Naming all your Excuses for Losing

    Keywords: Culture & History

The worst excuses for losing a game ranked from bad to worse (#1)

  1. "I wasn't really paying attention"
  2. "After you'd lost that group there I wasn't really playing my best game anymore."
  3. "That move you played there wasn't really possible anyway."
  4. "Actually I would have won the game if I had played so and so."
  5. "I can't see well with this light"
  6. "I was too tired to play well"
  7. "Oh, but I have a cold."
  8. "I had too much to drink" ;)
  9. "We're not playing gomoku?"
  10. "I was curious about that invasion."
  11. "You didn't play joseki there."
  12. "I would have won if there had been/hadn't been komi."
  13. "I played too fast in the endgame".
  14. "I was practicing my baka no itte, pretty good don't you think?"

Bad bad bad! Point made, I think :) -- Skelley

Lucky: This is a variant from the #1 expression above, it really happened on IGS. "I was talking on the phone while playing."

adamzero: My usual 'excuse', which is also usually the truth: "I saw my opponent about to make a few points of territory and I got panicked and made a weak group which he then abused until I resigned."

Dansc: I like the excuse 'I would've won, if I had made more territory than you.' I find this a completely acceptable excuse.

Scryer: I had him crushed on the board, but not on the clock.

jfc: I must be 30 kyu at excuses -- I usually say "you are too strong!" or "good job killing my group!". No doubt I have a long road to becoming a dan level excuse maker. Perhaps someone can start a new wiki called Whiner's Library where excuse tesujis can be shared.

OneWeirdDude: Respective rebuttals:

  1. "Well, now you know what you did wrong!"
  2. See #1.
  3. "Shall we look it up?"
  4. "So you only win when it's easy?"
  5. "You should have said something. Besides, the stones are black and white."
  6. See #1.
  7. See #1. Also, "what are you doing playing games when you're sick?"
  8. See #1. Not just driving, but drinking and anything don't mix.
  9. "Har har."
  10. "It wasn't that difficult to guess."
  11. "Yeah, and I beat you with it! Next time do something about it!" (See also #1.)
  12. (Refer the player to A Rich Man Should Not Pick Quarrels and Komi.)
  13. See #1.

...not that I ever really use them. Point being, all those excuses are lame-o.

I've found that *any* drink is too much for my Go :( Strange, I don't notice any other effects after one drink except that I seemingly lose 8 stones strength. -- Karl Knechtel

I find that playing strength can actually *increase* after a drink or two, for some players at least. I have a Nihonjin friend who enjoys a glass of wine or two during the meal, and during the game after dinner; his play is noticeably stronger than before the evening's drinks. Perhaps he's too tense and needs to relax into the game :-) -- Bignose

After two or three beers i play so much better. More freedom in thought, but more direction in action. It just flows more nicely and my concentration is much better. Add another 5 beers or so and i suffer from complete atari-blindness... Hmm, make that board-blindness. -- HansWalthaus

I can understand when someone misclicks online but after a game some said they misclicked 5 times causing them to obviously lose -- Td9

Alex Weldon: I suffer from gradual mood swings, sort of like a mild form of manic-depression, although no doubt far too mild to be considered an actual psychological disorder. Anyway, if I'm depressed, I can't play Go at all, and lose all my games. I guess I just shouldn't play if I'm not in a good mood.

HansWalthaus: Try combining Asperger Syndrom with ADD. Add either a phonecall, a parent walking in or a kid brother who wants help. Or worse two or three dropped connections in a game. See what that does for ones concentration. Oh yeah... I started playing Go as a way to _improve_ my concentration. :(

I really hate dropped connections, it is getting me mad about playing in internet. It is a sure path to losing because of (1) you get very very angry and (2) you have a lot less time because the clock still runs when you are trying to connect again. -- Brindis

karmaGfa: Here are a few excuse that my opponents told me and which are not in the list :

  1. "I didn't try to win anyway"
  2. "I wanted to try some new moves"
  3. "I lose because I wanted to win too much" (imply that he would normally win, like in other excuses :-) )
  4. "I don't like to have Black with handi stones: I am obliged to defend all the time, that's why I lose."
  5. "Your first move frustated me, you played in my territory" (reference to the polite 1st move on the goban)
  6. "That's normal that I lose, I am one stone weaker than you."
  7. "I don't like to play with White." (really common)

Hu: I respect #2, new moves. Why not experiment and have some fun? Perhaps it is best to try them out in non-rated games, though.

