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 Post subject: counter-sabaki tactics?
Post #1 Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:13 pm 
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Could anybody please suggest for study either: any professional/other strong players who are noted for their ability to resist sabaki tactics or any games notable for a clash between skilful sabaki defensive technique and equally skilful attacking technique?

I ask because I find it hard to respond to sabaki. It's difficult to know when to continue an attack or to change objectives.

And, of course, the implicit arms race in this is part of the fun of go: you learn to attack, you learn to defend, then you learn to meet the defensive techniques, and have to come up with second line of defences and so on.

Thanks.

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Post #2 Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:48 pm 
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There was a long series on Baduk TV English titled "Attacking Vitamins" hosted by Lee Hyunwook 8p. Unfortunately, with the demise of gogameguru, these videos may no longer be available, though the transcripts are. The first one is here.

Some of the players he covered:

Kato Masao (of course)
Yu Ch'ang-hyeok
Mok Chin-seok (a favorite of mine)
Yi Se-tol
Seo Pong-su
Ch'oe Ch'eol-han
Weon Seong-chin

Also, though he doesn't study her games, he gives a hat-tip to Rui Naiwei, and I agree. Good luck trying to manage your weak groups against her. :rambo:

I wish I had taken thorough notes on this when they were available. I learned a lot, though.

  • Attacking is hard. My favorite quote from the first episode:

    Quote:
    Many amateurs think that the purpose of attacking is to capture a big dragon.

    I asked some professional players what they think about attacking.

    All of them said that attacking isn't their specialty.

  • When attacking severely, you can't be too interested in making pretty shapes yourself, but you must also take care of some of your weaknesses somehow.
  • Several times he showed multiple attacking moves, basic things like cap, knight's move, removing base, leaning attacks, etc. For any given position, at best maybe one of these actually worked, and the others petered out or were mediocre at best. Honestly, this was a big revelation to me. It's as if the attacker has to read one (broad) ply deeper than the defender and it's the first ply. This is no small feat.
  • Some fusekis are good if you like to attack.

Anyway, there were about 22 videos and I hope they become available again. It's a lot to take in and of course he covered defending against attacks.

Now I don't attack much. I would also say, "it's not my specialty." But I know I have to revisit the idea and get better at it because often it's about what's required of the position and not what you like.


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 Post subject: Re: counter-sabaki tactics?
Post #3 Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:14 pm 
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Kato Masao's Attack and Kill is what I learned from back in the day.

But of course in any pro game both players are probably going to play pretty well. So I think it is fine to study the games of a pro that is known for making sabaki and look at the moves of their opponent. Probably both players are playing pretty properly, and it will give you a good sense of how you should take profit without killing when someone invades.

If you want to learn how to punish bad sabaki moves, you'll probably have to look outside pro games.


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Post #4 Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:30 pm 
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I've started reading the book 大竹英雄的圍棋手筋精解 (Hideo Otake's Go Tesuji with Detailed Explanation) which is a translation of Fukkokuban Igo Kiso Tesuji No Dokushuho by Hideo Otake.
One of the examples showed that if you played the tesuji wrongly, the position allowed the opponent to sabaki. So it seems to me that one of the counter-sabaki tactics is to try to build up shapes which are resistant to sabaki tactics.

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 Post subject: Re: counter-sabaki tactics?
Post #5 Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:30 am 
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Tami: I think you are looking not just in the wrong place but for the wrong thing. Both the right place and the right thing are implicit in a couple of the replies above, but let's see if we can tease it out some more. Or at worst offer some food for thought.

I am basing my remarks mainly on your statement "I ask because I find it hard to respond to sabaki. It's difficult to know when to continue an attack or to change objectives." I infer several things from this.

The main one is that you are getting into situations where you have been attacking an opponent's group and suddenly you find your attack has run out of steam because he has created a resilient shape. You have run into a brick wall. You say you want to know how to continue. I say you want to know how to start. It sounds to me like you have not "attacked" at all (Japanese sense, semeru). What you have done is to "chase" him. The Japanese for this is seru (e.g. as in sette utsu). You have put on your plus fours and flushed the partridge out of the heather and now want to shoot at it with your shot gun. If you miss the bird gets away. Worse than that in go, you don't get to shoot with a scatter gun. You have to hit the target with a single bullet, and that only works if you are as good a shot as Kato Masao. If you want to create the effect of scattering shot, the best you can do is set up traps (e.g. other guns) elsewhere on the board (just like AlphaGo, so that's easy enough...) and drive the bird in their directions. This is also one way your gamekeeper would capture birds for you to shoot - drive them towards a net.

However, if you attack (semete utsu in Japanese) you are really doing something else. Etymologically semeru is allied to semai (narrow). You are trying to suffocate the opponent either by hemming him in or by narrowing his eye space. This often fails. The most obvious reason for failure is not being able to find a killing move, but a more common reason for amateurs is that we over-attack. We end up strengthening the opponent while creating an outside shape of our own that is full of weaknesses. If you examine typical cases, though, this shouldn't really be a surprise. Even if you dominate an area, at the specific interface of your attacking stones and his defending stones he is likely to have as many stones as you and so when the dust settles he lives inside the keep and you have soldiers stranded on the ramparts and easy to pick off.

