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 Post subject: Explanation of a proverb
Post #1 Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:45 am 
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There exist a proverb:

Code:
To invade, you should see 20 points in open area. Otherwise, keshi (reduction) is better. (Yang Yilun)


I expecially love rules of thumb, they helped me a lot over my go learning process. But not being an english mothertongue I don't really get the meaning of the proverb. Of course I can literally translate, that's pretty easy, but at least in my native language that doesn't mean anything.

I tryed to apply the proverb to some well known shapes, like the below:



This is super-standard reduction move but If I try to apply the proverb in my native languge seems perfect for an invasion because there are (at least) 20 point and open area between D16 e C9...

So I got a little confused and I ask you to kindly make some examples to better explain the proverb. Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: Explanation of a proverb
Post #2 Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:03 am 
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What is the source of this citation? I have the book "Fundamental principles of go" by Yilun Yang and haven't seen such a proverb in the book. The author does give a few circumstances where an invasion should be preferred to a reduction and vice-versa, but I haven't noticed any criterion like "20 points".

And your example with the chinese formation is not a good one to start with, since a reduction in that area is too early. One of Yilun Yang's principles is to consider reducing only when the opponent is one move away from converting his moyo into territory. And of course, any proverb has many exceptions, otherwise go game would be too simple.


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Post #3 Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:15 am 
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It's not a proverb, it's Yang Yilun's rule of thumb. How does Yang count the 20 pts.? I don't know. However, in the upper left side between the 4-4 in the top left corner and the stone on C-09 there are 6 spaces. 6x3 = 18, but because the side stone is on the 3d line we cannot count all of them. Subtracting 2 or 3 pts. gives us 15-16 pts., clearly less than 20. So don't invade, according to Yang, I suppose.

Does this mean that you can't play C-14? Of course not, because the corner is open, and you have room to make a 2 space base on the side. Still, the submarine approach at B-15 may be better. OTOH, look at pro play. Normally they approach from the top side, and the bots even invade on the 3-3. As a rule, the invasion on the side is not so good. :)

Edit: Where does the 20 pts. come from? Well, to make life on the side requires 8 stones plus 2 pts. for two eyes, or 10 pts. If you succeed, your opponent makes 7 moves, so that comes to 17 pts. And your opponent's 7 moves probably includes some bad moves, so give yourself a few points leeway. With fewer than 20 pts. to move around in, things are tight.

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 Post subject: Re: Explanation of a proverb
Post #4 Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:46 am 
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I have always understood 'invasion' and reduction' to be not contradictory opposites, but rather endpoints on a spectrum.

The proverb is most easily understood at the endpoints, where differences are stark. Your example, unfortunately, is somewhere in the middle.

The endpoints, IMHO, are defined as positions in which the defender is one move away from securing territory, and the attacker must decide whether or not to be inside the territory or outside of it.

Here is a rather stylized example:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$c If black plays at 'a', the territory is probably secure
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . X . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . a . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X X . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


However, what if it is white's move? White has two options: reduce or invade.

Reduction looks like this:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc Black gets territory, but smaller than if he had moved first.
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . X . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 4 . 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 2 . 1 . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 6 . 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X X . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Invasion looks like this:

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


=====================================================================

In summary, the essential difference looks like this

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc INVASION
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . X . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . 1 , 2 . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X X . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]



Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc REDUCTION
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . X . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . 2 , 1 . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X X . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


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 Post subject: Re: Explanation of a proverb
Post #5 Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:07 am 
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Quote:
If black plays at '1', the territory is probably secure

Peekaboo!
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$c
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . X . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . 1 . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X X . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


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 Post subject: Re: Explanation of a proverb
Post #6 Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:29 am 
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It's hard to have a general rule for invasion vs. reduction IMO.

The easiest way is to probably think about the likely sequence that'll result from invading (e.g. I get this territory here, but my opponent has some nice outside stones) vs reducing (e.g. I give my opponent X points, but I get some stones on the outside like this).

You can think of many examples where the former is better than the latter, and vice versa.

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Post #7 Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:29 pm 
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First, I think Yang Yilun was in part being diplomatic. I suspect that his sub-text was "amateurs invade far too often." Give them a scary big number to think about and they may do it less often. I think this view is backed up by the very tiny numbers of books (and proverbs) that promote invasion, contrasted with a reasonable number of books that promote reductions, and even more that tell you how to handle invasions.

But it is possible to justify the 20 points figure in a way.

Awaji Shuzo wrote a couple of books on invasion countermeasures. In both of them he used a scheme of his own to categorise how invadable certain common positions are. They are relatively few in number - few enough to memorise (about 40) - and are all practical, cover most eventualities. Here again it can be argued that he is warning against invading, although he dies stress his books are written from the vantage point of the invadee.

