Dots Go Ongoing Game

    Keywords: Tactics, Ongoing game

Unlike the somewhat biased first try, this game of Dots Go starts with the correct, well balanced setup. Black doesn't have a built-in advantage anymore. Common Go rules (let's say, Chinese) apply.

Dots Go, moves 151-157 (the end)  

blubb: This is what the end result looks like.

Black: 187 zi
White: 174 zi

Ignoring komi, Black wins by 6.5 zi, or 13 moku.

/Game losing move

Dots Go, moves 141-150  

Dots Go, moves 131-140  

Dots Go, moves 121-130  

unkx80: B1. This move is clearly forced, so I don't think I am spoiling anybody's fun by playing twice in a row.

Alex: W2 is also forced, but I'm with MrTenuki that we should resign at this point. (Edit after the fact, no, actually, it's late at night and I've had a couple of beers... in a moment's hallucination I didn't realise white+circle is part of the same group, so this isn't remotely forced, but anyway, it makes no difference whichever atari is eventually played, so I won't bother to ask to undo)

unkx80: B3.

fractic: White resigns I suppose.

Tas: Shouldn't we play it out anyway? And then try a new.

Bill: There are just a few moves left (by territory scoring, anyway), so let's play it out. Besides, there is some interest in the analysis. W4.

blubb: B5. Thanks for going on, Bill. This game uses Chinese rules, but I will volunteer to fill up all the remaining dame miais at the end. Better than with stone scoring, anyway. :-)

fractic: W6 is sente against the corner and picks up a point.

WillerZ: B7 is fairly forced.

Alex: W8 is worth a few points and is, as far as I can see, the last non-dame move on the board.

unkx80: B9. I think this is the last non-dame move for both players.

If I am keeping track of this game correctly, there is one White prisoner and one Black prisoner.

Apparently, Dots Go emphasizes connection and reading over the other concepts - the conventional opening theory doesn't apply here.

fractic: Are you sure about that unkx80? Our game has shown that making eyes and territory is easier in the corners and sides. Of course not everything translates as Influence seems to be worth less compared to normal go.

unkx80: Of course you are right, I was too sloppy in my wording. I meant that these two concepts seem to be emphasized more over some of the other concepts. Since you brought it up, one interesting observation is that a fair number of territory making moves seem to be on the second line, capturing the first line stones along the way. This is quite unlike conventional Go where most territory is probably surrounded by stones on the third line or upwards.

WillerZ: Black wins by 13 in this game; I guess we need more games to work out if this initial setup favours black.

blubb: W10 ff.

Dots Go, moves 111-120  

WillerZ: In real go I would have said W108 was a waste of a Ko threat, but I guess that doesn't matter here. B1.

Bill: W2. Forced.

WillerZ: B3. Splits the W groups and gives us the option of a seki at B9 later

fractic: W4. The groups are quite connected. Everything in the center looks like miai to me. Playing at B9 right now would allready give a seki.

blubb: B5. Take the most threatening of the remaining reductions.

MrTenuki: W6 is required to make a second eye.

Willerz: B7. Necessary, but not sufficient.

fractic: W8 is obviously forced.

unkx80: B9. If White plays at a or b to destroy the upper eye, Black must remember to capture at c in a later move. Beware of shortage of liberties!

MrTenuki: I'm considering playing out the bad ladder (starting with W10) to connect the two groups, but I don't see a way to prevent the seki caused by B9. As things now stand, White is clearly at least 15 points behind. Permission to resign, please :-(

Dots Go, moves 101-110  

unkx80: B1. Whew, two eyes.

kb: W2. I can't see any better alternative than this for living.

LukeNine45: B3. Since white didn't kill our big group, it looks like black is winning to me...

JoelR: W4. to save five stones.

blubb: As far as I can see, all our stones in the right center area are safe, and so are White's. A few attacks on other white groups are left, but I wouldn't like us to miss B5 - a comparatively big reverse sente.

fractic: W6. We seem behind around 5-10 points.

unkx80: B7, need to make two eyes again.

kb: W8.

WillerZ: B9, as White insists. Isn't W8 aji keshi?

