Thursday, September 17, 2009

Into The Unknown...

So I FINALLY got to play another game on KGS. As usual, I saw no open games around my rank (all SDKs or lower (level wise, not k wise) than 20k) . So I set up a ranked game in the beginner room and wait.

Not a long wait. Somebody with a '?' rank joins. Not a rank with a question mark, but just the question mark, no idea what skill level. Now, I've heard jests that nothing will make a dan player on KGS more nervous than playing a '?' player. Most '?' players are raw beginners, but some, SOME are high level players that have started a new account for whatever reason.

Seeing as I'm only around 15k, it doesn't take much of a strong player to thrash me. But, I figure it might be some poor guy trying to get his rank, and I remember how difficult it was for me to get games when I had the '?'.

Turns out  it was probably someone 20k or weaker. Could not read ladders, did not realize when basic two stone groups on the third line were toast, etc.

Of course, whenever I trap stones in a ladder and the opponent starts to play out the ladder, I get nervous.
Did I misread? The last time this happened (a DGS game), I misread and ended up with an escaped ladder, and a ton of cutting points... embarassing.

But playing out the dead stones on the third line was proof that it was a weaker beginner. When I think I'm playing someone weaker, I tend to get sloppy, and this was no exception -- made a bunch of stupid mistakes, lost some groups I shouldn't have.

Most of it was from playing too fast. I had a 30 minute main time, so there was no reason to be making <10s moves, but I did. Finally, I forced myself to remove my hand from the mouse and placed it in my lap. I have to do this sometimes, or I end up in trouble.

Fun game, he ended up with a 16k? after the game, if he gets a rank soon and I remember, I'll go look it up and update the post.

He had a small group in the lower portion of the board with a 6x2 eye. Again, something I would never do with a stronger player, I played inside of it to see if he could make two eyes. He either did well, or I did poorly, or both, cause he easily made a second eye.

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