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 Post subject: Improving at the opening
Post #1 Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:40 pm 
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Is there any good way to improve at the opening?

I've been posting some games for review over on GoKibitz, and one of the stronger players rather bluntly told me he was surprised I was able to get to 6k KGS considering how weak my opening is. I wasn't offended; I've always felt as though I fall pretty badly behind early on in my games and have to try to catch up.

Anyhow, it spurred me to get a copy of Bozulich's 501 Opening Problems, and I have to say the problems are way over my head. Each problem, four to a page, has has a big hint printed below it as to what strategic aim you're supposed to try to achieve. But even with the hints I'm barely getting half of them right. Without the hints, and I'm at maybe 10%.

Consider an example:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$ Black to move
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . O . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X X . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . . . , . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . . . . O . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


In a real game with the clock running, I'd be thinking about whether Black needs to add another stone to the group in the bottom left, but this is an opening problem, so we can rule that right out. Ultimately, I concluded I'd play around C14, either jumping into the corner or extending to C11 depending on what White did.

But the strategic goal, as it turns out, is to expand Black's moyo while reducing White's. After some consideration, I figured the point must be to play at H15, even though it looked to me as though that would only help White secure the entire left side.

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


I wouldn't have found that answer at all. And if I played at 1, I'd expect White to respond one point above 3, leaving me with a floating stone that's going to have trouble getting eyes.

Is the only way to improve to keep doing the problems over and over until I finally start getting them right? Because as things currently stand, it's terribly discouraging not to be able even to figure out what the right plan is supposed to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #2 Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:49 pm 
Judan

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I don't study pro games much myself, but I'd imagine that you'd get better at the opening if you replayed a bunch of pro games.

Couldn't hurt to try to think about reasons why they play the moves they do, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #3 Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:21 pm 
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If you like studying the opening, maybe improvement is possible. I did play through maybe the first 50 moves of 10 pro games a day when I was working on this. I felt it helped quite a bit

But maybe you don't have to be good at the opening, in the sense of these slow, balanced openings of the 60s or 70s. Judging moyos or highly balanced solid games requires a lot of intuition or at least good positional judgement. Many players simply find ways to avoid this by starting fights early. Maybe that's your path and if it is you don't need the other stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #4 Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:52 pm 
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Fedya wrote:

Consider an example:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$ Black to move
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . O . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X X . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . . . a . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . . . . O . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]




So, first of all, Leela, who is much stronger than both of us, prefers the shoulder hit K4 (which would also be my move) to K5. (K5 is its second choice, but keep in mind that there are several moves such as P3, O4, C16, K14, and K13, which have almost the same winning probability in its estimation.) So second of all, relax. If there's anything we've learned from AlphaGo it's that there's not one true way, or if there is, we don't know it. :)

Against black K5, for a while Leela was suggesting white K7, which is not the move in Bozulich's book but is naturally that you might consider, as capping a reducing move is often an option. One challenge with opening books is that they show these fantasy lines that never seem to show up in our own games.

Your feeling that black needs a defense in the lower right is natural. So natural that Guo Juan 5p has lectures that cover it and it came up with one student in a set of group lessons I took. It turns out black is okay, but that requires tactical reading. So if you were planning on playing a gote move there, then falling behind in this position would be not so much about opening knowledge, but rather falls in the category of joseki knowledge or strong tactical reading.

IMHO, the first rule about the opening is that there is no such thing. It literally doesn't exist, except in some vague sense of early common moves that are worth pre-reading so that you don't have to read them out during game. Fights can break out very early and then tactical reading dominates. If that doesn't happen then the position is probably so quiescent that endgame skills dominate. There is no opening. There is only go.


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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #5 Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:14 pm 
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It helps to envision a likely sequence that could reasonably have led to this position.

First nine moves:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ +---------------------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . |
$$ | . . . 4 . . 6 . . 5 . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 2 . . . . . , . . . . . 3 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]

So far, everything is normal.

