Monday, March 2, 2009

As a 1-dan Shogi player...

Hey all,

it has almost been two months since I became a 1-dan player. So I have been doing quite alot of thinking about how I should further improve my skills as a 1-dan player, and also to achieve the strength of 2-dan this year. After giving much thoughts, I had came up with a few ways and been practising it since early February. They are:

1. solving tsume-Shogi (Shogi mating problems) without Shogi equipments.
When I was a beginner, I would set up the position in my tsume-Shogi books with my Shogi sets and tried to solve them. But now I would tried to solve the problems without using any Shogi equipments or programs at all. I believe this will help me develop my imaginations better and would definitely help me alot during a game which sometimes require me to think more than 5 moves ahead. Not only did it improve my imagination skills, it actually improves my concentration too.

2. Reading Shogi books about fundamentals/basics.
I have actually finish reading up a book about the basics eg. why moving gold to G7H during a rook's pawn attack etc. Although I already read it when I was a beginner, I feel that I should master it again to strengthen my fundamentals.

3. Mastering all the Joseki (Openings/fundamentals)
I have completed "Art of Shogi" a year ago, but I think I should read them again to improve my Joseki... although I think it is impossible for me to master all of them.

4. Reading professional kifus (game records) everyday.
I have been reading kifus played by professional Shogi players almost everyday to try and grasp what the professionals are thinking to improve my strategy ideas.

5. Predicting the next moves.
Every time I read professional kifus I will try to guess what the next move will be the best. If my suggested move is bad, I will ask myself why it was a bad move.

6. Watching kifus played by amateur players.
By watching kifus played by beginners or amateur players, I will try to find the best move in the game or find the mistake made by the players so I will not repeat the same mistake in my own game.

7. Choosing a playing style.
Now that I'm a 1-dan player, I think it's time for me to choose whether I should be a static rook player, or a ranging rook player. Therefore I have been trying different sorts of Joseki against my opponents to see which playing style suits me best. Although I haven't decide on which style I should use, but I think I'm more of a static rook player but I'm still not sure of my choice yet.

With these seven ways, I believe I will become stronger in a short period of time. Nevertheless, I will try my best to achieve 2-dan this year!

Ryou Takehito