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 Post subject: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #1 Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:33 am 
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I can easily do the two-fingered stone placement; I just hate the way it feels. I like using my thumb. I feel more connection with the stone. I like to feel the stone in my hand as I place it on the board.

AND the no thumbs method seems stilted and formal!

I know it's a major faux pas, but I want it to change.

Yeah, it's tradition & culture, but...

Tired of being branded a "land lubber" and potentially losing cred and being judged.

It's time to broaden this area of Go.


Last edited by wind&water on Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #2 Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:59 am 
Judan

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wind&water wrote:
I know it's a major faux paux, but I want it to change.

Yeah, it's tradition & culture, but...

Tired of being branded a "land lubber" and potentially losing cred and being judged.

Ke Jie does it too so that's good company: viewtopic.php?p=239567#p239567

Personally, I've never cared much about it and won't look down on you for doing it how you like. In fact I find the people who obsess about it rather tiresome, and I was disappointed when a British player went on the radio following AlphaGo and ended up chastising the presenter about holding the stone wrongly: for gawd's sake man, you've got a few minutes to explain the game and attract people and you waste precious time with such negativity and irrelevant details (plus it's radio not TV).


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #3 Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:32 am 
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Personally, at the beginning I didn't find very natural to hold a go stone with my 2nd and 3rd fingers, but it quickly became a habit. After a go game, when I order a drink, I hold a coin in the same way. Nevertheless, I still occasionally use my thumb.


Last edited by jlt on Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #4 Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:45 am 
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I've never met anyone who cared about this. If you're "losing cred" with your friends, they might be the weird ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #5 Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:50 am 
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Personally, I have no problem with any method of placing the stone on the intersections, as long as, after the move, the shapes are straight and the board wasn't moved or rotated. Some methods are faster than others, however, and you *must* press the clock with the same hand that places the stone and so you must be careful not to waste time by playing in a clumsy way. If you don't find it clumsy, that's perfectly fine.

HOWEVER... I do have a problem with opponents who leave the stones as much as 30% out of position (50% would be in the box, not on the lines, and 100% would be on the wrong intersection entirely) after every single move -- particularly in slow games where time allows for neatness. Some people do this a whole lot and even nudge other stones in the local area. Or leave stones overlapping each other, which becomes a problem later because those stones will "roll" off each other (given any impetus or vibration) and end up out of position when they settle.

If you can use your thumb and fore-finger to place stones in a way that's neat enough -- even in tight situations -- then go ahead. If it takes you longer, however, it's your decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #6 Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:44 pm 
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I/we/all/most don't care. As long as you don't cause any hindrance.


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #7 Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:28 am 
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If I remember correctly, the Ing rules state that the stone must be placed with the index and the middle finger.

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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #8 Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:42 am 
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There was a TV show in Korea where they put up amateurs against pros (with handicap), and if they managed to win, they gave them official Dan certificates. There was an amateur who was good enough to beat a pro handily with two stones, but he place the stones in the most awkward manner, because he never officially took lessons before. The pros commentating initially talked about how it was amusing that he holds the stones incorrectly every time, but had the skill essentially comparable to many professionals.

Moral of the story: Don't worry about judging. Let your skill speak for itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #9 Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:17 am 
Gosei

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How the stone is placed on the board is, in essence, immaterial. Just see how much it matters when playing on line. However, there is a culture and a gestural language in playing go. In that context the manner in which the a stone is played might matter. There is a well known description of playing go as "hand talk", well known in Japan and China and, probably in Korea, too. The "hand talk" comes from the meaning and intention of moves played on the board, the "hand" character also having the meaning move. However, the manner of placing the stone also conveys meaning, something that is almost entirely absent in playing on line. It conveys meaning if the stone is played with a crisp "click" versus gently, almost silently put on the board, or banged down energetically . The exchange of meaning this way greatly increases the enjoyment of playing. This aspect of playing is disappearing now, due to the decline of face-to-face playing in this era of playing on line.


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #10 Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:41 pm 
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Quote:
Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold.

To me, it feels elegant and showing respect for the opponent.

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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #11 Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:07 pm 
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If the method seems awkward, I suppose you should avoid it. Go is a game and you should be enjoying it.

To me, the thumb and forefinger method seems awkward and it feels like the stone might slip. I got used to the two-fingered method very quickly the first time I played and it feels easier and more natural now. I always thought it developed not as an affectation, but because people realized they could place the stones more precisely and elegantly that way. I feel more in control of the stone with two fingers.


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #12 Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:56 pm 
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sorin wrote:
Quote:
Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold.

To me, it feels elegant and showing respect for the opponent.


I sometimes feel like I'm giving the opponent the finger.


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #13 Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:23 pm 
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As gowan points out, the two finger method allows you to make a click when you play a stone next to an adjacent stone on the point nearest to you. You can also make a click on an empty point, but you can do that with the thumb and forefinger, as well. The click is part of the esthetics of the game. Even computer programs make clicks when playing stones.

In addition, you can impress your non-go-playing friends when you take an M&M out of a bowl using your forefinger and third finger. :cool:

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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #14 Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:24 am 
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I have noticed it's easier to get stones out of the bowls using the two-finger method; seems more natural.


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #15 Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:19 am 
Oza

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Quote:
To me, the thumb and forefinger method seems awkward and it feels like the stone might slip. I got used to the two-fingered method very quickly the first time I played and it feels easier and more natural now. I always thought it developed not as an affectation, but because people realized they could place the stones more precisely and elegantly that way. I feel more in control of the stone with two fingers.


Correct - control is the key.

But two points:

1. It takes practice. Pros generally play with much thicker stones than amateurs. They therefore need to practise more. But when they can do it, it looks correspondingly more impressive. I think of it like the way NFL receivers can catch the ball an inch from the sideline and still land with two feet in play.

2. The ultimate test of control is to be able to bray the stone down hard enough to make it disintegrate. Kajiwara could do this. Of course there are people who cook their stones in vinegar or whatever so they can do this as a party trick. With Kajiwara it seems it was pure kiai.


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #16 Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:34 pm 
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I can press down a switch on my keyboard in such a way that it desintegrates. :-)


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Post #17 Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:35 pm 
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Quote:
control is the key.
The two-finger mode is the result of natural evolution, with practice. Like many other skills, practice is a key. ( Ergonomic ways to hold a pen, a sword, a bat, a golf club, etc. -- no moral or legal requirements to hold a stone any particular way, but it's not unwise to study and research why the pros acquire this skill via natural evolution. )

Elegantly removing multiple stones is also quite difficult. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #18 Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:44 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
In addition, you can impress your non-go-playing friends when you take an M&M out of a bowl using your forefinger and third finger. :cool:


Once I was introducing some young children to the game. After the M&M and Mentos stage of getting acquainted, and having instructed them to not put them in their mouth, I took a 'stone' (I put a Mentos in the bowl on beforehand) and ate it.
Made a good laugh.


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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #19 Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:27 pm 
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“Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold” … like eating with chopsticks looked to me when I first saw it as a child … but as soon as I learned how to use them, it felt elegant and practical. Similar for me with placing stones with two fingers … like with chopsticks. Elegant, easier to place the stone without nudging other stones away when the board is full.

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 Post subject: Re: Two-fingered stone placement feels distant and cold
Post #20 Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:23 am 
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AlphaGo has no fingers at all. Which doesn't prevent it from playing at a rather decent level.


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