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 Post subject: "First Fundamentals" Study Journal
Post #1 Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:14 am 
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Hello all and any. I thought I'd plunge into Go exhibitionism with a journal of my experience with Jasiek's First Fundamentals book. Updates to be posted as I finish each chapter.

Starting level: 14 kyu OGS (live game rank), 13 kyu DGS (correspondence rank)

I plan to study the book one sub-chapter a day (one principle), placing stones on a real goban for most diagrams and considering the issues raised.

I'll make an outline of the chapters and subheadings, adding each subheading as I study it, and to keep this beside me in daily games.  I also will try to play one live game a day, with handicap or reverse komi to make chances of winning even.  Also during this time I am working Level Up volume 7, which is slowly helping me to improve my reading.

Chapter 1.  Choose the Big and Valuable. I was not always sure why areas delineated by x's had the boundaries they did, but figured this wasn't a big issue.  There was no question in my mind that the area identified as larger was, in fact, larger. Example 40 called out a couple of groups as weak that surprised me. Still the chapter has 40 examples illustrating the 4 principles in the chapter, and I understood a lot of it. I noted several peripheral questions that might not be relevant to the point being illustrated. This ground seems thoroughly covered.

10/10/2015 – Lost game with 1 handi stone, 14 kyu vs 13 kyu, as white. Tried to apply first three subheadings of chapter 1 to live game and was defeated soundly. I wound up making a lot of influence that I couldn't or didn't know how to use. Actually as I look at the game one day later, I feel like I played stupidly. (https://online-go.com/game/3016335)

Record: L → -1 net, 0% win

10/11/2015 – Studied Chapter 1, Principle 4. Won game against 1 handi stone, 14 kyu vs 15 kyu, as white. I felt that I was outplayed most of the game but won some points in the endgame. (https://online-go.com/game/3021275). My outline now has all 4 principles of Chapter 1, though I haven't finished the problems at the end of the chapter.

Record: LW → 0 net, 50% win

10/12/2015 – Did Chapter 1 Problems. Success on problems 1 and 3. Problem 2 answer over my head. I appreciate the result but couldn't do that myself. Problem 4 answer was instructive after I chose the wrong answer.

Won even game 14 kyu vs 14 kyu. Tried to employ Choose the Big and Valuable principles. My opponent made this a fighting game, and it seems my reading was a little better. He did defeat my attempted nose tesuji by turning it into a ko, so that's something for me to look at. Also, he had a big, empty part of the board, while my areas were all invaded. (https://online-go.com/game/3026585)

< I learned that the tesuji I had in mind is not the nose tesuji. I don't know the name of it. Also, maybe I see where I could've gotten into Black's big area, by avoiding premature endgame.>

Record: LWW → 1 net, 67% win


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Post #2 Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:49 am 
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On the second game, I'm not sure which tesuji you're talking about, but black misplayed at 161:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W Moves 160 to 160
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X O O . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . X . X O O . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X , . . . . . X X X O O . O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X O X O X . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . X X . O X O O O O X . . O O . |
$$ | . . . . X O X X X X . . . X . X X O . |
$$ | . . . X O . O X O X . O O O . . . X . |
$$ | . . . X O O O O O O O . . . O X . X . |
$$ | . . . X X O O . O X X O O O X X . . . |
$$ | . . . X O . . O . O X X . X O X . b a |
$$ | . . . X X O O . . O . . . X O O X X 1 |
$$ | . . . X O . . . . . X X . X X O O O . |
$$ | . . . X O O . X . O . . . X O X X O . |
$$ | . . . X X O . . . O O X . X O . . . . |
$$ | . . . X O . . X X O X X O X O O . . . |
$$ | . . X O . O O O O O O X X O . . O . . |
$$ | . . X O . . O X X O X X O O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]



