The title to this post is the title of a book that Boon Ping took back from Japan where he was there for the World Amateur Go Championship and won 5 games out of 8, a very good feat! The book was given to me since I am the training director of the Malaysia Weiqi Association and I have read through the book two times just last night and indeed it is a very good book for beginners. In fact, it ventured slightly more then just beginner as it goes on to talk in some detail about Joseki and Fuseki. I estimate this book can serve its purpose up to probably 15kyu level.
There are some advice that I find in the book and I would like to share it here:
Advice number one: Everyone Starts Playing Go as a Beginner
“Keep you pride and modesty and don’t be arrogant”. This is my motto that helps me remain humble and not to be arrogant. I used this phrase as the title of this book.
Advice number two: A model to improve Go
Before going to bed at night, practice 4 problems, 5 to 10 times each so your fingers remember them. Place those problem diagrams in the four corners of the Go board and leave them till next morning. When you wake up, solve the problems only with your eyes. In other words, solve them by just looking, not using stones. It trains your mind to imagine the answer diagram without using stones. Four problems one night, and another four the following night…. After 100 nights, it accumulates to 400 problems. After doing this for three months, your winning rate should be improved dramatically. ** Practice 1 meter golf putt 100 times a day for 100 days. It may result in a “miracle.”Please, try it.
Advice number three: Importance of repeated practice
Like remembering letters by writing them repeatedly, you will open a learning circuit in your brain by placing stones on the board repetitiously. And when your understanding deepens, you realize your Go skill has amazingly improved.
Fallingstones’ clarification: For those who do not know, what was meant by “remembering letters” is that when we learn Chinese characters or Japanese characters for example, it is through rote memorization of the word since it is not like English. There is no choice. You just have to memorize the character by writing and repeating it endlessly.
Now that our course in the Japan club has been going on for more than 2 months, we are now starting the so called Module B which is a more advanced lessons on Go. This is targeted to get the player to a solid 12k to 15k range. Yesterday we had our first lesson concerning the Opening (Fuseki) and next week, is also on Fuseki. Then I plan to talk a bit on how to use some common josekis, i.e. josekis that every 12k-15k should know, focusing on the rationale for the joseki moves instead of pure rote memorization. Then The lesson will venture into the important Middle Game, with a lot of focus on attack and defense. Then it will end with a more advanced lesson on the Endgame (Yose).
Let’s hope that there is a new generation of Go players in Malaysia. Go is just too wonderful a game to lose its appeal to the young. All Go players have the responsibility to teach and transmit the game to others. As Denji Aihara said, “Everyone starts playing Go as a beginner”.