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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #41 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:26 am 
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quantumf wrote:
There's some cavalier use of the word "slack" here as though it's a widely understood word. I would venture that it might be as badly understood or defined as "honte". John, Robert (or anyone else), can you define this word? Preferably in a way that does not refer to "honte" at all :)


The word slack is usually used to describe moves which do not accomplish as much as they could, do not do enough work, etc. The words "luke warm" (nurui in Japanese) have the same meaning in go. Since nurui comes from ordinary Japanese, a precise definition of the go meaning might not be possible. Look in commentaries for moves described as slack and compare with the move recommended instead to see the meaning. Once again some pros might call moves nurui that other pros don't. Was it Fujisawa Kuranosuke (Hosai) who said he lost a match with Takagawa because he couldn't deal with Takagawa's luke warm play?

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Post #42 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:32 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
When a term has a commenly accepted rough meaning, I keep the term and clarify the meaning. When a term has several meanings, I might make the term more specific. When a term did not exist, I invent some term as necessary.

For some terms it is a feature that the meaning is only rough or that it can have different meanings. If you make the definition more specific some statements using this term change from true to false.
Don't get me wrong, i think this way is often useful, but OTAH many things that you say reqires exactly your definitions and when you prove other statements wrong you do it under the assumtion that your definitions apply.

Creating new terms is the only way to be sure that people apply your definitions.

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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #43 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:25 am 
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"A _proper move_ postpones the necessity for yet another local move until much later by eliminating aji and creating thick shape." (RJ)



Black A postpones the necessity for yet another local move until much later by eliminating aji and creating thick shape. Is it a honte? Of course not. Is it a proper move? Of course not.



Both Black A and Black B save the group but the "proper move" (i.e. so used in perfectly good English) to do this is A. But is A a honte? Of course not (unless you want to debase the currency).

Is it a good idea to believe in "run-of-the-mill" hontes? Of course not, unless you want to debase the term, and also want to regard every other move as a run-of-the-mill tesuji.

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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #44 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:17 pm 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
"A _proper move_ postpones the necessity for yet another local move until much later by eliminating aji and creating thick shape." (RJ)


Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X . B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X X X . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . O O O O X X . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]


Quote:
Black [circle] postpones the necessity for yet another local move until much later by eliminating aji and creating thick shape.


My definition says: "MUCH later". Your example is not honte, because a white peep can occur fairly early, and Black would need to play another local move earlier than "much later". Therefore, your example is not a counter-example for my definition.

My definition says: "creating thick shape". Your example is not honte, also because the black move does not create thick shape. Also for this reason, your example is not a counter-example for my definition.

My definition works well for your example.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O O O . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O O X X X O O . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . O X . X . X O . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X a b . X O . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]


Quote:
is A a honte? Of course not


According to your description "safe and sound", Black A is honte. Of course, you do not intend your description to have this side effect and similar side effects (e.g., a biggest gote endgame). Unfortunately, your description is not precise enough to exclude such side effects.

With my definition, there is at least a chance to exclude your position: the "creating thick shape" condition is not fulfilled convincingly, because the "thick shape" definition considers also "cannot [...] play painful forcing moves against it". Such implicitly presumes a local shape that is not tightly surrounded and almost settled; otherwise forcing moves could not be available even in principle.

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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #45 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:33 pm 
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I somehow feel there's an implicit thing in honte moves (as we usually understand them,) separating them from this example. A is not honte because A (or B) because A (or B, again) is a clearly needed move. Honte moves, as I see them, can be discussed, or even omitted for a small loss. A move like A instead is needed for the life of a group, and thus not honte.

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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #46 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:37 pm 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
My definition says: "MUCH later". Your example is not honte, because a white peep can occur fairly early, and Black would need to play another local move earlier than "much later". Therefore, your example is not a counter-example for my definition.


I think you both are trying to define something by using undefined or ill-defined terms. Which is not very precise.

Robert: What is 'much later'? What is 'earlier than much later'? What is 'necessity'?
John: What is a 'sound' move?

