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 Post subject: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #1 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:50 am 
Lives in gote
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Title: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Author: Yilun Yang 7d
Publisher: Slate and Shell (Richmond, VA)
ISBN: 1-932001-15-8
Year: 2004

My rating: A

I have owned this book for several years now, but have only recently come around to giving it a thorough reading. This has definitely helped me as I have shaken off the rust of a three-year hiatus.

Perhaps, the title of this book promises more than it is able to deliver within its span of 185 pages, and by "fundamental" Mr Yang possibly means something like "foundations of good play" rather than "all the proverbs/verbal directives you need to know". However, this said, I consider the book to contain many essential concepts, which are explained very clearly by the text and illustrated aptly by the examples. More importantly, there is something different about the angle from which the author explains that sets this book apart from the Japanese literature, with which I am more familiar.

The book consists in five chapters:

1: Key Points in the Opening
2: Relationships and Combinations
3: Effective Use of Joseki
4: Invasion and Reduction
5: Invasion and Separation of Some Typical Formations

The first chapter deals with the characteristics of the 4-4, 3-3, 4-3, 5-4 and 5-3 points. This seems as basic as possible, but I think Mr Yang does a very good job of showing how each of these typical first corner plays shows particular directional characteristics, both with explanation and with examples. This lays the foundation for understanding the Second Chapter, which is all about how formations relate to one another.

The first chapter then explains how to play an acceptable fuseki by following a ranking system, in which different kinds of moves are ordered from First Class down to Fourth Class. It is not giving too much away to say that corner plays are first class, shimari and kakari to 3-4, 5-3 or 5-4 plus plays from facing positions (i.e., star points or shimari) are second class, while
shimari and kakari to the 4-4 and 3-3 are third class, and some kinds of extensions are fourth class. Other kinds of move fit into this scheme in different ways, but you might like to read the book to find out.

He also shows how to identity the two main exceptions to the class ranking system - in other words, to recognise the main kinds of urgent plays that need priority attention when they arise.

However, as I found out to my cost during my "rehabilitation", merely attempting to follow the class system is not by itself sufficient to play a strong opening. And this is where Chapter Two really opened my eyes. The constructed (I assume) games at the start of the chapter, in which Black follows the order and yet ends up with lost positions, could almost have been played by me! Mr Yang gives here perhaps the most crucial principle of all, which is "Please remember that you must value the stones you have played...You should not play a local variation that damages or sacrifices nearby stones without adequate compensation. You must keep the whole board in mind, and look to expand the efficiency of your stones already on the board". And this gave me one of those Zen-like "satori" moments, when time stopped and I saw things differently for the first time. It is not that a move is big because it is an extension or an approach or whatever; but rather that such moves are big because of their relationships with other stones already played.

I went back to Chapter One, and began seeing even the very first moves in a new light: a 4-3 point is asymmetric, and the easiest way to develop it is to play a short distance in the other direction. Similarly, the reason why you extend from an enclosure is because that is the most "fertile" way to develop it - the shape formed offers the greatest potential for making more points. I began to understand what stronger players mean when they talk about "consistency". Before reading FPOG, I had struggled to grasp that, and had been trapped in a paradigm where I followed one set order of play or another (at the simplest, corners - sides - centre) without really knowing how to bring these directives together harmoniously.

I greatly enjoyed working through Chapter Two, as it expounded upon how to develop efficiently, using the concepts of "high-low", "short-long" and "fast-solid". It seems to me that there is a lot in this chapter that could shed light on some other topics currently being discussed on L19, such as Why Humans Fail Against AI. Perhaps we players of middling strength tend to rely too much on reading of forced local variations and generalist proverbs, without really having deeply in our souls the feeling for how the stones work together efficiently as a whole. Some kind of entré for developing this feeling is what I have gained from FPOG.

Chapter Three is about effective use of joseki. This further develops the notion of making the stones work together, and shows numerous examples in which certain unusual joseki moves or even non-joseki moves can be chosen to create an effective global strategy.

Chapter Four divides invasions into different categories: "attacking", "territory-destroying" and "disruptive" and explains how to identify the appropriate conditions for launching such invasions, and introduces various principles, numbered and highlighted in boxes, for conducting these. It does the same for reduction techniques.

