Do you ever feel guilty for winning?

I think it’s a funny part of the stream.

I like how Ilya is a little dumbfounded at the concept of feeling guilt for winning.


This question made me think of a paragraph in Noriyuki Nakayama’s The Tresure Chest Enigma. On page 41-42 in an chapter titled The Art of Resignation the author wrote:

There is story of about Kita [Fumiko] when she was about 13 or 14, when she would have been two stones short of professional strength.
One day she played a game with a leading amateur player, who was nicknamed Devil Shibata. Kita placed two stones and was having a hard time of it, but she fought hard and pulled off an upset victory. When she got home, her mother was waiting impatiently as usual in front of the go board. She immediately played through the game, but her mother lost her temper.
“You should have resigned such a terrible game, but you played on and won it. You have been extremely rude to your opponent, Mr. Shibata. Why didn’t you resign instead of this move here? […] You little dunce. You don’t even know that you should resign such a horrible game. Instead you come home and boast about it.”

Another telling paragraph:

Another name for go is ‘shudan’, meaning ‘talking with the hands’. One may not utter a word, but each and every stone played relates the feeling of the players. If you translate the shudan of a player who won’t resign a 100-point loss into English, he is saying: “You are such an imbecile that I can easily catch up 100 points.”
It is hard to imagine greater rudeness in a go player.

Ethics - when to resign


I play with honour and respect. Have never felt guilty over a win at any competition.


Must feel great to have such a supportive Mother.


I like Ilya’s winner mentality:

“You cannot feel guilty as the winner, you can feel guilty as the loser”.


I don’t think “guilty” is the right word, at least not for me. Perhaps “sad” is more accurate. I have said elsewhere that I don’t like losing or winning a game based on a blunder. By “blunder” I do not mean ordinary mistakes, or misreading, but unaccountable large mistakes that would not be done ordinarily, such as accidental self-atari of a group (like in that famous video of the pro who did that), or being oblivious to the potential net. Blunders have nothing to do with the strategic interest of the game. They are just inexplicable mental or physical lapses (as when one is too tired or otherwise stressed). Since my entire pleasure in go derives from the beautiful manifestations of strategy, a blunder is a sad spoiling—a wasting—of the game. For this reason, I will allow a takeback on a misclick.


Yes. A long time ago I was playing a [?] and halfway through noticed they weren’t even familiar with the concept of 2 eyes. Wasn’t really guilt but wasn’t feeling like a win either. At least it was 9x9 and didn’t take all day.


I had some wins that felt “undeserved” because I was behind the whole game and then at move 250, or some such very late in the game, my opponent blunders the game away by making a -50 points move. But since this also happend (and still happens) by me blundering a game away this way, I don’t feel guilty.

However, there are the games where I am behind with an unwinnable position and then my opponent times out/disconnects. This feels even more undeserved and I might feel a bit guilty claiming a win for that game. This is not possible on all servers but when this happend on OGS, I reported the game and had it annulled because I really did not want to have this undeserved win.


There is a tendency to underestimate how crucial and difficult it is in a go game to stand the pressure and reach the end.

It’s a major part to keep focus, take the right decisions (risky/not risky), control your emotions and be ready for anything that may happen.

You better like that side of the game.

That’s a very honest attitude. Problem is how can you apply it to the reverse situation (undeserved loss)? I mean if you want a fully realistic rating…

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winning may be not satisfactory enough:
when higher ranked opponent resigns too early so you don’t yet sure that you will be able to save your ahead position until end.
or when higher ranked opponent makes simple mistake: “did he play seriously and in top shape?” question comes to mind
you can consider yourself the winner but such victory proves nothing of your ability to win against other players of his rank.

Just think that your opponent would have a higher rank if he didn’t have the tendency to resign early or to make stupid mistakes.