Conventional Wisdom

  Difficulty: Beginner  

The basic conventional wisdom of go takes the form of known patterns (joseki, fuseki, shape), concepts such as influence and aji, proverbs and theories about direction of play, evaluations of endgame plays such as the monkey jump and estimations of reverse sente.

Individually any of these matters may be discussed critically and even challenged: joseki are refined and even discarded, proverbs have many exceptions and so on. It is probably not a good idea for the starting student to dispute all conventional wisdom, though; just as it is not a good idea to accept everything written in a book as gospel truth. Go can certainly teach one a great deal about how matters vary with the precise context, once the core knowledge is acquired.

The opposite realm to conventional wisdom can be taken to be living go, a phrase from the teachings of Kajiwara. This is play that transcends routine ideas. What is hard is to break away from ordinary thinking, and also remain true to the fundamentals.

Conventional wisdom has been challenged at least at two occasions:

  • Shin Fuseki - when Go Seigen and Kitani Minoru explored the virtues of symmetrical points to occupy the empty corner, while conventional wisdom favored asymmetrical points, turning the 4-4 point into the most popular opening point
  • AI revolution - establising the early 3-3 invasion as a viable, even popular, opening pattern, among many other new insights

Conventional Wisdom last edited by Dieter on November 28, 2019 - 19:41
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