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 Post subject: I lost a hundred games
Post #1 Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:27 pm 
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Restarting my study journal to try and put something more useful (even to me!) into it than "I didn't do the study I said I would do, and have still never played live but I'm gradually getting better somehow."

So I lost my hundredth game the other day. I was actually quite pleased with how I played in it, until I lost an important group late on due to playing a thoughtless move (ironic, for a correspondence game)... I then won a game I felt angry with myself the whole time through and stayed unhappy about even afterwards. I think between them they show where I am right now, good and bad, so I'll put them here for review.

Things about how it's going:

I've been playing people around my current level - a few stones stronger or weaker. This is partly an artefact of the OGS tournaments and ladders, and partly just because I like even games. I like to play for its own sake, I guess. These games have been almost exclusively correspondence, played over the last three years.

Wins: 196
Losses: 102
Rank: Fairly solid 5k OGS

I have a bunch of books, but have not read through a single one of them properly - I tend to read a chapter, get inspired with the Warm Fuzzy Feeling of Go(tm), then want to play. I should read them.

My reading is still very weak. I have started doing tsumego and it's a gradual, grinding process... I hate tsumego but I really need to figure out how to love them. GGPFB 2 got me over a hump in terms of improvement about ten stones ago, but volume 3 still defeats me. I suspect if I really digested it, I'd immediately get stronger again. And I also suspect I hate doing them because I find them hard, at the level where they actually help me.

Some observations about the journey so far, for other people on the same path:

1. It's possible to get to a mid-SDK level at least with just what I'd describe as proverb-following, plus some understanding of shapes and a handful of joseki. You know the ones: "Corners, sides, middle", "hane at the head of two stones", the one about extending from a wall one more space than the wall is tall. The small number of things that most commonly happen when you approach a 4-3 stone, ditto 4-4. Heuristic Go is very effective at this level. Books like The Second Book of Go and First Fundamentals impart wisdom in tiny doses for the attention-span-challenged. A slim chapter gives immediate useable information. Into this bucket go Opening Theory Made Easy and Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go, neither of which I've read from cover to cover either.

2. For a person who doesn't like to study much and plays Heuristic Go, the Nick Sibicky lectures are a goldmine. Get thee to YouTube (I have made a playlist of the theoretical ones here). Also dsaun's one-off shape lecture helped a lot.

3. On the subject of YouTube, live commented games by strong players seem to help a lot. Even though most of it goes over my head and I haven't spent a lot of time with it, Haylee's channel feels like it's helped me get shapes and ideas into my repertoire. Also some others... littlelamb comes to mind.

4. Sometime around 10k or 9k, I studied some joseki in a book (like, a dozen or so) and suddenly gained 3 stones. I don't think this was necessarily because knowing joseki is useful in itself - I think it's because it drilled shapes and haengma. So studying (not memorizing!) joseki, in even my limited way, was very useful. But I got bored.

Overall it's been very enjoyable, but I am definitely flattening out in terms of improvement. The things literally everyone says one should do, that I don't do:

1. Regular tsumego
2. Serious game reviews
3. Play whole games regularly

(And 4. go back and study more joseki, that clearly had a dramatic impact.)

So... I guess I know what I need to do. But actually doing those things has so far eluded me. I'll figure it out. The subconscious is a mysterious beast... I wonder if I have Live Go Anxiety (live as in play time, not necessarily in person).

In the spirit of reviewing things, here are a couple of games.

The first one I was happy with but lost suddenly and dramatically - it felt like I played reasonably and didn't do anything silly, and managed to be in a good position as the game got closer to its conclusion, though I did indeed do something silly at the end!



The second I won but remain deeply dissatisfied with - I felt like my ideas were all wrong, and I won because my opponent gave me gifts in the endgame.



