Buridans Ass Trick

    Keywords: Strategy

Buridan`s Ass refers to a paradoxical situation in which a donkey, given two equal piles of hay to eat, starves to death because it cannot decide which to eat first.

In go, the problem of indecision can be used as a way of tricking weak players. A player might make an unsuccessful attack, and end up with a dead group. However, instead of playing elsewhere, that player then makes another unsuccessful attack in the same area, resulting in another dead group. However, the two dead groups now provide aji that must be dealt with at once, for example the possibility of a semeai. The `donkey` has to decide which group to remove first. Very often, this player tries to kill both groups at the same time, which can be very difficult, and makes a catastrophic mistake.

Therefore, the right response when confronted with `Buridan`s Ass Trick` is to choose the more important dead group and remove it from the board. Indecision and greed lead to disaster.

By the way, I do not suggest that anybody should use this strategm. Rather, I would like both myself and others to recognise it when it appears, and punish it correctly.


Buridans Ass Trick last edited by PJTraill on March 6, 2018 - 17:08
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