Isildur: I agree that there's nothing wrong with trying new moves, Hu, but the the problem isn't the experimentation; it's the use of it as an excuse. Anything you say after a game that detracts from your opponent's credit for his/her own victory is likely rude. One can think to oneself, "Perhaps the game would have gone better for me had I not tried out X", but if you say aloud "I likely would have won had I not done X," unless it's a clear endgame mistake that both players can see decided the game, the opponent may rightly feel slighted by your presumption that he/she probably could not have handled a more standard progression. There are some exceptions to this; a friend of mine and I commonly speculate after games whether this move or that move would have changed the course of the game, and in fact we often go back and try the variations. This however is because we know each other well enough to know that we're pondering about variations just out of intellectual curiosity, NOT as a way to say "you didn't earn that victory, you just got lucky". We already know we have each other's respect, so statement after a game like "I was trying something new with ___, but it doesn't appear to work" doesn't offend either of us. But I wouldn't say something like that to most players, because it would just sound like me pettily trying to detract from my opponent's victory.

karmaGfa: Yes, why not. I just listed all the excuse I saw :-)

Nacho: Actually, I think that the best time to experiment is in serious games (rated games, though maybe not in tournament games if you're not so sure of what you're going to try). That way, you'll have an opponent who is really trying hard. I mean, if you're trying that strategy, is because you think is good, so you want someone to show you why it isn't good, or at least to try hard to find weaknesses. And it will work the other way, too: you'll be trying your best to make your strategy work.

BlueWyvern: Two of my least favorite:

  1. "You played so fast and it made me play fast and I didn't think about my moves."
  2. "You made some really odd moves, and it made me play stupid."

While I never actually respond to these, I would really like to say:

  1. "It's not my fault you played fast." and/or "Maybe I'd play slower if you gave me any moves worth thinking about."
  2. "Just because you haven't seen a move before, it doesn't make it odd." or "You are never going to know how to respond to every single one of my moves immediately, that's why we are playing an even game."

The main thing that irritates me about these excuses, and some of the ones listed above, is that they all seem dismissive of the winner's ability and imply that the loser really should have won.

Snappy: Two of my favorites:

  1. "I can never play a serious game against you!"
  2. "I was cooking the chicken."

You know who you are.

jfc: I can see why this person lost. Doesn't cooking the chicken cause blindness?

OneWeirdDude: How does it do that? Don't you eat meat?

DJ: Ah, uhm... I wouldn't like to appear the wise old guy, but it seems that this (very funny) page is almost all dedicated to excuses put forth by our opponents. Well, what about your excuses for losing?

My personal favourite: "I'm just tired. I've been practicing tantra buddhism too much last night."

Alas, not true, as all excuses above!

Velobici: "You played so slowly I lost interest and just wanted the game to end already." That is my excuse and I am sticking to it! Each of the two local Go clubs that I attend has a player that plays only one game a night. That's one game over a two hour period. I like to play two each night. The result is that during my own game I start watching the games being played on either side of me, and reading out their situations. So, distracted, I make a few silly moves.

I may be overcoming this excuse. Last night at Go Club (2003-10-23) played a gentleman that just would not resign. I guess that I should have. In the end he resigned as we started to fill dame. "Oh no! No resignations at this point. We have to count". Well, due to his desparate moves the final count was White(me) 110: Black -4. Yes, negative numbers. Next time, I guess that I will resign instead. The real moral of this story is that I am becoming more patient and playing the board rather than being bothered by waiting.

Go Blindness The inability to see the truly obvious, as in What! Oh! Those stones are/were in atari?

mgoetze: My favourite excuse is "I always make silly mistakes when playing online..." off course, it doesn't work when I lose a game offline, but that doesn't seem to be happening so often nowadays...

