WeiQi, unlike most other games, seems to demand skillful use of both aspects of mind — the analytic, careful, algorithmic side (left brain) and the big-picture, artistic, feeling side (right brain). When playing, a player can often feel which side of the brain his opponent favors and thus help in defeating. A key to advancing in the game is to learn how to jump skillfully between these two viewing methods– analytic (small and focused) and the big-picture method.
David Chapman has a blog-book called “Meaningness” where he analyzes religious attitudes toward life into the classic two responses of “Eternalism” and “Nihilism”. He proposes that while both of these views offer strengths, both are incomplete and mistaken so that even a compromise or “Middle Path” between them is also mistaken. He suggests that “Meaningness” is the correct third perspective.
He has an excellent table here comparing and contrasting these philosophical/mental stances. His table reminded me of WeiQi where, similarly, big-picture viewing (think, “Eternalism”) has its strengths but can be blinding just as analytic thinking (think, “Nihilism”) is critical to success but dependence on it also limits advancement in the game. I have felt like a balance between the two is ideal, but perhaps very high ranking players have naturally discovered a third view (think, “Meaningness”). OK, my tendency to draw parallels in diverse areas of knowledge may be stretching things here, but something feels right about it. For me, at my low level of WeiQi skill (a mere 8-kyu), WeiQi has helped me see the defective sides of both aspects of my mind as well as their usefulness. Maybe someday, glimmers of a third way , a third eye, will become clearer. So may I proselyte again: even at a rudimentary skill level, WeiQi invites philosophy like no other game I know.