The Difference Between Your Opponent Losing And Your Winning
When I played Chess in High School, it was considered very important to recognise the difference between when you won and when your opponent lost. Of course if all you care about is winning and losing, then by all means celebrate when you win. But if you plan on improving, don't become gleefull when you win because of your opponents ineptness.
Aside from poor sportsmanship, rejoicing when you win because of your opponents ineptness hides your own weaknesses. The same weaknesses which would have caused you to lose the game if your opponent actually knew what he was doing.
So those who wish to improve at go (or any other game) quickly, will learn to know the difference between their winning and their opponents losing.
Tderz: The simple Go-proverb "Who wins has the wrong opponent !" says it all - it confirms your point.
I give beginners/students of Go another saying as advice: "Lose your first 50 (100) games as fast as possible". The implied meaning is that the improvement in skill is so much more important than any (later meaningless) win in the beginning of our learning career.
ilan: How strong did people at your High School become? When I was playing chess in High School, any win was considered worthwhile, especially if you managed to swindle your opponent, (the ultimate example was someone accepting to double the stakes when his flag was down). I got pretty strong playing this way.
Arjuna: I find this page somewhere between amusing and useless. First of all please read Playing to win ( http://www.sirlin.net/ptw). Second, you cannot win if the opponent makes no mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are to be too greedy and not playing the urgent moves. Some other times is being too violent and playing moves that get you cut. As you grow, the opponents are doing fewer and fewer mistakes but even pros make them. (Sometimes they even do blunders). You should be happy for all of your wins. And you should be playing to win. Giving up when you are behind shows no character. Try the impossible, try to win, always. And most importantly, keep respectful, but you can be a sore loser. You should feel bad because you lost. It shows that you care.
Anonymous: People forget that the goal is NOT to win per se but to play well. The above link refers to video games which are completely different from go. If you just want to win you will eventually quit go because if you are playing at your correct rank and with proper handicaps you will win only about 50% of your games over the long run.