This year the Shodan Challenge will run from 1st July to 30th May 2012.
We will assign mentors to each of the challengers as far as possible, looking at the relative strengths of the pairs as well as their preferred teaching/study methods and the amount of time each has available for study.
The Shodan Challenge is all about finding your own motivation. Pretty much the only way to keep up a course of study for the long haul is if it's actually fun! Don't be afraid to experiment with different ways of studying to find one that suits you - other people can give advice, but in the end only you can decide how to spend your time.
Mentors are not there primarily for their teaching role. Of couse, teaching is useful, but more useful is advice on what areas to concentrate on and what resources to use for self-study. Develop a habit of studying Go in a way that is satisfying to you, and improvement and enjoyment will continue for a lifetime. Part of the reason for taking on a mentor's role is the help it provides to your own study.
Remember that studying Go is not always a matter of easy direct forward progress. People often hit barriers to progress that no amount of study seems to help. That's when you need to rethink, or get advice from new sources. You may be inspired to alter your style of play, or to try out new moves that don't quite work, or that you don't understand how to follow up. Don't be put off if you find yourself seeming stones weaker - it will gel together eventually, we promise!
During the challenge we recommend that challengers and mentors keep in touch at least once a week. This will help combat any temporary loss of enthusiasm on either side.
The community is there for much the same reason - we will be trying to maintain some sort of regular stream of suggested topics (contributions very welcome). Questions and observations are also welcome. Also, please let us know if you lose contact with your mentor / mentee - we will help you regain contact or if that fails, try and reassign you to someone else.
We have set up the following email lists, that all participants can post to:
firstname.lastname@example.org - goes to all participants
email@example.com - goes to all challengers
firstname.lastname@example.org - goes to all mentors
email@example.com - goes to the Challenge organiser, currently Jenny Radcliffe.
If you do not wish to receive emails via these lists, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will remove you. We anticipate that postings to these lists will be helpful and so we hope that everyone will get involved.