After feeling a bit stalled out I feel like I’m making real progress again. My Yunguseng record for last month was 3-2 and I finally broke 7+ kyu on IGS. For the most part I’m just trying to solidify the numerous lessons of the last six months. In my slower games instead of invading and fighting everywhere, I’m now liable to count and search for less risky ways to either keep my lead if I’m ahead or chase my opponent if I’m behind. As a result my appreciation and enjoyment of the endgame is really starting to take off.
As far as studying outside of Yunguseng, I find myself returning to the same couple of books I’ve already mentioned many times. Cho Hun-hyeon’s Lectures Volume One still isn’t getting old after many reads. Knowing how to invade typical formations is becoming increasingly more relevant for my game so I find myself returning frequently to the final section of Yilun Yang’s Fundamental Principles Go. For tsumego, Baduktopia’s Essential Life & Death Volume 2 coupled with review via WBaduk’s solid easy problem set continues to sharpen my reading skills. On the train the other day I tried three of the easier problems from Xuanxuan Qijing and was happy to find that I could read out the answers thoroughly in a few minutes despite their being quite a bit more challenging than my typical tsumego regimen. Getting your fundamentals down works.
I’m also about halfway through First Kyu after starting it up again. As a Go nut with a Korean background this bit of fiction is a real treat. I also picked up O Meien’s Zone Press Park and read through the first couple of chapters. Incredibly entertaining as well as inspiring at the same time. I’m looking forward to finding some time to finish it.
At the end of February I felt like I was on the fast track to IGS 6 kyu but a losing streak filled with rash games definitely put that in check. Like any Go player I want to improve, but time and time again I find that an obsession with ranking up leads to an unreasonable expectation to win and that leads to greed and that leads to losses. It’s better instead to approach each individual game with a sense of calm and the desire to learn something.
So I don’t know how long it will take me to gain the half stone to reach IGS 6 kyu, but I feel re-centered and less concerned about when and more concerned about enjoying the journey as much as possible.