Saturday, April 15, 2006

Iceman & the kids make the local paper

Photo from The Oakdale Leader

In case you missed it in the recent comments, The Oakdale Leader ran a feature article about Iceman and his students. This publicity is great for the kids and the Go program that he launched. Maybe other schools will read about it and follow suit.

Those gobans that you see in the photo are from Yellow Mountain Imports. YMI apparently gave Iceman a special price on three slightly-damaged table boards and one floor board. That was a very nice win-win arrangement.

Free Go Programs

Onscreen to the left, free bots: GnuGo being run on Drago, and IgoWin.
Onscreen to the right, server clients: glGo (for IGS) and CGoban (for KGS).

I've come to realize that a lot of beginners still aren't aware of the free Go playing programs (aka bots) that they can download and use on their computers.

While the value of playing against a bot is debatable, they can still be an acceptable alternative to playing live opponents if one is still in the lower kyus; particularly if you have a poor internet connection or if you would like a quick match that might be subject to frequent interruptions.

Here are two popular options. The first runs only on Windows but the last one is available in versions for multiple operating systems.

Waiting for the second board

Sam at Yellow Mountain Imports is shipping me a replacement mini-goban and I'm guessing that it should arrive early this week (UPS says Monday). YMI is providing a prepaid return label so I can send back the warped one.

I tried de-warping the goban by weighing-down the center with some books but it wasn't enough. I can at least be thankful for YMI's customer care.

Fuseki Quiz 1/20

Black to play. One of the five points is optimal.
The others are less so to varying degrees. I picked "D".

The diagram above comes from Naoki Miyamoto's (9p) out-of-print book, "What's Your Rating?". I believe the problems were originally published in the Nihon Ki-in's weekly back in the late 60's or early 70's.

It's a fuseki quiz with Black to play. Each of the choices, marked with alphabetical characters, has a relative value from 2 to 10. Your objective is to select the optimal move.

There are 20 in this series and I'll post one each weekend and the scoring of the choices on the following weekend. I'll then show what Miyamoto-san believes your rank should be based on the cumulative scores. It may not be accurate, but it should be a bit of fun.


At 12:43 AM, April 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I picked "b"

At 5:37 PM, April 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I chose "D" because it seems to attack and defend at the same time. I was also thinking about "E" but it looked a bit too small. "A" didn't seem right because white could still extend to "B" and there wouldn't any major losses. "B" looked very fascinating but still a bit small. Now "C", this was a move I would probably do without much thinking if I had this kind of a situation in one of my games. It looks big and it seems like an important move but I think it looks a bit too good, so I decided to go with "D". =)

At 7:09 PM, April 16, 2006, Anonymous Krystal said...

ChiyoDad, you might want to try out the "HikarUnix" live CD. It's a bootable Linux distribution FILLED with Go software. All the programs and study resources you could ever wish for. Just give it a quick google, I think you'll like it :) The best part is, you can boot it without installing anything, so its great for turning any computer you have access to into a temporary Go workstation!

At 7:41 PM, April 16, 2006, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

The next Sunday post will have a short summary of the move which Miyamoto-sensei considers to be optimal.

Hey Krystal! Where've you been, girl?!

I haven't been able to try HikarUnix because the BIOS of my ancient Dell laptop won't let me boot from the CD. I understand that it's a great app collection with a very small and efficient operating system footprint. One of these days I may try it on ChiyoMama's laptop.

At 12:01 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger thrashor said...

i choose "b". it is too a good a point to let white take.

At 8:08 AM, April 18, 2006, Blogger JMP said...

In my mind it definately can't be A or D and very unlikely to be E. So that leaves me with B and C. B blocks a major and minor extension for white. C blocks a minor extension for white and is a major extension for Black so in effect these moves have the same value except one is creation and one is destruction and Bruce Wilcox claims that in a tie breaker choose creation over destruction so I choose C. That being said I would not be shocked if B is the right answer.

At 9:58 PM, April 18, 2006, Anonymous Chris said...

I'd want to aim for B too. Rationale:

A: Gives W the perfect extension of B.

B: Stops W getting B, W has no good response locally.

C: Uninteresting part of the board.

D: Four black stones to kill one white stone is *far* too overconcentrated, and W can still just play lightly and get out.

At 12:40 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Adam said...

Hmmm I have to comment so I can remember what I was thinking when I check back to see the answer post!

So here's what I think:
A: gives away the thank-you move at B =(

B & C - roughly equal, call them miai and don't take either one 'till your opponent makes one superior or unavailable.

D defends black stone at K17, but so would a move at G17. D attacks P17, but not so stronly that he can't escape, I think.

E defends your corner shape, which doesn't have another defense as good. It attacks R10, and it provides something to grind an escaping P17 against if you get the chance to take D later.

I dunno I feel like one may attack R10 and build their framework at the same time, but attacking P17 (without further support) would just make a mess.

I'll take 'e'.

ugh! It took me like 10 tries to remember my password... =P


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