As some of you may have noticed recently, New York Institute of Go has been doing quite well on YouTube and releasing very interesting and with high quality content regarding various of topics. Today we have Ryan Li 1p here with us, to tell us more about it !
Q: Can you tell us more about this video lessons project that you are doing?
A: Originally, we had students at NYIG asking us about Joseki, mistakes, and other alike. To answer their questions more effectively, we decided to use open video format. We started a YouTube channel “NYIG_Go” with weekly uploads and it grew very quickly. It was quite unexpected, but I am happy that we are reaching the Go community. I also recently started weekly casual game commentaries, as a fan of and inspired by Meng Tailing (6P), who did similar Chinese versions on WeiqiTV.
Q: You are doing this project together with Stephanie Yin 1p, are you both mainly focusing on teaching?
A: Stephanie founded the New York Institute of Go NYIG, focusing on teaching and promoting Go. We offer many classes, including private online/in-person lessons to group classes targeted at kids/youth players. I help out a bit.
Q: You defeated Chen Yaoye 9p on the summer of 2017, how did you felt about that game?
A: It was unexpected, as I played very well to stay in it and Chen played a few slow moves in the mid game. I would not say it means that much as I think Western professionals like myself still have much to improve compared to top pros in China and Korea. That being said, we can put up a tough fight. 2017 is definitely one of the most memorable summers in my life. It felt and still feels like a dream.
Q: How do you prepare about such a tournament?
A: Get married. This has been a mini meme that all the Chinese pros joke to me about, as Stephanie and I posted the marriage picture that we took on Wechat the day before my game with Chen Yaoye 9p. All jokes aside, there is really not much you can do to hone your skills other than relax as best as you can. Being relaxed and confident is extremely important. I felt relaxed after winning my first game (against Cheng Honghao 2p), mentally, although that game took over 350 moves and lasted from noon to 7pm.
Q: Are you fan of AI, do you use it to study and improve?
A: Tough question. I use ELF weights on LeelaZero sometimes to learn some new openings. Otherwise, I personally cannot fully understand their moves and receive little benefit from analysis. It does tell me which moves that I consider are probably terrible, but if I cannot understand why, I will probably still consider them anyway in my game. I do not discourage against using AIs to study, yet I see very often the “AI moves” being used except in incorrect situations.
Q: Some of the videos are about josekis. What do you think is the importance of knowing joseki nowadays, when so many people are saying that reading skill is more important, because joseki can change?
A: I think that reading skill essentially determines every aspect of the game. I think of joseki like history. We are not learning joseki to only copy actions of our ancestors, but to use them as a benchmark to learn from.
Q: While teaching, what do you think makes the most struggle for the student to grasp/understand?
A: Varies between level and personality. I think that’s my favourite aspect about Go – everyone sees it differently.
Q: What is your recommendation for effective/efficient studying?
A: I like Yoonyoung’s advice on it. Mostly playing before 10kyu, then combine games with tsumego and review for 9 kyu and above.
Q: What should one do if he is in a bad period (losing many games) ?
A: Think of your favourite Go player or Sai. Pretend you are relaying their moves and at the same, think of where they would play. It helps broaden your thinking. If you succeed, a different perspective is usually enough for most to improve a level or two.
Q: How do you see Go? What is your philosophy on it?
A: A big piece of wood and small rocks that are worth hours a day of your time, and perhaps, devoting your life to.