Go Hypnosis

Here is a funny trough!

So while ago, I got very interested in hypnosis. Stated practicing technique such a conversational hypnosis. The various technique to distract consciousness away insert suggestion directly to the subconscious. To be honest, very useful skill to develop not to “mind control” people as some would believe, but more to give them a subtle push in the direction you want so they end up thinking it was their idea all along. Sometime you can actually help people help themselves this way.

And I had a funny thought. Always seen Go as more of a “conversation” than most other game…So why not actually try to apply the same principle to it? What about using a variety of subtle false asking question, of deliberate “yes” set, of gentle push in a certain direction. All to progressively make them more compliant without them realizing it…to eventually make them think they do want to do somethings, but deep down, it was a long haul trap waiting for them to be deep enough so there no escape one you close it.

Have to say, it’s a form of art on it’s own…but the result so far seem interesting.


Any empirical evidence that thing you describe works and you’re not just like to believe in it?

I’m not hypnologist, but I like the definition wikipedia gives.

Hypnosis is a human condition involving focused attention (the selective attention/selective inattention hypothesis, SASI),[2] reduced peripheral awareness, and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion.

Having a conversation with a friend can easily involve focused attention, reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestions. I would call it hypnosis. Suddenly talking to a stranger on the street for no apparent reason would be opposite to hypnotic state. Enforcing such (hypnotic) state in a certain situation or, more likely, increase your probability to enter hypnotic state as opposed to overly cautious, untrusting non-hypnotic state by significant margin. What would be considered a significant margin, maybe more then 10%? Anything lower might be just a measurement error.

I think normal people refer to it as being charismatic.

Any additional BS about intentionally manipulating people through subconsciousness has no solid ground. How can you be sure that you use hypnosis on others and not just “hypnotizing” yourself into believing what you like? IMO latter is more likely.


In regards to go:

Actual game, between non beginners, is the worst situation possible for a hypnotic practices, it’s a state of an uncharacteristically focused attention. You can maybe steal his phone or watch opponent throw captured stones in his tea, but I think it defies your goals as of using hypnosis in the game. So it’s like trying to jump over the metro tourniquet while security staff watches you in expectation that you wouldn’t pay, but try to cheat instead. That said, you can choose non standard rout and “pay” instead leaving them bewildered, but you will loose point this way which is no good. Use this short bewildered state to your advantage and you can gain compensation for your loss or even get more than you were supposed to. It’s sufficient to call it a successful hypnotic act. Colloquially it’s referred to as tricking your opponent. But your opponent might just use a bit more of his time and then jokes on you.

That’s a very primitive example, though I think there’re actual more advanced technics which would be more suitable for a position to be called “mind control”. But I won’t disclose them, (certain not for free, lol) those are my personal observations and I don’t want to give unnecessary advantage to my potential opponents.


Btw, was your misspelling of “Go Hypnosys” a proof of that you have hypnotic powers? Certainly worked on me, didn’t notice it immediately. well done :joy:

That begs the questions: what is meant by subconsciousness (whether or not it exists), and what is solid ground?

People are certainly unconsciously manipulated (meaning manipulated without knowing it) by a host of influences: advertising, cons, political rhetoric, fear, etc. If the subconscious exists, and if it can be accessed, I see no reason why it couldn’t be manipulated too. A generation ago, the U.S. Army experimented with sleep learning, and got some encouraging results, although not decisive IIRC. That would seem like a means of accessing and manipulating the subconscious, but I expect it depends on definitions.

Similarly, musical memory in performance, involving a great deal of what is usually called muscle memory, is a very strange thing (I speak as a former professional cellist). It is not muscle memory like throwing a baseball into the strike zone, but rather an ongoing coordination of the muscle actions with the memory of the music. This coordination goes on at an unconscious (subconscious?) level. It requires an extreme degree of focus on the music.


That’s what I implied when saying solid ground. It may be some investigation similar to what James Randi did.

There’s video about procedural memory, it might be interesting for you to watch it (if you haven’t seen it previously ofc)


While things like NLP have stretched things so much that they have given such ideas a bad reputation almost akin to being a flat-earther, it remains a fact that there are indeed tactics that are made to influence our minds, our perception and our subconscious, for lack of a better word. @Conrad_Melville mentioned the most prevalent ones in advertising and politics, but there are other such techniques much more subtle and much more obscure.

I had read of their existence when I was 18-20 and I had thought that maybe there is some merit to it, but at the same time it might also be a bit of a stretch, until someone used such a technique on me to dupe me. To this day (almost 15 years later), I still have no idea what happened or no conscious memory of the final question I was asked and what reply came out of my mouth, even though I started thinking about what happened immediately after that person told me its conclusion and left. (if you want details on the story and what happened, I have no problem to write them)

So, such things do exist even though they are not scientifically proven (as far as I am concerned, a thrown rock can still hit its target just fine, even without knowing a single thing about the theories concerning gravity and trajectories), though to be fair what the OP proposes seems quite outlandish/impractical, since the level of skill difference required to pull such a trick off is so vast, that every move you play would seem like “magic” to the opponent.


