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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #21 Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Tapani wrote:
Attachment:
game.sgf



I tried to fix the sgf-viewer link.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #22 Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:51 pm 
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I used to really struggle with this type of opponent - and to a certain extent I still do. I think the thing that helped me the most was realising how large a part psychology plays in this style. When your opponent only takes a few seconds per move and plays very aggressively, its easy to get stressed. You start relying on instinct and respond in kind. This is what your opponent wants. So my advice is to just slow down. Use your time and don't be forced into playing at your opponents pace.

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Post #23 Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:56 pm 
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If you haven't already, read "Attack and Defense" by Ishida Akira and James Davies. There's plenty in that book to help you out, more than a forum post could ever go over.

If the game you linked (and Schachus helpfully reposted) is symptomatic of what you're talking about, then I'd say that you've developed the opposite problem from hyper-aggressiveness: You're hyperterritorial and hyper-protective. You act as if areas where you've invested one more stone than your opponent should be yours, and you fight tooth and nail to jealously guard the scraps that you have identified as yours.

It's not uncommon to see one trait or the other to develop right around the transition from DDK to SDK. At that level, the fastest improvements often come from maximizing your instincts around either fighting or protecting your territory. In between 12k-8k, you start hitting a wall where it's no longer enough to simply maximize your strengths; you also have to learn to overcome your weaknesses.

For a hyper-aggressive player, it's learning when to take a step back from the attack and make some living groups before becoming overextended and dying a horrible death. For hyper-protective players, it's learning when to let go of an area that you thought was yours and shifting your focus to take profit elsewhere.

So, in your games, I would focus on trying to keep your opponent weak and building strong groups from which you can build solid territory. For example, in the linked game:

At move 19, playing E3 helps solidify your corner. White would then like to play F4, you would then play C6 - but here's where your payoff comes. White's ideal point would be K4, but you're already at K4, so he has to make a suboptimal extension - J3, perhaps, to build a base. Black can then block at J4 for center influence, or at K3 to keep White weak.

At move 43, playing K17 keeps White's two groups split apart. His low group is still not alive, and his K16 stone becomes floating. You can get some more forcing moves out of attacking the N17 group (you probably can't kill it) to solidify your top group, and then use that strength to come into White's area in the top left and really do some damage.

At 73, your move is the kind of move that you play if you're trying to kill White's group, but by this point White can't be killed. Better to use that move to solidify another group or to attack any of White's many weak stones. K10 and D10 are both very weak, and attacking either of them could help you build something bigger while depriving White of a steadily-solidifying territory.

At 105, you did have some ko threats - you just need to think bigger. R16, for example, threatens S15, which captures the stones at S16 and cuts off the base from the three stones at R14. It's huge. Your move at E2 was also a valid ko threat, and your opponent was wrong to ignore it. After he ignores it, F2 is a possible follow-up to cut the base out from that White group. You might lose a bit in the corner, but it puts White on the defensive and gives you something to attack.

At 114, descend at K2 instead of O2. You can't prevent that stone from linking up to something, so better to let it link to something that's already strong than to let it link to and strengthen an already weak group. K2 keeps the White group to the left baseless and under attack, and you can attack it to gain life for your stones.

I'll stop at that point, but those are good examples of how you deal with a hyper-aggressive player. Going on the attack that much leaves weaknesses behind, and hyper-aggressive players count on you being too overwhelmed to spend the time to pick their moves apart. By invading over and over, your opponent is just creating weak group after weak group. So when you respond, work to keep them separated, and don't be afraid to give up a few points to make groups that can't be attacked.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #24 Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:10 am 
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I think there may also be a cultural aspect to this. I play on IGS quite a bit and I find the Japanese players do have a much more aggressive style of play to the western players.

My theory is that in Japan Go is much more prevalent, so they grow up surrounded by Go problems which gives them an innate fighting ability.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #25 Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:25 am 
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What I thought of when I read the title was more the guys, that cut a lot, and after dying(should it happen) continue to play with their seemingly dead parts in order to look for aji/trick the opponent. It can be very exausting to play against if you always have to keep track, which groups have how many liberties left, and I often lose in the end. Here is a game I just played, where it ended well for me (the part I was refering to starts around move 120 or something, the play in the beginning did not seem hyper agressive to me)


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konakona-Schachus12.sgf [4.55 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #26 Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:37 am 
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BlindGroup wrote:
Here is an example of a player who is a bit too focused on killing one of my early groups, and how I usually try to take advantage. Starting with move 54, he plays three stones against a group to which I don't have to reply. Using these three free moves, I build up my frame work and then approach his corner.

