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 Post subject: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play with?
Post #1 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:37 am 
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Hi,

It seems that nearly all of my opponens on KGS automatch (around 5k-7k) play sanrensei as black and I have simply no idea how to handle it. Unfortunately I'm not often enough black against a stronger player to see how he handles it.

I've already looked at Senseis sanrensei page but found it a bit undetailed. I looked at my Gogod database with Kombilo where I found plenty of games. But since they are professional games (w/o commentary) they drive into complicated position quite fast.

So, my question to the L19² community is: how do you approach a particular weak point in your fueski, or formulated even broader: how do you approach a weakness that is quite difficult to experiment with (since not all opponents play it, you are sometimes black too (in that case you could at least see what white does), etc...).

Cheers,
Michael

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #2 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:13 am 
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San-ren-sei:

- It cannot be cut into pieces quickly. Therefore be patient.
- It has two corners. As long as both are open, Black cannot defend both simultaneously. Therefore one possible strategy is to reduce the second corner when Black secures the first.
- Like every moyo, there is a last move with which its remaining major parts are also converted into territory. Approach that point just before Black can take it.
- A possible white strategy is to build strong shapes on the adjacent sides so that Black cannot attack these shapes. They serve as a foothold supporting reductions or invasions.

Approaching weak fuseki point:

- Study it meticulously. Now that was easy:)
- Depending on the kind of your fuseki weakness, more specific advice could differ. For san-ren-sei, see above.
- Take your opponent's view.

Approaching weakness that is hard to experiment and too complicated in professional games:

- Learn the standards without complications.
- Study related literature (e.g., about the opening).
- Take lessons.
- Develop your own theory, e.g., by identifying basics and complications to separate both as far as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #3 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:15 am 
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mic wrote:
Hi,

It seems that nearly all of my opponens on KGS automatch (around 5k-7k) play sanrensei as black and I have simply no idea how to handle it. Unfortunately I'm not often enough black against a stronger player to see how he handles it.

I've already looked at Senseis sanrensei page but found it a bit undetailed. I looked at my Gogod database with Kombilo where I found plenty of games. But since they are professional games (w/o commentary) they drive into complicated position quite fast.

So, my question to the L19² community is: how do you approach a particular weak point in your fueski, or formulated even broader: how do you approach a weakness that is quite difficult to experiment with (since not all opponents play it, you are sometimes black too (in that case you could at least see what white does), etc...).

Cheers,
Michael



Hi,

I looked through one of your recent games against the sanrensei, and it looks almost like you just get a little psyched out by your opponent's moyo. You got pressed on both sides, then jumped into his large side (and the invasion was killed). This could go had in hand with the counting thread -- After you get pressed down, count how many points you have and how many you expect them to get. His side was still quite invadeable, and if you count the board, it's still a close game, even if your group just lives small. An important thing to remember with an opening like the sanrensei -- it's easy to feel like your opponent is building a huge area, but it is because all their moves are on one side, it's all they have. If they have a 50 point moyo, it might look large...but if (in order to build it) they have given you two settled groups with 10-15 points, you have 2 corners they haven't approached yet, you have komi, and you have sente...it's not a lopsided game. In fact, you might be able to keep building, and use gentle reduction to avoid having to invade at all.

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #4 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:17 am 
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i also use(d) to have troubles when playing against influence-oriented openings and the key for me was to realize that even if black has built some monstrous looking formation, i am not obliged to play at his playground, i can build something equally big and terrifying. so then i don't have to reduce / invade him well, i just have to do it better than my opponent does it to me.

you can just make your own sanrensei or chinese or what do you like and challenge your opponent to a moyo-building contest

here is one game of my favourite player Kato Masao, playing against Takemiya Masaki's sanrensei: http://eidogo.com/#236orL. i don't expect you to understand every single move, i don't understand it neither, but you can get the basic idea, how he doesn't rush to erase opponent's influence and instead competes with his own

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #5 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:21 am 
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you are forced to invade if you feel you are behind.
so the answer lies in improving on your eval skills which only can be achieved by playing many many many many games.

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #6 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:32 am 
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Hi,

so many great advices. Thank you all very much! You all gave me much to think about.


Cheers,

Michael

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #7 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:39 am 
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@Laman The metadata for that game is messed up. Takemiya and Kato were not 1p in 1977.

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #8 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:59 am 
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mic wrote:
how do you approach a weakness that is quite difficult to experiment with (since not all opponents play it, you are sometimes black too (in that case you could at least see what white does), etc...).


