In response to the skepticism tagging has received, I’ve put forth a general case for the two common arguments I’ve been seeing.
1. What’s The Point?
Go, like most strategy games, comes with a great deal of depth in play. Unlike most strategy games however, a player’s strength is not determined solely on the strategy they use, ironically.
To give an example, Chess is a game in which player style is not the main concern. More emphasis is placed on the formation and livelihood of one’s materials rather than seeking an interesting move. For it is a battlefield, and one pawns overplay could lead to defeat.
“Chess is 99% tactics.” – Richard Teichmann, (1868-1925),
In Go, reading is what leads the play. Understanding basic joseki and tesuji helps as well, but it all branches out from one’s ability to asses a situation. How we all read a board state varies widely, and Go is so enriched, that there rarely ever is “The right way”.
Here is a quote I found by Hikaru no Go creator, Yumi Hotta.
All you are is the go you play.
While not a high-dan player, her words hold truth.
Daring, artistic, flexible, sharp, thick… These are some of the many ways we can describe a game of Go,
So when we see a strong player, and their profile displays all their trophies. Does that really give context to the viewer?
Strength comes in many forms, so let it be shown!
2. Style Is Situational
2a) Beginners and Practicing Concepts
During both times, a player will have no consistent style, and for good reason. It is in these times Tags still serve a purpose, for instance, finding out if:
1) Your practice is paying off (being tagged as such), and
2) How you stack against certain match-ups ( whole-board vs. local player)
2b) Handicap Games
A lot of things change handicap games, alongside style as well. What is a traditional opening no longer applies, a good move is no longer sufficient, spreading stones thinly becomes a viable option.
So to say tags will be irrelevant in that situation comes as no surprise.
Thank you all for posting and adding to the discussion, I would really appreciate it if you could share this thread, or like some of the posts by members here!