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 Post subject: How to play territorially
Post #1 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:35 am 
Honinbo

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Inseong says I should be more territorial when I play go. I tried consciously thinking about this during my last game, but I found that I don’t know how to play territorially.

Any tips?

So far, I am guessing the following:
* Consider third line moves
* Don’t try to make a big moyo
* Focus in definite territory

Anything else?

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #2 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:45 am 
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Invade on the 3-3- early? ;)

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #3 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:05 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
Invade on the 3-3- early? ;)


I tried something similar - I played 3-3 as my first two moves. But subsequent moves weren’t consistent. For example, I felt inclined to make a wide extension after this. But I guess that extension is not consistent- I was trying to make a framework because that’s what I’m used to.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #4 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:28 am 
Gosei

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Often when you play territorially directly you have to invade or reduce your opponent's moyo at some point. So issues of shinogi and keshi naturally occur. Reducing moves can work with your territory to increase your territory while invasions wreck your opponent's territory but might not give you much additional territory.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #5 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:47 am 
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Kirby wrote:
Bill Spight wrote:
Invade on the 3-3- early? ;)


I tried something similar - I played 3-3 as my first two moves. But subsequent moves weren’t consistent. For example, I felt inclined to make a wide extension after this. But I guess that extension is not consistent- I was trying to make a framework because that’s what I’m used to.


Sakata used to play a lot of 3-3 games. I just thumbed through a book of his games. Most of the time in those games he played 3-3 in one corner, 3-4 in another.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #6 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:58 am 
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Buy the book 地取り戦法 by Cho Chikun (ISBN 4-8399-1700-0).

But the gist of what he says is that you have to forget the old dichotomy between profit and thickness and learn to understand that taking territory is actually a form of thickness.


This post by John Fairbairn was liked by 3 people: Bill Spight, Calvin Clark, gowan
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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #7 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:32 pm 
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Thanks. Cho Chikun definitely came to mind when I heard I should play more territorially. I skimmed through a couple of games but that usually doesn’t register with me - maybe I need to think more.

A book seems like a good way. I’ll check it out, John.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #8 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:13 pm 
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IMO, playing territorially means you're actively taking 10-15 points cash here and there in the opening (try the 3-3/3-4 opening) and translating that into a winnable game by playing sharp, quick moves that prevent a moyo and, imo, keep the middle game more interesting (with more moving parts).

I'm exaggerating here but--to think like a territorial player, purge your opening play of building-oriented concepts, moyos, and perhaps most difficult of all for a player like you, extensions. Outside corner enclosures, you shouldn't be looking at any group and thinking "how can I make this bigger?"; what you in your former life thought was an extension is actually just the start of a new group along the side.

Make the board small and take corner points that you're given unless it means being enclosed. And as stated, be ready to play light and fight intelligently. Don't just throw a random stone into the middle of a giant moyo--you absolutely must leave behind weaknesses and cannot play too slow. In other words, don't get too greedy with your corner greed. (I suspect this last bit--about how not to lose while playing territorially--is less relevant to you and your mindset.)

If there are 10 different living groups at the end of the game, your third-line points are probably enough to win.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #9 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:17 pm 
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Post a random game maybe, and get suggestions for "territorial" alternatives here and there.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #10 Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:38 pm 
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Kirby wrote:
* Consider third line moves
* Don’t try to make a big moyo
* Focus in definite territory

Anything else?


Choose jôseki variations oriented towards territory.
Close your territory so that no invasion is possible anymore.
Play slower than your opponent at the beginning (less points, but stronger), then, be ready to invade the weaknesses of your opponent at the exact right moment (not too soon, not too late). Having stronger groups should give you an advantage in the battle : your opponent has no sente moves against you, while you have against him.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #11 Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:52 am 
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Perhaps my latest video contains some useful tips for a territorial opening: Learning from AlphaGo #10: countering the Sakata Opening

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #12 Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:31 am 
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I actually changed to a more territorial style since the rise of AI and for me it came down to mostly one thing:
play tenuki.

I had a bad habit of attacking too early which often lead to me not getting the big moves because:
- I came out of these fights with gote or
- my opponent just ignored me at some point and I couldn't follow up effectively to make up for the loss of points

I still have this instinct of wanting to attack so badly but I try to force myself to always keep in mind the big points and to consider playing away.
For myself I'm happy with the changed approach, I think it has broadened my vision of the board.