Personally, I think that John's 'definition' is better, although maybe less precise. I think so because the understanding of what is 'sound' is an organic process, and you refine it as you get stronger. Same might be with 'honte', or not.

Robert - you try to define the term as exactly as possible right from the start, regardless of whether the reader has a solid understanding of Go or not. I am not sure if it is even possible. And even if it is, I am not sure if this is desirable. Understanding of some things is just meant to grow as we grow, and get refined over time, I think. You leave very little room for that and you want everything in black and white up front.

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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #47 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Bantari wrote:
undefined or ill-defined terms. Which is not very precise.


Yes, improvements on precision are possible.

Quote:
Robert: What is 'much later'? What is 'earlier than much later'? What is 'necessity'?


Right, also these are open for later research.

Quote:
Robert - you try to define the term as exactly as possible right from the start, regardless of whether the reader has a solid understanding of Go or not.


Beginners are not intended readers of definitions meant for SDK and dans.

Quote:
I am not sure if it is even possible.


Why, of course. I have shown it for lots of other terms.

Quote:
And even if it is, I am not sure if this is desirable.


Of course, it is, because it enables one to identify everything correctly. (Not yet for honte.)

Quote:
Understanding of some things is just meant to grow as we grow, and get refined over time, I think.


Growth does not suffice. It must also be possible that any two players talk to each other and explain their understanding of (e.g.) honte as well as possible. This requires clarity of the details.

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You leave very little room for that and you want everything in black and white up front.


I want the complete solution.

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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #48 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Wrong RJ on all counts - at least when the words mean what i want them to mean. But I'm not going down the cul-de-sac of arguing that with you because I think a more important point is that you have posted 10 or 11 times in a thread of about 44 posts and you have said nothing of substance other than you have devised a definition that is frankly not very relevant to the intent of this thread. You say you dislike meta-discussions but you certainly seem to like me-discussions.

I felt and still feel your ban/restrictions on L19 were wrong, but I have to say I have on more than a few occasions chosen not to post something substantive like the OP here simply because I dread your derailments when what I want to see is some proper discussion, by a range of people, of something that interested me enough to compose a post in the first place.

I am certainly not calling for a ban, and am happy to call for your current hobbling to be lifted, but I do think you should reflect on how often you post. (I know what your answer will be so I'll tell you my reply in advance: wrong.)


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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #49 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:45 pm 
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I have to say that #4 in the original post remains baffling to me. It's a great move, perhaps the only move given that board position, but at this stage of my development it seems like a real distortion of the word. I'd be more inclined to call the move in #4 a tennozan. I know it's not really on a moyo boundary, but with that move black seizes control of the central conflict.

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Post #50 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:37 pm 
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I can't hope to be of much use in discussing whether honte is common, at least in Japanese commentaries, but I did think of an old Go Seigen quote (by way of Bill) "An old man who plays honte, honte is hard to beat." My first instinct was to hear that as talk about a player's style that expresses itself throughout the game.

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Post #51 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:42 pm 
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quantumf wrote:
I have to say that #4 in the original post remains baffling to me. It's a great move, perhaps the only move given that board position, but at this stage of my development it seems like a real distortion of the word. I'd be more inclined to call the move in #4 a tennozan. I know it's not really on a moyo boundary, but with that move black seizes control of the central conflict.


I must admit that was an example I rather liked - interestingly I'm approaching this from the perspective of "in what way do I not understand honte?", so I'm rather taking professional word for it in updating my own personal (sub?)conscious definition.

A few times in reviews by high dans I've seen the comment that a weak group has been made stronger not because it has been reinforced, but by weakening a neighbouring opponent's group in such a way that the balance of power shifts enough that it indirectly secures the weak group. In #4, I'm assuming the move is honte because it relieves the strain on the lower black group by giving White too much to worry about - in settling White's own predicament, Black will be secured through necessity, and therefore the net bad aji in the position for Black globally is reduced.

John, how far off the mark do you suspect I am here? :P

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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #52 Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:02 pm 
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John, how far off the mark do you suspect I am here?


