Down Time and Its Effect on Play

Hi all. So, I’m finding that I spend a lot of time playing go. Yay! Except, well, you know. I have other things in my life that need my attention. This got me to thinking. I’m sure everyone experiences periods of time where they just can’t play as much as they could/should. But what would be a reasonable amount of time to miss playing a good game before one could expect to see it effect one’s playing noticeably? Anyone out there have any thoughts on this, personal experiences?

Go requires a significant amount of mental energy. If you want to be good, play Go everyday, but that does not mean play Go games (take a vacation when that happens). I tried to think about a time that coming back to a game after a long while was detrimental, but I always found that the break can give me a better, more “objective” viewpoint on the game. I suppose it’s possible that certain subtleties may be lost, like having read certain trick moves or sequences and forgetting these after the break.

To keep from getting exhausted, and letting Go from overtaking other priorities in my life, my personal rules are: (1) do not play more than 20 games at a time, (2) 50% of the time I play moves in games, 30% studying tsumego, 20% studying pro games and/or joseki (this includes watching pro game reviews, dwyrin or Nick Sibicky on YouTube, etc.). (3) I use my vacation time once per month or two months for about 3 or 4 days to give myself a mental break and release that constant pressure of “having to play moves”.

I know exactly what you mean, dem. When I personally don’t find the time to play, I try to do a Tsumego here and there on my mobile phone. You don’t always have to actually “play” to keep to your level of skill, but that is my personal impression. :smiley:

If I come back after some time of no games, I might have dropped a little in skill - But I feel like I can always get it back pretty quick. And it doesn’t drop very far.

I agree with everyone here. Go is a game and does require study in order to get better everyday. That being said I personally treat it as a mental exercise to keep my mind sharp. So I don’t feel any pressure to make moves more like I enjoy these “mind puzzles” like I would a sudoku problem. If that makes any sense? :stuck_out_tongue:

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It’s also important to remember that we are not professionals and Go is a game we play for fun and not a job. We work to improve because getting better is part of the fun, not because there’s any intrinsic value to being good at Go. If you have more important things to be doing, do those things, and if you’re a little weaker when you come back to the game, so what?

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I find that a week or two (sometimes more depending on frustration level :smile: )is very helpful for my game. It can be frustrating to try and incorporate new ideas and techniques into your game, especially since you have no idea how to use them.

Every three months, or so, I try to take at least a week and do nothing go related. No games, no studying, no lectures, etc… For me, it helps to gain some perspective on the game and I usually come back stronger than before my break.