Thank you for your suggestions. Playing elsewhere, and try to create territory there even when it costs me
a few stones is something I have tried.
It usually results in me losing the stones and then getting reduced to nothing in wherever I tenukied :-)

6keys wrote:
I think the thing that helped me the most was realising how large a part psychology plays in this style. When your opponent only takes a few seconds per move and plays very aggressively, its easy to get stressed.

Yes! Also in real life go, they play instantly and slam their stones onto the board very loudly
(just as in Hikaru no go). And that adds to the psychological pressure.
Getting killed by tactical plays over and over also has psychological effect.

BioKabe wrote:
If you haven't already, read "Attack and Defense" by Ishida Akira and James Davies. There's plenty in that book to help you out, more than a forum post could ever go over.

If the game you linked (and Schachus helpfully reposted) is symptomatic of what you're talking about, then I'd say that you've developed the opposite problem from hyper-aggressiveness: You're hyperterritorial and hyper-protective. You act as if areas where you've invested one more stone than your opponent should be yours, and you fight tooth and nail to jealously guard the scraps that you have identified as yours.

Welcome to the forums BioKabe, and thanks for the advice!

You are right that I probably have gotten myself a way too territorial style.

In my last few games I have tried to use less 3-space extensions and fourth
rank plays, and instead use 2-space and third rank stones more. Let's see how
that works out for me.

That book you mention, is it really on a good level for a DDK?
(Many old Japanese books, are often pages full of diagrams with 40+ moves on them,
and variations concluded with "and white lives" without further explanation -- in
positions where I would be more than capable of dying with the white stones ...)

mongus wrote:
I think there may also be a cultural aspect to this. I play on IGS quite a bit and I find the Japanese players do have a much more aggressive style of play to the western players.

Yes, but what I have heard Japanese players are still less aggressive than Chinese or Taiwanese ones ...

Schachus wrote:
What I thought of when I read the title was more the guys, that cut a lot, and after dying(should it happen) continue to play with their seemingly dead parts in order to look for aji/trick the opponent.


Schachus, first thanks for fixing the SGF. No idea why mine had problems, even tried downloading
an SGF validator -- which said my file was fine.

Those players are the ones I ment when I posted. Too bad my game was not a good example of it.
Almost as if those players are playing against several stones of handicap, even when it is an even game.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #27 Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:00 am 
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Just ran into another one, this one is probably a better example.

Maybe he is not *the* most aggressive I have seen either, but quite aggressive and good at confusing and counting.

This game I tried to keep my groups connected and think about shape over making large territorial claims. Result: miserable failure. =/



EDIT: How to make IGS sgf files working?
EDIT2: Fix the link, omit "mode=view" parameter


Attachments:
ndkn-Tapani-2017-03-01.sgf [2 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #28 Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:23 am 
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Black :b59: to play and kill ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #29 Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:29 am 
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schawipp wrote:
Black :b59: to play and kill ;-)


Gash! There is a kill?? Spent a few minutes (while playing) looking for one!

EDIT: Think I see it now. :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #30 Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:26 pm 
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Quote:
That book you mention, is it really on a good level for a DDK?
(Many old Japanese books, are often pages full of diagrams with 40+ moves on them,
and variations concluded with "and white lives" without further explanation -- in
positions where I would be more than capable of dying with the white stones ...)


I'd have to go back and read it again, but my recollection is that it's at a very nice level to take you from low DDK to mid SDK. My copy is dog-eared and practically falling apart, but I think I picked it up when I was about 12k. They're more focused on using concrete examples to illustrate solid principles rather than stressing the details of the particular sequence; the longest diagram I remember them putting in was about a 30-move sequence to illustrate that trying to kill a group that you can't kill is the same as playing a ladder that doesn't work.

They also spend time going over the specific types of moves that you would use for attack and defense - contact moves, shoulder hits, knight's moves, etc. - and how to use them correctly. Really, the most technical section of the book deals with invasions into three-space extensions; that's really the only part of the book where they deal with specific sequences for the sake of those particular sequences.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #31 Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:54 pm 
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Tapani wrote:
Just ran into another one, this one is probably a better example.