Bill: W10. W8 is a 4 point sente. What aji is it eliminating?

Dots Go, moves 91-100  

unkx80: B1. Forced move, lives with 6 points.

fractic: W2. The most profitable way of living?

Tas: B3. Guess they are worth saving, and denying white an easy eye.

MrTenuki: Actually B3 cannot save the three stones. Here's why:

/Move94 Net Variation

(I chose not to play Move 94 myself because there might be better moves out there...)

Alex: W4. I haven't looked at Mr. Tenuki's variation, but we pretty much have to play here regardless, or else W2 is meaningless.

blubb: B5.

fractic: Sadly I can't find a way to live with all our stones. I've analysed a quite a few variations and W6 seems to keep the sacrifice as small as possible

unkx80: B7. What is the komi?

Tas: Funny. I was just about to play the same B7, but my computer wasn't updated.

Bill: My guess is that 3.5 is a good komi. W8.

Tas: B9. If my reading is correct this string is able to escape now.

Alex: W10. Save our stones while threatening to intrude on the corner.

unkx80: / Move 93 discussion

Dots Go, moves 81-90  

LukeNine45: B1. Solidify corner in sente, since white is defending that little group.

Alex: W2. I don't usually like to play two moves in a row, but this is pretty much forced, so I don't think I'm depriving anyone of any fun by making it.

WillerZ: B3; I think that gives Black 2 eyes on the lower edge, unless we fail to respond correctly.
  blubb: Didn't we have two eyes already? Anyway, better three eyes than one. ;-)
    Tas: We did. One on the top and one on the bottom.

Bill: W4.

LukeNine45: B5. Hmm, can we cut white off?

fractic: W6 looks quite forced. W4 is in the right place to make sure these stones are connected

unkx80: B7 lives in the corner.

Alex: W8, unfortunately, unkx80 is correct, but if they're going to live, let's at least make them live small.

blubb: Wow, what looked like a third eye turns out to be really useful! - B9.
  unkx80: Yes, this is why I did not criticize B3 (although B3 could be better played at the top side, but the meaning is the same). After B3, W4 and B7 becomes miai.

Bill: W10. The obvious sente, making 1/2 eye.

/Move 83 discussion

Dots Go, moves 71-80  

Tas: B1, obvious(?) answer.

Alex: W2, it is early in the morning, so I might be hallucinating, but I think this is an effective probe.

Tas: B3, prevents cut making miai of a and b. I could also have made the bamboo joint with a or solid connection with b, but this reduces white liberties in the middle which have a minute chance of becoming useful.

fractic: W4, Blacks lower "wall" is actually quite eyeless. The variations i've managed to read out make something nice happen for white here.

Tas: B5, better keep connection once again

Alex: W6, ah well, I was hoping we'd turn elsewhere after W2 for B3, having established the possibility of living later... but I think after W4 we're heavy enough that we have to live immediately, even though it's small and gote and will damage our corner.

WillerZ: B7. Yet another link for B.

JoelR: W8. This feels vulgar, but I don't see a more interesting move.

blubb: B9. Please, be gentle and don't discourage each other. :) All of us are pretty new to Dots Go and may happen to make a bad move. I would be glad to see this game continue through the endgame, though.
  JoelR: I didn't mean uninteresting in a discouraging sense. Many games have a drop in temperature. For example, after a big fight. When I play this one player at the club, we spend the first 20 or so moves building structure and not attacking each other, and then one of us (usually me) feels it's time to do something rash. :-)   -- blubb: Oh I am happy about you picking up the white part again. It was quiet in here the days before.

Alex: W10, needed for life.

Dots Go, moves 61-70  

blubb: B1. Attack the stones around move 60 and furthermore provide us with a safe (I hope) escape for the case we cut W apart at a.
b also becomes more interesting.

Alex: W2. Yeek, I think we need to live up here, otherwise a Black move here cuts us apart with miai to connect.

WillerZ: B3 - leg it.

Bill: W4. Block.

blubb: Whew, W4 causes serious trouble to our dragon. B5 seems about time. When calling b interesting, I must have missed white+circle.

fractic: Black could connect with a. W6 prevents that and at the same time our own center group is connected to the corner for some good eyespace.

