Games of Berkeley seems to have stocked-up on magnetic gobans.
I visited Games of Berkeley
last weekend and must have spent an hour-and-a-half sitting on the floor in front of the four shelves of Go books. I was going through book after book from Kiseido
trying to find some worthy new additions to my library. It was a little frustrating but I couldn't find anything that I felt was a "must have"
addition; even for future reading.
Books are one learning method that I and many other Go players turn to for a variety of reasons. Four common ones are:
- Lack of time for more frequent play (i.e. to learn by experience)
- Lack of disposable income for formal lessons
- Irregularly available times for study
- Living too far away from a Go club
Admittedly, books alone will not improve one's game but they are one of the most available methods for tapping into the minds of stronger players. They are repositories of knowledge and unlocking their potential depends heavily upon the efforts of the reader.
I feel that I'm searching for magic bullets
within books; something that might boost me quickly by two or three stones. One that might have done that was Opening Theory Made Easy
by Otake Hideo. I recall reading that book and thinking, "So that's what I'm doing wrong!"
Of course, I was in the mid-20 kyus on KGS
back then so perhaps a little insight was all that I needed to dramatically increase my strength.
By chance, I struck-up a conversation with a chess player who was perusing the more numerous books of his game. He was attending a nearby chess tournament and was taking a break. He was in his early 20's and was formerly among the top-fifty US players in the Under-18 category."See all these chess books from this publisher?"
he said as he gestured to one tightly-packed shelf of glossy Everyman
books. "They're mostly ineffective.""You won't learn much from them,"
he continued. "Publishers like these make money from the obsessive-compulsive nature of many chess players who acquire more books than they actually read. They publish a new book almost every month."
His remarks left me a little perturbed and were similar to what I had been told by many senior Go players; that not all of the books out there can really make a dramatic difference in improvement, and that just a small selection are truly worth studying.
Interestingly, there are a few books which are mentioned repeatedly, and recommended above all else. There's a possibility that even Go conversations might suffer from the metaphorical echo-chamber effect
so I've decided to explore two series of these for myself.
Assuming all goes well, I should have, by the middle of this week, two sets of books that are oft suggested as "absolute must-haves"
for serious Go students.
I acquired the first set from a veteran Go player who no longer needed them. The second set was ordered directly from Japan via Amazon.co.jp
I'll soon see if there's real steak behind the sizzle.Visiting Davis
ChiyoMama had to attend a seminar at UC Davis
this weekend so ChiyoChan and I tagged along to turn it into a weekend outing. Downtown Davis
is a lovely and very pedestrian-friendly place to shop, dine and tour and I would recommend it to anyone who happens to be travelling down the I-80 corridor. Steve's Pizza
makes an impressive Philly Cheesesteak
Davis happens to be home to the Davis/Sacramento Go Club
but they have no meetings over the weekend. Perhaps, one day in the near future, I might head over there for one of their tournaments.Fuseki Quiz 4/20
This time, it is White to play. I chose "C".Scoring of Last Weekend's Fuseki Quiz 3/20
- A = 8
- B = 6
- C = 2
- D = 4
- E = 10, This point is important because White is strong in the lower right corner. If White is allowed to invade at R10, she will take the initiative by pressing the lower three Black stones; forcing Black to defend while giving her influence throughout the whole board.