Emotional Play

Tonight I logged into KGS hoping for some serious games. Instead I went mad and played a series of blitz games, losing all except one. So much for that plan.

I’m not a crazy aggressive player – at least I didn’t think I was until tonight – but I couldn’t seem to keep from pushing too hard, attacking, and then getting cut to pieces. I can count liberties and read a few moves ahead, but tonight I watched myself throw good stones in after bad. It was insane, but then apparently so was I.

It never ceases to amaze me how go reveals our inner selves. In chat a friend advised me to calm down, to focus. He saw what I was feeling.

The conversation was just what I needed. His advice: watch some dan level games to calm down. Not only will you get time to think, you’ll also avoid going on a tear like the one I had just finished.

Truth is, I jumped onto KGS to fight. I wanted to work out my raw feelings on the goban, and I got what I came for: a brawl. Except that I got my ass handed to me 😉 KGS isn’t Fight Club. Or is it?

It’s no revelation. There are two opponents in every game: myself and the person sitting across from me. If I’m not in control of my emotions then I’m giving my opponent a pretty big handicap: three, six, or even nine stones. Put differently, how much could I improve if I learned to govern myself?