The final chapter is a catalogue of ten very common frameworks and gives many different variations for attacking and defending these frameworks. It strikes a good balance between detail and easy-to-grasp summary, and I feel much more confident now of being able to choose suitable tactics for these positions when they arise in my games.

Each chapter contains problem sets for you to practise the themes presented, along with easily understood solutions. In general, the problems are easy but not trivial: you really do have to think about the whole board situation in order to avoid making certain tempting, but mistaken, moves.

There is a lot that this book does not touch on in any detail, such as endgame plays or tesuji or fighting techniques, but what it does deliver is quite distinctive from other intermediate-level strategy books. It is one of those books that can be revisited over and over again, and from which you can derive new insights each time, and it is a book which contains scenarios that can be readily referred to in real games.

SAMPLE PROBLEM
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$c Page 85, Chapter 3, Problem 12, White to play
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . O X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . X . . O X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . , . . X . X , O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . X O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Black has approached White's lower right corner with a one-space high approach. How should White proceed?

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc Page 85, Chapter 3, Problem 12, Solution A
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . O X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . X . . O X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . , . . X . X , O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . 2 . . . . X O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


This move, which completes the joseki, is acceptable, but not the best solution. The problem with it is that Black gets to extend to 2, which puts the LL corner under some pressure.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc Page 85, Chapter 3, Problem 12 Solution B
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . 9 . . . . . . . . O . O X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . X . . O X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 7 . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 3 . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . 1 , . . X . X 4 O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . X O O . 5 . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Yang says this is White's 1 here is "an excellent move based on the whole board situation" because although Black can forcefully build influence, this influence is here restricted by 1, while the right side has little potential to become real territory. White gets sente to play at 9, "achieving a speedier opening". This is, in my opinion, an excellent example of deliberately allowing a local loss in order to profit globally. The two solutions show how one can often play to an acceptable level just by following joseki or proverbs uncritically, but how that playing truly well requires a great deal more thought and understanding, and that this is rooted in seeing how the stones interact with each other.


I highly recommend this book to all single-digit kyu players and low dans. It offers a perspective not found in such books as Attack and Defence or Strategic Concepts of Go, and provides a bridge towards more advanced material such as Fujisawa's Reducing Territorial Frameworks.

_________________
Learn the "tea-stealing" tesuji! Cho Chikun demonstrates here:


Last edited by Tami on Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #2 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:26 am 
Oza

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Hi Tami

Kudos for the review!

Allow me to offer a comment on the sample problem you showed. I assume it made a big impression on you, and I also assume you'd like to continue on that path but would feel a bit more comfortable with Japanese terms.

The lower-side extension White 1 in the answer can be viewed as prior damage limitation. If you imagine a Black play thereabouts first (as in the wrong-even-though-acceptable answer, this is damaging White's position in the lower left. Yang mentions the White extension as limiting the damage cause by giving Black thickness, but it's useful to take a further step down that same road and realise that White is also limiting damage to his lower left position.

So that's a two-fold reason for playing that way, but the real point I want to make is that moves such as that White 1 high extension fall into a category of moves that you can easily master, all of which pay off because they are damage limitation.

Some are easier or more obvious/familiar than others. Honte is one of the easiest.

At a notch up, mamoru is overlooked by dan players. I even think this suffers from prejudice because the usual translation is 'defend' and there's a psychological barrier against playing defensive moves. But mamoru is very different from ukeru. It is a prophylactic move rather than a defence.

Kakou is yet another notch up and tends to be a sign of a higher dan player.

These are strategic moves and there are others in this class (e.g. tsume, tetchu). But the principle works at a tactical level too. Honte can be tactical as well as strategic, and a notch up brings you to sente no gote, and beyond that you get the advanced concept of choshi.

The characteristic shared by all these prophylactic types of move is the very point you have latched on to: they work with, and do not damage, the stones you have already played.
They are antediluvian. I just happened to watch a film last night where wise old Robert Redford reminded brash young Brad Pitt that Noah built the ark "before it rained." But because he was dealing with a brash young Brad Pitt he felt he had to add: "before it rained." I feel most amateur players are in the Brad Pitt camp :)


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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #3 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:30 am 
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I think the book is very valuable and Mr. Yilun Yang is a great teacher.

