Sunday, May 14, 2006

Losing the unplayed game

Take a look at the rank conversion table for Argentina's 2006 Iwamoto Tournament.

This table suggests that, as a 17-kyu KGS player, I should be equivalent to a 12-kyu IGS player. For this tournament, IGS players from 17k to 11K will be matched-up in the same class as KGS players from 20k to 16k.

There are a lot of different opinions out there as to how IGS ranks correspond to KGS ranks. For all I know, this table could be grossly incorrect. For this sake of self-analysis, let's assume that it isn't. The conclusion that would be drawn from it is that I am playing well below my capabilities on IGS.

Even recently, on IGS, I haven't been able to push my rank above 20k. That could be due to two reasons.
  • I don't play as frequently on IGS.
  • I treat my IGS account as a "leisurely play" and "light practice" account.

Now, let's do a segue to Toshiro Kageyama's book, Lessons in The Fundamentals of Go. On page 37, he writes this (italic emphases are mine):

In the world of Go also, a long tradition of intellectual combat has distilled the professional into something that an amateur can never hope to become. A professional has undergone elite training in competition from childhood; he has learned to view every other person as an opponent to be beaten down and crushed. His mental, physical, and emotional strength all have to be fully developed. If he lets up anywhere, it will show in his performance on the board and he will fail the professional test. The realm of competition is stark.

This is no different from the mental attitude training that I received from my college fencing coach and the head of my kendo dojo. Many matches are lost in the mind before you even face your opponent. One has to muster a calm, confident, and indomitable spirit and sustain it throughout. Achieving this mental state may not guarantee a victory; but not achieving it can almost guarantee a loss.

It's still unlikely that I'll play as many games on IGS as I do on KGS; but I'd like to see what will happen if I start taking my games there as seriously.

Fuseki Quiz 5/20

One line can make a difference. Black to play.
I chose "A" because of the menacing White kosumi in the upper left.

Scoring of Last Weekend's Fuseki Quiz 4/20

  • A = 8
  • B = 6
  • C = 10, Extending to J17 assists the two stranded White stones. If Black plays K15, White jumps to N13; putting the Black stones under attack.
  • D = 2
  • E = 4


At 5:11 AM, May 15, 2006, Blogger JMP said...

My personal experience would say that 17kyu KGS does not equal 12 kyu IGS. I am a solid 13k kgs currently and I played 3 games this weekend on IGS as a 13k and went 1-2. Now in general I would agree IGS is a little weaker in ranks than KGS but it is almost impossible to compare the ranks. Their rating systems are so different, they tend to use different timing systems and the pool of players are of different geographies and styles that is isn't hard to picture different people having different levels of success on each server. Also IGS really seems to punish white with that weird reverse 5.0 komi thing (all 3 games this weekend I was white).

For this weeks quiz I chose B. It can't be D or E because it is too close to strenth. A seems a little weak since the top stone has some possibility to live in the corner. B seems about right, if white splits black at c13 the b stone can make a safety extension and the c11 stone still has a possibility to connect or live.

At 12:01 PM, May 15, 2006, Anonymous explo said...

I am 9k (dropped from 8k) on kgs and 5k on igs so it looks all right in my case.
The playing style is very different on each server. jmp I believe you can get 10k on igs just by getting used to the playing style there.

At 8:19 PM, May 15, 2006, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Hello jmp and explo!

I'm guessing that a lot of KGS players may get trounced by IGS players in this tournament.

A different style? Hmm. Different in what way?

I tried playing a couple of serious games on IGS yesterday and got a split result; one win, one loss.

At 6:31 PM, May 16, 2006, Anonymous ScatCat said...

Wow! That table seems grossly squewed in favor of IGS players. I'm a solid 11k on KGS (or was before work got in the way!), but am only 15k on IGS. Guess which rank would give me a more favorable seeding....

On to the quiz. I like B. It prevents a b 2 pt extension while working nicely with the SW corner stones. TTFN!


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