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Jeromie Rand
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Introduction

This is a game that was played on KGS. Both of the participants were approximately 15 kyu - not absolute beginners, but not yet very strong. I was playing white in this game. I decided to comment on the flow of the game and a few of the mistakes I noticed. My hope is that by reviewing my games, I will notice what kind of mistakes I am making and learn to eliminate them. I also find it helpful to hear how other low-level players are thinking in addition to commentary from stronger players, so I hope this helps others grow in enjoyment of the game.



Move 10 - He's got a solid base on the upper right side, while I've begun to establish territory and influence on the left. My stones seem a little tightly bunched: my thought with move 8 was to jump out of the corner so I didn't get surround by his stones that were pushing toward me, but I probably could have been a little more aggressive. It seems to me that the next key point is somewhere in between my stones on the lower left and his single stone in the lower right. My stones are positioned to exert influence in that direction, so it's important that I make a move there fairly soon. One of my difficulties with Go at this level is that I have an adequate sense of what part of the board is important, but I often struggle to know what is the optimal move in that region.



Move 14 - He played on my side, but I didn't immediately respond. Instead I took the point at K3, because I saw that area as essential to my game. After I jumped out there, he tried to make sure his stone in the corner had a base. Perhaps I should have been a little more aggressive with stone 12? At any rate, after his response I put played a pincer at stone 14 that also strengthened my stones in the upper left.



Move 16 - He jumped out at 15 in response to the pincer, and I played tenuki at 16. This threatens to envelop his stones in the corner.



Move 31 - That tenuki lead to the first real fight of the game. I am looking to establish a base on the right side, while he is trying to make sure I don't take the corner. The stone at 22 is a sacrifice. It would be possible to pull it out from this position, but I think that would be a mistake. If you look at the way he responded with 23 and 25, that stone did its job: it encouraged him to play tightly in the corner while I blocked him out of the territory I was forming on the side with 24 and strenghthened my base with 26-30. He is making solid territory in the corners while I am taking a portion of the side and building influence toward the center. I think I'm in the stronger position at this point, but I find it really hard to capitalize on influence.



Move 44 - Moves 32-44 were very tightly spaced. We're staking out boundary lines now. The move at 32 was intended to threaten his corner and support my stones on the right side (or at least threaten to do so). He didn't respond to the latter threat and I have sente (initiative), so...



Move 54 - I decided to pull out the stone that was intended to be a sacrifice. This might not have been the best play. Both of us are taking the common beginner approach of playing in one local area even when there is a lot of space available on the board. I probably need to do better at looking at the whole board with each move. But my stones were enough of a threat to his corner that most of his moves were reactive, so it generally worked in my favor. You can see that the last few moves are starting to form a new boundary line, which we will soon solidify.



Move 83 - In fact, that's pretty much all we do for the next 30 moves. I came out way ahead here, since I was able to hane a couple of times and push his wall back. Sente is so important during this kind of boundary establishment. He does have a nice territory staked out in the upper right, but I have a huge wall of influence over the lower half of the board and my stones along the right wall are going to give him fits (I hope.). It try to get that started with 84 and 86.



Move 88 - This begins the next major fight - I decide to use that wall of influence to contain / kill his two stones on the left side. If I can get rid of them, I know I'll have won the game.



Move 98 - Things don't start off really well. My move 96 was well intentioned–contain him on the upper side and prevent him from making an eye– but it let him kill one of my starting stones that should have played a large part in killing his group. Even worse, move 98 was a waste. The stone was dead, and I should have played elsewere.



Move 106 - Move 100 was another sacrifice to let me build up a wall on the lower side. My stones along the top are still trying to contain his invasion, but it looks like he will be able to get the space for two eyes.



Move 111 - His turn to blunder. 107 at B8 would have connected his stones. Instead I cut with 108 and reduce his space along the top. I'm trying to follow Kageyama's advice for killing groups: start with reducing eye space. 109 was a wasted move on his part. 111 forces me to finish the capture while he can play elsewhere, so it has some value.



