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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #21 Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:20 am 
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Then you could set a goal like: reach KGS 1d after 1000 games (but don't play blitz). Or if the goal is too remote, set a goal like "reach x kyu after y games". It may or may not work, for me it didn't but it's certainly doable.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #22 Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:58 am 
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Cool. That's quite an alternative though not really to my liking.

That aside, in many games I'm forcibly trying to apply theories I learned so perhaps that can be the reason I kept losing. Many games I threw into AI analysis I was leading until one point where I blinked and my opponent turned tables, yet I do not know why and how to prevent, I guess I'm still at learning stage.

I'll work slowly and prefer steady approach. Preventing mistakes and understand basic tactical moves and how to answer them.

Speaking of which, how does one understand the direction of play (not opening, mid game that kind) ?

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #23 Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:35 am 
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I don't think that "direction of play" is a well-defined concept. To my limited understanding, it includes ideas like

  • Making different areas of the board interact with each other.
  • Visualizing how current groups will develop, where new groups could be created,...
  • Determining in which direction to make a wall to get the most efficient result, or try to predict in which direction the opponent will make a wall. In particular, when attacking a weak group, decide whether to attack from the left, or from the right, or from the top.
  • Imagine the development of moyos, and decide whether to expand one's moyo, or to reduce or invade the opponent's moyo.

Anyway, whatever the terminology, none of the preceding topics is easy.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #24 Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:37 am 
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zafuri95 wrote:
Speaking of which, how does one understand the direction of play (not opening, mid game that kind) ?


Direction of play is one of those concepts that the bots are telling us we have to reconsider. That said, there are some things that still hold true.

For instance:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Box shape
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . 3 . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |[/go]


The enclosure in the top left wants to develop towards the top side, because :b1: and :b3: work with it to form an ideal box shape framework. We say that the enclosure faces the top side.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Box shape, not!
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . X . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . 3 . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |[/go]


By contrast, if the top left enclosure faces the left side, then :b1: and :b3: do not form an ideal framework.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Direction of play (?)
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . X . . . . . . . . . . a . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . 1 , O . . |
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |[/go]


Carrying the idea further, :b1: was considered an ideal approach for Black, given the top left enclosure, because it starts to develop the top side for Black. Before the 20th century, a was also considered ideal, but it was easier to pincer than the high approach.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Popular no komi opening
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 2 . . . . . . . . . . 4 . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , 1 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |[/go]


Carrying the reasoning even further, :w2: was considered a good reply to :b1: -- it still is, BTW --, because it prepares :w4:, in anticipation of a possible top left enclosure. IOW, :w2: followed by :w4: is the correct direction of play.

This reasoning takes a few steps, and there is some doubt with each step. And it may be correct. However, the bots are telling us that any effect is small, 2% or less.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bc Bot opening
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 2 . . . . . , . . . 5 . , 1 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . 4 . . . . . , . . . . . 3 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Through :b5: we have one of the openings played by AlphaGo. Elf likes :w6:, but :w6: violates the direction of play. AlphaGo prefers a, but it violates the direction of play, as well, since it allows an ideal pincer in relation to the top right enclosure.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm6 Bot opening, continued
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . X . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . 6 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . 4 X 2 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


:w6: allows :b7:, which leads to an ideal Black development of the right side. Just looking at the board, Black looks ahead. But remember that White has the move and Black is giving 7½ pt. komi. Elf thinks that the play up to now has been even. (Elf also is more optimistic about Black's initial chances than other bots, but that's another question.) OC, Elf could be wrong. But, IMHO, it is unlikely that :w6: is a game losing play.

What follows is my opinion.

It is not that plays dictated by the traditional understanding of direction of play are bad. Rather, the line of reasoning behind it is open to question. (This is true, BTW, of long variations, even ones that claim to be one lane roads. Each move is open to question.) In addition, there are other good plays, perhaps even better plays on the board early in the game. But late in the opening or early in the middle game, the plays indicated by direction of play are much more likely to be the best plays, because the good alternatives have already been taken.

So is it worth studying direction of play if you haven't already? I don't think so. The plays that accord with direction of play in the late opening or middle game can be derived from simply considering development, which is easier to do and has fewer steps of reasoning. :)

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #25 Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:04 pm 
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Thank you for the insights !
I'm well aware of the direction of play in the opening and the reasoning behind and that was a very detailed explanation :)

I've spoke to the stronger players in my club, apparently they all agreed my weakness is in the "middle-game" as many times and often, my advantage in the opening does not translate to a win - even bots agreed too after I ran analysis with KataGo.

Few things I noticed:-
1. I'm having hard time dealing with attachments
2. I did not translate good attacks into profits, i.e. missing out on defensive points.
3. My judgement on which point to play in the middle game ran out of radar after opening. I understand from Baduk Doctor's advise that if there's no weak group to attack, you can think of reduction plays and that's only as far as I know.
4. Tesujis does not always involve life and death. Cutting and connect, eye stealing, etc. are also important.

Would there be any suggestions on improving mid game judgments? I know there's this "Attack and Defense" of the Elementary Go Series and that's the current book I'm reading now. It seems the concepts are striking at my weaknesses that I'm eager to solve.

Are there any other resources / methods that I can look for to improve middle game?

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #26 Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:14 am 
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Your questions are too general, everybody has a problem with the middlegame, hard to say anything without concrete examples. Maybe you need to work on tesuji? This is an advice I often hear from Bill.

I don't think there is a general method of handling attachments. If the opponent attaches, you basically have 5 options: hane (2 possibilities), extend (2 possibilities) and tenuki. Hane can lead to complications because can be followed by connect-connect, or extend-extend, or crosscut-extend... and you need to read variations and decide which one is best... Maybe this book can help https://senseis.xmp.net/?CrossCutWorkshop but I don't have it so I don't know for sure.

You say that you miss defensive points. Maybe that's a sign of lack of reading? Leaving weaknesses is OK if you are aware they exist, and know how to respond if your opponent attack them. Or it could be a problem of shape ? Bad shape may create weaknesses, e.g. because of lack of liberties.

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #27 Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:02 am 
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jlt wrote:
Your questions are too general, everybody has a problem with the middlegame, hard to say anything without concrete examples. Maybe you need to work on tesuji? This is an advice I often hear from Bill.


Yes I'm working on tesuji at the time being to be tactically confident so I can work further on fundamentals of strategy thinking.

I'm trying to embrace a more open minded approach to the game as I was too stubborn to give up my own group of stones often in games. I find that sometimes it is better to let go than hold on and use the aji to one's own advantage.

That aside, I've updated my study schedule and it looks like below:-

PRACTICE (Daily)
1. 手筋 - 精讲与精炼 (Tesuji: Lecture and Practice)
2. Lee Chang Ho's tesuji and Life and Death series

THEORY (in reading order)
1. Shape Up for a Stylish Baduk (Daily read)
2. Milton Bradley's: Improve Fast at Go (Next daily read)
3. Elementary Go Series: Attack and Defense (Weekend self-taught theory class)

GAMES
1. Daily 1 game with review
2. Weekends 2 games at least with review

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 Post subject: Re: My Path to Shodan - And Eventually to amateur 9D
Post #28 Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:28 am 
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zafuri95 wrote:
I'm trying to embrace a more open minded approach to the game as I was too stubborn to give up my own group of stones often in games. I find that sometimes it is better to let go than hold on and use the aji to one's own advantage.


A good lesson. :D :clap:

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