Trying to do Too Much

A recent graduate of the University of Oregon visited not long ago, and as a fellow go (game) enthusiast, I had the pleasure of playing a small (13 x 13 board) game with him. At some point a crucial body of stones was split in half. I had the option of trying to hold on to the side, or connecting my stones and keeping something in the middle. I had tried to keep both and ended losing both. Thus the game ended.

Today my advisor explained to me that the approach I had been taking with a problem was mathematically impossible to actually accomplish. I wanted too many conditions to be satisfied to ever be true. If I had let go of something and used an approximate version of what I was doing, it would have been fine.

Someone told me once that the a game of go reflects the character of the players. It is easy in life, as in go, to say that if things had gone ideally, if I had thought the right thoughts and time was conserved correctly, everything would have gone well. But circumstances will also be less than ideal, there is never enough moves, nor enough time. The problem is with “everything”.


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