But I also think today it is quite interesting to have a look what the AI thinks about the concrete problems. (ELF in this case)
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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #4 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:53 am 
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Yes, it certainly is interesting to check over the problems with the help of AI. I am looking forward to the time when enough discoveries have been made in this way to offer new ways of thinking; but, for now, I still feel the existing literature has much to offer us. We're humans, and we need guidelines to make sense of things (or at least this one does!). The trick is in knowing how to balance the general and the concrete; maybe one of the differentiating factors between stronger and weaker is that the stronger have wider concrete knowledge and the ability to read more deeply, while the weaker are more reliant on general concepts. But, at least, Yilun Yang has given in this book a way forward by encouraging us to make our moves based on the whole board situation and the relationships within it, rather than just playing by routines - not so much "the Fundamental Principles of Go" as "How to Apply the Fundamental Principles of Go".

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Post #5 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:44 am 
Honinbo

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A few comments on this problem.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc White to play
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . O X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . X . . O X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . , . . X . X , O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . X O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Until the advent of AlphaGo the 3-3- invasion was heresy. The reason was the general principle of not strengthening your opponent, especially where he wants to be strengthened. You could project the following position.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc Good for Black
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . W W . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . W W W B B B . . . . . . . O . O X . |
$$ | . W B X . . . . . , . . X . . O X . . |
$$ | . B . . . . . . . . . . . O . . X . . |
$$ | . . B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . , . . X . X , O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . X O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


This standard joseki — now obsolete — gave Black a very strong wall that worked well with his moyo on the left side.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc Not so good for Black
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . W . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . W W . . . . . . . . . . O . O X . |
$$ | . . B X B . . . . , . . X . . O X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . , . . X . X , O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . X O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Now I would project something more like this, although Elf may well have a different idea. In any event, Black does not get such a good wall.

But what general principle tells us to invade the 3-3? The 3-3 be bery good to me? Imitatio Elfi?

As for the other two suggestions, let me apply my heuristic of treating the options as miai.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc Take a big corner
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . O X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . X . . O X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . W . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . . , . . X . X , O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . B . . . . . X O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc Extension cum pincer
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . O X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . X . . O X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . B . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . O . . W , . . X . X , O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . X O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Notice that the plays by each player are not exact matches. You just want to play in the same locale. For Black's play on the right I like the keima, and for Black's play on the bottom side I like the keima approach; Elf seems to agree in both cases. :)

Which do you prefer as White? I like the second. My heuristic appeals to judgement, not necessarily principles, but I can even give reasons. First, it is a dual purpose play. Second, the top right corner is relatively solid, and that reduces the value of plays on the right side, while the bottom left corner is unsettled, and that may enhance the value of a play on the bottom side.

Elf also prefers the bottom side extension, regarding it as the lesser error. ;) But he prefers the 3-3 above all. How come? Like the tar baby, he don't say nuthin'.

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The Adkins Principle:

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

— Winona Adkins

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet. ;)


Last edited by Bill Spight on Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #6 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:08 am 
Honinbo

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Tami wrote:
Yes, it certainly is interesting to check over the problems with the help of AI. I am looking forward to the time when enough discoveries have been made in this way to offer new ways of thinking; but, for now, I still feel the existing literature has much to offer us.


I agree. :)

Quote:
We're humans, and we need guidelines to make sense of things (or at least this one does!). The trick is in knowing how to balance the general and the concrete; maybe one of the differentiating factors between stronger and weaker is that the stronger have wider concrete knowledge and the ability to read more deeply, while the weaker are more reliant on general concepts.


There are many paths up the mountain. :D Even if you only reach a plateau. ;) In my case, I think that strategical judgement is around ⅔ of my strength, tactics is the other ⅓. But there are many players, particularly in Asia, who become strong amateurs based almost solely on fighting skills. OTOH, it seems like current neural nets can play at strong amateur level with no reading at all. :mrgreen: Everybody is different.

_________________
The Adkins Principle:

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

— Winona Adkins

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #7 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:32 pm 
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We can ask ELF why he thinks a play is good by continuing the variation ...

Attachment:
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The general principle behind the 3-3 point today: It is a move of the second class (play it as soon as there is a stone in each corner).


Interesting: With the solid connection in the lower right, the evaluation of the sides and and of the 3-3 point changes.