Maybe he is not *the* most aggressive I have seen either, but quite aggressive and good at confusing and counting.


The issue here it seems to me at least is not that your opponent is aggressive - I would just characterize their play as just lacking in fundamentals. You could easily handle these kinds of games by A) gaining familiarity with a few basic joseki (specifically understanding why White's opening moves in this game aren't good ideas and how to go about punishing them), B) improving your judgement about the weaknesses of your own groups, C) studying basic life & death.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #32 Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:23 pm 
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Tapani wrote:
EDIT: Think I see it now. :oops:
Yep, once it is mentioned it seems rather easy. The problem (where I'm also struggling) is to develop an instinct for weak positions in order to see such moves in an actual game. Excessive solving of tsumego and playing 9x9 games may be of some help. The next level would be to see such weaknesses but to keep them only as option within the process of achieving a bigger goal (that's something where I even struggle much more).

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Post #33 Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:54 am 
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Hi,
I can't believe that both players left an empty corner for 70 moves !!

Nothing can be worth more than an empty corner. Some professional have developed alternative exotic moves that are worth the same as an empty corner, but there is no known move that is superior.

Which means that an easy way to deal with the first moves is to systematically ignore the answers of your opponent as long as there is an empty corner left.
Once you've played a stone near the last empty corner, you can think about answering the first approach move of your opponent.

Which means that all the moves from 2 to 70 are bad, except moves 7 (takes a second corner) and 15 (takes the third one), and maybe move 61, that secures the life of the black group. They should have been played around the lower right star point.

I can see a local mistake : 19 should be played at C15 in order to keep both white stones separated, and make the white stone B15 crawl on the second line, if she dares.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #34 Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:52 am 
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Pio2001 wrote:
Hi,
I can't believe that both players left an empty corner for 70 moves !!

Nothing can be worth more than an empty corner. Some professional have developed alternative exotic moves that are worth the same as an empty corner, but there is no known move that is superior.

Which means that an easy way to deal with the first moves is to systematically ignore the answers of your opponent as long as there is an empty corner left.
Once you've played a stone near the last empty corner, you can think about answering the first approach move of your opponent.

Which means that all the moves from 2 to 70 are bad, except moves 7 (takes a second corner) and 15 (takes the third one), and maybe move 61, that secures the life of the black group. They should have been played around the lower right star point.

I can see a local mistake : 19 should be played at C15 in order to keep both white stones separated, and make the white stone B15 crawl on the second line, if she dares.


Errr, no, it is very common for the urgency and size of local situations to increase above the value of an empty corner. For example in this game around move 55 black could play and kill a big group worth 35 points or so (plus connection value), which is bigger than an empty corner. Even just concluding a joseki to make a group have a base instead of being a weak group that your opponent profits from attacking is often bigger than an empty corner. That's not to say there weren't good times in this game to take an empty corner, but it was far fewer than every move until move 70. You can see a similar idea in the environmental go game between Jujo Jiang and Rui Naiwei: there were extended periods of urgent middle-game fighting where neither took the points tokens instead of playing a move.

In fact move 7 I probably wouldn't take the empty corner but extend. It's such a silly position it's hard for me to say at a glance if I would say 7 in the empty corner is worse, but extend is certainly a good move and maybe the best on the board objectively. Playing against this opponent I would say it's a good idea to play it even if it isn't the best objectively because your eccentric opponent might crawl on the 2nd line giving you a nice wall (I know you shouldn't play bad moves hoping for your opponent to make a mistake, but this is a good move even if he tenukis as he should, and brilliant if he answers).

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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #35 Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:05 am 
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Uberdude wrote:
In fact move 7 I probably wouldn't take the empty corner but extend.


Me, too. :D

Quote:
It's such a silly position it's hard for me to say at a glance if I would say 7 in the empty corner is worse, but extend is certainly a good move and maybe the best on the board objectively.


I'll go out on a limb and say that. If White plays the hane where Black has the extension, then the Black keima stone does not look good. It looks like White made a double kakari and Black played strangely. See sgf file if that's not clear. (OC, it's clear to Uberdude, but maybe not to all of our readers. :))



BTW, extending at :b7: illustrates why hyperaggressive players are my favorite opponents. You can wait for the overplay. ;) Often, as here, the refutation is solid play which reduces the options for the opponent. Hyperaggressive players are generally good at seizing opportunities. Reducing their options can be effective against them.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #36 Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:43 pm 
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There are a couple more odd choices of move at :b15: and :b19: as well.