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 Post subject: Re: I lost a hundred games
Post #2 Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:04 pm 
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In your first game, you played quite often the "toothpaste" shape:
- :w48:
- :w56:
- move 104
- till move 112 you didn't fix the N15 toothpaste

Further, the black cut at :b63: seems huge. Lateron, black got some 60+ points territory there. It seems that this could have been easily (?) avoided by playing e.g. E12 or E13 in :w60:.

I'm not strong enough to comment on the other moves but I'm fairly sure that this game was mainly decided by all these cuts and toothpaste shapes. If you can still afford playing these shapes at 5k level, there must be huge potential for further improvement... ;-)

Edit:
I found your second game much more convincing. There is still another toothpaste in moves 104, 106. Do you see a better alternative for white 104? Moves 158 and 160 are a very special way of treating a monkey jump, which loses more points than usual, was there any special reason?


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 Post subject: Re: I lost a hundred games
Post #3 Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:31 pm 
Oza

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I agree fully with all of Schawipp's comments, but have included a more detailed review:



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 Post subject: Re: I lost a hundred games
Post #4 Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:44 pm 
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This is irrelevant to the final result but at move 151 in the first game, White can play and live.

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 Post subject: Re: I lost a hundred games
Post #5 Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:36 pm 
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I'd be curious to see how White can live, because I spent 20 minutes trying every move and couldn't find anything.

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 Post subject: Re: I lost a hundred games
Post #6 Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:27 pm 
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Fedya wrote:
I'd be curious to see how White can live, because I spent 20 minutes trying every move and couldn't find anything.

Here's my try. I'm not 100% sure it's right, and I doubt I'd find it in a game without 5+ minutes of focused concentration.



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 Post subject: Re: I lost a hundred games
Post #7 Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:53 am 
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schawipp wrote:
In your first game, you played quite often the "toothpaste" shape


I think you have identified a blind spot.

Instead of blocking one side and allowing toothpaste, is it better to fall back and leave cuts?

So :w48: at M15 instead of M16, :w56: at G11 (or is this one of those "the mistake was earlier" things, and :w54: at G13 was asking for suffering?), w104 at G17?

Quote:
till move 112 you didn't fix the N15 toothpaste


This is definitely a blind spot, then. Mentally I have written off those points and try for forcing the initiative elsewhere, when really I need to try and stem the bleeding.

Quote:
the black cut at :b63: seems huge


Yes. That one definitely stands out as thoughtlessness!

Quote:
If you can still afford playing these shapes at 5k level, there must be huge potential for further improvement... ;-)


Ha! Yes. the feeling I get is that Go is sufficiently complicated, with so many facets of skill you need to be on top of, that at the kyu levels people's skills are extremely uneven - we are all terrible at different parts of the game.

This leads me to situations where I think, "hmm, this person is already well behind in the opening, should be an easy game for me now" when the correct response is "if they're 5k and this much worse at the opening than I am, then they're really going to give me a kicking once the fighting starts." :oops:

Quote:
There is still another toothpaste in moves 104, 106. Do you see a better alternative for white 104?


M4? Leave more-or-less harmless cuts?

Quote:
Moves 158 and 160 are a very special way of treating a monkey jump, which loses more points than usual, was there any special reason?


Only if pure ignorance of the endgame joseki is a reason. To Sensei's Library I go!

Thank you very much for your comments, especially about the toothpaste shape; having people point out specific deficiencies in my thinking is the most useful thing in the world right now. (Note to self: post more games for review.)

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 Post subject: Re: I lost a hundred games
Post #8 Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:31 am 
Oza

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joellercoaster wrote:

Instead of blocking one side and allowing toothpaste, is it better to fall back and leave cuts?

So :w48: at M15 instead of M16, :w56: at G11 (or is this one of those "the mistake was earlier" things, and :w54: at G13 was asking for suffering?), w104 at G17?


The classic way is to fall back and leave at most one cut with the knight's move at L15. In fact Black's shortage of liberties means your move is not as bad as usual (because if black extends you can net and if black pushes and cuts there's a connect and die). But as normal if you are in such a situation something went wrong before: here the o15 connection should be n16 to not leave a hole for black to poke through.


