Holigor / Log

Sub-page of Holigor
  • February 16, 2006

I went to the European Toyota-Denso Oza. Rather to watch than to play. I am too weak to play in such a tournament. It was interesting to see the strogest players in Europe. It was even more interesting to see and feel the tense atmosphere in the air during the great go battles.

  • November 25, 2004
A corner pattern  

This happens quite often in pro games. W4 is tenuki, of course. Black invested 2 stones more than white. So, probably, this should be compared with a shimari, for example, kogeima shimari. But the comparison is not easy. I wanted to try it for a long time. Yesterday, at last, I played this variation just for the fun of it. I did not know if the situation on board was favourable or not. I could not know this before I tried it many times to learn the advantages an disadvantages of the pattern. I won yesterday's game yet the win had little to do with this particular corner. I think the opponent lost the game when he allowed a big ponnuki in the center. The particular corner did not grow big and white had some useful yose, that's all.

  • November 6, 2004
is this really alive?  

This started as a usual 3-3 invasion. I was not greedy and I was ready to concede the corner. I happened so that white got white+circle and I expected my opponent to play hane and connection at 2. Unexpectedly B1 was played, followed by B3. W4 maybe does not seem urgent but it was a good move, good shape, there were some white stones on the side. After W4 black played elsewhere. Veeery clever. Now I had to sit and solve this tsume go instead of making great plans of how to use my thickness. Lost a lot of time and did not find the kill. Looked in Cho Chikun's dictionary. He does not have this position. J-group with a hane like B3 is alive though. I spent some time with the problem and did not get even a ko. Frustrating.

Other issues. Lacking imagination I rely on technique and opponents mistakes.

ilanpi: An almost identical position arose in one of my games yesterday and the second coincidence is that it featured yet another example of Review / Ilan's Dreaded Analysis.

Black (my opponent) to play  

See Review / Ilan's Dreaded Analysis for the continuation and analysis.

is this really alive?  

unkx80: If we add W1 and B2, then it is exactly J group with extra hane, which is alive. So I don't think this group can be killed.

  • October 25, 2004

There is danger in block thinking and reducing to the known forms.

Reading Cho Chikun's tsumego dictionary, a real wonderful book, I come to the following problem.

Black first  

Should this shape happen in my game I would play in order to survive. I would not actually read. I'd just play it by instinct. But reading the book full of subtle moves and surprises I say to myself: "I know, I know"


After B1 with an additional dame the shape is alive. It is but the answer is inferior.


Here B1 is correct, though it is not an unconditional life.

Interesting, playing go for some time now, I've never yet had a thousand years ko, never tried to resolve this interesting situation.

  • October 11, 2004

Each game is a small story, a drama, anticipation and fear.

  • September 22, 2004

Reading the fundamentals of the life and death in Cho Chikun's dictionary is really fun. Even though much of that is known there are many things unexpected. Usually, the fundamentals of the life and death is not very strong at the level of about shodan. Usually you think that you'll be able to read it out, but then under the time pressure your reasoning slips and you fail to kill or to live.

A good knowledge here may help the ability, though there will be a lot left to read out, because in the real game situations positions are rarely as clean, there are always posibilities of semeais, connection etc to take into account.

The game I played yesterday was awful. My opponent had a lot of territory and I had only some thickness with very unclear perspectives of an attack and kill. Fortunately he overstretched a little bit and I got a ko, sacrificed a corner, killed a lot and the game became more or less close. Then there was this endgame ko and I made a threat to live in the sacrificed corner. He took the ko, I lived. Did my reading of the life and death dictionary help? I am not sure because the players of the shodan level are supposed to know everything about L-groups.

  • September 16

About two month ago I reached the level of 1d* at IGS. Yet at the moment I feel that I am playing not stronger than 5k. I win some games, but the wins are rather due to luck than to the strength. In other games everythig goes wrong. Territory is too small is I play for territory. If I play for influence, the attack does not give enough return and in the end there are some holes left. And there are numerous misreads.

Interesting that in the Japanese word for this activity there is no play actually. They rather fight ( utsu) than play. And a match is called an event ( that would be better translation of kyoku) than the game. Too serious.