Now if white's continuation is at 1 below, then when black approaches at 2, the joseki that ensues is perfect for white - she gets a wall and a high stone extended from it.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W Walls and high stones go together
$$ +---------------------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . O . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . 8 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . 6 O . . . . . 1 . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . 4 5 . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]


This is simply a shape to recognize. White's play in the actual problem is not wrong, but if she plays low like this (below), she would not then pursue a wall facing her low stones.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W When W plays low, she needs to think about lower left joeseki differently.
$$ +---------------------------------------+
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . O . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]


So the Bozulich problem is not as much about biggest fuseki move as it is about proper joseki choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #6 Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:23 pm 
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I like 501 opening problems, but it's probably best to think of it as a set of ideas about strategic aims than a set of problems with a single right answer.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #7 Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:02 pm 
Judan

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Fedya wrote:
Is there any good way to improve at the opening?

I've been posting some games for review over on GoKibitz, and one of the stronger players rather bluntly told me he was surprised I was able to get to 6k KGS considering how weak my opening is. I wasn't offended; I've always felt as though I fall pretty badly behind early on in my games and have to try to catch up.

Anyhow, it spurred me to get a copy of Bozulich's 501 Opening Problems, and I have to say the problems are way over my head. Each problem, four to a page, has has a big hint printed below it as to what strategic aim you're supposed to try to achieve. But even with the hints I'm barely getting half of them right.


Actually, that success rate indicates that the book is at about the right level of difficulty for you. :)

Quote:
Consider an example:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$ Black to move
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . O . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X X . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . . . , . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . . . . O . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


In a real game with the clock running, I'd be thinking about whether Black needs to add another stone to the group in the bottom left, but this is an opening problem, so we can rule that right out. Ultimately, I concluded I'd play around C14, either jumping into the corner or extending to C11 depending on what White did.

But the strategic goal, as it turns out, is to expand Black's moyo while reducing White's.


That is an important idea. Very often a play that does both is best, better than other big plays in the opening. Was that the hint?

Quote:
After some consideration, I figured the point must be to play at H15, even though it looked to me as though that would only help White secure the entire left side.


Takemiya might have chosen that play, who knows? :)

Edit: Oh, I was thinking of G-15, the attachment. I agree that H-15 would invite G-15, which would help White strengthen the left side.

Moi, without the hint I would have chosen Leela's play. With the hint, maybe J-13 or even J-12. :-|

Quote:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B The actual answer
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . O . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . X X . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . . 2 , . 3 . 5 . X . . . |
$$ | . . X O . . . . . . O 4 . W . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


I wouldn't have found that answer at all.


Well, :b1: is just barely outside the sector line between the :wc: stones, which I have marked. So it is on the radar.

Quote:
And if I played at 1, I'd expect White to respond one point above 3, leaving me with a floating stone that's going to have trouble getting eyes.


I also doubt :w2:, as apparently does Leela. :-|

Quote:
Is the only way to improve to keep doing the problems over and over until I finally start getting them right? Because as things currently stand, it's terribly discouraging not to be able even to figure out what the right plan is supposed to be.


There are 501 problems. I don't know how the book is organized. The idea may be that the problem get harder, or each group of problems has a theme. I imagine that if you try the problems on every other page until you reach the end of the book and keep score, and then go back and try the problems you skipped over, you will find that your score on the second set of problems will be better than your score on the first. :) You will be able to see your progress.

Since you find the problems challenging, one page per day is probably a good rate. Thinking about the problems is more important than getting the right answers, especially as there probably is no single correct answer for most opening problems.

At that rate you will take around four months to get through the book. Then give it a rest for a month or two and review. I would suggest that you keep going until you get better than 90% "correct".

When you review, take time to play around with alternate ideas, such as the reply by White that you found for the example problem.

