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Post #31 Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:57 pm 
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Hi Fllecha,

Game 13:

:b7: :w8: :b9: After this standard sequence:
There are two big, shared local vital points here.
Worth this game to learn them. Any ideas ?
C5 and E6.
We can consider them miai -- have you heard of miai ?
That is, if your opponent takes either one, you can take the other one.

:w10: Your opponent just took one of them. Where do you play ?
The other one -- atari at E6.
:b11: You missed the other miai point.

:w12: Since you missed it, where can White play?
White can take E6 for itself, thus getting BOTH local vital points.
:w12: GNU also missed the other local vital point.

:w34: W finally gets BOTH local vital points.

:b35: No, you didn't lose sente on this move...

:b37: ...THIS connect is where you got gote for yourself.
If you noticed there are bigger moves elsewhere,
you should tenuki (and maybe suffer a local loss here).

:b39: Why ? You follow W around like a lost puppy.
Look at the whole board: play the biggest move. Is this reply the biggest ?
( Not to mention you're hurting F3 more and more. )

:b41: Why ? What are you trying to do here ?

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 Post subject: Re: Road to my 100 first go loss: I ask for some commentary
Post #32 Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:26 am 
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EdLee: Can I just ask? You state that C5 and E6 are vital points here. How does one determine this? I've heard of vital points in the context of life & death situations - are you using the term here in this context, too?

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Post #33 Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:52 am 
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Hi Jim, Good questions. From my experience, I know of at least 2 ways:
Self-discovery, or learn from an external source (example: a good teacher; or good Go materials).
(Maybe there are other ways?? :) )
In this particular case, initially it's from a teacher.
Afterwards, from experience in real games.

Of course, as in almost all situations in Go, there are exceptions. -- This is very important, as well.

For me, these are all synonyms: vital point; key point; important point.
It doesn't matter if they happen in life-and-death problems, tesuji problems, or local or global contexts.

To use a chess analogy if I may: suppose you see a fork where you can check and attack a queen at the same time
(and your opponent cannot move the queen), then to me that would be a vital point (especially if it means game over :),
but of course that's a bonus, not a necessary condition.)

To use another chess analogy if I may: the doubled pawn structure.
You can either figure it out all by yourself;
or, someone (or a book) tells you about it.
In your particular case, maybe you can recall exactly whether you discovered it all by yourself,
or you learned it from an external source.

Suppose you read about it as a chess novice --
well, you still need to experience it in many actual games, yes?
To learn that, yes, in general it's not good,
but that there are also exceptions: in some cases, it's terrible;
sometimes, it's not very good, but tolerable;
in some special cases, the doubled pawn could even be a top pro shape
(maybe quite rarely? :) )
Vital points in Go are very similar. :)

For the doubled pawn structure, we can talk about its properties (pros & cons).

For this particular shape you ask about,
we can also talk about it some more.

And, as you already know from chess,
theory and actual experience go hand in hand.

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Post #34 Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:37 am 
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Nice reply! :D

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Post #35 Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:39 am 
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A bit more for Jim (and Fllecha):
In Game 13, there's another black stone, :b5: , at (c);
For simplicity, I got rid of it (the double approach shape).
Here, we look at this shape:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . 3 . . . . .
$$ | . . 1 2 a . . . .
$$ | . . b . . . . . .
$$ | . . . O . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . c . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ -------------------[/go]
Here, (a) and (b) are two local, shared vital points.
Important: as usual there are exceptions. There are probably other vital points locally, depending on global considerations.
But here, we look at (a) and (b).

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W Variation 1
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . X . . . . .
$$ | . . X O 1 . . . .
$$ | . . 2 . . . . . .
$$ | . . 3 O . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ -------------------[/go]
If :w1: extends to (a), then :b2: pushes at (b).
:w3: blocks. Next, Black has some options for :b4: , and White has options for :w5: .

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W Variation 2
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . X . . . . .
$$ | . . X O 2 . . . .
$$ | . . 1 3 . . . . .
$$ | . . . O . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ -------------------[/go]
If, however, :w1: makes the tiger's mouth with (b), then :b2: ataris at (a).
:w3: connects. Now, B has two cuts.
B decides what to do about them, if anything.

For comparison, here W gets both vital points (a) and (b):
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W Variation 3. :b2: tenuki
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . X . . . . .
$$ | . . X O 1 . . . .
$$ | . . 3 . . . . . .
$$ | . . . O . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ -------------------[/go]

Jim and Fllecha: you may or may not have some (more) questions.
For example: the meaning(s) behind the moves. :)

You think about it. More next time. :mrgreen:


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Post #36 Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:17 am 
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Fllecha wrote:
hi all,

A nervous game with white, eventually in tilt I misplaced a stone and the whole position collapsed.

GAME 8



Invasion on the right.

