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Motivation and slumps

I've noticed that I go through definite phases of great enthusiasm for Go, marked by intensive study and lots of play, and then regularly pass into a slump where I have no interest in the game at all. I'm not sure why this is, but I can't be the only one to experience it.

Most recently I was hit by a severe flu which made any sustained brain activity impossible for a couple of weeks, and after that I found my enthusiasm was sadly lacking. The slump lasted for a couple of months, and I have only recently started to enjoy playing again and thinking about Go.

It makes it hard to set targets for improvement - having reached KGS 15k, I set a new goal of 12k by 1st July, but didn't play a single game! Amusingly, I'm now 10k, but purely due to rank inflation. This presents a problem as any game I play is bound to drag my rank down to a more realistic level - and who wants that?

Playing correspondence games on DGS helps, as even in a slump you need to make a move every few days (Fischer time is much more suitable for me as you can gain back time lost during a long slump). I tend to feel a strong resistance to playing, but an even stronger resistance to losing on time usually wins out! The moves I make are poor, not well-thought-out, and I just don't have a good fighting spirit at all.

I think watching videos such as CountSheep's wonderful game commentaries are a good way to help break a slump. It doesn't need the same mental effort as actually playing, yet stimulates the Go synapses. I'm off to watch some now...


I have periods of time where

I have periods of time where I don't have time or motivation to play on KGS, but OGS (also correspondence Go) keeps me playing almost every day. It really helps!