Direction of play
Another series of successful matches pushed my rank just barely into 17-kyu. At this point, it's safe for me to say that I've broken through my 19k barrier and that I've gotten stronger. I just have to keep on playing to see where my rank solidly settles.
Certainly, doing a little regular tsumego and taking a more time to think through my moves have contributed to my improvement. A pair of other concepts that I've been trying to apply to my matches has been a better awareness of the balance of influence versus territory and an understanding of the direction of play.
The second chapter of Takeo Kajiwara's book, The Direction of Play, has provided me with a little insight into these. That is where the example in the top board was taken. There, Black's play on D16 in response to White's D3 is considered "correct" as the follow-up approach of Black D5 has a strong relation to D16. Black projects the power of his star-point stone down into White's corner and sets up opportunities to activate it on a grand scale.
There are people who think that it makes little difference how they play in the opening. Ridiculous! A game is often decided in the opening.
- Takeo Kajiwara
If White responds with a territorial orientation, as illustrated on the first board, Black is able to expand his framework to both the left and right of the board; a situation which is poor for White and good for Black.
This second example shows what happens when White responds with a more influence-oriented approach. The result is more balanced but still slightly in Black's favor.
Doing what I can in the environmental wars
I can't call myself an environmental activist. I haven't participated in rallies. I haven't collected signatures for legislative change. I only do what I can as a back-of-the-line reservist trooper in the environmental wars; making pro-environmental lifestyle choices, donating to causes and calling legislators. I actually have the telephone numbers for my senators and congressperson programmed into my mobile phone.
Recently, Environmental Defense teamed-up with The Ad Council of America to raise the alarm on global warming. In this section, I've decided to share one of their hard-hitting television spots with you.
If you'd like to understand more and assist, visit fightglobalwarming.com.