:w30: at R7 immediately makes miai of R10 and S5. A plan.

:w32: & :b33: - this kind of exchange is usually a loss. Here you strengthen Black's top right, which becomes quite big, without gaining much. For example Black at R17 later could have been useful.


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Post #37 Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:09 pm 
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Time to make some reflections. I looked and studied Ed Lee posts, and I admire his preparation. I would never considered the two points as vital points. For example, when I was said that the center point of an elephant jump is a vital point it's easy to understand it, but the two point indicated (still now after study) are impossible for me to figure out. It's probably my go immaturity, but that advices are really hard.

But now my main reflection. I just played an horrible game with black using san ren sei. But I lost playing exactly the opposite of what I studied yesterday about "attacking from weak to strong": I attacked from strong to weak (like we do in chess) and opponent built a big moyo punishing me for my foolish play. Now what?

I ask EdLee/Mattews to help me on this: I decided that I would play 100 games and if I can't find improvements I will definitively quit with go. I don't want to quit but it's frustrating be a beginner forever.


I am a good chess player and a good backgammon player. I think I have some feeling about board games but while it was very easy for me to play good backgammon and good chess player (it took me less than a year to became in both game a weak advanced/strong intermediate) I find some problems in go, but I WANT to be at least an intermediate.

What are for me the main issues: (I assume that EdLee is good at chess)

1) In chess is QUITE easy to give a beginner the correct direction of play after they know the basic. I teach young kids (10-14 years) chess and I simply say "Focus and play to attack the center, the rest will follow naturally". Belive it or not, if you follow this advice and you became better in tactics (exercices on chesstempo on REAL GAME position and not boring problems built at the table) you will easily get out beginner status in at best 1 year, but most of the time in 6 months if you play online blitz. My kid's result are overwelming in the beginner section.

IN GO: I NEVER saw a go book with a simple and clear set of patterns to help understanding fuseki. Most of go books (Opening theory made easy or the direction of play) are undoubitably good books but you can't teach go (imo obv) that way. You take a position, you say what is best there and gg. But you turn on playing go and you will never find a similar position, the complexity of the game is too big. I study, but it's REALLY HARD to apply what learned in practice.
Why nobody set up a fuseki repertoire for black with pre-made plans against the most typical white responses?

2) When I play I noticed that I can't understand when to play for territory and when to fight. Ok I know that there isn't a short answer obv but I really cant understand how to improve. That is: I watch a lot of strong player games and most of them go like this: they put 4 stones in the 4 corners and then begins a fight around a corner, ignoring the rest of the board. Then one players tenuki and starts a fight on another corner. More or less the same for the remaining 2 corners and then center play. The board is filled and score counting...

IF I PLAY THIS: I begin a fight in the corner, my opponent builds a big moyo I lose.

How to improve my game on that topic?

So the question are:

A) How to seriously improve? No magic sticks of course, but how to exit from beginner status? Is it (longterm) sufficent to play 100 games, study the review and try to apply it? Is this the normal pattern to became at least intermediate player?

B) If after 100 games I still have great problems (like the ones I made in the following game) is time to quit go? Can you estimate a dead line for "understanding" go? (In chess: if after a year, playing at least 10 games a day you still have 1500-1600 rating is time to quit for example, you will rarely be a good intermediate)

C) Doing tsumego may help, but I think it's an intermediate stuff. I do at least 10 tsumego a day but I didn't recall a time when it was useful, I have bigger problems on the fuseki. I decided to quit them. It's like when chess teacher say TO BEGINNERS "Study the final". I usually say "You FIRST have to ARRIVE in the final. Study opening."

Thanks for kind answer, I am a little frustrated for my last two bad games, and I need some support maybe.

GAME 14


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Post #38 Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:27 pm 
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Hi Fllecha,

You asked some very good questions -- if you browse this forum or look at chats and kibitz on various Go servers and venues, you may notice that other people have also asked those exact same questions.
For decades. If not centuries. :)
They turn out to be quite difficult questions. :)

I'm a beginner at chess; maybe ~25th kyu. :)
Quote:
Why nobody set up a fuseki repertoire for black with pre-made plans against the most typical white responses?

A few short, quick answers (but not very helpful to you):
  • It doesn't quite work that way in Go. :)
  • The last time I browsed an actual, physical bookstore (they're vanishing right before our eyes), I found some chess openings books as thick as a phonebook. The situation is similar for Go openings, in this regard, IMO.
  • You mentioned san ren sei. I believe there exists at least one book devoted to this particular opening. (You can learn some things from this book, I'm sure; however, in the general big picture scheme of things, IMO it won't help you so much, unfortunately.)


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Post #39 Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:54 pm 
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Fllecha wrote:
I decided that I would play 100 games and if I can't find improvements I will definitively quit with go
Hi Fllecha,

I'm going to throw out two more quick analogies here (off the top of my head :) ). Just something for you to ponder...

