Slam the stone down

    Keywords: Question

Quite a lot of go players like to place their stone on the board with a lot of force, and something I'm not sure I do properly. If done correctly, the player looks very calm and sure of his or her moves, as the stones are placed on the goban with authority. Additionally, depending on the goban, the sound produced can be quite pleasing. Often a goban is hollowed out on the bottom, so each move resonates on the board when it is played.

Can someone post a description of the proper way to SlamTheStoneDown?


There's a pretty good depiction in the comic book Hikaru No Go; and good description at how to hold and play a go stone.

I was taught to not touch the stones until sure of my move (still working on that), then, put the stone on my index finger fingernail, and clamp it with my middle finger. (You're probably familiar with that part already, though it does take a few minutes practice.) Then, with Zen warrior detachment, thunk the stone down onto the proper intersection. (Still working on all aspects of that, too.)

As the board gets populated, it becomes harder to hit the right spot, so a common practice is to hit a spot pretty close to the right one, then slide the stone into place.

-- TakeNGive (11k)

Quite recently, I've found that with practice, one can plunge their hands into the bowl, creating a large crash noise from the rattling, without any stones actually leaving the bowl, pick up a stone, and smack it down on the board in one quick fluid motion. It's annoying to play like this the whole game, but it can be fun to punctuate what you believe to be a clever move with this for dramatic effect. Only be sure it is a clever move, it's embarrassing for your opponent to quietly respond and tear you to shreds. --BlueWyvern

uxs: Actually, you should slam down stones that you're not certain of, and hesitate before the ones that you're sure of. Your opponent will look for flaws where there aren't any, and glance over moves that he really should've taken a closer look at.

I don't like the word "slam", for me it's more of a snap. You can get a lot of sound out of a stone without applying any speed or force from your arm...You can calmly pick the stone out of your bowl, calmly move the stone just above the intended point, and snap it down from between your fingers, as hard as you want to and with startling are releasing the stone from above your index finger as your middle finger is acting as a spring to force the stone to the board with a loud click. It can be quite forceful, as you can tell from seeing old gobans with dents in them. In tight areas, you can't really snap it this way without stones going skittering all over the board, but with practice you can click it nicely by holding the neighboring stone and clicking your stone off its edge onto the board. --oldfrog

I think this slamming thing is silly during actual play. You'll probably just give yourself tendonitis. I've seen a few pros play live and I've never seen anything as vigorous as what some amateurs attempt. I have seen strong players do this when going over pro games on the goban, and they say it helps them remember particular moves. It also looks totally foolish when you accidentally knock several stones off the board, which has happened to my opponents a couple of times in tournaments. If you want to scare me, just do it by making good moves, not by trying to create pits in the goban. Calvin

Alex Weldon: Silly or not, it's customary. Not among pros, of course... it wouldn't do to disturb the stones in the middle of a pro game... but go to Korea and watch a couple of older gentlemen playing in the park. Actually, go to a park in North America and watch the guys there playing chess, and they do the same thing. It adds spice to the game, as long as everyone involved is experienced enough to know where the stones were after they go flying.

Flower: Already reading about stones being slammed unto a Goban fills myself with discomfort. It somehow exhibits lacking respect and care for the equipment you are playing with. As well as the game(and thus your partner) in itself as you might disturb the position. The moves that fill me with awe are those that seem elegant and effortless yet are placed with pinpoint accuracy and produce a slight 'click' --Flower, 2007-01-26

chrise The same thing happens in dominoes...

Spiritweaver: I've attempted this before. Granted, it wasn't in a real game, I was teaching a friend and joking around a bit. I brought up Hikaru no Go and we joked about how dramatic the games could get. I then attempted to imitate said drama and ended up flinging several other stones (including the one in my hand) across the room.

I prefer to just put the stones down normally...

Slam the stone down last edited by Spiritweaver on August 11, 2009 - 04:54
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