Attachment to knowledge

In daily life, attachments can be problematical. We attach to expectations at our peril, losing flexibility in the process. So an attachment to our 'perfect birthday' expectations can leave us disappointed. Expectation that we should be beating this weak player can enflame our anger. Our attachment to our car may mean that we get unreasonably upset that a bird should choose to drop its unwanted 'cargo' upon it.

In a similar vein, what we have learned - our expertise - can actually act as an impediment. The gravity of attachment to moves or sequences we typically play can be very powerful, blinding us to alternative ideas. The aforementioned fast play of joseki moves is a specific example. But it is more than that.

For example, if a player makes a three stone extension, and does not defend, we feel it an obligation to play in the middle. We see the weakness and jump to habit. If a player builds a moyo, we jump into the middle of it by default. We know we can locally punish the opponent but rarely see subtle ways of doing so, or wether these moves are the biggest in the board. We are attached to the easy strike.

Habit stops us exploring deeper.

If you want to see the power of your habits, watch slow professional games and guess every move. Of course they will play moves that defy comprehension, but you will see over a series of moves that there are different ways to deal with situations. Your habitual moves will start to feel narrow in outlook.

The leaning attack is an example of indirectness that many kyu players have yet to learn, so keen are they to deal with problems the moment they see them and in the place that they see them. A leaning attack pushes in a different direction near to the area of concern. You push, in sente, in order to build strength where you were to weak to attack the stones in that area of concern.