Monday, August 29, 2005

Win a River, Lose the Sea

"The campaigns of Emperor Wu of the Han dragged on with no result and after the treasury was emptied he issued an mournful edict"
-Chang Yu

Playing very badly from the start in my second lesson with my professional Go teacher Li Ang Lao Shi 3P, I began to try to find life in a group on the left side. After easily killing the group, he demonstrated proper technique. The question which followed was:
Me: Can Black Live?
Li Lao Shi(3p): Yes. But Life not Equal Win

In Go and life it is important to take a step back and ask, "Is this battle worth
winning?" In Go directly, I find that I waste too many stones securing a single
group, waking up to the fact that I have given away the entire board for a small
mound of territory. There is a great quote from Sun Tzu in this matter, but I
choosen to save it for another day.

Obviously, that is not the actual game that we played at the top, but it gets across
what it is like to play him. I have a deep respect for masters of any great art, and feel
very fortunate to play a game against a Chinese Pro Player. I just wish he didn't
kill everything

Li Ang Lao Shi teaches on KGS as Lyonweiqi. Look up his profile on KGS. For lessons, bear in
mind the time difference between China and, say, the United States. (exactly 12 hours from my location)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

First Move Tengen

I had just learned some great lessons the previous night from my go teacher and was anxious to try them out. Preparing to start with the Low Chinese Opening, I was a little sad when his first move was to the center of the board. Not wanting to waste time learning how to deal with this move, I just played my game. It ended up looking like some kind of Segregation blue print from a Strom Thurman dream. Loss by 21 moku.

Friday, August 26, 2005

My progress bar: 0.00000001%

(portion of Ukiyoe by Hasegawa Sadonobu)
In the few short months that I have been studying Go, I have learned one thing: I have a long way to go in Go. When I was 12 years old I bought my first Go board, but the small, cheaply-made American game had horribly written instructions, and I had no outside source of information on the game. No bookstores carried books on the game and none of my friends had the attention span to make it past 4 stones of play. And so with the advent of the internet, a decade of tough times that refined my concentration, and a lot of life-learning, I finally take my first real steps in this amazing game. Though it would be great to have 15 years of the game under my belt, I feel fortunate to even be able to play at all.
I began taking pro lessons last week, playing a game against my teacher with 13 stone handicap. I didn't stand a chance. Just finishing my last lesson before the small hurricane blew into town I am exciting to move a bit forward
[9-1-05 add]
the small hurricane that blew into town knocked out our power, air conditioning(computer-kgs) and
plumbing for about 15 hours. That night, high up on the 14th floor, I watched as the Category 1
hurricane shook and lifted both huge glass balcony doors. While looking out at the mass of darkened
houses, I could see the long pane of glass pend sharply in the wind. After traveling across land, we had
guessed the hurricane would lose strength. Of course, Katrina only got stronger and left tragedy in
her wake. Though it was hot that night, we should be thankful we woke up in a house at all.