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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #8 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:06 pm 
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Gomoto wrote:
We can ask ELF why he thinks a play is good by continuing the variation ...

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Interesting. :) That's a stronger wall than I expected White would play allow.


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The general principle behind the 3-3 point today: It is a move of the second class (play it as soon as there is a stone in each corner).


OK.

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Interesting: With the solid connection in the lower right, the evaluation of the sides and and of the 3-3 point changes.

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Yeah, the solid connection is severe against the corner. Not too surprising. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #9 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:08 pm 
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Might it be possible, perhaps, to stick to discussing the book rather than just this single example from it? At this rate, nobody will ever dare publish anything again for fear of having their work picked to pieces with the help of AI.

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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #10 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:34 pm 
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Tami wrote:
Might it be possible, perhaps, to stick to discussing the book rather than just this single example from it? At this rate, nobody will ever dare publish anything again for fear of having their work picked to pieces with the help of AI.


Moi, I can't discuss the book as a whole because I have never read it. But I have been a whole board player since I was an SDK. :) I can discuss this example, however, about which I would have agreed before AlphaGo. Elf agrees that White should extend from the bottom left stones rather than play on the right side, it just thinks that the 3-3 invasion is better. A sign of our changing times. :)

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Post #11 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:53 pm 
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I am looking forward to the time when enough discoveries have been made in this way to offer new ways of thinking
For me this is not future tense.
This is past tense, and not even a recent past: this is 3-year-old "news". My feeling is that since AG, some fractions of pros have already changed their way(s) of thinking and playing, and some haven't. I don't have the hard data.

"Early" (previously "taboo") 3-3 invasion could be one telltale sign (not only in "average" pro plays but in top pro plays). There should be ample of "new" moves from human top pros that used to be very rare in pro games (Go Seigen excepted) but are now much more common since AG.

More than enough significant discoveries have been made since AG. And a significant portion of top pros and "more average" pros have embraced them, or at least are curious enough about them to experiment in their official pro games.

( Of course, pros, especially top pros, have to make a living in active participation in pro tourneys. Example: "league A" pros. The top pros must study and stay up-to-date with the most current research and advances. To stay competitive. Otherwise they "fall behind" ( rather quickly ) their contemporary colleagues who do study "new" bot discoveries. For amateurs, it's a luxury for us. Then there are pros who "don't care" as much, and again, I don't have the hard data about the portions of pros who "keep up-to-date" with bot moves, and those who don't. As a sweeping generalization, the younger and the more active the pros ( fresh 1p's and "league A" 9p's ), the more current their understanding with bot discoveries; the older and less-active-in-pro-tourney pros, the more out-of-date with current research. ( Very nice to see Mr. Cho Chikun actively play "bot-inspired" moves. It's really too bad Go Seigen never saw AG. )
)


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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #12 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:51 pm 
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I second the recommendation for Yang's "Black Book." This book was recommended to me at the vendor's table at the 2010 Congress when I was 5k. I eventually also acquired his workbook series.

Yang says he hates memorization. His books teaches principals so the you can figure out a good play yourself. He even recommends his students to play a sub-optimal move at the beginning, say a 5-7 point, to neutralize the opponent's fuseki knowledge.

After reading the Black Book and the workbooks, I found that I started playing much faster. With his principals in mind, I quickly found candidate moves and had a better idea of what I should be trying to accomplish in any given situation. I also was much more comfortable playing 13x13 and high handicap games where my 19x19 even game experience did not directly apply. In short, I feel that I indeed have a better understanding of the fundamentals after reading his books, and I enjoy the game even more as a result.


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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #13 Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:50 pm 
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Some of the changes in thinking from AI actually support points made by Yang in this book. I don't have it in front of me atm but from memory:
- his opening class of moves rates approach/answer for 4-4 lower than approach 3-4. Pre AG many pros disagreed and would answer 4-4 approach when there was a 3-4 available to approach (e.g. mini Chinese) because double approach was seen as severe. AI agrees with him that approach 3-4 almost always bigger. (but would he white shimari in Master orthodox instead of wedge?)
- low approach to 3-4 should be considered the default approach. In 2000s high became more common I think (didn't ez4u do some stats?). AI has gone even further than Yang back to low approach.


