Sunday, October 23, 2005

Visit to the Berkeley Go Club

ChiyoMama and Chiyochan opted to take it easy and spend this afternoon at home so that gave me an opportunity to visit the Berkeley Go Club for the first time.

I stayed from about 2:00pm to a little after 5:00pm and played two tutoring games. The first was with Herb with a 9-stone handicap and the second was with Charles with a 4-stone handicap. I lost both but received some useful tips and compliments on my play.

This was my first time playing on a real 19x19 board and it felt good to handle actual stones. I understand that Go playes may have preferences for thick or slim stones. After today, I'm convinced that I'd enjoy playing with stones that are at least 9mm thick and would probably prefer them even a little thicker.

I wasn't able to properly introduce myself to the gentleman in blue but the
photo shows (from left to right) Ron, Charles, Erwin (?), and Herb.

Herb explained that the key to playing in sente is to maintain instability in your opponent's positions. Admittedly, that's easier said than done but it's a useful thought to digest for strategic play. He also showed me different style of playing handicap Go which is less aggressive than the style recommended by Richard Bozulich in The Second Book of Go but which has the potential for creating more solid positions for Black.

I very much enjoyed my time at the club and will try to budget at least one Sunday a month for a visit. Mingjiu Jiang (7p), coauthor of All About Joseki, will be visiting on November 19th to do reviews. I might try to drop by and see what I can learn.


At 10:14 PM, October 23, 2005, Blogger GreatnessBlog said...

Wow, I'm jealous. That looks like a great club. I don't have one where I now live. Playing in person with a stronger player can be very instructive.

At 10:13 AM, October 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9 stones with Herb, but 4 with Charles? Was this on a small board?

At 10:46 AM, October 25, 2005, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Ah, yes. I thought someone might find that confusing. Both games were 19x19s.

My first game with Herb was primarily for instruction and partly for rank evaluation so he started me with nine stones.

My game with Charles was intended to be a teaching game. I wanted fewer stones so I could play-out more of the game, discover my weaknesses, and perhaps learn some joseki. I asked if we could just start out with four even though I knew that I would lose (very badly) with such a small handicap.


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