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 Post subject: Would you be able to play an entire game in your head?
Post #1 Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:24 pm 
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Either by yourself or with an opponent, would you be able to play a fresh game entirely in your head? Would anyone be able to do this in real life like Touya Akira?

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Post #2 Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:15 pm 
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I think I could play an even game against most humans 2-9 stones weaker than me "blindfold" through the almost all the middlegame, but probably not the endgame. If they were stronger than that, I'd probably want to resign by move 50, and if they were weaker, I'd probably have trouble reminding myself of the 'story' or 'flow' of the game. I'd have to convince myself of a move to memorize it.

I'd expect most professionals to be able to play a fully visualized game against most amateurs > 5kyu. Yeah, there's people who can do it.

It's an interesting concept though. I want to try it, so I hereby challenge any reader 5kyu and up to a blind Malkovitch! Either just me blindfolded, or both players blindfolded. Any player who is blindfolded would give moves in text (ex. D4) and give their reasoning in terms of shapes. They would be allowed to reread the text moves but not to play any part of the game out on a board until the game ends. If my opponent plays without a blindfold, then they can give their move in text and draw diagrams in the hidden. If a blindfolded player has reached endgame and feels that one side is clearly ahead they may ask to end the game, pending on audience approval.
I think it would be kind of interesting for readers, although perhaps a little harder to follow than the normal Malkovitch. Does anyone feel up to it? Would anyone be interesting in reading such an endeavor?

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Post #3 Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:41 am 
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No.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you be able to play an entire game in your head?
Post #4 Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:57 am 
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Bao Yun can play blindfold go through the endgame, and I seem to recall he can play at a pretty high level while blindfolded. https://senseis.xmp.net/?BaoYun

A few times when I've been thinking deeply about a correspondance game, I have played through moves in my head. I found that I could visualize the position for at least 40 moves after not having looked at the game all day. I never quite measured how far I could go, but I suspect I'd break down during the middlegame.

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Post #5 Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:36 pm 
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I'm sure most pro go players could play whole games blindfolded. In chess, the master George Koltanowski played 37 simpultaneous games blindfolded in 19307, I think.

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Post #6 Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:01 pm 
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https://senseis.xmp.net/?BaoYun says that "[Bao Yun is] the only person in the world able to play and finish a blind-go on 19x19".

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Post #7 Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:01 pm 
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TelegraphGo wrote:
I think I could play an even game against most humans 2-9 stones weaker than me "blindfold" through the almost all the middlegame, but probably not the endgame. If they were stronger than that, I'd probably want to resign by move 50, and if they were weaker, I'd probably have trouble reminding myself of the 'story' or 'flow' of the game. I'd have to convince myself of a move to memorize it.

I'd expect most professionals to be able to play a fully visualized game against most amateurs > 5kyu. Yeah, there's people who can do it.

It's an interesting concept though. I want to try it, so I hereby challenge any reader 5kyu and up to a blind Malkovitch! Either just me blindfolded, or both players blindfolded. Any player who is blindfolded would give moves in text (ex. D4) and give their reasoning in terms of shapes. They would be allowed to reread the text moves but not to play any part of the game out on a board until the game ends. If my opponent plays without a blindfold, then they can give their move in text and draw diagrams in the hidden. If a blindfolded player has reached endgame and feels that one side is clearly ahead they may ask to end the game, pending on audience approval.
I think it would be kind of interesting for readers, although perhaps a little harder to follow than the normal Malkovitch. Does anyone feel up to it? Would anyone be interesting in reading such an endeavor?


I would be very interested to give this a try. My only concern is the time commitment, there will likely be times over the next few weeks where I don't feel like I can manage to play a move for a while.
Incidentally I feel like a true blindfold game would not allow players to reread the moves

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 Post subject: Re: Would you be able to play an entire game in your head?
Post #8 Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:05 pm 
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MikeKyle wrote:

I would be very interested to give this a try. My only concern is the time commitment, there will likely be times over the next few weeks where I don't feel like I can manage to play a move for a while.
Incidentally I feel like a true blindfold game would not allow players to reread the moves


Let's do it! Agreed on the rereading - but memorization for an hour or two is quite different from long-term memorization. I'll make a note of it whenever I need to go back and check something, and I'll try to keep it to a minimum.