Of course attack/semeru is too useful a word to be restricted to this meaning entirely, but the over-egging of the attacking pudding is a well-known marker of a high kyu or low dan player. And because really close-quarters attacking is hard and prone to be inefficient, even pros don't usually claim to be good at it.

However, I don't think any pro would ever claim to be weak at the alternative: semaru. This is attacking but one step back - attacking-lite. Pressurising, or crowding, in other words, rather than throwing punches that might miss. Because you are one step removed, the opponent has less room to apply sabaki tactics and so at the end of the tussle you are stronger (or at least less committed) on the outside. If he answers and lives, he has made 0 points in gote; you have made X points in sente. With over-egged semeru, points hardly come into it - it's all about mutual survival.

So, I suggest that countering sabaki in the sense I infer (i.e. disrupting his attempts to make it) is bolting the stable door too late. Far better to use semaru moves rather than semeru moves, to avoid the horse getting away in the first place.

There is a wider aspect to sabaki than just attack and defence, though. Here is an example of sabaki by White.



Here White is hardly weak - if anything he is in a potentially strong attacking position. But he does have a weakness and he needs to put a finger in the dyke. The obvious move is A. But that is gote and slows his attack down terribly. So how does he "cope" (sabaku)? The trick is to see that Black is also weak on the left side.

The sabaki move is to cut at White A. If Black then defends at B, White can play C in sente (Black captures at D) and so can then attack in good order at E.



If Black instead answers the cut at A, White plays B, which is a little less aggressive (more semaru than semeru), but White has gained the superb aji of White C, Black D, White E.



Although we are making progress in weaning players away from the idea that sabaki is some sort of "light" shape (it can be, but it can also be heavy - the criterion is simply whether the player has "coped" with a difficulty), I suspect this kind of sabaki is not what Tami has in mind.

Since sabaki can, however, take various forms it is hard to point at just one player and say follow his sabaki practice. But with that caveat (and the bigger caveat not to get into sabaki territory in the first place), here are some suggestions from the pro world.

1. Honinbo Dosaku. He is considered to be the examplar of making sabaki. In part that was because he was mostly giving handicaps and so had to resort to what we might now consider as overplays such as his famous "spider's web" extensions, which in turn forced him into sabaki situations. But the real basis for admiring his sabaki in these situations was the way he remained dynamic and active.

2. Yi Ch'ang-ho. Maybe past his best now and so forced to compromise on his style, but at his best he was noted for emphasising sabaki while taking territory. The result was he was masterful at creating order out of chaos and that in turn allowed him to play the risk-averse game he found married well with his skill at counting the game. But again the deeper basis to admire was the way he seemed to make only natural moves (i.e. no inefficient moves).

3. Yoda Norimoto. Quite a different style of sabaki. The basis is his ability to discriminate between light and heavy stones, and he adds a high-class flair for sacrificing, especially on a large scale.

4. Chen Yaoye. Not quite at the top any more but his play when at the top had many of the components most people associate with the generation of sabaki situations. To start with he was a classic territory lover; solid, very safe and never rushing, playing a lot on the third line. But his ability to live was better than his ability to kill because he was very good at sabaki. That led him often to try to simplify, so as to induce favourable, slow, endgames (he was especially good at the endgame), and he often did this by invading (i.e. making the play go down one-way streets) and so forcing the opponent to try (unsuccessfully) to kill him. He was also good at defence and counter-attacking, and also at erasing his opponents' influence and moyos, but that was a logical consequence of his solid style.


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Post #6 Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:54 am 
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Kato is always good, OC. :)

Also Sakata. Remember the Killer of Go? More appropriate at your level, perhaps, is Sakata no Go, vol. 1, Ishi no Semekata, if you can get your hands on it. :)

And there is a wealth of material on attacking, playing thickly, and preventing sabaki in Okigo Jizai ( http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/861119 ), by Hattori Inshuku. Hattori hardly ever goes for the kill, but frequently employs anti-sabaki measures. Here is a nice example. :)

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm43 Iron pillar
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . 2 . 1 . X . 3 . . . . X X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . 4 . . . . X X O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X . X . O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . X O O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . O . . . X . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . X O . . O O . X . O . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

:w43: invades the top side, and after the pincer makes another invasion at :w45:. This is light play. :) The iron pillar, :b46:, is an anti-sabaki play, attacking both sides. In particular, the bottom attachment no longer works for White.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm47 Sliding Peep
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . X . O . X . O . . 3 4 X X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . X . . . . X X O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X . X . O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . X O O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . O . . . X . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . X O . . O O . X . O . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

:w47: is the ubiquitous slide cum peep against the Black shape. Often Black replies with :b48: and then :b50: when White peeps again. Doesn't it feel bad to get pushed around like this?

