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Subject: fighting exercise rss

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Eric Flood
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That should work to get a sense of the strengths and vulnerabilities of creating that pattern.

It occurs most frequently on the 3-4 lines, in my experience. I would recommend doing the same on a middle 4-line star. Then try it with a stone two-spaces away on the 4-line...

Next, instead of a simple capture-first game, advance to a capture-10 game. Sacrifices are very important for these crosscuts.

Note: I've never done this particular exercise. All recommendations are purely imagination based.
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2097 wrote:
We played this a few times today—start with two black and two white stones in a crosscut with one of the four stones on tengen. Then play the capture game.


That sounds like fun. I'd love to get a 5x5 board one day to mess around with.

I hear also that the 3x4 board provides for some interesting positions:

http://senseis.xmp.net/?3x4Problems
 
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Ramon Mercado
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"Through the centuries, and until the 1930s anyway, even games in China started with this type of formation of 4-4 points, as the prescribed starting position" -- Senei's Library (http://senseis.xmp.net/?ChineseClassicalOpening)
 
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Eric Flood
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2097 wrote:
The problem with capture 10 is that it might make it a longer game.


This other variant you're suggesting will likely take a longer time.

Worse yet, it's going to start to teach you bad patterns. I wouldn't focus too heavily on this approach, go play some real games. If you want to start playing with these patterns, I would recommend coming back to it later and playing it like you would in a real game.
 
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Eric Flood
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Read Attack and Defense (http://www.amazon.com/Attack-Defense-Elementary-Go-Vol/dp/B0...) (you should be able to find it somewhere for < $10) - it's a phenomenal book in general, and will help with exactly the problems you're describing.

EDIT:

Here, link to publisher's site. $18. http://www.kiseido.com/Begin3.htm#K14

While there, I also recommend every book in that series with a possible exception of the Joseki book. In particular, #3, #4, and #5 are intended to be read "in order," but you can find the relevant section of #5 and read it at your whim before doing that.
 
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Eric Flood
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Read both.
 
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Guillaume G.
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If you want a game that starts straight away into fighting mode, you can try SunjangBaduk

http://senseis.xmp.net/?SunjangBaduk



You don't need to change the scoring method you use, just place the stones as per the diagram and you're sure to get straight into fighting mode.
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Randall Bart
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Actorios wrote:


wow

I have never seen anything like that. I have never seen a Go starting position with both colors on the board. I wish that were the standard start for the game. I don't want to study joseki and fuseki. This would massively reduce the joseki book, and eliminate the fuseki book entirely.
 
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Randall Bart
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2097 wrote:
Let’s do a thought experiment:
Do you know how Arimaa lets you take turns placing your pieces on the back rows? Which do you think has the longest recorded opening theory branches, it or plain 518 FIDE chess? (Note: Not saying that Arimaa is more fun than chess.)
The open canvas of the go board is your ticket to explore things that are truly your own.

I want to explore the open canvas where the fewest book writers have gone before,
 
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Eric Flood
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Barticus88 wrote:
2097 wrote:
Let’s do a thought experiment:
Do you know how Arimaa lets you take turns placing your pieces on the back rows? Which do you think has the longest recorded opening theory branches, it or plain 518 FIDE chess? (Note: Not saying that Arimaa is more fun than chess.)
The open canvas of the go board is your ticket to explore things that are truly your own.

I want to explore the open canvas where the fewest book writers have gone before,


I would recommend understanding the game on a fundamental level before doing this. Avoiding joseki is not a good way to do so. Understaning aspects of the game you are not interested in will still heavily contribute to your understanding of the aspects of the game you are interested in.
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Billy McBoatface
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blueatheart wrote:
Barticus88 wrote:
2097 wrote:
Let’s do a thought experiment:
Do you know how Arimaa lets you take turns placing your pieces on the back rows? Which do you think has the longest recorded opening theory branches, it or plain 518 FIDE chess? (Note: Not saying that Arimaa is more fun than chess.)
The open canvas of the go board is your ticket to explore things that are truly your own.