I've been reading Cho Chikun's dictionary of tsume go. I wonder he plays well if he knows all this methods to kill and survive. Like he is saying that it is good to know that in the following position black is alive. Such knowledge makes it easier to plan erasure of the opponent's territory if you play shinogi. Cho Chikun does play shinogi.

Black alive  
Really alive  

I would call all plays from 2 to 6 tesuji.

  • July 15

Newly crowned FIDE world champion (that's chess) Rustam Kasimzhanov in an interview to a Russian newspaper said that he likes to play chinese chess. When asked how good he was he said the his level is about 1st grade. I estimate 1st grade strength as about 1k to 1d in terms of go ranking. My opinion is: pros are the same as grandmasters, amateur 6d is of the level of intermational master, a national master comes in the range of 4-5d, a candidate is of the strength of 2-3d, 1st grade is about 1k-1d, 2nd grade is about 5k-2k, 3rd grade is 15-5k.

So, Kasimzhanov, a pro in chess, thinks that is the game of xiangqi he is of the level of 1k-1d. I find this fact amazing. The guy definitely has a very organized mind, capable of solving problems, the games are different but there is some similarity among them like check-mating, for example, he likes to play the game. And yet his rank is far from impressive.

  • June 21, 2004

Thank you everybody for the congratulations. I try hard.

It is remarkable how I missed the half of the largest move principle in yose. Certainly, I've heard something but I did not really penetrate. Now, I see that this is an excellent estimate for so many things. For example, if you want to decide if the opponents sente was really sente then you have to compare the final gote damage with the sum of two largest moves plus the difference to the third. By plaing his sente move turned gote the opponent allowed you to tap on the stack twice and now he has the third best choice. And so on. It is good also in the estimation of the score, which I tried to do in the Yi Wang match I am trying to comment.

Bill: I am not sure what you are saying, HolIgor. Sente has different meanings, but if you are using the one that compares a sente play with other plays, then I think that it is simpler than what you are saying. A play is sente in that sense if the best play for the opponent in response to it is a local gote reply (possibly interjecting a sente sequence himself first). If you are using a stacks of coins model, the sente puts a new stack on the table that is larger than any other stack.

HolIgor: 8) Funny thing. We have agreed that the player who starts first the game of stack of coins wins by half of the largest stack. Now, you propose that somebody instead of taking this half of the largest stack win, would create another stack, larger than any existing and propose the opponent to help himself. The opponent would win by a half of that largest stack minus that small value that the creater got from playing his "sente" move. How about that? :)

Bill: Consider the following sente: {30 | 0 || -1}. If Black plays, he puts a stack worth 15 points on the table. If White takes it, the result is 0 (plus the original stacks). So the sente player gets credit for the stack he puts on the table.

There is a curious notion in my head that the flow of my games in governed by phobia, among which the most serious is to phobia of opponent's moyo. As many initially territorial players I suffered from moyo forming opponents much. So, now the moyo do not appear as a rule. That's because I try to prevent them so early in the game that the observer would not even notice the effort.

  • June 19, 2004

The fact that I reached 1d* level at IGS at last deserves to be enetered in the log. Definitely, I will oscillate for some time between 1k* and 1d*, but the level is reached.

There were some interesting moments in yesterday Honinbo title games. Yoda played a nice tesuji at the bottom that most people did not see coming. Yet, Cho U won again.

Reading Kato Masao's book on figting is interesting. In most cases I guess the answer to the problems correctly. At the same time the book had some impression on my play. My criteria for the safety became a little bit relaxed. I started to invite fighting.

Playing near the level of 1d* was difficult because of the exra value of each win. Knowing that compensating for a loss would require two wins one cannot really treat any yose move lightly if the game is close.

Hu: Congratulations on making shodan, Holigor!

Bill: Yes, congratulations! Well done. :-)

  • June 14, 2004

Recently, my opponents started to play san-ren-sei against me. I like to play against san-ren-sei. As the rules the games are very large scale with semeai and furikawari.

I have looked through my games with kombilo again. Some things are quite interesting. For example

a or b  

Actually, people would say that there is a fine technique with a probe in the lower corner first, but that is not usually played at my level. People play a or b. And the statistics is amazing. In the case of a which is more common by far, I am doing just nice with white, about 70% wins. In the case of b, well, I lost all 8 games.


