Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Go Tips!

Standard sequences (joseki) are a pain in the butt to memorize, especially when you're not as strong as you'd like to be.  It's important we really know them, however, because having a good basis of knowledge about standard sequences improves just about every area of our game.  We're often told, though, that we should never just memorize standard sequences, that we have to understand the principles behind each and every move so that when we are presented with a situation outside of the book, we still know what to do.  I personally still think you just need to sit down and memorize a pile of standard sequences.  There are a couple reasons for this.  Not knowing standard sequences can hold you back, because for some moves, it really is just knowing where the correct spot is.  Secondly, standard sequences give you ideas for new moves that you may not have thought of before.  Is there a way to make learning standard sequences interesting?  Should we just lock ourselves in a room with a pile of Go books and hope we don't lose our sanity?  Learning standard sequences doesn't have to be difficult.  It's basically just memorization, so flash cards would be ideal.  If that reminds you too much of school, then here's a goofy way to memorize sequences.  Find some music you really like.  I find that Motown works best, but to each his own.  While you play each move, sing out each word of the song.  For instance, the two space high pincer double approach standard sequence is "Chantilly Lace" while the star point one space low pincer is "We didn't start the fire."  You can of course pick music that fits your taste.  It may not be effective for everyone, but at least you can look like you're rocking out while playing Go.