Feeling bad about winning

Recently, I’ve played a few games where I didn’t think I should win, but I did. I felt bad for winning, because i appreciated my opponent’s moves. The only issue (well, issue I could see at my level) is they either resigned too soon, or didn’t - in my opinion - play out some areas I think could have been fought over.

Anyone ever go through this feeling? If so, what did you do?


Yes I know that feeling well and I suspect others do too. I have often won despite my mistakes for various reasons and so my motto in victory is, ‘More mistaked against than mistaking.’

…and I remind myself that every good game of Go has two winners and the prize is the game itself, the journey.


It all balances out over time. You probably made opponents feel like that on occasion. don’t overthink it, take it as a learning experience


Someone has said, “The winner is the one who makes the second to last mistake.”


Sometimes when I’m playing at my go club, I play a high handicap game with other members. They do well and establish a good starting position, but when I start playing huge over plays that involve fighting they sometimes just give up large areas. Makes me feel bad when the answer (at least to me) is so simple and doesn’t require deep reading. I want them to see good moves, but it’s just hard when there’s such a big skill gap. That’s trying to play seriously, though.

So for the time being I just let them play other members while I review their games, or play teaching games with them to improve their opening and early middle-game. I can’t wait till they get stronger so I can play them more seriously!

To the OP, even when I play online I feel what you’re talking about. In fact, I’m playing a correspondence game right now where my entire top right corner shouldn’t have lived due to a silly overplay but my opponent went with it, lol.


Go proverb: never interrupt your opponent when they’re making a mistake


When I lose, I feel disappointed at my mistakes.

When I win, I feel disappointed because I only won because of my opponent’s mistakes.


Lucky we don’t play for winning or losing, but the fun of playing, eh? :wink:


I feel bad when I win a game that I thought I was winning, then run the computer analysis and get something like “Black by 54%”. What both I and my opponent thought was their losing mistake was really just me getting back to even, because there’s some major, glaring problem with my stones that neither of us noticed…

@AlexSmiles I usually don’t play high handicap games for exactly that reason. If I win, it’s because my opponent has made some massive mistakes that they don’t really understand and have been severely punished for it. I’d rather play a 2-4 handicap game and then play simple, basic moves, explaining both my moves as well as those major, obvious mistakes as we play. Even if there’s realistically more like a 15-stone difference between us, my opponent will learn more that way, and won’t feel like they’re just getting demolished without understanding what’s going on.


Yep. Been there done that… “At last a game I played well! Let’s see what Leela thinks… what??? That was a mistake?! I was behind!? I made it worse!? They only won because of that !?”

rm -rf lizzie/*



All you are doing is showing each other where one needs to improve. Nothing wrong with that. If one doesn’t choose to improve based on their errors in the game, then that is on them (more than likely because of ego).

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Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I feel a bit better knowing it’s not a solo experience.


Nothing to feel bad about. It’s part of the game (and of similar games, like chess). Part of go is not to make worse mistakes than your opponent. If you do, you should lose. If your opponent does, he or she should lose and your rating should go up because you didn’t make worse mistakes than your opponent.

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I feel bad because I feel proud and this is just hiding me my mistakes. But I feel worse when I lose and my rating goes down. After all I just want to play better.

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