When it comes to finite play, the way we approach games has much to do with how well prepared we are for surprise.
Speed, trickery and deception are all most difficult to deal with when they can’t be anticipated.
True mastery is being adept enough at the particular game that nothing comes as surprise.
“A true Master Player plays as though the game is already in the past, according to a script whose every detail is known prior to the play itself.”James P Carse
Further, being prepared for surprise and bracing for surprise are entirely different things.
“To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is the be educated.”
The goal then, when playing any finite game, should not necessarily be to win; it should be to become so educated in the given game that you no longer experience surprises which result in loss.
In such a situation, surprise would not be met with any resistance, as it would only be a detail in script which already resulted in victory.
Play not to win; play to continue playing, all the way to mastery.