Posts Tagged ‘advice’

Questions and Answers with Tei Meiko Sensei

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
I published an article based on a series of emails I recently exchanged with Tei Meiko 9 dan – one of the official instructors during the time I was an insei in Japan. As he commented most of my insei games back then, Tei Sensei’s wisdom is behind most of the lessons that I published so far. The questions are mostly around how to study Go. Here are the things that I found very interesting:
  • memorizing pro games is a popular study method (I used to be under the impression that it’s only a minority of the studying Go players using it)
  • professional players do study Go books (I used to think the only Go books they study are game collections and joseki dictionaries, and that the vast majority of the books are written for amateurs, but I was wrong)
  • professionals don’t use any pattern-matching software for studying Go
  • memorizing joseki doesn’t hurt (contrary to some popular opinion in the amateur’s world); in general, “don’t read this until you are that level” is bad advice
  • making progress at Go is really easy :-) – just “read and play”: learn something new, apply it in your games; repeat until 9 dan.
Thank you for the nice advices, Tei Sensei!

How to learn from Go problems

Monday, April 9th, 2007
There is a new article in the “Korea Times” series: Lesson 90: Life-and-Death Problems (Part 2) It makes a few very good points about how to learn from Go problems:
  1. find the right problem set for your level - most of the time it’s in very simple situations where mistakes occur, so there is no real benefit to study very complicated problems if you’re missing simple ones
  2. don’t look at the answers – in the real game there’s no Fujiwara-no-Sai to tell you the answer :-) I don’t suppose there is any harm in looking at the answers eventually – but just don’t look before putting a significant effort into solving the problems.
In order to read other articles in this series, here is the index page.

How to study professional games

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
I wrote a detail page for the “Study professional games” advice. It also touches on subjects as “to read comments or not to read comments“, and “try to understand or learn by heart“. Also, do you know this Google search trick to look for SGF files of Takemiya’s? Just google for Takemiya filetype:sgf and see for yourself. The filetype:sgf part of the search string is a special Google operator that limits the search to files with the sgf extension. Of course, you can replace Takemiya with your favorite Go player.

If you want to improve, play a lot of fast games

Friday, February 9th, 2007
I added some details to the “play a lot of fast games” advice – see this page. Just briefly, it’s not about playing with time limits that make you cry all the time, but it is about pushing yourself to play with lower time limits than what you are comfortable with.