Poor planning on my part, but I'm not really sure how or where to start a weirdo Malkovitch game :oops:
If anyone can point us in the right direction, please PM me or post in this thread. :tmbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Would you be able to play an entire game in your head?
Post #9 Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:51 am 
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jlt wrote:
https://senseis.xmp.net/?BaoYun says that "[Bao Yun is] the only person in the world able to play and finish a blind-go on 19x19".


This is a statement by Bao Yun, apparently self-promoting.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you be able to play an entire game in your head?
Post #10 Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:33 am 
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Self-promoting, but accurate at the time, and I haven't heard of any updates that change the situation.

Note the link to GoGoD: John wrote about how Bao Yun had significantly exceeded other players' marks, and played a complete game, whereas all the previous professional attempts had ended substantially earlier.

In any case, the bottom line is that blindfolded go seems to be vastly more difficult than blindfolded chess, where grandmasters can play multiple simultaneous blindfolded games.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you be able to play an entire game in your head?
Post #11 Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:48 am 
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hyperpape wrote:
Self-promoting, but accurate at the time, and I haven't heard of any updates that change the situation.

Note the link to GoGoD: John wrote about how Bao Yun had significantly exceeded other players' marks, and played a complete game, whereas all the previous professional attempts had ended substantially earlier.

In any case, the bottom line is that blindfolded go seems to be vastly more difficult than blindfolded chess, where grandmasters can play multiple simultaneous blindfolded games.


It's because a chess game become easier to visualize at the end since you only have to keep in mind the position of 10 pieces or less. Meanwhile for go you have to keep in mind the position of all the ~200 stones already played, except maybe for some areas that are completely settled (without even a ko threat).

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Post #12 Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:21 am 
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Imagine trying to read out a ladder (supposing that the contents of the opposite corner are nontrivial). Eek.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you be able to play an entire game in your head?
Post #13 Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:47 am 
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negapesuo wrote:
Either by yourself or with an opponent, would you be able to play a fresh game entirely in your head? Would anyone be able to do this in real life like Touya Akira?


Me? Good lord, no. For one thing, that would require each of us calling out our moves by coordinates. Disaster Number One right there. Disaster Number Two is being able to hold the stones in a visual memory. Shoot, when playing with friends, I can only rewind a position about ten or eleven moves.

There was a book I read decades ago, might have been Master of Go or Appreciating Famous Games, where the author tells a story from his days as insei, living with his teacher. He and his fellow students are bedding down in sensei’s dormitory and they replay famous games from memory. They discuss the merits of moves and numerous variations based on the styles of the professional players. So they are visualizing complete games, going off on variation trees and sub-branches of the trees, and then going back to the starting position to continue playing. From memory. In their heads. In the dark.

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 Post subject: Re: Would you be able to play an entire game in your head?
Post #14 Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:39 am 
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My first reaction was "wow no, absolutely not." But as I thought about it some more, you know what, I could probably do the opening at least. I know enough common sequences now, and enough of the reasons behind why you do things in the opening, that I could prooooobably hold about... hm, idk. 20 moves? in my head?

Given that, it's not inconceivable that top pros could do entire games. It's gotta be super tough, though.

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Post #15 Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:53 pm 
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bogiesan wrote:
negapesuo wrote:
Either by yourself or with an opponent, would you be able to play a fresh game entirely in your head? Would anyone be able to do this in real life like Touya Akira?


Me? Good lord, no. For one thing, that would require each of us calling out our moves by coordinates. Disaster Number One right there. Disaster Number Two is being able to hold the stones in a visual memory. Shoot, when playing with friends, I can only rewind a position about ten or eleven moves.

There was a book I read decades ago, might have been Master of Go or Appreciating Famous Games, where the author tells a story from his days as insei, living with his teacher. He and his fellow students are bedding down in sensei’s dormitory and they replay famous games from memory. They discuss the merits of moves and numerous variations based on the styles of the professional players. So they are visualizing complete games, going off on variation trees and sub-branches of the trees, and then going back to the starting position to continue playing. From memory. In their heads. In the dark.


It's a bit different here because it's from games they have memorized. I've tried a couple times, and it's not actually that difficult to be able to play over a good part of a pro game in your mind (playing over the entire game including endgame is trickier, especially with a serious ko fight, but it's more that it's time consuming to memorize it). Of course, being able to conjure a specific position rather than starting all over from the beginning of the game would be a lot harder (which I suppose this is what they were doing).

Also being in the dark might make thing easier since you have less distractions.

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