Monday, May 09, 2005

I'd Rather Die...

... than live this way.

One of my many weaknesses has been to make weak groups, and then spend an unfortunate amount of time and a huge number of stones to defend them. Not only that, but the struggle for life, even if successful, gives my opponent a huge advantage all around me. Not a good situation.

Some one pointed out to me that I seemed to enjoy the challenge of making them live, because it reminds me of my life/death problems. She might not be too far off the mark. There is something satisfying about snatching a group from the gaping jaws of death, who cares whether the opponent gets way more out of it than I did. I did live!

Slowly, it is beginning to dawn on me, that this might not be the right attitude. Not the right playing style. That same person has been urging me to run before live, to not let myself being enclosed. But despite my best intention, I still ended up being enclosed way too often, only to find myself in yet another fiery life/ death struggle.

Things had to change. I had had enough of shameful life, enough of helping my opponent build huge moyos, enough of spending half of my game figuring out how to rescue those 42 stones which had been 'almost alive' for too long.

Last night, I made a resolution to not let myself being enclosed anymore, and if by some unfortunate event it happens anyway, to just give up on my stones. Usually it's only a few of them when it happens, my real problems start when I add more and more stones to those enclosed stones and end up at a huge disadvantage.

Yes, I might lose too many groups for a while when I am trying to figure this out. Yes, I might lose a bunch of games till I master this. Yes, I might have been able to save this group if only... But I am going to be strong and not live shamefully anymore. I'd rather die than live that way.

I'd better get real good at running. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. I played one game like this last night, gave up two groups, but was able to reach out from the outside towards them, and revive them. I didn't even want to save them, it just happened. I was trying to get some profit from their aji. So that might not have been the best game to teach me that losing groups isn't the end of the world. I am sure that most of the time I will not be able to resurrect my dead stones though. It will be interesting to see how this will work out. Fun experiment.

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