I don’t know anything about hypnosis, but it’s probably possible to at least do a few psychological tricks to your opponent in a go game:

  • Study and play nonstandard corner sequences, to pretend you are a beginner.
  • Don’t hold go stones in the proper way.
  • Pretend to think hard when the answer is obvious.
  • Pretend you are satisfied if you’ve realized you played a bad move, and vice-versa.
  • After your opponent played a bad move, nod as if you acknowledged it was a good move.
  • When you plan to play in some part of the board, look at another part of the board.

I mean, at the base conversational hypnosis is about using very specific language pattern to progressively make people more and more compliant. Each one of those are basically simple psychological trick, the beauty if than when you keep combining them over and over fluidly…alternating between action made to focus attention and deliberately vague action to create confusion over and over and over, eventually people more and more compliant and easy to influence. Basically you are scrambling their brain on purpose. Can then proceed to be more and more authoritarian and dictate pacing more and more and people just start following as you lead them where you want them to go. It’s basically a game of deliberate focus and confusion.

Here is a few example of how I can see the technique translate in a game of go:

  • A “yes set” consist in asking 3-4 question in a row you know the person will obviously answer yes to…the goal is than when you suddenly ask somethings else after people indistinctively want to answer yes again. In a game of go, that is easily done by just playing a few forcing move.

  • A double blind is to ask to question between two option, the goal being than when asked question the brain want to answer them but usually forgot analyze the presupposition than there is only two option been wrong all along.

  • Pacing and leading rely on subtilty copying the other action/position/state of mind, but then progressively change your stance as watch the other progressive start to copy you instead as you are keeping the other focused on a chain of language trick.

  • Never ending sentence is about just keep saying word and linking phrase together, what eventually create saturation and people will have a hard time to, for example, resist laughing if you imply than somethings is funny once they are saturated.

  • Use of shock is also very frequent, especially after multiple other step. hypnotist will suddenly make an very unexpected odd move than seem to have to meaning, just to profit from the fact your brain is in “what the?” mode to throw somethings else at you while your guard is down.

And there is dozen and dozen. Alone they seem mundane, but when you chain 10 in a row somethings very interesting happen. The real art of hypnotism is to know and incorporate so many of them than you can fluidly chain them over and over and over so you can basically lead people where you want them to do.

In a game of go, it can look like:

Oposent play slowly, so do you. When you play a joseki as usually, then interrupt it and play some other aproach than imply two direction to chose from (but oposent might have forgotten the joseki is not quite completed) so you return to the joseki, then return to answer the approach, but as you keep changing direction, asking question, making deliberate small series of forcing move and go on back to back…you also play faster and faster and so will the opposant. Then you make sudden almost nonsense move, opposant will feel obligated to respond as you keep putting pressure and leading them…and you just keep going.

What happen when you do this is than people usually basically eventually become increasingly more confused and without realizing it more compliant. The real art in hypnosis sometime if to manage to improvise all of those while you subtilty distract the person from your real goal from the beginning. For exemple the hypnotist might want to make the person calm…so at various point while he make a mess of other person attention he will begin to at first subtilty suggest than you should feel calm… and as you get more and more confuse and he read your body language to see you are reacting to him, he might become more authoritarian and start to literally tell you do calm yourself and as you get more and more calm we might ask you to give you his hand and you might just start to do it without questioning it at all. Living Ericksonian hypnosis is an interesting experience as you usually realize what was the goal from the beginning usually when you are in too dept than you basically cannot find yourself to care anymore. In a way it’s the art of manipulation trough confusion.

In Go it can translate using similar pattern but in a game context to influence your opposant in being territorial, influence them in systematically answering your move without thinking…but as you keep diverting them in every direction you can for example be building a moyo, influencing them at being territorial, perhaps the nonsense move you played 10 move earlier was a subtle ladder breaker than you planted for the day the other realize you just get way to much influence and if he don’t try a desperate invasion he will lose, but actually you spend all your time getting ready for it.

Been experimenting a little bit with it, especially in blitz as the time pressure is just an other factor than give even less time to other to realize what you are trying to do. Funny enough i did see some result.

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What you say starts to be akin numerous pick up masterclasses or Chinese omnipotent martial arts.

I think it would be best to directly quote Pi in this situation:

Nah. bad comparisons…

Because hypnosis IS a scientifically vigorous topic… Trance state are not some woo-woo concept. Neurologist and psychologist spend a years studying it and especially in the last years research have dramatically increased. They identified exactly how cerebral activity change by method such as EEG than start producing theta wave, brain scan than show exactly what part of the brain become less or more active. For example hypnoses technique are based massively on the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex than job is to monitor activity and instantly cut concentration if any unexpected event happen and than in that precise moment information arrive the subconscious become extremely receptive to it. They spend years studying various pattern in psychological reflex and how you can abuse them to induce confusion and confirming than repeated induction make every subsequent induction more and more powerful. Developed various test to access a person subjectivity and tactic to discretely do them without the person realizing it to see if the are ready for the “big move” or need to be worked on more.

