No To Large Moyo
Conceived by HolIgor
Go is a very frustrating game. You're always afraid of something. I used to spend a lot of time in fear of an invasion. Will I be able to kill it? Will I be able to defend my "territory" if the opponent decides to invade?
Reading Kageyama's Lessons In The Fundamentals Of Go really helped. As you remember Kageyama advises one to refuse to consider any loose formation as your territory until it really becomes a territory. This advice relieved the pressure a little bit. If it is not your territory you don't fear losing it, but you can acquire it.
Then once in a club we analyzed an amateur game. A good European 4 dan led the discussion.
Of course, you know that there is this connection, which saves your territory. You know also that you've just given your opponent a ponnuki and ended in gote. But it saves your territory! Now you can proudly tell that it is yours!
The 4 dan did not like it. Of course, he saw a whole board before him (in some cases this variation is the best thing).
In the above variation, Black might have to win a ladder, and has not significantly weakened the two marked white stones in my opinion. -kungfu
zinger: I think that in this diagram is very bad. It should be at .
Bill: I agree. - is ideal for Black.
Charles If anything, is worse than . You might just play when in a position to attack. But is rarely going to be on the correct point: think about a instead.
zinger: Perhaps, but if that is your plan, then at (as below) looks better.
Charles Yes, sometimes. Taking territory while attacking is proverbial. We tend to think of it as 'making a framework with attacking moves'. But it is also good to take territory, i.e. play actually-enclosing moves. (I think this is an example of a basic instructional point that is rarely written down.) In theory, depending on the right-hand direction, it might on occasion be better to play moves that give a smaller framework that is then easier to consolidate (the right-sizing or we can't all be Takemiya approach).
Bill: We have to remember that is dubious. That is particularly so in the case Charles envisions. So we are comparing at , with no mistake by Black, with a sequence that starts with a Black mistake. Besides, what the rest of the board is like is vague.
That was an introduction. Now, about the controversial statement. This is a way I invented to calm down my fears of invasion.
lynx The exchange of 2 for 3 seems bad in my opinion. B is much more solid now than before and can easily make an eye on the ground, maybe even while threatening to counter attack the group to its immediate right.
Bill: I agree that is bad. I have added to the diagram.
If the opponent successfully invades then you will lose some territory. But an attack of the stones that invaded will help you to turn some loose formation into your territory too.
I conclude that
- I have to build a framework as large as possible in order that the remaining territory was larger
- I have to prepare places where I would like my opponent to invade
- Since some of my stones will be cut off I have to pay attention to the lives of these group long before the invasion.
So, huge moyos give large territories.
Comment by Kungfu: From the book "The Power of the Star Point" by Takagawa Kaku, I was given the impression that the threat of making a moyo is all that is needed. When the opponent invades, territory is made (see my example where white extends along the right above). If he reduces, territory is made underneath. In either case, the influence is made to gain extra territory by assuming a joseki mindset but abusing your extra stones/influence in the area.
Examples from a pro game against the statement
After White's marked move Yi Se-tol played 1 forming a large moyo. Note, that it is not a huge moyo. If the opponent invades the lower right corner, Black has to kill to win the game. White played 2, which I think was a natural move for Black.
Futher in the game White invaded into lower right corner and lived after a long ko fight, forcing resignation.
Joan Pons i Semelis 3d : This kind of position arises quite often in the mini-chinese fuseki, and is not always true that the invasion on the lower right corner stakes the game in a life and death problem. I'll dig to find some examples of this. Also Takemiya Masaki 9 dan was (is ?) very good at letting the opponent life inside his moyos and win nevertheless. But he made "huge" moyos.
Comment on the above by Kungfu: Well, if you make huge moyos, again, let them eat their cake-but use your influence to gain territory and let them live small. Moyo by definition is NOT settled territory! If it is not settled, it is only potential. When you count your moyo, think about how much it is worth after it's been invaded. If it's not enough then you are behind.
Discussion and example of this on Ten Kyu Side Invasion (albeit not at pro level :-)
zinger: Agree. Also, I am inclined to wonder why wasn't played at to begin with.