So after learning that you absolutely have to place your opponent in checkmate to win in chess (apart from someone resigning) I played a few more games to see just how different the mindset is.
There is actually a difference! You travel in zig zag motions to get to where you want instead of a straight line! How logical is that? Very. If you could, you’d want to walk a path as a crow flies from A to B, not go left then right then left then right then right… then left then right… where was I again?
To deny someone a win because they didn’t place the other in a checkmate is very stupid. There has to be a winner, a draw should only happen if it’s not possible to win, not to protect someone from losing. If you’re in a bad position (which you only have yourself to blame for) and you know you’re going to lose, then you should just declare that you’ve been outplayed this time. Nothing wrong with that.
In Go (or Wei Qi) you have a handicap system so there will always be a winner and a loser. When it’s clear who is going to win the loser will/should resign – unless they have a great come back plan. Admitting defeat is not giving up, it’s acknowledging your own weakness and hopefully, you’ve learnt something from it to improve yourself. It’s important for a fish to know it can’t whistle after all (I’m on a roll with these sayings! haha).
Just like the last chess game I played, I took out most of my opponents pieces, leaving behind 3 pawns and the king whilst I had my bishop, rook, queen and 4 pawns. It is obvious which side has won. Their only chance was to turn their 3 pawns into queens or other pieces but they never had that chance since I just took those pieces afterwards. So instead, I turned 2 of my pawns into queens and put the king in checkmate. That wasted a lot of time – moving two of my pawns up the board 1 cell at a time. It’d been better if my opponent just resigned – I nearly did another stalement accidentally. Luckily I wasn’t in a rush as I still needed to get my pawn to the other side. This just takes the fun away from the game. Trying to run away with only a king is just… unsporting? But then when I play board games I like taking all the pieces before winning so I’m one to talk! haha
An interesting thing I noticed is that with chess, it’s very difficult to feel how strong your opponent is (unless they’re way stronger), but in Go, you could feel the players rhythm and flow. I guess in Go the board is so open, you have to keep assessing the situation and as many possible situations everywhere, whereas chess is limited by where the pieces are. Allowing you to concentrate on fewer things which in turn enables you to see further into the game.
But then what do I know, I only play once in a while anyway.
(Don’t get me started on Chinese chess, much more fun to play and more strategies involved in my opinion)