Saturday, September 24, 2005

Watching games to find my weaknesses

I've spent most of my recent time on KGS watching games; some at 3-5 dan level and others at 28-15 kyu level. It's been helpful at finding deficiencies in my own play. I try to guess what the next ideal move would be and analyze why my guess was not played-out (assuming that a superior move was played instead). This, of course, is easier to do when watching kyu games.

I'm sure my KGS mentors can find more weaknesses, but these three stood out to me last night.
  • Improve at forecasting liberties
  • Improve at maximizing the value of ko fights
  • Avoid making premature defensive moves in gote
It won't be a good weekend for playing Go. I'm working part-time (last weekend of the fiscal quarter), my cousin has a wedding this afternoon, and what's left of the Sunday will be reserved for ChiyoMama and Chiyo-chan. I'm also hoping that my friends in the path of hurricane Rita will only be slightly inconvenienced now that its been downgraded to Category 1.

I'm looking forward to playing yop (25k) next week since I promised him a game. Rank means little in the lower kyus and he's as strong (if not stronger) than I am. I watched one of his games last night. Although it looks like he lost a dragon earlier in the match, it didn't seem like he lost his nerve and his endgame was well-executed.


At 10:19 AM, September 29, 2005, Anonymous erislover said...

The biggest reason I beat lower kyus even in handicap games is that they do not realize when good aggression turns in to terrible overplay. (Correspondingly, I eften do the same silly thing against better players!) This has to do with the liberties thing you mention here. Excessive hane-extent hane-extend hane-extend to keep your opponent contained can leave you with a lot of bad aji lying around that a better player could probably exploit.

Think about the typical endgame play on the 1st line. B hane, W block, B solidly connects, W solidly/virtually connects. This sequence could happen a lot in the middle, too. After a hane-extend perhaps your opponent makes a solid connection, or guarantees two eyes in some other way (often a virtual connection). Is this an indication that he is about to launch an attack on your overextended groups?

So many times I will see the player with handicap stones form impressive-looking territories that are so loaded with bad aji that they are impossible to properly defend without sacrifice. Couple that with the fact that we low-kyus still aren't especially great about playing lightly and try to save a lot of our stones, and the whole thing comes apart.

I don't recall the game, I was once told by a 23 kyu that I was doing something incorrectly, I should have invaded a few moves ago or something like that, and now the situation was too hard. Fortunately I could see that I'd already won, I had huge endgame plays and he had none, so I wasn't particularly offended, I think I just said something ambiguous like, "Don't underestimate endgame plays." I kept sente for the rest of the game and won by probably ten to twenty points. Heh!

At 3:54 PM, September 29, 2005, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Very true. It wasn't too long ago that mungo (-) had warned me of defective perimeters in the moyo of one of my games that I had built-up through overplay. Even now, I'm not sure that I've learned my lesson.


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