If Black plays 161 just extending, later white can't connect and has to protect:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W Moves 160 to 160
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X O O . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . X . X O O . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X , . . . . . X X X O O . O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X O X O X . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . X X . O X O O O O X . . O O . |
$$ | . . . . X O X X X X . . . X . X X O . |
$$ | . . . X O . O X O X . O O O . . . X . |
$$ | . . . X O O O O O O O . . . O X . X . |
$$ | . . . X X O O . O X X O O O X X . . . |
$$ | . . . X O . . O . O X X . X O X . 2 4 |
$$ | . . . X X O O . . O . . . X O O X X 1 |
$$ | . . . X O . . . . . X X . X X O O O . |
$$ | . . . X O O . X . O . . . X O X X O . |
$$ | . . . X X O . . . O O X . X O . 5 . . |
$$ | . . . X O . . X X O X X O X O O . . . |
$$ | . . X O . O O O O O O X X O . . O . . |
$$ | . . X O . . O X X O X X O O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Compare that to the result in the game:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$ Position at move 171
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . X O O . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . X . X O O . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X , . . . . . X X X O O . O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X O X O X . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . X X . O X O O O O X . . O O . |
$$ | . . . . X O X X X X . . . X . X X O . |
$$ | . . . X O . O X O X . O O O . . . X . |
$$ | . . . X O O O O O O O . . . O X . X . |
$$ | . . . X X O O . O X X O O O X X . X X |
$$ | . . . X O . . O . O X X . X O X O O X |
$$ | . . . X X O O . . O . . . X O O O X X |
$$ | . . . X O . . . . . X X . X X O O O X |
$$ | . . . X O O . X . O . . . X O X X O O |
$$ | . . . X X O . . . O O X . X O . . . . |
$$ | . . . X O . . X X O X X O X O O . . . |
$$ | . . X O . O O O O O O X X O . . O . . |
$$ | . . X O . . O X X O X X O O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


I'm bad at counting, but black lost at least 6 points playing the hane, maybe more.

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Post #3 Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:20 am 
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After this:
Attachment:
ex1.JPG
ex1.JPG [ 23.01 KiB | Viewed 4545 times ]


W hoped for this:
Attachment:
ex2.JPG
ex2.JPG [ 43.16 KiB | Viewed 4545 times ]

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Post #4 Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:59 am 
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Hey there. I sent you a PM.

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Post #5 Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:09 pm 
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Chapter 2. Notice Weakness. First principle: I definitely would fail to notice the weakness in about half of the examples. Second principle: oh yeah. It's especially easy for me to to overlook “big” cutting opportunities. I am deliberately not listing all of the principles so that I don't flesh out the book's outline here. But even if I did, a person would miss a lot from not having the many examples.

Example 16 is especially frustrating to me because even when the area of danger is pointed out with big flashing lights, I don't see the problem right away. There is progress to be made.

On the three problems, I had mixed results. I think this basically means that players stronger than me would get something from them also.

10/13/2015 Was slaughtered in my game today. I got bumped up to 13 kyu yesterday. Today's game was 13kyu vs 13 kyu. I played Black. Wound up with huge center moyo and W had four corners, three of them large. I felt that I had to keep invasion from living in middle, and some of my stones were surrounded. I noticed all kinds of weakness in my groups, but felt that my precarious situation mandated attack rather than defense. I have that awful feeling that I should learn a significant strategic (not tactical) lesson from this game, but I don't know what the lesson is. (Noticing ALL the cuts, maybe). Bumped back down to 14 kyu. (https://online-go.com/game/3033750)

10/14/2015 Won even game with another 14 kyu by resignation. Might've been up 30-40 points. It was a game of cutting and staying connected for me. Tried to notice weakness, and maybe that helped my game. (https://online-go.com/game/3040319). I posted open challenge for this game and limited rank to 14 kyu. It took 30 minutes to get an opponent. If I specify 13 kyu to 15 kyu, 5 minutes is common. I was bumped up to 13 kyu. I'll suffer in my next handicap/reverse komi game.

10/15/2015 By bedtime yesterday I was 14 kyu again. Today played a jubango game as 14 kyu against 19 kyu with 6 handicap. Won and got bumped to 13 kyu. I guess I regressed, since I made a “notice atari” mistake and a couple of careless misclicks. Oops. (https://online-go.com/game/3046730)

Record: LWW LWW


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Post #6 Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:35 am 
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Chapter 3. Do Not Be Afraid Without Reason

To a point, I've discovered the Chapter 3 principles on my own. The examples are helpful, though, and they point to the degree to which reading the board underlies the ability to follow any of these principles. Some examples were easy for me to read, others not. And if you can't read the situation, you can't follow the principles.

