(AWAP) Art of War v. Art of Pool - Chapter 11 - varieties of ground

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At it's most basic, the pool table is a small battlefield. An excerpt from "The Art of War" is provided with how it applies to the competition between opponents.

This segment is from:

Chapter 11 - The nine situations

The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground..

(If this is the first post you've seen, read the AWAP Introduction & instructions post.)

This information considers how battlefield strategies and tactics can be used to win more games. If this seems interesting, read these AWAP posts.

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The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground: (1) dispersive ground, (2) facile ground, (3) contentious ground, (4) open ground, (5) ground of intersecting highways, (6) serious ground, (7) difficult ground;, (8) hemmed-in ground, (9) desperate ground

  • (1) When a chieftain is fighting in his own territory, it is dispersive ground.
  • (2) When he has penetrated into hostile territory, but to no great distance, it is facile ground.
  • (3) Ground the possession of which imports great advantage to either side, is contentious ground.
  • (4) Ground on which each side has liberty of movement is open ground.
  • (5) Ground which forms the key to three contiguous states, so that he who occupies it first has most of the Empire at his command, is a ground of intersecting highways.
  • (6) When an army has penetrated into the heart of a hostile country, leaving a number of fortified cities in its rear, it is serious ground.
  • (7) Mountain forests, rugged steeps, marshes and fens - all country that is hard to traverse: this is difficult ground.
  • (8) Ground which is reached through narrow gorges, and from which we can only retire by tortuous paths, so that a small number of the enemy would suffice to crush a large body of our men: this is hemmed in ground.
  • (9) Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay, is desperate ground.

Therefore,

  • (1) On dispersive ground, fight not.
  • (2) On facile ground, halt not.
  • (3) On contentious ground, attack not.
  • (4) On open ground, do not try to block the enemy‚Äôs way.
  • (5) On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies.
  • (6) On serious ground, gather in plunder.
  • (7) In difficult ground, keep steadily on the march.
  • (8) On hemmed-in ground, resort to stratagem.
  • (9) On desperate ground, fight.

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There are many types of competitions that can be played.

  • Where two players compete in their home pool hall, this is a home competition. The competitive terms will vary from friendly matches to small bets.
  • Where one goes to an opponent's pool hall, usually with a team for a set of matches, this is a league competition.
  • Where one competes in a locally scheduled event, you will have some familiarity with the location. This is a small tournament competition.
  • Where tables are available as part of community services, such as a senior center, this is casual competition.
  • Where qualifier events are scheduled, usually for entry to higher levels, these are regional tournament competitions.
  • Where you enter an unfamiliar bar with unknown rules, this is friendly bar competition (only as long as no bets are being made).
  • Where you play at a bar at a much lower class level that you are familiar with, this is a dangerous bar competition.
  • Where you play at expensive high class pool halls, you are subject to higher standards of play and dress. This is an upper social class competition.
  • Where you compete in tournaments with a one loss and out, this is a single elimination tournament.
  • Where you compete in a tournament where two losses are required to lose, this is a double elimination tournament.
  • Where you compete against every entrant, this is a round robin tournament.
  • Where you play a competition with a big entry fee, you are in a high skill level tournament.
  • Where you are betting small amounts on sequential matches, you are in a small stakes competition.
  • Where you are placing large amounts on your ability to win, you are in a high stakes competition.

Therefore,

  • Respect the unofficial standards of conduct of the places you play
  • If you don't know the rules of play, ask.
  • Dress and act appropriately.
  • Do not over-consume alcohol.
  • Observe new environments carefully before participating.
  • Make friends with local regulars to develop advisors and allies.
  • Do not act foolish, brash, or pushy.

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