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 Post subject: Odd handicaps
Post #1 Posted: Sun May 09, 2021 11:01 pm 
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Sometimes black is allowed to choose where handicap stones are placed. The only time I tried this, I lost badly. I would guess the levels involved at 4d and 10k; he absolutely murdered me at 6 stones in our first game, then suggested 9 stones with free placement for the second.

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 Post subject: Re: Odd handicaps
Post #2 Posted: Mon May 10, 2021 8:58 am 
Lives in gote

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I have encountered newbies who refuse to accept handicap stones as if it is a question of pride or some kind of sadly misplaced masculinity and dominance complex carried over from shooters or street fighting games.
It is a delicate balance for someone in a teaching position, kick their butts totally and hope they see the reason for handicaps and risk deflating enthusiasm or just play along and hope they see something interesting.

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I play go, I ride a recumbent, of course I use Macintosh.

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 Post subject: Re: Odd handicaps
Post #3 Posted: Mon May 10, 2021 11:34 am 
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Pashley wrote:
then suggested 9 stones with free placement for the second.

Free placement is common with Chinese rules, see more on https://senseis.xmp.net/?FreeHandicap

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 Post subject: Re: Odd handicaps
Post #4 Posted: Mon May 10, 2021 12:57 pm 
Oza

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Free placement is well known in Japan, and there is even a book about it. But in practice it seems, when pros are playing amateurs, to be limited to two-stone or maybe three-stone, competitive games.

At higher handicaps the thinking seems to be that such games are (or should be) teaching games, and the that traditional handicap arrangements work best to teach weaker players what they really need to know.

A variation is to play with no handicap stones but take a giant komi. I once played Takemiya and started to put down four handicap stones, but he wiped them of the board and said, "Take 40 points komi instead." I happily did so just for the novelty of it, but I also thought it would make it easier for me to win and so I wouldn't learn much from it. In fact, I think it is the single game I have ever learnt most from. The size of the territories he mapped out was breathtaking but I couldn't see any way in, nor could I see any way to match his expansiveness. I didn't learn anything specific. It was rather that I got a unique (for me) insight into the literally wider world of go. I lost by a few points in the end, but felt as if I had won.

Small reverse komi with small handicaps is fairly common among pros in e.g. teacher-pupil games, and here too free placements are not uncommon.

There is also a wide range of game of the type where, just once in a game, you can force your opponent to do something detrimental, e.g. koko se - play here! These are more like bar games but pros play them with each other.


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