Dumping A Pile Of Stones Out Of The Bowl

    Keywords: Culture & History

JanDeWit writes: After I played Go against a real person a little self-reflection led me to conclude this:

"Go stones are not crisps" (or chips :-)

This doesn't quite refer to the page's title, but what's the difference between dumping some stones on the table and keeping them in your hand?

At the time, I was afraid to lose time (it wasn't even a timed game, being my first) by grabbing for a stone, I wanted to respond quicker to my opponent, i.e. I wasn't thinking.

Hypothesis: So it shouldn't really be a problem per se: when your opponent dumps her stones, you're in for a quick game because she isn't thinking...

Another thing I noticed later was that a pile of stones out of the bowl can greatly confuse counting, especially when you're trying out variations or new to the game.

I try to take a stone (or two, that's acceptable as well) out of the bowl when and if I've thought of a move, thus also avoiding the DanglingAStoneAboveTheBoardWhileThinking problem.

There is a reason why it is a good thing to wait for knowing what move you're going to play to take a stone and put it on the right spot.

Putting a stone on the goban is a move you perform something like 150 times during a single game, so you are conditioned to put a stone you have in the hand and then you might want to do it too early, maybe when you haven't fully thought about your move. But there is another advice I could give : when you've decided where to put your stone and taken it out of the bowl, you might suddenly see a ghost (not be sure of what you decided after all) then put your stone immediately back in the bowl and then think again. You cannot think with a stone in the hand because you unconsciously want to resume your interrupted motion.

-- MrKoala

AndreEngels: Personally, I have no problems with this behaviour, but regarding the difference between keeping them on the table and in your hand: The difference is the number of stones. To have one, maybe two, stones 'ready' outside the bowl should not be regarded as bad behaviour, but doing so with a number of stones at once might be.

Owl: I once witnessed a hot discussion after a game. White had this habit of taking stones out of his bowl during the game and putting them on the table next to the board. At the end, some of these stones got mixed up with some captured stones. Definitely something which should be avoided.

Professionals don't usually touch the stones until they play a move. Their argument is that a stone in your hand 'wants to be played' and thus disturbs your thinking.

OneEye: My pet peeve is an opponent who constantly "rifles" the stones in his bowl and clatters them in his hand. It's very noisy and makes it difficult to concentrate.

Indeed. The player who habitually keeps a pile of stones "ready" from the bowl is almost invariably going to be DanglingAStoneAboveTheBoardWhileThinking, or RattlingTheGoStones. I find that such fidgeters are likely to drop a stone onto the board frequently, which is even worse. Abstaining from touching any stones until ready to play one helps avoid these, in addition to helping the player think through a move properly before playing.

-- BenFinney

Dumping A Pile Of Stones Out Of The Bowl last edited by CharlesMatthews on November 21, 2002 - 13:04
RecentChanges · StartingPoints · About
Edit page ·Search · Related · Page info · Latest diff
[Welcome to Sensei's Library!]
Search position
Page history
Latest page diff
Partner sites:
Go Teaching Ladder
Login / Prefs
Sensei's Library