Middle Game Discussion 1
In the game, White had at . In my opinion, this is a rather bad shape which does not fix the weaknesses on the upper side.
My suggestion is for White to play . This move should fix the weaknesses better. Another alternative would be a, but I suspect it is not as good as , because Black can play the peep at .
Please take some time to muse through . It thoroughly exposes the weakness of . White has no good reply because the ladder is favourable for Black.
To prevent the vital stones from being captured, must connect. So and naturally pushes down, rendering a totally useless move. Now, White finds it very difficult to decide whether to play at a or b.
If chooses to play safely, then the atari at feels extremely good for Black, and connects. White is sealed in, and Black is extremely thick outside.
If plays the hane, then the atari at is also very painful for White. After , cannot cut at a, neither can be played at b...
Black continues to push at , and return to connect at . On the upper side, White has three distinct weak groups, so it is almost as good as saying White has totally collapsed.
Dieter: I favour the firm capture at a :
How large is the aji of the marked black stone ?
unkx80: Um... yah, will think again another time.