Good luck! :D

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Last edited by Bill Spight on Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #8 Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:19 am 
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At 6-7k KGS, you do not need much opening theory. Instead,

1. avoid blunders,

2. apply the fundamentals,

3. otherwise, if there is an obvious opening move / theme, choose it,

4. otherwise, play what you want (but apply 1 and 2).

In the example position, 1 and 2 are given, so apply 3: exploit the weak spot K4 of W's moyo. It does not matter so much how exactly you exploit it but first of all it helps you a lot to identify the weak spot at all.


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Post #9 Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:52 am 
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The 501-books have the theory disguised as problems. The way I see it, you have to look up some of the answers to get ideas what to do in these situations. It's not a tsumego-book where it makes sense to record the score of problems solved. As an example, do you remember your last shoulder hit? If the books make you think about shoulder hits or other ideas in your games, it will have been a good investment.

I like Bills proposition of doing every other page first. There should be some deja-vues on the second go. The 90% success rate might be to high though. Chances are that you only get there by remembering the solution from last time, which shouldn't be a goal.

The combination with Leela or some other bot to check how bad/good your own ideas are, sounds like a good idea, too.

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Post #10 Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:31 am 
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A few scattered thoughts:

1) The nice thing about being bad in the opening relative to other players at your rank is that the rest of your game must be pretty good!

2) As was said above, this isn't tsumego; the answer in the book isn't the only thing that could possibly work. So don't feel too bad about being "wrong", but on the other hand you should at least be considering the areas they mention. I have been making flashcards of these problems and I think this one in particular is tough compared to some of its neighbors.

3) The lower left is a standard pattern resulting from a low pincer of an approach to a 4-4 stone, which you should be familiar with by this point. If you are familiar with it, you know that after White makes the two-knight-move connection, the joseki is over, so you don't need a protective move. This is just knowledge and not something you should be expected to calculate over the board, but it is 8k knowledge, not 1d knowledge, so it's worth picking up now if you don't have it already.

4) I don't know if the reason that the problems are giving you trouble is that you never picked up the theory, but if that is the case, Opening Theory Made Easy is the place to find it.

5) It sounds like this book is perfect for you right now. Don't be frustrated by the fact you're getting half of the problems wrong; that's how you learn. If you don't understand the answer even after seeing it, ask here.

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Post #11 Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:31 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
At 6-7k KGS, you do not need much opening theory. Instead,

1. avoid blunders,

2. apply the fundamentals,

3. otherwise, if there is an obvious opening move / theme, choose it,

4. otherwise, play what you want (but apply 1 and 2).

In the example position, 1 and 2 are given, so apply 3: exploit the weak spot K4 of W's moyo. It does not matter so much how exactly you exploit it but first of all it helps you a lot to identify the weak spot at all.


Sounds like advice I've heard for KGS 3d too. It's universal. :)

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Post #12 Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:22 am 
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Quote:
rather bluntly told me he was surprised I was able to get to 6k KGS considering how weak my opening is.
Not surprisingly, it is he who has a weak understanding of certain things.

Some nice comments here; to re-interate:
Quote:
At 6-7k KGS, you do not need much opening theory.
Instead, [ basics, basics, basics ].

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Post #13 Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Bill Spight asked:

Quote:
That is an important idea. Very often a play that does both is best, better than other big plays in the opening. Was that the hint?


The text below the problem reads: "Push back the border of your opponent's moyo while expanding your own! Where should Black play?"

Ed Lee wrote:

Quote:
Not surprisingly, it is he who has a weak understanding of certain things.


To be fair, the games I've posted over at GoKibitz have a lot of bad opening play on my part. :( It's distressingly common that I look at the board 60-70 moves in and I've screwed up somehwere to the point that I've got a bunch of weak groups and there doesn't seem to be any way to attack my opponent effectively.

