Last night’s lesson with Alexander is quite fun, depending on how you look a it. We started with a Rengo game (pair Go game) where Alexander and myself is one pair while two 6 dans formed the other pair. Rengo is a lot of fun to play although I seldom play it. The way it works is each player in the pair will take turn to move on the board but they cannot talk to each other. So the partners will have to understand why the other partner plays the move and try to synchronize the strategy.
By using Rengo to teach me, Alexander forced me to think like how he thinks. When he makes a move, I will have to anticipate the follow up moves. A lot of pressure on me but I find this way of learning refreshing. I had a bad game from the beginning because of two joseki that I was unfamiliar with and thus let our opponent got a big lead in the beginning, despite Alexander’s efforts to salvage the situation and I almost always destroys what he tries to do ;-) Towards the mid game, we launched a fight and according to Alexander, the game became close again but then I lost on time. Just not enough time to think. So the game ended. So many people came to watch our game and the remarks they made is really not very nice. But anyways, it is a good way to learn.
After that, we reviewed the game in private since it is a private lesson. I learned one new joseki and its variations and one joseki trick that our opponent used on me and I answered wrongly, and thus lost a whole corner. Both joseki revolves around the Hoshi point. It is amazing the number of variations that the Hoshi points has. I have never really appreciated Hoshi josekis and put a lot of time and effort concentrating on Komoku josekis only but last night was a real eye opener.
One of my big problem is when the opponent plays a move that I am not familiar with, I don’t seem to have the ability to know how to play so as to not to fall into a disadvantage. I think I simply cannot visualise the end result and cannot compare the individual end results and assess the result, whether it is good for me or not. Normally, how I should think is this: if I play a certain move, I have to anticipate the end results, and then I play another variation and anticipate its end results, and then decide which one is better. But this is easier said than done. First of all, my reading skills sucks, so the “variation” that I think is a variation becomes really bad because I will miss some of the tactical sequences. Secondly, I don’t seem to be able to hold the end result image in my mind and thus unable to compare. Even if I can, it takes an enormous amount of time for me to do that and my opponent begins to yawn. Thirdly, it seems that I really do not have the ability to judge what is good and what is bad, and therefore, after the analysis in my mind, I thought that the end result is good for me and thus I play accordingly but it turned out that the end result is really bad.
So, there goes my second lesson. Next week Friday, another one.