Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kageyama - Take 1

This weekend I started to reread Toshiro Kageyama's excellent book 'Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go'.
Not only is it an educational read, but I find it fun also. Toshiro speaks bluntly and uses a strong and outspoken language, I believe to cause a deep impresion and get the message through. For example:

On studying:
"So much for these lazy students, let them do as they please. They are not going to get anywhere. They need to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and have some sense knocked into them."
page 14.

"Of course one cannot make progress in any discipline without effort. 'There is no pleasure without pain.' Pleasure is progress, and pain the pain of effort. Study in the wrong way, however, and the result may be just pain with no pleasure at all. One must, without fail, learn the correct way to study."
page 12.

True words indeed, if only I had read this during my university career and my piano lessons.

"It may not take years of devoted study to the exclusion of all else, but it does take effort piled upon effort to become strong at go. The only ones who fall by the wayside are those, be they gifted or otherwise, who forget the word 'effort'."
page 22.

"We are getting into difficult terrain now, but even a beginner should not give up. [...] If you cannot guess even the first move, then, well --"
page 32.

"They are also the people [...] who take fright without cause; who tremble when they sit down at the go board; who play through the whole game with a sullen expression; who lose every fight; who eventually come to hate go. Sorry wretches, through choice they have abandoned the most interesting and enjoyable of all games."
"No matter what age he is, a man's brain cells are sharpened and work better the more he uses them. Go is a perfect mental exercise. It is worth a few leisure moments. Think of it, if you like, as a game that prevents brain degeneration."
page 34. 

By the time Toshiro wrote this, he surely didn't know scientifically about this: Does Go Provide Cognitive Benefit?

On ladders and nets:

"When it looks as if you can capture something, ask yourself two questions: (1) Can I catch it in a ladder? (2) Can I catch it in a net?'
[...] the net captures with one stone, while the ladder would require two. This is the main reason why nets are better than ladders."
page 23.

On intuition:

"How can professionals have such widely differing views? It comes from two different ways of looking at the game: the intuitive approach and the profit approach. Professionals in general tend to stress the intuitive approach at the expense of the other, which may be only natural since it is the intuitive players who usually have in them some spark of genius."
page 25.

1 comment:

  1. Love the quotes that you picked out! Kageyama's book is definitely one of my all time favorites when it comes to go literature. =)