Donnerstag, 29. Dezember 2011

Between 2011 and 2012

The week between the years is more quiet than usual. There won't be any more posts, though. I'm lazy and also need some time to figure out some not-go-related stuff for myself.

I do still hang on on Kaya every day. I won my first three matches - which is nice. I really thought I  might be the weakest player on the server. As it turns out there are players with all kinds of strength present on Kaya.

I also still work on the double low approach to the 4-4 stone. There will be a post about it next year ;)

Samstag, 24. Dezember 2011

Kaya GS - First Impressions

Last night the Kaya GS alpha started just in time for the holidays.

It is very interesting to see a project like this in such an early stage.
One can look at the very core of it and imagine it grow.

The good news:  People can already meet each other online and play Go (well, if they do not happen to use a browser with issues - it is alpha after all ;)).

The bad news: So far I have none.

More important to me than sheer functionality is the fact that I really liked Kaya. Out of some reason I never got warm with any internet go server other than Dragon Go - and that one is turn based. Whenever I tried to play a game on other platforms (KGS being the most obvious choice), I realized that I just could not feel the game the way I feel it on a real board. I do not get emotional invested in it and so I play carelessly without any real concentration. It is hard to grasp the reason for this (grafics/lack in aesthetics, "cold" user experience, lack of communication with my opponent before playing, ...), but that was just how it was. It even applied to my attempts to watch games of others. I never could get myself to be interested in any match I observed on KGS.

So I'm very pleased that I got drawn into the first game I observed on Kaya - especially as I did not plan on following a game in its entirety. It just happened. It is a little bit early to say so, but my hope to find a place I can enjoy playing online has increased.

BTW: I haven't played myself yet. When I logged in yesterday I had been to a work related Christmas party and I did not want to play my first game on Kaya with my head messed up (I wasn't really drunken, but to say I was sober would be a lie as well).

While most features are not implemented yet, one really useful thing is there right from the start: the 'share variation' command. As an observer you can detach from a game - meaning that you open another tab of your browser with another copy of the game. This copy can be edited by you. After that you just klick a button (sharevar) and post a link to this variation to the observer chat. Very nice and easy!

It will be interesting to see what kind of features will be implemented in the future.

That's it for now. The server is currently down. As soon as it gets on, I will play.

Donnerstag, 22. Dezember 2011

Time Constraints (Also: Kaya GS)

It is Thursday 10:30am and I've already amassed about 40 hours of work this week. Therefore nearly all Go related projects are put to a halt. Nevertheless, here are some quick updates:

1) I got myself a founder account for Kaya GS. I will report about Kaya as soon as it goes Alpha. As that might be tomorrow AND I will have a couple of days off (starting tomorrow evening) - I'm super excited.

2) My studies about the double low approach to the 4-4 point progressed a bit further. You can get an impression here and here (both are 'life in 19x19'-forum links).

3) I've realized that I need to wait longer before I write about stuff like the double low approach to the 4-4 point. I'm just still too weak to assess stuff precisely and quick enough. Articles about my reasearch will be rarer, but more thorough from now on. The same goes for game reviews.

4) Did I mention that I have a Kaya founder account ? :)

Sonntag, 18. Dezember 2011

Black in a Tight Spot: The 4-4 Double Low Approach

Today I felt that I need a break from doing life and death tsumegos every day. So I decided to study an interesting position I found myself in quite often during my last games:

Diagram 1

Lucky enough there is an article about it at Sensei's Library. That is the starting point for my studies. Today's post will be mainly about 

a) one of the possible continuations for this situation, the so called attach and extend joseki

b) the questions I feel are left unanswered regarding this joseki at Sensei's Library. 

Hopefully, the coming days will bring blog entries about the answers to these questions ;)

Mittwoch, 14. Dezember 2011

How Things are Going

Work is currently overpowering Go big time. I do try to solve at least a acouple of problems every day and I also continue to play on Dragon Go. But I do not have the time to make a blog post from my experiences (I have two unfinished entries I do not want to share yet, though).