Move 120 - My massive wall is starting to come in handy as his group keeps fighting for life. 114 and 120 are possible because of the support that I have with that wall.



Move 130 - He turned the fight to me by attacking along the bottom. It certainly looks like his group has broken out of my containment. I was pretty happy with move 130. All the work doing life or death problems played off, and I kept my group alive. This would later be far more important than the 5 points of surrounded territory suggest.



Move 134 - Move 131 looks like he is making eyespace again, but 133 shows taht he feels confident his group can live. The fight in the lower right is over for now. I have to respond with 134 to keep my group from being cut off and allowing him to spill out of the lower right corner into "my" territory.



Move 145 - Now my group is tring to expand and take over his territory. I make some early inroads, but at this point it's not apparent to me how much success I will have.



Move 155 - Moves 146-154 were ultimately not very successful. I probably could have read the end out better. I was trying to threaten life underneath his stones on line 16, but couldn't pull it off. However, I didn't lose much since he responded to all my moves in that area.



Move 179 - It looks to me like move 163 move was another mistake on his part. Defense at k12 would have kept me from pushing out any further into his territory, and I still couldn't have cut at J11 because he would have just played at k11 to join his groups. I got a few extra points out of the suboptimal play, but not much. My jump to 168 was a bit too greedy and I got cut off with no profit. This ends the invasion into his territory. 176 is a potentially dead stone, but I couldn't connect at F19 without giving him a cutting point at E18.



Move 182 - Now we move back into the group in the lower left. About this time I realized that life was still uncertain for that group, so I decided to do my best to aggresively stamp it out. Again, I was certain if I could kill this group it would mean I'd win the game. I'm off to a good start: D8 is proven to be a false eye.



Move 194 - His tenuki at 193 served no purpose: the four stones he surrounds were already dead. It probably means he'd given up on the group in the lower left; it seems my attempt at containment was in fact successful. And perhaps he was right. I've tried a couple of variations, and I can't find a way for black to live with optimal play from white. But move 194 sealed the deal.



Move 218 (End of game) - The last few moves were just walking through the motions. I ended up with a big victory because the black group was dead. (Incidentally, I think white would have won even if it lived. But it would have been much closer.)

Takeaway:
There were a couple of interesting fights in this game. I could, of course, improve at reading during fights. I gave the black group too much a chance with some poor decisions, but that huge wall ended up being enough to kill it in the end. It certainly taught me the power of influence. I still struggle with knowing how to use influence well, though. If I don't have a large solid wall like that, I'll often fail to convert it into actual territory.

In the early game, I need to work on knowing which point (rather than which general area) is the best and being confident enough in my ability to defend stones that I don't clump them too closely together. That didn't cost me here, but it certainly has in the past.

This was a fun game. I took a break from Go for a few months (I just got busy and neglected it), and this was the first game I won since coming back. Hopefully I can build on this and keep improving.
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Anthony Goodwin
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Maryland Heights
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Wow... This is the kind of session report we need more of for Go here on the geek! Thank you so much. I haven't had time to properly pour over the game but when I do I'll have plenty of questions:)
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Steve Sisk
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Very nice session report! I always like reading the more thorough analyses that go into the thinking behind the moves, since so much of the game is in the threat implied by a move and whether or not your opponent sees it.

I will say that black 113 at E9 would give black the two eyes he needs to live, though there are moves before that would keep black from living as well.

white 88 at E5 would be a more effective way to prevent black from making life, though by that point, black would be really hard pressed to make life against that white wall so late in the game.

I can comment more on earlier moves later when I have more time if others don't get there first, or feel free to grab me when you see me in the BGG room (siskny or blitzengo) and I can give you a full review.
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Jeromie Rand
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Littleton
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Thank you for the feedback and encouragement.

Steve, your offer is very generous. I look forward to your additional comments, and I'll be sure to say hello if I see you on KGS.

