Monday, September 3, 2012

Is it appropriate to teach...

...when you are playing in a Tournament?

Got into this discussion on another blog.  Stelek, over at YTTH , chose to correct an opponent error made at the beginning of his 2nd round NOVA game.
In the comments relating to that game, he was taken to task for 'giving' the game to his opponent. (looking at other factors, I agree it may have contributed to his loss...but may not have actually lost him the game on its own).

When I chimed in, there were a myriad of opinions (and responses to my comment) relating to teaching  during your round.

Honestly, I see it as an obligation.

As experienced players, we can recognize a basic error quickly...and gauge relative levels of skill from that.
Are we obligated to 'help' under those circumstances?

I agree that a tourney is competitive, and that it seems to fly in the face of competition to do so...
This is no normal game/competitive environment.
This is a hobby,  one that is resource intensive in ALL its aspects.
Most demanding, IMHO, is the preparatory stages (both the build/hobby AND practice/play).
Second, is maintaining the depth of the hobby itself.  By that, I mean the player pool we all draw from (both for fun, and competition).  Anything we can do to encourage, grow and teach, is a tool to insure the continued existence of our hobby.
Finally (again IMHO) is that actual application in tourney.

Nothing can be so disheartening to a newer player than to NEVER feel like they are in the game.
Little is more disheartening than to make a basic error, due to lack of experience, and know...beyond a shadow of a doubt...that simple error took them out of contention.
Even fewer things are more frustrating than feeling taken advantage of due to lack of encompassing knowledge, when pressed from all sides by a savvy veteran.
When these things happen frequently, we run the risk of losing these players from our regular pool of opponents...and the greater pool of GT's/RTT's(etc).  Tournaments ARE the driving force behind local players traveling, and newer players growing. 
Even adults reconsider their choices based on constant frustration, and we cannot control the frustrations of price/hobby intensity...we CAN control the frustration levels for everyone (ourselves included) when we are AT the table.

Every step we can take to help those that are learning feel like they are part of something larger, goes quite far to keeping those same players a part of our wonderful/draining hobby.

I do not like the trends we see monetarily in our hobby, as well as the constant growth of instant gratification alternatives.
Each of these (and myriad other) factors threaten our 'slice' of the game/hobby industry.

I guess I just see it as our obligation to leave a legacy for others, and a pool for all the up-and-comers to continue to draw from...and teach themselves.


  1. I might be biased, but in all aspects of life, man is obliged to teach, so long as they have a willing student.

    I will have to read up on this particular instance, however "throwing a game" takes a lot more than teaching someone. Purposely moving into vulnerable positions without a feint or some other kind of benefit is "throwing". Teaching someone is not throwing.

  2. Never 'throw' a does a disservice to your opponent (in tourney, you can throw a game to a complete noob in your FLGS to show them the game).
    He didn't 'throw' the game, just corrected a choice prior to game start.

  3. (sorry, for clarity; never in's okay to throw a game to a complete noob when teaching oustide tourney)

  4. Hey! Welcome back to posting! Missed your posts! A great post also. I agree that you should help someone (if they are willing to listen). Some people are not easy to give or take advice to....still I don't think the game was won or lost by that choice by Stelek, it was a factor that shifted the game on him. If he allowed the guy to do as he wished he would have steamrolled him....

  5. I think it is our obligation, as "veterans" of the hobby, to ensure that the pool of new players remains constant to ensure the survivability of the hobby we so dearly covet. Becoming the teacher should only make the hobby better, not only for the student but for the teacher himself.