C[Black can still play this way. It's a big fight, but doesn't look so great for White.])) (;W[oq]C[If White can't fight, White has to play this way.] ;B[mq] ;W[op] ;B[mp]C[Better for Black than just playing M3.])))

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Back in the Game!

Finals are over!

Now I delve deep into Go (and Japanese -- と日本語), in preparation for Japan and in an attempt to get to a solid 3 dan by the end of the summer.

Yesterday I beat Mr. Park in an even game for the first time at CPL!  He's 4 dan.  :)  Technically, it was no komi but I won by resignation.  It's definitely not indicative of my tournament strength though.  I play much too slowly.

More importantly, I have some serious games lined up for this week.  I'm resuming play in AYD, with my first game on Tuesday.  (But I'll only play for one month, because I'll be leaving for Japan after that.)  I'm arranging to play a game online to be reviewed by Guo Juan at the end of the week.  And An and I are going to try to play this week at Diesel at some point.  Plus, there are all the regular MGA meetups.

It's good to be back!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rank Update

I finally clawed my way up to 1 dan on IGS!

I'm proud of this because it's really hard to win your way up in rank.  (The other option is to start a new account at a higher level and try to defend it, which can be easier to do.)

Of course, my AGA rank is higher (though, after the last MGA tournament, no longer at my high-water mark):

But Sensei's Library puts IGS 1 dan as equivalent to AGA 3 dan:

So if I can defend 1 dan on IGS, maybe I can justify entering an AGA tournament at 3 dan at some point.  (I just got to 1 dan on IGS, so I might very well drop back down.)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

West of the Sun

In addition to chipping away at my Japanese language skills (わたしの日本語がおじょおずじゃありません)I thought I'd read some Murakami (in English) to get ready for my trip to Japan this summer.  I just started reading South of the Border, West of the Sun, in which the main character (Hajime, meaning "beginning", which I know from "Hajimemashita", meaning "hello" when meeting someone for the first time), is complaining extensively about being an only child.  He says,
I detested the term only child.  Every time I heard it, I felt something was missing from me -- like I wasn't quite a complete human being.  The phrase only child stood there, pointing an accusatory finger at me.  "Something's not quite all there, pal," it told me.
Since I'm reading a translation in English, this made me wonder what the corresponding phrase for "only child" was in Japanese.  Then, in my Mango lesson today (#103), I learned how to say "only child"!  :)  It's ひとりっこ、which is literally "one child".

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Hampshire High School Club

Eva (our intrepid tournament director) shared this delightful photo of part of the crew that came down from NH for our MGA spring handicap tournament:

Monday, April 10, 2017

MGA Spring Handicap Tournament 2017

I played in a tournament!  I missed the Boston Spring Open (too busy with work).  But this one was right at the start of spring break for me, so it was perfect timing.  I actually played all four games too!

  • Game 1: played white, no komi vs. Karen and won on time
  • Game 2: took five (five) stones from Ethan (7 dan high schooler from Philly) and lost by 1.5...  yeesh!  The time setting is just too fast for me.  Basically the whole game was on my clock.
  • Game 3: It was such a beautiful day, so Shawn and I went outside to eat lunch...  and came back late for round 3.  I lost 5 minutes on my clock, and lost by resignation to Cam (black, no komi).
  • Game 4: Gave three stones to Charlie and won by about 15 points.  It was so nice to see him again!  Apparently he played in the Boston Spring Open a few weeks ago, but he hasn't been around much lately.  Even so, I think he's gotten stronger.  He's counting and doing a better job of taking sente.  He'll be stronger than me in no time.
I think the best part of the tournament was our new out-of-towners.  Ethan has been playing Go his whole life, but only recently learned of our American organization, and was happy to travel up here on his spring break to play with us.  We tried to emphasize all the great colleges in the Boston area.

We also had a contingent of new players from a high school Go club in New Hampshire:

They've only been playing for about a year, and this was their first tournament.  It was really fun to have them join us.  Their visit sparked some discussion about how we can get more high schools in the area to do this.  The AGF starter kit is fantastic, but you need someone at the high school to take the lead.  

I'm on spring break for the week and it feels like summer: warm weather and unscheduled days ready to be filled with Go study & play.  

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Rank Update

Joe of the Go cookies asked at Audrey's birthday party of many surprises about my progress toward my 5 dan goal.  I think he was making fun of me when I said I was at 2 dan now and he pointedly asked what my rank was at the beginning of my 5Yto5D plan (1 dan).  But I still have 3.5 years to go, so I'm right on track (because we all know progress is linear, right?).

Thanks to Andrew's hard work on setting up Ronin League, I'm getting an occasional rated game in between tournaments.  My current rank is at an all-time high for me of 2.85:

(We use the floor function to decide rank, so I don't get to round up to 3 dan.)

My latest bump in rank came from my Season 1, Episode 3 game against Andrew:

I'll have another bump from my Season 1, Episode 4 game against Andrew played at our most recent Gojo.  I wonder if I can get to 3 dan just by beating Andrew...  ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Guo Juan's Training System -- now mobile!

I've been super busy with work and with trying to be a better citizen:

So I haven't had as much time as I'd like for my 5 Years to 5 Dan plan.  But, fortunately, I can at least avoid losing ground by doing my problems on Guo Juan's Training System every day.  It really makes a huge difference.  In the past, when I haven't played much and then returned I felt like I forgot everything I know.  I no longer feel that way.  The SRS is *so* helpful.  And they've just upgraded the system so it now works on mobile devices!  This is huge for me, since I usually do my problems on the train to and from work.