First, I believe learning is substantially different for very young children, for teens, for people in their 20's, 30's, etc.
I'm going to assume you are not a very young child. I don't know your age range.
I'm going to pick a wide range: between university years to 30's (already, there's a substantial difference in Go learning within that range).

Analogy 1. I don't know your native language. Maybe it's English, or any language based on the Roman alphabet.
Pick a foreign language that is 100% foreign to you, including the alphabet.
Example: if your native language is based on the Roman alphabet, pick something like Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Sanskrit, etc.
A foreign language where you are 100% illiterate -- you can read absolutely zero, nothing, not even one single unit of anything.

The "100" analogy may be something like this: you want to "write" 100 paragraphs in this new foreign language.
And you want to see how much you can improve after writing these 100 paragraphs.
( Remember, at the start, you know absolutely nothing about this foreign language. )
I think it's a nice exercise. :)


Analogy 2. Again, I know nothing about your musical training. But let's assume you are 100% illiterate in music.
Absolutely no prior knowledge of any music theory, no prior experience with any musical instruments (not even hitting drumsticks :) ).
For the "100" analogy, let's pick the most basic piece of music -- say, the most elementary sheet music for beginners,
and it takes about 1 minute to play through each sheet. Say, on the piano.
You want to play this 100 times -- maybe all 100 from the same piece, or, all 100 different pieces, or some combination.
You want to measure how much you've improved -- from an absolute beginner in piano -- after you've played these 100 one-minute pieces.
I think this is also a nice exercise. :)

Next, let's imagine you are a good teacher in each of the two analogies above.
For analogy 1, let's say you are a native speaker of the foreign language, a professor of that language,
and you've been teaching and helping students of that foreign language for 30 years. :)
For analogy 2, say you're classically trained pianist, an experienced professional pianist for 30 years,
and you've been teaching piano to students of a wide range (from beginners to pro level) for 20 years.

Now imagine for each analogy, a student proposes to you her "100" target,
and that, after the "100" exercise, if she does not see an improvement to HER satisfaction, she would quit.
What would you say to her ?

Food for thought. :)


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Post #40 Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:30 pm 
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Fllecha wrote:
Time to make some reflections. I looked and studied Ed Lee posts, and I admire his preparation. I would never considered the two points as vital points. For example, when I was said that the center point of an elephant jump is a vital point it's easy to understand it, but the two point indicated (still now after study) are impossible for me to figure out. It's probably my go immaturity, but that advices are really hard.
The proverb does say to play in the middle of an elephant's jump. As with everything else, though, it takes time to know just how to take advantage of the weakness. In any case, you still have to look at the surrounding positions before deciding whether or not to cut an elephant's jump. A stone is only as strong as the group supporting it.

Quote:
But now my main reflection. I just played an horrible game with black using san ren sei. But I lost playing exactly the opposite of what I studied yesterday about "attacking from weak to strong": I attacked from strong to weak (like we do in chess) and opponent built a big moyo punishing me for my foolish play. Now what?
Bad habits take time and practice to overcome. Just think of all those chess beginners that simply start capturing pieces with the queen before the opening is completed. Of course this is bad advice for any chess player, but I have seen beginners do just that. Being the most powerful piece on the board, the queen is often used as a kind of "hammer" against the opponent. In reality, the queen should be saved until the board is less crowded, when she will be able to move with more freedom.

Attacking from strong to weak works in chess because the pieces move. The weaker position can be used to hinder the movement of the opponent's pieces and help bring about checkmate sooner. (Correct me if you find this to be incorrect; I have not played chess regularly since I was in high school.) In Go, the pieces themselves do not move, the groups do. The weak group will "move" (actually "grow", because groups of stones change in size and shape rather than move from place to place) as an attack is carried out on the opponent's group. The opponent's group will be forced to grow in the direction of a stronger friendly group, therefore changing the priority of the group under attack from growth to survival.

If you would like to know how to use 3-ren-sei, may I suggest Michael Redmond's book Patterns of the Sanrensei? As well, below is a game in which Masaki Takemiya uses a sanrensei opening.



Quote:

I ask EdLee/Mattews to help me on this: I decided that I would play 100 games and if I can't find improvements I will definitively quit with go. I don't want to quit but it's frustrating be a beginner forever.
How did it feel when you first took up chess? I know from experience chess can be a very difficult game to master, even with the help of detailed manuals explaining every move in a position.

In Go, losing 100 games is a minimum.

Quote:
I am a good chess player and a good backgammon player. I think I have some feeling about board games but while it was very easy for me to play good backgammon and good chess player (it took me less than a year to became in both game a weak advanced/strong intermediate) I find some problems in go, but I WANT to be at least an intermediate.

