The First Player to Blunder

    Keywords: Humour

The first player to blunder is most likely to win the game because the last player to blunder is likely to lose the game.

Many people relax as soon as they think they've won - but Go can be a long haul, and often a determined player can recover while the adversary relaxes. -- Tamsin BGA 2k

This statement is controversial because the concept of temperature runs counter to this statement (early moves have bigger consequences, see also game temperature).

HolIgor: I don't agree. The value of moves grows in the middle game when the fate of groups is decided. Even in yose (endgame), most moves are very big. They are usually referred to as forced moves.

Playing sente means to let your opponent have all the big moves.

Alex Weldon (18-20k* IGS): To add to what Holigor said: The concept of temperature doesn't have much to do with this statement, really, since a blunder is a local situation. If you make a big mistake, generally, the opponent must play locally to exploit it, rather than playing tenuki. If your mistake causes them to tenuki, it wasn't really a huge blunder, but rather just a poor gote move). Temperature is generally regarded as the value of tenuki, so if your opponent doesn't tenuki, temperature doesn't apply. If you're talking about local temperature, that's different, but although the global temperature must always decrease, local temperatures can and do temporarily increase above the global level, so there's still no contradiction with the statement.

However, there is another argument against the statement: it doesn't hold true if the value of the first blunder is large enough that the blunderer resigns immediately (happens often enough at my level... tragic, really).

Bill: I believe it was Tartakower who said,

"The winner is the player who makes the next to last blunder."

The concept of temperature becomes clearer, thank you. The Tartakower quote prompts the thought that this page's topic doesn't make much sense, because the topic statement seems to assume that there will be an even number of blunders (not simply one or an odd number).

Alex (now, a few years later and a little bit stronger than 18-20k): I think it's meant to be tongue-in-cheek. (Oddly, though, this is the first time I've stumbled across something I wrote when I was DDK and not been horribly embarrassed by it... I guess I understood temperature pretty well back then, although nothing else.)

The First Player to Blunder last edited by on December 14, 2005 - 15:56
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