Bruce Wilcox’s Go Dojo : Contact Fights

Contact happens often throughout a game and most players screw it up royally. One sees dan players making mistakes with rules a 20 kyu could master. Obviously there is a need for a thorough training on the subject - this is it! The Dojo is a computerized interactive tutorial targeting four groups of students:

Squirm with the Abysmals (to 20 kyu) as you realize fundamentals you’ve never grasped
Commit with the Acolytes (to 10 kyu) to acquire the rules of good play
Study with the Ascendents (to 1 dan) to hone the skills you need to progress
Marvel with the Adepts (to professional) at the advanced thinking of master strategists

 

 

This screenshot is of the version suitable for smaller monitors with the text window shrunk.

The board size is adjustable. Fonts and font sizing are completely customizable.

 

Each level covers how to see the board and what rules to follow. There are interactive tests to confirm you understand the rules and a printable crib sheet to glance at as you take ‘live action testing’of your understanding in whole board games. You play along with the original players - guessing the correct move for your level of understanding and seeing where the original players got it right or so very wrong. Should you get it wrong, Dojo reminds you which rule you’re breaking and lets you try again until you get it right.

"What is this product about?" The product is two things. First, Bruce Wilcox's Go Dojo is a Windows compatible software program (also works under WINE in LINUX) used to display teaching material that includes text, go diagrams, quizzes, etc with an interface designed to support large amounts of text. (For those of you familiar with SGF annotated games, think of Dojo as the next-generation SGF viewer. SGF was designed to display positions, text and annotation, but has no hyper-text linking capabilities, no testing support, etc, and most games with SGF commentary actually say very little at a node. Dojo goes way beyond all this.)

Then there is the specific chapter of teaching about Contact Fights. When enemy stones come into contact, there are several different kinds of behavior (areas of Go knowledge) that can come into play. One is "Life and Death:, where you try to kill or live. Two is string capture and connectivity (areas where "Tesuji" come into play). The third is "Contact Fights", where players struggle to build walls, influence, and avoid having their contacting stones fall into one of the other two areas of behavior. Proverbs like "Play hane at the head of two stones" or "When crosscut play extend" come from contact fights. The Contact Fights chapter is broken into 4 levels of study (from beginner through dan level). Each has teaching, rules to learn, quizzes to test your understanding of the rules in board situations, and whole games at a variety of levels wherein you get tested continually on the application of a range of rules and see commentary of play and misplay involving those rules. Contact Fights is 1400 pages.

At the adept level, deep game commentary about contact fighting illuminates the sophisticated rules governing play. At last you can grasp why stronger players make those enigmatic moves and why some people stay weak for so long.

Also included is Kogo's Joseki Dictionary (http://waterfire.us/joseki.html) for studying joseki.

 

Wilcox’s Go Dojo: Contact Fights (Windows/WINE only) is available on CD or via email (for accounts accepting a 1MB zip file)

To order use www.PayPal.com (click Send Money) of $25 or 15, or 20 Euros to email: brucewilcox@bigfoot.com

Specify delivery method (email strongly PREFERRED)

Quotes from users:

"Went through the beginner contact lesson three times and finally think I am getting a little of it. today played my first two games and it seemed a revelation to watch stable and unstable stones appear before my eyes. I also felt I was on the lookout for weak opponent stones, I thought I knew about contact by reading your books but this really clarified the basic principles" CZ (4 kyu)

"You've send me dojo ten days ago and since then I'm using it daily. It's fascinating to see how the filters allready start to work and alter my perception. Dojo keeps what EZ-GO had promised. Congretulations!" PH

"I love the program and the contact fights material! It's so precise it almost feels like these were rules for a game engine retrofitted for human consumption... It's interesting to see how often I would choose make a dangerous hane or keep pushing even after 'super stable'; such simple rules can make me think twice. Thanks for putting this together!" AF (9k)

"For me, it really is a far better learning tool than the vast majority of go books I've read so far. For $25 I would say it is an amazing deal...It has really transformed the way I think about the stones on the board and is exactly the kind of information I needed. I wish I'd had this program three years ago, but tough. My game has always been of the whole-board, no-read variety, with the technical aspects of contact fighting very mysterious to me, even though I have carefully studied such books as Davies' Life & Death and Tesuji. So suddenly getting a theoretical backbone kind of clue to what's going on with contact on the board is a revelation for me." BH (2k)

"There is certainly a lot of teaching material in this program. A typical page repays a couple of minutes' consideration, and there are almost 1400 pages, so I reckon it would take about 48 hours to give it the attention that it merits. This compares well with most Go books, making it well worth the price." NW (1dan)