What are for me the main issues: (I assume that EdLee is good at chess)

1) In chess is QUITE easy to give a beginner the correct direction of play after they know the basic. I teach young kids (10-14 years) chess and I simply say "Focus and play to attack the center, the rest will follow naturally". Belive it or not, if you follow this advice and you became better in tactics (exercices on chesstempo on REAL GAME position and not boring problems built at the table) you will easily get out beginner status in at best 1 year, but most of the time in 6 months if you play online blitz. My kid's result are overwelming in the beginner section.

IN GO: I NEVER saw a go book with a simple and clear set of patterns to help understanding fuseki. Most of go books (Opening theory made easy or the direction of play) are undoubitably good books but you can't teach go (imo obv) that way. You take a position, you say what is best there and gg. But you turn on playing go and you will never find a similar position, the complexity of the game is too big. I study, but it's REALLY HARD to apply what learned in practice.
Why nobody set up a fuseki repertoire for black with pre-made plans against the most typical white responses?
Yang Yilun's The Fundamental Principles of Go is as close as Go theory gets to a Western-style theory of the game. You may prefer to buy this book if you want to study fuseki principles. In fact, I would recommend to you Yang Yilun's books, since he writes them with an American audience in mind.

The English translations of Japanese books are informative and good references, but they use a taxonomical approach when categorizing themes and some readers may find this hard to follow.

There are the kind of fuseki books that you mention, but these are in Japanese, Chinese, or Korean and they are BIG books.

In Go, there are no "clear-cut patterns" that apply to all fuseki. There are expositions for the Shusaku 1-3-5 pattern, the high and low Chinese opening patterns, the 2-ren-sei and 3-ren-sei, the tasukiboshi (diagonal star point) pattern, and komoku patterns, to name a few. Go is a very fluid game, so it is not possible to get knowledge from a book and apply it with good results the first time around. You have to see how the fuseki works before drawing any conclusions.

Much of what you see in fuseki books is drawn from pro games. If you want advice directed at amateurs, look for books by Yuan Zhou or Otake Hideo's Secrets of Strategy, in which he reviews a few amateur games and points out mistakes. Yilun Yang and Yuan Zhou's books can be found on slateandshell.com . If you live outside North America, contact Slate & Shell by e-mail to find out who sells their books in your region.

Pros and amateurs play very differently. What you can do is find out what moves your opponents - who are probably all amateurs - make and determine how to best respond to them. Even the strongest players make mistakes. The question is, will you recognize the mistake when it occurs?

Quote:
2) When I play I noticed that I can't understand when to play for territory and when to fight. Ok I know that there isn't a short answer obv but I really cant understand how to improve. That is: I watch a lot of strong player games and most of them go like this: they put 4 stones in the 4 corners and then begins a fight around a corner, ignoring the rest of the board. Then one players tenuki and starts a fight on another corner. More or less the same for the remaining 2 corners and then center play. The board is filled and score counting...

IF I PLAY THIS: I begin a fight in the corner, my opponent builds a big moyo I lose.

How to improve my game on that topic?
Either avoid the fight by playing tenuki or choose how to play in response to the last play by the opponent, with the result being that your group becomes stronger. In some cases tenuki is better because the groups involved in the fight grow, grow, and grow until they cover a good part of the board. This means that now you have a big group to manage. Not something you want to do when you intend to keep the game simple.

The top Korean pro Lee Sedol is (in)famous for his habit of playing tenuki frequently. He plays this way because he does not like to see his opponent gain any benefit from his plays. Even if the mutual benefit line of play yields better results, he will choose the "inferior" line of play simply because he benefits from it and his opponent does not. The reality is of course more complicated than that, but what I just said explains the reasoning behind Lee Sedol's playing style.

When pros stop playing in one corner and begin playing in another, they are trying to make their positions in both areas coordinate on a strategic (whole-board) basis. The outcome is usually either solid territory in the corner or an outward-facing wall that can be used in coordination with other friendly positions on the board to produce territory through fighting with the opponent's groups. Often you will make territory without knowing it.

Quote:
So the question are:

A) How to seriously improve? No magic sticks of course, but how to exit from beginner status? Is it (longterm) sufficent to play 100 games, study the review and try to apply it? Is this the normal pattern to became at least intermediate player?
I can assure you that with regular practice and study, your rating will improve substantially and in a timely manner. This means replaying pro games, together with exercises in different categories. You can use an SGF editor to replay game records if you do not want to replay using physical board & stones.