I don't know but I share both your approach and (?first glimmerings of) understanding. It's always necessary in these cases to take a commentator on trust and accept that another commentator might describe things differently. That's why I believe that with most terms on go you need as many examples as possible, and rather than try to find a definition that fits all of them, accept that some may be outliers or just plain wrong.

In the game in question I think the power of the move only becomes apparent much later (of course - part of the idea behind a honte) but at the time it was played perhaps it was not entirely obvious to the observers that it was a honte? All this speculation is what makes the move especially interesting.

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Post #53 Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:36 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Quote:
John, how far off the mark do you suspect I am here?


I don't know but I share both your approach and (?first glimmerings of) understanding. It's always necessary in these cases to take a commentator on trust and accept that another commentator might describe things differently. That's why I believe that with most terms on go you need as many examples as possible, and rather than try to find a definition that fits all of them, accept that some may be outliers or just plain wrong.

In the game in question I think the power of the move only becomes apparent much later (of course - part of the idea behind a honte) but at the time it was played perhaps it was not entirely obvious to the observers that it was a honte? All this speculation is what makes the move especially interesting.


It's kind of like watching basketball. Some commentators might see a play and say something like, "Now see there he didn't plant his foot, and let LeBron around him." Others might say, "LeBron dodges around his defender and skies! For the colossal jam! Oh yeah! boo yah! !!" Now I am sure there is a technical definition of boo yah, somewhere, but I wouldn't think too much about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #54 Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:34 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
"A _proper move_ postpones the necessity for yet another local move until much later by eliminating aji and creating thick shape." (RJ)



Black A postpones the necessity for yet another local move until much later by eliminating aji and creating thick shape. Is it a honte? Of course not. Is it a proper move? Of course not.


Gee, John! I rather think that there is still some aji there. And as for thick shape, there's thick and there's thick. ;)

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Sometimes Cher Robert is able to delineate and clarify fuzzy concepts. What this example does is to illustrate the fuzziness of both aji and thick. :)

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Post #55 Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:18 am 
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RBerenguel wrote:
I somehow feel there's an implicit thing in honte moves (as we usually understand them,) separating them from this example. A is not honte because A (or B) because A (or B, again) is a clearly needed move. Honte moves, as I see them, can be discussed, or even omitted for a small loss. A move like A instead is needed for the life of a group, and thus not honte.
Agreed. What came to mind is the idea of conversational maxims or implicatures. In calling a move "safe and sound", you suggest, without your words logically entailing it, that there is a relevant decision between safe and unsafe at hand, or perhaps that it's somehow debatable what the virtue of the safe move is.

To say that the eye preserving move in that tsumego is safe is logically true. But it's as inappropriate as if I began a response to the question "who is John Fairbairn?" by saying "He's a human male." Unless I am speaking to a Martian, or in a country where people name their dogs John, this will be a bit silly.

Definitions in ordinary logics are monotonic. If X is an F, then it's an F even if it's also a G and an H and an I. Natural languages probably don't have this feature, and certainly conversational maxims and implicatures do not. In any case, I don't recall John saying he'd found a definition of honte, just a translation.

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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #56 Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:51 am 
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First of all, thanks John for taking the time to bring up this subject in a profound manner.

I've read through the summary, skipping certain contributions and what I gather from it is:

1. Honte is an exceptional appreciation of a good move. That good move is not a spectacular in the sense that it unlocks a situation that seemed unsolvable (that would by myoshu I think) but that it locks a situation that seemed to call for something more ambitious. In CGT terms, it reduces overall temperature because the game is favourable.
2. In that sense, it seems one cannot isolate the quality honte from the expectations of the crowd. Just like myoshu, a honte shocks the audience with awe, not in "look how tactically smart" but as in "look what superior positional judgment". For the likes of Go Seigen, less moves will be honte than for mortals. Right?
3. The Kirby/Spight comment is exactly opposite: a strong player may see more honte than the ones that are actually played. I disagree with this opinion: the more information, the less surprise and the less room for the appreciation of honte.
4. You have stated that honte is unlike joseki, where things are fixed. But at expert level, situations will be wrapped into abstraction to a much greater extent, so that what looks exceptional to me is standard to them.