Normally the maximum invadability score is 70%. Anything higher than that means you haven't really got a position to invade. Incidentally, 'invadability' is my term. Awaji calls it a 'risk factor'.

If we look at a couple of his 70% invadable positions, as below, we can get a sense of what he means.



In the top right, we see an example of one of the biggest invadable areas, which could be put roughly at 20 points.

However, the Black position in the lower left also gets a risk factor of 70%. I would imagine that even amateur dan players would find these assessments make sense to them.

Where things get interesting, and much harder for amateurs, is how the risk factor changes. In the position below, Black has a risk factor of 30%.



But if you add a Black stone at A, the risk factor falls to 10%. Clearly the right side is still as invadable as before but the risk to Black is grossly reduced because of the damage invasion will do to White.

Conversely, if you take away any Black stones on the left and add a White stone at B instead, the risk factor for Black zooms up to 70%. I think amateur dans would mostly struggle to make equivalent assessments.

Awaji is obviously not thinking about territory (and never even mentions it, incidentally), but about the overall soundness of a large-scale position. The environment matters. I don't for one moment believe Yang Yilun would ever ignore the context, either, and so this is yet another reason why I believe his quoted heuristic was just an off-the-cuff remark. We can also see, in marked contrast, how careful about context in his books.

Going off at tangent, one way Awaji shows to counteract invasions is to spot play the large boundary plays - the o-yose, which he defines as boundary sequences worth 10+ points. Since these are played in the middle game (as invasion prophylaxis) we see once gain that yose != endgame. The significance of that is to stop thinking of oyose as either the endgame or even as X points. Such moves have a huge middle-game strategical value as invasion counters. But this needs a little refinement - invasions can be kamikaze dive-bomb attacks or they can be encroachments. And you learn how big encroachments can be (often bigger than kamikaze invasions, not least because they keep sente - reductions ditto mutatis mutandis) from classics such as Guanzipu or from studying old Chinese games. (Encroachments get more emphasis in OC games because unsupported invasions create a separate taxable group, and for related reasons they class splitting moves (wariuchi) as invasions, but it is eye- and mind-opening to observe how these differences play out in practice - it's like the difference between modern human and AI moves, with the difference that humans can explain what is going on.)


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 Post subject: Re: Explanation of a proverb
Post #8 Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:05 pm 
Honinbo

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Kirby wrote:
It's hard to have a general rule for invasion vs. reduction IMO.


I agree. :)

Here is a nice invasion by Honda Kunihisa, who played Black vs. Kitani Minoru, in GoGoD 1968-12-24b.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm37 Sacrificial invasion
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . X O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . . X . . O . . . . X O X X O O . |
$$ | . . O , . O . . . , . . X X O O X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . . . . . O . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X O . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . 3 . . . O O . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . 4 O . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . X . . O . 1 2 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

Honda invaded the corner with :b37:, and after Kitani secured most of it with :w38:, Honda played :b39: as a reduction, threatening to save :b37:. Very nice play. :)

Edit:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm42 Reduction
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . X O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . . X . . O . . . . X O X X O O . |
$$ | . . O , . O . . . , . . X X O O X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . . . . . O . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . X . 1 . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . a . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X O . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . X . . X . . . O O . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . O O . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . X . . O . X O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

Shortly thereafter, Kitani played :w42: as a reduction. Elf prefers an even lighter reduction at a. :)

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Post #9 Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:36 pm 
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There are some references to 21 points in Yilun Yang's Workshop lectures volume 2. See this example and quote:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . T T T T T T T . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . T T T T T T T . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . X T T Q T T T T . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . X , . . . . . X . . X . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . X . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Quote:
In this case, the area to be invaded is slightly smaller (at least twenty-one points, which is the minimum), but an invasion should still be doable.

The book lecture does not explain exactly how to determine the area, but my understanding is when white invades, if black wants to kill they must cap. Next white can easily slide under/past the nearby 4th line stone. So we disregard the first 4th line stone, and count 3rd line and below using e17 and n16 as the borders.

The lecture also gives the heuristic 7 open points are usually alive. Open points are
Quote:
points you can count on getting even if you play entirely defensively in solidifying the group.

The focus of the lecture is about giving heuristics and ways of thinking about how to live in small areas, so deciding about invasion vs reduction is not really the point here. It's more about deciding if an invasion is possible at all, and showing techniques to cut down the width of searching you must do.