Evand: I find "I always make silly mistakes when playing you," to be particularly amusing...

Arrogance of the loser

TDerz: I have heard that Emanuel Lasker (Chess World Champion 1894-1906? and Amateur Go player) said something like:

  • "I never won a game vs. a healthy opponent."

Having googled around a bit, the quotation seems to be

  • "I have never had the satisfaction of beating a completely healthy opponent." -- Amos BURN

After a tournament you can occasionally hear dissapointed mumblings by those who failed to win a prize which teach you that:

  • "The player who plays best in a tournament never wins first. He finishes second behind the guy with the most luck. " -- Savielly TARTAKOWER

The honest and true(!) above "I would have won if ... I played differently AND better, so and so ..." is shown sometimes to the winner (who should then feel ashamed? for his/her lucky but not perfect moves):

  • "Analysis: irrefutable proof that you could have won a game that you lost." -- Boden

I personall heard these too:

  • "I had a won position until I blundered." (Imagine this vice-versa!)
  • "You shouldn't have played on in a lost position." (Tell this RinKaiho on how he used to pep up his winning ratio, it's called stamina and relying on one's own strengths.)


I myself have used this one recently:

  • "I thought it was a different time control." (Köln 2003 with dynamic Canadian Byoyomi = I made it to 30 stones/5 minutes, then collapsed. Of course you can imagine what I used the main time for - daydreaming on the board - visualizing never-to-be-played variations before playing the obvious move (or his bedfellow, the bad move))
  • "I don't like short time controls."

(Neither do my opponents, that's why they play faster in main time.)

RBerenguel: As far as I know, the excuse "I have never had the satisfaction of beating a completely healthy opponent." -- Amos BURN was really said by Savielly Tartacower

Don't be arrogant as a winner, don't look for excuses when having lost.? =

    • [>Sei als Sieger nicht überheblich, als Verlierer suche nicht nach Entschuldigungen.] (Aus den Höflichkeitsregeln des Go, nach Erwin Glonnegger: "Das Spiele Buch", 1989, S. 135)

Barthoze "Never play go after a sleepless night. "

I tried to do so after a nightly coding rush, to make a seemingly working draughts IA. As I finished my job, I took a break on IGS and tried to play some games. It led to my longest losing streak ever. And I dared name this sorry excuse to explain my losses.

BTW, I could verify that when I slept just 2 or 3 hours the night before I loss more games than I win, irrespectively of the opponent. So I decided not to play when I am real tired. -- Brindis

HansWalthaus My favourite excuse after playing 2 or 3 games too many:

"I forgot what colour i was playing."

Happend a couple of days ago. I was white, i was in a ladder and i saw a stone that would function as a ladderbreaker. Too bad i didnt notice the bloody stone was a black one.

Warp: How about making excuses before the game instead of after? I find myself doing so way too often... (eg. "I haven't been playing too well lately so I will probably lose.") I should probably get rid of that bad habit.

ChrisSchack: I sort of tend to do that myself when I'm in a slump, though I just say I'll probably lose. The excuse BlueWyvern gave about playing to keep up with the opponent also applied the other day, except I wasn't claiming that was the case, my opponent pointed it out to me. Then again, the game after was worse: I don't think I played a single move that wasn't a mistake. A few takebacks, too, and joseki correction ... all in the first 10-15 moves. I just resigned, because I wasn't really the one playing, it felt like ... I just guess I react badly to "this is a mistake, this is what you should have done, and let's pretend you did".

Remillard: More in the funny category but:

  • "That would have worked if it hadn't been for those pesky kids and their dog!" (Choose any life and death problem you failed, badly played joseki, badly played tesuji, etc.)

Crimson : I'm not sure this fits in here, but once, after I won a game, my opponent started reviewing and saying, "Here you made a mistake, you could've done this and that. Oh and there's THIS one! Didn't it occur to you you are making bad shape?" As much as it is nice to listen to your opponent's comments after the game, no matter who won, he was acting as if he won and it was all a teaching game; I made an excuse and left, because I think he should have atleast one bit of respect to the player that won against him.

