I recently starting reading a book on Chess, The Rookie by Stephen Moss thanks to a recent thread about it on L19. John Fairbairn seemed to dig it quite a bit and he believed it had many interesting insights even for (or perhaps especially for) Go players. So far I largely agree with his assessment and the book is quite humorous to boot. Written in an easy conversational style, the book outlines Moss’s journey to become a stronger chess player. One thing that struck me early on in the book, Moss notes that chess masters often say that good chess and a fear of losing are like oil and water. It sounds like a platitude, but in the struggle to better one’s self it’s so easy to lose sight of simple truths like this one! Of course this adage also applies to Baduk and I’m happy to say that loss by loss, American Yunguseng Dojang is putting my fear of losing at Baduk to rest.

Case in point, Round 3 ended up being a disaster much like Round 1 but this time I played it out to the end rather than resigning. When we scored and I saw the result, I was surprised to find myself unperturbed by the staggering 69.5 point loss! In fact, I felt perfectly fine about the game. In the past I might have been embarrassed to share a game like this. No longer! I knew that I had tried my very best against a stronger opponent. That’s the nature of a league style system, when you promote, chances are you’re going to start losing a lot of games. But it’s the losses at the edge of your capability that present the greatest opportunities to make real progress.

Round 4

I finally got around to switching around my schedule so that I can play my Yunguseng games at the usual scheduled time and participate in the reviews afterwards. Today I played against an opponent rated 3 stones stronger than me (on KGS and according to the AGA). Our game lasted exactly two hours. Thanks to a ko in the upper left corner I was able to make a twenty point swing that sealed victory granted I didn’t blunder through the endgame.

I ended up winning by 17.5 points.

During the review In-seong only pointed out two really big mistakes, R18 in the opening was an overplay and E12 should have been at N3. There was a cross-cut opportunity that I missed - but for the most part In-seong complimented the game. The game had a clear and stable story that was easy to follow.

I would be lying to myself if I said I didn’t feel some pride about this game. Still in the past I might have lingered longer reviewing a win like this - patting myself on the back and all that. No longer. Soon it will be forgotten as I continue chasing stronger and stronger opponents on the long path to deepening my appreciation for Baduk.