Archive: undefined/2014

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.

Archive: undefined/2013

Paranoid Go

As you know, I have been in a rather “meh” mood when it comes to playing go. It’s not so much that I’ve lost interest in the game, but I found my play style becoming very scattered and ugly. It wasn’t until recently that frozensoul helped to shed light on the issue and told me that I have entered a “paranoid go” phase. My moves are played haphazardly and often lack a sense of focus and purpose. Although I once wrote of this roadblock as being a “mood” issue, it seems that it may actually be a rather large obstacle that I must overcome.

In order to mediate this, I have taken a big step back from playing and have re-incorporated studying professional games into my routine. The aim of doing this is to try and unlock my paranoia of letting my opponents have any ideal opening or framework which often caused me to overextend myself which then resulted in my resignation.

At this point in my journey, my abilities seem to fluctuate rather violently depending on my opponent and their play style. This is unacceptable for me, since I despise the idea that the player I am becoming is one that is blatantly weak to certain styles and then overpowering against others. My go should shine on its own regardless of who my opponent is. And to clarify, this does not mean I think I will win all of my games; but instead, I want all of my games to be interesting and something I can be proud to show to anyone.

So while I am currently lost out in the sea paranoid go, when I find my way back onto the path of zen go: opponents beware. =)