I recently finished the arc in Hajime no Ippo where Ippo and Sendou fighting for the championship, and I couldn’t help but realize that a game of go is very much like a match in boxing. With each stone, each player prepares the battlefield. Before you know it, a furious chase and battle occurs where the one is rushing forward in a series of attacks while the other is stepping backwards and trying to gain solid footing. When the barrage is over however, the tide changes as the opponent regains his foothold and then returns a series of attack back as you try to ensure the safety of your attacking group.
In the end, a player’s ability to win a game from start to finish lies in his/her ability to withstand the exchange of blows that is sure to come in every game. Of course, there are times when the game simply boils down to a huge hitting match where the game can only in KO. So unless it is between two opponents of different caliber, no player can expect to get out of a game unscathed and unchallenged.
After finishing the arc, I realized that I had forgotten the endurance and tenacity a player must bring to every game. There is no room for pity or doubt. There is only room for those who’s fighting spirits echo even after the last stone has been placed on the board.