Quote:
B) If after 100 games I still have great problems (like the ones I made in the following game) is time to quit go? Can you estimate a dead line for "understanding" go? (In chess: if after a year, playing at least 10 games a day you still have 1500-1600 rating is time to quit for example, you will rarely be a good intermediate)

The inventor Thomas Alva Edison once said, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." Another quote by the same man says, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

My guess is that if after 12 months of playing 10 games a day a chess player has not gone above 1600 ELO, he has not done enough studying. Pointers are helpful during play, but the chess player also needs to observe good playing principles in action. This is why I would suggest that the aspiring chess player get a collection of, say, Morphy, Steinitz, Casablanca, Alekhine, or Tal and replay each game from start to finish before reading the commentary. This way the games are stored in his memory and he can draw on them as a source of ideas to apply during play. In addition, the aspiring chess player has to do those endgame puzzles and study openings, as boring as they may be. Puzzles are good practice to apply pieces of what is seen in a game of Chess and the aspiring Chess player should do them regularly. Of course he is unlikely to reach the level of Magnus Carlson, Vladimir Kramnik, or even Hikaru Nakamura, but at least he will be able to progress to higher levels of chess skill.

There is no deadline in Go (and probably none in Chess either). The important thing for the Go player is to grow and evolve. The day you quit Go, you stop growing and evolving. In other words, you die as a Go player.

If you must know of a deadline, I would say that if after a year of regular playing (that is, 5 or 7 games a day) you have not made it to 5k, you have not been studying enough.

Quote:
C) Doing tsumego may help, but I think it's an intermediate stuff. I do at least 10 tsumego a day but I didn't recall a time when it was useful, I have bigger problems on the fuseki. I decided to quit them. It's like when chess teacher say TO BEGINNERS "Study the final". I usually say "You FIRST have to ARRIVE in the final. Study opening."
A game of Go evolves from strategic plays in the opening to a multitude of tactical exchanges all over the board. This is why tsumego are important; they allow you to practice analysis of tactical situations. As well, if you have strong opening but your middle game and endgame skills are weak, whatever advantage you gained in the opening will be eroded as the game progresses, especially against an opponent strong in all 3 phases of the game. Conversely, if your opening is weak but your middle game and endgame are strong, you will fall behind if your opponent is strong in all three phases of the game.

Again, it is important to do easy problems and lots of them. Practice makes perfect. If you encounter a difficult problem, feel free to look at the answer and also look at the failure diagrams. After a month has passed, come back to that same problem and see if you can solve it within 2 minutes. You should be able to have an easier time guessing than before.

Now, if you absolutely hate tsumego and want to burn a tsumego book whenever you see one, I recommend that you replay pro games. Start with 1 or 2 a day. After a month you should be able to replay 3 or 4 a day without feeling mental fatigue. After 3 months 5 or 7 a day is possible. After 6 months you will be able to replay 8 or 10 games a day. A year will pass and you might be able to memorize over half the moves just from watching a game replayed on an SGF editor. Through the replaying of pro games you will be able to absorb plenty of Go knowledge that you can apply in your own games.

Quote:
Thanks for kind answer, I am a little frustrated for my last two bad games, and I need some support maybe.

GAME 14

:b17: as played in the game seems good, but after getting a strong position with this move, follow up with :b19: at D10 or C10 to begin attacking the lower left White group. Grow out of your C10 or D10 stone and play next at C6 to exploit the weakness of the White group as this one is not completely formed yet. Otherwise, :b17: should be at N4 to prevent White from consolidating the left side of the board and to begin attacking the White group on the lower right as it is weak and not well-formed. :w18: at N3 would follow and you reply with :b19: at O3. The outcome is likely that White will get the corner, but Black will get a wall that coordinates well with the Black stones on Q10 and Q16.

When you attack an enemy group, avoid making contact at first. Contact moves are actually for defence, not for attack. Approach moves (kakari in Japanese) are for attack because the approaching side denies the group under attack the space needed to grow and become secure. Hence the opponent will either try to save his group by jumping it out into the center or try to sacrifice it and gain territorial advantage or initiative by doing so.

:b19: should be at L16 to prevent :w20:, but L17 is a good point to play since it is conducive to a 2-point jump on the 3rd line if the need for it arises. :b21: is a good response, but as you have just formed a strong Black position with this move so that your next move should be at K15, for example. :b23: at R8 is too submissive and when playing with 3-ren-sei it is important to keep the opponent's stones separated. (This applies even more to handicap games.) This move at P5 is better. This would allow you to respond effectively to the :w24: invasion; begin by playing :b25: at Q3 and fence White into the corner so you can separate and attack the M4 and O3 White stones. :b25: in the actual game is bad strategically and not really needed since the Black position in the top right is already well-built. :b41: makes for small gain and is best saved for the endgame, when 1 or 2 points make a big difference. This move at D11 or C11 would be better to begin damaging White's moyo. :b43: should be at E11 or E12 to begin reducing White's moyo. The 2nd Golden rule of Go says, "Enter enemy territory gradually". This means that one should attempt to reduce little by little a moyo, rather than attempt to smash it with one blow. It's like breaking cold metal to shape it. You can try breaking the metal with a hammer, but the hammer might break, not the metal. Now, if you use sandblasting to "break" the metal, it will be broken off a speck at a time, but the metal is broken anyway. So, break the moyo a little piece at a time.

