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 Post subject: yakcyll's Study Journal
Post #1 Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:48 pm 
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I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.

One can argue that this can be said by essentially any Go player; some would say it applies even to professionals. In my case, however, it is a bit of a stronger assertion. Many concepts are still very alien to me or cause trouble during matches. I'm trying to value outside stones more than inside ones, but if someone asked me what influence is and why it's good, I don't think I could produce a coherent answer; good shape eludes me more often than not, although this is probably more due to my 'talent' of ending up in a shinogi situation most of the time; put any time constraint on me and I lose my head very quickly. Most importantly, I have no idea how to win games. Over time I resorted to attempting to imitate good practices until I feel like I understand the game better; admittedly, this approach sort of works (depending on the definition of 'works'), but it feels like wading in a muddy swamp in the dark a lot of the time. This journal is my attempt to get myself to review more games, store them a bit deeper in my memory for reference and get advice on what to work on. I'll highly appreciate every bit of support.

Here's one of the games I played at a tournament last weekend; I'm heading off for a handicap tourney tomorrow. Hopefully I'll find some time soon to analyze and annotate more of my past games too. I'll focus on over-the-board games, as online Go is, well, a very different proposition.


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Post #2 Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:57 pm 
Honinbo
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Hi yakcyll,

Welcome. :)
Quote:
I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.
Seems the best opener in these journals. :tmbup:
Quote:
what influence is and why it's good, I don't think I could produce a coherent answer
:tmbup: ( Infinitely better than giving a certain answer that turns out to be wrong. )

:b7: maybe AG-teach is not crazy about the Kobayashi. :study:

:w20: Up to here, seems OK ( people with engines more resourceful... )
Engines like o2 in some situations.

:w22: Check with engine choices, e.g. Q18, M17, H17, C3, etc.
But the game is not decided here.

:b23: Local follow-up for :white: : e.g. C4 attach.

:w26: Engines: R8 ?

:w30: Engines ?

:w32: Too much ? Engines ?

:w36: G15/J14 ?

:w38: ( at least 2 ) factors here to consider:
- evaluation: even if B gets all local points, is it very big for B ?
- local tactics/plan/reading.
Curious about engine numbers.

:w40: ( same 2 factors ):
- globally, tenuki ?
- locally, M15 ?
- engines.

:b41: "hane head of 2" ( should've been part of reading before :w38: )


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Post #3 Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:56 am 
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Hi yakcyll,

:w56: You evaluated this as sente; he ignored you.
What was your follow-up ?

:b57: "...but since I interpreted this as him going for shape, I decided the fight is on." Hmm... :scratch: The local fight started at :b37: ...

:w58: Re: :w56: ...

:b63: Perhaps engine numbers can help clarify the global situation.

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Post #4 Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:06 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Hi yakcyll,

:w56: You evaluated this as sente; he ignored you.
What was your follow-up ?

:b57: "...but since I interpreted this as him going for shape, I decided the fight is on." Hmm... :scratch: The local fight started at :b37: ...

:w58: Re: :w56: ...

:b63: Perhaps engine numbers can help clarify the global situation.

Hey Ed, thanks a lot for analysis and suggestions!
My aim with :w38: was to get some stones on the outside, preparing for the sequence I mentioned in the comments (of course, none of that transpired and I was left with what I felt was an inferior resolution of shape in the top right corner). Admittedly, I play a lot by feel - read a couple of stones ahead in the most obvious directions a situation can evolve and decide on that - so when I attached there, I wasn't exactly clear on how the situation would end up. Then again, I had a goal and as long as it works out, I don't mind helping Black's shape there too much. The hane at :b41: eluded me; lots to work on.

:w56: - going into the corner and settling the group. By 'going for shape' with :b57: I meant that I thought he wanted to settle locally, which, if we both got to do so, I figured wouldn't hurt me too badly. I wasn't aware of Black's better potential for points and attacking. However, if I successfully surrounded that group, the situation seemed to me to reverse. I didn't interpret :b37: as a start of a fight - more like pushing that white stone around, considering that there's a connection underneath.

