Yesterday I watched a game on KGS – one of those fascinating games in which everything rides on a single move. In this case, if white played J2 first, white would make a second eye, thereby saving a group of about 20 endangered stones. White would then have been able to turn around and kill an equally large group of black’s stones. White would have won the game.
However, if black played J2 first, white’s large group would die and black’s would be saved. It was a huge move – the import of which was obvious to me as an observer – but neither player saw it for several turns. I was sitting at my desk yelling, “For God’s sake, somebody play J2!” When black finally did play it, white immediately saw the light, and resigned.
This brought home to me the fact that an uninvolved observer often sees the game more clearly than the players can. Even though I am far inferior to both those players, I saw what they did not. But it also brought home that even very good players make dumb mistakes – just like me. This is good for me to know.
Go, in this respect, is much like real life. And that, apparently, is true at every level of play.