I was happy to see the principle 1 material because it offered opportunities to think through the point values of different smallish moves. Some differences between territory and area scoring were clarified for me. There are several other principles in the chapter. I took the opportunity to work on my reading with the harder examples.

The last principle, “In a stronger position, defend by attacking” hit close to home for me. I'm forever being accused of being fearful and not punishing overplays by one of my OGS compatriots. The weasel has refused to review and tell me specifics to date, saying he's not good at reviewing. This section gave me a clue what he might be talking about.

I like the problems in this chapter, because the captions don't tell me what the mistake is. The instructions are to “Identify the mistakes caused by fear and correct them!” Did I get all of the answers right? No.

As the list of principles gets longer, I begin to wonder how to prioritize them when they cannot all be served at once.

10/16/2015 Played even game as 13 kyu against 14 kyu today. The ranks were inverted, because I know this player to be stronger than me. I think I had a good start, but couldn't drive it home. The group I “killed” made two eyes. The stones I “cut off” got connected. Bumped back down to 14 kyu. (https://online-go.com/game/3052628)

10/17/2015 As 14 kyu, lost to 12 kyu by resignation. I keep creating these center moyos and not being able to hold them. If I just played more third line stones during the opening, would I end up with a more territorial game? (https://online-go.com/game/3059131)

10/19/2015 As 14 kyu, got butt kicked by 15 kyu from the Ukraine. It was fighty game and he outread me. Rank chart says he was 24 kyu in August. I am a stepping stone. (https://online-go.com/game/3072838)

10/20/2015 As 14 kyu, butt was kicked by another 15 kyu. Got surrounded as I tried to surround and killl. Twice. In FF terms, I failed to notice weakness both times. It was a fun game though. My live rank now 15 kyu. (https://online-go.com/game/3078288)

​ Record: LWW LWW LLLL

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Post #7 Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:47 am 
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Chapter 4. Avoid the Impossible

If a scantily dressed woman walks into a crime-ridden neighborhood to hang out, is she attacking herself? If she leaves her cellphone lying on the edge of her table, is she double-attacking herself?

So what's an alternative to the description “attacking myself”? “Do not increase your vulnerability”? I think that might work.

So I might have a quibble with the description of some of these errors, but yeah, I'm guilty. Playing out the examples on my board, I see that a big deficiency of mine is reading. I knew that. Now I know it more.

Some of these problems had answers with followup questions, and there were answers to those. I like that format.

For various reasons, I didn't play any near-even live games while working through this chapter.


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Post #8 Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:22 am 
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saxmaam wrote:
For various reasons, I didn't play any near-even live games while working through this chapter.


Some of the best ways to learn are to fall into the holes many times. You shouldn't avoid real time games.

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Post #9 Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:49 pm 
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Some of the best ways to learn are to fall into the holes many times. You shouldn't avoid real time games.[/quote]

Not avoiding, just life happening.

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Post #10 Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:38 am 
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saxmaam wrote:

10/13/2015 Was slaughtered in my game today. [...] I have that awful feeling that I should learn a significant strategic (not tactical) lesson from this game, but I don't know what the lesson is. (Noticing ALL the cuts, maybe). Bumped back down to 14 kyu. (https://online-go.com/game/3033750)


:b25: and :b31: are good plays. But :b39: must be the cut at N17 to take advantage.

:b51: is quite small, because of the open skirt at M2. At E6 would be nice.

:b67: - looks like you have to cut at H14, because this play makes it easy for White to break in.

:b69: is probably the key moment in the game. Where is there a line that "plays the percentages"? Pushing along succeeds in raising the stakes.

The peep at H4 is interesting. Maybe White should just connect, in which case you can play at J6 for a big framework. Attractive, because pushing along at the top combines well with that play. So ... if you push along twice and then play :b72: at M11 ... and if White responds at the top ... peeping at H4 puts White in a dilemma. White wants to answer at H5, but that shape can be cut.

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Post #11 Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:23 am 
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Chapter 5. Disobey Your Opponent

This chapter made me feel good about what I've learned from my 20 months of playing so far, while still providing value in the problems. Several of the problems showed alternatives to what I would have thought were good moves. I could not necessarily see these possibilities on my own, but they were eye-opening.

