Resistant to Playing White

In my entire go playing thus far, I never actually found a real preference for one color over another… until recently.

I’m not sure if any other players share this concern with me, but I recently developed a resistance to playing White. As I sit here wondering how I got to this place, I can only come up with the following possibilities:

#1. I have no control over how the opening will play out.

Now this seems kind of childish, but I feel woefully unprepared to deal with the openings that my opponents tend to play. For example, a play that I know will always haunt me until I get familiar with it is the 3-4 opening. I have a vague idea as to how to deal with it, but I still feel at a loss when I think about it.

#2. I feel like I have to be more aggressive in order to nullify Black’s plans.

I recognize that with komi White does not nearly have the disadvantage that it used to have, but the idea of being one move behind Black gets under my skin more than I’d like it to.

That being said, perhaps all of this irrationality stems from the fact that I’ve recently begun to finally grasp the strategy behind go. My whole board understanding has grown and as a result I have a better idea how things fit together, but I think a side effect of this is I started realizing how much I actually don’t understand.

For those who aren’t aware, I have been working with the sanrensei for quite some time now and have developed quite a liking for it. Unfortunately though, sanrensei only really works as Black. I’ve tried playing sanrensei as White a few times, but the only times I win are when my opponents allow me to gain the initiative and outplay them tactically.

I know that this adverse reaction to playing White will subside in the future, and perhaps one of the best remedies for it is to simply gain better understanding of the different counter strategies to the popular variations that Black generally plays. It’s a pity there isn’t a book out there that deals specifically with this subject matter. If there isn’t one when I’ve become much stronger and gained a better understanding of the strategic elements of White, you can be sure that I will be posting articles on it to help fill the void.

One thing is for sure though, I want this feeling to disappear as soon as possible.