My third KGS win in a row. For the very first time I’ve properly achieved 6 kyu (my account had previously drifted above that only due to months of inactivity). This game was particularly meaningful to me because I played it with more calm than I’ve previously been able to muster. Any player of Go (or Chess or whatever) knows the anxiety that can come with the battle over the board. Games can be particularly anxious if your opponent pulls unexpected or unusual moves that confuse you. However, even when my opponent played tengen on move 6, I took three minutes before calmly deciding to approach the lower left corner. For the remainder of the game, I consistently avoided impulsively responding to my opponent’s feints and focused intently on finding the simplest moves that worked.

I think this new found calm can be heavily attributed playing more and joining In-seong’s school. Reviewing the month of September I was surprised to see that I had played a whopping 12 games, 5 of those, of course, slow paced Yunguseng games. Getting laser sharp criticism once a week really highlights that wins and losses just aren’t as different as they seem. Regardless of the game’s outcome there are mistakes, bad habits, and missing knowledge that will prevent further progress.

Go, like any art, must be practiced with consistency if you want to improve. Perhaps the few people lucky enough to be endowed with talent can rush by us. The rest of us, on the other hand, must calmly accept our fate and patiently move forward step by step, game by game.