2015/11/04 Lost as 14 kyu to 12 kyu. He's beat me before and I was glad to not just roll over and die. It was a close game, but he beat me in overtime with many many moves in my territory. I made a mistake and suffered a huge reduction. (https://online-go.com/game/3182103) I so wanted to report a win here. But at least it wasn't really an even game.

​Record: LWW LWW LLLL – L

PS - I appreciate the feedback on the games, etc. Thanks!

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Post #12 Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:51 am 
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Chapter 6. Do Not Help Your Opponent

You could be forgiven, if you thought about this thread at all, for thinking I've given up on this project. I haven't, but there were definitely some interruptions in my progress. I have also found that playing a live game every day is too much of a time sink. Moving on …

This is a huge chapter, with 74 examples and seven problems. Some have more than one diagram.

The first part of this chapter clarified the reasons for the Go proverb that says “Don't attach when attacking.”

One of these problems sent me off for a definition of “bad contact play”, which I didn't find. This phrase has been used a number of times in the book, and many examples illustrate it. I gather that a bad contact play is one that isn't going to work out well. If there is a better description, I'd love to know it.

I know I help my opponents regularly and am not astute enough to recognize it. I have found myself asking the question lately, though, since starting this chapter.

2015/11/17 Won as 15 kyu against 14 kyu with 1 handi stone. I usually lose to this player so, pleased to win this one. Rank bumped to 14 kyu. (https://online-go.com/game/3278575)

2015/11/18 Lost league game as 14 kyu to 11 kyu with no handicap. No surprise there. Live rank still 14 kyu

2015/11/25 Resigned second of two correspondence games with another FF reader. Looking forward to those reviews.

Next days. Lost another league games against stronger player and got a couple reviews on that and other games. I don't really enjoy these unbalanced games. It's not that I mind losing. But the games aren't really a contest. The reviews seemed good, though I failed to really appreciate them. I feel like I want to enjoy Go at my current level right now, playing moves I can understand at some level, learning along the way. Being told that a sequence is all wrong because some move “isn't even joseki”... meh. I reject the idea that I have to know everything in order to enjoy this game. Let me play wrong and make the most of it.

This is a mood thing, I suspect. Some other day I'd be all over the reviews.

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Post #13 Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:40 am 
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saxmaam wrote:
The first part of this chapter clarified the reasons for the Go proverb that says “Don't attach when attacking.”

One of these problems sent me off for a definition of “bad contact play”, which I didn't find. This phrase has been used a number of times in the book, and many examples illustrate it. I gather that a bad contact play is one that isn't going to work out well. If there is a better description, I'd love to know it.

I know I help my opponents regularly and am not astute enough to recognize it. I have found myself asking the question lately, though, since starting this chapter.


OC, particular circumstances matter, but as a rule the attachment is bad for attack, good for defense. To a lesser degree the same holds true for a play on the diagonally adjacent point to the opponent's stone. The reason, as Bruce Wilcox illustrates in his "Contact Fights", which cover both cases, is that contact fights tend to strengthen both sides. So in general they are good for the weaker player (defender) and bad for the stronger player (attacker).

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Post #14 Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:55 am 
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Quote:
a bad contact play is one that isn't going to work out well. If there is a better description, I'd love to know it.
The problem is that's an empty, circular description/definition that's true for almost all things in Go.

Josekis are a standard example where the local result may be equal or even superior for one side,
but globally, the result is the opposite.

You could add "globally" to the description -- however, it's still empty and circular.
When exactly is a move good or bad ? It depends (as Bill already mentioned).

Everything depends on the exact, particular board.

It amounts to: play good moves; don't play bad moves -- that's completely empty and circular, and not useful at all. :)

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Post #15 Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:36 pm 
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saxmaam wrote:
a definition of “bad contact play”, which I didn't find.


You have searched for the wrong thing. The stated principle on p. 80 is:

"Do not use bad contact plays for attack."

