The balance of Weiqi is probably one of the most difficult concepts of play in the game. It is simple to understand at the theoretical level but it becomes technically difficult when comes to play.
Too much territory loses control over the centre and affects mid game fights later on in the game. Whereas too much external influence usually begets a low territory count that may put you in an out-of-balance situation.
Therefore, it will be a challenge to teach and impart the concept to Weiqi learners. Yet if the concept of balance is well understood, the Weiqi learner will improve the game by leaps and bounds.
During the elementary days of our Weiqi learning journey, most of us were taught in basic lessons on taking territory above controlling the board’s centre influence. This is not a fully correct pre-learnt concept.
With enough playing experience and understanding, most matured high-level players knew that they must balance territory and influence.
Therefore, a good balance in the game is having a sufficient amount of territory with ample support of influence towards the centre of the board or vice versa.
This concept of good territory-influence balance gives the player a better selection of josekis 定石 (prefix formation of stones usually in the corner) right at the start of the game. Hence able to control the mid-game better.
On an additional side note to promote the application of balance in Weiqi into our real lives:
Sometimes, we have to make a radical or life-changing decision in difficult situations. Applying this concept of balance could sometimes paint a clearer or bigger picture (as in Weiqi’s influence) and declutter hidden dangers of immediate gain (as in Weiqi’s territory).
I hope we can all learn together the balance of Weiqi and apply this valuable concept in our lives.