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 Post subject: Re: I lost a hundred games
Post #9 Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:37 am 
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joellercoaster wrote:
So :w48: at M15 instead of M16, :w56: at G11 (or is this one of those "the mistake was earlier" things, and :w54: at G13 was asking for suffering?), w104 at G17?


As Uberdude already pointed out, the usual way is to jump ahead with a keima (L15 instead M15). A possible continuation may be like this:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wm48
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . 6 . . X X . . . |
$$ | . . . O O O . . 5 . 4 P . X O O X . . |
$$ | . . O , X . . . . , 3 2 X . O X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . 7 . . . 1 . . O O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

White sacrifices the marked stone but black's upper right position is completely shielded from the center.

With M15 (the other variation mentioned by Uberdude) the result could be as follows (usually M15 is bad shape but here, the nearby white wall helps a bit...):
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wm48
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X . . . |
$$ | . . . O O O . . . . . O 7 X O O X . . |
$$ | . . O , X . . . . , 3 2 X . O X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . 6 1 4 O O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . 5 O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

... and
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bm55
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 X X . . . |
$$ | . . . O O O . . . . . O O . @ O X . . |
$$ | . . O , X . . . . , O X X 2 @ X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . X 3 X @ @ X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . 1 O O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

White keeps connected and black gets a clumpy shape. This works only due to the existence of the string of marked w stones, otherwise M15 is bad shape. I am not completely sure, if this is a good result in this position; at least white may get some extra forcing moves.

Move 104 should be definitely at H17. This allows b to cut off three w stones in gote but that's the minor problem in this case. Note that move 102 forms an "elephant jump" with G15, and black is poking in between. This shape often occurs in connection with "toothpaste". If move 102 was played on H17 instead I 17 there would have been no cut, here (however, black could then play at K17, thus there is not always an easy choice...).

There are some pages about Elephant jumps and toothpaste on Senseis library, which may be of interest.

joellercoaster wrote:
... that at the kyu levels people's skills are extremely uneven - we are all terrible at different parts of the game.
Yep, a current blind spot of mine is winning in a local fight only to recognize shortly after that my opponent got a huge moyo elsewhere "out of nothing" in the meantime...


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 Post subject: Re: I lost a hundred games
Post #10 Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:40 am 
Judan

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IMO, :w40:, :w42:, and :w44: are all questionable.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wm40
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 X 3 4 . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . . . O . . O O X 7 . |
$$ | . . O , . . . . . , . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . a X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Instead of pushing from behind at "a", the simple block looks better to me. It threatens :w42:, which in turn threatens :w46:, not immediately, OC.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wm40
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 X . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . . . O . . O O X . . |
$$ | . . O , . . . . . , . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . 1 X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 a . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


:w42: at "a" is consistent, but it leaves a cutting point behind. The extension is more solid.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bm43
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . . . O . 1 O O X . . |
$$ | . . O , . . . . . , . . 4 . O X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . . . . a O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . O X 3 X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . O X 2 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


:w44: at "a" is not only bad shape (empty triangle), it allows Black to push out at 46, as he did in the game. :w46: is good shape, and keeps Black confined.

:w44: may look funny (aji keshi), but it prepares for the following sequence.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bm43
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . . . O . 1 O O X . . |
$$ | . . O , . . . . . , . . 4 7 O X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . . . 6 5 O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . O X 3 X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . O X 2 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


If :b47: cuts, White can sacrifice the four stones. (It's only four stones. :)) :w44: gets the kikashi in before the sacrifice, while there is still time.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bm43
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . . . O . 1 O O X . . |
$$ | . . O , . . . . . , . . 4 9 O X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . . . 8 7 O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . O X 3 X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . O X 2 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 5 O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Black also has this cut.