Bill: If B1 White can play a pincer at W2.

Charles: True, but B3 is an interesting pro answer.

  • June 2, 2004

Honinbo title matches are slow. There are people who watch them. It could be interesting to make a page on a game while it progresses, suggesting moves and variations at the moment when the next move is not known yet.

  • April 30, 2004

Two days ago I lost a game badly by more than 30 points. There would be nothing strange about it if I had not lost it clearly in fuseki. My opponent played quite an unusual fuseki for my level and somehow to the start of the middle game he had solid expandable teritories and I had unsettled groups. The rest of the game was simple. I lived everywhere but lost some unnecessary points due to various mistakes. But the fuseki continued to bug me. At my level a clear loss in fuseki is rare. At my level fuseki is more or less standard thing: make some solid bases, don't allow formation of moyos, make some moyos if possible, things like that. Karari to komoku is usually high, kakari to hoshi is usually low, extentions are usually optimal, 2 point from a solitary stone, 3 point from a two-stone pillar.

The result of the loss was curious. Next day, going through the usual everyday routine I thought about that fuseki, trying to find what went wrong. In the evening I logged to IGS and was challenged by the same player. I did much better. I think it was an even game or almost an even game till the moment my opponent overplayed.

The lesson from this is that thinking about fudeki is quite difficult. You have to be challenged.

I thought a little bit about my rating system. Perhaps I am going to change it slightly. The change would mean a potential for handical games.

  • April 27, 2004

When playing football one has to learn to watch the ball and not the legs of the forward. You won't buy his feints then. The same is true about go. Playing sabaki opponent would try to make different feints. You have to remember the basics.

Here comes an idea. Let us suppose we want to teach go. The western style of education is university. Which means syllabus, courses, problems and exams. Setting exam questions for 10th kyu, for example, may be an interesting problem. Let's assume that the modules a student has to pass are fuseki, shape, life & death, tesuji, joseki , yose.

  • April 8, 2004

For some reason I remember the following episode. I watched tennis with quite a good amateur player. Much better than me at least. Ivan Lendl made a beautiful sliced lob and my friend commented: "Wow, I can't do this".

In today's third game of the Judan match something that I can't do happened.

White's dilemma  

This is not the exact situation but the spirit is correct.

My play  

This is how I'd play it.

O Rissei plays  
If now  

a and b are miai for life.

If now  

And white lives by strangling.

Nice. I can't do this.

  • March 22, 2004

There are two important things one has to remember playing go. One is that sooner or later things will get hairy and the other one is that sooner or later in the game you'll have to solve a life and death problem.

I'd say that I am not so good in tsume-go, but I am definitely better than many players of my level. Moreover, as always, solve all 5 kyu level problems in a game at a glance and you are a beginner dan.

Black died  

Yesterday I played W1 just to spoil the opponents shape. B2 was a terrible mistake. So, there are two problems here. The first one is perhaps of 15th kyu level: white kills. The second problem is perhaps 5 kyu level: proper defence for black.

See Doug's go blog for an attempted solution.

  • March 12, 2004

Recently I play very little. About 4 games in the last month, 2 online and 2 face to face. Too busy. I tried to make an analysis of some pro games in SL. It was fun but I need more support and responce from others. Ideally I would like to have a lost variations, not only description of players intentions and plans.

I really enjoyed 6th game in the Kisei match. I like games with large furikawari, though my own games are not so bold usually. Interesting that Yamashita thought that he lost the game with the misread on the right side. So, a pro did not know what were the implications at the moment. The last game of the match has to be very intesting as Yamashita seems to have overcome the slump.

  • March 9, 2004

Ing Memorial, Karlovy-Vary. Isn't it disgusting that the pros all won 5 games each and took the places from 1st to 4th.

  • March 8, 2004

Yi Ch'ang-ho and Ch'oe Ch'eol-han played 7 games in the Kuksu and Kiseong title matches. Black won in all of them. Isn't this interesting?

  • February 17, 2004

I don't really understand Chinese counting. It is so easy to make a mistake by 10 points.

  • February 3, 2004

Several days ago while drinking coffee on the campus I noticed a poster with a big Go character on it. For some reason in Japanese. I don't know why. So, they had a student tournament.