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Post #14 Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:56 pm 
Judan
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Quote:
To be fair, the games I've posted over at GoKibitz
have a lot of bad opening play on my part. :(
Yes, please join the club. :)
Your reviewer is in it, too. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #15 Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:18 am 
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I'm going to go against the grain and say that developing a good sense of big moves in the opening is important.. Of course reading and fighting ability are no doubt the most important, but at some point you will need to understand some opening principles. Often I find that my opening gives me a nice position to make the fighting easier for me to handle than my opponent.

With that said, here are some things that I know can help you develop a nice sense of opening theory. It all depends how much time/effort/money you want to put into learning.

Books
    Opening Theory Made Easy by Otake Hideo - great book which lays out 20 strategic opening principles that you can immediately put into use in your games
    In the Beginning by Ikuro Ishigure - I consider this book as a good supplement to opening theory made easy. It also covers some information that's not in the other book.
    Attack and Defense - This book isn't technically about the opening, but often the opening and middle game are intertwined. So having a good knowledge of both is useful.

As for books of opening problems, I never really found them to be useful. I think your time would be much better spent reading theory books and trying to apply the theory in your games.

Teacher
The problem with books is that they don't follow the latest trends in go. To further improve your opening skill beyond what is in books, I recommend getting a strong teacher who could guide you in the right direction. Preferably one who is still active in the go world.

Lectures
I also highly recommend Guo Juan's internet go school. It has a lot of lectures that are very structured, and I'm sure if you watch them and do the problems, you can improve. I find that she covers a lot of opening and middle game theory that I've never seen in books.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #16 Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:49 pm 
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I've got a copy of Opening Theory Made Easy but haven't started working my way through it yet, and a copy of Attack and Defense which I need to go back to.

One issue I've always had with the books (and joseki dictionaries especially) is the question of what to do when your opponent doesn't play the way the book suggests. You have to go back to first principles, and that's where I seem to have a big problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #17 Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:44 pm 
Tengen

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[moved contents to viewtopic.php?p=221481#p221481 because books must be mentioned in the books forum]


Last edited by RobertJasiek on Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #18 Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:34 pm 
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I agree with Robert that you shouldn't be focusing on joseki dictionaries. It's really a waste of time for anyone to focus much effort studying those types of books.

In general, your comment about not knowing what to do when your opponent plays a move that's different from what's in the books is valid. However, I'd say that opening and attack theory books are a bit different. They aren't like joseki books where if your opponent doesn't play the way that's in the book then you are in trouble. Instead, they are books of strategic principles. So if your opponent doesn't play the way you expect, you will still have an idea of other big moves on the board, or perhaps even get an idea of how to punish your opponent. And if your opponent does play a really good move that seems to conflict with what you see in theory books, try to learn from it!

Where I disagree with Robert is that books like "Attack and Defense" and opening books aren't for your level and are somehow not fundamental. Unless by "first principles" he means the rules of the game, I don't see how much more fundamental you can get. And I'm confident that you already understand the rules :). In my opinion, opening and attack/defense are the most fundamental strategical parts of the game, and I feel confident that your game can improve tremendously by studying them. Supplement your opening and attack study with tsumego problems, and I'm sure you can achieve 1-2 kyu.

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Post #19 Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:08 pm 
Tengen

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[moved contents to viewtopic.php?p=221481#p221481 because books must be mentioned in the books forum]


Last edited by RobertJasiek on Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Improving at the opening
Post #20 Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:56 pm 
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I was more using the idea of joseki dictionaries (or what I do, looking things up on josekipedia afterwards when I had a position I didn't know where to respond) as something that, if somebody plays a move that's not joseki, you're not going to get any help figuring out how to respond to it.

A related problem is figuring out which joseki to play. In the games I posted over at GoKibitz I've gotten into some discussion about consistently playing close pincers when I might do better to play a far pincer or not play a pincer joseki at all. Figuring out which of the pincers to play is one of those things I have difficulty doing, and I don't understand very well what the point of the various pincers is, although skimming through the contents of Opening Theory Made Easy, that seems to be one of the topics covered.

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