Recently a student asked me about how he should manage the time
because he loves to think of a move for a long time. In fact
since he likes to think each move for a long time, he likes to play offline.
I answered as follows:
To be honest with you, since I was a child, I always couldn’t
play quickly. I had to think, think, and think…
Even if I became an insei, and even if I had 4 hours in the final insei
tournament, I couldn’t stop thinking. I spent 4 hours in 100 moves or so.
It was a terrible habit.
Interestingly, after I quit an insei (Go apprentice), I could start playing fast.
Over the years I have also observed many people, teenagers and adults who couldn’t stop thinking.
Based on my experiences, I’d like to tell you what I have discovered and learned over the years.
1. Thinking a move for a long time does not necessarily help you play a better game.
2. Thinking a move for a long time in a game does not necessarily make you strong.
3. When you play a game, there are points at which you have to think; that is a life-and-death situation and a capturing race.
But there are many situations where you will never know the best moves.
Let me elaborate on these.
With regard to 1. and 2., I need more explanations.
The reason thinking a move will not help you is that
without solidifying the strong basic foundations, you may not be thinking
correctly. If your thoughts were incorrect from the beginning, you may very well
end up with an incorrect result.
( My definition of basic foundations is that there are basic foundations for 10 kyu players, for
5 kyu players, for 1 dan players, and so on. I believe that you should learn various levels of
basics as you improve. )
This happens often because you still have to learn a lot about tesuji,
life-and-death, shape, etc. at your level. It takes time to learn one tesuji.
This is why I always emphasize learning basics.
With regard to 3., there were interesting Go articles in Japan, asking top pros to play where in the middle of a game.
Almost always every top pros play different moves. This means that even top pros may not know what’s the best.
Go is that deep, I guess.
Cho U 9dan wrote in his book that he always intentionally plays fast. He’s been
doing that since he was an insei and even now. The reason is that when there
is a crucial moment in a game, he needs time. When he has time, he could find
the best move or a winning move. His opponent often doesn’t have time and makes a mistake.
Of course, he is one of the strongest Go players, and that’s why he has won
lots of titles in Japan. But even for him, how to manage the time is strategically important.
I do understand that it can be very frustrating not to have time in an online game
when you need time. I send the following advice to those who play tournaments.
But I’m pretty sure that these are also helpful to you, too, when you play online.
☆ Go advice ☆
★ The time ★
When you play a tournament, you have only limited amount of time. You shouldn’t spend time on the opening. You should use your time in the middle game, especially fight and life-and-death.
And in the endgame if you don’t have time, you often end up miserably. Even if you are 20 points or 30 points ahead, your opponent could turn around the situation if you don’t have time to think. I have experienced this so many times when I was an insei. So use your time wisely.
When I play a game, as soon as I play a move, I try to think of possible opponent moves and come up with a response. So when an opponent plays a move, I can immediately respond to it without spending the time.
When I made a mistake and was way behind in the middle of a game, this strategy really worked well because towards the end of a game, my opponent had little time left, and I had more time, and I managed to find a move to turn around a game.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. But that may be something to think about.
★ The openinge ★
In order not to spend time in the opening, I think the following advice helps.
When you’re Black, you should certainly play your favorite opening.
The problem is White. When you are White, you should try to prevent your opponent from playing her / his favorite opening such as the Chinese opening (fuseki).
The Chinese fuseki is really hard to tackle unless you have studied it extensively. Even if you have studied the Chinese fuseki, new patterns come up often, and it’s very hard to keep up with everything.
Later on when I played a tournament in Tokyo, and when my opponent played the first move at Q16 and the third move at Q3, I played my fourth move at Q5 immediately (for kyu players, I recommend Q5 and not R5 because R5 has far more variations). After this, he and I had to face a new fuseki. So whoever strong was likely to win (and I won).
If I had let him play the Chinese fuseki, he would have played the fuseki just like top pros play. So all his moves were as wonderful as top pros up to a certain moves. But when I played the fourth move at Q5, he had to play his own moves rather than top pros’ moves. So it’s much harder for him to good moves.
In addition, if you let your opponents play their favorite fuseki, it’s very likely that they don’t spend time because they know what to do, but you probably have to spend time on finding out how to tackle an unfamiliar fuseki. So you may lose your time very fast in the opening.
To prevent your opponents from play their favorite fuseki may also be helpful psychologically. If you prevent that, they can be discouraged.
I’m sorry that this is getting too long.
I really hope this helps.
via Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk. Kaz’s original Igo-advice & fundamentals of Igo http://ift.tt/1I3RTWv
January 02, 2015 at 04:42PM