Journal Entry: #11

J

Over the last few days, part of my subconscious was nagging me for spending so much time not playing a single game. And while I did play at least one 9×9 game a day, it has been ages since I last played a full 19×19 game in real time. And for those who want to count the one at the Pumpkin Classic, that doesn’t really count since I wasn’t planning to play. So in another sense, I have been avoiding playing games in real time.
Why is that? Good question. Believe it or not, over time I seem to have developed some sort of “ladder anxiety.” (I’m not sure this list the correct term, but I saw it recently and feel it’s rather appropriate.) To put it more bluntly, I’m afraid of playing ranked games because I’m worried about playing stupid moves and being judged by others.
Yeah. I know. This probably sounds stupid to many of you, but somewhere along the line I started worrying about being judged even though I honestly have no reason to feel this way. If I had to attribute the cause to something, it would probably out of my own self-criticism that just got out of control. I set a bar of expectation so high for myself that any failure ended up being very damaging to me.
Anyhow, bottom line is that I’ve been doing a bit of soul-searching and have been inspired by the reading I’ve been doing to finally start breaking free of this self-imposed prison. Whenever I manage to finally get this all resolved, I will be sure to write a full article in hopes of helping anyone else who might have the same issue.
As evidence of this, here is the game that I played today. And while it is against a bot, I’m going to consider this one a success in my strive to get over my fear of playing. It’s a pretty weird game, but it was one that has bits of creativity throughout it.

 

Download SGF

 

[download label=”Download Kifu”]http://bengozen.com//wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014.11.18.sgf[/download]

About the author

BenGoZen

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="5930 http://bengozen.com//?p=5930">12 comments</span>

  • Hey Ben, its interesting that you talk about “ladder anxiety”. Just today I started re-reading Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go and the first subject Kageyama talks about is ladders! 🙂 In fact, he talks about practicing reading out ladders every day and says, “This exercise will earn you a valuable reward: the confidence that you can read any ladder anywhere, anytime. This confidence heralds your next big stride. A great many people have broken through their barriers by sticking persistently to this method… Keep at it every day and soon the ladders that used to plague you will become the easiest things in the world to read out. You will not have the slightest difficulty reading out a ladder in a few seconds — a superhuman feat to anyone who does not know the game of go”
    That was really long but basically I just wanted to say, hang in there! Keep practicing and soon your anxiety will turn into confidence. Best of luck to you 🙂

    • Hey Devin. I should have realized that it would have been interpreted that way (since I had done the same when I first encountered it), but I meant it more along the lines of “rank ladder anxiety.” Although to your point, I know that I certainly need more work on my ladder reading and definitely could use Kageyama’s advice as a reminder to keep on working on them.
      Thanks for the support as always man. Hope things are going well in YSD!

  • Hey Ben, its interesting that you talk about “ladder anxiety”. Just today I started re-reading Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go and the first subject Kageyama talks about is ladders! 🙂 In fact, he talks about practicing reading out ladders every day and says, “This exercise will earn you a valuable reward: the confidence that you can read any ladder anywhere, anytime. This confidence heralds your next big stride. A great many people have broken through their barriers by sticking persistently to this method… Keep at it every day and soon the ladders that used to plague you will become the easiest things in the world to read out. You will not have the slightest difficulty reading out a ladder in a few seconds — a superhuman feat to anyone who does not know the game of go”
    That was really long but basically I just wanted to say, hang in there! Keep practicing and soon your anxiety will turn into confidence. Best of luck to you 🙂

    • Hey Devin. I should have realized that it would have been interpreted that way (since I had done the same when I first encountered it), but I meant it more along the lines of “rank ladder anxiety.” Although to your point, I know that I certainly need more work on my ladder reading and definitely could use Kageyama’s advice as a reminder to keep on working on them.
      Thanks for the support as always man. Hope things are going well in YSD!

  • This is good news, Ben! I do think you gradually cornered yourself not playing some games. I had the same issue at chess years ago. Part of it was I enjoyed studying so much I kept thinking, “I’ll just wait until I am a little bit better – then start playing again.” You’re a sharp cookie, Master; I am confident you’ll always find your way down the correct path.

    • You’re probably right about me cornering myself into not playing games. Haha. I definitely shared that mentality of “I’ll just wait until I’m better, then I won’t play stupid moves.” How naiive. Haha. Thanks for your support!

  • This is good news, Ben! I do think you gradually cornered yourself not playing some games. I had the same issue at chess years ago. Part of it was I enjoyed studying so much I kept thinking, “I’ll just wait until I am a little bit better – then start playing again.” You’re a sharp cookie, Master; I am confident you’ll always find your way down the correct path.

    • You’re probably right about me cornering myself into not playing games. Haha. I definitely shared that mentality of “I’ll just wait until I’m better, then I won’t play stupid moves.” How naiive. Haha. Thanks for your support!

  • Hi Ben,
    I was thinking, it would be nice on Go Servers to have an option “don’t bother me with ranks” that basically hides all informations about ranks (own rank and other players ranks). In the background, the server would keep tracking progress for each players and matches players according level and habdicap preference. One would only be able to play throught automatch.

    • Hey Pierre. That’s a pretty interesting concept! Though it begs the question of the human need to measure themselves in some sort of fashion (i.e., I’m a black belt and you’re a white belt), I think many players could actually benefit from that type of service. Great suggestion!

  • Hi Ben,
    I was thinking, it would be nice on Go Servers to have an option “don’t bother me with ranks” that basically hides all informations about ranks (own rank and other players ranks). In the background, the server would keep tracking progress for each players and matches players according level and habdicap preference. One would only be able to play throught automatch.

    • Hey Pierre. That’s a pretty interesting concept! Though it begs the question of the human need to measure themselves in some sort of fashion (i.e., I’m a black belt and you’re a white belt), I think many players could actually benefit from that type of service. Great suggestion!

By BenGoZen

Categories

Archives