Hi Everyone! Good day to you. Before I write about today’s lesson, I must thank some of you for your e-mails and comments which has given me motivation and encouragement to work on this project. I truly appreciate them very much and it keeps me going. Please keep them coming :)
In today’s lesson, we are going to study the solution to the problems I posted in the last lesson. However, before that, I would like to talk a bit about some psychology that is important for you to have, not only in playing Go but also in all aspects of life, I believe.
One of my favorite writers is Haruki Murakami. He is a Japanese writer and I really like his work, both long form novels (THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE, SPUTNIK SWEETHEART) and short stories (TONY TAKITANI, THE YEAR OF SPAGHETTI). He has also written a book more recently called WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING. He is an avid runner and in this book, he wrote about what he learned about life and writing through running.
In one part of the book, he wrote about the importance of being Focused and the importance of Endurance. He said, “.. the ability to concentrate all your limited talents on whatever’s critical at the moment” is an extremely important quality. “Without that you can’t accomplish anything of value, while, if you can focus effectively, you’ll be able to compensate for an erratic talent or even a shortage of it.” The next important quality is Endurance. You must be able to endure the pressure and pain and not bend to it. Keep going and don’t give up so easily.
In one event, his leg muscles suddenly became stiff and didn’t want to run and was hurting tremendously but he applied his focus and endurance, the willpower, and kept going, and telling himself ” I’m not a human. I’m a piece of machinery. I don’t need to feel a thing. Just forge ahead.” He kept repeating it and out of a sudden, he said he felt like he “passed through something.” He just felt he “passed through” but he doesn’t know exactly what. But from then on, it is auto-pilot. He didn’t need to think about the leg anymore. It suddenly became natural and he finished the run.
What I am trying to say is this. I have myself experienced it many times, that I give up too easily on the Go board. I didn’t apply enough focus and endurance in the game, I give up on stones too easily, I admit defeat without even giving a good fight. Endurance is a very important aspect in Go especially when there is a complicated fight going on in the board or when the outlook of the game is not in your favor. You feel bad about your position just because you have messed up a sequence and you want to give up. Please don’t! Keep going, keep playing, keep pushing, keep trying! Have that fighting spirit in you! You have worked hard, you have studied well, you have been serious, so don’t give up so easily!
Okay, let’s move on to the solution to yesterday’s problems.
Black 1 in Diagram 1 above is the solution to problem 1. Black one is an ideal pincer-extension, extending from its corner enclosure and at the same time pincering White, denying White of its base. After talking about the importance of this so much, I hope you have this problem correctly solved. If not, please go back to the lessons and drill this into your mind as this is an extremely important fundamental to master.
Black 1 in Diagram 2 above takes the base of the White stones away and forces White to run out. Black can look forward to continue to attacking this White group and make some gains in the process.
Black 1 in Diagram 3 above gives the Black stones a base.
The above three examples are simple examples intended to show you the fundamentals at work. I hope it is clear to you now.
In the next lesson, I will show you some opening in Handicap games and how these fundamentals can be applied. As a beginner, it is very likely that you will play a lot of handicap games which is a good thing because it gives you a good opportunity to learn and apply the fundamentals. It also allow you to display some fighting spirit.
Until the next lesson, remember, don’t give up so easily! Put up a fight. Have endurance and focus on the game. Think like Murakami in the race and you will have a feeling that you have “passed through” something too. And believe me, you will know you have passed through when you have passed through.
See you next time.