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 Post subject: BlindGroup Study Journal
Post #1 Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:55 am 
Dies with sente

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I am going to use this first post in an unorthodox way -- I'm going to continuously update it so that it reflects my current goals and study strategies. I'll then use the subsequent posts as normal to chart progress and changes to these goals and plans. My aim is to have it serve as the focal point of my journal.

Goal Setting:

Goal: IGS 9k
Target Date: 5/1/2017
I’m 10k right now. I set this goal at the end of the summer of 2016 when I started to take the game seriously.

Skill Assessment:

Current Strengths:
1. Global strategy -- I have developed a good sense of the full board, how the various groups fit together, and how to take advantage of those relationships.
2. Corner Josekis -- Of the josekis that I have studied, I feel like I have a good understanding of them, and I'm doing a good job of using this to exploit non-joseki play.
3. Tsumego -- I have improved tremendously over the last few months.
4. Moyos -- Right now this is a big part of my game, and I am doing a good job of utilizing them strategically.

Current Weaknesses:
1. Sloppy play -- I frequently make moves that I know to be bad. For example, I will recognize a key future move, make a mental note of when to play it, but then forget to play it. This is almost always because I get caught up in the game and play without stopping to assess fully the implications of the move. Right now, this is the cause of the majority of my losses -- usually throwing away games that I've already won by large margins.
2. Slow play -- I often make moves in a game that I can easily identify as slow upon review.
3. Tsumego -- While I've improved significantly, I still lose groups because I don't settle them properly. Either not making the right moves to defend or not defending when necessary.
4. Corner Josekis -- I still encounter josekis that I have not studied about 15-20% of the time. These encounters are no longer disastrous, but I frequently give up points due to non-optimal play.
5. Sabaki -- I struggle to settle small groups inside enemy territory.

Work Plan:

I will do the following:
1. Play regularly.
2. Review games consistently and thoroughly.
3. Work on my mental discipline to limit sloppy play.
4. Study topics of weakness -- Tsumego, Corner Josekis, and Sabaki strategies.
5. Meet every two weeks with instructor to review games, answer questions, etc.
6. Actively participate in L19 by commenting on others games and getting feedback on my own.

Current Study Materials:

These are the books that I’m spending the most time with right now:
Chikun, Cho. All About Life and Death. Vol 1 & 2. Tokyo: The Ishis Press, 1993.
Shinji, Takao. The 21st Century Dictionary of Basic Joseki. Vol 1 & 2. Tokyo: Kiseido Publishing Company, 2012.
Takemiya, Masaki. Enslosure Josekis./[i] Tokyo: The Ishi Press, 1983.
Yi-Lun, Yang. [i]Sabaki: How to Manage Weak Stones.
Lecture Notes. 2003.
Nick Sibicky’s lectures: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_msct ... M8yAtaju1A

I’m also continuing to work through the following, but they are lower priorities:
Hunter, Richard. Counting Liberties and Winning Capturing Races. Slate and Shell: Richmond, 2003.
Ishida, Akira and James Davies. Attack and Defense. Tokyo: Kiseido Publishing Company: Tokyo, 1996.
Van Zeijst, Rob, and Richard Bozulich. Attacking and Defending Moyos. Tokyo: Kiseido Publishing Company: Tokyo, 2010.


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 Post subject: Re: BlindGroup Study Journal
Post #2 Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:27 am 
Dies with sente

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This game does a very good job of documenting some of my current strengths and weaknesses.

Key white moves:

Taking advantage of non-joseki play: 4
Good strategy: 24, 66, 108
Improved tsumego: 48, 50, and 92
Moyo play: 108
Disastrous,sloppy play: 152



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 Post subject: Close game on KGS
Post #3 Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:27 pm 
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I am finally officially ranked as 9k on KGS. I got outplayed and lost by 6.5. But I had two chances to win on moves 173 and 217. I just misread each and failed to make the right move. But I was in striking distance of winning. We reviewed the game, and so, I have included both my and my opponent's comments as much as I could remember.



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Post #4 Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:49 am 
Judan
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Hi BG,

:b11: What if you block at S17 first.

:b13: If you had already blocked at S17, then these 2 W stones are dead.

:b17: Take. What this move does is let W keep his time bomb ticking -- as long as you let the ladder linger, it means at some point in the future, and probably at a time of W's choosing, he'll defuse the bomb -- and get 2 moves somewhere. That's why you should take directly.

:b19: Take.

:b21: Locally, no problem with 3-3. But you should take.

:b35: Very strange you spent a move here and still not take.

:b37: You don't need to set up for an invasion.
W's moyo has multiple standard invasion spots --
examples: earlier, C12, C8, etc.
I feel the whole time you should've taken the lone stone and fixed the ladder ASAP.
( Maybe others feel differently. )

:b49: Connect.

