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Subject: SGF for Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go? rss

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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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I am reading Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go. In order to follow the book better, I am creating SGF files for the more complex diagrams. Do you know if such files already exist somewhere? I have never been able to find anything…
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Phelan
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lebigot wrote:
I am reading Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go. In order to follow the book better, I am creating SGF files for the more complex diagrams. Do you know if such files already exist somewhere? I have never been able to find anything…
It's possible.
They'd likely not be able to be shared over the internet legally due to copyright issues, though.

If you want to simplify sgf file creation, though, you can create sgf files for a static position from a photo relatively easily, I think:
Image to SGF category here: http://senseis.xmp.net/?SGFOrganisingUtilities#toc23

edit: The last time I looked into this, go-tracer was the best one? Not sure what's new since then.

I think a phone app from the creator of the Crazy Stone go AI was in the works, possibly already working, but don't remember now.

You may also want to check the life in 19x19 forum, there were a few threads there about things like these.
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Game Guy
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I honestly think it is better to study without boards or Go editors. It is important to be able to visualize the moves without playing them out. That is the foundation for reading the board in real games.
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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TerrapinStation wrote:
I honestly think it is better to study without boards or Go editors. It is important to be able to visualize the moves without playing them out. That is the foundation for reading the board in real games.
I would argue that reading is best practiced through problems: they are the same as real games, in terms of reading, whereas diagrams from a book contain a list of numbered moves, unlike real games.

Furthermore, go board programs are very useful for reading book diagrams: they can hide all the moves and you can guess them: this is closer to a real game than a numbered diagram in a book. This can even be done interactively, with the program telling you that your guess is wrong (like with SmartGo Kifu's Guess mode), and keeping the correct move hidden from you until you find it—in which case you have to find the next correct move, etc. This procedure is arguably much more realistic than reading a diagram with numbered stones.

For these two reasons, I am in strongly in favor of using go programs/editors for practicing reading.
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Bryan Thunkd
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lebigot wrote:
This can even be done interactively, with the program telling you that your guess is wrong (like with SmartGo Kifu's Guess mode).
Making guesses is a bad habit. When you are solving problems you should figure out the right answer. If you aren't sure if you've got the right answer, you don't have it. Put in the effort to see if there is a refutation. It's too easy to give up and guess with software.
 
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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Thunkd wrote:
lebigot wrote:
This can even be done interactively, with the program telling you that your guess is wrong (like with SmartGo Kifu's Guess mode).
Making guesses is a bad habit. When you are solving problems you should figure out the right answer. If you aren't sure if you've got the right answer, you don't have it. Put in the effort to see if there is a refutation. It's too easy to give up and guess with software.
I am not sure to follow you: by guessing I meant exactly "figuring out the right answer" and "putting in the effort to see if there is a refutation". The "guess" mode of SmartGo Kifu lets you (1) guess the move, i.e. it is not shown on the diagram, contrary to book diagrams, and (2) it does not show you the right move even if you first fail to find it, so you can keep thinking even if you first failed.

Are you simply saying that giving up thinking is bad? in which case I agree—but, again, this does not seem to have so much to do with the guess mode, but more with discipline. Essentially, I find that the guess mode is very useful for practicing reading, since it does not show you answers; and I agree that self-discipline is very important too. What do you think?
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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lebigot wrote:
it does not show you the right move even if you first fail to find it, so you can keep thinking even if you first failed.
The way most people use this feature is that they come up with an answer that they think "seems" right, but instead of trying to verify that it's the right answer by reading it out, they click and see if the computer tells them it's wrong or not. If it's wrong they repeat the process until eventually thye find the right answer.

Generally, but of course not always, when you read out the right answer you can see that it's right and there's no doubt. It's a much better habit to read it all out and "know" that your answer is right before you click the button. Having the guess feature encourages players to be lazy and give up before they've read everything out.
 
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Russ Williams
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Thunkd wrote:
Having the guess feature encourages players to be lazy and give up before they've read everything out.

That seems true of any method of having a solution available. E.g. in a traditional problem book, one can be tempted to be lazy and peek at the solution before they've read everything out.
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Bryan Thunkd
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russ wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Having the guess feature encourages players to be lazy and give up before they've read everything out.