Also my games have become a bit calmer since I go into the middle-game with a lead much more often than not.
Of course then the madness starts anyway ;)

Hope you can take something away from that.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #13 Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:04 am 
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golem7 wrote:
I actually changed to a more territorial style since the rise of AI and for me it came down to mostly one thing:
play tenuki.

I had a bad habit of attacking too early which often lead to me not getting the big moves because:
- I came out of these fights with gote or
- my opponent just ignored me at some point and I couldn't follow up effectively to make up for the loss of points


This is an important insight. :) I started off as a gung ho attacker, but I had the good fortune to read the introductory pages of Korschelt ( https://senseis.xmp.net/?TheTheoryAndPracticeOfGO ), where he talks about the importance of sente (in the sense of the initiative). OC, I played very badly, but I always kept in mind that if I could not kill, I should take sente, as a rule. It sounds like your insight is working out well for you. :)

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #14 Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:28 am 
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Well I have to fight more and don't exactly know how to begin with that, so I could ask that question of you. :)

Some of the workshop lectures Bill Cobb published of Yilun Yang's workshops covers these styles: fighting, territorial, and moyo. I got to ask Mr. Yang about this in person once and he looked at me and said, "please play a territorial style." I don't know if he intended that just for me or in general. I wouldn't be surprised at either. Anyway, one of the things I noticed in his examples was that a player who attempts to get a fight may fail to and the result will be a slightly disadvantageous territorial game. A player who seeks a moyo and misses, well, even one correct point will be left with anywhere from a slightly to massively disadvantageous territorial game. All games ultimately evolve (or degenerate) into territorial games if they go on long enough as in the end, that's what's scored, of course. :)

I suspect you rely a bit too much on being able to create situations where you can outread your opponents. This works great, as when it works you can win quickly. To develop the option of playing more territorial ideas may require a leap of faith, though. You have to trust that your reading can also help you win close games. You have to trust that your reading and counting will save you from making a bad furikawari. That time and effort you spent over the years building up your reading is useful for lots of things, not just killing stuff.

For me to fight more, I don't know. But I suspect I don't have faith in the severe moves that I see. "Why didn't you play here and just finish the game?" Well, often I did see it, and indeed it looked pretty nasty, but I wasn't sure it would turn out well. If try to read it to confirm, maybe I lose too much time. I am trying to review the AYD "Trouble Maker" lectures more as I miss those chances a lot. And maybe I'll try to play more handicap games as white so I'll have no choice but to seek complications. Maybe I'll just play mirror go and not even try to get an opening lead, forcing me to tear stuff up to get any edge. I don't know. But I grow weary of getting the same advice, so something has to change.

Kirby wrote:
Bill Spight wrote:
Invade on the 3-3- early? ;)


I tried something similar - I played 3-3 as my first two moves. But subsequent moves weren’t consistent. For example, I felt inclined to make a wide extension after this. But I guess that extension is not consistent- I was trying to make a framework because that’s what I’m used to.



I think I saw one of the games you are talking about. Two 3-3s but also two side star point extensions? This is an actual framework of course and pros have played it in the past. But it's not the type of territorial / thick idea John was talking about. It's playable, of course, but it is something different. It is thin and tempts the opponent in. It reminds me of the Monty Python lion tamer sketch. To play two 3-3s and then do that means you have bought the lion tamer hat but what you think of as a lion is actually an anteater. But you are not a weak player and you did make the later moves work, but it's something different.

Yuan Zhou's book on Kitani and Cho Chikun contrasts their two different territorial styles. Yeah, there's more than one, but some commonality exists of course. There is a slight favoring of settling positions early and not accepting (or provoking) pointless fights in the fuseki. So it's a simplified way of playing, patient, taking one thing at a time and accepting only a slight advantage. And it shows as much at move 50 o 150 as at move 5. It's not so much greed as efficiency. Go doesn't have the term prophylaxis, but there is some sense of that.

