Patterns, patterns, patterns

Once again my lack of familiarity with basic patterns came up again in the review of round three. The first pattern mistake involved my deployment of the Chinese opening. The second pattern mistake was my approach move to an already enclosed star point. Since my method of acquiring Baduk knowledge (outside of life & death) has been always been something of a random walk, it’s unsurprising that I have an incredible number of holes. American Yunguseng Dojang is giving me something long and sorely lacking in my Baduk studies - a real sense of direction.

For example, even though I know how to place the first three stones to form the Chinese, I hadn’t dug deeper into the variations. The simple truth is, left to my own devices, I never felt particularly inspired to memorize openings. But now that I have a teacher wagging a finger at my blunders, I am considerably more compelled to be a studious Baduk player. So following In-seong’s recommendation I watched his lecture on the Chinese opening. His explanations always emphasize the most practical and straighforward lines of play over complicated and less typical variations. I was able to apply my new knowledge in round four this evening.

Also my intuition about Cho Hun-hyeon’s book with respect to In-seong’s emphasis on gathering practical knowledge about basic patterns turned out to be right on. I’m constantly reading about something In-seong mentioned in a lecture or review and vice versa. So reinforcement learning for the win!

Round 4

I was able to pull through with a half point win the fourth round thanks to an overlooked cut by my opponent. White had the advantage for most of the game due to several mistakes I made as pointed out by In-seong. I had seen most of the big/urgent moves he suggested but my intuition for when they should be played needs further development.

The big mistakes for me in this round was approaching the top left on the narrower side (for my potential shape) and then not producing a sensible shape. My timing for enclosing the upper right corner was way off. Finally, my iron pillar in the lower left was pointed out as notably of DDK quality by In-seong. I should have just kicked. I suspect I’ll never make that mistake ever again.

Happily, In-seong did say the game was stable! I suspect Season 16 is going to be pretty much entirely focused on pursuing stability and studiously filling the gaps in my practical game knowledge. Often you hear people say that once you get to single digit kyu, one of the most certain ways to gain a stone is to just chip away at your mistakes. Well … I’m chipping away!

If I win my final round for September on Tuesday I think I have a shot at getting promoted to league G. It’s composed of folks around 5-6 kyu so that’ll be some solid pressure on my capability. If I don’t make it, it’s also no big deal - all of my league H games have been fun and challenging and I clearly have plenty to learn.