Studying Journal


Game 14
It was going to happen sooner or later - my first loss. And fittingly, it was in a game where my lack of attacking success left me feeling like I needed to do more to catch up, when I was actually ahead by a small margin. (Although it was IGS, here, rather than Tygem, where I seem to encounter such situations more frequently.) Here’s the review:

The takeaway is much the same as before: I need to do better handling (both tactically and psychologically) weak groups that my opponents create. Maybe I should spend some time looking for a few professional players who do this particularly well. Any suggestions?


Game 15
I played an incredibly short game on IGS tonight. Black’s play was quite unreasonable and his position collapsed quickly. Here is the very quick review: With this win, I’m now 5d? on IGS, so I can hopefully expect more interesting and challenging games going forward.

Also, for anyone reading this, take a look at the Game 14 review - the folks at have done an excellent job pointing out just how badly I played there.


Game 16
Lots to talk about in this post. First, here is my review of the game I played today against another Tygem 3d: The game was interesting because I ended up with a central moyo, something that happens very rarely given my fairly territorial style. However, I was reasonably happy with my attacking in this game, although I’m sure there were quite a few mistakes nonetheless.

Other materials
First, I want to flag this fascinating app called Go Style. You can upload a set of your games and it will tell you a bit about your style of play. I was surprised at how much it matched my intuition about my own play. (Here are my results.) The best part, though, was that it offered a list of professionals who have similar style. After seeing Hane Naoki come up in my results repeatedly, I’ve decided to start reading his book, as well as reviewing some of his games.

Next, there was my continued work through The Dictionary of Basic Tesuji. I’m not sure how practical this book is, since it really is a dictionary, but I’m finding that it’s exposing me to shapes that I wouldn’t otherwise consider. In particular, I always forget about the counter-atari method of sealing in. I’d like to credit my ability to build a central moyo in today’s game to reading some of the other sealing techniques too.

Finally, two videos to call out. First, Yunzuan Li has an excellent video on a very modern 3-4 joseki that I thoroughly enjoyed. And, HayleeL’s latest game was also interesting to watch. Although I find myself cheering for her, it’s also reassuring to know that even professionals can misread sometimes.


Game 17
My first game as an IGS 5d went very poorly. The review is here: I was behind the entire game, and just seemed to keep making things worse. Credit to my opponent for playing calmly throughout and slowly building a large lead, but this game left me feeling quite frustrated. I want to believe I can play better than this, and it’s very disappointing when I’m outplayed so decisively.


Game 18
I played two games on Tygem tonight. I didn’t play particularly well in either, but it was enough for reasonable margins of victory. Here is the first one, where White seemed to have the strategy of simply trying to invade everywhere. Here’s the review:


Game 19
Here’s the second game from tonight. I probably should give this a more detailed review later, but it felt fairly straightforward once I solved my one weak group. Here’s the review:


Game 20
I played another game on Tygem today. I felt like I was leading for most of the game, so it was pretty straightforward. Here’s the review: This game was one of those tricky ones to self-review, because White seemed to respond to a lot of moves that I wasn’t sure were sente.

I’ve been playing a lot of Orthodox opening lately, because I feel like I understand it well, but perhaps I need to break out of this habit and try something new to balance out my game better.


Game 21
Here’s my second game from Tygem today. After winning the ko, the game should have been pretty straightforward, but a terrible reading mistake made the game close again. Fortunately, my endgame seems to be improving, and I was able to claw back a lead. Here’s the review:


Game 22
Here is my review of another game from Tygem: In this one, my territorial instincts almost got the better of me, but I was actually saved my some reasonable attacking skill. On the other hand, I missed a routine life-and-death shape, which made it close. Life-and-death reading mistakes seem to be the theme of my last few games actually.

Other materials
A few other materials to note. First, I watched Haylee’s Game 80. There was some very complicated fighting, but what struck me most was how upset she was at having to make an empty triangle. I’ve said it before, but it’s impossible to underestimate how important good shape is to professionals. Second, I watched Yunxuan Li’s video on tips for improving. I normally like his videos, but I found this one a bit disappointing. That said, I probably do need to be a bit more rigorous in my tsumego. Finally, I re-read portions of The Playing Styles of Seven Top Pros. My take-away here was the sense of balance the professionals try for, particularly in the opening. As you can see from my game today, I need to work more on playing a balanced game.


Game 23
I played another Tygem game today. I won, but I’m disappointed with my play. This was a classic Tygem player who loved to play over-aggressive moves, and I got sucked into playing his type of reckless game. Here’s the review anyway:


Game 24
This is my latest Tygem game: This game was one of the rare instances where I actually built some central thickness, and it ended up making the game pretty straightforward. I need to remember how helpful this sort of thickness can be, and not be so reluctant to build it in future games.


Game 25
Here is my last game as a Tygem 3d: Sadly, I didn’t put as much effort into this game as I should have, and that meant that the typical over-aggressiveness of my opponent got me into some trouble. As you can see in the review, I should have punished this much more effectively. Instead, I had to barely squeak out a win. However, that put me at 18-0, so I’m now 5d on Tygem.

I’m pretty sure my plan at this point is to move the continuation of this journal over to Unfortunately, OGS doesn’t seem to quite have the community built up in its forums to make this kind of journal as effective as it could be, while L19’s study journal community seems far more robust. I’ll post a link here once I have the new journal up and running.

Edit: The new journal is here: