Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday Go Tips!

Last week we touched on one-color Go, and I hope you had fun trying it out.  It can be a bit of a headache, but once you get it down, it does a lot to boost your confidence.  What are some other ways we can enhance our Go playing skills?  Tsumego (Go puzzles) is of course the tried and true way of increasing your skill at Go.  It's been said so many times I won't go over all of the benefits of doing Go problems, but I will offer a new way of doing them that might make it more fun and help out with learning shapes.  I used to do a mountain of tsumego problems.  When I was trying to move up the dan ranks, I actually sat down one weekend and did about 3,000 some odd problems.  It didn't result in a big boost in my playing strength.  In fact, I ended up being really, really bored.  Doing a TON of tsumego problems is really the way to go, but you have to make the process fun or else you'll be in the doldrums.  Here's a neat idea the next time you crack open that tsumego book.

Get 10-20 tsumego together that are moderately difficult for you, and time yourself while you do it.  Repeat this process with another set of 10-20, and then another.  Now, wait a week.  Doing the same tsumego problems back to back doesn't really help you put the shapes in long term memory.  You have to do the same shapes and problems over a period of time so that it sticks in your head.  Take the same sets of problems and do them again, but this time, try to do them faster.  Waiting a week will help you in forgetting the solution so you don't just memorize it.  Try to do the same set, minus 10-15 seconds.  If you mess up, that's fine!  Just take the problems you couldn't finish on time, and set them aside for next week; they'll be at the top of the pile!  Doing tsumego problems accurately and fast will help your game, and since we have a week's worth of down time in between, you won't just be mindlessly picking the same spot without instinctively understanding why move A works and move B does not.  Try it out!  It's strenuous, but if you're serious, it's a new way to do tsumego that is both rewarding and fun.