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 Post subject: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #1 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:19 pm 
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I'm finding that a serious weakness in my game is cutting. When to, when not to, how to defend against, etc. I frequently cut only to find myself in big trouble 3 or 4 moves later. I guess I'm just not "getting it". :scratch:

I'm slowly working my way thru "Attack and Defense". But is there another book, online resource, or YouTube video you can recommend that can specifically help explain cutting principles?

Thanks!!

--Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #2 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:23 pm 
Judan

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jeffb99 wrote:
I'm finding that a serious weakness in my game is cutting. When to, when not to, how to defend against, etc. I frequently cut only to find myself in big trouble 3 or 4 moves later. I guess I'm just not "getting it". :scratch:

I'm slowly working my way thru "Attack and Defense". But is there another book, online resource, or YouTube video you can recommend that can specifically help explain cutting principles?

Thanks!!

--Jeff


I don't know of a book about cutting. However, I think that you are doing the right thing. If you cut and your opponent refutes the cut, you have learned something. If you don't cut, you may never know whether you should have or not. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #3 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:28 pm 
Oza

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The simple (or not so simple, as you may see it) answer is that you have to read out before you cut and decide if the result is to your liking or not. The farther you can read, the better, of course, and positional judgement is helpful too, to evaluate the results you read. There's no real shortcut that gets around this. Knowledge of tesuji is very helpful for this as well.

That said, there are a few things you can think about to help:

- Help the weaker side
- Determine if you should keep both sides alive, or if you are cutting as a sacrificial technique.
- Consider surrounding stones to determine where weak groups can run, etc.
- Have a goal in mind prior to cutting. If it's something like "separate black into two groups and make territory here while I attack this one" it's good. If it's something like "there's a cutting point so I'd better cut" it needs some work, though "I get a horrible result here if I don't cut, and I can't read it failing spectacularly anytime soon" is much better.
- Keep track of how many liberties each group has.
- You can read farther than you think you can, if you force yourself. Especially when it's a one-way street.
- Experimenting is good. Playing moves you know don't work is not. Know the difference, and don't expect your opponent to miss refutations you are aware of.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #4 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:31 pm 
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I have found myself an internet opponent who is nominally several stones weaker than me but he peeps and cut everything. If I leave a fatal cut, it *will* be punished.

I mostly still win, because he blunders as well and dies even bigger, but I intend to play against him until nothing dies that I have not intentionally sacrificed several moves before it dies.

It certainly focusses your concentration when leaving a cut unprotected if you *know* that it will be cut.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #5 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:15 pm 
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The most basic cutting principle is: "Make important cuts." Just when is a cut important? If you gain more in sente than you lose or if you make a large profit in gote (e.g., from killing). A cut is unimportant if the move is neutral and does not attack or defend.

I can tell you a book with 19 cutting principles but you would not buy the book ONLY for its cutting topic. That said, I do not recall other books with as many cutting principles, especially none discussing cutting throughout the whole book. (And no, Crosscut Workshop is no such book.)

As a beginner, the principle above is the key. Find out what is (not) important.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #6 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:38 pm 
Oza

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There is a book, Cross-cut workshop or something like that. I've not read it. Perhaps others can comment on if it is what you are looking for.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #7 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:58 pm 
Oza
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One thing to think about is if cutting will leave at least one weak group. If it doesn't, it's probably not a great move.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #8 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:42 pm 
Lives with ko

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Yes,
Creating two weak groups from a strong one is great.
Cutting off a weak part from a strong group is good.
Cutting apart two strong groups is a waste of stones.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #9 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:53 pm 
Dies with sente

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Usually when cutting, you're cut too. Whom does it hurt more?

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Post #10 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:21 pm 
Judan
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Hi Jeff, do you know about Bruce Wilcox's Contact Fights ?

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #11 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:22 pm 
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skydyr wrote:
The simple (or not so simple, as you may see it) answer is that you have to read out before you cut and decide if the result is to your liking or not.


Definitely NOT so simple! :D Being able to read 3 or 4+ moves ahead is certainly a big part of the problem and a goal. But if I have some principles to guide me (like those in the responses), I think that would help.

To everyone else...thanks for the advice! More welcomed!

--Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #12 Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:43 pm 
Oza

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jeffb99 wrote:
Definitely NOT so simple! :D Being able to read 3 or 4+ moves ahead is certainly a big part of the problem and a goal. But if I have some principles to guide me (like those in the responses), I think that would help.
Anyone enjoying Attack and Defense can read 3 or 4 moves ahead. Reading accurately that far is a bit more difficult.