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Post #10 Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:16 pm 
Honinbo

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From another Kitani game

GoGoD 1963-09-02a, Sakata Eio (W) vs. Kitani Minoru.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm39 Hit and run invasion
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X O . 2 . 1 . . . . . O X X O . . |
$$ | . . X , . O . . . , O . . O . X . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . a 3 . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . X . O . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X , . . . . . , . . . . . X X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , O . . O . , . X . X . X . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . O O . O O . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

Kitani invaded at :b39:, and then Sakata shored up his weakness with :w40:. Then Kitan ran out with :b41:. Elf prefers a instead of :b41:. White's weakness is one thing that made the invasion a good play.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm62 Reduction
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . O O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X O . O . X . X O . . O X X O . . |
$$ | . . X , . O . . . , O . . O . X . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . O . X . . . . . . . . X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . X . O . . . . X . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . X X O . . . . . . . . . O . O . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X , . . . . . , . . . 1 . X X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O O . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . X X O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X O , O . . O . , . X . X . X . . . |
$$ | . X O . . . . . . . O O . O O . X . . |
$$ | . X X O . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

Later, Sakata played the boshi, :w62:, as a reduction.

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Post #11 Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:23 pm 
Honinbo

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And last, a Cho Chikun game.

GoGoD 2006-01-12e, Yoda Norimoto (W) ws. Cho Chikun

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm24 Wide opening
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . O . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . X . O . . . . . 4 . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , O . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . X . 3 . . . . . X . O . |
$$ | . . O . . X . . 2 1 . . . X . . X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

Cho Chikun left a 5 space opening, which Yoda invaded with :w24: Black kicked and then White stood. Next. Cho switched to the top side. All moves are within 2% of Elf's top choice, so are surely playable. :)

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Post #12 Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:52 am 
Gosei
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One thing I'm learning from the bots is that an invasion is not advisable if the two enemy structures that delimit the invadable area are strong. An invasion should have some destabilizing effect on the surroundings. That OR the space is really huge, much more than 20 open points.

On reductions, I'm learning from the bots that they should be purposeful and/or kikashi. That is, the influence obtained by reducing must cooperate with another to form a potential territory in the center, or be used to close an escape route for an attacked group, OR the territory secured by the opponent was al secure or inevitable to start with, and the reduction merely confirms that, reducing the efficiency of the opponent's stones.

(btw John, invadable is not a word it seems; suggestions?)


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Post #13 Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:08 am 
Oza

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Quote:
(btw John, invadable is not a word it seems; suggestions?)


Of course it's a word: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/invadable. And in theoretical linguistic terms -able is a productive bound form which can be attached to verbs.

I could offer various suggestions but most of them would end in "off" and the bits before might not be in many dictionaries either, so they wouldn't help you :)

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Post #14 Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:25 am 
Judan

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This coversation is tenukiable


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Post #15 Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:33 am 
Oza

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I watched a tv programme yesterday (I know... I'm weakening in the lockdown) and it featured a Japanese carpenter using a plane. He pointed out that Japanese artisans pull their tools towards them whereas westerners push them away. This wasn't new to me. The topsy-turvy nature of very, very many things vis-à-vis the west was first noted by Basil Hall Chamberlain well over a century ago, and was the theme of Mike Leigh's film Topsy-Turvy, which features a real go player as the Japanese calligrapher. I have spent a lifetime collecting examples of Japanese topsy-turvydom as part of my fascination with the different ways people (cultures or individuals) think.

I often try to apply this go. One of the characteristic aspects of Chinese thought is an urge to categorise things by numbers: Seven Spices, Eight Immortals, Three Virtues etc. I was therefore hugely delighted at discovering Huang Longshi's Five Lands recently (and it was hugely helpful in understanding his play).

None of this means that I necessarily think that one way of looking at things is better than another, although in context it often can be. But it can be helpful in appreciating why certain things happen, even on the go board.

I cannot claim to have discovered wabi-sabi on the go board (wasabi, yes...), nor to have expected to. But one thing I do expect is ma. This first came to my attention when Mihori Sho pointed out that the truest definition of good shape is expressed by what is not there rather than by what is. But apart from that it's been difficult. However, I think Bill's example above in the Cho-Yoda game provides an excellent example.

It's difficult to talk about ma to a western audience, even one that is familiar with Japanese things. One problem is the western urge to define, and the commonest English definition I have seen for ma is 'negative space', which I think is meaningless codswallop. A perfect example of why definitions can be bad.

Another problem is that the term has been appropriated by the art world, but in Japan it's more of an everyday concept in all aspects of life. So there is no need to be arty-farty about it.

Ma refers to the space between things (in go, pincers and jumps it appears in the Sino form -ken to express the space between stones). There is nothing negative about them. Indeed, in go, it's often representable as the positive thing you want - territory.

Ma is better understood as a free space where various things (even dissimilar things) can co-exist in varying quantities. To use ma, therefore, you need to think about possibilities. It art talk it is these very possibilities, or hinting at them, that can make a work artistic. But ma can also be practical. The Cho-Yoda game, copied below, is an example.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm24 Wide opening
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . O . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . X . O . . . . . 4 . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , O . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . X . 3 . . . . . X . O . |
$$ | . . O . . X . . 2 1 . . . X . . X . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


But before I comment further on that, let me first consider that game from the topsy-turvy standpoint.

