Wednesday 17 March 2010

Learning to Lose

The hardest thing about Go, for me anyway, is inevitably the part of losing a game. Well losing once is not bad, losing twice is not bad either. But when you play 10 games and each and every one ends up in an epic failure the pressure of losing, the overwhelming feeling of shame is almost unbearable and pretty hard to contain. This is not very common in the other games I've played.

For example the game of patience. You can lose many times in succession, but it doesn't rise such an emotional response. In Black Jack you lose money, but that's almost all there is, you can still cough up the cash and still feel pretty good about yourself. But of course these games have a lot to do with plain luck, unlike as in Go it is most likely to do with your own inabilities. The one you are frustrated about is yourself being not able to see the next move, not able to predict the outcome, not able to plan ahead. (BTW. A weird thing is, I don't feel the same disappointment playing and losing in computer action games. Something to do with being able to play the same game or level again over and over again I guess.)

So what could we Go newbies, beginners alike do to combat those feelings of failure?

The friendly people on KGS have told me time and time again that it will come with practice, eventually. And I should not worry. I figure they were right. And I would like add, and this is what I've learned from aikido, is whenever you feel you did badly, that is the moment when you have learned something new, although realizing exactly what it is might take some time. And if you ever come to a phase where everything ends up in frustration, don't feel bad to take a little break. Maybe day or two to clear the mind and then try again.

If you can, you should also try some physical exercise, maybe go out for a run, or swimming, biking, or walking. If not, maybe you can do some weight lifting, sit-ups or push ups. Make the most of it, keep in shape and have fun. See ya soon! ^^ /gg

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