:w52: D12 cut-atari.

:b57: B17. If you don't connect at D12, take care of your corner.

:w64: C19.

:b69: Connect.

:b71: Gote. W can cut.

:w72: W can cut at E11.


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 Post subject: Re: BlindGroup Study Journal
Post #5 Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:13 am 
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Your opponent is right, the descent at :w52: should be sente! Try :w64: at c19 for white. Also I think white should skip the :w60: for :b61: exchange and play :w60: at :w62: directly:


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 Post subject: Re: BlindGroup Study Journal
Post #6 Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:11 am 
Oza
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At move 33 you write: "Opponent like A (C8) better. See variation for possible continuation. I feel like it is still to early, but agree that A is the right move when the time comes"

At move 45 you write: "Seems like it is now or never on the invasion. Opponent correctly pointed out that C8 might have been a good place to start. This invasion ends up ceding a good chunk of the bottom to opponent, but i didn't see C8 at the time."

This is exactly what you describe in your first post when you talk about your weaknesses. Under sloppy play you write: "I frequently make moves that I know to be bad. For example, I will recognize a key future move, make a mental note of when to play it, but then forget to play it."

Good to know your weaknesses! You did take some time here to think. Why do you suppose you forgot about it?

FWIW, I agree with EdLee that taking the laddered stone is something to do at the first opportunity, lest it come back to haunt you.

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 Post subject: Re:
Post #7 Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:56 am 
Dies with sente

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Thank you everyone for the comments. These are great!

Ed, I completely agree on the ladder. A follow up question on one of your comments.

EdLee wrote:
:b37: You don't need to set up for an invasion.
W's moyo has multiple standard invasion spots --
examples: earlier, C12, C8, etc.


Is there a good reference you could recommend that covers these kinds of invasions? This is an area in which I need to do a little systematic studying.

daal wrote:
At move 33 you write: "Opponent like A (C8) better. See variation for possible continuation. I feel like it is still to early, but agree that A is the right move when the time comes"

At move 45 you write: "Seems like it is now or never on the invasion. Opponent correctly pointed out that C8 might have been a good place to start. This invasion ends up ceding a good chunk of the bottom to opponent, but i didn't see C8 at the time."

This is exactly what you describe in your first post when you talk about your weaknesses. Under sloppy play you write: "I frequently make moves that I know to be bad. For example, I will recognize a key future move, make a mental note of when to play it, but then forget to play it."

Good to know your weaknesses! You did take some time here to think. Why do you suppose you forgot about it?


My comments were unclear. Sorry about that. I did not see the C8 invasion at all during the game. My opponent pointed this out at move 33 during the review. I agreed that it was the right point for an invasion, but felt move 33 was too early. I think I should have played the move at 45 instead. That said, seeing the right move at move 33 and then not making it at 45 is exactly the kind of thing that I often do.

To answer you question generally, I don't know why I make these kinds of mistakes. I'm trying to pay more attention to determine if there is a pattern. I think a big issue, however, is that at times, I just lose focus mentally during the game.

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 Post subject: Re: BlindGroup Study Journal
Post #8 Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:59 am 
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After reading Uberdudes Post here forum/viewtopic.php?p=217511#p217511 (what later happened in this game), I would like to change my suggestion for :w64: from c19 to d19 ;)
I would still suggest skipping the 60-61 exchange though


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 Post subject: If I only had a nickle...
Post #9 Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:23 pm 
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I'm starting to think that deep down in my subconscious I just don't want my rank to improve. Yet another game in which I manage to significantly outplay my opponent to build up a very comfortable lead. Then, throw it all away by failing to make a critical move that I would have seen had I just bothered to look. I honestly think that I lose 70-80 percent of my games this way right now. In this case, I admittedly had the extra pressure of playing with tighter time constraints than I usually do, but 30 seconds was more than enough time to see the snapback. I was just too anxious to play the next move and did not even stop to assess whether or not I needed another move to settle the group.

If you need a little schadenfreude pick-me-up, take a look at move 241...



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 Post subject: Re: BlindGroup Study Journal
Post #10 Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:34 pm 
Judan

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Yes, White 240 was a terrible oversight. But go to White 236.

Edit: And while you're at it, take another look at White 232 and Black 233.



It's not over till the fat lady screams. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: BlindGroup Study Journal
Post #11 Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:26 pm 
Dies with sente

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Bill Spight wrote:
Yes, White 240 was a terrible oversight. But go to White 236.

Edit: And while you're at it, take another look at White 232 and Black 233.


You just had to make it worse! ;-) But yes, you're right. Thanks!

