Wednesday, June 04, 2008

An Observation of One of My Students

Today my most active student, chaslayton on KGS, sent me an email with some thoughts that he said I could post on my blog.  The following is what he has to say about observing a game on the KGS server.  I thought it was insightful, and certainly echos what I feel myself many times.  You are always five stones stronger when you kibitz. 


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. 

1 comment:

Jamus said...

I would most certainly agree with this. For me, Kibitz is one of the most intimidating aspects of Go, but you're right; it's so much easier to be an observer on the outside than to play the game itself. I think for so many of us, it's the pressure and almost emotional involvement that can cloud our own ability to truly see the board. Great post!