Regarding your comment on :b63:, I wasn't fully aware of what's lurking there, still being confident that, even if forced to sacrifice a couple stones, there was no connection between his left side group and the top. Admittedly, I didn't consider that my group on the left could be cut off in the process and forced to live while he escaped, which turned out to pose a problem for me a number of times.

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Post #5 Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:36 am 
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Hi yakcyll,
Quote:
My aim with :w38: was to get some stones on the outside,
But :w38: is on the inside -- B could've hane on top directly, N16.
Quote:
I didn't interpret :b37: as a start of a fight - more like pushing that white stone around, considering that there's a connection underneath.
Connection for whom ?

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Post #6 Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:22 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Quote:
My aim with :w38: was to get some stones on the outside,
But :w38: is on the inside -- B could've hane on top directly, N16.
If the hane at N16 was played, I was expecting to cross-cut and fight locally. My assessment of the whole board is usually all over the place like this.

EdLee wrote:
Quote:
I didn't interpret :b37: as a start of a fight - more like pushing that white stone around, considering that there's a connection underneath.
Connection for whom ?
It only occurred to me as I was typing up a response that the fact that this question was asked bears a striking resemblance to a situation where two players are both happy with a result of a sequence (here I mean more than satisfied, so non-joseki). The usual conclusion is that one of them is wrong in their assessment - and in this case one is obligated by the laws of probability to bet against me. I revisited the position in more detail and realized that attaching at B6 would not be as straightforward for Black as I thought during the game.

All good points, thanks a lot!

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 Post subject: Re: yakcyll's Study Journal
Post #7 Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:40 am 
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When is sente good and when is it bad?

I tend to catch myself on occasion leaving big moves on the board to play them later, sort of believing that, since they are forcing, I should find and play even bigger moves (?) first. The only problem with that - the obvious one - is that as soon as my opponent notices them lying around, they play those moves and those turn out to be forcing for them too, usually in less than obvious ways. I can't quite remember a specific example, but it usually amounts to playing a gote move that feels very slow, but lets you avoid a series of forcing moves, or not playing your own forcing moves immediately, even though they are seemingly free. On the same topic, what does it mean for a move to be free and is it OK to play them out as soon as possible (e.g. trying to force a mostly enclosed group to live inside and resolve the shape)?

On a different note, when I was initially pondering which games to include in the journal, I figured I would avoid showcasing online games. Even the medium time control settings on KGS get me quite stressed and, as a result, I feel like online games aren't very representative and I can't quite give my best when playing them. Then again, they are the best source of practice, so I keep trying to identify the issues with my mentality online and find solutions to them. Nothing had the desired more or less permanent effect on me before, but I did notice that I tend to play a bit more calm these days; nothing that I'd call comfortable yet, but maybe I'll get there. Fortunately, today I got to play a game that represents my current level and style of play (uh-oh) fairly well - taking 'big' points through the fire and the flames. I won by half a point through blunders on both sides, but the game left me feeling I'm about to hit a plateau I won't get past without guidance on what is really important in the game, how to see it and how to achieve it.



Last edited by yakcyll on Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #8 Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:12 am 
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Hi yakcyll,

Good question but very difficult to answer.
( e.g. AlphaGo played a few sente moves much earlier than previously played by pros. )

:w20: , :b21: maybe slow. (*)

:b25: I would L17. (*)

:w26: - :b29: I think it's good for :black: . (*)

:w30: seems slow. (*)

:b31: seems slow; maybe R3 ? (*)

:w32: seems slow. (*)

:b33: seems slow. (C18, C11 miai) (*)

:b35: If you block at C18, locally :white: is dead shape, but not easy to kill. (*)

:w42: maybe the engine doesn't like this hane. (*)

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(*) Please check with a super-human engine.

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Post #9 Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:52 am 
Judan

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Some top of the head comments. :)

:b21: Looks like a good place to take sente.

:b25: The jump is fine. :)

:b31: Looks small, is small. Don't worry, be happy!

:b33: Small. If you are going to play around here, C-18 secures the corner and threatens to take away White's eye on the top side.

:b35: I think approaching the bottom right corner would be premature. As for saving the 3-3 invasion for later, how about never?

:b37: How about blocking on the other side, taking sente, and then play the keima at J-13?