LukeNine45: B7. Keeping a large group alive is usually a good thing to do. If white can figure out what to do with all the "influence" then we might be in bad shape...

Alex: W8. I think our attack is winding down for the time being and it's time to tenuki. This seems like a good invasion-reduction... the nature of Dots Go makes it so that I think it's hard for them to stop us from penetrating deeper or escaping, though they can probably link under.

unkx80: I don't know anything about Dots Go but I guess B9 might be a good idea to connect the Black groups.

JoelR: W10. unkx80's move connects B9 to black+square, so this is our last chance to reduce the right.

Dots Go, moves 51-60  

blubb: B1. Make w care a bit more about that corner. I think we can safely prevent it from connecting to the white center dragon now.

Alex: W2. Force Black to choose between attacking the corner and connecting his groups.

LukeNine45: B3. Kill the corner. Our big group will have to run, but I think it will be a fair fight as white doesn't yet have eyes either. (Here's a situation where the dans can probably see further than me)

JoelR: W4. Make territory while whatsiting.

WillerZ: B5. RHS looks a bit black, but we've seen how easily that can change in this game.

Alex: W6. I'm tempted to reduce the right side, but I think attacking the Black dragon is more urgent. It still doesn't have eyes and we may even be able to kill, though we may have to sacrifice the LR in the process.

LukeNine45: B7. Happily run either left or right. I think we can force an eye on the lower side if needed.

fractic: W8. The left is connected and just defending on the left looks too passive.

Tas: B9. We might need to kill to live. a would give an eye though, as white can't escape.

Alex: W10. Forced, obviously. I think Black is going to live, but probably in gote so we can set about destroying the right side.

Dots Go, moves 41-50  

blubb: B1. Divide and conquer. I think, if W moves along, that just helps us to solve our problem with the scattered groups.

fractic: I'm getting a little worried about our central group. But W2 looks consistent with previous moves and helps it a bit.

LukeNine45: B3. Hopefully this is forcing, which will leave us with miai to break through above, and a good attack going on white's center. The circled white stone looks like a thank you move to me, but Alex is like 5 or 6 stones stronger than me so maybe someone can tell me why I'm wrong?

Bill: W4. To Luke: I think that W2 is inconsistent with white+circle.

  Alex: Also, I'm not sure I'm really 5 or 6 stones stronger than you at Dots Go. I don't know how much regular Go skills apply here... we're all 30 kyu as far as I can tell. Anyway, the thinking behind white+circle, such as it was, is that a and b are still miai, so it shouldn't be easy to connect or seal our centre group in. However, I'm starting to think that most of the moves both sides are making are kind of akin to squeezing out the toothpaste. I think that being regular Go players, we're accustomed to the notion that you MUST squeeze through small gaps when given the chance to do so, but here, that tends to also squeeze your opponent through small gaps. Maybe white+circle would have been better at the marked point.

WillerZ@ B5; since a and b are still miai, c won't kill anything useful. Let's grab some points elsewhere. Unrelatedly, what I'm finding interesting in dots go is that moves which are 15 or more spaces away have a very direct effect. Perhaps it can be used to teach influence.

Alex: W6. The marked stone looks in need of help, but maybe this supports it from a distance while kind of making some possible territory on the upper side. Or something.

blubb: B7. Hm, this looks a bit slow - I don't know whether it is good. My idea is to reinforce the black dragon, so we are well prepared to attack and don't have to be afraid of pushing races that might occur.

  Alex: Interesting to note that B3 and B7 form the Dots Go equivalent of a bamboo joint.

fractic: W8. Maybe we'll get a bit of territory while saving the stones.

B3 and B7 look a lot like a bamboo joint indeed. Looking at our game so far it pretty much seems to be the only uncutable way of jumping out. It's very easy to cut stuff up in Dots Go. On the other hand capturing is very hard since there is no real equivalent of a ladder or even of a net.

Tas: B9, lets increase influence here. I dare not invade upper left corner anymore.

Bill: W10. Play in the "empty" corner.

