The Seven Homunculi of Go: The Satyr of Disagreement

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Agitation

Some of my losses follow a certain pattern:

I surround a relatively large territory and judge it as secure. My opponent invades it anyway. I get annoyed at my opponent’s stubbornness. My opponent destroys my big territory. I lose what is supposed to be a won game. Continue reading

The Seven Homunculi of Go: The Beast of Uncertainty

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In the third volume of the Learn to Play Go Series by Janice Kim and Jeong Soo-hyun, we learn the proper and improper mindset in the game of Go. More than an intellectual game, I think Go is a spiritual and philosophical endeavor too for serious players. I want to be a serious player, amateur I may be, and I look at the game as a battle for my mental, spiritual, and psychological growth (Deep I know, but that is how I see the game).

On the downfall of a player, Kim and Soo-hyun lists seven dangers. These seven dangers remind me of the seven homunculi (named and inspired by the seven deadly sins) in my favorite anime Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa. Indeed, as scary and menacing as the seven villains Ed and Al have to face, I also struggle against these seven nemesis every time I place or click a stone on the goban. Continue reading

Haphazard Review: The Unfortunate Ko

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In the game of Go, a mistake can appear out of nowhere. Just when one thinks the game is over, a misplaced stone can turn the win into a defeat or an easy win into an all-or-nothing ko fight. Continue reading

See the Power of the Stones: Takeo Kajiwara’s Direction of Play

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Introduction

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee

I once read somewhere that reading 100 Go books once is inferior to reading one Go book 100 times. Like in martial arts, Go requires different skills before one can become formidable in the game. We players of this complex game can train and enhance our knowledge by reading books. Hopefully, the knowledge we consume will manifest into a skill that, hopefully, we can use in our matches. However, training one skill 1,000 times may not be sufficient to compensate the lack of training in other skills.

The best reply I read about the parable of one Go book read a 100 times is that reading ten books ten times each might be better. I agree on this proposition.

I believe that the principles of Go are as simple as its rules. The necessary skills needed in Go can be distilled in only 10 (or even less) skills, but that is for another article.

If I were asked what are the ten books I will read ten times, or even 100 times, Takeo Kajiwara‘s Direction of Play will be in my list. Continue reading

Dragon Killer Series: Death of the One-Eyed Dragon

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In this edition of the Dragon Killer Series, Brown Stone discusses the power of direction of play and the power of stones in developing the Apex and creating advantage during middle game fighting. A failed attack during the early middle game resulted to sufficient strength for a late middle game kill of a one-eyed dragon.

Continue reading

Joseki Talkie with Bamboo and Yunzi

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Joseki Talkie

Joseki Talkie with Bamboo and Yunzi 4: Bamboo approaches Yunzi’s 4-4 stone. Yunzi plays one-space pincer. Bamboo is happy to take corner profit and sente. Yunzi is satisfied with the influence towards the sides and center. Continue reading

Fights, Mistakes, and Natural Development

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Whole Game

The goban for me is the universe seeking balance between two forces. These forces do not necessarily strive to destroy each other, but rather, they aim to live in harmony. However, some will not agree with this idea of balance and harmony. When one seeks to fight as often as possible, the goban turns into a battlefield fraught with the dead and mistakes. In the midst of the turmoil, calm and peace must meet the aggressor to maintain the balance, the harmony. For one may resist and impose their will as much as they can to ensue chaos, but the forces within the goban will deny entropy. The natural flow of Go is disorder to order. If one can look past the chaos and follow the natural movement and desires of the stones, then the aggressor will be one’s guide and accomplice in achieving balance and harmony. Continue reading

One Day Byoyomi: Correspondence Games at Dragon Go Server

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Playing a live game in Go servers like Pandanet can be a burden for busy people like. I love studying Go, and I make sure I learn or reinforce the things I learned every day. However, if I can’t play a game, what is the use of my growing (I hope) Go knowledge? Lucky for me and other busy people, Dragon Go Server (DGS) exists. Continue reading

Joseki Talkie with Bamboo and Yunzi

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Joseki Talkie

Joseki Talkie with Bamboo and Yunzi 3: Yunzi approaches Bamboo’s 4-4 stone. Bamboo plays one-space pincer. Yunzi takes corner profit. Bamboo is happy to make a wall in sente. Continue reading