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 Post subject: Life Lessons I've Learned From Go
Post #1 Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:16 pm 
Lives with ko

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Preface
I was introduced to Go at the age of 25 on the college campus of University of Central Florida. I saw a poster for the game in the math department, it looked interesting, so I set out to learn the game by first looking at the rules online. At first I was completely confused. I didn't understand why some moves led to capture, some to territory, why some moves where bad and others good. I downloaded a go playing ai; at this point the toughest ai was about 7 kyu, played several games and always got crushed, but I got much better from the experience. I learned the basics of capture. so I decided to try my luck online.
For my first game I tried to capture everything. This of course let to disaster. My moves were often ignored and rightly so. By the end of the game I had 1 living group of about 4 points of territory. Since then my skills have been steadily progressing.
I am currently 5 kyu, but I have legitimately beat 9 dans, and lost to 15 kyus.
I play on gokgs, under the name goodgame9d.

The One Space Jump is Rarely Bad
Sometimes in life you have to try the one space jump. To take confidence that small courage
can lead to great rewards. I don't have a wife, yet, but I've had the courage to ask. Even when it didn't work out, I learned something from it.

Hane at the Head of Two Stones
Placing pressure on your opponent early can lead to an interesting game. As a good go player, I've tried haneing, extending, and crosscutting when someone hanes me. Sometimes you have to pressure your superiors to play the right move.

Strange Things Happen at the 1-2 Point
Sometimes a go position can be quite confusing, unclear exactly what's going on. When things happen that you don't understand, try to look at the big picture.

Your Opponent's Good Move Is Your Good Move
There's a go variant called lottery go. Each player gets 10 opponent stones in there go bowl, and if they draw it, must play the move they intended assuming it was with his color.
Nothing hammers that proverb home like that game.
I find that in life if something is good for someone else, it's probably good for me.

Ponukki is Worth 40 Points, Turtle Shell 60
Go is a game about maximizing your emptiness, and trying to minimize your opponent's emptiness.
I often reflect based on my poor knowledge of Asian philosophy, this makes it a very asian game. Sometimes we have too much clutter, too much garbage, too much unnecessary and undesirable things in our lives. When this happens, try to remove it.

Use Contact Moves For Defense
Go is in my opinion a very strange game. the goal isn't checkmate, its to get a better deal than your opponent. I learned to like that feature, hugs can do wonders.

Urgent Moves Before Big Ones
Having the patience to read out an attack and defending weakness is a necessary skill for a good go player. Truthfully that's the case with most games, but judgement on the go board is hard to gauge. Take the time to do important tasks before the ones you simply enjoy.

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 Post subject: Re: Life Lessons I've Learned From Go
Post #2 Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:20 am 
Gosei
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Nice list! The one proverb where the application to life is not ringing home with me is this one:

phillip1882 wrote:
Strange Things Happen at the 1-2 Point
Sometimes a go position can be quite confusing, unclear exactly what's going on. When things happen that you don't understand, try to look at the big picture.


The strange things that happen at the 1-2 point are really about the special properties of the corner, where liberties become ultra scarce and common shapes and techniques can take an unexpected turn.

"Looking at the bigger picture" in times of confusion makes me more think about things like "ko" or "furikawari", where there are sometimes opportunities to simplify the game by sacrificing some stones or losing the ko but take compensation elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Life Lessons I've Learned From Go
Post #3 Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:14 am 
Oza

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This exercise is definitely worthwhile. Garry Kasparov wrote a book on "how Life Imitates Chess" (I think he put it that way round), and of course go in Japan has several hundred pithy senryu poems that illustrate real life via go.

My own favourite saying, which I attribute to Stuart Dowsey of Ishi Press fame, is "chess is a game of war; go is a game of co-existence." I have found that goes down VERY well in the Far East. It explains the Chinese (military and go) concept of 势 (shi), and even Japanese thickness, so is much more than a glib PR slogan. For that reason, go should be taught to western diplomats and defence analysts.

But the most useful proverb in life as a whole, for thinking people as go players are, has to be "It's a long lane that has no loaf on the bread."


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 Post subject: Re: Life Lessons I've Learned From Go
Post #4 Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 7:08 am 
Dies with sente

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Reversing the process- applying a life lesson to Go - my favourite proverb is "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

Just because you've learnt a new joseki, it doesn't mean it's correct to play it now; just because you know the group can be killed, it doesn't mean that the biggest move is to kill it.

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 Post subject: Re: Life Lessons I've Learned From Go
Post #5 Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:34 am 
Dies with sente

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^^ That proverb also works as a warning about the use of strict definitions in Go (e.g. 'empty triangle')

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