Mental Balance


Dieter: I don't want to claim ownership of this page. Please add your ideas and we can WME later. For now I'd like to write about what I think is one of the most important mental concepts in Go.

It occurs to me that one of the prime reasons for quick and big losses, is the loss of balance.

I like to imagine myself in a martial arts fight, when starting a game. Whatever I do or whatever my opponent does, I must keep balance while doing it or replying to it. It's even very helpful to physically feel the balance, sensing my feet on the ground, sensing the bended knees, breathing calmly through the belly, releasing the shoulders, firmly standing (or sitting) as if waiting for the first blow to receive.

  • When the opponent strikes a fierce blow, do not be taken aback, but respond to it by blocking it, by taking advantage of its momentum or giving way to take a position elsewhere.
  • When the opponent neglects a weak group, then punish him by attacking it, but never lose balance.
  • When he has succeeded a decent attack, or conquered a big size of territory, or has managed to live in your sphere of influence inbrief, when you feel being toppled over, then restore the balance. A helpful technique to restore balance is counting the score. Accept the possibility you'll lose the game, but do not accept playing the rest of the game being completely out of balance. Do not wildly compensate for the loss inflicted, but search for the move giving the highest chance of - be it fast or slow - revival.
  • When having obtained such an advantage yourself, do not get into a rush of victory, wanting to end the game as quickly as possible. Keep balance, and enjoy the advantage. Accept the possibility of a comeback but if the opportunity of a knock-out presents itself, then take it calmly.

A balanced mind is both patient and determined ?. Many players are so attached to victory that they are out of balance right from the start. A proper mindset, not soft, not destructive, is a great asset while playing Go.

tapir: The obvious question: How to achieve a balanced state of mind?

smile: be at inner peace

tapir: How do I find inner peace? :)

Anonymous: Breathe. Meditate. Be aware of your mental state and remember the feeling when you were balanced. Don't play blitz :D

Mental Balance last edited by tapir on January 7, 2011 - 16:12
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