11 thoughts on “The will to get results”

  1. Nice post Antti, thanks for the analysis.

    I agree that it’s important to do what works and accept that you won’t play the perfect game, even if this is your goal. I remember many games in the past where I made a mistake and got frustrated about it. After that you might still be winning but you have to be careful not to self-sabotage.

    Top players go on to win many games like that because they keep their cool.

    On the other hand, maybe caring too much about winning is what makes us get emotional in the first place? Some pros talk about ridding themselves of the desire to win, or the fear of losing. Wouldn’t that sort of detachment, taking each move as it comes, be truly liberating?

    1. Indeed, being able to abolish the desire to win and the fear of losing, you wouldn’t get emotional about the game. The other side of the coin is, that it becomes more difficult to give your everything during the game due to fewer incentives to do so. My method of avoiding this problem is to keep my concentration on the quality of every stone I play – this is actually something I’ve been trying for a few months already, but I don’t feel that I’m quite there yet: many of my moves still end up half-baked.

  2. Your posts were really helpful for the lecture, I held on KGS for a small study group. I refered to your articles (and doinng some promotion for your blog). Hope that was ok.
    Just one question: Do you count points in your games, and how?How precisely?

    1. Hehe, I don’t mind at all! On the contrary, I really like the idea of people spreading some of the ideas I’m discussing here.

      I think I’ve got two algorithms in my head for determining what the situation with the game is. In the opening and early middle game, I mostly keep track of move exchanges and how they end up, e.g. “I lost a little with the exchange there, but I got the sente to play here to even things out” or “he played a slow move there, now I can take this big point and then I have a slight edge”. Starting from mid-middle game, when the concrete territories have emerged on the board, I start counting more accurately – first by comparing which areas are about equal in size to quickly determine what the situation is, and as the game goes on to endgame, I start to perform really precise calculations.

      On an interesting side note, it actually seems like my subconscious is doing the exchange evaluation all the time: even in very late endgame, I may for example count that I’m winning by 1.5 points, but somehow I just “know” that I’m losing – in several cases like this, I have ended up losing by 0.5 or 1.5 points.

  3. Hello,

    I just discovered your blog thanks to an article in gosensations. Although I am rather weak, I really enjoyed your analysis and read your articles avidly. I find the parallel between go and james bond especially interesting (and fun) since he is a real player in every sense of the term. The article as well, raised a lot of questions in my (immature) go player mind, mostly about what is more important: You emphasize in your game comment the importance of following trough with a plan, but you also point out with the bond comparison that being flexible is the key to victory. How much can you compromise in a game in which strategy and “doing what works” seems to clash?
    Thank you very much for this blog which is fun and helpful.
    Pierre C

    1. Good observarion there – executing your plan and doing what works don’t exactly seem to go hand in hand. I’ve got some ideas as to this: at the moment of formulationg your plan, you usually should take into account some (most) variations that your opponent could go for. Of course, everything is not foreseeable – then adjusting may be needed, if it seems like executing the plan will become counterproductive. It is extremely valuable to develop for yourself good board-judgment skills with which to determine when to switch plans.

      That’s just in theory, however – in most games at least I don’t actively think like this. I look at the board position, and let my intuition decide how to go forward in the game. For the most part, I simply look for what “looks good”, read it out just a bit, and then play it. When I see that my opponent is trying to prevent whatever design I had in mind, I let my intuition work again to decide a new way to go forward.

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