Flow

It has been a moment since I last wrote, again, mostly thanks to me being busy lately. I just realized that not every update of mine has to be a big one, thus I ended up writing this quick update!

Last weekend I played in the Oulu Spring tournament – Jeff was not participating after all, so my main challengers were Janne Määttä and Janne Kössö, 4 dan players both. After five exciting games, I did end up winning the tournament! My and Jeff’s game is postponed to next weekend’s Finnish Team Championship, then.

Right now I’m reading the book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and it is actually thanks to this book that I decided to write this short blog post. The book’s general theme is flow experience: the experience you have when you are incredibly concentrated on doing something suitably challenging, consequently forgetting about time and place – according to Csikszentmihalyi and his research, it is at these moments that people feel the happiest. The following quote got me thinking about go, for a change, and I’d like to share it with you readers:

One simple way to find challenges is to enter a competitive situation. Hence the great appeal of all games and sports that pit a person or team against another. In many ways, competition is a quick way of developing complexity: “He who wrestles with us,” wrote Edmund Burke, “strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.” The challenges of competition can be stimulating and enjoyable. But when beating the opponent takes precedence in the mind over performing as well as possible, enjoyment tends to disappear. Competition is enjoyable only when it is a means to perfect one’s skills; when it becomes an end in itself, it ceases to be fun.

Questions and answers, part two

Long time no see! I got a nice amount of questions in the first part of this blog post series, and will now address them. Once you think of new questions, please write them as comments for this post!

Phew, this is one long entry! Please do try to overcome the “too long, didn’t read” feeling – I feel like I wrote a lot of useful and important text for all go players!

Continue reading “Questions and answers, part two”

Rabbity six, 27-28 November

Late in November this year, the Rabbity six tournament is coming around again. This time the tournament will do for me as a preparation for the Korean Ambassador’s Cup and the Finnish Championship, as well as the London Open Go Congress later this year. It’s going to become rather busy, but luckily I enjoy tournaments a great deal.

Rabbity six’s format is a regular five-round McMahon tournament. The big hall of Restaurant Zip at Tampere University of Technology has become almost iconic for the tournament, and works very well for its needs. Even better, the tournament’s organization is among the best in the whole of Finland, everything running incredibly smoothly. As usual, on Saturday evening there is a traditional Finnish sauna and game evening, which is likely to be the high point of the tournament for a significant number of participants (yes, including me).

If you could determine game results beforehand simply by ranks, the deciding game of Rabbity six would happen between me and Su Yang 6 dan, in a similar fashion as in the Oulu Mind Sports tournament last October. Practically speaking, I will need to be in top shape for every game, especially with Janne Määttä 4 dan, who’s beaten me numerous times. Like with my general go philosophy, however, I will not be attending Rabbity Six for the purpose of winning it; I will attend because it’s extremely fun, and because it’s one more opportunity for me to learn something new about this interesting game.