Attacking and Defending Moyos

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Attacking and Defending Moyos
Part 7 of the series: Mastering the Basics
By: Rob van Zeijst, Richard Bozulich
Publisher: Kiseido, August 2010
ISBN13 978-4-906574-77-3
250 pp.

Attacking and Defending Moyos by Rob van Zeijst and Richard Bozulich is volume 7 in the Mastering the Basics series.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 - 13 Basic Principles for Attacking and Defending Moyos
  • Chapter 2 - Example Games (six examples)
  • Chapter 3 - 151 Problems
  • Chapter 4 - One Last Problem: Moyo and Kiai


PeterHB: Pleasingly, up to the usual high standard we have come to expect from Bozulich & van Zeijst.
I like the style of first having a descriptive section (Chap. 1) that explicitly explains what you are intended to learn, before the meat of the book, the problems (Chap. 3). This book has a feel that is similar to 501 Opening Problems, where both books use a large set of examples to ingrain the ability to spot a key turning point where either you take the crucial point, or your opponent does, stymieing your chances for the rest of the game. I like the learning style of using many problems to ensure you have really internalized the outlined principles. When learning tesuji and life & death first we understand them, then there is a process of hard-wiring them so that pattern recognition occurs quickly in games. The teaching style here is doing the same for when opportunities to create and destroy moyos occur.
The idea of making a move on the border of 2 moyos, so that yours grows, and your opponents reduces, appears strongly in both books. As a moyo specific book it covers more subtle themes, such as transferring a moyo from one part of the board to another, and building a moyo by attacking weak stones. This isn't a beginner's book, but rather a 9k into dan level book. Within its moyo theme, it expects you to have some previous experience of invasions, reductions, thickness and leaning attacks. This book tackles the difficult choices between these themes, about finding the right move at the right time. The opening joseki that have formed the shapes given are typical of my games and so difficulties illustrated are relevant to my games. The problems have the feel of having come from professional or near professional games. i.e. they have a genuine real game feel, rather than creations for a pedagogical point.
A particular strength is the frequent use of 3 or 4 solution diagrams with explanations of alternatives. I have found my wrong answers discussed amongst the solution diagrams, which is better than many other books single solution diagram that has left me with 'what if?' questions. The correct answers seem to go that extra necessary move further, where previously I have been left with questions. Problem 49 below is a nice illustration of this point.
Being practically free of typographical errors, using concise colloquial English, a normal firm binding, with a pleasant feel of the higher than average quality paper: overall forms a welcome combination. Sets a standard that some other go book publishers could learn from.

Sample Material

Problem 49. White to play  

White must not allow Black to reinforce his moyo in the upper right. Should he reduce it by playing at A or B?

Problem 49. Correct  

White should cap lightly with W1. If Black defends the top with B2, White forces with W3 and W5, caps with W7, then jumps lightly to W9. White is now threatening to invade the top or to attack Black's two stones on the right.

Problem 49. 'Defending the right side'  

If Black answers W1 by defending the right side with B2, White will attach and cut with W3 and W5. After Black captures with B6 and B8, White ataries with W9. Next -

Problem 49. 'Continuation'  

Black can't fight a ko, so he connects with B10. After W11, Black must not omit B12 because of the aji of White A - Black B12 - White B, so White can make shape with W13 and aim to attack Black's two stones on the left.

Problem 49. 'White is in trouble.'  

The invasion of White W1 violates Principle 10 (In Chap. 1 - Make a deep invasion only if you can end up with a secure group). After Black B2, White must extend to W3. His stones are now heavy. Black B4 is a powerful attack because of the strong marked stones on the right.


to be added

Game database references. Errata.

Attacking and Defending Moyos last edited by PeterHB on July 6, 2011 - 19:48
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