People have lot of prejudice and misconception about what is hypnosis and how it work. And I guess stage hypnosis is to blame for that. They make the whole act and situation on purpose to look like if at some point they magically touched the person and they felt “asleep” (they are not sleeping at all, just half conscious in a state than resemble Hypnagogia)…But the truth is than people at that point have been hypnotized for a while already, and the performer stated the process from the very beginning of the show.

It’s actually very reasonable to think than using the same technique in a game of go can actually lead to result, than using deliberate repeated tenuki, forcing move, asking move in a sequence purposely made to confuse the other player might result in leading them in a wrong direction and making them lose the game.

Well this is the concept of hypnosys. It to use repeated, systematic, strategic and purposeful psychological trick to induce progressively greater and greater cycle of concentration and confusion. As doing so gradually make people consciousness shift away and lead them do be more and more complainant and unconsciously react more and more strongly so the hypnotist.

In a game of go, it might be using various pacing an leading tactic, do for exemple three repeated forcing move (what us basically what is called a yes set) but then un purpose ommit the 4th or 5th one than could have been possible to tenuki elsewhere asking a question, to then go back to a forcing move and then play a apparently random move and then…and then…and then. In the purpose to lead the person at just following you without asking question anymore.

It would be great to get a working example once shared publicly.

This actually have a name, it’s an other altered state of consciousness than is called in psychology the “flow state”. It’s actually being studied how it work on a neurological and psychological level and what factor/condition tent to induce it (becasue it does have condition, just like hypnotic state have certain specific condition). More and more, they start to use technique to train athlete to kind of purposely activate it as it show than it does improve performance.

To be fair, lot of people who are paid to write down political speech, ads and whatnot are actually trained in what is call “conversational hypnosis” made popular maintely by Milton H. Erickson, where the purpose is to use very specific language pattern, distraction, vague question, intonation variation and so on to make the subconscious register a message while using a deliberate series of individually seemingly banal act and make them work together on a greater scale. Having practiced that a lot can confirm than you can for example make a person feel more calm without them completely realizing what you are doing by basically scrambling their brain a little bit to discretely insinuate than they should be calm. The unconscious is actually more effective at identifying pattern than consciousness is and have tenancy to receive everything’s as a command.

So for example saying “yesterday I when to the restaurant and it was so relaxing” will unconsciously lead people to relax because of the deliberately vague word “restaurant” will source the mind of actually wonder what restaurant? was it mcdonalt, chinesse, italian? and people just notice less than you throw the word relaxed in the sentence, but the subconscious see it and have the tendency to go “oh? relaxed? yes I know what relaxed it” and might start producing a little more endorphin. Saying for example: “yesterday I when to the the pizza place at the corner of the street with my fiend Bob and it was relaxing” will likely make the person feel less relaxed slightly.

A single of that will have low impact, but bombarding the person with a series of varied trick of that kind in a row going on the same direction will lead the person to eventually feel significantly more relaxed.

My idear is than the same could probably apply to some degree in a game of go. By progressively playing faster and faster, by constantly abusing deliberate tenuki, forcing move, asking move in a strategic manner could lead people to just answer to your move and don’t think of the game as much.

And so far seem to kind of work, especially in blitz. Sometime there is some kind of fight and at some point I leave it and start going tenuki, forcing move, going all over the place playing faster but eventually place a few ladder breaker and whatnot then return to the fight. and people seem to be likely to fall intro the trap of not realizing than their previously working ladder is not working anymore.

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Yea sound good, just started experimenting but so far result seem interesting.

And example of things I started to try to do is than if for example there is a fight… and the sequence don’t work because of a ladder. Started deliberately trying to distract opposant away, to play some forcing move, to tenuki elsewhere again, to return to forcing move, to purposely play fast, to play a random move (than is actually a ladder breaker…but I actively try to make people not think about that previous fight), then sometime even play a few more forcing move. And yea I am using agi but I noticed than sometime when you eventually come back to the fight the person instantly play the ladder variation anyway, answering without thinking…and then end up losing a game they could have won as they likely would never have answered the way they did back there to the ladder breaker if they trough about the fight that was happening at the moment I made player it.

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^ This is not the concept of hypnosis. (I read a few books on it.) Hypnosis is a state of consciousness that corresponds to specific FMRIs (and possibly brain waves, I am not too sure).
What you are defining could possibly be tricks to induce hypnosis but from what you’ve described they are just tactical tricks using psychology. Someone used that on me in game and told me so. It worked a bit.

I don’t think it’s inconceivable to induce hypnosis through a Go game. I think it’s an interesting idea and I’d even say that probably it has already been done. But I don’t think it is an easy way to learn hypnosis. I’d say you’d have first to be skilled in both hypnosis and Go and be a few levels better that your opponent.

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