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 Post subject: One of my games with detailed comments for newer players
Post #12 Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:29 am 
Dies with sente

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This is an experiment. I'm not posting this to solicit comments on my moves. Rather, because the majority of the review requests on L19 seem to be from stronger players, I'm attempting to pass on the generosity that they have shown in reviewing my games. My hope is that these comments will be useful to those to whom I can plausibly offer advice.

One request -- if you read this and find it useful, could you let me know? I'm happy to try to do more of these if they are helpful. But the extra detail beyond my normal reviews is time consuming. So, I'd rather not do it unless someone finds it helpful.

Finally, Bill Spight was nice enough to give me comments on a draft of this. So, I've included his comments as well. Needless to say, he saw a number of things that I didn't!



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 Post subject: Re: BlindGroup Study Journal
Post #13 Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:15 am 
Dies with sente

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I think that your game raises an interesting point, which is maybe minor, but which has been on my mind a little while now, so maybe I can learn something, which is the issue of making L+2 group vs J+1 group

In such a position, black can live unconditionally with a creating the J+1 group or with b creating the L+2 group:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ ------------------
$$ | . . . e . . . . .
$$ | f . X X O . O . .
$$ | . . X O O . . . .
$$ | a b X O . . . . .
$$ | c X O O . . . . .
$$ | d O O . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .[/go]

this happened in your game at move 38, where you make the j+1 and it happens again in your Variation showing the joseki in the upper right at move 52, where you plan to make l+2.
I usually play b, because I'm more familiar with the L+2, but I'm not sure if this is always best.
In the endgame, in both cases, e seems to be white sente if he wants it, but white can also play on the other side getting c in sente (vs l+2) respectively the descent at d in sente(vs.j+1)(the sequence making it sente is actually nice to know!). With the clever attack from within af f shown at senseis, white seems to be getting a little more endgame even in case of the j+1 group(either capture a stone in gote, or get c AND d sente).

So my questions: Did you consider both possibilies at both times(move 38 and 52)?
And: Can someone explain to me, in which cases making j+1 is actually better? Else, I will just keep making l+2 groups.

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Post #14 Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:44 am 
Oza

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Schachus wrote:
Can someone explain to me, in which cases making j+1 is actually better? Else, I will just keep making l+2 groups.

J+1 is better if you don't want the descent on top side (away from the hanging connection) to be sente (it's sente for a long ko against the L+2). L+2 is better if you don't want the descent near connection to be sente. L+2 is probably a better default move to play: I suffered from not doing this recently at the London Open where I unnecessarily died in the endgame against xhu because I made the J+1 not L+2 (he did the placement and as the hanging connected tail was several stones I didn't want to lose them): 6th game in forum/viewtopic.php?p=215238#p215238.

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 Post subject: Re: BlindGroup Study Journal
Post #15 Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:09 pm 
Dies with sente

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Schachus wrote:
Did you consider both possibilies at both times(move 38 and 52)?


I hadn't considered it at all. At 38. I usually just create the J+1 by default for the same reason you create the L+2. At 32, I created the L+2 simply because that is what seems to be the joseki play. I'm glad you asked this! Looks like I should be following your default if I have a choice.

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 Post subject: Re: BlindGroup Study Journal
Post #16 Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:48 pm 
Dies with sente

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Schachus's question reminded me of one that came up for me in the following position:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc
$$ --------------------
$$ , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X X . |
$$ , . . . B X X X O . |
$$ . . . . O . O O O . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ --------------------[/go]


The marked black stone is not joseki. Why? As Bill stressed in his comments, it is sente. White has to extend because being boxed in would be problematic. The only thing I can come up with is that considering only the local position, the additional influence for black is not worth the additional points white takes with the extension. But at my level, I have a hard time making these assessments.

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Post #17 Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:25 pm 
Judan
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Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X X . |
$$ , . . . B X X X O . |
$$ . . . . O . O O O . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$----------------------[/go]
BlindGroup wrote:
White has to extend because being boxed in would be problematic.
Hi BlindGroup,

A few things to ponder.
First, if W ignores :bc:, here's a local continuation:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W :w1: tenuki
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X X . |
$$ , . . . X X X X O . |
$$ . . . 6 O 2 O O O . |
$$ . . . . 4 3 5 . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$----------------------[/go]
BlindGroup wrote:
I have a hard time making these assessments.
I agree with you that it's non-trivial to make a correct evaluation:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W :w1: tenuki
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X X . |
$$ , . . . X X X X O . |
$$ . . . X . X O O O . |
$$ . . . . X O O . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$----------------------[/go]
To me, this local result is very good for Black.
But, globally, there's no way to evaluate until we see the entire board.

Second, from Black's perspective, here are a few local follow-ups ( including the :bc: push at (a) ):
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ . . . b . . . X X . |
$$ , . . . a X X X O . |
$$ . . c . O . O O O . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$----------------------[/go]
Because the joseki is looking at only the local situation,
we don't know which of these (a), (b), (c), or tenuki is best for Black, until we see the global picture.

