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Friday, June 10, 2005

Emotion and Go

Amateur go players often seem to think that go is all about cold, hard calculation. Brute force reading in the middle game. And, often, experiences at the local club seem to bear this out. Top players at club level tend to be ruthless machines who never make a 20-kyu error. Kind of chaps who don't panic, sit calmly (sipping green tea or a coke, maybe a coffee if they feel frisky), and read everything out.

There's a lot to be said for that approach...if you're assembled in Pakistan by a nine year-old girl or in some Chinese re-education factory.

Human emotions are spread across the board in a coded black and white mosaic of hardened glass. The connection that's cowardly, the attack predicated on faith and out and out aggression. Talking with shape and tesuji. Haven't you ever bullied someone on the board? Or been bullied? What about a tennuki just not to follow your opponent's lead, and fuck the local situation? Or the grand moyo (a la Takamiya) just because you felt like it?

There's heartache, there's Rui Naiwei crying after a game.

There's playing for the crowd, playing to prove a point, and being shown to be wanting in every which way.

And, then there's the near orgasmic thrill of victory. The superhuman, the ubermensch, feeling of walking tall and crushing (not defeating mind you, but annihaliting) all that dared to foolishly approach you and your goban.

Go is not a very large problem set, it is emotion and language.



  • Hey Tristen.

    Your Rui Naiwei link is broken.

    Try this:


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10:09 am  

  • Hey TheKro,

    Thanks and link fixed.



    By Blogger Tristen, At 11:04 am  

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