Life In 19x19

Playing against early territory style
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Author:  tekesta [ Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Playing against early territory style

Hello and my apologies for the long absence. It's a privilege to post here again!

I would like some help with my strategic application of tactics. It appears I get suckered into early fighting (mainly out of jealousy, since my fuseki knowledge is not particularly sophisticated) and end up losing by a big margin. My fighting skills do need work, so for practice I sometimes try to live in a small space, as difficult as it can be. In both games my opponent tries to get territory right away and I haven't much experience in dealing with such a style of play.

Finally, my apologies for the time limits. I might have to avoid slow-blitz games on KGS in the future ^^; Here are 2 of my KGS games. I am FanXiping on that server. Much obliged in advance for your comments!

Author:  jlt [ Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing against early territory style

Your files are unreadable or absent.

Author:  tekesta [ Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing against early territory style

jlt wrote:
Your files are unreadable or absent.
Hmm. that's strange. Try displaying the SGF editor again and let me know what happens. Have you tried the SGF download link?

Author:  tekesta [ Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing against early territory style

I had a look at the first game and noticed a few of my mistakes. For one, I let Black get a big territory at the bottom. I often lose games if I let my opponent get a big chunk of territory early on. Perhaps I should've just done the same and play White 10 at K17 instead of at C10. As well, White 40 should have been at K8, not K6. Finally, White 28 should probably have been at H15 to begin going into the center.

I know a few of you surpass me in Go understanding, so your insights would be a blessing for me.

Author:  jlt [ Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing against early territory style

Here is what I see:

Capture.PNG [ 11.91 KiB | Viewed 2563 times ]

If I type the download link

I get an error message "The selected attachment does not exist anymore".

Capture1.PNG [ 66.93 KiB | Viewed 2563 times ]

Perhaps you could post a link to your games on the KGS website

Author:  tekesta [ Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing against early territory style

Hope this works ^^

1st game

2nd game

FanXiping-TopGoGuy-2.sgf [5.92 KiB]
Downloaded 221 times
FanXiping-TopGoGuy.sgf [5.53 KiB]
Downloaded 221 times

Author:  jlt [ Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing against early territory style

Warning: kyu-level opinion here.

1-2 years ago, I was a bit like you: when I saw my opponent making a big moyo, I was scared and rushed to reduce or invade. But I think that I improved by 1 stone by applying the following ideas:

1) Be more patient, and build before invading. Why? Because if you invade too early, you have nowhere to run, no friendly stones to help.

2) Controlling the center is important. A good way to get stones in the center is to attack weak groups. While you chase/try to surround them, you put stones in the center which will help future invasions or reductions.

In the first game, Katago suggests to play D9 at move 40. This threatens the C13 stones which are not yet alive. You also have moves like L17 which attempt to disconnect your opponent.

In the second game, it seems you are already rushing at move 8 to separate your opponent. This is not necessary at this stage. Just approaching the corner with a regular move like R6, or invading 3-3, is enough for the moment. Afterwards, you have plenty of space on the sides to play before going inside your opponent's framework.

Author:  Knotwilg [ Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing against early territory style

Game 1: 49-105 is an uphill struggle to live or kill the surrounding stones, which ultimately fails. The problem you've given yourself, as jlt says, is to live in the opponent's sphere of influence, without access to the side and behind enemy lines. When you go deep and stay deep, you better had figured out how to live beforehand. Otherways, stay out of it and reduce from above. See the concept of "sector lines".

Black's unorthodox strategy can be intimidating, but his 5 first moves on one side should punish themselves. You just play on a larger scale, like you did and if he doesn't protect his 3-3's too (which would make 7 moves) you can still invade there.

So where did that go wrong then?
- Answering the attachments 17 and 29 with a hane or an upward stretch, would be basic, calm and appropriate
- With 26 you try some of Black's own potion, playing low stones close to each other. Better is to play at 27, making a strong shape and weakening his shape.

Game 2: a different beast. Winning a won game with lots of aji can be frighteningly hard. 142 at M8 would have solved most of the problems but I understand you panic in such a high stake battle with limited time.

More to the point of the theme: you seem to think that game 1 should be vindicated by invading even earlier into that lower side which he invested 4 stones already. This is not true, as jlt points out. If the opponent wants to have an area by all means and invests a lot of stones in it, give it to him. Try to play so that he gets it but with even more investments, while you take the other side.

Author:  xela [ Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing against early territory style

In my opinion you shouldn't worry about the fuseki just yet, you have bigger problems! The main thing right now is that your stones keep getting captured. No amount of strategising will help if you can't keep your stones on the board.

I'd suggest reading and then practice at

Game 1: At move 105 you'd do best to resign here and spend the extra time playing another game. You've got a lot of dead stones in the middle of the board and you've run out of ideas for how to save them. In the fighting leading up to that position, think about where else you might have played at move 46, 60, 62, 66.

Game 2: Your opponent let you off the hook. Move 65 was a terrible blunder; again you should have had a lot of dead stones at that point. Key moves to review from a "basic instinct" perspective are 28, 30, 42.

Author:  Bill Spight [ Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Playing against early territory style

A few comments on Game 1. :)

:w18: You do not have to play catch up. Attack the Black stones in the top left. Like with a hane against the attachment.

:w20: You can still go after his stones in the top left. If necessary, you can sacrifice one of the stones in the bottom left and still come out ahead in the fighting.

:w22: Eye off the ball. The left side is where the action is.

:w26: Playing his game. He is the one who makes small territory in the opening. Not you.

:w28: Saving one stone is not worth it. The left side is where it’s at.

:w34: Who cares about a single stone? Attack his stones on the left side.

:b39: How accommodating! He is forcing you to make a good play.

:w40: Play the bulge at D-09, strengthening your stones and weakening his on the left side. Besides, the game play is too deep. You do not threaten anything. Black is too strong. If you are going to reduce, play a very shallow reduction on the 7th or 8th line.

:w42: First, play the bulge. You can sacrifice this stone. Second, if you are going to play on the bottom side, don’t dig your own grave. Get the hell out of there. Like with a keima at J-08.

:w44: Well, now at least you have a threat. How about the jump attachment at L-04?

:b45: An overplay.

:w46: An underplay. Do you really want all of your stones to live or die together? Push through and cut. That way you might be able to sacrifice something to save the rest. Besides, you cut your attackers in two, which is not a bad idea.

:w54: Still seems like all or nothing to me. I would try the crosscut.

:w60: How about the atari at K-05? That gives you one eye and threatens to make another. And besides that there are other chances, maybe a ko.


As to your basic question. This guy does not just have a territorial style. He is making small life in the opening. Let him. Later you tried to take some of it away. He invested a lot of stones on the bottom side. You don't have to fight him for the little bit of territory he makes there. :)

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