Monthly Archives: June 2008

1000 Times Intensity

It is time now to put away all other weiqi/go books and study this book and do all the questions in it with 1,000 times intensity. Hopefully at the end of this, I will understand this more and stop doing really silly mistakes for the rest of my games.

This is one of the best books that emerged from this series and when I first got this book in 2004, I really didn’t appreciate it. At that time, I was only a lowly Kyu player and a lot of what is in the book is beyond me at that time. Now, revisiting it, I found it to be such a huge treasure trove.

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Filed under Books, Weiqi/Go/Baduk

Chinese 5 Dan

There was once a guy who came from China to KL to study and his weiqi/go strength is 5dan China. 5 dan China is really very, very strong, unlike the Japanese dan. A Chinese 5dan can probably give a Japanese 5dan 2-3 handicap stones, i.e probably 2-3 stones stronger. While he was here, we all had the benefit of playing with him and learning from him. It was very fun.

There was one time when asked, he said that weiqi is really only about 2 things:

1. Judgment
2. Reading

By reading, he did not mean reading as in reading books but rather reading the moves. Reading skill is very important because it is the source of tactical strength.

Judgment is strategic. It involves issues like what direction to play, judging the strength and weaknesses of stone groups and how to profit from it, judging territorial areas to make sure that the territory points are at least balanced, etc.

In short, reading supports judgment. Strategy needs tactical implementation. Without sound tactical implementation, strategy will fail, despite how brilliant it is conceived. However, one is probably tempted to put more importance on reading, and I know many players do. They use all their spare time solving life and death problems, tesuji problems. But without a solid strategy, a better strategist with slightly inferior reading ability will win the game.

Strategy, whether in weiqi or in war or in business, cannot escape certain principles and as such, books like Sun Tzu’s Art of War is still very popular. In the meantime, books that pay importance on tactical implementation such as The Book of Five Rings are also still very popular. There was once I was told that there are three books that anyone aspiring to be great should read.

1. Sun Tzu’s Art of War
2. Musashi’s The Book of Five Rings
3. Machiavelli’s The Prince

Recently, one of my bosses said that one needs three books too, number 1 and 2 above plus a Marketing 101 book. Perhaps The Prince is too dark for him. But I believe we must be aware of it. If The Prince is dark, try the Thick Black Theory as explained in the book Thick Face, Black Heart.

Ok, back to the game of weiqi. There are certain principles that I always try to follow when I play. This is from reading books and also understanding gained from the hard knock of fighting in the games.

1. Do not play in an area where the enemy is strong.

2. If you need to play there, play lightly, always with an escape route in mind. Sacrifice some stones is very often necessary.

3. Attack where the enemy is the weakest.

4. Always ensure that the stones have a base, put the stones in an undefeatable position.

5. When your stones are strong, attack invaders in the strongest possible way, head-on with brute force, often include the use of strong handed tesuji.

6. Play at a place that has greatest potential. The best strategy to win is to win without the need to fight. The most profitable market are blue ocean markets.

Tactically, I make sure that I follow the following when I play:

1. When reading, always read at least 10 sequence ahead with at least 3 variations, not including branches. It is ok to take my time.

2. When doing 1 above, always have a strategy in mind – what do I want to achieve? Building a wall? Creating territorial potential? Spoiling opponent’s shape? Split attacking? Pretending to attack east but intention is to attack west? etc.

3. Always assess the relative strength and weaknesses of stones. If the stones are weak, settle them as soon as possible. Strength and weakness is always relative.

4. Always play moves that can achieve two or more objectives.

5 Begin with the end in mind. Visualise the end result. If you like the end result, play it. If you don’t, play another strategy.

6. Don’t play blindly and follow opponent’s moves and let him/her push you around the board. Always seize the initiative.

7. Always be aware of territorial balance.

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Filed under Strategy, Weiqi/Go/Baduk

Real Baby

This is a real baby, man…. will someone buy this for me as a present??? I can’t afford it ;-)

This company really makes quality products.

I will seriously consider awarding myself with this set once I reach 5dan in strength. That is probably 5-10 years from now ;-)


Filed under Stuffs, Weiqi/Go/Baduk

Increase: Above Wind, Below Thunder

above Sun The Gentle, Wind
below Chen The Arousing, Thunder

The Judgement

Increase. It furthers one
To undertake something.
It furthers one to cross the great water.

The Image

Wind and thunder: the image of Increase.
Thus the superior man:
If he sees good, he imitates it;
If he has faults, he rids himself of them.