The used phrase is 'bad contact plays for attack'. The following paragraph defines 'contact play', usually recommends non-contact plays for attack, specifies uses of contact plays and then explains in particular "[...] contact plays that are bad for attack if the attacker does not have strong nearby supporting stones". For practical purposes, this is the offered definition of 'bad contact plays for attack'. No attempt is made to define 'bad contact plays' for the general variety of uses of contact plays - the definition is only for the purpose of attack. This is the important case for the reader.

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Post #16 Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:23 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
saxmaam wrote:
a definition of “bad contact play”, which I didn't find.


You have searched for the wrong thing.


Dreadful mistake!

RobertJasiek wrote:
The stated principle on p. 80 is:

"Do not use bad contact plays for attack."


Not actually tautologous.

RobertJasiek wrote:
The following paragraph defines 'contact play', usually recommends non-contact plays for attack, specifies uses of contact plays and then explains in particular "[...] contact plays that are bad for attack if the attacker does not have strong nearby supporting stones".


Indeed unsupported contact plays are different in kind from supported contact plays, e.g. those occurring in the attach-extend and attach-block patterns. The latter can be used with intent to attack, the former tends not to be used that way. The tsukiatari or ramming play is typically for emergency defence.

The unsupported contact play is a typical non-emergency defensive play.

The underlying type of mistake being criticised here is "playing too close". That takes a bit of unpacking, but is one of the fundamentals.

The book's exposition also takes a bit of unpacking.


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Post #17 Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:49 am 
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2015/11/17 Won as 15 kyu against 14 kyu with 1 handi stone. I usually lose to this player so, pleased to win this one. Rank bumped to 14 kyu. (https://online-go.com/game/3278575)


:b19: and :b21: are OK, while :w22: is over the top. But Black's result to :b29: is overconcentrated. The cut at C6 should come immediately, and White has problems here.

To :b41: Black doesn't have good formations. Black does better on the lower side to :b59:. There follow some plays that don't mean much. Before living with :b65:, Black has the option of forcing with K5.

:b75: for :w76: is not a good exchange. The key point of shape here is Q5, which sets up further plays.

By :w92: it is not so clear that the exchange made is better for Black. The endgame starts, however, and Black plays steadily from a solid position. Black 173 is a clear error (of the 123 type).

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Post #18 Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:04 pm 
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Chapter 7. Shape

This is another dense chapter. I found new insights here. Like not pushing your opponent into the center where he wants to be. Do I do that? I'm not sure so probably. Some examples were over my head, though that's been true for the entire book. I especially enjoyed the joseki section and was pleased to find that the basic joseki demonstrated were all familiar.

My energy for Go has been rather limited lately. I've been steadily working through this book, even if my pace is very slow. And I've been playing turns in correspondence games. I'd like to get the number of correspondence games way down and play live instead.

2016/01/04 Slow going over the holiday since I had to put up my Go board for company. Multiple correspondence tournaments opened up new rounds. Sad face! Yesterday I played a rare live game and lost big time after an opening that put me ahead, probably. <<Don't join correspondence tournaments. Don't join correspondence tournaments.... some of them are nearly 18 months old!.>>

2016/01/07 Finished this nice chapter. Could've used more problems!

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Post #19 Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:22 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
saxmaam wrote:
a definition of “bad contact play”, which I didn't find.


You have searched for the wrong thing. The stated principle on p. 80 is:

"Do not use bad contact plays for attack."

The used phrase is 'bad contact plays for attack'. The following paragraph defines 'contact play', usually recommends non-contact plays for attack, specifies uses of contact plays and then explains in particular "[...] contact plays that are bad for attack if the attacker does not have strong nearby supporting stones". For practical purposes, this is the offered definition of 'bad contact plays for attack'. No attempt is made to define 'bad contact plays' for the general variety of uses of contact plays - the definition is only for the purpose of attack. This is the important case for the reader.


Thanks! I guess I didn't have myself subscribed to this thread, so didn't realize that I had replies. :oops:

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Post #20 Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:15 am 
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Hello, I thought I'd post an update here.

There's been a death in my family and I have some new, time-consuming responsibilities.

I'm playing a few correspondence games and starting to play a few live games a week, but it will be a while before I get back to actually studying Go. I plan to resume this thread when I do.


This post by saxmaam was liked by: Bonobo
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