Friday, January 16, 2015

Learning to pick your fights

If there is one thing I have learned in life...'s to learn to pick your fights. I never go into an argument I know I'm going to lose. Concede early and concede graciously.

I used to play the Japanese game of Go a fair bit. When you start playing you want to play to a conclusion and until there are no moves left. Soon you learn that this is not in the spirit of the game. At some point you will realise that you are playing undefendable stones that have no relevance, This shows no respect for yourself or your opponent.  the The mark of a good player is to learn to recognise the outcome early and bow out graciously. Also, to give you opponent the opportunity to do the same, without condescension or malice.

Player 1:"I think the game has gone stale but I think you might take it by a few stones"

to which the correct response is something like

Player 2:"No, you would definitely have won the battle in this corner, my defeat was inevitable by 10 stones."

Two experienced players will know that there is only a five stone advantage to Player 1 but both exit the game with elegance and neither looses face.

So, play for the joy of playing. With experience you will recognise when to concede and when to procede. And if your opponent is more experienced than you, listen carefully to what he says, he might be saving you face and time. And when the joy goes out of the game, end it. There will be other games.

Go appeals to the philosopher in any man and Chess to the merchant in him. - Trevannion (Shibumi)

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