Besides the professional players there are many other amateur celebrities present at the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing. Among them, of course, are the regulars, such as Christian Pop, Cornel Burzo, Ondrej Silt, Rob van Zeijst, Benjamin Teuber, Pal Balogh, Csaba Mero, etc. However, one amateur player that I have been following is Artem Kachanovskyy from Ukraine. I have been following his games on the KGS go server (his ID: artem92). He has a very solid style and has some very powerful reading skills. Needless to say, he has a high winning percentage. Given that he is just merely 15 years old, his Go career, if any, is going to be very interesting. I met him at the WMSGs and really he is just so young. I couldn’t believe it when he ranked himself as a 4dan but obviously, based on his strength, he is easily 5dan on the European scale.
Anyways, rank is a very deceiving thing and I have cease to rely on it a long time ago. As proven by Artem, he won all his 7 games in the preliminary round, beating many 5 dans and above players. I find a lot of inspiration in him.
On another totally different topic, many people know that there is a lot of similarity between warfare and Go. This is undoubtedly true. Many of Go’s startegy can be applied to warfare and vice versa. Similarly, Go has also been liken to business and there are books written on how to apply principles of Go to business. This is indeed also true. But one aspect that I have come to realise more significantly is that Go players are really a very calculative lot.
I was not very aware of this, probably because I am in general not known to be a calculative person and when I play Go, I also rarely calculate. But perhaps my Go skills have improved a bit and I come to realise that to play better Go, one has to have a keen sense of calculation. One point missed there. Two points to be gained there. If I play this Ko, I will gain 2 points. This Ko threat will result in me losing one point. Etc. etc. You see, I am talking about very small points. 1 point, 2 points, at most 3-4 points but caring about these points is a hallmark of a good Go player. I have ignored this a lot in my Go and as a result, my Go couldn’t be brought to a higher level.
In the recent WMSG, I have made a concerted effort to give a lot of respects for small points and I realise I can play better Go. This is thanks a lot to one of my Go buddy, Alex Chan, who always seem to have a very keen eye on points and thought me a lot on how to calculate points and pay attention to seemingly “small” points. That guy is amazing in his calculation and there is a lot for me to learn there.
In the mind of many businessmen, my current boss included, the ability to be calculative, even on small points as I have observed, led to many successes.
Okay, in life and in Go and in business, I have decided to be the God of Small Points.