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 Post subject: Advice for someone playing to fast
Post #1 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:58 am 
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I have this problem: when my opponent plays fast, I tend to play fast too. Regardless of time limit.
Any advice?
Anyone had this problem too?

Thank you

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Post #2 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:20 am 
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just dont do it


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Post #3 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:21 am 
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by thinking ...

do I really have to answer here.

And always read at least 3 moves deep before placing your stone.

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Post #4 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:40 am 
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The problem is difficult, because you are following a natural human impulse to adapt to your surroundings. The solution, as indicated in this insightful post by Tami, is to allow the impulsive part of you to enjoy the game, but not to play it. It is a conscious decision you need to make. There are some useful crutches you can try such as sitting on your hands or implementing a checklist, but the important thing is to acknowledge that you have these impulses and then, in order to play better go, quash them. Good luck!

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Post #5 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:10 am 
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In real life tournaments I solved the problem by writing a kifu.

The act of pausing for a second to write down my opponent moves avoided the impulsive answers.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for someone playing to fast
Post #6 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:35 am 
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Don't take a stone out of the bowl until you have decided where to play it. Or take your hand off the mouse or whatever until you are certain where you will play. Playing on the internet encourages playing too fast. The "three-move" reading is very good whether you play too fast or not: your move, your opponent's answer, your response to that.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for someone playing to fast
Post #7 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:16 am 
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I also have this tendency. I think most people do. I the differences is that some people are better at controlling impulsive reactions that others. For example, if one is heavily involved in a local fight, with all the adrenalin it is hard not to just "stay in the flow" and click the first thing that comes to mind. In many competitive activities, the ability to stay in this "zone" -- prevent the slow, awkward analytic mind from getting involved -- is a big advantage, but in go, it tends to be a disadvantage. Intuition is vital, but intuition needs to be tempered by analysis because while often brilliant and creative, the intuitive mind can make catastrophic mistakes. :D

For me, I find that avoiding this is something that I have to put active effort into. My solution is habit formation. Think of habits as like the minds "muscle memory" they are activities that take place entirely outside of the calculating parts of your mind. Ever been on the phone while driving home from work and realized that you don't remember the trip, but you remember the conversation? That's habit. You make that drive so often your brain can negotiate it with very little input from the conscious brain processes that were largely engaged in conversation. We are GREAT at automating things that we do repetitively, but this system can only handle the circumstances that have been repeated. If something unexpected happens -- a pedestrian walks in front of your car unexpectedly, a child is playing in your driveway, someone stops suddenly in front of you -- it's a disaster.

The way I think about it is that I try to use the advantages of the habit system to try to mitigate the impulse to play. Develop the habit of engaging the analytic mind before playing. And I've found that I can do this by forcing myself to repetitively do something immediately after my opponent plays. For me, once I see my opponent move, I force myself to physically look at away from the local position, and I try to associate this with taking a mental step back to see the rest of the board. Even when the next move seems "obvious", I force myself to look around. That does two things. First, it pulls me out of the impulse to just play the move my intuition has handed me, and secondly, it forces both my analytic and intuitive processes to remember that there is a larger competition going on. I've found that this has helped me avoid making small local moves when there is a larger move to be made elsewhere.

This works for me, but honestly, I think any behavior you can repeat and that you can associate with taking that mental step back will probably do the trick. Even random physical actions can do the trick. Someone recently suggested sitting on your hands when you play. If you concentrate on trying to step back when you move your hand to the mouse, that could work. You could force yourself to touch the screen or monitor after your opponent moves. At first, it will be painfully tedious -- like driving your route home from work and knowing you'll be doing it another thousand or so times in the future -- but eventually, it will become automatic. And you may eventually find that the physical act eventually becomes unnecessary -- that you've managed to develop the habit of engaging your analytic mind based solely on the cue of your opponent having moved.

Ironically, I used to do a lot of competitive shooting, and in that sport, we train to do the opposite -- you only want to engage the automatic parts of your mind. All of the analysis -- judging wind speed, target trajectory, and planning the shot -- take place before you step up to shoot. Once you are ready to shoot, you actively clear your mind and chain your analytic mind to the radiator until you are done. The analytic mind is WAY too slow to make the kinds of split second adjustments necessary to hit targets with high levels of consistency. If you think about the process of shooting at all, you usually miss. But the training regimen is similar to what I outline above for go -- constant repetition in practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for someone playing to fast
Post #8 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:31 am 
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Matching the opponent's speed has a social aspect. It can be a way of being friendly, or courteous. There is nothing wrong with being friendly, but you don't want it to hurt your game. It can also be a way of being combative, of meeting blow with blow. That shows fighting spirit, but, again, you don't want that to hurt your game.

Playing quickly can raise your adrenaline level. That's not necessarily a bad thing. We are not talking about getting stressed out, just about playing too quickly. When your opponent plays quickly, if you feel your dander rising, or you feel some excitement, that is emotional energy that you can put to use. You can use it to help you concentrate, to read three moves deep, for instance, to figure out why your opponent made their play, to analyze the board, to make a general plan, etc. You can also use that energy physically, to do some exercise. In public, you can do isotonic exercise, where you tense and relax muscles without moving them.

