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really bad go can be fun

I put off learning go for the same reason many do, or quit. It takes a lot of play and/or study (either seems to work for a lot of people) to the tune of a few hundred hours over several months for most of us to achieve a certain level of confidence in our play.

And during that time you lose a lot of games, and even if you win you see things you did wrong but shouldn't have gotten away with. It can be a tough pill to swallow, to use an old saying.

But there's a very bright side to this, that go can be fun even when you suck. And as a beginner, nobody really expects you to consistently play well.

So you have permission to just enjoy yourself and try to learn a little something from each game.

Like most, if not all, beginners, I'm weak in basically every area of play. So I can always find something to work on.

Here are a couple of games I actually won against other new players, to break up the string of posts about educational losses. Hopefully I can find a win or two to post every week or so. One takeaway from this is that you don't have to wait a year to start winning games if you can play some closer to your level (although I agree with the general advice to improve by mostly playing against stronger opponents and learning how you lost).

This was a game against catholic_dayseeker 25k a friend of mine from online D&D gaming, who barely knows the rules at all. As you can imagine, even with my very limited experience, I was able to tear apart almost everything he tried. In this case I won by score due to my opponent not yet knowing how to carve out big territory and win in tricky skirmishes. Later we plan to go over some basics to get my opponent up to speed for revenge to come!

And this one was against Turel 25k on my OGS friends list, just making the move to 19x19 play. They lost on time trying to find a way to live inside my territory after a really fun battle across the entire board. My gut tells me that Turel will come back stronger in our upcoming games.

grinding on 19x19

I set a goal of playing ranked/rated 19x19 live games until the OGS server has my rank dialed in with confidence (because the server keeps track not only of your performance, but also how consistently you perform). At least several more 19x19 ranked live games ahead to pull it off, and I've dropped to 19k along the way.

Today I got in a couple of games against Algebro 16k today, one at lunch & another "less sober" game this evening. I lost both, but such is life for a high DDK!

FrostedNuke 6k reviewed the lunch game.

At this point I have major deficiencies in basically every area of the game, so it's not hard to find something to improve from each game. These things take time.

18k lost due to misread against a chemically handicapped simul, and a teaching game

Racked up a rated 19x19 live loss to bronzevscrub 15k over lunch (later reviewed by my opponent and ecopenguin 1d), then another immediately after work going against a slightly impaired Wiccan_Wolf 14k, who was also simultaneously throwing down against HunterWhitley 19k.

ecopenguin 1d reviewed the critical part I just couldn't work out under time pressure, then offered a teaching game peppered with go proverbs.

16k vs jager 15k, first rated live 19x19

I saw that I haven't logged any rated live 19x19 games yet and am actively seeking them out.

My first was against jager 15k. My opponent offered a few helpful observations afterward, and smurph 3d contributed variations and general review notes. Another excellent review was offered by ckersch 4k.

OGS combines ratings at different time controls and on different board types in addition to tracking each separately. kyu/dan rank ties to the combined rating, and mine has been slightly inflated due to opponents timing out in 9x9 ladder games. I was 17k after this game and will not be surprised to see a few more rank reductions as I play more.

16k game review from FrostedNuke 6k and ✨✨✨✨ 2d

I'm a high DDK on OGS, and some of the friendly regulars have been offering to play me share tips & constructive criticism. FrostedNuke 6k offered me a review game earlier this week, and I was finally able to get it together for after work Friday.

✨✨✨✨ 2d observed the game and also contributed some advice for both of us.

Here's the game.

Here's their review.

And my own review, with some alternate moves and insights from CrazyStone, which I had analyze the game later.

I've got a lot to learn about the opening and making each move count.

17k Sai match and 2-day brisk correspondence match with EinR 16k

EinR started this match when they were 16k and I was 18k one morning, and finished it late the following evening with them at 18k and me at 17k. I was 19k briefly in the middle. Fortunes change fast and often for high DDKs!

EinR also played against smurph 3d and me in a Sai match, in which the stronger player gives general strategic direction to the learning player, who makes actual game decisions in an attempt to interpret the "over the shoulder" directions from "Sai". However briefly, the stream of the game is on twitch.

I lost the sai match on time, finding it challenging to concentrate on the game, the clock, and Sai simultaneously. It was an intense experience, and really cool. Spaceman π 7k reviewed the match.

I won the correspondence game after EinR and I both felt we had played the best go we could on day 1 followed by a slow grind on day 2. It was a wild game, with one side taking the entire center, and the other taking almost all corners and sides. We both misread a large group of stones with one eye and a false eye that only became clear during yose. FrostedNuke 6k reviewed the first half of the game.