Luckily, my rating on Dragon Go continues to rise. I'm at 12 kyu now and I think I'm about to win the most games I currently have in the pipeline. That might be my usual middle game megalomania, though (I'M GOING TO WIN, I'M STRONG, I WILL CRUSH YOU..oh wait..hey...ahhhhhh...OK, I loose).

Here are my last 20 games. They went extremely well! 

So, that's it. Back to work ;)

Samstag, 10. Dezember 2011

My New Goban

Yesterday  my new Goban arrived. I love it!

I might have spent an unreasonable amount of money on a game and I might fulfill the cliché of the weak player with a cool board , but I still love it :)

Aesthetics is one of the reason I was driven to Go in the first place and I will spend a couple of hundred hours in front of this board - so I consider it a very good investment.

Montag, 5. Dezember 2011

Failing to Live

Today I started to do problems that are about living rather than killing. The chapter I'm at is about miai for two eyes. Somehow I find living way harder than to kill and I got nearly all problems wrong. I sat about 15 minutes about the one I want to show you today. When I gave up and went to the solution (I hate doing that!), I got very irritated - the solution was a point I thought about maybe 10 times - and always the black group, which was the one supposed to live, died after white 2.

The explanation in the book wasn't very helpful either. It just showed black 1 and pointed out that A and B were miai for two eyes. Again, I checked on the board. Again, black died on me.  So I went to preparing the diagrams about the evil evil book that presents you with a wrong tsumego, wasting your time in doing so. 

And then ... I got it. 

Have fun trying to solve it yourself before expanding the post ;)

Black to live!

Diagram 1

Sonntag, 4. Dezember 2011

This rocks! Bat's video lectures

The last days were very busy and I did not have a lot of time to solve problems, read books or play online. Especially because I was kind of tired in the evenings and just did not have the motivation to add another two hours of concentration to my already overly full schedule. But: While lazily browsing forums, blogs, google etc. I discovered this link:

Mittwoch, 30. November 2011

Worklife vs. Go

Worklife wins.

As I had barely enough time to do more than 3 or 4 tsumego since monday, there is nothing new to talk about.

So doublhane is in recess until sunday December 4th.

Montag, 28. November 2011

A Lesson in Patience

Another monday, another local Go meeting. My opponent tonight impressed me pretty much. I played him the first time ever . He is about 1 to 2 kyu and so we played at a 9 stone handicap. We were eating something before we started to play and he talked about how patience is the most important virtue in high handicap games. The ability to wait for the one mistake and then take your profit; to withstand the urge to make up for the points you are "behind" within the first 20 moves.

The impressive thing was that he wasn't just all talk. It was exactly what he did to me in the game. He had a very calm way of playing. At no point I had the impression that my enemy is rushing against my walls trying to overwhelm me by sheer force. He just played calmly, built up pressure over time and then crushed me slowly.  

So I  had the opportunity to meet yet another player who can beat me at 9 stones. In comparison to last week's go meeting I was satisfied with my game today, though. I played reasonable solid, kept my opponent stones separated and his groups weak. Then came the moment in which I chose to attack instead of defend - after all I believed there were plenty of opportunities to connect my threatened group -  and lost my huge (huge!) center group that kept two other huge white groups separated and weak. 

Sadly, I'm really bad at remembering high handicap games so I can not provide you with detail or analysis. But: I ordered two books to write down kifus two weeks ago. As they have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to get here (Germany), it might still take a while, but soon I will start to record my games. 

One more thing: Doing life and death problems for two weeks now starts to pay off. I solved a rather complicated (for my level) life and death situation and managed to survive an attack that was meant to kill my corner group. I tried to recreate it, but the surrounding was important too and I can not get it right. Again, soon I will stat keeping kifus and things won't be lost to me that easily anymore.

