Middle Game Discussion 2

  Difficulty: Advanced   Keywords: MiddleGame

The following position is from a game between two wannabe shodans.

Black is trying to capture the marked stones  

Charles Comment: I can see why Black plays somewhere like B1; but it seems loose. So, does Black need to capture the white+circle stones? On my counting of the game, Black is well ahead anyway.

Klaus: What should black play then? I would like to play at b or maybe one of the points marked a, but I am not to sure about it.[1]

Christian?: I think, my move at S4 (on the second line on the lower right side) before blacks move was a fault. I should have played a move around 1, maybe a.

Bill: You mean white+square was the last move before B1? You were already in deep trouble.

Christian?: Sure - you mean im in big trouble before that move?! Than maybe my mistake was before that. [ext] http://www.dragongoserver.net/game.php?gid=69885

Bill: Do a count.

Later: I guess I was too cryptic. White did not appreciate the value of Black's top right quadrant before it was too late.

Let's open a page for discussion about earlier plays: /Earlier

Game continuation (1)  

Charles I don't think W2 is good, immediately. [2]

Game continuation (2)  

Klaus: White has almost ensured an connection to the white+circle, but Black's lower group is safe as well.

Alternative 1  

Klaus: What about this: White has sacrificed the center stones, but gained compensation on the lower side.

Alternative 2  

Klaus: White gains another liberty by the atari at W2 and uses it to push throuhg and cut. The outcome is unclear to me.

Alternative 2.1  
Alternative 2.2  

Black might sacrifice four stones and again capture the center, but W2 surrounds a large territory for White. Who is winning here?


What to play? (1)  

Charles What to play in the initial position? B1 here leaves no weak points. The problem is a play like W4 (motare).So, perhaps Black should think like this: Black a for White b before playing B1 would be a good exchange; and Black a really looks like it will be sente.

Klaus: I I had white, instead of black, I would not answer a, at b eve if a looks sente. (see next diagramm.)

What to play? (1.1)  

Klaus: White might connect around x and look forward to pushing at y to start the desperately needed fight. But I admit, it looks good for Black.

Charles I think White will be in big trouble if B3 is played. W2 will just look like a heavy move. White now has two weak groups and Black has no weak group; and Black is still ahead on territory because White now has nothing definite in the lower right. Moves like W2 are just unreasonable - they assume one can fight in any position at all. Klaus: Well, Charles this confidence you show, about refuting unreasonable attempts like this one, is probably an inportant reason, why you are the better Go player than me! Thanks for the comment. What about a lighter attempt to link the white stones together?

What to play? (1.2)  

Maybe this?

Charles This is more interesting. Black could now answer at a or at b, challenging White to make shape in the centre. The reason it is more interesting, is that the correct way for Black to cut in the centre isn't obvious.

dnerra: Nevertheless, B1 is a move that is big territory-wise, whereas W2 is dame. That's exactly the sort of trade Black is satisfied with, given that he is leading. Probably Bc, Wd, Be is still possible. But frankly, as Black, I just wouldn't bother, and play a big move like f or g. Since White by no means can afford a 2nd move around W2, I can still try the cut later.

What to play? (2)  

So, suppose first B1/W2. It would then be quite tempting to play Black c, and allow White to try something in the centre. But now B3 should be OK. W4 here is heavy. If W4 at B7 then I think Black could play at W4.

The general idea: is this a middlegame position, or an endgame position? Black is winning, so Black wants to play some tight sequence that leaves a clear result. It is White who is interested in starting a complex fight.

Thick play  

Bill: I confess I do not know where to play. However, considering the proverb that says to play urgent plays before big plays, B1 comes to mind. It secures Black's bottom group and threatens to cut off the white+circle stones. If now W2, then maybe keshi with B3. Then if W4, B5 - B7 looks good.

B1 is thick play. While securing Black's group it looks both right and left, towards the largest unsettled areas still left on the board.


Charles W1 is questionable since B2 seems good here. In the overall position White cannot get enough by attacking the black+square stones, especially if Black makes sure of the white+circle stones.

Bill: I agree with Charles. I think that a general lesson here is the proverb, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. How often kyu players seem to want it all and try to save or kill everything. What is a stone or two here or there?

Middle Game Discussion 2 last edited by BillSpight on September 18, 2004 - 17:57
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