Thursday, November 24, 2005

I think this aggressive style will work ...

... sooner or later.

Armed with a greater awareness about invasions and territorial reduction, I have been experimenting with a somewhat more aggressive style. This, as expected, has led to a losing streak of my last five rated games against human opponents.

I remain unflustered and yoyoma (2k) has continued to encourage me. Our last review examined the importance of balance and some strategic concepts in attacks. I'll probably need another review over the next few days.

Ouch! That didn't work.

The above diagram is from my fourth rated game against stephanos (19k) where I played White. As you'll notice, all the White stones in the upper right are dead and I practically painted the entire left side with stones.

And that didn't work, either!

The next diagram is from my fifth rated game against Kyuuga (17k) where I played Black. I successfully captured all four corners but my stones in the center are dead. This nicely disproves that questionable proverb about resigning if you've lost all the corners.

I expect to get a little better with this new style after I've gotten a chance to experiment more with it. I'm guessing that these are my first conscious steps away from the big-moyo defensive style of play that is typical of most beginners.

Feel free to share any thoughts or suggestions about my games.

Still missing some fundamentals?

During an oddly slow period on KGS, I chanced upon an even game against a dan-level player on IGS (aka PandaNet) who, for now, shall remain nameless. He too gave me encouragement in a mixed review. His assessment was that I played at 10-kyu strength in some instances (probably cases of applied joseki) but that I also exhibited a lack of "fundamentals" in others. The time wasn't convenient for me so I had to log-off IGS after only a brief discussion. Even worse, I failed to set my client to auto-save my game so I have no SGF to study.

Of course, that now leaves me wondering about what fundamentals I lack.

Watching the tournament

The 2nd KGS Iron Man Tournament is in its final rounds and there's still a chance that Zero9090 (14k) could get either a gold or silver crown! As of the time of this post, he's in 3rd place in the 30k-to-4k Division.


At 2:59 AM, November 25, 2005, Anonymous hdoong said...

Re fundamentals, did reading the Kageyama book help?

For whatever it's worth and by way of sharing this experience, one way to learn fundamentals effectively (and rather quickly), is to observe game reviews by stronger players (preferably high kyu and Dan players). It is not necessary to review your own games only but to join in the review of games of people with similar strength of you.

I can testify to this from the experience of one of the recent players in our club. Besides playing many games, she always join in game reviews offered by stronger players in the KGS room (and there is a 2dan in the room that is patient and happy enough to review games). That way, she was able to observe and absorb the reviews and get to understand and learn the fundamentals since most non-honte and fundamentally wrong moves are pointed out by the 2dan (at his level best, of course).

She has two IDs on KGS: skhao and hxhkillua.

She started to learn go by herself about 2 years ago mainly on KGS and in the past few months, began to come to our club. She does not have access to many go books, only a couple of problem books. We currently assess her strength to be at about 3kyu.

At 3:20 AM, November 25, 2005, Blogger Gilgamesh said...

Fundamentals in go is a term not really restricted to new players. There are dan level books about fundamentals also :) I'm very far from mastering the fundamentals so you shouldn't worry too much about that statement. Listen to kageyama ^^

At 7:28 AM, November 26, 2005, Blogger Woodard said...


Here are my 22-kyu comments on your recent games.

After reviewing them, it looks like you are adjusting your style of play to focus on invasions and aggressive plays. The lack of balance is what seems to be doing you in. Invasion and reduction are tools to use when the time is right. You are sometimes using invasions and fighting to live in your opponent’s area when there are huge points on the board still available. Your game vs. nori is a good example.

Also remember to keep the number of weak groups to a minimum. If you invade your opponent’s area, he’s going to counterattack. It’s hard to maintain control of your game when you’re struggling to protect and settle multiple groups at the same time. Doing a little more set-up work before jumping in will help.

You certainly have the fighting spirit that will take you up several stones once you get the hang of your new bag of tricks.


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