Argue The Opponent Into His Move


"If you don't answer, I kill your group."
"With this move, I think you can't even live anymore."
"I don't know, but I think that right now I have more territory."

At least one player at our club has the bad habit of arguing about an ongoing fight. I find it very disturbing, unless the game was set in an spirit of boasting right from the start.


I think that this is supposed to be a sign that the player is always anxious about the course of his games and the arguing is supposed to be a symptom of this, attempting to gain reassurance throughout the proceedings. In my years though I have seen much worse things! ~ian~

Jasonred : Maybe it's shidougo?

Confused: Even in a teaching game, it's better to discuss a move after it has been played, not before it.

SnotNose Recently I've found my play has improved by not listening too seriously to my opponent's thoughts about the game. Or, to be more precise, I take them in as additional evidence about his ambitions for and understanding of the board position but I do not believe them to be true just because he said them. For example, if my opponent says that his move "seems like sente." I think, "okay, he thinks it is Sente but that doesn't make it so." And I evaluate the board for myself. Just as often as not, I think my opponent's comments are wrong and I've avoided a lot of bad moves by not taking them so seriously.

In the end, I think commenting on the game can only hurt the commenter unless the listener is dumb enough to follow what the commenter says without thought. After all, are you likely to win a game if your opponent tells you how to play?

None of this applies to teaching games, though. If decided at the start that the game is for teaching or is an "open" game, where we are to discuss it as we go, then I am less suspicious of my opponent's agenda.

Karel? Personally, I often find it relaxing to speak with an opponent during a game. If it's between friends, there's no reason not to talk if both like that sort of atmosphere. In this sense, I often think that people take Go much too severely - being serious is about the game is one thing, but some people border on paranoia. Just because you're opponent's talking doesn't mean he's trying to lure you into some sort of tactical, psychological ploy that will win him the game. Maybe he just likes talking.

Also, there are situations in which speaking about the board position is entirely appropriate. I remember playing with a teacher of mine at school, who is about as strong as I am, and there were a few people who played a little who came to watch, but, our game being on a higher level than theirs, we'd both comment the situation in order to clear it up for them, like, "this move's here to reduce liberties" or "okay, this one's tempting, but I can't read far enough to see what would happen so I'll give in and play a more peaceful, softer move here." Both of us could see the situation pretty much equally well, so we weren't getting on each other's way in that, but it made it a far better experience for the people watching.

I don't really care about the ppl watching, unless it's a demo or a teaching game... I like talking during the game if it's a freindly one. One thing though, I say "Oops" too often... :S Reuven

Helcio Alexandre I usually don't have problems with what my opponent is saying because I dont understand it at all, except for the "Soooookaa" word they often say (it means something like "Oh yes" or "Of course" and is usually said after I refute a move). Perhaps I should learn a bit more of Japanese in other to start having this kind of trouble :) BTW, I don't live in Japan, but I do play at the Brazilian branch of Nihon Kiin. Also, when I play against players of my level that do speak my language we make comments only after the game ended. Usually, a silence surrounds the board, while we play, as the air is filled with that tense atmosphere of rivals battling each other to the last point in the goban.

togo: I would second Karel?, generally it's just the urge for communication. It might be improper in a tournaments, though.

kevinwm: In the sports world they call this "psyching someone out". It's very aggressive, competitive behavior, and most people find it distasteful in pleasant social games. In tournaments, I would imagine they have rules about talking.

Personally, this doesn't bother me much, unless someone's rambling at me when I'm under time pressure. I tend to be one of those people who will make up my own mind rather than rely on others' judgement.

Argue The Opponent Into His Move last edited by on August 29, 2009 - 21:36
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