What happens when you play a game, unless you are playing fast and instinctively?
- At any decision point, you make a positional judgment
- From that judgment comes some sort of plan
- You select a number of candidate moves
- These lead to sequences, which you have to read
- You evaluate a certain end point of those sequences
- Sometimes the end point is a clear positive or negative evaluation
- Other times you stop because the continuation is unclear
- And you choose the best candidate
- Or you revise the plan
Every move can be a decision point, but more often a new decision point occurs when there is more information or the opponent deviates from the sequence envisioned.
The candidate selection doesn't necessarily follow from a single plan. Often the plan unfolds while exploring candidate moves.
For example, at move Black will usually think of
- making a corner enclosure at any of the points a
- approaching the corner opposite to the 3-4 corner
- from the outside at b
- or the inside at c
- or follow the modern tendency to invade at d
- approaching the corner opposite the the 4-4 corner, with similar options
The corner enclosure is urgent, so if Black chooses to play elsewhere, then he wants to end with sente to play there still.
This sequence may end in gote, after Black , but it also makes the corner enclosure less interesting, hence less urgent.
The same sequence here, makes a very attractive, so White will likely take sente to play here.
We can visualize the same pattern in the upper left and see how White takes sente to play here
None of the approaches gives me a better feeling than playing the enclosure immediately, so I'll choose that and the high 2 space enclosure is reinforced by AI opening tendency.
Suppose White approaches from the inside. Then I will seriously consider the pincer.
I will visualize this position and ask myself what I'll do next with sente. Play a in gote or approach any of the corners.
I feel that a is big and almost necessary, and I don't like having all my eggs in one basket.
From this I will probably choose not to pincer.