[Computer-go] 50k-100k patterns

Mark Boon tesujisoftware at gmail.com
Fri Aug 10 13:38:21 PDT 2012

On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 8:15 AM, Don Dailey <dailey.don at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm not real big on natural talent either.  I know it exists but it is
> somewhat over-rated.   The people who are really good at anything invariably
> worked pretty hard to get there - and the natural talent aspect may simply
> be internal drive - the ability to focus on what needs to be done.    So I
> do believe that some people have more talent than others but maybe it's a
> bit over-hyped.      Bobby Fischer is said to have been absolutely obsessed
> with chess as a boy - an obsession you don't usually see in an old man or
> woman.    Was he talented?   I'm sure he was,   but this insane obsession
> was probably more important to his success than his natural talent.

Erik Puyt (Dutch 5-dan) once summed it up nicely: "when people say
you've got talent, what they mean is you're (still) young".
I do think talent exists. The same way some people are more
intelligent than others. But starting young and working hard at it is
needed by everyone to become good at anything. Nobody gets it for

>  And even just putting in a lot of time is not the same as working hard at it.

I'm a bit of a lazy type. As a teenager I spent a lot of time studying
Go. But I found that some types of study felt harder on my brain than
others. Replaying professional games, while certainly helpful, was a
lot 'easier' than doing life-and-death problems, which I hated doing.
Later I heard some successful professional players claim that the only
way of studying really worth anything was life-and-death. All the rest
comes relatively easy through just playing. I would characterize
replaying pro games as  'putting in time' while life-and-death was
'working at it'.

I started computer programming when I was 18-19 years old. I knew
straight away this was my future as all the studying felt easy
compared to studying Go, even though I was a little afraid I had
started too late. But it turned out child prodigies in programming, or
whizz-kids as they were called, only existed in movies at that day and
age. Learning to program never felt like work.


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