I reached 5k much quicker than reaching 6k or 7k. It seemed like I was stuck at 8k forever and was completely intimidated by 7k or stronger players. But today I became 5k and was surprised by how quickly it came after 6k. Here is what I do to improve.
One Life and Death Problem per Day
I use Cho Chikun’s Encyclopedia of Life and Death on OGS and study 1 problem per day. I’m currently up to problem 36.
Many of my games could be ended much quicker if I could see how 1 or 2 moves could kill an entire corner. A lot of times when I review my games with AI, it will spend 30 or 40 moves with a green dot in the corner as the best move because it would’ve killed an entire group!
If that is not enouigh motivation to improve your Life and Death skills, then perhaps Ben Teuber’s Guide to Become Strong will motivate you.
Make Flashcards of My Mistakes
When I was 10k, I used to get mad at my losses. But now I make flashcards of my mistakes using my software and am now less likely to repeat a mistake… but it still happens, especially when I get mentally slack and forget …
The Clossi Approach
The Clossi Approach gives me a systematic way to find a good move IF I use it. But sometimes I get lazy and don’t check all my groups for weakeness OR all my opponent groups for weakness.
Milk your opponent’s weakness
A lot of times you will come up against strange openings and think you have no chance of winning. For instance in this recent game, I deal with a person who opened on 5-3 and 6-3 points!!! But when all was said and done, he had a weak group that I chased all over the board and eventually won…. the Clossi approach gives specific guidelines on what to do when you or your opponent is weak and over time you will come up with other ways to milk weakness, such as contact plays and shoulder hits.
Quick Games on Fox
I find the fox server to be very impersonal… we never say hello to each other when playing or anything. But it is a good place to tighten up your opening and joseki and fuseki and everything else.
Serious Games on OGS
I dont like playing people much stronger than me… maybe 1 stone stronger and 3-4 stones weaker. Anyone much stronger and I feel abused. Just imagine getting in the boxing ring with the world champion. You might leave with permanent injuries and at the very least would suffer a tremendous beating… too severe a beating to learn something.
I always make mistakes even with people of my level. And I make flashcards of my mistakes and then slowly and steadily get better.
Human Reviews at Reddit Baduk
Using AI and Flashcards is great 90% of the time, but I love to ask questions on reddit baduk about go positions and I like the monthly review threads where stronger players review my games.
I was so impressed with one review that I got from a 5-dan player that I wrote a blog post about it and live streamed an entire Twitch session on it!
The human reviewers allow you to see how to think about a position instead of having to make up your own thinking based on what the AI tells you.
Good Streaming Channels on Twitch / YouTube
I follow the following people on Twitch and learn some things from them:
- https://www.twitch.tv/clossius – it’s strange. Even though I follow his move selection approach, I dont watch his stream too often.
What is the next step?
I thought 5k was Mission Impossible. And certainly things will be tough at this level. But with each loss, I have human and computer resources to help me improve.