For your convenience, below is a link to the Ten Golden Rules list at Sensei's Library: http://senseis.xmp.net/?TheTenGoldenRulesList

This is an old series of online articles on the 10 Golden Rules:
http://web.archive.org/web/200504032047 ... index.html

And the 10 Golden Rules of Go apply off the board as well:
http://www.slideshare.net/matieuxx/the- ... y-29437147

It's going to be frustrating in Go to be winning one game and losing six, but don't give up! Chess and Go are two games that require analysis to play well, but things in Go work differently.


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Post #41 Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:32 am 
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Wow guys some very good thread and a lot to chew on!! Sincerely more than what I expected, and I think that is thanks to Poster like EdLee and Mattews and the others here that Beginner like me never loses enthusiasm.

I looked at the thread posted by EdLee in the spoiler and I found another mine of teaching resourses. Nice stuff, it takes time to read it, but it's worth it.

Between the good advices written here, now I have a better understanding on what does "100 loss" means, so I have to keep going because what is happening to me is what happened at the vast majority of go players.

I want to answer at Mattews on chess finals. What I meant is that you see club trainer that (correctly) teach basic chess finals (Q+K vs K, R+K vs K, B+B+K vs king, basic pawn finals etc..) but then they bore the audience with particular and millimetric finals that happens once in a lifetime or long and boring rook +pawn vs rook finals that are good/understandable only when you are at least intermediate imo. When they are in game, since they didn't know anything about opening, they play hyppopotamus opening and KIA opening to avoid theory but eventually they are almost always wiped off because that habit leads to passive play and usually bad middle-game positions. So what I wanted to say is that undoubitably chess finals are important, but opening is more important as a beginner

So that was my question: how to avoid bad starting fuseki? You guys kindly answered basically saying that only experience and reviews can make the difference, and I understand that because go is way much harder/complex than chess. I remember the sentence "Go is a fluid game". Chess is surely more tactical and thus easier to play in many spots.

I have more confidence on my possibility now: the plan is to reach 100 bot game and then move on KGS or Pandanet and start playing humans.

I made a personal file of all this thread and at the end of 100th game I'll stick here for all beginner that want to start.
Tonight another game for sure.

Thank you so much, I have no word to say more than that, but belive me I want to embrace all for your support.

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Post #42 Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:59 am 
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how to avoid bad fuseki?
Hi Fllecha,

This is yet another all-time FAQ by beginners and kyu levels.

Short, blunt reply: at your current levels,
don't worry too much about the opening.

Longer, blabbing version: :)
This is not to say the opening is not important,
or that it's useless or uninteresting to study. Far from it.

Hey, if you are really very interested in the opening, go for it.

But, my experience has been that the return on investment in
studying the opening is, relatively, substantially lower than
the ROI in other areas in Go. At least for most kyu levels.

( Yes, eventually, it'll be very important to study. )

As long as you avoid big blunders in the opening, you're OK. For now. :)
( A natural follow-up question: what constitutes big blunders ?
Well, post your games for reviews and let's find out together. :)
OK, here's an example: if you misread and play out a bad ladder for 40 moves, that might do it. :)
Notice this example has absolutely nothing to do with any generalized, grandiose opening theory, but everything to do with your reading skills: one move at a time! :mrgreen: )


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Post #43 Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:38 am 
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the plan is to reach 100 bot game and then move on KGS or Pandanet and start playing humans.
Hi Fllecha,

This also happens to be a 'strategy' shared by other beginners.
I don't have the statistics, so I have no idea what percentage of
beginners adopt this kind of 'plan' in the beginning.
But, you're definitely not alone with this idea.

Short & blunt: no need to restrict your first 100 games to be 100% with bots.
You're free to play humans as well. Mix it up. :)

Also, your first 100 games need not be all 19x19, either.
Smaller boards -- say, 9x9 and 13x13 -- are also OK.

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Post #44 Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:36 am 
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Fllecha wrote:
So that was my question: how to avoid bad starting fuseki? You guys kindly answered basically saying that only experience and reviews can make the difference, and I understand that because go is way much harder/complex than chess. I remember the sentence "Go is a fluid game". Chess is surely more tactical and thus easier to play in many spots.


Opening Theory Made Easy is a recommended book that will at least help with some ideas.

Generally hop online and ask people (if you have no one local. That is even better). There is a lifein19x19 room on KGS with some people who can help point things out.

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Post #45 Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:20 pm 
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Fllecha wrote:

I ask EdLee/Mattews to help me on this: I decided that I would play 100 games and if I can't find improvements I will definitively quit with go. I don't want to quit but it's frustrating be a beginner forever.


