Learning from professional Go players

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Learning from professional Go players

The author is an international news team reporter at the JoongAng Ilbo.

Immediately after finishing a match, professional Go players review all moves in order. The loser looks back on the bad moves and faces their moments of mistakes and misjudgments. Go legend Cho Hun-hyun said, “I want to avoid it if I can. No one wants to look directly at their weakness,” expressing the pain of the review after losing a game.

But in the world of Go, you cannot improve your skills if you avoid the review. Players who are lazy at reviewing repeat the same mistakes each time. They can hardly escape the cycle of frustrating defeats.

Lee Chang-ho, a pro Go player known as “Stone Buddha,” said, “Reviewing brings the loser the kind of pain of reopening a wound, but it is the only time in which a loser gets more than the winner.” He said, “I made more efforts than anyone to seek the causes of defeat by playing lost matches over and over.”

The point of the review is to have the mistakes and failures serve as the foundation for progress and growth. The review aims to find the pattern of misjudgments and bad moves hidden in oneself and plant a new strategy of winning tactics and moves.

On Oct. 29, an unexpected disaster that crushed 156 young people to death took place as they celebrated Halloween in central Seoul. The president immediately declared a national mourning period, and the entire nation is mourning, with many cultural events canceled. The poor police response to the 112 emergency calls — and the interior minister’s comment, “The lack of police and firefighter personnel is not the cause of the disaster” — confirms it was a “man-made disaster caused by management failure.”

Along with mourning the lost victims, we should calmly review. By thoroughly reviewing why the management failure occurred, we should meticulously analyze the causes of misjudgments and bad moves at that time. It must be strictly checked whether one of the causes of ignoring the emergency calls to police for urgent crowd control was the perception, “Why should we protect people having fun?” and why some people mock the victims, asking, “Why did they go there?”

After a thorough review, responsible persons should be punished and new safety management measures should be prepared. The way to find a way to prevent such horrendous disasters in the future depends on properly digging through the divisions, weakness, and embarrassing parts of our society hidden in the Itaewon disaster.
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