Losing Sight of My Go

Today I played a game against a 2k as Black (with 45 min main time settings). It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game with such long time settings where the opponent actually used up most of his/her time. In fact, it was a little nerve wracking because the quality of the moves were quite different. Far less impulsive ones and much more proper moves that were given a lot of thought. I felt I had decent control of the game for the most part, but started losing control of it towards the later half of the middle game. Around this time, my opponent misclicks.

At first I was thrilled to see the mistake, but then the undo request instantly popped up and I was confronted with the conflicting decision as to wheter I should give him the undo or not. Long story short, he was supposed to gain about 8 points in sente, but misclicked and put his own stones in atari so that I could capture them instead, save my stones, and gain a few points myself.

For 95% of spectators out there, the answer is crystal clear: it was an obvious misclick. In that moment however, though I’m ashamed to say it, I wanted to win so badly that I tried to brush off his undo and play on. I tried to resolve my cognitive dissonance by telling myself that it was his fault that he misclicked. Not my problem. Within a few moves however, I woke to my senses and realized how pitiful I was being. So I resigned in order to try and pick up what little self-respect I had left.

The reason I’m writing about this is because I realized I have become too caught up in winning. Even though my name was created with the idea that I had found zen in go, I think that it has become so far from the truth (especially as of late). With each game recently, any sense of calmness or zen has been consistently disturbed by the notion of winning or losing. And with each game, I am concerned that I am losing sight of my go.

This ends now. I don’t care if I have to drop ten stones to get back to it, but I’m going to put the pieces that started this blog back together: Ben + Go + Zen.