I decided to go and watch. Suprisingly, at some tables the play was rather weak. I expected the average level to be higher. Other guys played well but I did not have a possibility to watch to the end. I was invited to play a game. Lost. I don't know how much in fact because I am not used to Chinese counting. My opponent was black and scored 187. That means a 6 point loss in Chinese counting with komi 7.5, isn't it? I was too tired and absent minded to count myself. I lost because several times I thought my moves were sente and they were not. OK, never mind. The guy was Chinese 1d.

  • January 23, 2004

I watched "The last samurai" yesterday and suddenly realised that in Japanese a katana move (blow or defence or feint) is also te, hand. Funny, this makes more sense now.

  • January 5, 2004

Yesterday, for the first time since I don't remember when I played Ni Ren Sei with black. This happened because I began to read Go Seigen's A way of play for the 21st century. Ni Ren Sei is the first topic in the book. So I've decided to try. Of course, my opponent deviated very fast and and someting like move 16 I started to feel that nothing went that smooth as in the Go's book. I won the game by 4.5 though. Maybe, it could be interesting to continue the experiment if I won't try something new from that book.

In the end of the game I was sitting before the screen arguing with myself. Sure, I am losing. He is white and he has komi. He has a lot of land too. Let's see, The right is approximately equal. In the middle I am a little bit better, he is better on the right. Sure, losing. Then I begin to count, his territory first. Something about 45 points. My territory, interrupted by the play. While counting I lose concentration and make some mistakes. Never finished to count my territory. In fact as I see after the game on the left I was had 20 against his 13.

  • December 29, 2003

Five wins in a row last week. I had to lose the thrird one though but he did not defend and I got seki in the corner.

A little problem from the last game. This happened when I was leading about 70 points, so the opponent was too demoralized. I guess this is a 10k problem or something like that. I don't know if the solution is unique.

White first  

I did not look if black could actually live. I was leading and even yose in sente was OK. But this way black turns out short of libeties from all sides.

  • December 24, 2003

Several days ago I played a game and after move 6 faced the following posiiton.

New fuseki?  

I (black) won the game by 3.5 moku. The result was a little bit unexpected for me because I made several silly overplays and was duly punished for them. Naturally I started to wonder why and where did I win despite losing points here and there.

My plan in the position on the diagram was to play a hasami (tsume) at a after having strengthened my stones at the bottom. Of course, I was interested what pros play here. I looked in the Yoshida's dictionary first to see the relevant joseki, then logged in the gobase.org and made a search on the position in the diagram. The seach produced zilch. Amazing! 6 quite reasonable moves and no record in quite a big database! New fuseki! More than 100 entries after B5. Evidently, W6 is a move that pros dislike very much.

Velobici: (please delete if this is not wanted) Move B1 from the komoku location to hoshi at b, and this fuseki occurs in 4 games listed in [ext] GoBase. Three of the games are in the 1950's and one game in 1973. In all cases, Black won the game. Perhaps in some way the combination of B1 low (either on the right side as in your game, or the top) with B5 high is not desireable at a professional level of play. Perhaps becuase the hasami at a is not as severe?
HolIgor: No, there is nothing wrong with B1 and B5. gobase.org contains more than 100 hits. W6 is, perhaps, not desirable and, perhaps, because hasami at a is too severe.
New corner sequence? Not at all.  

I figured that I can try B3. Is this too much? A search again for the position in the corner. About 30 entries. I am surprised again, moreover I am surprised that in about half of them white crawled along the 3rd line. Playing black I was quite happy with this result. After following white a little on the fourth line I got my a and started to build at the top a compensation for what I gave at the bottom.

General thoughts. Citing Tartrate, the main thing is precise reading. Yet, what is even more important is to make that reading fast. How many times I made an inferior move because I did not have time to read it out.

  • December 1, 2003

I looked at the Kobayashi Satoru's comments to his game (on two stones) with Iliya Shikshin. I think that his concluding words are of some interest. He said


    • Fuseki is intuition
    • Middle game is reading
    • Yose is accuracy

It is interesting also that Kobayashi sensei thought that up to the move 32 the flow of the game was correct. Move 32 is quite a big number. On move 34 Iliya chose a wrong plan which lost a lot of points (by Kobayashi sensei's opinion). Then black initiated an unreasonable fight, but produced several moves that were praised. Finally, there was a big mistake. It seems that Iliya put everything into a chance to kill a dragon. At that moment the pro got a connect-and-die from the sleeve with a comment that read like "Come on, you have to see this".