Samstag, 26. November 2011

Game Review Part I: Laying the Groundwork for Defeat

It is time for the first review of one of my games. It was played on Dragon Go. I was 14 kyu, my opponent 11 kyu. The game was set on a 4 stones handicap and a komi of 1.5. It lasted 278 moves. I lost with 9.5 moku.

Here is the final board:

I'm not very satisfied with the way I played that game. I am not only clearly the weaker player - I also made some really unnecessary mistakes and dull moves of the kind I like to think I do not do anymore. In other words: The game offers a lot to learn for me ;)

Today I will cover the first 61 moves. You will witness me being invaded, cut apart and falling behind bit by bit. I consider it a success that I was able to just be behind 9.5 moku at the end.

I will also ask for a game review on 'Life in 19x19'. In case anyone wants to follow or comment, here is the link.

EDIT 28.11.2011: The discussion on 19x19 showed me that I've made a lot of mistakes in my review. I added some comments to point out my mistakes.

The full sgf is available here.

Mittwoch, 23. November 2011

A Bend in the Corner - or: Death by Tenuki

Today I re-discovered a concept I have read about a couple of months ago: The 'bent four in the corner'-shape. I could never actually put it to use, so it was kind of dead knowledge to me.

I came across it while solving problems (again). It took me quite a while to get through the problem. I will try to not bore you by discussing every detour I took. But: One of the detours towards the solution led me to the bent four. And that is the one I want to talk about.

Here is the tsumego. I will also present the solution. So do not expand carelessly, if you want to solve it at your own.

Diagram 1
Black to start a ko.

Montag, 21. November 2011

White Wall of Power

Every monday our local Go Club meets in a pub. With my strength about 14 kyu I'm the weakest player in town - and so I got completely destroyed on the board ... again ;)

Sonntag, 20. November 2011

Tsumego of the day

The last time I wrote about a tsumego, I wrote about why I was able to solve it - my willingness to work through it more methodically and patiently, my increasing ability ... yadda yadda and so on and so forth ;)

Today I will show you a tsumego I failed at. I did not fail because I read something wrong, or did not see something, but because the solution just lies a few steps deeper than I was able or willing to read into it. It is, as if someone had drawn a line on the ground to mark the threshold of my abilities. I just need to cross it to become stronger.

Here it is. If you want to solve it on your own, do not expand the post before you're done with it.

Black to kill!
Diagram 1

Samstag, 19. November 2011

Things that made me stronger - Part I: A Lecture about Leaning Attacks

Today I start the series "Things that made me stronger". Every now and again every players seems to come across something that triggers some insight in the game and with it a sudden surge in strength. One could call this phenomena moments of revelation. In this series I will talk about mine.

Part I: A Lecture about Leaning Attacks

Freitag, 18. November 2011

On Solving Tsumegos

I think I might write about tsumegos quite frequently over the course of the next weeks. I've neglected them complety for at least 8 months and now hat I've (re)started doing them, they begin to fascinate me more and more.

As I am not a particular strong player, the tsumegos I discuss in the weeks and months to come will be quite basic (even embarrassingly so). What is interesting to me is that I begin to develop a, well, certain mindset that helps me to solve tsumegos and that promises to improve my game quite a lot.

I share these thoughts here, because I believe this change might be of interest for other players around my strenght (10-14 kyu'ish). So at least today's post is more about the way I solve tsumegos and what I think about them than about the problem itself.

This is the problem I will refer to:

Donnerstag, 17. November 2011

About 'Double Hane'

What is Double Hane?

Double Hane is a blog about the board game Go (other names are weiqi or baduk). It will be a place to share my thoughts about the game and discuss all things Go.

Double Hane is not the blog of a high dan player. I'm in the process of becoming single digit kyu right now and Double Hane's purpose is to shed light on the game from a beginners's perspective - mine. I plan to document and discuss my thoughts, errors and improvements and I hope this will be of interest to other players too. Maybe someday it will even help someone to overcome hurdles I now still have to face.

I plan to update the blog at least once per weak.

Why the name 'Double Hane'?