10 Tips on How to Annoy the Stronger Player

by Baka san, 500k

A recent AGA article described problems with beginners not wanting to take appropriate handicaps and the subsequent annoyance that the stronger players had. Here is my advice for those beginners on MORE ways to annoy the stronger player:

  1. Refuse any handicap and play to the bitter tedious end. This issue has been explored extensively in past AGA articles. However, an even better annoyance technique is to ask the stronger player to take a handicap. Make sure to say something like "I've seen your game records on so-and-so-server and I think you need some help."
  2. Say "Atari" with each threat to capture. This maybe can considered some type of "psychological warfare" so it's valid in the game. This is especially effective when threatening to capture a large group of stones and saying "atari" for each stone in the group. In these cases vary your voice to sound like differing personalities.
  3. Take a long time to make your move. Are you really sure that you want to move there? Think it over and over no matter how simple or wrong. Do you even really want to move? Why get the game over so quickly? Wasting time is even more effective if you make intense looks of concentration while "thinking". Frown a lot and finally smile and cockily place your (hopefully stupid) move. An occasional "Hmm" or chuckle will add to the effect. If you find it hard to drag out your move then concentrate on the board or playing pieces. Think thoughts like "I wonder what type of wood the board is made of?" or "Are these stones really slate? They look like hard black plastic to me." Another good technique is to excuse yourself during your move to use the bathroom.
  4. Occasionally be indecisive with your move. When you finally decide to move, start to place your stone and then pull away to reconsider. Then feign deep thought (see 3 above). Repeat as necessary.
  5. When your opponent is making their move act impatient. Look at your watch or strum your fingers. Humming the Jeopardy theme tune off-key is also useful.
  6. When your opponent finally makes his move, comment on it with exclamation: "Ah. The Bean Frying Tesuji". If you don't know a term then invent one. Mention that you saw the move in an 1893 issue of Go World. Try to impress him with your knowledge of Go terms or Asian philosophy.
  7. Realign the pieces at every chance. Remember: each piece must be placed perfectly for it to count. A piece that isn't precisely centered to within 3 Angstrom units is really not there. The best time to adjust pieces is during your opponents move. Help their concentration by fixing their pieces. They'll really appreciate it!
  8. If you somehow (by luck) manage to capture an opponents stone, make screaming sounds to the stones as they are removed from the board. If you find your stones almost captured, add some excitement by making them say "Oh- no!!!" or "we're not quite dead yet!" If caught in a ladder then have your stones scream "Run away! Run away!" This always adds a sense of realism to any game!
  9. Play with the stones in the bowl. Make sure to constantly move them around. Pick them up and drop them one by one back into the bowl. One could even try juggling the stones to show your opponent how "skilled you are with the stones." Better yet, put the lid on the bowl and start to shake the bowl to make the most pleasant marimba-like sound. This adds a festive mood to most games!
  10. If your opponent becomes annoyed at any of this, deny doing it while saying "but I just wanted to learn..." Pouting or crying is sometimes useful. Since most stronger players have the guilt to always help beginners, this technique is sure to work.

Using these aforementioned hints should help improve your annoyance of the better player and with a little practice, even you can give your more-experienced opponent an "Ear Reddening Game".

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