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Tetris Effect

I was recently reminded of the Tetris effect whereby a person who plays Tetris a lot starts to imagine how real world objects would fit together or imagine tetrominoes falling from the sky. In other words, the rules of the game become a mental habit.

I’ve recently started to notice the same effect with Go. I’ve begun to evaluate the tactical strength of any series of dots. I’ve also started to dream about Go positions. Odd.

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Satisfying Victory

Most of you probably don’t know about go and so won’t appreciate this, but I feel like sharing anyway. I’ve been matching my wits against the computer for a few months—against GNU Go to be precise—and I don’t remember the last time I managed to capture such a large group of the computer’s stones (SGF).

I’m playing black in this game, as usual. The computer resigned after I placed my stone at G4. That whole group of white stones on the left is dead; there’s nothing white can do to make them live. With that, I’ve reduced white’s territory to the middle and top, not enough to have a hope of winning.

Actually, the game was lost several moves earlier when the computer placed a stone at G8 allowing me to seal its fate by extending my group at F6. There was no way to escape at that point as long as I kept my wits about me.

That felt good. Thank you for listening. :)


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The Second Book of Go

The Second Book of Go by Richard Bozulich provides a comprehensive survey of the basic concepts of go for the advanced beginner: openings, handicap strategy, josekis, attacking, tesuji, life and death, capturing races, good shape, endgame, and ko fighting. The book covered these topics in greatly varying lengths. It treats capturing races in two chapters—probably exhausting the subject—while ko fighting only gets five pages. I had trouble following some of the examples; I think the author expected more expertise from the reader and therefore left much unsaid. I enjoyed that many of the chapters suggest books for further study, a welcome guide to the bewildering number of available go books.

Despite its title, I found it an excellent third book, and it definitely required more than a simple knowledge of the rules, despite its subtitle. I’ll be digesting the contents of this book for quite a while.

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