Keep your head in the game

Accidents can happen anywhere, and any time.
For example, when you’re  biking and don’t look ahead. And then bike into a (parked) van and have to spend half of your day at the hospital because your thumb is dislocated.
But that just sounds crazy right? I mean, who is so stupid?


Anyway, this incident (that absolutely didn’t happen), reminded me that you have to keep paying attention.
Just because you CAN bike the way from university to home with your eyes closed, doesn’t mean you should.
The same goes for go actually. Did you ever lose a (almost) won game because of a careless mistake? I have. Too often really.
It’s a quite frustrating and makes you look silly. After such a thing happens I will just repeat to myself how stupid the mistake was, and forget to look at the rest of the game, even though reviewing the whole game would be much more effective.
The same goes when my opponent does that. Sometimes the game is pretty close (or I think it is) and then my opponent makes a big mistake. I will feel stupid if I ignore it, but I also won’t be happy when I win because of that.
The frustration!!!

Moral of the story: don’t lose your concentration, just because you THINK you don’t need it. Because you do. My thumb is the (painful) living proof.

That title is not from high school musical. At all.

I was 14, don’t judge me!


The time issue


The moment that I have to start paying attention to the amount of time I spent while playing, I become anxious and my play becomes worse than it already is. This is why I always play slow games.
I know, time management is a part of go and that’s fine with me. I just don’t like it.

Firstly (is that a word?), fast games scare the crap out of me. I don’t play them, but here’s what would happen if I would: 1. I would stop reading, 2. My moves would become close to random, 3. Terrible things would happen, 4. All of my stones would die an awfully slow and painful death.

Secondly, I play go because it makes me think and I like that. In my daily live I’m more of a ‘do first think later’ kind of person and in go I try not to do that. Playing fast would only encourage me to stop thinking at all.

The down side of not playing fast games is that it takes a long time to play (I know, such weird logic). This way I can only play when I know I have a lot of time and won’t get interrupted, which is not too often.

And it annoys people. But I’m not sure if that’s a downside, because it actually amuses me.
See, on the server I usually play on, you can’t change the time limits. I think the time is around 40 min each, absolute. At the end of the game, I usually have not too much left (although I never lost on time there, which is odd). My opponents however, like to play fast. And it wouldn’t be the first time somebody gets angry at me for playing too slow (usually when they’re losing).
But when I have the time, I will use it. Too bad :).


Adrenaline rush

At the start of almost every game, I can hear my heartbeat go louder and faster. I get quite excited and scared at the same time. Playing gives me an adrenaline rush.

I have read that many people actually become calmer from playing Go, which is weird to me. If I want to become calm, I read a book, or maybe watch a game. Playing would probably never calm me down. Not that I mind. I love the excitement I get when I play.
I go through this awesome whirlwind of emotions.
First I’m scared, because what will happen if the opponent will crush me, or, even worse, I play horribly? Then either happy, angry, sad, as the game goes on. When I make a mistake I get angry at myself, when I find a good move I get excited. The outcome of the game does not have much to do with how I feel about it. If I played well, I’m satisfied.

After the game I am usually as hyperactive as if I just drank 4 coffee’s, 3 red bulls and ate a bowl of sugar. But this effect  only lasts for a few games.
If I play a lot in a short amount of time, say, a few games per day, this effect wears off. Playing then becomes like a routine and I don’t care for the game as much as I did before.

 Maybe this is also why I have dropped Go so often. I just get bored with it.
I guess it would be better if I play, let’s say, 2-3 games a week instead of 3 games a day.

I wonder if other people have this as well? Let me know if you do!