Edit: :w52: captures with a net. Let me show that.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wm52
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . . . O . X . . X . . |
$$ | . . O , . . . . . , . . O X . X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . . . O X . X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . 5 O X X X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . 4 O X O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . 8 1 X O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . 7 6 2 O . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . 3 9 . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


:b61: fills.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wm62
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . . . O . X . . X . . |
$$ | . . O , . . . . . , . . O X . X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . 5 . O X . X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . 4 O O X X X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . 3 2 X O X O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . 1 X X X O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . O X X O . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . O O . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


White can also play a number of different ladders after :w62:.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bm41
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . . . O . 3 O O X . . |
$$ | . . O , . . . . . , . . 4 6 O X . . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . . . 8 7 5 O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . 9 O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . 0 . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . O X . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O X . X . . . . . . X . . O . . . |
$$ | . . O O X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


If :w42: had simply extended, Black could not make either cut with :b45:. :)

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 Post subject: Re: I lost a hundred games
Post #11 Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:41 pm 
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dfan wrote:
Fedya wrote:
I'd be curious to see how White can live, because I spent 20 minutes trying every move and couldn't find anything.

Here's my try. I'm not 100% sure it's right, and I doubt I'd find it in a game without 5+ minutes of focused concentration.


This is correct - at least, this is what I read.

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Post #12 Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:55 pm 
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Then I must have misread, :oops: because all I could find looked like a ko.

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Post #13 Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:06 pm 
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Fedya wrote:
Then I must have misread, :oops: because all I could find looked like a ko.

One reason I wrote down all my variations was to make it possible for you to figure out what move or sequence you didn't consider, so you could learn a pattern that would help you in the future.

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Post #14 Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:57 pm 
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skydyr wrote:
this seems fine, but did you also consider alternatives?


I have to admit I am always a little indecisive around reduction vs invasion. I thought about the shoulder hit at J5 and the E9 reduction, which are probably more in character for me, before deciding on the 3-3 as an exercise in leaving my comfort zone :lol:

Quote:
While this keeps black's group from the center, it doesn't really do much to stabilize or grow any of white's positions, while giving black a nice forcing move.


Aha. This is the kind of thing I miss very often, and even in review I don't see after the fact. It feels like a deficiency in my feeling for larger shapes... cool, thank you.

Quote:
the purpose of the second line push to B6 in the joseki is to make it gote. Don't just give away sente blindly. Study this shape if you need to


Excellent.

And in general thanks for the detailed review, there's a lot of specific things in there to chew over that are very helpful. I now have five Sensei's tabs open and my baby daughter is asleep :)

Bill spight wrote:
Instead of pushing from behind at "a", the simple block looks better to me. It threatens :w42:, which in turn threatens :w46:, not immediately, OC.


This is... really obvious in retrospect, and like skydyr's point about the top right direction, utterly not on my radar. Thanks for this. And also this:

Quote:
If :b47: cuts, White can sacrifice the four stones. (It's only four stones. :)) :w44: gets the kikashi in before the sacrifice, while there is still time.


While I'm getting much better at "it's only four stones", thinking of creative or well-timed things around sacrifices is not a thing I do, yet. More to mull over.

Many thanks all. I'm really glad I posted now.

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Post #15 Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:26 am 
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I have a new aphorism:

Have a baby, become two stones weaker.

Baby Brain is real. Though I regret nothing :)

(It also slightly torpedoes my plan to start playing on KGS. Need to make some regular time.)

Here's another game from recent times; other than the horror of w102 and blithely assuming before that that my group was alive, it feels very me-like. Actually shocks like that are not out of character either - that one was just particularly disastrous.



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Post #16 Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:05 am 
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joellercoaster wrote:
I have a new aphorism:

Have a baby, become two stones weaker.


So this appears to have been only temporary. Weirdly, due to the fragmented schedule and snatched moments of downtime, I have been playing correspondence moves more consistently across each day (although my tsumego has dropped to zero). I think this has somehow affected my brain, and it has more of its Go processing stuff paged in at the front more of the time. I have done no study, I haven't had time to watch live games at all, and the idea of playing through pro games is a distant happy dream. I am watching videos while I commute, though.

