I recently finished Master Play: The Style of Go Seigen (Review coming soon!), and it has really given me a lot to think about in regards to the way I play go.
For starters, though I’ve been familiar with the concept of professionals ignoring an area when there just aren’t any good moves to play, it wasn’t until I saw Go Seigen’s games till I realized how true this really was. In fact, not only did Go Seigen constantly resist giving in to his opponents; but he would also not hesitate to trade large sections of the board! And what made it even more mind-blowing, was that these areas he would sacrifice were places that were only a few moves away from solid territory!
With that vivid illustration in mind, I couldn’t help but start to notice how stubborn kyu players get about hanging onto stones or territory. It’s as if once they’ve made a decision (i.e., I have declared the right side to be mine!), they will defend it to the end regardless of the fact that they are losing. Another example of this is I’ve noticed is: “Oh look, I’ve spent the time to play three stones here, even though they are now strategically useless, I must save it at all cost even though I will let my opponent walk right into my territory!” Granted, I realize that you must understand strategy and such to be able to walk away from some groups, but this seems to be a general trend that I’ve noticed.
In addition, I think I may have started to internalize the idea of, “If you can’t find a good move, play somewhere else.” In other words, seeing Go Seigen’s game for the first time has really shocked me into realizing how much freedom there really is on the go board. Although a sequence might be considered sente or an area might seem large, it may not actually be from a whole board perspective or from another player’s strategy.
I keep trying to bring this post to a nice closing statement, but it seems that this post is destined for random ramblings. It’s still a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that I’m sorting through, but I guess that’s one of the benefits of having a blog right? A way for me to dump my thoughts and attempt to sort it out in the process. xD
On an entirely different note, in case you haven’t heard about it, the American Go Association (AGA) has taken a big step towards establishing a presence online. Starting in October, there will be an AGA Online Tournament that will be used to help gather information and help them figure out the right way to proceed with online games in the future. And yes, I have already signed up! For more information, check out their post here.