On the 1st of March, the beginning of Spring, I experienced one of the most intesive games so far, for me.
Due to the kindness of Antonius, who sacrificed his teaching match, so that I can have an official scholarship game, I played with Kim Seung-jun 9p (Blackie), a 6 handicaps game.
A few minutes before the game was starting, I was trying to make a plan in my head. Then I realized it will be a handicap game, so as Sinan Djepov (a good friend of mine) advised me, all I have to do is to play simple, defensive and try not to follow the opponent’s plan.
So I did… or at least I tried 😊 . The experience itself was amazing! In general, as Blackie also told me, I played well, with some small mistakes. I felt very confident during the game, because I knew I have nothing to lose and just to learn, a lot!
I would like to have this mindset always when I play Go, especially in tournament games. Maybe that is why Go is difficult, in a way. We cannot always control what we feel and think. This can be seen also on the goban by the opponent.
I remember 2 years ago, in a tournament… I was 4 kyu back then and in the first round I was paired with a 11 kyu. I knew I ‘’have’’ to win. And because of this kind of stupid desire or forcing myself to convince the opponent that I should win, surprise! I lost by 0,5 point. On the one hand, that guy was obviously a sandbagger, but on the other hand, he was still weaker than me and I didn’t have any excuse. I lost. I lost because I forgot how to enjoy the game and I was desperate with the idea that I should win.
In the next day, I totally changed my mindset. Of course, I was sad because of the game and I was replaying it in my head many times, but I said to myself: ’’From now on, I have nothing to lose!’’
I was paired with a 3 dan. I totally focused and what is interesting is that I was not thinking about the win at all. At all! Trying just to play decent was enough for me at that moment. In the end, I had a surprise. I won by 4,5 points.
People started talking in the tournament, because it is a bit weird, isn’t it? A 4 kyu loses to a 11 kyu and then is winning to a 3 dan.
For me it was also totally surprising. I remember I called my father after the round, telling him the bad news first and then saying that I won to a 3 dan. He was a bit confused, but probably he was thinking: ‘’yeah, she was lucky, the opponent underestimated her…’’ . And so I was thinking!
In the next round I was paired with a 4 dan. Again, with the same mindset, trying to play as good as possible, I managed to win by 0,5! This time, everybody from the tournament was very confused and shocked. But I was not. Why?
Because I finally understood how it works, or at least I think I understood. Takemiya Masaki 9p said once: “When you sit down to play a game is your aim to win the game or to become stronger? You probably think you can do both.” I thought I can do both.
Of course, after the tournament, I thought it is so easy to control this! Not at all. Pressure, expectations and the desire to win can lead you to lose the meaning of the game of Go. What do you think it is the meaning?
My first game with Blackie is just the beginning. Studying with him several months in Korea could make me progress a lot. Looking forward to seeing the future!
If you want to watch the review of my scholarship game with Blackie 9p, you can find it on the Facebook page of the Biba Baduk Academy or on the video below.