GAME 14



The first real mistake you make in the game is :b23:. So, not too bad.

The point about :b23: is that it is from the wrong side. Simply coming out with P5 is much better. White will have two weak groups, which is always troublesome. By :w26:, White is well organised here. Locally, White's plan worked.

:b27: is the wrong choice, I think. Just play N17 and take sente. :b41: is clearly small.

:w42: is on the fifth line. It seems you need to invade right now. If you play C11, you can play C8 or C14 next (i.e. miai).

Fllecha wrote:
IN GO: I NEVER saw a go book with a simple and clear set of patterns to help understanding fuseki. Most of go books (Opening theory made easy or the direction of play) are undoubitably good books but you can't teach go (imo obv) that way. You take a position, you say what is best there and gg. But you turn on playing go and you will never find a similar position, the complexity of the game is too big. I study, but it's REALLY HARD to apply what learned in practice.


Yes, but the thinking you are missing is middle game , not fuseki. Your opening formations are quite adequate to your level.

Fllecha wrote:
Why nobody set up a fuseki repertoire for black with pre-made plans against the most typical white responses?


Because it wouldn't make people much stronger?

Actually the right question is "how do I learn about frameworks?" You play framework openings, but there are other kinds.

Fllecha wrote:
2) When I play I noticed that I can't understand when to play for territory and when to fight. Ok I know that there isn't a short answer obv but I really cant understand how to improve. That is: I watch a lot of strong player games and most of them go like this: they put 4 stones in the 4 corners and then begins a fight around a corner, ignoring the rest of the board. Then one players tenuki and starts a fight on another corner. More or less the same for the remaining 2 corners and then center play. The board is filled and score counting...

IF I PLAY THIS: I begin a fight in the corner, my opponent builds a big moyo I lose.

How to improve my game on that topic?


Some plays in a framework are super-efficient. You have to enter the framework before that happens.

Fllecha wrote:
So the question are:

A) How to seriously improve? No magic sticks of course, but how to exit from beginner status? Is it (longterm) sufficent to play 100 games, study the review and try to apply it? Is this the normal pattern to became at least intermediate player?

B) If after 100 games I still have great problems (like the ones I made in the following game) is time to quit go? Can you estimate a dead line for "understanding" go? (In chess: if after a year, playing at least 10 games a day you still have 1500-1600 rating is time to quit for example, you will rarely be a good intermediate)

C) Doing tsumego may help, but I think it's an intermediate stuff. I do at least 10 tsumego a day but I didn't recall a time when it was useful, I have bigger problems on the fuseki. I decided to quit them. It's like when chess teacher say TO BEGINNERS "Study the final". I usually say "You FIRST have to ARRIVE in the final. Study opening."


My beginner's book has five pages on fuseki theory, nine pages on middlegame theory, out of about 190: so I think "theory" is not so useful. You try to play games of "mobility", which is understandable against a bot. You need to add some so-called "strategic concepts".

Your go looks OK to me, but it currently appears rather narrowly based.


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Post #46 Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:37 pm 
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EdLee wrote:
Short & blunt: no need to restrict your first 100 games to be 100% with bots.
You're free to play humans as well. Mix it up. :)


This is the idea (not sure if it's correct obv :batman: )

In this game you need to think a lot in the beginning and you have to evaluate some variation and have the time to try to understand why it's correct and why it's incorrect and for example which are big or small moves. If you play humans (of course with the clock) you have to focus on time also. So you aren't free to spend say 8 min on a move because later you may be in hurry to save a weak group and miss the point because of zeitnot. In chess is the same btw: before playing online one imo has to practice a lot with CALIBRATED LEVEL bot (since even the worst chess bot plasy at grand master level or little under it, you have to set a proper level and try to find tactical chaches and won easy game, just to practice) just to clean out the very beginner phase. In chess say 95% of online games are under 5 minutes each so basically it's almost all instinct, no time to think.

I actually played some go games online against humans, and in some won position (which rarely appeared) I lost on time and this tilted me at not-human level, so I quit online for the moment


Second: It's relatively hard to find an even game quickly (not impossible obv) and I personally hate the handicap system (expecially when I have the handicap stones) even if it is perfectly logic. That's obv my limit of course but if I am 19k I prefer play a 19 kyu and not a 10 kyu with 9 stone handicap. It's complicated this point, since I say that hadicap stone is perfectly fair but I hope you understand the analogy with chess: it's unacceptable give a knight or a rook handicap to a beginner even if it creates an even game. I love pure games.
Obv when I will play online I'll surely accept the handicap stones.. but not now.