:b53: Looks good to me. :)

:b57: I think atari at L-17 first, to leave aji, and then play here.

:b59: C-18 may well be sente now. If White responds at E-17, then maybe attack at G-12.

:b61: If White gets to play P-07 he will be building a framework. You need to break the sector lines and attack his reduction stone. Q-08 looks good.

:b87: Give a thought to the keima at O-6, to threaten the White group on the right side.

:b105: C-18 with sente.

:w106: Too late! :(

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 Post subject: Re: yakcyll's Study Journal
Post #10 Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:00 pm 
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Slow looks to be the theme of mine.

@EdLee: About :b33: (C18, C11 miai), solid point actually. There turned out to be a couple points in that area in the end, but considering the entire right side is open at that moment, there was no need to obsess over it. I didn't consider the top left White group as a potential target for attack, which in retrospect looks not alive at all.

@Bill: Lots of good ideas, thanks! Especially the response to the invasion in the top right corner, I have not considered the sente variation at all... gotta keep up with the times. Two questions popped up when I was analyzing your comments.
a) The san-san invasion in the bottom right seems uninteresting to you. Is this because I would need a supporting stone at R-6 for it to be profitable?
b) Regarding the sector lines: I've put this replay through a bot and it did in fact also suggest going in at :b61:, even as far as O-8. Why is that, what are the attributes of those moves that make them interesting? Cutting through White's potential territory? Attacking the white stone at O-10 lightly? It's hard to build in there at all, is it a matter of feeling the balance (i.e. simply counting) and identifying it's more profitable/important to destroy rather than build yourself? Is it all too easy for White to lean on the Black left-side group and take sente to enclose the area from the left too? I was thinking this White stone is all too far from the rest of its allies to be useful as anything other than a shallow reduction; plus, it was quite hard to attack, so I didn't focus much on it.

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Post #11 Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:50 pm 
Judan

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yakcyll wrote:
@Bill: Lots of good ideas, thanks! Especially the response to the invasion in the top right corner, I have not considered the sente variation at all... gotta keep up with the times.


To take sente you don't have to play the popular keima, which can lead to complications, you can simply extend instead of playing the hane, so that you have three stones together on the fourth line.

BTW, the keima on the top side not only enlarges your framework, it attacks the White group there. :)

Quote:
Two questions popped up when I was analyzing your comments.
a) The san-san invasion in the bottom right seems uninteresting to you. Is this because I would need a supporting stone at R-6 for it to be profitable?


Jiminy Christmas! White has both a keima and an extension there. The raw 3-3 is not going to be profitable. The R-06 approach is possible, but a submarine approach at S-04 or S-05 is usual. Too early for those, however. :)

Quote:
b) Regarding the sector lines: I've put this replay through a bot and it did in fact also suggest going in at :b61:, even as far as O-8. Why is that, what are the attributes of those moves that make them interesting? Cutting through White's potential territory? Attacking the white stone at O-10 lightly?


Yes to both. At the same time. :) (Look for dual purpose plays.)

Quote:
It's hard to build in there at all, is it a matter of feeling the balance (i.e. simply counting) and identifying it's more profitable/important to destroy rather than build yourself? Is it all too easy for White to lean on the Black left-side group and take sente to enclose the area from the left too? I was thinking this White stone is all too far from the rest of its allies to be useful as anything other than a shallow reduction; plus, it was quite hard to attack, so I didn't focus much on it.


Neither building a framework nor playing an attack is particularly hard.

If you can get your hands on Bruce Wilcox's material, he explains sector lines (a term he invented) quite well. :)

As for it being more important to build or to destroy, consider this. The average go move gains around 7 pts. (komi). But at the end of a game that has been played out, each player has around 120 stones on the board and around 60 pts. of territory., an average of about ½ pt. per stone. Why the big discrepancy? Because most of the gain per move, on average, came from taking away the opponent's potential territory, not from building one's own territory.

Takagawa wrote:
Go is a game of territory. But it is almost impossible to make territory.

;)

_________________
"Even in the Orient, children are often Occidental."

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The Adkins Principle:

At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?

— Winona Adkins


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