Friday, March 31, 2006

Final Four

Well, well, well. My picks are doing better than I expected. Going into the Final Four, I'm in the 92nd percentile on the Yahoo! picks. My high water mark was actually after Saturday's games, when I was in the 95th percentile. Going into Sunday's games, I had teams alive in both games -- the favorites, in fact. Oh, well. I'm probably only going to fall further unless GMU beats UCLA in the title game. But I feel pretty good, overall. I'll have to check from Germany to see what happens, flight takes off about 20 minutes before tip-off. Maybe the captain will put the game on Channel 9.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Cherry Bomb

All the time I've lived in this area, I had never been to the Cherry Blossom Festival...until Saturday. I still haven't gone to see the cherry blossoms, however. As mentioned previously, I signed up for a go tournament -- the Cherry Blossom Tournament.

After discussions with players at the local club, I entered as a 15 kyu. This seemed a little bit ambitious, as I am only a 21 kyu online. Nevertheless, it seemed better to enter at a better ranking than I deserved, and lose all my games than enter at too weak of a rating and consequently take home a prize.

Well, good thing I felt that way, because I ended the day 0-4. 15 kyu was too ambitious, but not incredibly so. In fact, it looked like I won the last game by 2 points until I reminded my opponent that she got 7.5 points komi (compensation), so she won by 5.5. If I had entered as a 16 kyu, she would have only gotten 0.5 komi, so I would have won by 1.5. So 16 kyu would have had me as 1-3, and 17 kyu would have given me multi-stone handicaps against the same players (or no handicap against weaker players)...

My understanding of the ratings is that I will be bumped down from 15 kyu to something worse...17? I don't know. So I may enter a tournament in May at that level and try to bring my rating back up again. I figure eventually I'll find my level, then each game should be at least an even proposition...better than that if I'm improving. So I guess I'll just wait a week or two for the results to post and see where my ranking ends up.

Monday, March 20, 2006

How'm I doin'?

Well, I posted my tourney picks the other day. After the first weekend, let's evaluate. How am I doing? Surprisingly well, I think.

The easiest gauge of how I'm doing is versus other people picking games at Yahoo! In their Pick 'Em stats, I am in the 76th percentile. That's the top quartile!

I suffered a major setback when Iowa, one of my Final Four picks, went out in the first round, but other than that did decently. I'm doing the best in the Minneapolis bracket, where I picked 10 out of 12 games correctly, including Georgetown's upset of Ohio State. I think I only picked 2 other upsets correctly.

But what matters is that I'm in decent shape going forward. I have a maximum possible points of 155/192. Looking at the top 3 on Yahoo! right now, they have 157, 153 and 181. (None of them had George Mason, either.) So I could be right up there at the end. Probably not, but we'll see.

By the way, one of the top Yahoo! pick sets is entitled, "Jay Hawks? More Like Dumb Hawks". Earlier in the weekend, this was, "Jay Hawks? More Like Gay Hawks", which I believe was against Yahoo!'s terms and conditions. I wonder if Yahoo! changed it themselves, made the user change it, or whether the user just wised up.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Greetings from South Carolina

I'm currently in the Hampton Inn Greenville/Travelers Rest which features this sign:

I'm down here for my annual visit to the SERMON conference. This year it's being held at Furman University. Today after the talks, I walked around the Furman Lake, which is really quite lovely.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Go: February in Review

Wow...I haven't been posting much lately. In fact, my "January in Review" post was only two posts ago.

Anyway, despite a brief drop into 25 kyu territory, I ended the month basically up 2 kyu, at 22 kyu. This is pretty much my all-time high, so yay for me.

Highlights of the month were a victory over an American 19-kyu (with me getting 5 stones), a victory over Ben -- then 25 kyu, giving 2 stones, and a victory over a British 24-kyu player in an even game. The last victory was when my opponent ran out of time, but I felt I was getting the better of the game.

Lowlights were losses to a pair of Germans (on the same day) a 16 kyu who beat me despite giving me 7 stones, and one a 25 kyu who beat me with my giving a 2-stone handicap.

I dropped to 0-5 in the Dragon Tourney 2006 with a loss in an even game to a Dutch 19-kyu player. (I was actually 0-4 at the end of January, not 0-3 as I reported.) That leaves 3 games to go. Two of my opponents haven't moved in over a month, which is annoying. The other game should finish up pretty soon.

For the month, I was 9-5 in 19x19 games. I was 8-8 in 13x13 games and 0-1 in my lone 9x9 game.

In the real world, I've signed up for a tournament in a couple of weeks -- but it looks like I should save that for a later post.