  • November 2, 2003

The main life ideas

  • break through and conections
  • One real eye and all the rest as the second one
  • Shapes: two kinds of bent four, straight four, eight on the

second line, comb.

  • Seki shapes: there should be something in common between them
  • Under stones, including snapbacks
  • clamps from the outside to get sente
  • Numerous ko
  • October 29, 2003.

I continue to think about yose. The main difficulty is in the ability to calculate the values of the moves of course. The rest is peanuts, yet maybe important peanuts. There are some new things that I begin to understand only now. My notations are more readable for me than the notations of the CGT, but I have to develop them further.

Yesterday I won a game that started with weird variation of large avelanche. I've checked some idea. It became a very fighting game and I was doing well but at some moment I understood that I don't know how to play in the center. The center almost always comes to my opponents. I broke through in the end due to his bad play and won about 20 points. Hadn't I break through it would be about 10 points I think.

Then I watched the LG cup games. The finish of the game between Weon and Chang Hao was exciting. It was ko after ko in a very complex semeai. And the life and death problem decided the result. Here is the reduced version.

Black first  

The problem is to find the status of the corner. white+circle was played as a ko threat. Can black ignore?

DougRidgway: See my blog for an attempt.

  • 8th October 2003

I made a page where I am supposed to expose my bad plays.

  • 4th October 2003

Just recently I complained about the large scores. Yesterday I though I was winning and conceded the last ko. The result was a loss by 0.5 points. Today, a horrible situation happened. After the passes I was behind by half point, yet he had to capture a stone yet. The game was not over. I asked my opponent to capture and won by half point. Evidently my opponent was more decent man than me. But I have to count the score!

  • 3rd October 2003

I looked at the game Dima Bogatskii played with the Korean in the IWAGC semifinals. Unfortunately it was very one sided. The Korean player beat him quite easily. His stones just flowed naturally while our 6d struggled all the time eventually crumbling as it happens in all games of this kind.

IGS changed its probability function and now there is no measure of one's progress there. To go from 1k to 1d one has to win about 30 games in a row. If you are winning as much as losing you in about 30 games you will be somewhere in the middle. This is my case. So, about 20 wins in a row and I become a shodan. This is very much unlikely, of course. Is it time to start a new 2d account? I don't know. First I have to be sure that I can win 2 out of 3 against 1k. Losing a lot is a frustrating experience.

      • Tamsin: I noticed a change with the probability command, too. Winning and losing does not seem to affect the value returned by "pr". Neither does the choice of player, i.e., using "pr" with somebody who has just turned 2k* produces exactly the same result as with somebody who has just dropped to 2k* from having been 1k*. I strongly suspect that this is a temporary glitch rather than a change of policy on the part of IGS. Anyway, I'm glad I'm not the only person who has noticed something odd afoot.

When I watched the Meijin title match game yesterday I fould that the players made some strange moves in the quite close yose. I'd like to analize the game and to convince myself that the moves they made were the largest.

  • 23rd September 2003

Yesterday I played a strange game. The development in the upper right corner led to the death of my group of 20 stones. In exchange I obtained an Iron Wall. The total of my opponent's territory in the corner was 20*2 plus about ten other points. The game hadn't progressed much, so it was a test for the value of the Iron Wall. Is it really 45 points? You don't know before you try it . If it was, then I was not much behind. Perhaps my opponent was very placid after this big kill, yet though he lived everywhere I won by 11.5 point on the board (before komi). Impressive.

I've created a page on Iron Wall and moved the discussion about its value from the hamete page.

Here is the description.

Black loses the ko  

Black loses the semeai. There is no ko threat at the boginning. What can be done? The only solution is to build some ko threats and then annoy the opponent with the ko in the corner.

White gives in  

B1 had in mind to create at least one ko threat. White ignored it and went for a kill. After W6 black has an iron wall. Eventually black won the game.

Final position.  