The main thing is to break the rhythm. This can be done in any number of ways. People here have made some good suggestions. You can find what works best for you. Something that takes only a second or two, that you do every play, may be best. It could be something as simple as taking a breath. Something that puts you in control of your play, not your opponent. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Advice for someone playing to fast
Post #9 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:03 am 
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BlindGroup wrote:
For me, once I see my opponent move, I force myself to physically look at away from the local position, and I try to associate this with taking a mental step back to see the rest of the board. Even when the next move seems "obvious", I force myself to look around. That does two things. First, it pulls me out of the impulse to just play the move my intuition has handed me, and secondly, it forces both my analytic and intuitive processes to remember that there is a larger competition going on. I've found that this has helped me avoid making small local moves when there is a larger move to be made elsewhere.


I am a slow player, but I also found looking away from the local position to the rest of the board to be helpful. Just taking one or two seconds to simply look at the whole board before playing a stone took me from 11 kyu to 7 kyu. :) YMMV, OC. ;)

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Ironically, I used to do a lot of competitive shooting, and in that sport, we train to do the opposite -- you only want to engage the automatic parts of your mind. All of the analysis -- judging wind speed, target trajectory, and planning the shot -- take place before you step up to shoot. Once you are ready to shoot, you actively clear your mind and chain your analytic mind to the radiator until you are done. The analytic mind is WAY too slow to make the kinds of split second adjustments necessary to hit targets with high levels of consistency. If you think about the process of shooting at all, you usually miss. But the training regimen is similar to what I outline above for go -- constant repetition in practice.


Go analysis is not just linear, methodical, and slow. "I go here, he goes there, I go here, . . ." Such conscious analysis is also severely memory limited. Which is why we tend to do depth first search of the game tree. Unconscious analysis also goes on. It is rapid, messy, massively parallel, and not particularly limited in its working memory. Even though it's rapid, it also takes time to work. It is not the same as instinctive or habitual response, which is almost immediate. What player has not had the experience of doing something like cooking or driving, and suddenly realizing, "I should have played there!", or waking up in the morning with the answer to a problem? We don't have that much time when playing a game, but we can take a few seconds to rest our conscious analysis and see if our unconscious analysis tells us anything. Relaxation helps us to be open to our unconscious go analyst.

_________________
The Adkins Principle:

At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?

— Winona Adkins

I think it's a great idea to talk during sex, as long as it's about snooker.

— Steve Davis


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 Post subject: Re: Advice for someone playing to fast
Post #10 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:07 pm 
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BlindGroup wrote:
Someone recently suggested sitting on your hands when you play.
I've done this. It's awkward, but it works.

You can also try to require yourself to look at three moves you might play, and three responses to your chosen move. Something like that--making sure you're considering enough possibilities--is a good idea regardless of how fast or slowly you do it. In fact, you can play slowly, but just spend the time ruminating on the same sequence, accomplishing nothing.

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Post #11 Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:07 pm 
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Some of us play more slowly than our opponents and find that it still doesn't help. :mad:


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Post #12 Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:32 am 
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Thank you for the answers, a lot of good advice in them.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice for someone playing to fast
Post #13 Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:57 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
Quote:
Ironically, I used to do a lot of competitive shooting, and in that sport, we train to do the opposite -- you only want to engage the automatic parts of your mind. All of the analysis -- judging wind speed, target trajectory, and planning the shot -- take place before you step up to shoot. Once you are ready to shoot, you actively clear your mind and chain your analytic mind to the radiator until you are done. The analytic mind is WAY too slow to make the kinds of split second adjustments necessary to hit targets with high levels of consistency. If you think about the process of shooting at all, you usually miss. But the training regimen is similar to what I outline above for go -- constant repetition in practice.


Go analysis is not just linear, methodical, and slow. "I go here, he goes there, I go here, . . ." Such conscious analysis is also severely memory limited. Which is why we tend to do depth first search of the game tree. Unconscious analysis also goes on. It is rapid, messy, massively parallel, and not particularly limited in its working memory. Even though it's rapid, it also takes time to work. It is not the same as instinctive or habitual response, which is almost immediate. What player has not had the experience of doing something like cooking or driving, and suddenly realizing, "I should have played there!", or waking up in the morning with the answer to a problem? We don't have that much time when playing a game, but we can take a few seconds to rest our conscious analysis and see if our unconscious analysis tells us anything. Relaxation helps us to be open to our unconscious go analyst.


Bill, didn't mean to suggest that go did not involve anything more than analysis. My take is the go involves a nice dance between the intuitive and the analytical. But the analytical has to be a part of it. The intuitive mind, as you say, is great at coming up with solutions -- even at odd times -- but those solutions have to be "checked" with some level of analysis. That eureka moment in the shower is a great example of the strength of the intuitive system, but once your intuitive mind gives you the answer, you still have to analyze it to make sure that it works. If you're still mulling the problem over subconsciously overnight, your intuitive mind probably gave you a whole bunch of wrong answers the night before :D To me, part of the challenge of go is figuring out how to optimize the use of your different mental systems.