Although Robert gave some great principles to guide you against the san ren sei, your question reminds me of a recent comment by Kaz, an ex-insei who teaches on KGS. He said that adults often want general advice, but when pressed, cannot present a specific postion that would allow him to respond adequately. The point is that sometimes, such as with "a weakness," there is no general strategy, but that rather each situation has it's specific nuances. In contrast, he says that kids will often show him a postion and say "What should I do here?"

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #9 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:05 am 
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hyperpape wrote:
@Laman The metadata for that game is messed up. Takemiya and Kato were not 1p in 1977.

you are right, the GoGoD says they were 8p (and it shows one more move for white). but it is not my sgf, it was just the one i considered easiest to share here

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #10 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:26 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
Take your opponent's view.


That's very good advice. I would take it a step further and say it's sometimes helpful to actually try to play the openings your opponents typcially use. When having trouble playing white against a particular opening (such as black sanrensei), it may help to actually try playing that black opening. Then it is easier to see its shortcomings. I had trouble playing against the sanrensei in part because I didn't play it enough myself. If you play sanrensei as black, you'll quickly come up with a list of things that you hate for white to do.

For me, if I play sanrensei as black, I hate it when white:

1. Does not provide a target for attack.
2. Plays for territory patiently, waiting to win in the endgame with komi advantage. (I.e., no panic, no greed.)
3. Plays the right depth of reductions, making it difficult for me to choose direction.


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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #11 Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:36 pm 
Honinbo

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Here are some sanrensei (and yonrensei) openings from Go Seigen's 10 volume set, "21st Century Go". Most are studies, but one is from an actual game. They should give you some ideas about playing against large frameworks. :)











You see the importance of reduction. :)

Edit: Changed sgf-full to sgf. :)

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Last edited by Bill Spight on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #12 Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:49 am 
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Hi,

In a game today where I was white black played ... of course san-ren-sei :D I thought about your suggestions and did not invade while screaming like a little girl. And it worked. Although this game had some rough edges I was overall quite satisfied (and untypical for me I even used most of my time in a 25 minute game).


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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #13 Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:28 pm 
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I have A Way of Play for the 21st Century and need to look at it again--Go's ideas in those sgfs are really striking.

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #14 Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:09 pm 
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mic wrote:
Hi,

In a game today where I was white black played ... of course san-ren-sei :D I thought about your suggestions and did not invade while screaming like a little girl.

I bet you're a riot at real-life tournaments! :razz: (Actually, it would make for some interesting tournaments if we all took the same liberties we do when playing online to over-the-board play.)

Quote:
And it worked. Although this game had some rough edges I was overall quite satisfied (and untypical for me I even used most of my time in a 25 minute game).

Forgive me if this sounds like an insult, but why do you play 25-minute games if you're not going to use the 25 minutes? (More seriously, I've put up game requests in the 20-30 minute range, and then have people who join the game get irritated when I actually use the time and ask me to play faster. :mad: )

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #15 Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:36 pm 
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Hi,

Fedya wrote:
Forgive me if this sounds like an insult, but why do you play 25-minute games if you're not going to use the 25 minutes? (More seriously, I've put up game requests in the 20-30 minute range, and then have people who join the game get irritated when I actually use the time and ask me to play faster. :mad: )

No offense taken. The problem is that I -- like many other players -- play too fast. I'm actually trying to fight this bad habit, so I was quite happy that I took my time and honestly think that it helped my game. But I won't ask my opponent to play faster if I had agreed to the time settings (and in fact never did).

Cheers,
Michael

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 Post subject: Re: How to approach a weakness that is difficult to play wi
Post #16 Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:37 am 
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I just followed a link to this old thread and thought I could add a nice example of how to play against the san-ren-sei. One of my students asked about this very topic and I gave a group lesson on it on KGS. As an example I used a game of mine from OGS in which my opponent played san-ren-sei and I simply beat him by 25 points. He didn't make any blunders, just a few dubious strategic decisions and a few soft moves. I think it nicely illustrates the various issues:
- There is no need to be jealous of your opponent's moyo. It is a common mistake to invade too early or think you will lose if your opponent gets a lot of his moyo. Go is a sharing game, just make your share a little bigger.
- A moyo on only one side of the board is nothing like as good as a two-dimensional one that spreads over 2 or more sides. So making strong white positions on the top and lower side restrict any future development of the san-ren-sei and will aid future invasions.
- Thickness is best for attacking weak groups, so if you can avoid giving your opponent a weak group to attack his thickness rather goes to waste.

Here is the lesson on KGS (the simple 25 point win game is the top variation, there is a 2nd game in there which illustrates the strategy of making a bigger moyo as white, leading to fighting and mutual destruction: in the end half of black's san-ren-sei dies and white's left side is reduced to a 2 point group!):



And here is the game with a review on OGS that should be easier to follow but doesn't have all the variations and in-depth discussion of the lesson:



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