For the first, why not extend once at least? It prevents white getting an atari to climb out, at the least.

For the second, playing on top at C15 feels like the only move to me. Blocking on the side is just asking to be cut instead of being the one doing the cutting.

A lot of the time for weird moves, they are self punishing when you play a normal response, and nothing to worry about. It's when you try to get fancy that you get into trouble. If you are unable to capitalize on the gain made from playing a solid move, that's a separate issue, but you have to get to that point before you can claim it as the weakness in your game.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #37 Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:47 pm 
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Thank you all for the comments on my game. Was not expecting as many, just general advice on how to play them.

After some thinking, what I think I mean with "hyper-aggressive" are players who use the combination of four techniques to win and intimidate their opponents:

  • Confuse: they play non-standard moves to get stone patterns that are unfamiliar to others. They have played those patterns a lot, so they know them and the tricks in them. The result is that their victims become unsure where to play (instincts not working fully), and in quick games, will result in mistakes by opponents.
  • Tactics: Good reading ability, excellent at tesuji and tsumegos.
    They attack any weaknesses, sacrificing stones trying to provoke mistakes. If they cannot kill anything or see any confusing moves, they move to the closest area nearby, maybe hoping that the mess will spill back over to the area where they could no more make progress.
  • Non-territorial: They do not try to make much territory "organically". Instead they try to attack stones and territory their opponents have. This means it is hard to make threats against them. Will rarely defend stones. What territory they have is created by kills or by staking out areas by attacking. There are seldom any large ko-threats against them (it is just a rubble of stones) which makes the life and death even more lethal. Kos tend to work in their favour.
    However it is possible to beat them even after losing many stones (beat one today despite losing 53 stones in captures!)
  • Psychology: Being constantly under attack, getting your territory and stones involuntarily taken away has its mental toll. Also the attacker plays very fast, to add stress to their opponents. Over the board they tend to slam their stones onto the goban for additional intimidation.

Don't know if the above will help anyone in practice, just wanted to share the analysis :-)

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Post #38 Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:31 pm 
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Tapani wrote:
(beat one today despite losing 53 stones in captures!)


I would love to see this game!

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 Post subject: Re: Playing hyper-aggressive opponents
Post #39 Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:43 pm 
Judan

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Tapani wrote:
Thank you all for the comments on my game. Was not expecting as many, just general advice on how to play them.

After some thinking, what I think I mean with "hyper-aggressive" are players who use the combination of four techniques to win and intimidate their opponents:


When I was starting out I was pretty aggressive, so I thought I would see how well I fit your hyper-aggressive category back then. :)

  • Confuse: they play non-standard moves to get stone patterns that are unfamiliar to others. They have played those patterns a lot, so they know them and the tricks in them. The result is that their victims become unsure where to play (instincts not working fully), and in quick games, will result in mistakes by opponents.

    I played non-standard moves because I did not know many standard moves. ;)

  • Tactics: Good reading ability, excellent at tesuji and tsumegos.
    They attack any weaknesses, sacrificing stones trying to provoke mistakes. If they cannot kill anything or see any confusing moves, they move to the closest area nearby, maybe hoping that the mess will spill back over to the area where they could no more make progress.

    My reading ability was so-so, and my tesuji and tsumego were terrible. I attacked any weaknesses and loved to sacrifice stones. :)

  • Non-territorial: They do not try to make much territory "organically". Instead they try to attack stones and territory their opponents have. This means it is hard to make threats against them. Will rarely defend stones. What territory they have is created by kills or by staking out areas by attacking. There are seldom any large ko-threats against them (it is just a rubble of stones) which makes the life and death even more lethal. Kos tend to work in their favour.

    I did not, and still do not, have a territorial style. I rarely defended stones, but tried to throw them away. By throwing stones away I often made thickness, which generally forestalled ko threats, but I would not call what I made a rubble of stones.

  • Psychology: Being constantly under attack, getting your territory and stones involuntarily taken away has its mental toll. Also the attacker plays very fast, to add stress to their opponents. Over the board they tend to slam their stones onto the goban for additional intimidation.

    I was a rather slow player, and certainly would not slap stones down, which is rude. As for any psychological advantage I may have enjoyed, I can't say. :)

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