Friday, July 28, 2006

Gnats! There goes my weekend!

I need to work for most of this weekend in preparation of my quarterly review of our corporation's operational performance. Sadly, much of my key data will not be available until Saturday and that has backed-up a lot of analysis.

The ChiyoClan might be in Japantown of San Francisco for lunch this Saturday. Hopefully, I'll at least be able to drop-in and meet some of my online Go friends who will be attending the NorCal Open.

Lucky Buy: Tesuji and Anti-Suji of Go

I was able to acquire a copy of Sakata Eio's Tesuji and Anti-Suji of Go for US$20 this week. I had set-up a wishlist request on and was notified when a seller put a copy up for sale.

At first glance, this books seems neither inferior nor superior to Davies's Tesuji. However, I seem to be understanding a bit more and there are amusing bits of writing from its author. I just have to share page 43 with all of you. Part of this excerpt reminds me of my old lesson plan.

One Day, All of a Sudden

"I am such a weak player that I am ashamed of myself, and I plan to forsake playing until I become strong."

Naturally, this is only a joke, but the fact is that it cannot be expected that one will get stronger without playing.

As is the case with every art, it never comes to pass that one suddenly becomes strong one day.

The matter is comparable to a novice sumo wrestler trading blows with a junior champion. The less accomplished combatant will fall and immediately get back up, to be defeated and rise once again to challenge, demonstrating to all eyes focused on the battles the indomitable will of a champion, all the while spending more time tasting the dust of the ring than the fruits of victory.

Therefore, it is an error to harbor a noble vision of "becoming strong in secret, while no one is watching."

One should take on all comers, playing everyone and anyone, building up experience at the board. It is not likely that while one suffers the taunts and laughter of the others in the club, one will inexorably become stronger?

In view of this fact, what we want to warn the reader against in regards to methods of Go study, is to avoid meaningless adherence to a theory of perfection. First one masters joseki, next one conquers the opening, then one turns to the middlegame. This order seems to be systematic; but no sensible player would give any credence to such a theory.

Instead, adopt a broader approach, being open to anything, and willing to try whatever is at hand.

Whatever one encounters, whenever the mood strikes, turn your attention in that direction and investigate as one's interest is stimulated. That is a sufficient approach to study.

Go is the sort of game where that kind of attitude keeps it fresh and lively.

- Sakata Eio

I will write more about my impressions of this book after I have read it thoroughly.

Chris Kubika's looking for Go writers

Some of you may have heard of Chris Kubika who is running for the Eastern Director of The American Go Association. He's announced plans to start a new magazine called Go Gazette but needs writers to help out. If you're interested, you can find his contact information and details in his post on

I've been invited to help but I can't add any more activities to my plate these days. I wish him the best of luck with promoting our game.


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