What makes Go even more difficult than it is? It is for sure the psychological part. Time, pressure, expectations, ego. All of these could lead you to a big loss and dissapointment. In theory, many of us know that Go is about equilibrium and balance.
The question is: How many of us can apply that? Let’s have an example, besides the Go perspective.
You’re in a really good mood, it seems that everything in your life works very well and you start to feel that nothing bad could happen today, because you feel too good, you had so much success in this day at work, you cooked such a delicious dinner tonight, you bought a new pair of jeans that fits you. Out of a sudden, somebody calls you. A friend of yours had a car accident. What is your first instinct? My instict. Panicking! What can I do to make the things better? Besides donating blood and maybe praying if I am a religious person, I can do nothing. Did you ever have a position on the Go board in which everything may seem hopeless? I did. Many times… maybe too many times. In some of them, I managed to repair the things that I ruined, in other times, I couldn’t.
What I wanted to say with this real life example? I will answer, with a question. How can we always be in life patient and balanced? How can we always control the things that are happening around us? We cannot. I feel it’s similar on the Go board. Basically, how we all say when we meet a new person that wants to know what Go is, the board is a metaphorical vision of life, our life. During a game, anything can happen. Starting from leading the game, till dying with an enormous dragon. Maybe some of you would say: “c’mon, but this example is maybe too morbid compared to a game of Go”. Is it? I went through both of the situations.
And many times, I had games in which maybe I didn’t feel the same as I would feel if a friend of mine would have a car accident. But not too far away from that feeling either. Is it only me that feels this way? I think many of us did, in different contexts, depending on the intensity of our emotions.
But let’s also mention the good positions. How many of us did have moments in Go, when we were ahead so badly and maybe it would have been impossible to lose the games, in such positions?
Should I mention how many times I had these moments? You will probably start laughing, so I would rather abstain. 😊
I think for sure that these things make us different from AI. It has good parts, but also bad parts. As humans, we can use instinct, creativity and sometimes even our feelings to win a game. But this topic of feelings, can be also a bad part, such as losing games in frustrating ways.
What is the conclusion? Do I have a conclusion? Probably if I would have one, I would be a brilliant Go player.
I found a solution for myself, but it doesn’t work all the time. As I said in my article about the weird tournament, when I lost to a 11 kyu, but won to 2 dan players, I tried to induce a mood of indifference. Not indifference in terms of Go, but the result itself.
After that, I felt that I found the Secret of Go. Of course I was stupid. It cannot be that easy. Next time when I tried it, it didn’t work.
So… So? Is it about self control? If it is this, then how can we keep the control alive?