Anthony, I'll be happy to answer any questions I can! I really enjoy the collaborative learning process possible in a game with this much tradition.
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Markus
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An excellent write-up, thank you for your insights.
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Jonathan Pillow
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This is awesome! I am bookmarking this to return to later! Thanks - more of these please!
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Russ Williams
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Cool writeup! Thanks for posting it.

FWIW, instead of your invading on the right with 16, I might have been tempted to play 16 at E9 (pressuring black's 2 stones while building up a moyo on the upper left). But I don't know; the opening is my weak point...

Black's 133 tenuki at P7 instead of securing life on the lower left (e.g. with 133 G4) seems ill-advised.

BTW am I blind, or is there no move 135 shown on the diagrams?
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George Leach
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It looks like move 135 was at O14, Russ. It's the only plausible spot.

My comment would be both players should look at the corner joseki starting with the following moves; Bd4, Wf3, Be3. White's response should be Wf4 as it immediately creates a strong shape for white which both threatens further attacks on the corner around c6, later reducing moves at c3 and easy options for claiming the side it approaches from. Black should only play Be3 if it has a reasonably strong stone somewhere behind White's attacking position (e.g. i3). An important mistake often made by DDK. I hope that's helpful
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fearful farful
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New Haven
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This was an awesome session report! Thank you!

I'm around a 7k on KGS, so take my comments with a grain of salt
Obviously, there are a lot stronger players here compared to me, so if they say otherwise, listen to them!

Move 12 - I thought it was good, and not too passive or aggressive.

Move 16 - I would have done something around R9-R11. That way your next move can be a two point jump on the third line in either direction.

Move 28 - Should be at P14.

Move 31 - Unnecessary.

Move 32 - At my stage, I'm under the impression that there is never any territory in the middle. Thus, I would have played M3 or N2 in that area. But, not important.

Moves 41-45 - These are endgame moves, worth very few points. But, if you're going to play these out, I think you needed to protect the cut at J3. This could have been devastating, especially since the ladder points to black.

Move 54 - How about Q10? This way it also threatens to capture the three stones.

Move 85 - I think it's possible to go P12, then threaten to go Q12 or P13. Not sure.

Move 88 - White can go B7. With this, you can either connect underneath, or split his two stones. For example, WB7, BB8, WC8, BB6, WD7, BC6, WD6.

Move 90 - D6 would be good here.

Move 98 - I don't think this was a waste. It creates good aji (I think).

Move 106 - If you thought his 107 was a blunder, then you should have maybe gone to B8? I actually thought your 108 was a blunder and you should have gone D9 instead of B8. But looks like you killed the entire group, so you were right

Move 124 - D1 is probably better (better shape). Reasons are below:

Move 125 - C1 can cause a lot of trouble here.

Move 127 - A2 will create a seki here? WA3, BB2, WC1, BD2.

Move 134 - P5 is better. Protects against the cut and sets your boundary.
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Christian Holmes
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would love to have the .sgf file of this so we could look at the game play by play!

Do you have one?
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James Ludlow
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The kick at "6" is a bad habit, typical of DDK play. I was fully addicted to it for a long time.

The problem with it is that black gets several stones on the outside, while white gets? Well not much of anything. The corner is wide open, and black can take it whenever he wants. In this game black played a variant that makes the corner slightly less easy to take, but not by much, and white has no control over this at the point where he kicks. White will eventually need to protect the corner in gote to get his compensation.

So white is trading "not quite territory yet" for an outside black position. This is not a good trade.


Compare to this situation where white already has an outside stone.


The corner is still not white's. But at least white is getting something out of this exchange -- black is over-concentrated. Black gets a 1-point extension from a two stone wall, which is very inefficient.

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Jeromie Rand
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siskny wrote:
white 88 at E5 would be a more effective way to prevent black from making life, though by that point, black would be really hard pressed to make life against that white wall so late in the game.


