Monday, September 19, 2005

The fun of beginners' play


I came across a couple of quotes from Go Seigen (9p) in his book, A Way Of Play for The 21st Century.

There are times when I wish that I had started with a natural talent for Go or that I could start playing at a mid-kyu or high-kyu level. Those are the times that I forget that Go is a journey with no end. Go Seigen puts it all into perspective.

Beginners sometimes say to me, "I'd like to be able to play like you, but I just can't." They say they are really envious. But when I see amateurs playing and having so much fun, I'm the one who becomes envious. Amateurs can improve by 5 or 6 stones, but we professionals don't have so much room for improvement ...
-Page 73

But even weak players can, without fail, improve and enjoy Go. If they place sufficient handicap stones on the board, they can even defeat me, Go Seigen. And strong players can begin to understand Go's depth, and that itself deepens their enjoyment. And becoming one stone stronger is the supreme enjoyment.
-Page 223

Even if I set only shodan as my goal, doesn't Go Seigen's last quote mean that I can look forward to 26 more moments of supreme enjoyment?

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