Gotjen?: I recently played an even game against a friend of mine who's way better than me (I lost by 148 points, he had 132 and I had -16)

My excuse was this: "I lost because you were concentrating so heavily on the game and it was freaking me out."

CountDooku: These are my excuses...

If my opponent is weaker:

  1. "I can win, but I don't want to"
  2. "I was just testing your reaction, such as this move... (continues to game review).
  3. "Bloody Sandbagger"

If the opponent is stronger:

  1. "Farewell, we shall not play again"
  2. "hmpf...." (leave the game)
  3. "... REMATCH !!!"
  4. "Drastic time requires drastic measure.... I demand a rematch".
  5. (At the rematch). "Prepare to lose...."

chrise Not go related, but funny all the same: When I used to play table tennis I heard the best excuse ever - my opponent had slippery shoes!

George Caplan The most irritating excuse I ever experienced was after a tournament game in which I used 45 minutes of my 1 hour time allowance and my opponent used the entire hour and three 10 minute byo yomi cycles. As we picked up the stones he stated "Well you wanted it more than me"

Bildstein: I haven't said it to him, but I felt it. It's not an excuse really, because I know it's my fault and I'm not blaming him, so it's more of a reason:

"I gained so much in the early part of the game, I was so convinced you should resign, I lost respect for you. Then I didn't even consider that my groups might be in danger, so I didn't defend early enough."

Phelan: I've also had a online game where that happened...From my opponent's moves, I thought he was much worse than me, so I left some groups I could kill live.

We played until the game seemed to be over, and I just wanted to end it, but my opponent invaded my territory. I defended, and when I thought I didn't need to, kept passing. So, with the help of one of those groups weren't quite alive, he killed one of my own, and really lived.

Since I'm not good at counting, I still thought I was ahead, until he passed, when I saw I was 10 points behind.

So I killed the only group I still could kill, a huge group with a unsettled eye with a throw-in, after all the other moves had been played.

I must have won by 70 points...My opponent just left, and I felt quite ashamed of myself.

I don't need and excuse for losing, because I won...but it still felt like I needed an excuse.

Kirinji?: I usually use:

"The reason I lost is because I'm used to net go, you might have seen a few very stupid mistakes, that's because I can't hold the stones very well and sometimes accidentally drop them."

"I was playing black? Here I was thinking all along that I was white!"

"The reason I lost was because I couldn't really pay attention to the game, your beautiful eyes were too distracting."

"But... when Hikaru played there, everything went perfect!"

"You lied to me! You said you were a lowly kyu, but you're obviously a high dan!"

"The goban's too big/small, I would have won if I had had more/you had had less space."

"yeah well, you kept placing the stones so oddly I couldn't tell this square they were in, almost like you were intentionally placing them on the intersections!"

"I usually play against this 1000 year old dead go player that follows me around everywhere named Sai, but since he's so old we always use older rules, so I didn't incalculate komi while playing."

(I especially like using this last one when I lost by more than the komi, or I'm playing white)

Codexus: I use these excuses a lot, but not to try to justify my losses, but for dismissing my wins as somehow "not counting".

For example: "I used more time than my opponent, I'd have lost if I had played at the same speed"

"I was really losing this game before my opponent made that blunder"

"None of my moves were correct, I'm lucky my opponent got confused by them"

"I was so behind after fuseki that my opponent probably just stoppped being interested in the game"

krit I only occasionally get "You were lucky this time, I made mistakes." from my opponents .. Oh yeah, and you think I played perfectly? Thanks!.

ColdNight how about saing something like "so this is go? now teach me the rules"

after losing by 3 points aginst a strong 4k

tapir: "I just lost on time - and it was blitz anyway." (It is a real problem. I lose on time at least %20 of my blitz games.)


  1. "I had the sun in front and was dazzled."
  2. "It had become cold while we played and I was freezing."
  3. "There were so many broken stones in the bowl."
  4. "I had to pee, but it was so exciting."
  5. "I thought, you don't know the trick, as you're only 2 kyu.

See Also:

Naming all your Excuses for Losing last edited by on August 7, 2011 - 10:00
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