This is a great example of my having a general idea of what area is important but being unable to discern the right move in that area. In retrospect, I can see how the move you suggest would be stronger. My choice for 88 didn't work very well with the stones around it.

Jugular wrote:
My comment would be both players should look at the corner joseki starting with the following moves; Bd4, Wf3, Be3.


Thank you. Do you recommend a particular set of josekis for players at my level?

farful wrote:
...detailed commentary...


Wow. Thanks for your detailed comments. I've looked at all of them, but I'll be sure to spend some more time with them when I have a chance.

spaztian wrote:
would love to have the .sgf file of this so we could look at the game play by play!

Do you have one?


Yes. You can probably find it on KGS (my username is jeromie). I've also posted it here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5431334/JeromieBGG2-14.sgf

jdludlow wrote:
The kick at "6" is a bad habit, typical of DDK play...


That sort of concrete suggestion is really helpful. Would playing 6 at White 7 have been a better tactic?
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Jeff Thompson
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jeromier wrote:

jdludlow wrote:
The kick at "6" is a bad habit, typical of DDK play...


That sort of concrete suggestion is really helpful. Would playing 6 at White 7 have been a better tactic?


6 at 8 is simple enough.

6 at 7 is normally played when there is already a white stone around D10.

What application did you use to print out the board positions?
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W M Shubert
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Tompy wrote:
jeromier wrote:

jdludlow wrote:
The kick at "6" is a bad habit, typical of DDK play...


That sort of concrete suggestion is really helpful. Would playing 6 at White 7 have been a better tactic?


6 at 8 is simple enough.
6 at 8 and 6 just below 8 (at c14) are the most common answers. Both lead to very easy to play sequences for you.

Edit: Oh, I forgot a third very common anwser: F14. Looking at the board position at that time, F14 would give you both opportunities to make large side moyos.
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Jeromie Rand
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Tompy wrote:
What application did you use to print out the board positions?


I used Goban for the Mac to walk through the SGF file. I turned on move numbering and took screen shots of the positions I wanted to show. There's probably an easier way!

Thanks to you and wmshub for advice on how to play that move. The right moves always look so simple when someone else points them out!
 
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Jeff Thompson
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jeromier wrote:
Tompy wrote:
What application did you use to print out the board positions?


I used Goban for the Mac to walk through the SGF file. I turned on move numbering and took screen shots of the positions I wanted to show. There's probably an easier way!

Thanks to you and wmshub for advice on how to play that move. The right moves always look so simple when someone else points them out!


Thanks. I would think there is a nice go game formatter somewhere in the world. Your method is simple enough.

In general Go is a pretty simple game. I'm not a strong player by any means but have found the simple move is often correct. Of course the opposite is also true.

One part of Go strength is the ability to use intuition to find the proper move. You can't read out all the possibilities, but the less time spent reading out non-interesting ones gives more time spent on interesting ones.

Intuition plays a big part in determining which are "interesting". The strength of your intuition is increased by playing and reviewing.

I am playing a few games on Dragon Go Server and just today hit upon one of those, "hey, this looks familiar, what if I played like this?" kind of moments. And alas it actually worked! So I boldly made the move and gained a point or two I wouldn't have had I not tried it out.

I really like Dragon Go Server for practicing counting out every end game move in painstaking detail. (Of course I still suck at the end game, but this practice is making me better.)
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Wow, great work on taking the time for this comprehensive post. Seeing the game unfold like this with your own comments revealing your thought process during the game makes reviewing very easy.

Please keep in mind that the highest rank on KGS I ever reached was 2k, and I don't play as much as I used to so I probably lost a couple stones in tactical sharpness/reading skills. Still, I'd like to make some comments on your game.