I want to explore the open canvas where the fewest book writers have gone before,


I would recommend understanding the game on a fundamental level before doing this. Avoiding joseki is not a good way to do so. Understaning aspects of the game you are not interested in will still heavily contribute to your understanding of the aspects of the game you are interested in.
I'll disagree here. Studying joseki in go is optional if you are playing for your own enjoyment. Without studying joseki you will probably play fairly poorly in the opening, but unless you are trying to play the best you possibly can that's OK. Furthermore, as your skills and reading, shape, and general intuition improve, your opening play will naturally improve also (although of course it will improve more slowly than somebody who puts effort into a study of the topic).

This is all IMHO of course.
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Eric Flood
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wmshub wrote:
blueatheart wrote:
Barticus88 wrote:
I want to explore the open canvas where the fewest book writers have gone before,


I would recommend understanding the game on a fundamental level before doing this. Avoiding joseki is not a good way to do so. Understaning aspects of the game you are not interested in will still heavily contribute to your understanding of the aspects of the game you are interested in.

I'll disagree here. Studying joseki in go is optional if you are playing for your own enjoyment.


The two ideas are opposite one another. One cannot effectively explore the open canvas casually. It requires some level of dedication and study. Joseki is not the detail to get hung upon; the statement is rather more largely indicative of a desire not to study fundamental concepts and ideas of any sort, and particularly of the sort which the writer enjoys the least.

I will agree that casual play is oft warranted, and even harmless. If one claims, however, to desire exploration of ideas, one must first understand that the fundamentals are so-called for a reason. Once one has understood these concepts and ideas, taken the time to study and comprehend, only then may they explore new ideas with both impugnity and authority.
 
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Russ Williams
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It's a bit like doing math: do you want to enjoy working out the basics of set theory yourself, defining numbers, and so on? Or do you want to learn what's already been discovered and go from there? The latter is more practical, but the former has its appeal as a fun exercise as well.
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Something to remember:

Chess opening theory essentially does not exist unless you seek it out. The same can be said for Go, Shogi, etc.

Ignorance is bliss, at times.
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Eric Flood
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russ wrote:
It's a bit like doing math: do you want to enjoy working out the basics of set theory yourself, defining numbers, and so on? Or do you want to learn what's already been discovered and go from there? The latter is more practical, but the former has its appeal as a fun exercise as well.


No. Instead, the preferred path which is both more practical and providing of fun exercises is to take the work which has been done establishing set theory fundamentals, and exploring the consequences thereof. Running about without a firm understanding of what you're even attempting to do is a useless endeavor.

To use another analogy (a second-order one, flinging us further from the intended discussion, I'm afraid); suppose I provide you with a full basketball court and a basketball, and instead of you asking for the rules of the game, you instead decide it will be more fun to derive the rules of the game yourself from the basket, the lines, etc. It is useless - you are unlikely to arrive on your own at the correct results, and your time and efforts would be better spent upon learning fundamental practices that will develop your skills at the game.
 
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Randall Bart
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My friend Mike and I played Go mostly against each other with the occasional weaker opponent. He had put over a thousand hours into studying chess, but neither of us wanted to do any book learning for Go. After maybe two dozen games I said we needed a book. I went to Little Tokyo and bought two books, and read and studied the two books. I told Mike he needed to read those books, but he refused. Then I thrashed him twice (maybe three times) and he took the books. That was the full extent of our book learning. By my estimation, in our initial fumbling around we had made it to 12 kyu, and the books instantly made us 8 kyu. By the time we met Yoshi the 3 Dan, he said we were 6 kyu. More important he saw a lot of strategic weakness in our play and said that in a year studying with him he could make us shodan. It was understood that "study" was many hours of reading books and playing out different scenarios on a board. Neither of us really wanted to make the commitment, and Yoshi went back to Japan after just a few months.

Honestly we didn't want to study. We were great tacticians and we wanted to fight.
 