Hattori shows how Black can avoid getting pushed around with an anti-sabaki tesuji for :b48:. (Hidden for convenience.)

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm48 Grok this!
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . X . O . X . O . . . . X X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . X . . . . X X O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X . X . O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . X O O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . O . . . X . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . X O . . O O . X . O . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

:b48: attacks White's eye potential, threatens to connect underneath, and prevents the cut. :)
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm48 White starts to run
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . X . O . X . O . 2 . . X X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . X . . . . X X O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X . X . O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . X O O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . O . . . X . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . X O . . O O . X . O . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

Now what? How does Black continue the attack?

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm50 Containment
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . X . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . X . O . X . O . O . . X X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . X . . . 2 X X O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . . . O O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 X X O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X . X . O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . X O O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . O . . . X . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . X O . . O O . X . O . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

:b50: and :b52: keep White contained. The cut still does not work.
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm53 Shinogi
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . 3 X . O 1 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . X . O . X . O . O . 2 X X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . X . . . O X X O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . O O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X X O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X . X . O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . X O O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . O . . . X . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . X O . . O O . X . O . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

White makes shinogi. I would not call this sabaki.
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm56 Kikashi
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . O X . O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . X . O . X . O . O . X X X . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . X . . . O X X O X . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . O O . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . X X X O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 O X . . . |
$$ | . . 3 . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . O . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . X . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . X . X . O X . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O X . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . X O O X . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . O . . . X . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . X O . . O O . X . O . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

Satisfied with her attack, Black plays kikashi on the right and then takes the large extension cum pincer on the left side. :)

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Post #7 Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:27 am 
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Thank you all, and especially to John and to Bill for those superb examples. I played them over a few times and enjoyed them like a fine wine.

In John's example, I was fascinated to see how the tesuji had the effect of either allowing a strengthening move to be sente or to leave behind a beautiful aji sequence.

In Bill's example, I could relate it back to the chapter in Attack and Defence about resisting forcing moves.

Another thing I take away from this is that it's important to ask the right questions. I will take another look at some of my failed attacks and see if I did indeed make the mistakes John suggested.

My word, I LOVE this game!

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Post #8 Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:33 am 
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The 1971 Honinbo Tournament book is also very interesting because it features the game of Ishida, who was very skillfull at making sabaki. There is especially one game there (I forgot which one, could look it up if you want to, though), where he does it incredibly well.

In studying how to resist sabaki you can't go around studying examples of how and when sabaki are skillfully used, I think.

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Post #9 Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:48 am 
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how about just playing some handicap games against stronger players?

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Post #10 Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:52 am 
Judan

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Another Okigo Jizai game, with a wonderful attack! I have added some sportscaster style comments. ;)

Enjoy! :D


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Post #11 Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:21 pm 
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At our level, I would keep it simple. If your opponents succesfully employ "sabaki" against you, what does that mean?

Usually we think of "sabaki" as a technique to get a certain result out of a play in the opponent's sphere of influence.

- The result is usually either life within that sphere of influence, or that sphere of influence being reduced to a smaller piece of territory while the invader has built some outside influence for himself
- The technique is usually a combination of contact play, one space jump, hane, atari and sacrifice

When attempting to counter sabaki, you should avoid sabaki technique yourself: try avoiding contact play, hane, atari and sacrifices.
Instead attack from a distance, boshi or tsume, extend against a contact play and save your cutting stones

The big invasion games of the nineties were those between Cho Chikun and Takemiya. Yamashita Keigo plays an influence game. Both Takemiya and Yamashita are likely to know how to deal with invasions, hence employ anti-sabaki.


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Post #12 Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:35 am 
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Sonoda 9 dan gives some useful advice in his book "All About Sonoda's Proverbs" on page 13.

- 自分の石数の多いときは、石をタテヨコに使う
- 自分の石数が相手より少ないときには、石をナナメに使う

My "translation" is -

"When the number of my stones is many, play "tateyoko"" = criss-cross
"When the number of my stones is few, play "naname"" = diagonally

Consider an area where the invader is trying to settle his position - he will have fewer stones locally - so he should play diagonal moves "naname". The defender has more stones locally so he should play solid moves "tateyoko" = criss-cross (ie on the vertical and horizontal lines. This ties up with Knotwilg's post.

There are a few books on sabaki.

Sabaki - Richard Bozulich - Kiseido (just published) - I have not seen this book.

片岡聡 サバキのテクニック (NHK囲碁シリーズ) "Kataoka Satoshi - All About Sabaki" - 7 likes of 5 stars on Amazon. 20+ full board problems with sabaki as the theme. I like this book. Yen1080

石倉流 攻めとサバキの法則 (NHK囲碁シリーズ) "Ishikura Noboru - Guidelines for Fighting and Sabaki" - see Sensei's Library

https://senseis.xmp.net/?GuidelinesForFightingAndSabaki

You did of course comment on this book a while ago!

Best Wishes - John


This post by John Tilley was liked by: Bill Spight
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