As others already commented on, white 6 at E17 is not a good move unless black cannot make a large enough extension along the top. Normally, such a diagonal touching move is answered by extending (in this case at F16), because allowing your opponent this move would be too much: you'll have to answer anyway and your opponent will end up with great shape (the tiger's mouth). After the white extension as played in the game, black will extend from the 2-stone wall along the top to K17 or K16. Since this result leaves the corner open to invasion and gives black great shape, it's better for black (hence white shouldn't play at E6).

As played in your game, the corner is open to invasion but black's formation at the top looks a bit loose. After 9, the time is not ripe yet to play in this area for white, but once the game enters the middle game stage, it will be quite easy for white to destroy some of the black territory at the top, so the position is not very much in favor of black.

White 10 is a good move. As you remarked on yourself, the area around K3 is now very hot, both for you and your opponent. Not only will playing here be the perfect extension from your corner enclosure, but the same is true for black who has a stone in the lower left corner which would like a stone around K4 anyway. Black 11 should definitely have been played here, I'd go for J3 myself. Since black played C7 instead, a move which doesn't pose any immediate threat to you, you did the right thing playing at K3. That would have been my move as well. It's not too close to your corner, playing any further would just invite black to come destroy the potential in front of your enclosure by playing at J3, and the resulting damage to the black corner would be an acceptable loss since a play at the star point's prime aim is not taking the corner territory.

I'm not sure about black 13, I don't think it's a bad move considering white's three stones in the lower left quadrant but it seems a bit tame to me and it turns the star point play into a territorial move. I'd have played somewhere along the left side to at least capitalize on the fact that you didn't respond locally. The pincer at 14 looks natural and makes all your stones work together nicely. Black wanting to reinforce his lone stone is natural, but I don't think the 1-space jump is correct here since it doesn't prevent white from linking up. Black can reach his goal by attaching at D9, but since this will result in white getting a very nice piece of territory in the top left, I think I'd consider playing at C12, which exposes the weakness white has in his upper left shape due to the non-standard sequence played there. Depending on how white responds, black can then either link up with C7 or sacrifice it.

White 16 looks a bit beside the point to me. White is not immediately threatening the black corner with this move thanks to the O3 play, and the situation at the left side really can't be ignored now (it's quite urgent). E9 instead seems ideal, that would make a very efficient shape and keep up the pressure on the two black stones. Black will run, and white will be able to take territory at the bottom while keeping up the pressure.

Since white 16 doesn't immediately threaten black and the situation at the left is urgent, this is the area black should have played now. He could have make some great shape by attaching at D9 followed by E9 after white D10. The result would be that white is split at the left, and black is left with a shape that's very hard to attack.

Instead, both black and white concerned themselves mainly with making territory. There were some tactical errors here, such as black 21 which allows white to atari, and white 24 seems inconsistent with white 22. Black 26 gives white the opportunity to make perfect shape with Q14, but instead Q13 is played (very strange shape). White 30 is an end game move and black 31 is awful shape and completely unnecessary (it might have been better to just pass here).

At this point, the lower right black corner is absolutely impossible to pressure, it's very much alive so white 32 doesn't actually accomplish very much. The played sequence and the resulting thickness does seem like the ideal position to launch a sever attack against the two black stones on the left, which have become very weak. You likely won't be able to kill them, but that shouldn't be your objective at this point - just put pressure and profit from it, which seems very easy with this board position.

I'm going to wrap up here.

Again, please keep in mind that absolutely anything I said might be utterly wrong from the viewpoint of a stronger player.
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Jeromie Rand
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Stormparklet, that analysis was extremely helpful. Thank you! Getting such clear commentary on why certain moves were good/bad really helps my thinking.
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Behrooz Shahriari
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I also failed to find move 135. Where is it? Or did something weird happen?

Nice analysis!
 
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Joel Gabelman
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Nice write-up.

134 should be at H4 - you could make 2-eyes.

elmsley4 (4k on kgs)
 
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George Leach
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I assume you mean 133, Joel. It's complicated to get to two eyes though, you should note that white can remove the eye at F4 using a throw-in and then extension.
 
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