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Friday, February 04, 2005

Tsumego--Life and Death Problems of Go

I went back to this site--I have to do something if I want to improve--after about two months absence, and the layout of the problems for 2005 has changed from that of 2004. Much better. Not that it helped with the solving of the problems. The elementary ones I can sometimes get. It is the intermediate problems that cause headaches, sometimes quite literally.

My philosophy towards tsumego has always been to do lots of easy problems. The benefits from that show up fairly quickly, and there is a definite sense of accomplishment as you cruise through 100 problems in an hour. Fair enough, but my problem seems to be being able to take a 'difficult' problem and run through all the variations, i.e. to be able to grind it out. With easy to average problems, I just 'know' where to play. Go instinct, I guess. Where I come undone (I've come undone so many times before, with go being the least of the unraveling, that it has the advantage of being familiar territory) is with more difficult problems. Somewhere along the line, I get bored, take a best guess, mutter 'God hates a coward', and slap a stone down. Oddly enough, this strategy has a distinctly random success rate.

Hence, Harada's site. Must mentally condition myself to be able to stare a problem for more that a couple of minutes. Must be able to grind the mothers out. Must and must and must....

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