It is my long experience that western amateurs in general, but also weaker Japanese amateurs, would look at the position before the invasion and ask "how can I destroy my opponent's looming territory?". That may lead to invasion. Strong amateurs are more likely to pull the plane towards themselves and ask "how can I strengthen my own position?" That may lead to reduction. But actually it's hard to choose between invasion and reduction,

But I have a feeling that the pros here don't even think about that, or about "him" and "me", but about "ma". So, rather than thinking about invasion/reduction, think about that space in the lower centre.

One point made by Japanese people about ma, when trying to explain how their view differs from the western view, is to consider a meeting room (or other uncluttered room) with no people in it. We in the west would normally think of the room as empty. If someone then enters that room, we would no longer think of it as empty - but not as full either! We'd be in limbo.

But the Japanese would not usually think of the room with no people in it as "empty" (unoccupied yes, but not empty). Instead they would think of it as a space (ma) with infinite possibilities. They, too, are in limbo, but at a different stage in the process.

I therefore invite you to view the Cho-Yoda space in that light. There are things in or around that "empty" space that affect how it will be used - its possibilities.

From the infinity of possibilities it follows that everyone will see different things. FWIW what I saw instantly in that position (pre-invasion) was that White had very strong positions to left and right, so that any invasion would not inflict collateral damage. The next thing I noticed was that White, pre-invasion, has only three groups. "Five groups can live but the sixth will die." So making a fourth is unlikely to cause White any problems. Only then did I think about invasion or reduction. I rejected reduction instantly because one major function of reduction is to build centre strength, but such strength would be otiose here (thickness is not thickness unless it functions as thickness).

So that left invasion or tenuki. I couldn't really see a good place to tenuki to - a move on the upper side can't actually be bad but it would just have one function, like putting a towel on the sun-bed by the pool but not actually sunbathing. In contrast, invasion appears to have two functions: destroying potential territory and splitting Black into two small (and so, later, possibly weak?) groups.

I'm not strong enough to know whether my analysis or my choice of invasion over upper-side extension is valid - in particular I have a sneaking suspicion that my assessment of "no collateral damage" may be too complacent to a professional eye - after all, even those White side positions have ma in them. But I do feel I have approached the problem by using ma rather than the dipole invasion/reduction, and so have a much broader appreciation of the position and of how the game is likely to develop.

"Develop". There's an important word to conjure with. It can be another example of topsy-turvydom. In go terms we westerners would be apt to think about reading ahead, controlling the future in some way. But there's a Japanese way.

I first came across it many years ago in a press event at the Japanese Embassy in London. It was to promote a big Japanese Festival. One demonstration was of calligraphy on a huge piece of paper laid on the floor. The artist took ages getting the page secure and wrinkle-free as we press bods stood around sipping champagne. Always great fun to watch other people work.

The next step, eventually, was for the artist to dip his brush in his ink. Brush doesn't really do the object justice. It was almost as big as the artist, and the ink was in a pail rather than a bowl. As he struggled to keep the brush off the floor as he carried it over to the paper, titters were starting already among the press corps, very few of whom knew anything about Japan or calligraphy.

Then the titters turned into a guffaw as the artist stepped on the paper and, plop, a blob of ink fell from the brush's tip onto the virgin paper. It spread remorselessly, and someone in the audience shouted out that we'd now have to wait another half hour while the artist laid down a fresh piece of paper. The PR person anxiously whispered something to him, but the artist just beamed and shouted out, "Happy accident!"

He then proceeded to draw characters on the paper by incorporating the splodge, dancing not walking across the page. He went with the flow. He had no preconceptions of controlling the flow. But most of the press just clapped politely. I thought it was a triumph. But I had been lucky enough to have been schooled in calligraphy by the very man who acted as the Japanese calligrapher in the Topsy-Turvy film.

I think we can apply this perception to go. Many, many players play it is if was a one-person game, insisting on controlling it from start to finish, treating the opponent as if he's someone just to put the stones of the other colour on the board. Amateur invasions exemplify that attitude.

But go really is a two-person game, and in real life the opponent may not do our bidding. We too therefore have to go with the flow. We have learn to treat our opponent's moves as happy accidents.


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Post #16 Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:17 am 
Gosei

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Regarding "Ma", remember that the room in the Nihon Ki-in where title games are played is called Yuugen no Ma (幽玄 の 間), certainly a place with many subtle and profound possibilities.

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Post #17 Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:31 am 
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Uberdude wrote:
This conversation is tenukiable


Only when the OP returns to say that his question has been answered.


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Post #18 Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:50 am 
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thank you! A lot of things to read and re-read, but now the topic is more clear!

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