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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #14 Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:31 am 
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I wonder if we can all work together on L19 to produce some new theories with the help of our AIs? I don't know about you, but I for one am quite eager to read new books that may appear in the coming years that reassess traditional theories in light of AI. For instance, I am quite keen to modify Yang's ranking system based on AI-derived information. That is to say, can we amateurs also use AI to construct new general principles while we wait for the pros to do it better?

Here is Yang's ranking system, paraphrased in a nutshell:

Class 1
Empty corners

Class 2
Approaches/Enclosures to assymetric corners
Mid-point of facing positions (star point/enclosure)
Starting a joseki

Class 3
Mid-point of side with fertile corner
Move that makes one side stronger and other side weaker
Approach/Enclose 4-4 or 3-3

Class 4
Completing 4-4 enclosure
Developing side with non-fertile corners
Other extensions

So, bearing in mind the caveat the stones must work together harmoniously, and also bearing in mind that there are other exceptions (I am not saying directly here, as I wish to promote the book rather than provide a free alternative to it!), here are some questions that I would like to address/see addressed:

1) How would you rank a tenuki when one side plays an approach to a 4-4 point? (My Lizzie prefers to low-approach Black in the lower right when Black attempts a Kobayashi-style Fuseki)

2) How would the notorious early 3-3 invasion rank? Can it become a Class 2 move and, if so, what are the circumstances? (My Lizzie starts coming up with it by move 6 when I show her the San-ren-sei; she also likes it versus the Low Chinese and Micro-Chinese)

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wc Tami's Lizzie's prescription for meeting the Micro-Chinese
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 . . . 9 . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 5 3 1 8 . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . 6 X 2 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
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$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


3) When you have low-approached a star point, how urgent or non-urgent is it to play out a joseki if the opponent answers with a knight's move?

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Lizzie gives the highest rating (47.3%) for Black 3
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Are we even going to be able to draw any general, working conclusions at all? Or will the future involve mastering an ever more dauntingly large array of specific situations about which concrete knowledge is sine qua non?

I suggest, perhaps, we could begin a new thread in General Chat if this post is of interest.

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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #15 Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:57 am 
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Tami wrote:
produce some new theories with the help of our AIs? I don't know about you, but I for one am quite eager to read new books that may appear in the coming years that reassess traditional theories in light of AI.


There is little new. (Early 3-3 under 4-4, sure.) What has me impressed the most is that AI has confirmed almost all human top insight about strategy / tactics / positional judgement, provided we humans invest enough time for thinking and reasoning. AI has NOT fundamentally changed the game, e.g., not to "strategy is meaningless, it is all tactics".

Quote:
Yang's ranking system


I have never trusted such proverb-like simplifications.

Quote:
perspective not found in such books as Attack and Defence or Strategic Concepts of Go


That is because you only mention books that lack the other perspective. If you read a greater variety of books, you will be less disappointed by other books and not quite as impressed by Yang's (still good, of course) book.

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Post #16 Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:08 am 
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Quote:
Until the advent of AlphaGo the 3-3- invasion was heresy.


Quote:
How would the notorious early 3-3 invasion rank? Can it become a Class 2 move and, if so, what are the circumstances?


If we define "early" as >= move 10, early 3-3 was not really heresy among pros before AG but there was a very marked difference between White and Black.

Searching on 100,000 games in the GoGoD database, I used an empty 9x9 quadrant with the non-invader playing next. (Using a 10x10 quadrant made very little difference: e.g. 700 total games as opposed to 711 with a black 3-3 up to 2018-08-25).

With White being the 3-3 invader, there are 104 games before AG but only 10 with Black as the invader. Almost all these were komi games.

For the historical record, the first pro to try it was Segoe Kensaku in the Oteai in 1927, but it was not part of the New Fuseki. After 1928 there was an almost clear gap till 1974. But when it was tried it was generally the topmost pros who tried it (e.g. Cho Hun-hyeon, Yi Ch'ang-ho, Chen Zude, often multiple times). As a personal guess, I think they may have seen theoretical merit in the move, but found it (like tengen) a bit too hard in practice. In other words, it was eschewed not as heresy in defying accepted principles, but just for being too hard.