As a result of the just-playing, I feel stronger. OGS agrees and has me in the middle zone of 4k after a 9-1 run through 5k.

What is this stronger feeling, subjectively? I think it's a few things:

1. Patience. Instead of just attacking things that look weak until the attack runs out of steam, then examining the wreckage, I am reading out further the likely consequences - then instead of jumping in, I am fixing the things that would cause the attack not to work and waiting for a better opportunity. Sometimes the opportunity never comes, but generally it does - and when it doesn't, fixing the problem turns out to have been important later anyway. This feels like I am playing more "slow" moves, but I'm also trying to generate a better rhythm - Nick Sibicky's mentioned a few times that idea of alternating slow and fast, and it seems to be paying off. Go is a marathon, and I think I had been trying to sprint through it. "The loser is the one who makes the last big mistake." See also "don't chase pretty ladies" :)

2. Adventures. Outside fights, I'm enjoying giving opponents more options. "If you take this, then I'll have this" type situations. I don't have to force a single outcome; I should understand that I can't control the game and actually shouldn't try. I've had a couple of games with quite exciting larger trades going on now, and it's really enjoyable. Especially the winning as a result part :P

3. Fundamentals. Someone said something like "a 1 dan player is just someone who has a good grasp of the fundamentals", and I think I'm starting to see how that can be true. Each time I've become stronger lately, it's because I've understood a little better some simple rule that is available to all beginners, but whose application turns out to take practice. And I understand so few of these basics that I could keep learning them for a long time. This makes me really happy.

Go is really hard, but each improvement is an extremely simple thing. I just hope the new ones don't start pushing out the old ones.

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Post #17 Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:39 am 
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Today I learned: all the patient play and good shape in the world won't help you if you mis-count a [edit: game-deciding] capturing race that you initiated by a stone. Being in a correspondence game somehow makes this even worse.

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Post #18 Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:54 am 
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Here's the game that caused the above comment - it started a long time ago, and came to a sudden conclusion when I had otherwise been feeling pretty good about the game until then.

But:

I have regrets about :w14: and think my opponent let me off the hook with his wide pincer. Even so, the sequence to :b31: seems dubious for White.

The shoulder hit at :w34: seemed like a good idea at the time. And indeed the end result was OK for me but it occurs to me that 1) I hadn't thought too hard about a followup and 2) there were better ideas.

:w58: I had this idea of making Black choose one of his vulnerable groups to get attacked. Actually this never happened because he just sealed off the large corner, and the group in the middle was completely alive.

At :w90: I was feeling very comfortable and in comments, my opponent assessed the game similarly. But, sometime during the ensuing attacks, I fatally misread. Some time after Black 113 I should have realised I needed to kill the corner immediately. But now, looking back at it, I am not entirely sure I know when that was - it wasn't a simple miscount, and I was actually in trouble sometime before I thought.

Help?

(Other more general advice on the game gratefully received, as always)

[edit: Loss #104 :)]



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Post #19 Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:17 am 
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Have gone on a bit of a losing streak; busted back down to 5k on OGS.

I suddenly feel like I don't have any idea what's going on during games.

I just lost one by a half-point, looking back it was littered with overplays and glaring weaknesses - my patience has evaporated and i keep making these heavy-handed attempts to kill things.

Still can't read worth a damn.

Go is hard y'all :)

Prescription: stop playing so much when I'm playing this badly. Go back to the tsumego - I still haven't finished GGPFB 3. Then, when I'm feeling better about that, try learn a bit about attacking and defending, since I clearly understand nothing about those things.

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Post #20 Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:43 am 
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joellercoaster wrote:
I suddenly feel like I don't have any idea what's going on during games.


Welcome back to the club. :)

Quote:
Prescription: stop playing so much when I'm playing this badly. Go back to the tsumego - I still haven't finished GGPFB 3. Then, when I'm feeling better about that, try learn a bit about attacking and defending, since I clearly understand nothing about those things.


Bonne chance! :D

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