Kind regards

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Post #57 Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:38 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:
First of all, thanks John for taking the time to bring up this subject in a profound manner.

I've read through the summary, skipping certain contributions and what I gather from it is:

1. Honte is an exceptional appreciation of a good move. That good move is not a spectacular in the sense that it unlocks a situation that seemed unsolvable (that would by myoshu I think) but that it locks a situation that seemed to call for something more ambitious. In CGT terms, it reduces overall temperature because the game is favourable.
2. In that sense, it seems one cannot isolate the quality honte from the expectations of the crowd. Just like myoshu, a honte shocks the audience with awe, not in "look how tactically smart" but as in "look what superior positional judgment". For the likes of Go Seigen, less moves will be honte than for mortals. Right?


I don't think that's quite it. I've often seen honte used to describe securing a group before an attack (the group often removed from the attack, but turning out to be crucial in the end). So it can actually raise the temperature of the board, in that an attack which would have fallen flat is now in play.

In a way, a honte move is an extremely efficient move. You're likely giving your opponent sente to do whatever he pleases with. If the honte move is a precursor to an attack, you're giving him a chance to mend his weaknesses. And despite that, your attack is still stronger than if you had gone right for the kill without letting your opponent reinforce. It's an idea I keep trying to incorporate into my go, but it's hard. It's so natural to pounce on a weakness in fear it'll go away if you wait, to try to settle everything in sente so you can keep taking that next big point. But sometimes you need to invest in the future, securing your positions so later you'll have the upper hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Honte - a primer
Post #58 Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:40 am 
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It's honte, but. . . .

That is the headline for this article in the Asahi Newspaper Digital Edition ( http://digital.asahi.com/articles/TKY201305180528.html )

Here is the move in question.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm18 Yuki (W) vs. Hane (B), 38th Meijin League
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X X X X . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . O X O O . . . . , . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i . . |
$$ | . . O , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . X . . X . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


This is from game 20 of the 38th Meijin League. White is Hane Naoki. Black is Yuki Satoshi.

Commentator Okada Masaki, 9 dan, had this to say about :w18: : "Locally it's honte, but I am concerned that White is unbalanced towards the left side. If it were me, I would turn to the right side, somewhere like I." ( 部分的には本手ですが、左辺に白が偏っているのが気になります。私なら白Iなど右辺に向かいます )

It seems to me that Okada is using honte like Kirby and I would use it. :) OC, it may well be that not all pros agree with Okada's usage. :)

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Post #59 Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:01 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
FWIW on the basis of all the above (and much more) I have come to favour an admittedly imperfect translation of honte as ‘the safe and sound move’, although I have also tried ‘safe and simple’ and other similar variations.


I'm tempted to ask: safe from what? Why is safety important? The only safety that important the remove the risk of losing the game. So I don't think that we see "honte" used a lot to describe situations in which one player is clearly ahead and is just trying to win the game in the simplest way possible. We also don't see it used to describe moves that are clearly too slow for the overall position and risk losing the game just from slowness alone rather than from the opponent's exploitation of one's bad aji. Left to my own devices, I would guess that the right balance has to be present for the term to carry some meaning and be applicable.

The term seems to be used in situations where reducing the possibility for complications is a little bit surprising but shows a mature appreciation that efficiency is not always about greed. When I read Hane Naoki's The Way of Creating a Thick and Strong Game (unfortunately, in English) I assumed that the term honte would be used more than it was. But this may be a translator's choice.

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Post #60 Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:16 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
It seems to me that Okada is using honte like Kirby and I would use it. :) OC, it may well be that not all pros agree with Okada's usage. :)


I saw a similar comment in the last weekly go was that "x would be honte but would lose, therefore he played y to make it complicated."

"Safe and sound" is I think a good definition for the move. It doesn't say anything about winning.

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