That seems true of any method of having a solution available. E.g. in a traditional problem book, one can be tempted to be lazy and peek at the solution before they've read everything out.
True, but in a book if you give up, you give up completely. You're spoiling the answer. When you guess with software, you get to be told if you're wrong or not, without revealing the real answer. There's a psychological out there... you get to tell yourself that you're not really giving up when you guess and click, because you won't be shown the right answer. Which means people feel more comfortable doing it. But in the end, guessing and clicking is not much better than just looking in the book to see what the answer is. In a real game you have to read it out, or bad things happen. So guessing and clicking gets you in the habit of not reading and relying on the software to tell you if something works or not. And worse, you often don't know why it didn't work.

If you have the willpower to avoid guessing and clicking then software is fine... but if not, then you should use a book instead as it forces you to face up to the fact that you're really giving up when you stop reading and look up the answer.
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Game Guy
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... And if you do not give up and click with software you are basically following my original point: for each potential answer, read the whole continuation including potential branchings, before actually playing a move or looking up the answer. The best thing about this is that even if you cannot solve a given problem, or whatever you are studying, you are exercising your "Go muscle" and getting stronger for future games and problems.

Eric, I do not understand about numbered stones. Did you think that by "visualize" I meant stare at the solution? Did you think that I meant stare at the joseki sequences from a joseki dictionary just to memorize the moves? I meant "visualize" as in look for the solution sequence: pretend black placed a stone, pretend white responded, pretend black continues, white plays, whoops, black is dead, try a different branch and so on.
 
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Different people learn differently. Learn.
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Phelan
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I'm going to sidestep the whole discussion above. I think people are reading too much into each other's posts. Besides, not every training method works well for everyone. I can't do problem books without solutions, despite being told that's the purest way to practice.
TerrapinStation wrote:
I honestly think it is better to study without boards or Go editors. It is important to be able to visualize the moves without playing them out. That is the foundation for reading the board in real games.
I want to comment on this instead.

I don't think the ability to read diagrams with numbered moves translates directly into game reading ability.


Edit: sorry, this was too short. I mean that being able to read a busy numbered diagram doesn't mean that a player will necessarily be able to read better within the game.
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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Thunkd wrote:
So guessing and clicking gets you in the habit of not reading and relying on the software to tell you if something works or not. (…)

If you have the willpower to avoid guessing and clicking then software is fine... but if not, then you should use a book instead as it forces you to face up to the fact that you're really giving up when you stop reading and look up the answer.
I see, I understand the temptation, now, this makes sense. Thanks for explaining!
 
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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TerrapinStation wrote:
I meant "visualize" as in look for the solution sequence: pretend black placed a stone, pretend white responded, pretend black continues, white plays, whoops, black is dead, try a different branch and so on.
Oh, that's what you meant! thank you for making this clear. Electronic go boards allow you to read in your mind too, this is where the confusion was coming from.
 
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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Interesting remarks, guys!

Let me try to summarize the discussion, for reference:

* Consensus: visualizing sequences in the mind is very useful, including exploring branches by just staring at the initial position, because this is like in real games.

* Discussion about book problems versus go programs (and their guess mode that only tell you when a move is incorrect without showing you the right move):

- With programs, there is the bad temptation of not fully exploring the branches in one's mind and just trying some moves, relying on the computers to tell us whether the move is good or not (without knowing why it is not good, etc.). Books, on the other hand, punish with an immediate failure if the reader converged to a bad move (when he reads the solution).

- On the other hand, with programs, a user who is serious in doing his best to find the solution through a thorough reading can keep looking for it by himself if he does not find it immediately: this allows him to keep exploring sequences in his mind that he missed or misread.

* Conclusion: I find that problem books are slightly better for spurring one's seriousness (a small failure is a full failure)—but the main difficulty is to feel like being serious at all in the first place, so the book form can only help a little, here—, but that using programs is better for serious learners (who can keep thinking deeply about a problem even after making a small mistake despite doing their best).
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