Example: With B (b), B has a local follow-up at (d):
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B Variation from (b)
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ . . . 1 . . . X X . |
$$ , . . . . X X X O . |
$$ . . . d O . O O O . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$----------------------[/go]

Example: With B (c), B has a local follow-up at (e):
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B Variation from (c)
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X X . |
$$ , . . . . X X X O . |
$$ . . 1 . O . O O O . |
$$ . . . . . e . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$----------------------[/go]

These are a few reasons that the joseki stops before (a), (b), or (c) -- we simply don't have enough info ( of the whole board ) to decide B's local follow-up.


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Post #18 Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:51 am 
Oza

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BlindGroup wrote:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc
$$ --------------------
$$ , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ . . . a . . . X X . |
$$ , . . . B X X X O . |
$$ . . . . O . O O O . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ --------------------[/go]


The marked black stone is not joseki.


Careful with that. Whilst the joseki finishes with white jumping out on the 3rd line and then black usually tenukis, pushing there is a reasonably common post-joseki follow-up, so don't delete it from your Go vocabulary (but think who the exchanges help more before playing them, as one always should). It is thicker than the knight's move at a and black will usually continue pushing, e.g. http://ps.waltheri.net/database/game/46312/ In that game you can also see Lee Changho do the kick we are often told not to do at the bottom left beforehand. This, along with the pushing, is part of his strategy to force black to take the lower side territory in a not so efficient manner: the pushing is basically a double sente move.

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Post #19 Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:34 am 
Dies with sente

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So you want to know how to evaluate the rasult after the tenuki to the black push, this one:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W :w1: tenuki
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ . . . . . . . X X . |
$$ , . . . X X X X O . |
$$ . . . 6 O 2 O O O . |
$$ . . . . 4 3 5 . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$----------------------[/go]
. THis is a position, where locally black has played two more stones(white tenuki for 1 and again for 7).
We can compare it to another position, where black has two more stones, which is the joseki invasion to the ogeima that also ends in the L+2 group:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ , . . . . 7 X 2 9 . |
$$ . . . X 8 4 3 1 . . |
$$ . . . . 6 5 . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . |
$$----------------------[/go]

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

white ends in sente, so also here black has locally played two more stones, so we can compare the two positions(This is very important: One move is worth a lot, so make sure to compare positions with the same move tally(or count the difference in moves in when you make the judgement)). The corner is oviously the same. I would argue that the black outside is a little better in the first one, because:

-the ponnuki makes the fist one essentially alive
-the first one already has an extension to the top side
-the triangled white stone has some aji in the second one(though not a lot), while there is no cutting aji in the first one.

Thus with white you seem to be a little worse off, then you "should be" for having a corner where you are inside and your opponent has two more stones.
Actually there is one more thing to consider. In the first case, it was blacks corner, white approached and the white tenuki came later in the sequence. In the second case, black had a corner with 2 moves to start with, so the white tenuki was very early and thus presumably worth a little more.
Also in the second sequence, the white invasion is something that might be considered bad if it were done immediately, it is more for later. So in order to be satisfied with the tenuki in the other case, I would like it to be a little better than tis invasion vartiation.
There is also one thing that goes the other way, though: the ogeima enclosure from 4-4 is a little uncommon precisely because you can stilll steal the corner so easily. Hence maybe white got a little more than would be "even" because of the uncommon enclosure, that emphazised the outside.

I hope this way of thinking helps you.

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Post #20 Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:43 am 
Dies with sente

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EdLee wrote:
These are a few reasons that the joseki stops...


Thank you Ed. This is exactly what I was wondering.

Schachus wrote:
We can compare it to another position, where black has two more stones, which is the joseki invasion to the ogeima that also ends in the L+2 group.


This is an interesting point. More generally, I like your approach to this and the J+1/L+2 question of looking for isomorphisms between the different positions. That seems like a very useful learning technique!

uberdude wrote:
In that game you can also see Lee Changho do the kick we are often told not to do at the bottom left beforehand. This, along with the pushing, is part of his strategy to force black to take the lower side territory in a not so efficient manner: the pushing is basically a double sente move.


Good example. I agree that the kick was surprising, but before that, I was surprised by move 24:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X X O . . . . O . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . . X , O . O . . , . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . O O O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . X X X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


This seems to violate the general principle of prioritizing the corners over side extensions. Ex post, this seemed like the strategically key move in the fuseki that allowed white to create the double-moyo threat. Was this clearly a good move at the time? Unless I'm over interpreting, it seemed like black recognized this as well with the short, high extension from from the two-stone wall fallowing the kick -- which if right might have even been the motivation for white's incentive for giving him the boot in the first place.

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