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Eric Flood
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Barticus88 wrote:
My friend Mike and I played Go mostly against each other with the occasional weaker opponent. He had put over a thousand hours into studying chess, but neither of us wanted to do any book learning for Go. After maybe two dozen games I said we needed a book. I went to Little Tokyo and bought two books, and read and studied the two books. I told Mike he needed to read those books, but he refused. Then I thrashed him twice (maybe three times) and he took the books. That was the full extent of our book learning. By my estimation, in our initial fumbling around we had made it to 12 kyu, and the books instantly made us 8 kyu. By the time we met Yoshi the 3 Dan, he said we were 6 kyu. More important he saw a lot of strategic weakness in our play and said that in a year studying with him he could make us shodan. It was understood that "study" was many hours of reading books and playing out different scenarios on a board. Neither of us really wanted to make the commitment, and Yoshi went back to Japan after just a few months.

Honestly we didn't want to study. We were great tacticians and we wanted to fight.


I would be seriously surprised and impressed if you could make it to sdk via this method. I would be quite willing to play a single even game of Go with you to find out (if you've progressed from 6k to 5k, it should be rather even).
 
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Russ Williams
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blueatheart wrote:
To use another analogy (a second-order one, flinging us further from the intended discussion, I'm afraid); suppose I provide you with a full basketball court and a basketball, and instead of you asking for the rules of the game, you instead decide it will be more fun to derive the rules of the game yourself from the basket, the lines, etc. It is useless - you are unlikely to arrive on your own at the correct results, and your time and efforts would be better spent upon learning fundamental practices that will develop your skills at the game.

I think this analogy has a problem: there are clearly zillions of possible games one could play with given equipment (e.g. the ball and court in this example). Similarly, given a canvas and paints, there are zillions of possible good paintings you could make.

I.e. 10 different people who make up a game with a ball, or paint a painting, are going to come up with different results.

But in a situation where you have fixed rules of a game (e.g. go), it is objectively observable whether some strategies work better than others. (In the sense of combinatorial game theory, you can even prove in practice for simple situations what the optimal moves are, e.g. in life and death problems.) So there is a kind of objective reality that guides you with feedback when you try to discover strategy on your own without books.

I.e. 10 different people who play go with the goal of teaching themselves how to play well while not reading the existing literature are going to come up with much more similar results for trying to discover strategy. They will all independently discover concepts like ladders and ladder breakers, snapback, the value of having ko threats, how to live with seki when possible, etc., they will all discover that it's easier to surround territory in the corner than the side, and easier to surround territory on the side than in the center, and so on, because those are not arbitrary whimsical personal choices (like creating the rules of a ball game or making a painting), but rather logical consequences of the given rules of the game.

EDITED TO ADD: I think I'm getting at the distinction between "creating something" and "discovering something". Game rules and paintings seem like they are created. Numbers and good strategies for a set of rules seem like that are discovered. Perhaps this depends on one's philosophy.
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Question to all:

Would you still find Go interesting if it didn't have a canon to study?

Do games without a similar canon to study, like most games we play on BGG, leave you wanting?
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garygarison wrote:
Question to all:

Would you still find Go interesting if it didn't have a canon to study?

I would; for some reason go deeply obsessed me from the beginning when a new coworker first introduced it to several of us, and we all started playing every day in the office. (In that early period, we played on white boards with colored dry ink markers!)

Soon after I indeed started buying books, but I was already intensely interested in the game regardless.

Quote:
Do games without a similar canon to study, like most games we play on BGG, leave you wanting?

I still enjoy the games, but I do sometimes wish they had at least a little more literature about them, perhaps partly just because that correlates with a wider audience and player base. I.e. in some sense my desire for a canon to study is based on a confusion of cause and effect: if there were a larger canon, that (logically) means there are more players (but of course more players makes a larger canon become (causally) more likely.)

Regardless of the existence of strategy books and articles, at the very least I do want other interested players with whom to occasionally talk about strategy ideas for the game.