The tide of fortune is flowing in your favour. Problems can now be resolved. Relationships and projects florish. New opportunities beckon. Considerable change is possible. Even difficult tasks can be tackled successfully. But it is up to you to make the most of this favourable period. It will not last indefinitely. Now is the time to take whatever action is need to move matters forward. IHave the courage to make a leap in the dark if necessary. The outcome will be successful.Think in terms of what you can contribute to the situation rather than what you can get out of it.

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Filed under Divination, Philosophy

Real Movie on Love and Loneliness

Can’t help it but wants to share it here. A scene from ASHES OF TIME. Can’t wait to watch the Redux!


Muyong Yin (played by Brigitte Lin): Who are you anyway?

Ouyang Feng (played by Leslie Cheung): Don’t you remember me?

Yin turns around and looked at Feng, mistaken him for her “lover”.

Yin: You once promised to marry me. Of course I remember you.

Feng: Did I really say that?

Yin: You passed by Gusu City the other day. We drank together under the peach tree. You touched my face…. And said you’d marry my sister if I had one. You know I am a woman in disguise. Why did you still say that?

Feng: A man can’t be serious when he is drunk.

Yin: Because of your promise, I’ve been waiting for you until today. I once asked you to take me with you…. But you refused. You said you cannot love two persons at the same time. Surely you love Yin! Why did you fall in love with another woman? Do you know I went to look for that woman? Because someone said that you love her most. I had wanted to kill her. But I didn’t in the end. Because I didn’t want to prove that she is the one you most love.

Yin: I once asked myself… whether I am the woman you love most… but now I don’t want to know the answer anymore. If ever I ask you the same question..… please don’t tell me the truth! No matter how unwilling it is for you to say it, please don’t tell me that the person you love most is not me!

Superb soundtrack. Superb cinematography. Superb acting from Brigitte.

“Ouyang Feng: I once heard someone say, if you have to lose something, the best way to keep it is to keep it in your memory.”

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Filed under Movies, Movies (Highly Recommended)

Recent Malaysian Movie Industry Trends

The Malaysian cinema industry seems to be in quite a healthy state, with cinema admissions having more than doubled in 2007 compared to 2004. Total cinema admission was 33.55 million versus a mere 16.69 million in 2004. With the gradual increase in ticket prices from and average of about RM7.50 per ticket in 2004 to about RM8.60 in 2007, it saw an increase in total gross box office takings from RM124 million in 2004 to RM289 million in 2007. With this upbeat, local cinema chains such as Golden Screen Cinemas (especially so) and Tanjong Golden Village, continue to invest in new cinemas which brings the total number of screens to more than 350 in 2007, an increase of more than 50% compared to 2004.

Needless to say, the main contributor to this growth is the release of more and more Hollywood blockbusters. Hollywood movies saw an almost 4 times growth in terms of admission within this period. Tamil and Chinese movies also saw significant growth within this period too, a more than double growth for Chinese movies and triple growth for Tamil movies. However, there did not seem to have much growth in terms of admission for local Malay language movies within this period, with total admission of about 3.27 million in 2004 versus 3.73 million in 2007.

Hollywood movies continues to dominate the local cinemas and has a market share of more than 50% over the said period. In the same period, we saw a decrease in the share of local Malay movie, from slightly more than 20% in 2004 to only about 10%-12% in 2007 despite the gradual increase in the number of local Malay films being produced and released in the market.

In 2004, only about 16 Malay movies made it to the cinemas compared to about 21 Malay movies in 2007. This could only mean that the average box office collections for the Malay movies have decreased over the period, from an average about RM1.46 million per movie to about RM1.38 million in 2007. Compare this to the rising cost of production from about RM1.3 million per movie in 2004 to about RM1.7million per movie in 2007, the commercial outlook for Malay movies do not look good.

Add to the above the significant drop in the local video market plus an almost non-existent export market, we shall foresee the exit of some local production companies especially those independent ones that do not have the back-up of conglomerates that also own TV stations. With this too, it is expected that the number of productions of Malay movies will be reduced to a more commercially viable number in the near future.

The above is in regard to the mainstream commercial cinema where a local Malay movie will have a release in at least 30 cinemas. For a discussion on the other Malaysian cinema current, which is more exciting, please refer to the Malaysian New Wave article.


Filed under Movies

Hikaru no GO – Boom in Japan

This is a really good video about Go.

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Filed under Weiqi/Go/Baduk