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: