Don't want a life of lies and pretense
Don't want to play at attack and defense
Just want my own life; I want to be free
So you can be you, and I can be me


This seems to be some kind of sick social trend in life. Do you think it's true that everyone wears masks? You know what I mean, a social demeanor for the right situation; You can spit and hollar a literal plethora of vulgar insults when you're out drinkin' with your mates, but would you dare behave in such a fashion around your mother? Now, I try be no means to be what you'd call a consistent communicator, but I'm fuckin' sick of playing certain situations to boot because it's expected of me.

I probably had first isolated and recognized this phenomonon somewhere around the fifth grade, when my mother smacked me for swearing. But me and my friends do this all the time, and no one's getting smacked... I wondered to myself. Then you realize: Of course! It's because mom expects me to behave that way around her! So all I have to do is be cool 'round mom...And I'm sure you can figure out the rest of the tale. So, by highschool, we've all got these little acts ingraved into our skulls. Act friendly with your friends, act desirable around those you desire (or not), act intelligent when appropriate, act otherwise when as such. Then there's always those formal demeanors. Your parents. Work.


I can offer no closure for something so anchored into the psyche of each and every one of us, but to say that would it really be any better if it were different? How would it be like if we could get away with treating our parents like fellow curmudgeons?

busy busy busy...
The fourth book in the Essentials of Go series by James Davies and Akira Ishida, and the only one that I've read. The whole series is supposed to be excellent, but this is the best one, from what I've heard.

Davies is a American 5-dan amateur Go player and professional Go writer, and Ishida is a Japanese 9-dan professional player.

The book deals with the middle game, which is, at least on the surface, the most complicated part of the game (fuseki, or opening, appears fairly simple, since there are so few stones on the board, but is arguably more complicated than middle game because of the possibilities). It is during the middle game when players are attempting to attack their opponent's weak groups, and strengthen their own. Attack and Defense deals with three main aspects of the middle game:

  • Attacking the opponent's weak groups when the balance of power is in your favour, in order to build territory, or further increase your strength.
  • Defending yourself from attack in order to shift the balance of power so that it is possible to go on the offensive yourself.
  • Reducing and invading large-scale frameworks (moyos).
The level of difficulty of the book is pitched at players who are in the range of around 10 to 15 kyu. I'm 10 kyu, and found it very useful (in fact, I feel about one or two levels stronger, just having read it, and my play in the last few days seems to reflect this). It has ample examples and problems (most of them taken from real games played by Ishida) to illustrate the concepts as it introduces them, and the final chapter consists of 20 problems so that the reader can test how well he understood the ideas presented.

The writing is clear and concise, and although he generally restrains himself, there are a few places where the reader can tell that Davies has a sense of humor. The examples are chosen to be appropriate for the target audience, illustrating the concepts in a straightforward manner, without the confusing tesujis that often crop up in professional games.

Like all English-language Go books, it is quite expensive for its size and quality of printing (it's a tiny paperback, and mine cost 25$ Canadian), due to the small market for such books, but well worth it for anyone in the double-digit kyus who wants to improve his or her middle game.

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