But even without that, if the game is interesting to me, then I enjoy it.
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garygarison wrote:
Question to all:

Would you still find Go interesting if it didn't have a canon to study?
Yes, absolutely.

Quote:
Do games without a similar canon to study, like most games we play on BGG, leave you wanting?
No. Go has enough depth that you can read every day, accelerating your learning of the game, and still never come close to feeling like you've "figured the game out." With most eurogames, you could write a single book that could be studied carefully for a week at most to learn all the strategy there is for the game, so for these games such study would suck all the learning out of the game.

I like different games for different reasons; the way and reason I like go lends itself to studying the game more formally. I no longer have time to study go formally, but I still love playing the game, which is why I'm so sure of my answer to your first question (although I hope some day to be able to take up study again!). What I like about Power Grid would be lessened if anything by serious study.
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garygarison wrote:
Question to all:

Would you still find Go interesting if it didn't have a canon to study?

Do games without a similar canon to study, like most games we play on BGG, leave you wanting?


Apples and oranges here. Most games on BGG are not combinatorial abstracts, strategy in these games is a much more nebulous beast (but very much real: consider how far some people take M:tG, I have no doubt Agricola could be taken equally far if someone really wanted).

However, what leaps to mind here is Hex. I bought my first two Go books along with the only Hex book in existence, and I found to my disappointment that the Hex book was not remotely in the same league.

But, I guess I'm OK with it now. The appeal of Go is that you can read a book and gain an understanding of it that would have taken years to get on your own. But it turns out that this not being possible for Hex, has a certain appeal too. You can talk to much stronger players, watch their play and learn from them, but even as you can't really hope to beat them (the unofficial BGG champion has played connection games since Twixt came out, and there's a math student in Poland who became best in the world at age 13 and still is) you have the feeling that you're somehow in the same boat. A smaller boat. And that's nice too
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Eric Flood
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garygarison wrote:
Would you still find Go interesting if it didn't have a canon to study?


Most players did not have books, etc., to study at their leisure, until quite recently. Go tutors, however, were quite common. They propagated the canon at the time. As a result of this, and significant advances in the past century, many amateur high-dan players are quite likely better than the best pros. Without this canon, no development in strategy on this magnitude could occur.

I don't want to misrepresent myself, either. I have about twenty Go books, ranging from beginner to advanced. I have not, at present, done a thorough study of the advanced books, having only glanced through a few sections after games, to find ideas for future play.

Quote:
Do games without a similar canon to study, like most games we play on BGG, leave you wanting?


Absolutely. It is a goal of mine to establish some canon on certain games. The largest difficulty I am having is finding an audience who is interested in studying.
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So how about a game like Arimaa, Eric? That it has depth is unquestionable. However, would you hesitate dipping your toes in its pool, given that it lacks a canon to quickly take you towards the bottom?
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garygarison wrote:
So how about a game like Arimaa, Eric? That it has depth is unquestionable. However, would you hesitate dipping your toes in its pool, given that it lacks a canon to quickly take you towards the bottom?


I only recently became aware of the game, via a play with JC. I found it a fine game, albeit probably too chess-like in its tactics for my tastes.

Given the combination of a lack of canon and chess-like traits, I would be likely to dabble in a few games of Arimaa, but more likely to perform a proper study of Chess before attempting to seriously understand Arimaa.

The larger problem for me is that chess-variants are "easy" to make, each with different approaches, tactics, and strategic patterns that must be learned without being able to take much over from one variant to another.

I'm having a similar problem with most Eurogames at this point; all I'm seeing are variants, with very little in the way of innovation to drive my interest.

On a significantly smaller scale, I'm beginning to have a similar problem with new stock-based train games. The saving grace there is the amount of fundamental strategy that can be carried from one game to another, but I am becoming less and less interested in the "new hotness" 18xx, etc. Winsome is striving for innovation (sometimes at the cost of the individual game), which I respect tremendously.

We are way off the Go topic here - let's put this discussion back to the GCL, please.
 
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