Take inventory of these cutting issues. Take time to make a note of what you read, including the line you thought the game would take. You will find one of two things: you are reading accurately, but four moves later you realize your judgment was bad, or you were not reading the moves that your opponent ended up making. But based on your comment, you will already benefit from taking that time. Several of Bill's recent comments have impressed on me the importance of willing yourself to play better, and putting effort into each move.

Posting some of those instances for analysis can also be quite helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #13 Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:46 pm 
Judan

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hyperpape wrote:
Several of Bill's recent comments have impressed on me the importance of willing yourself to play better, and putting effort into each move.


Not willing yourself to play better, playing better. Willpower rarely works. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #14 Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:46 am 
Oza

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I'm not sure I understand the distinction, Bill. What I took you to say was that there are a lot of ways we don't play up to our own potential, and with the right sort of effort and attention, we can make ourselves play up to it. And I'd gloss that as willpower--making sure to put effort into each move, avoid thoughtless play, etc.

Where am I going wrong?

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #15 Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:46 am 
Judan

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hyperpape wrote:
I'm not sure I understand the distinction, Bill. What I took you to say was that there are a lot of ways we don't play up to our own potential, and with the right sort of effort and attention, we can make ourselves play up to it. And I'd gloss that as willpower--making sure to put effort into each move, avoid thoughtless play, etc.

Where am I going wrong?


I wouldn't say that you are going wrong. So much in these matters is individual and personal. If that works for you, fine. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #16 Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:09 pm 
Oza

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I meant going wrong in the sense of misunderstanding what you've said.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #17 Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:00 pm 
Judan

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Bill Spight wrote:
jeffb99 wrote:
I'm finding that a serious weakness in my game is cutting. When to, when not to, how to defend against, etc. I frequently cut only to find myself in big trouble 3 or 4 moves later. I guess I'm just not "getting it". :scratch:

I'm slowly working my way thru "Attack and Defense". But is there another book, online resource, or YouTube video you can recommend that can specifically help explain cutting principles?

Thanks!!

--Jeff


I don't know of a book about cutting. However, I think that you are doing the right thing. If you cut and your opponent refutes the cut, you have learned something. If you don't cut, you may never know whether you should have or not. :)


I just remembered Richard Hunter's book, Crosscut Workshop, which I believe is now available at SmartGo books, http://gobooks.com/books.html . I have not read it, but I am sure that it is excellent. :)

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Last edited by Bill Spight on Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #18 Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:15 pm 
Judan

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hyperpape wrote:
I meant going wrong in the sense of misunderstanding what you've said.


Perhaps we mean different things by willpower. People often invoke willpower when talking about breaking bad habits. When you play up to yourself you are still playing within your limits. That's not so difficult. Belief in yourself is as important as anything.

Here is, I think, a good example from one of Fedya's recent games.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm43
$$ | . . . , . . .
$$ | . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . .
$$ | . . O . . . .
$$ | . O O . . . .
$$ | . X O X . . .
$$ | . 1 X O . . .
$$ | . . X O . . .
$$ | . 3 . 2 . . .
$$ | . 4 . . . . .
$$ --------------[/go]


White thought for 24 seconds before playing :w46:. Maybe he considered A-03 first and misread it, I don't know. But once he found B-01 he knew how to take away the potential eye at A-01, and finding the kill was within his reach. With the hint that White may have been able to do better, Fedya found the kill. :) I don't think that willpower, as I understand it, is a factor.

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #19 Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:54 pm 
Oza

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Bill Spight wrote:
I just remembered Richard Hunter's book, Crosscut Workshop, which I believe is now available at SmartGo books, http://gobooks.com/books.html . I have not read it, but I am sure that it is excellent. :)


You must have a very short memory. :)

viewtopic.php?p=214828#p214828

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 Post subject: Re: Cutting Principles Explained?
Post #20 Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:13 pm 
Judan

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DrStraw wrote:
Bill Spight wrote:
I just remembered Richard Hunter's book, Crosscut Workshop, which I believe is now available at SmartGo books, http://gobooks.com/books.html . I have not read it, but I am sure that it is excellent. :)


You must have a very short memory. :)

http://lifein19x19.com/forum/viewtopic. ... 28#p214828


DrStraw? That's an interesting name. :) You must be an interesting fellow. :)

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