Assuming mistakes in your games

By | 2009-02-23

We are humans“: that’s the summary of this year’s Barcelona Go Tournament. Each year a lot of emotions cross my body the day before and the weekend of the tournament. Meeting again a lot of good people, play serious games, play unofficial games, chat, tell jokes, get delighted by some people explaining some new moves… too many things to express. This time I was really prepared to defend my level, and try to get some points to upgrade it… and I did it. I won in 2 out of 5 rounds, but again stronger opponents.

New joseki, step 1 However I felt I was winning most of my games. I felt confident with my moves, so severe that just looking at my opponents’ faces I realized how scaring my moves were. But I’m a human, a real human, and I made mistakes, that ruined some results. All my opponents were really strong, so that means I’m also strong, sometimes stronger than them. Anyway the luck decided some games, making true the sentence “the winner doesn’t usually win because his smart moves, but because his opponent mistakes“, or better said, “the player who do less mistakes win the game“.

So, the way to handle this is (apart than a smile) to assume you will commit mistakes, and try to prepare plans to recover from them. You don’t only play against your opponent, but also against your own mistakes. Knowing them (the types, the situations when they appear, etc) can help you to avoid them spoiling a game. Discover when you may fail, and prepare a B plan. Easy to say, but hard to apply… but it is the WAY.

“To secure ourselves against defeat
lies in our own hands,
but the opportunity of defeating the enemy
is provided by the enemy himself.”
– Sun Tzu (from The Art of War)