Go is an elegant game, so I don’t want to ruin someone’s mood for playing too harshly, and other times I feel like my opponent is crushing me to an unnecessary extent, especially when their rank is much higher than mine.
Should I be considering the best/strongest/dirtiest moves 100% of the time? Is it a difference as in like, picking a fight with someone versus full out war (aka do whatever you can to win)?
Well, if you are ahead, then it can be a good plan to play very solid moves, so as not to get countered, trying to kill everything can backfire. If you are doing a teaching game, then it is up to you whether to exploit weaknesses, it depends how you think your opponent will learn best. And obviously in handicap games overplaying and trick moves are expected.
If you are getting crushed, you might as well resign and review the game before it is completely lost.
If you are winning, you can play safe to ensure win, or play as harsh as possible, until your opponent resigns.
If you play harsh (and don’t play safe), he might find weaknesses in your territory than you will be able to review afterwards and learn from.
No, overplaying and trick moves are not expected to me in handicap games, just asking questions and using failures of the weaker player. If i cant win like this, i better lower the handicap.
I could try trick moves and overplay in the last game i ll play after being sure that the handicap is no more well fixed, as a special teaching session once.
possibly not trick moves, but I thought the whole point of handicap games was that the stronger player is better at reading so can get away with overplays.
no. Just exploit the failures should be enough. Handicap leans to teach and overplays are not the way to teach really
The whole point of handicaps is to make the game even between different strength players, you can play how you like there is no correct way of doing it.
I like playing games that are really close. I think that my opponent will also enjoy the game when he is not overwhelmed and if i can control the 51% of the board its still a win and i always think that my opponent has the right to live as well. And trying to achive close games seems like helping my counting as well. Anyway, with this kind of thinking i might never become a dan player but i will have peace…
On my own side when i play someone weaker i like to make him stronger. But i know it s not a feeling shared by everyone in every handicap game.
Don’t quote me on this, but I am quite certain in some interview with a pro player he said something in the lines of "Many pros consider it disrespectful to win by too big a margin"
So i believe there is such a thing as going easy. It seems to me like a nice idea, but maybe better in high-ranks play, where you know you do not have to teach your opponent anything, than rather in our (or mine) level of play where you could reinforce bad habits…
I’ve played dozens of different card and board game over many decades, and all the serious gamers I’ve known believe in always playing one’s best. It’s reasonable to allow “take backs” with young children and beginners–i.e., in a teaching situation–but experienced adults of any ability deserve our best. To “go easy” is disrespectful to an opponent in my opinion. If I am crushed in a game, then it is a great opportunity to learn. I was completely outplayed recently by someone only a couple ranks higher because I got shut out of the center (my greatest weakness). It was very sobering, and I’m focusing now on this problem.
I think you should go easy only on players much weaker than you, and only as long as you are offering either no handicap or not enough handicap. AFAIK handicaps are meant to close the gap between both players’ skills such that both can enjoy the game by playing their best, so I don’t see why you should go easy if you are already giving enough handicap.
I don’t think it’s disrespectful to crush your opponent, it’s just a game after all. He may be crushed today and then crush you tomorrow. What is disrespectful is to laugh at your opponent for their huge loss. I also don’t think it’s disrespectul to go easy on your opponent if you see he is not playing well enough to beat you. What is disrespectful is telling them afterwards “I could have crushed you if I wanted, but I decided to go easy since you were not good at all” or something similar (i.e. telling them you went easy, for whatever reason). So, if you go easy, hide your intentions and make them feel like you are trying your best, otherwise there is no point.
There may be a few exceptions, but in general I stick to this. As always, this is just my opinion.
I tried, I failed, I stopped.
Whenever I can see how to really devastate my weaker opponent’s position, it’s very hard to resist the urge not to (for fear that they may catch up and get a nice lead when, in honesty, they probably miss the sequence in the first place). Sometimes a nice game IRL with friends turn into a slaughter when I unconsciously transform from a girl in a rose field into a coldblooded murderer with a cleaver on their throat.
Otherwise, playing a bad move on intention feels very wrong inside. It’s like trying to convince yourself that 1 + 1 = 3 and it’s okay. It’s… not.
Maybe that’s just me?
Yeah, but playing safe and solid when you are far ahead even if you probably could get a lot more if you kept the slaughter thing is not really a “wrong move”, is it? By that I mean: playing the move that 100% guarantees a win by your already large margin of 100 points instead of the riskier one that has a 99% chance of winning by 200 points and 1% chance of losing.
Also, I wouldn’t go very hard on a beginner friend I just convinced to start playing, they would just get discouraged and give up on Go :P.
Go is a game of self control and balance, clearly I have none of these things!
I’ve seen players that are clearly far ahead pass mid-game to let their opponent catch up a bit.
Personally, if I’m being beaten badly, I’d prefer to have my opponent do this than to ask for me to resign. I like to play games out, because my reading and counting is still pretty weak and it helps to have it to be tested in the endgame. If passing keeps the game interesting for my opponent, that’s ideal.