Dots Go, moves 31-40  

blubb: B1. If w pushes at B8 that's just fine.

JoelR: W2. It's this, or live shut-in.

Tas: B3. W3 would be too bad for black.

Alex: W4. We're alive and Black's dragon seems too big to attack directly, so I guess it's time to start chopping up his position in the centre. This seems more clever than a, since a and b are now miai.

Tas: B5. Tenuki, seems like the rest is okay.

fractic:W6, The right and top both look quite big but White can't play on the third line as effectivly as on the top.

blubb: B7. Phew, luckily Black gets this.

Alex: W8. Life in gote, *shudder*

LukeNine45: B9-- Black is going to get cut to pieces, trying to minimize the damage. I'm not at all sure about the best way to do that...

Alex: W10. Works with the top left, and Black's dragon doesn't actually have eyes yet, so maybe we can lean on it to attack the centre?

Dots Go, moves 21-30  

blubb: B1 should put some pressure onto the left white group. At the bottom alone, W could get a small seki, at most.

fractic: W2 is sente against the corner group and at the same time makes room for eyes.

WillerZ: B3. W2 doesn't give you two eyes, it gives you one eye or a seki on the lower side.

  fractic: I realise that but B2 would be very bad for our eyeshape at the bottom.

Bill: W4. Divide et impera.

blubb: B5 - continue to contain the beleaguerer.

Alex: W6. What Bill said.

LukeNine45: B7-- What Bill and Alex are saying. (This game must use only a subset of go knowledge, because the dan players are playing the exact same moves I would...)

Alex: W8. It does seem to be simpler than real Go, because a whole lot of moves are forced. We need to play this to ensure life... and I have a feeling I know what the next two moves will be too. Of course, because the game starts with half the points occupied, there are also half as many moves to choose from... that alone makes 19x19 Dots Go more like 13x13 regular Go.

blubb: B9. The grid of initially empty points forms a 10x10 rhombus. That's 181 points - a size similar to rectangular 13x13 (note that 13*14=182).
The game may be simpler than plain Go, but I think it's not as simple as our current play suggests. We are merely crawling around, putting stone by stone, just like beginners in regular Go do, too.

fractic: W10. Not playing this would make W4 and W6 look pointless.

Dots Go, moves 11-20  

LukeNine45: B1 seems more important than preventing white from making the eye.

Bill: W2. Divide et impera!

blubb: B3.

fractic: W4. Taking some pressure of our group while putting more on blacks group.

WillerZ: B5. An eye in the corner looks like it's about to be useful.

Alex: W6. Dots or no dots, it still takes two eyes to live.

blubb: Does it? ;) B7

fractic: W8. This should be sente against the corner.

WillerZ: B9. Corner lives with a or W10, unless Black decides it shouldn't.

Alex: Well, if they're miai, then W10 is definitely the greatest among equals. ;)

Dots Go, moves 1-10  

blubb: B1 looks promising to me since it locally divides white into two weaker sides only one of which White can pull out easily.

MattHope: W2 since there's no one else, I will extend to the larger side

blubb: B3

Alex: If regular Go intuition has any place in this game, W4 is forced.

LukeNine45: As is B5, I think...

Alex: That being the case, W6 is definitely forced.

blubb: I think, that holds for B7, too.

fractic: Can't let Black have this point. The other stones look fine for now.

WillerZ: Threaten the left corner and keep pressure on lower W group with B9.

Alex: There do seem to be a lot of forced moves (W10) in Dots Go, don't there?

  blubb: I think, it depends. :-) W2 B3 W4 are pretty close plays so early in the game. In fights close like this, moves are often "forced" in plain Go, too.

Warfreak2: An observation: for a ko to occur, is impossible (except with some complicated under-the-stones, maybe), neither player needs ko threats, so there is no point saving sente endgames unless they remove liberties which you might need to win a semeai. This must change endgame theory a lot, surely!

MrTenuki: Another post-game observation: If territory scoring were used, the result would be 28 moku for White to 41 moku for black. Clearly, the initial setup (inevitably?) leads to dragons rather than large moyos.

Dots Go Ongoing Game last edited by on January 29, 2015 - 08:51
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