I am balancing between 1d and 2d on KGS. This means that after a win I am 2d, then I lose and I am back to 1d. I remember that a year or so ago I wanted to be a shodan in any rating. Now I want to be a shodan in European rating. I am 1k* on IGS. The target is close but difficult. I have to learn to study the dan level material. This means organization of the study of some kind, reading high level books, trying to understand the fuseki at last, developing a good joseki base, learning shape and trying to think on the big scale. At present I read mostly close fights yet I don't read runnig fights almost at all, I read who gets the last oba etc.

  • 21st September 2003

Go broke into morning news. There was a major event in China with a big board and children acting as stones under the command of two great masters Cho Hun-hyeon and Chang Hao. Cho won and thanked his army after the game. The game itself was played on the usual goban but recreated on the big square by the martial art students. I hope that this was a lightning game and the children did not have to stand there for six hours. The presenter on the TV explained that the purpose of the game was to get more territory than your opponent. Interesting that the game was called go and not weiqi as one would expect from the Chinese. But it was an English morning show.

  • 19th September 2003

Usually we look at the games of the professionals trying to determine the correct direction of play and discover new ideas. Yet, the professional level of play could be too strong. Quite often we are not able to see why the great master chose a particular move over another, seemingly, more promising one. At the same time we can't pose this question to the players. Suppose there is a possibility to ask questions of the players even though the level of play in the game would not be that high. Suppose one of us puts up one of his/her own games for the commments of the weaker players. Then the sensei would answer honestly all questions about the game. Explaining for example: "Well, at this moment I thought that my only chance was to complicate things and I played this particular move to confuse my opponent" or "This was a horrible misread but the opponent could not find the correct way to punish and I got an undeserved advantage here".

Anyway, the idea would be to explain the reason behind every move on the board if that move does not seem natural to a weaker player.

Some other thoughts. Losing a game is bad because then you are playing the game in your head all day and wondering why on earth you played those bad moves. If you lost badly, you have a lot of problems to solve and a lot of horrid mistakes to uncover. Add to this the gloomy mood that results from losing. Winning a game is rewarding because of the better mood, yet you are never satisfied because eventually you find that your plans were unsound but your opponent failed to punish you.

There was a big yose in the last of my games. Of the kind that Kageyama shows in his books, where the score can easily shift by 30 points. I won the game by 7.5 points, yet I wonder how well we both played those big moves, and who gave in.

I bought myself a Pocket PC , installed Miniban (thanks, Sebastian) and downloaded a lot of games of Yi Ch'ang-ho. My impressions are very different from what other people say about him. He does not play too simple. His groups are weak sometimes as any other guy's and he goes for a kill when possible like anybody else. He reads well.

Sebastian: -- You're very welcome. I'm glad you like it. Please don't be shy with feedback.
On a different note, did you see my reply re. "Nimets" on GaijinDiaries? -- 2003-09-19

HolIgor: Your story is interesting but very unlikely. The word for Germans is much older than tsars (the first Russian ruler declared an emperor (tsar is corrupted Caesar) was Ivan IV. That happened in XVI century. Moreover, the closest Slavic nations to the Germans were Poles and Czechs. So, the word must have been invented by them and then spread to all other Slavic nations and even to the non-Slavic Hungarians and Romanians.

Sebastian: -- I agree - as I wrote: if it were true, what would have been the name before? Please feel free to remove this conversation once you've read it. I would have sent it by e-mail if I had your address. -- 2003-09-19

  • 9th September 2003

Something strange is going on. Where are the tough closely contested games? My results are like of a double digit kyu player. A 24 points win, a 40 points loss, resignation, a win by resignation, a 31 points win. A lot of mistakes from both sides, groups die. In last two of the games I won I managed to make a seki of my own groups that were perfectly safe at first and then dead and then seki.

RafaelCaetano: Excuse me, HolIgor... is it OK to make comments here? Well, Iīm not so surprised by the large margins themselves. What I wonder is, why didnīt you resign if you were losing by 40 points? :-)

HolIgor: Yes, everybody is welcome to make comments here. And I wonder myself why I did not resign. It was a fight where I was losing a little. Then I let my group to be killed by trying to make a forcing move instead of a simple defence. And that was a perfect point for resignation. Yet I did not resign. Shame on me.