Overall, up to 2018, the pattern changes to a much smaller difference between White and Black 3-3: 711 for B 3-3 and 795 for W 3-3. Most of these are pros experimenting after AG. The total of AI games, out of 1506, is 189, split almost equally between B and W.

The AIs may have "seen" something that the early pros missed about early 3-3, but it may just be that, while all these games were with komi, the earliest ones had the smaller komi of 5.5 and that influenced the human pros. Looking at all the games together for each colour invasion, with A Black 3-3 the winning rates were Black 46% and White 54%, but for White 3-3 they changed to 41% and White 59%. This discrepancy seems to match the intuition of the early pro experimenters. The difficulty for the early humans may have been is that they had a blind spot in thinking they had to play the hanetsugi - that is what AI has really taught us, not the early 3-3.

My tentative conclusion about later developments is that the early 3-3 now so popular among human pros is part of a wave of experimentation which in no practical way undermines Yang's advice in this book, but for the experimenters both top human pros and AIs have detected something that favours an early White invasion (there is still a question mark over early Black invasion), but, like tengen, to take advantage of that needs extra skill that probably only AIs have. That means the real search for El Dorado is not on the fuseki shores of the game but deep in the jungles of the middle game, and that most of us human players are still better off holidaying in Hawaii or Torremolinos than up the Amazon.


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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #17 Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:13 am 
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I think Yilun Yang's ranking system is a valid teaching approach. Proverb like simplifications can help to develop your fuseki intuition, especially for people new to the game.

But the ranking in the book is in my opinion not up to date anymore.
(For example the passive play in the middle of a side has to be reevaluated.)

If you use such simplifications to develop your intuition, it is in our times essential, that you review your games with AI or with a stronger player and refine your moves.

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Post #18 Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:22 am 
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The early 3-3 point invasion is in most positions in the same category as an approach to the 4-4 point.

I think it is very important for stronger players to have both options. Experimenting with the 3-3 invasion also encourages you to develop your shinogi strategy.

It is probably a "hard" move, but I am always suspicious if somebody suggests not to play "too difficult" moves. I am not afraid of go ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #19 Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:25 am 
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Gomoto wrote:
I think Yilun Yang's ranking system is a valid teaching approach. Proverb like simplifications can help to develop your fuseki intuition, especially for people new to the game.

But the ranking in the book is in my opinion not up to date anymore.
(For example the passive play in the middle of a side has to be reevaluated.)

If you use such simplifications to develop your intuition, it is in our times essential, that you review your games with AI or with a stronger player and refine your moves.


I pretty much agree...and I think Yang does too. He does after all write "Examining how the stones relate to each other is one of the most useful studies in go. Understanding these relationships, rather than merely memorising patterns, is the way to improve your ability and advance in the game" and continues to give the examples of following the ranking system, but without thinking about the stones' relationships, as cautionary tales. This topic is what Chapters Two and Three are all about: learning to think about the bigger picture, learning to make the stones work as a team. I suspect, at a more advanced level, some of the ideas that Robert Jasiek and others have come up with could prove to be useful additions to the toolbox. But, getting back on track for this book review, I recommend this one for players of about my level. It has given me just what I needed to start moving up from where I was, and I am sure other players hovering just outside the dans would find it a similarly refreshing change of perspective compared with A&D, SCOG and other such classics.

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 Post subject: Re: Yilun Yang: The Fundamental Principles of Go
Post #20 Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:13 am 
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Tami wrote:
Are we even going to be able to draw any general, working conclusions at all?


Absolutely. It's one of the things that humans do well. :)

A recent example, outside of go, comes to mind. We are entering the era of Big Data and Algorithms (i.e., machine learning), of which go bots are a part. One proprietary (and therefore secret) algorithm, based upon reams of data, indeed performed better than human experts had. But some academic researchers studied the algorithm's outputs and came up with a formula that did just as well. The formula only had three parameters. The algorithm was a definite advance, but then humans figured out how to simplify it effectively. :) I am confident that the same thing will happen with go AI. Especially by young people who have little to unlearn first.

Quote:
Or will the future involve mastering an ever more dauntingly large array of specific situations about which concrete knowledge is sine qua non?


Joseki books will definitely be rewritten. :) They are showing us new joseki variations that would have taken humans a century or more to come up with and accept as joseki.

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