That also reminds me of another tidbit. @Knotwilg made a connection to prospect theory and go play recently, and it reminded me of an interesting point in Daniel Kahneman's popular-press book Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow. In the book, he frames most of his academic work within the dual intuitive/analytical model of the mind. And he interprets many of the "surprising" results from his work as highlighting the weaknesses of the different systems and our use of them. Long story short, one of the weaknesses of the intuitive mind is a susceptibility to mistakes in framing -- immediately assuming that a given problem is similar to one previously seen or failing to make broader connections between a given problem and other known information. I can't help but wonder if this is one of the things that goes on in go when players seem to play "too locally". If so, it highlights the importance of forcing oneself, as you point out, to take a step back in order to "reorient" your intuitive processor!

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 Post subject: Re: Advice for someone playing to fast
Post #14 Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:22 am 
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BlindGroup wrote:
Bill Spight wrote:
Quote:
Ironically, I used to do a lot of competitive shooting, and in that sport, we train to do the opposite -- you only want to engage the automatic parts of your mind. All of the analysis -- judging wind speed, target trajectory, and planning the shot -- take place before you step up to shoot. Once you are ready to shoot, you actively clear your mind and chain your analytic mind to the radiator until you are done. The analytic mind is WAY too slow to make the kinds of split second adjustments necessary to hit targets with high levels of consistency. If you think about the process of shooting at all, you usually miss. But the training regimen is similar to what I outline above for go -- constant repetition in practice.


Go analysis is not just linear, methodical, and slow. "I go here, he goes there, I go here, . . ." Such conscious analysis is also severely memory limited. Which is why we tend to do depth first search of the game tree. Unconscious analysis also goes on. It is rapid, messy, massively parallel, and not particularly limited in its working memory. Even though it's rapid, it also takes time to work. It is not the same as instinctive or habitual response, which is almost immediate. What player has not had the experience of doing something like cooking or driving, and suddenly realizing, "I should have played there!", or waking up in the morning with the answer to a problem? We don't have that much time when playing a game, but we can take a few seconds to rest our conscious analysis and see if our unconscious analysis tells us anything. Relaxation helps us to be open to our unconscious go analyst.


Bill, didn't mean to suggest that go did not involve anything more than analysis.


I didn't think that you did. :)

Quote:
My take is the go involves a nice dance between the intuitive and the analytical. But the analytical has to be a part of it. The intuitive mind, as you say, is great at coming up with solutions -- even at odd times -- but those solutions have to be "checked" with some level of analysis. That eureka moment in the shower is a great example of the strength of the intuitive system, but once your intuitive mind gives you the answer, you still have to analyze it to make sure that it works. If you're still mulling the problem over subconsciously overnight, your intuitive mind probably gave you a whole bunch of wrong answers the night before :D To me, part of the challenge of go is figuring out how to optimize the use of your different mental systems.

That also reminds me of another tidbit. @Knotwilg made a connection to prospect theory and go play recently, and it reminded me of an interesting point in Daniel Kahneman's popular-press book Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow. In the book, he frames most of his academic work within the dual intuitive/analytical model of the mind.


What I am talking about is analytical. It is just unconscious and parallel search. It is not particularly fast in terms of bringing ideas quickly to consciousness. But its search space is huge by comparison to conscious search. Masters may see the best play more or less instantly. That's fast, and not analytical, but I'm not sure I would call that intuitive, either. We're kind of stuck with fuzzy terms. ;)

Quote:
And he interprets many of the "surprising" results from his work as highlighting the weaknesses of the different systems and our use of them. Long story short, one of the weaknesses of the intuitive mind is a susceptibility to mistakes in framing -- immediately assuming that a given problem is similar to one previously seen or failing to make broader connections between a given problem and other known information. I can't help but wonder if this is one of the things that goes on in go when players seem to play "too locally". If so, it highlights the importance of forcing oneself, as you point out, to take a step back in order to "reorient" your intuitive processor!


Framing is a weakness for the analytical mind, as well. ;)

Mathematicians and scientists have stories about reframing accomplished by the unconscious, such as Kekule's dream and Poincare getting on the bus. :)

_________________
The Adkins Principle:

At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?

— Winona Adkins

I think it's a great idea to talk during sex, as long as it's about snooker.

— Steve Davis

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Post #15 Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:19 pm 
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I like to play fast games, and I like to play slow games too.

But I rather appreciate slow games after a short break from the game (one week), and when I've got plenty of time. After a good sleep, sometimes I feel interested in go strategy again. Time to play a slow game.

I can't enjoy a slow game if I'm not in the right state of mind to begin with.
When I participate in tournaments, sometimes I'm not ready for a slow game. But I nonetheless take the time to play it right. It's just that in this case, it is a lot of work. I enjoy doing it, not for itself, because it is exhausting to force myself to play slowly when I am already tired, but for the satisfaction of having done a fine performance in the tournament.

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