I'm also still working on Japanese, using Mango (which is free through the library) and making SRS flashcards on Anki.  (Again, without SRS, this whole thing would be hopeless, especially during the academic year.)  I recently talked to Shawn (fellow MGA member who is also going to Osaka this summer).  He's using some other system for learning Japanese and has been learning how to say things like, "I like apples."  I've been learning how to ask how much it costs to take the airport shuttle from Narito to Hanedo airport, and how to say my head and throat hurt.  We'll find out which system is better in June...

Monday, February 20, 2017

Boston Spring Open!

We have a date and location! The Boston Spring Open will be on Saturday, March 25 at MIT.

One month to get ready!

When: Saturday, March 25. Registration from 9 - 9:45 AM. First round starts at 10 AM. Last round expected to end before 6 PM

What: A 4 round tournament with Open and Handicap divisions.
 • Open Division Must be AGA 1d+ to play in the Open Division. You may opt in day of tournament. Cash prizes for top 3 players.
 • Handicap Division Anyone can play in the Handicap Division. Games are Handicap - 2 with prizes for players with 4-0 and 3-1 records.

Where: MIT Stratton Student Center, 3rd Floor. Closest T stop is Kendall Square on the Red Line. Parking on Vassar Street, or refer to MIT’s parking guide.

How: Make sure your AGA membership is current and RSVP here on Meetup! Entry fee is $20 on arrival at the tournament.

Additional Details 
- AGA membership must be current!
- AGA rules
- Time Settings: 30 minute main time with 5 byo-yomi periods of 30 sec each
- Organized by: MIT Go Club and the Massachusetts Go Association.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

MGA Handicap Tournament -- In Memoriam, Roland Crowl

I played in a tournament today for the first time since the Canadian Open this summer!  It was our Winter MGA Handicap tournament.  (We have 4 each year.)  This one was in memory of Roland Crowl, a long time MGA member who passed away recently.

I only played the first 3 rounds (out of 4), since I find 4 games to be a bit too much for me.  Instead, I went for a walk in the park on this beautiful, sunny, post-snowstorm day -- definitely better for my mental and physical health than sitting hunched over a Go board for a fourth game.

My overall result was 2-1, playing at 2 dan.  I lost my first game against Mr. Cho.  This was the only one I managed to record:

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]HA[2]KM[0.50] GN[2017-01-08a]PW[Mr. Cho]PB[Becci]WR[4d]DT[2017-01-08]EV[MGA Handicap Tournament]PC[Cambridge]AB[pd][dp]C[White+Res.]PL[W] ;W[pp] ;B[dd] ;W[qf] ;B[nc] ;W[fq] ;B[cn] ;W[qn] ;B[dj] ;W[jp] ;B[qh] ;W[qj] ;B[pg] ;W[fc] ;B[hc] ;W[cc] ;B[cd] ;W[dc] ;B[ed] ;W[fb] ;B[ge] ;W[fj] ;B[hj] ;W[fo] ;B[or] ;W[pq] ;B[pr] ;W[qr] ;B[lq] ;W[kr] ;B[lr] ;W[kq] ;B[lp] ;W[ln] ;B[no] ;W[np]C[This was not a good situation for me...] ;B[nq] ;W[op] ;B[mo] ;W[mr] ;B[mq] ;W[ls] ;B[kp] ;W[iq] ;B[nm] ;W[nk] ;B[lm] ;W[kn] ;B[mm] ;W[jl] ;B[lk] ;W[jj] ;B[em] ;W[li] ;B[mj] ;W[oi] ;B[mi] ;W[mh] ;B[nh] ;W[ni] ;B[lh] ;W[mg] ;B[ki] ;W[lg] ;B[kh] ;W[kj] ;B[lj] ;W[og] ;B[pf] ;W[ph] ;B[qg] ;W[jf] ;B[ih] ;W[lc] ;B[dr] ;W[gd] ;B[he] ;W[hd] ;B[ie] ;W[id] ;B[je] ;W[dk] (;B[ck] ;W[cj] ;B[cl] ;W[di] ;B[ej] ;W[ei] ;B[ek] ;W[fk] ;B[el] ;W[gi]C[Game over.] ;B[fh] ;W[fi] ;B[jc] ;W[jd] ;B[kc] ;W[kd] ;B[lb] ;W[fe] ;B[fd] ;W[ff] ;B[ch] ;W[ci] ;B[bc] ;W[bb] ;B[bd] ;W[gf] ;B[bh] ;W[bk] ;B[df] ;W[jg] ;B[ii] ;W[kl] ;B[nj] ;W[oj] ;B[pm] ;W[ol] ;B[pn] ;W[qo] ;B[qm] ;W[ll]C[Oops...] ;B[rm] ;W[rq] ;B[mk] ;W[ml] ;B[nl] ;W[ok] ;B[pi] ;W[oh] ;B[rj] ;W[rk]) (;B[cj]C[I think I need to simply descend here. Should be an ok game.]))

We used Fischer time for the first time. I had been practicing this past week or so to get used to it, but Mr. Cho played much faster than me, so basically the whole game was on my clock. I got pretty flustered and made a huge mistake. But it's always fun to play Mr. Cho. He was 3-0 when I left. I hope he won his last game.

In my second game, I gave four stones to John Aspinall. He played well, cutting off some stones of mine to take back some territory I thought I had reduced. But I managed to get enough to win the game. My third game was an even game against Ed Gillis, which I also won. He played so fast that he had more time on his clock at the end of the game than when he started!

It's good to be back. I've got to get in shape (Go-wise) for Japan!