Yilun Yang's advice on joseki choice including something like, "if there is nothing special going on, take territory." If there is something special going on, then you have to deal with it, of course. The fighting style may be more like, "if there is nothing special going on, test your opponent with a slight overplay and see if they mess up." The fighter is looking for a chance to get a clear advantage and sometimes gets it. The territorial player rarely gets that kind of advantage unless the opponent makes a big mistake in direction or tries to hard to attack something that's not easy to attack. The territorial player hopes for that as much as the fighter hopes for the missed tesuji. The fizzled attack on a light group is gold. The position between two territorial players often has to be counted to know who is ahead.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #15 Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:07 pm 
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Regarding OP, I'm just a kyu, so I will introduce what my 8d tygem teacher says.
When playing territorially; a. try to stabilize your own groups so that they turn into secure points and thickness, and b. try to divide the board into narrow groups (i.e try to make as many groups making small territory).
As for a., when you stablize your groups and turn them into thickness, you will get more sente plays during the endgame, hence more points. As for b., the opponent will most like have a wall facing the outside, so prevent them from becoming a moyo. In order to do this, he recommends approaching the opponent stones from the other side of where you already have your stable stones, thereby effectively pincering his framework from right and left and limiting his development. For example, if you have stable stones on the bottom side, approach the opponent's corner stone stone from either the left or the right side.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #16 Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:16 am 
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A caveat about territorial play.

Suppose that a game lasts about 240 moves so that, when the score is counted, each player has around 60 points of territory on the board. (That's fairly typical, IMX.) That means that each player ends up with on average ½ pt. of territory for each stone played.

However, at the start of play each stone gains around 14 pts. of territory, and the gain per stone gradually drops to 0 over the course of the game. So we may make a rough estimate of 7 pts. of territory gained per move. But in the end each player gets on average only ½ pt. per move. What happened to the other 6½ pts.?

The answer lies in the back and forth. Most of the value of a move, no matter what the style of play, comes from preventing the opponent from making territory. As the great Takagawa said (paraphrasing slightly): Go is a game of territory, but it is very difficult to make territory.

Even with a territorial style, a player mainly makes potential territory early in the game — or else falls behind.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #17 Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:01 pm 
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kyulearner wrote:
Regarding OP, I'm just a kyu, so I will introduce what my 8d tygem teacher says.
When playing territorially; a. try to stabilize your own groups so that they turn into secure points and thickness, and b. try to divide the board into narrow groups (i.e try to make as many groups making small territory).
As for a., when you stablize your groups and turn them into thickness, you will get more sente plays during the endgame, hence more points. As for b., the opponent will most like have a wall facing the outside, so prevent them from becoming a moyo. In order to do this, he recommends approaching the opponent stones from the other side of where you already have your stable stones, thereby effectively pincering his framework from right and left and limiting his development. For example, if you have stable stones on the bottom side, approach the opponent's corner stone stone from either the left or the right side.


One modern proverb has some meaning in the context of the advice in this posting. "If you have six groups, one is dead" :)

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #18 Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:04 am 
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How to play territorially? Count.

If you are counting, you are keeping a territorial mindset. You are focusing on winning by taking points. This is as opposed to winning by taking 'power' through influence. I vaguely remember these ideas, territory and power, being distinguished in "Attack and Defense". I found counting keeps me grounded in the game. Makes me play safer and take less risk, so I end up playing a lot of second line sliding moves and going to endgame earlier.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #19 Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:07 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
A caveat about territorial play.

Suppose that a game lasts about 240 moves so that, when the score is counted, each player has around 60 points of territory on the board. (That's fairly typical, IMX.) That means that each player ends up with on average ½ pt. of territory for each stone played.

However, at the start of play each stone gains around 14 pts. of territory, and the gain per stone gradually drops to 0 over the course of the game. So we may make a rough estimate of 7 pts. of territory gained per move. But in the end each player gets on average only ½ pt. per move. What happened to the other 6½ pts.?

The answer lies in the back and forth. Most of the value of a move, no matter what the style of play, comes from preventing the opponent from making territory. As the great Takagawa said (paraphrasing slightly): Go is a game of territory, but it is very difficult to make territory.

Even with a territorial style, a player mainly makes potential territory early in the game — or else falls behind.


That's an astute observation. So one could postulate that the later in the game the less value your moves have mathematically. But then again if you make a mistake at the end of the game you don't have initiative to recover... but I guess that's because the value of your moves are still deteriorating. It makes sense though, since often the end of the game is calculating, x is worth 4 points. Then y is worth 3. I'll play x. And the last move of a lot of games is a fight over a half-point ko.

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 Post subject: Re: How to play territorially
Post #20 Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:42 am 
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I am a complete beginner, so don't loose your patience on my comments. So far while playing, my only concern was territory grabbing. here I am getting new tips which are helpful, so big thanks for sharing your ideas, helping me a lot. hope to improve soon.

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