Saturday, April 14, 2007

SOM Regret

I have no doubt that I'm improving at Go because I more often find myself experiencing SOM Regret almost immediately after setting a stone down on the grid.

That's SOM as in Sub-Optimal Move.

It's an observable difference after one advances from a totally-clueless player to a just-plain-clueless one. When you're totally-clueless player, you hardly have an idea as to whether the move you just played is truly sub-optimal until about four to eight moves later when your position is completely laid waste. In contrast, when you become a just-plain-clueless player, you realize your folly much sooner and spend the next moments praying that your opponent doesn't see the opportunity that you just handed to him/her.

The proverb goes, "You are two stones stronger when you are watching a game."

In my humble opinion, the proverb could be rewritten as, "You are two stones stronger shortly after playing a move; then you drop down to your usual strength, or less, just before you play the next one."

Results of the 2007 Winter Poll

So, the question for the 2007 Winter Poll was aimed primarily at those of us who haven't yet reached that touchstone rank of shodan, however we choose to define it. The question was:

Since you started playing Go, how long do you think will it take to reach amateur shodan?

Here's a tabulation and charting of the results. You can click on the images to enlarge them.

About 50% of of the respondents said that they're not on a timetable; and I actually think that's a good thing for amateur players who want to really enjoy the game. The next two popular responses were 5 years and 2 years. 61 respondents (9.8%) doubted that they would ever achieve shodan.

Interestingly, 15 respondents (2.4%) expected to achieve it in six months. That's rather aggressive but one never knows.

The 2007 Spring Poll

There's hardly been anyone who doesn't experience some sort of rush when playing Go since it is, after all, a battle of minds. So, I thought I would examine our states (mental and, as manifested, physical) when playing Go.

Your five choices should cover the general spectrum. Enjoy the new ChiyoPulse poll!


At 10:48 PM, April 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting poll results! thanks! But i find your next one almost impossible to answer =D Truly, i find my state vacillating between all five options.

When i play blitz games on KGS, i'm calm (but totally absorbed).

When i play tournament games...
...and i'm behind, i'm hunting for a good move (or a place to resign) and i'm really relaxed and alert.

...and it's still evenish, then i'm wildly vacillating between the five options, usually trying to wrestle myself back to calmness.

..and i'm ahead, that's when it's gut-wrenching: so easy to screw it up and so hard to hold on to it!

that's my thoughts, at least. So, put me down for "all of them!"

At 1:51 AM, April 15, 2007, Blogger Let's Go said...

about the old poll
I'm a bit surprised that there are quite a lot players who think they'll never make to shodan. It's said that even if you have no talent for Go, you can still make it to shodan (at least).

about the new poll
Actually nothing about the poll but rather a funny story that happened to me at a tournament. I was playing with a player that had the same rank as I, the fuseki was quite messy, but thx to a mistake of my opponent I managed to create enough territory and strong center influence. At the beginning of the game I was excited and somehow unsteady, but as the game progressed I became calmer and more composed. The game was virtually won when suddenly my mobile rang (my mom -_-'). After that phone (even though nothing special actually happened) it felt like all my composure was gone. I engaged in an unnecessary Hanami-Ko and due to it I lost more and more territory, in the end I lost the game.

It's strange that such trivial things can have such an impact on your go, has anything similiar ever happened to one of you?

At 3:29 AM, April 15, 2007, Blogger j said...

i'm really looking forward to the day where i can consistently see that my moves aren't always the right ones right after playing a stone. right now i sometimes don't even realize AFTER it's too late.

At 1:10 PM, April 16, 2007, Blogger goulo said...

I like that idea that the stronger the get, the shorter the pause before you realize that you just made a crappy move. :)

Let's Go commented: "It's said that even if you have no talent for Go, you can still make it to shodan (at least)."

I've never heard that, and I seriously doubt it's true. Different people have different strengths and weaknesses, and I've known plenty of people who simply don't have a knack for games and who would never reach shodan, even if you locked them in a room with all the teachers and books in the world.


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