MattNoonan: My counting has become worse in the last few months (or at least, my awareness of my poor counting has increased). At the same time, I'm playing lots of games lately with an old rival, so I devised this metagame to satisfy both the urge to improve at counting and the urge to beat my rival. :)
- Two hyper-competitive Go players, Adam and Beth. (These players will not play each other at Go during this meta-game.)
- A bunch of other unsuspecting Go players, for Adam and Beth to play Go against.
- To decrease one's margin of victory in Go while still winning each game (thus, theoretically, gaining skill at counting during the game of Go).
- Adam sits down to a game of Go with an unsuspecting player. If he wins this game, he records the margin of victory (say, 10 points).
- Beth then plays a game of Go against another unsuspecting player, and attempts to win by a smaller margin than Adam. If she loses this game, or wins by an equal or greater margin (10 or more points in the given example), Adam has won the Counting Game.
- The game continues, with Adam and Beth comparing their margin of victory, until one player loses a game of Go or wins a game without beating the current margin. The last player to beat the margin is then the winner of The Counting Game.
- Extra rules could be added to make things trickier: maybe you are not allowed to turn down a match when it is offered by an unsuspecting Go player, or if you get called on trying to control the score then you lose.
Alex Weldon: Under Japanese scoring, if you weren't playing with the "get called on trying to control the score and you lose" variation, you could just wait until the game is over, take the time to actually count the score, now that it's actually determined, and then just play inside your own territory until you reduce the margin of victory to a half point (or one point, if you're not playing with komi). So, for this game to work, you should probably play with Chinese scoring.