Third: Self esteem. When I open and play in a random chess site or a random backgammon site I am in the top 25%-30%, more or less. It's hard for me enter in a random go site and being in the "top" 80%-90% :D I want to enter at least in the lower 50% at least, and play acceptable games, without big blunders, mainly to not waste opponent's time in a one-way game. Go is at least 4-5 times longer than chess ;)

EdLee wrote:
Also, your first 100 games need not be all 19x19, either.
Smaller boards -- say, 9x9 and 13x13 -- are also OK.


Done.
Every time I publish a 19x19 game I have played at least 4 games against Igowin just to warm up and train life and death and fighting. :) Now I gonna play my 19x19 See you in a few hours

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Post #47 Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:47 pm 
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Hi guys. It's only because of your support that I played another passable game and won with white. I passed some bad moments but finally I had a compensation for my last two bad games.

The great win is that this time I attacked a weak group from weak to strong and I managed to kill it: it's good when you see that you apply what you learned few games before.

Of course the road is still long long long.

GAME 15


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Post #48 Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:50 pm 
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Hi Fllecha, see how others also worry too much about the opening: :) Posts 24, 25 .

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Post #49 Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:59 pm 
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Fllecha wrote:
...long, long ...


Of course. But I think go is actually a great game to study.

The bot is not superhuman.

Small criticisms, where your perception lapsed. At :w84:, C16 is quite nice. And you can play 136 at A14, which is even nicer.

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Post #50 Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:03 pm 
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Fllecha wrote:
Wow guys some very good thread and a lot to chew on!! Sincerely more than what I expected, and I think that is thanks to Poster like EdLee and Mattews and the others here that Beginner like me never loses enthusiasm.

I looked at the thread posted by EdLee in the spoiler and I found another mine of teaching resourses. Nice stuff, it takes time to read it, but it's worth it.

Between the good advices written here, now I have a better understanding on what does "100 loss" means, so I have to keep going because what is happening to me is what happened at the vast majority of go players.
That's why I said 100 games is a minimum. At first, for every won game there will be 7 or 10, at most, lost games. Of course this ratio will shrink as you improve. At your best you should win anywhere between 50-70% of your games. Fifty percent is closer to the reality for most Go players, whether amateur or professional. Only a really talented player, such as Lee Chang-ho, Lee Sedol, or even Iyama Yuta has a won games percentage of over 50% over a long period of time, and this is when playing against opponents of a high caliber.

Quote:
So that was my question: how to avoid bad starting fuseki? You guys kindly answered basically saying that only experience and reviews can make the difference, and I understand that because go is way much harder/complex than chess. I remember the sentence "Go is a fluid game". Chess is surely more tactical and thus easier to play in many spots.
Your fuseki is OK, but you have to know how to use those strategic placements to their fullest advantage. This means learning middle game basics. Removing available space needed for your opponent's group to develop a base while establishing a secure base for your own groups is an important middle game consideration. Attack and defence is a central concept in the middle game. It basically boils down to reducing the space available for your opponent's groups while enlarging your own, or threatening to kill one of your opponent's groups so that he/she will have to abandon development of his/her whole-board strategy, return to it and fix up weaknesses, or face a big loss that will be hard to make up for as the game progresses. One VERY important proverb in Go is, "Urgent points before big points."

Quote:
I have more confidence on my possibility now: the plan is to reach 100 bot game and then move on KGS or Pandanet and start playing humans.
If you prefer it can be a mixture of bots and human opponents. In fact, I would suggest playing a few games against human opponents before reaching the 100-game mark. Humans and bots play differently and experiencing games against human opponents in anticipation of playing mostly against them is good practice, IMO.

I think you will find stronger opponents on Pandanet or a Korean server such as Oro or Tygem. I have heard about and even experienced bad things on KGS, despite the popularity of this server. (I have a KGS account under "chincharra". I will have to see if it is still active.) For one, it's difficult to get a game if your rank number has a question mark (?) next to it and some players there will often leave a game unfinished whenever defeat is imminent. As well, there are the "sandbaggers", which are players that are much stronger than their rank indicates and will give you a nasty surprise if you get fooled by the number. (Sandbagging can be considered a free lesson in high-level Go, though :) ) There are respectful players on KGS as well and these outnumber the "prick" ones, but they do not always appear immediately and you might go through a few "prick" players before finding one willing to play an honest game with you. KGS has its good points - such as professional lectures and teaching rooms - and so it might suit your preference, but if you are looking for serious games and an abundance of well-behaved players, there are better servers.

If you do not mind turn-based games, here is a good server: http://wuzheng.me This server is based in China, so many of the players on this server are stronger than the average Go player in a Western country.

Quote:
I made a personal file of all this thread and at the end of 100th game I'll stick here for all beginner that want to start.
Tonight another game for sure.

Thank you so much, I have no word to say more than that, but belive me I want to embrace all for your support.
I will give my input on it.


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