Sunday, April 02, 2006

Direction of play










Another series of successful matches pushed my rank just barely into 17-kyu. At this point, it's safe for me to say that I've broken through my 19k barrier and that I've gotten stronger. I just have to keep on playing to see where my rank solidly settles.

Certainly, doing a little regular tsumego and taking a more time to think through my moves have contributed to my improvement. A pair of other concepts that I've been trying to apply to my matches has been a better awareness of the balance of influence versus territory and an understanding of the direction of play.

The second chapter of Takeo Kajiwara's book, The Direction of Play, has provided me with a little insight into these. That is where the example in the top board was taken. There, Black's play on D16 in response to White's D3 is considered "correct" as the follow-up approach of Black D5 has a strong relation to D16. Black projects the power of his star-point stone down into White's corner and sets up opportunities to activate it on a grand scale.

There are people who think that it makes little difference how they play in the opening. Ridiculous! A game is often decided in the opening.
- Takeo Kajiwara


If White responds with a territorial orientation, as illustrated on the first board, Black is able to expand his framework to both the left and right of the board; a situation which is poor for White and good for Black.











This second example shows what happens when White responds with a more influence-oriented approach. The result is more balanced but still slightly in Black's favor.


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3 Comments:

At 5:16 AM, April 03, 2006, Blogger JMP said...

I just read direction of play myself on the recomondation of one of the stronger players in our club and it is an excellent book. At the very least it forces me to slow down in the opening to look where my and my opponent stones are "yearning". In fact it helped me solidly beat a 5 kyu last week at club with only 2 stones (which actually just goes to show how bad I play on the internet, our IGS rankings are 8 stones apart-go figure).

 
At 11:15 AM, April 03, 2006, Anonymous ScatCat said...

How odd! I read "Opening Theory Made Easy" last night and Otake Hideo also spends a lot of time illustrating direction of play. The diagrams made sense to me. The challenge will now be applying this IRL. (Or at least via internet server)Ttfn!

 
At 3:32 PM, April 03, 2006, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Hello ScatCat and JMP!

Hideo's book does cover direction of play and it is easier to digest.

In general, Hideo focuses on principles which mostly analyze a corner or half of the board.
Kajiwara seems to take it further with full-board synthesis. It reminds me ot the first nirensei analysis that was presented in Go Seigen's book, A Way of Play for The 21st Century.

It's no surprise to me that there are many book overlaps on a subject like "direction of play". At the strategic level, it strikes me as rather fundamental.

It will be amusing to read Kajiwara's third chapter which is entitled, Move two lost me the game. Given my current workload, I'm not sure that I'll be able to get it until May.

 

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