This is an article that I didn’t plan to post, especially because when I write an article for our blog, I take a lot of time to do it. But I’m gonna post it, without thinking too much.
Go can suck sometimes, if you study it for a long term, then you can meet such moments when you lose yourself. So, as an honest person, I should share this with you as well, not only happy moments.
I am sitting in front of the board. I am trying to play the best move everytime. Then I get lost, I think too much…
Then I realize. Am I actually thinking? No. I am wasting time. I am wasting time, because I am scared to play Go.
While discussing with a good friend of mine today, also a Go player, I realized, when he was telling me that in Go you should always be flexible and capable to change your mindset, that I am blocked.
Since I started playing this mindsport seriously, I was always taught to defend my groups. Which is the biggest priority?
Defending your weak groups. After, you can think about attacking and just in the end think about territory.
Because of this fact and because I am always worried and scared to die, I am very attached to my stones. Of course, I am not saving every single stone, but when it comes about groups, it feels too uncomfortable for me, to just change the whole rhythm of the game and make big exchanges.
I had a game today, against Nastya, the strongest student now in BIBA. We played with 2 handicaps and the beginning was okay for me. At some point, after Nastya made a mistake, I was able to cut 2 groups and eventually capture one of those. The problem was that, if I would choose to cut, a group of mine would probably die as well. I didn’t even consider cutting those 2 groups, because my concern was only how to run with my group. So I peeped the cutting point and my group was still in trouble, without a clear base.
Then Dia Sensei and Blackie Sensei tried to explain to me, that this kind of move and mindset is crucial and very important if I want to become a strong Go player, but even though they explained to me that the result can be only good for me and it would be an ideal situation, I was still concerned about my group that was eventually dying.
The solution of this issue is that I should start being an aggressive player and with the passing of time, to balance my style.
You cannot imagine how hard is for me to consider this idea, because, as in life, I don’t like fighting.
On the Go board is different, you cannot avoid fighting, it is part of the game and also, it is interesting in a way, finding brilliant moves in a fight and then seeing the beauty of it.
Also, in life, as on the Goban, you cannot always avoid fighting and dramas. You sometimes get involved in it, unintentionally, but then some situations turn out to be good, or some of them, become worse… Like losing a semeai, or self-ataring a group of yours.
Considering all these things, Go is not only about playing lots of games, studying variations and solving tsumego.
It is also YOU. You could be your opponent and your actual opponent just a witness of the game.
Did you ever feel that you lose a game, without the opponent even trying to do something, because you actually kill yourself slowly? I do, very often.
Experiencing this, I wonder… Will I ever become a strong player?