Game I Want Back

    Keywords: Opening, MiddleGame

I played this game recently against a shodan on KGS. I made two huge mistakes. Since then I've been replaying this game constantly, wanting it back to see how I would have done. It's not that I lost that bothers me, but that since I was playing even against someone about 5 stones stronger then me I took it as a test of strength, especially since each side had an hour with five one-minute byo-yomi periods, and it feels like screwing it up with two simple mistakes wasn't doing myself justice. I thought maybe this game would stop tormenting me if I shared it with the world. Comments are welcome anywhere and feel free to tell me I am being a whiny ego-centric moron. :-) By the way, I am Black. --BlueWyvern


DaveSigaty: Blue, as you will no doubt remember from the many interesting things you've posted on Big Question Mark, when presented with a complex middle-game position, my brain naturally turns to move Black 1. This is no exception! Here are a few thoughts on the early going.

The position after Black 5 is currently under active investigation by the pros. GoGoD CD lists 177 games since 1990 with 29 of them in the first 7 months of 2002 alone. The most frequent choice for White 6 is at a. Across the 66 out of 177 games in which White chose a, Black has only managed to win 23 times! (It is a mystery to me why this line is played so often by Black. The record in 2002 is actually worse, with Black winning only 3 of 14 games against White a.)

The ikken tobi at White 6 is another story. Black has won 16 of 27 against White 6. As a result it is going out of favor and was played only once in 2002. The formation of 2, 4, and 6 leaves a perfect invasion point at b. This is the follow-up strategy for Black - not immediately but soon. "Normal" play is that Black continues at 7, White splits the right side or approaches the lower right, Black answers and then takes sente to split the right.

White 8 is an unusual choice. Most frequently White approaches at c.

Should Black 9 be at b (looking only at the left side)? White 8 gives White more opportunity along the bottom so a large knight's move one point above 9 in answer to b would be better because 8 has been played, but Black's two-space extension in reply would undercut the upper left perfectly. In the game when White plays the pincer at 10, this seems too well placed and justifies White 6.


Dave Sigaty: Playing Black 13, 15 seems like an overplay (especially when Black then plays tenuki at 17). I think that if White had exchanged a for b and then played c before playing 18, Black would have been in a very difficult position. Even so, White 18 looks very close to securing 50 points of territory in the lower left. The black stones at 13 and 15 are too weak to allow strong resistance.

Separately, the shimari made with Black 17 seems not quite right for this position. I think that with the low position on the top, Black would like to continue with something like the high play at d on the right side rather than a low move. For balance then I think that 17 should be at e. Consider as well that if Black extends to f in this position, White will likely be more interested in blocking Black's further progress along the bottom than in invading between f and the shimari. If White plays g for example, it is likely that the resulting black position will be overconcentrated in relation to the shimari which will still be open on the right side.

After Black 19 it gets too complicated for a simple mind like mine. Let's just say that I admire the enthusiasm that both sides brought to the game :-) Dave



Here is the first really painful bit. A little reading would show me that the a, b exchange gives the black group life in sente. White eventually comes back and kills this group.

Only advice I can give you here is practice some tsumego. Having your big group die is always a painful experience. ~srn347

39-48 (Moves go 9, 10, 1)  

These ten moves are the set up for an absolutely fabulous move....

HOW COULD I MISS THIS? fabulous that I missed it completely! Even after spending ten moves setting it up!

If I had simply played at a, one of my square-marked groups would have broken into the center, disolving White's 60-some points in the lower left, her only fertile ground for making territory, while possibly threatening White's surrounding stones. Black would have had a definite advantage.

Instead I played tenuki at 1, thinking my attempt at reducing was a miserable mistake; and White followed up at a. White went on to kill Black's circle-marked group, and I resigned after move 72. I really want this game back. *sigh*

Diagonal jump, eh? Yeah, cutting diagonal jump usually is severe. Looks to me like you were trying an imitation of the ear reddening move instead. It shows kiai, which is important in a go player, but so is observation. I'd want that game back too (no offense). ~srn347

Game I Want Back last edited by on December 14, 2009 - 09:39
RecentChanges · StartingPoints · About
Edit page ·Search · Related · Page info · Latest diff
[Welcome to Sensei's Library!]
Search position
Page history
Latest page diff
Partner sites:
Go Teaching Ladder
Login / Prefs
Sensei's Library