Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday Go Tips

So, as I may have mentioned, I did really poorly at the Chicago tournament and lost 4 out of 5 games.  That was a pretty humbling experience.  It's kind of difficult to think that one can work really hard and still not even achieve average results, but such is life and the way of competition.  My mindset is simply to learn as much from my mistakes as possible and move on.  I do have a difficult time brushing off losses, as I really hate to lose, but being disciplined and maintaining the correct mindset helps me pick myself up and move on.  This brings me to today's Go tip: How to take your loss and have it make you stronger.

I like to scrutinize all the games I've lost to really pick out where I made a mistake.  This is also rather cathartic, because I can go over my thought process and realize I'm not such a bad player; I just make mistakes and misjudge situations like any other homo-sapiens.  Now, some of you may be wondering how effective self game review is, especially without a stronger player present to watch over you.  It can be quite effective, as no one knows your thought process better than you!  What I do is I pick out three moments in the game where I clearly screwed up.  You don't need a strong player to tell you losing a 30 point group is bad.  I then work through these situations and try to find better moves.  It's a lot easier to see your mistakes when you're less emotionally invested in winning.  This part will take time, as you don't really know how your opponent will answer, so do this part slowly.  Find a good sequence, and satisfy yourself that the new sequence you found is better than the old one.

If you need help, websites like Eido Go and have pattern searches so you can look up board positions and joseki, so that you can compare them to your game.  If you search through Gobase's database and find not one pro who played your move, you might want to either rethink it or call the AGA and let them know you've found a new joseki!  After you're all done reviewing, forget about the game and move on.  This will make it so that you are more flexible in the future and that you see your losses as learning experiences.