  • 8th September 2003

I was so badly thrashed in the last game that I have to ask myself what happens to me when I play a stronger opponent. I was very far behind at the moment when one of my groups died in a situation that was actually a beginners problem. I've seen the correct defence of course, but wanted to make a sente atari first threatening to get an eye in a different place. Well, that was just a phanthom. Then in the end when my opponent was careless I noticed a cute ko. But almost no ko-threats and I had to make an echange that did not suffice by far. A humiliating loss by 40 points.

  • 5th September 2003

Yesterday I played a game again. It was a very difficult game. I won by 23.5 point yet I felt a lot of pressure. Don't you like when your opponent invades into your territory? I mean, territory, not moyo, which means that you have to kill for sure yet you have to be careful because he is full of tricks. That is the pressure.

In the middle of the game I've started a very promissing ko. Yet, as it often happens to me, I've seen the possibility to score big with the ko but I did not check the ko-threats before actually ingaging in the fight. I was happy to find a good ko threat and then lucky because opponents ko-threat was very small.

  • 2 September 2003

Recently, I posted a set of quesions to 5k player to help him understand where his weaknesses were. I think that they were quite interesting questions for everybody. I don't know though if I have to copy them to SL.

I believe that there are such things as quntitative and qualitative progress. We do improve in the reading ability, yose, tesuji, shape continuously. But understanding of the strategic principles comes in huge quantum leaps.

kritz- what are the questions?

HolIgor: The quesions were about the playing style, whether the player kills or dies more often, what are the most intense moments in the game when the pressure is highest, things like that.

  • 25 August 2003

I did not play go during vacations. I played chess with my brother and my cousin. To my astonisment I won most of the games. Chess is a strange dynamic game. Usually I don't get good attacks from the openning. Just like with go, the win or loss is decided in the midgame. And not tactically. Just by seeing the main points of the position. It is strange when your opponent estimates it wrong and chooses self-damaging continuation.

This happens in go as well. If both players make moves with positive value the score is close. The score becomes large in the case when one of the players starts to damage his own army.

I played two games on KGS. Both with 2d players. One lost by 4.5 points (I wish I did not play the edge of the board ko, but just pooled back) and another won by 28.5 points. I did not kill anything in that game. I just built 28.5 points more territory. The opponent got all four corners. I know the result. I tested it several times. It is about 30 points loss.

  • 7 July 2003

SL needs more people to implement my ideas. Besides the snapback workshop we need geta workshop and sqeeze workshop and connect-and-die workshop, honte library etc. We do not need high level people for that. 1k players like me would do OK. The dan players could oversee this work in order to avoid mistakes and teach more difficult things like fuseki, side formations, frameworks, game flow etc.

Some work on the miai value lists for the frequent positions should continue as well.

  • 2 July 2003

I have a vague feeling that all yose moves have to be considered as gote. The principle of cooling works only in the case when a player has to pay tax. If the opponent replies there is no tax.

In this case the sente follow up has to be added to the value of the move right when it is performed.

But I have to admit that the double sente situations don't go this way. In these situations the first player wins without a tax. The only way to counter this is to play another double sente (mutual damage).

Another consideration that has to be taken into account is the conservation of the ko-threads. There are obviously zero value ko-threat, but there are ko-threats with positive value the conditions under which they have to be kept are not clear.

Another obscure thought. The game theory builds a matrix of strategies and the win is simple: just choose the strategy that gives the best score against the toughest opposition. There are also games with nature in which it is wrong to choose this safest strategy, because the opponent would not choose the toughest line and the safe approach loses to the line that involves some risk.

The perfect opponent and the nature are two abstraction, of course. There could be an opponent that has some finite ability to find the correct strategy.

  • 27 June 2003

In the last Honinbo game (5th in the title match) Cho U played greedy go. Just got enough territory and survived with his weak groups. The ko for the life of a big white dragon did not give black enough compensation. As the result white won by comfortable 5.5 points.

This is an issue in my games. It seems too risky to decide that my group is alive already. Sometimes I decide wrong and have to pay for it. The risk is very high.

  • 26 June 2003

As before I can't win. Several last wins went along the same path. First, my position becomes desparate. I have to play semeai and see how the opponent could win it. The opponent makes a mistake and it is me who kills. As the result a win with a comfortable score. I play too slow. Opponents play faster, scatter the stones on the board freely and I have difficult time then to find openings. I can make some kind of breakthrough against the players of my level. But the strong player would not make mistakes anymore.

