I set my games typically to a base time-limit of 20 minutes plus 5 x 30 seconds of byo-yomi (Japanese Timing). yoyoma, who often said that I needed to slow down, once chided me that I was being rather generous to myself given how fast I actually play.
Out of curiousity, I took a sample of my last fifteen games to see how much time had elapsed on average.
The answer was 12.4 minutes; only 62% of my base time-limit. Of the fifteen games, only four games lasted more than 15 minutes, and only one of those went into byo-yomi. For those who are into statistics, the standard deviation was 4.9 minutes.
This, of course, is only a simplistic analysis. I recognized a few games that were played-on even though Black or White had already won. There were also shorter games that, if my opponent chose to do so, could have been drawn-out with the possibility of winning on time by creating complications.
This still points-out however that I may be playing just a bit too fast and that I'm not taking the greatest advantage of my time allotment. I know that Sorin advises us to play fast games, but I'd also like to cultivate the habit of thinking a little deeper.
Plateau ... again. No big deal.
This investigation into my elapsed game times was, in fact, prompted by a remark during one of my reviews. One of the commentators said that the difference between where I was (8k) and 5k is currently a matter of reading deeper.
Admittedly, there are days when I start a game on KGS, even when I know that I'm not ready to dedicate all my mental energies to it. It's a very bad sign when I feel an impatience for my opponent to make his/her next move.
That image above is a 20-month composite of my entire record on KGS to-date which I constructed using Photoshop. It should be noted that there was a dramatic change in the ranking method when KGS switched from CGoban2 to CGoban3 in September 2006. For many of us in the mid-kyus, that resulted in a five-rank jump.
As can be seen, I've gone through several plateaus and am currently in one of my longest ones. I remember how my early plateau back at 22k briefly made me wonder if I might be forever stuck at that rank (HAH!). If you enlarge that chart, it becomes quite obvious that my 22k plateau was one of the shortest ones I had experienced.
I expect to move forward eventually. Either something has to sink-in my brain, or I just need to change my style of play (i.e. take ... my ... time ... and ... think).
Yes, I'm you're fan!
I've made a lot of friends and acquaintances since I started playing Go on KGS, and just about all of them are on my "Fan" list.
Bill Shubert added this feature to CGoban3; a third option to marking an account as Buddy (so that it appears at the top of the logged-in roster) or Ignore (so you don't see any of their remarks). If you have the "Fan Games" room active, you will be alerted whenever a fan account starts a game.
It seems to be a natural extension of playing in the virtual world; one strolls about from board to board to see how their friends are doing in their games. It's always nice to root for your friends or just try to see how your thinking compares.