Monday, March 26, 2007

What's that, mon Capitaine?!

Read this! And stop groveling!

Most folks on KGS know of TheCaptain. I first heard of him from yoyoma, who described him as "the fighting 4-Dan", way-back when I was still struggling to even get a rank. His games attract some of the largest crowds of spectators. You can read more about him in Sensei's Library.

In the English Game Room of KGS, TheCaptain said that "all kyus should read The Breakthrough to Shodan".

Gosh. Getting a message like that is akin to receiving directives from the archangel Gabriel.

The book, regretfully, has been long out of print. I got a copy in 2005 but never even cracked it open because I was still a struggling double-digit kyu and I thought it wouldn't help me; that I needed to first get closer to shodan. On top of that, the first sections looked like mere handicap Go guides.

I'll admit that I'm now curious and I'll probably give it a better reading this weekend. Is there something to this book that might help me understand my game better? Why this book?


ScatCat's new semi-precious Go stones


When I met ScatCat in person at the Berkeley beginners tournament, he had brought with him his custom-made Purpleheart board combined with Kuroki Goishi's Purple Clam stones. Pretty creative of him.

ScatCat is putting together an new custom set. He's asked Carol Dufour (owner of Board Game Go) to craft a unique slotted board. He's also gotten a set of Rose Quartz and Agate stones from Yutopian.

There currently are no photos of this set of stones on the Yutopian page, so I thought it would be helpful to share some of Scat's images with the Go community.


Here are the stones nestled in their box. Nice presentation.


ScatCat doesn't know of what wood the bowls are made of. The grain pattern reminds me of mulberry but ScatCat doesn't believe the wood is of that specie. Although the bowls may look shiny in this photo, they really are not.


ScatCat said that he finds the black agate stones most attractive on close inspection.

5 Comments:

At 11:27 AM, March 27, 2007, Anonymous Chris said...

I've read it, and am KGS 2k. David Carlton's review said it should be named "Breakthrough to Professional Shodan", but I found it pretty accessible (which doesn't mean I wasn't missing a lot). It concentrates on taking three-four stones from dan players, so I don't think it's very appropriate/useful until then. It's one of my favourite books, though, with many "Wait, he thinks I should play like *that*?" moments that made no sense at the time and seem obvious now. :)

- Chris.

 
At 3:13 PM, March 27, 2007, Blogger malweth said...

ROFLMFAO at that picture. First thing I saw, and I couldn't stop laughing.

Yes, the book is good. No I haven't finished it or studied it as thoroughly as I eventually should! I'm sure you know that my current focus is tsumego (and after that, probably tesuji).

I reread the November 2005 blog post you linked to on GD recently too... this is exactly what happens to me! I have some favorites study types, but by far I'm an illogically-linked learner ;)

 
At 7:18 PM, March 27, 2007, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Hello Chris,

I've had a common experience. In my earlier months, a lot of the advice that I was given seemed odd; even ... suicidal.

Now at 7k, I understand many of the guidelines and ideas that were put forth back then; and I wonder why it didn't seem obvious at the time.


Hello malweth,

My first thought was to use an old lithograph of the angel Gabriel but I thought that God from Monty Python and The Holy Grail was more fitting.

Yes, that old post still fits my current study-style. I go from one subject to another depending on what I observe in my games.

 
At 8:33 PM, March 27, 2007, Anonymous Sorin Gherman said...

I remember I wasn't too excited about "Breakthrough to shodan" - it was too much tuned towards playing low handicap games (mostly 3 stones).
The title is smart from the marketing perspective, in my opinion, otherwise a more honest title would be "How to play Go with 3 handicap stones" :-)

Sorin

 
At 9:05 AM, April 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those semi-precious stones look very nice! Unfortunately, when I follow the link, it says that they're discontinued. :(

Do you know of any downsides to stones like this? Too distracting when you play? Too easily chipped?

Does anyone know where I could get stones like this?
--
Eric Backus
eric_backus@alum.mit.edu

 

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