  • 23 June 2003

The great experiment with the kogeima shimari invasion ended as I aught to end. Let's hope that several defeats will make me wiser.

So, I started with an empty board, immediate kakari and invasion, for the purity of experiment. There were no stones on the sides at the moment, so the opponent had to choose the variation I wanted to explore. The problem was that if I followed joseki here I would get a horrible position.


On the empty board this has to be a disaster for white. White got only 7 points of territory in exchange for the iron wall. White had been unreasonable.

19x19 diagram  

The folowing result was actually comparatively good for white (white lost by 1.5 points in the game). Though the group in the corner is dead, black's second line crawling gives white good compendation.

But in the second game, the opponent did not go for the corner kill, just prevented being pressed to the second line, and white had to return back to protect the corner. That was a burden and game the result comparable to the diagram above. 20 point loss for white.

So, the conclusion is that returning to protect the corner is a burden. The cut is not good without some help, but if that help is available, the opponent would not chose to block the slide. The book was right, this is bad.

  • 19 June 2003

It is remarkable that a large share of the go games are close. And that is true about the games at any levels. The games between 9p are close and the games between 1k are often half pointers. That's because the moves and decisions we make are reasonable. If each of the players makes moves in the range close to the value of the optiomal move in the position, say, say in the range of five points then it is a problem of random walks and we know that with the large number of steps the random walk would not go far from zero. Yet, if the probability of one player making a suboptimal move if higher the result shifts strongly in the favour of the opponent.

The things are changed drastically when one of the opponents makes an incorrect judgement and produces a move of negative value.

Counting is a problem. In a recent game when my opponent pondered the next largest move I counted the game and obtained the sad result. I was losing by about 4 points. This I consider close, so we finished it and I was surprised with 3.5 win. To test my ability I recounted in mind and got 1.5 win this time. Shame.

Lost a game by 2.5 points. And this is one of the reasons.

An overplay  

White 1 is another double digit kyu misread which IGS 1k* players commit all over the place. Crawling to 'a' was a good 1 point miai value move. I jumped to W1 making a move with negative value. Minus 1 point (miai) sente. It would work if white had a stone at b. But alas...

Problem for double digit kyu players. How can black punish white?

Holigor's Log problem 1 answer

Bill: a looks like a 2 1/3 point move, not a 1 point move. If the rest of the board was no larger than this, it looks like you were lost, anyway.

  • 18 June 2003.

There are several things that are difficult to understand for the student of go. Some of them go against intuition. For example, it is better to have a fight in your own sphere of influence. A weak player tries to defend what he thinks is his territory and as the result the territory is erased and the more the game progresses the more it shrinks. Yet, the correct approach in most case is just to keep your groups alive and leave the matter of collecting the territory for the yose stage. Instead, one has to think more in the terms of getting some advantage from attacking invaders, to build a support for your own invasion, for example.

Another thing that hinders the progress of many players is the belief that the centre is small, that there is no territory in the center. Yes, true, there is no territory there, but one has to fight for the center anyway. Otherwise the opponent will be able to form high and wide rectangles of territory and that is not small. Beginners are taught that the centre is not important and the understanding to what extent this claim is true takes a lot of time and lost games.

  • 13 Jun 2003. The SL's mistake page is awesome. What a bounty of different mistakes one can make in the game. It is important though to get rid of the mistakes that are several levels below your strength. I believe that if you are able to solve all 5 kyu problems in your game you are at least a shodan.
Something from yesterday's game  

Fighting the last half-point ko I made a ko-threat. I am sure that any player of IGS 1k* level can solve this in 95% of cases, but my opponent decided that I was bluffing. Perhaps, he felt that he was losing by a small margin. He connected the ko and resigned several moves later.

This can be a problem of double digit kyu players. What White is going to do if Black plays tenuki?

Games against the opponents of the same level don't give the proper feedback. Your moves are not necessarily good even if you did well with them.

HolIgor's Log 2003 June 13 Discussion.

Holigor / Log last edited by Unkx80 on September 22, 2009 - 11:33
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