Shunt / Discussion

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Recognizing a shunt

kritz This looks closer to a net to me. Last night I was burned by this. It lead me to wonder whether there is a "formula" to avoid getting surrounded. Something along the lines of "if black has only three liberties across to escape, make sure white does not place you two stones deep on one side and one on the other." I consistently have this trouble. It seems to be the cause of most of my large stone loses. Can you explain the difference between a shunt and a net?

Charles The difference is - you are probably expecting a net.

This is a very simple tactic, but like a snapback one can become stronger by recognising it in advance.

It is an atari at the nose of an empty triangle, if we're discussing it in terms of shape.

"It is an elementary tactic, but it may not be so easy to see several moves away."

Andrew Grant: I'm definitely not trying to brag here, but I've never had any trouble at all seeing this tactic even several moves in advance, and find it hard to see why it even merits a special name. I suspect it just depends on what you find easy - Charles would doubtless see things that I would not. "Your mileage may vary."

unkx80: Weakened the sentence to "... may not be...". Anyway, I thought I just cleaned up this page by moving a lot of discussion to the /Discussion page. Apparently others have difficulty recognizing the shunt.

For your information, the example came from kyu exercise 5. This problem is an adaptation of some existing problem, and I deliberately added a White stone at the 12-3 point to mask the cutting point, and hence the shunt. Probably this is a case where the shunt is harder to see several moves away.

Shunt versus bao chi

unkx80: So the net technique shown on the bao chi page is not an instance of shunt? (Although I would say that B1 alone is a kind of bao chi.)

Charles I would say 'no'.

unkx80: Thanks.

Linguistic issues

Shunting is what is done on the railways, to sort out rolling stock and create long trains. Also, a shunt can occur when car A hits car B from behind, and then car B hits car C just on momentum.

I introduced this term in Teach Yourself Go. Why should Richard Hunter have all the terminology fun? One player told me he got to shodan by learning about One-Two-Three and shunts. (Sadly, the effect was only temporary.) But he said go teaching should have more content at this, rather elementary level.


HolIgor: Charles, can you explain the word? I know the electrotechnical meaning of the word "shunt", but it does not apply. And Oxford English dictionary online does not come with anything useful too. Drawing back?

Charles It seems that the car crash meaning, like this, is slang; but this isn't very colloquial, really. All small children learn this from Thomas the Tank Engine.

John F. Actually Charles is betraying his roots. As a child he should have said dunsh.

Charles Well, that baffles my Geordie expert ...

HolIgor: So many new words and notion... I am baffled. Hm... OED + google search help to translate this fine example of English humour (I recon) into a guess that Charles could be from the North Eastern part of England.

Charles Actually John is from the North East, I'm from the North West (different dialect). I presumed dunsh was Geordie, probably related to dunt (hit) which is Scots. But it's not known to my wife (from Newcastle).

IanDavis Oh honestly Charles, you really are hopeless. A dunsh is what a dunt is after some spesh

Charles On the 'obviousness' issue: one British player told me he got from 1 kyu to shodan by a combination of looking for this pattern, and the 1-2-3 principle.

Andrew Grant: I'd take this sort of assertion with a large pinch of salt. It just doesn't sound like enough to account for a whole stone's worth of improvement. (If only it were that easy!) Though I suppose he could have been a very strong 1 kyu to start with, and became a very weak shodan. In which case all we can say for sure is that he improved by some nonzero amount.

Bill: I do not think that we can say that amateur's games are well-rounded, even those of strong amateurs. Certainly 1 kyus can have glaring weaknesses. Avoiding aji keshi (via the 1-2-3 principle) is worth several stones. Improvement in that area could easily have been worth one stone.

Shunt / Discussion last edited by Bill on June 7, 2006 - 16:02
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