Teaching Game 66

  Difficulty: Beginner   Keywords: Ongoing game

[Diagram]
Moves 31-40  

AvatarDJFlux White 36: Ben, thank you for your patience! I'm back, and ready to go on.
It seems to me that you are trying to cage me in with your boshi... since this is a teaching game, I'll answer quietly for a couple of moves still. I believe that some of your stones do not have a very strong shape, so I'll give you the time to spot them and fix their weaknesses.
By the way, are you still 20k? You look to be more likely in the interval 10-15k...

AvatarDJFlux: Dear Ben, I've had a terribly heavy working week. I'm tired. Now my summer holidays have begun, and I'm getting ready to go hiking in the Alps, where there are no computers.
I'd like to play my move, but I do not know whether I'll have the time to think about it properly.
So most probably I'll come up with my White 36 around August 25th...
I hope you don't mind!

BenShoemaker: Black 35 (L7) Beware the caged tiger... especially one that you have just put in a cage! :)

DJ White 34: Sorry to hear you've been sick and working too much. These are two terrible things... I hope you've recovered from both! ;-)
As far as the game is concerned: again, I keep on answering submissively. Will I ever be able to reap my share??!? ;-)
Yes, White 33 is a useful move, insofar it gives you influence to set against mine. I do not think that my group is in real danger, though, as you have weaknesses too. My problem is to make some territory...

BenShoemaker: Sorry, been busy at work, and was out on vacation, and then was sick for a bit. Now were back to mostly just the laziness factor. :) Black 33 (M14) does look like a useful move.

DJ Ehi, Ben, where art thou??!?

unkx80: The three exchanges at 27 and 28; 29 and 30; 31 and 32 are not too good for Black. And after the kind of exchange at 27 and 28, Black should not tenuki.

dnerra: Ben, have a look at the difference between a black move at x and a white move at y. If White plays at y, his group on the right is basically connected to the friends at the upper side. The black group gets shut in and will have to struggle. And offers a beautiful target to attack, which can help White to build up the moyo at the top.
On the other hand, if Black plays x, his group is out there first, the white moyo is vanishing, and the white group on the right might be forced to connect on the upper side.
I apologize for making this the first discussion example of When to tenuki -- there are certainly worse mistakes happening, and it is easy to miss this one here. But I hope that looking at the possible follow-ups should make it clear that there is mucht to gain by playing first in this area.

DJ White 32 (F3): Again, I dutifully answer...
Ben, I beg you to reconsider the utility of such moves (like Black29): now you have a solitary stone attached to stronger wall of two stones... Such a move does not do much, reinforces me, takes away the possibility of a peep at a or b (this is called aji keshi), it does not protect the gap between the marked black stones (better then would be c: that affects my lower left group, or h or j, which affect my right side group)...
I think it is not such a good move...:-)
Still, could I ignore it and play something like d, e or f??!?
P.S. Watch out for proverbs: they're fun, and dangerous! Tenuki could be even more dangerous...

BenShoemaker: Black 31 (G3) : When in doubt, tenuki. It's still relatively early in the game, so I want to ensure that I play big moves.


[Diagram]
Moves 21-30  

DJ White 30 (R8): I'll dutifully answer.
Maybe your move is better for me than for you? See the comments on a similar shape in the NewYearSRengo2002 (I'm referring to a proposed - but not played - move from the white group on the right side)...

BenShoemaker: Black 29 (R9): I'm attempting to undercut your group.

I have the impression your last move 27 is a bit lukewarm...
A classical attacking move would be boshi (capping play) where I've played. As you see your move left a gap for me to try to get out.
The problem is that your groups above and below are not particularly strong and this is usually a hindrance to an effective attack. (Not that my groups are much stronger, but they look more resilient to me...)
Moreover Black 27 is not very good shape in relation with the rest of your group: so, in my opinion, it neither attacks nor defends effectively.
Alternatives? For instance, i or j...

JamesA: How about this for another alternative:

[Diagram]
Black alternative  


Black 1 would protect the corner (and the top black group) and severely weaken the marked white stones (thereby strengthening the marked black ones). White then has a difficult choice for his next move.

BenShoemaker: Black 27 (N13) I'm thinking, but I'm having trouble coming up with my next move... I want to strengthen O10 and Q10, attack above and below, but I'm not sure how to do that. I'll try N13.

DJ White 26 (N7): OK, then I want to take some of those 17 points myself... ;-) I'll start with this one!
I am trying to keep you separated, to push my head out in the open, to threaten somehow your bottom stones. In other words, to keep you busy...
A pessimistic view of my move is that I am probably pushing you into what could be a prospective white moyo... An optimistic view is that I am pushing you against my strength! Who knows?

BenShoemaker: Black 25(O10): I also considered u(R12) but that seemed too trapped. (You will see your 17 stones appear throughout the game... don't worry!) :)

DJ White 24(Q8): Typical Murphy's Law effect... ;-)
As soon as I praise your play you come up with a sub-optimal move... ;-)))
I think that Black 23(O3) is a bit submissive: this is your framework, you're strong, I'm invading (one stone against three) and therefore I'm weak. You should have had a more positive approach and attacked my lonely stone. The marked black stone, which you are worried about, is actually exactly in the right position to support your attack.
Instead Black 23(O3) is low and does not affect my lonely White 22(R6). A play at a(O4) would have been slightly better.
A stronger and typical attack (as you will find in the books) is the sequence (after White 22): Black b(R5), White c (Q6), B a(O4), W 24(Q8), B d (R9), W e (R8), B f(O10), W 26 (N7), leaving White weak above and below. Of course you shouldn't expect White to follow orders like this...
Other plays I've seen in actual games are y (R4) and z (S5), which are sort of greedy and less attacking, but still playable. y(R4) is also a bit heavy and waits to see my reaction, while z (S5) is more forceful.
Another option is to play directly at e (R8): there's a thread (called: "good move or inefficient double pincer ?") going on on r.g.g. on the comparison between this move and b(R5), exactly in this sort of situation.
My move (W24:Q8) aims at stabilising my invasion while scaring your "weak" marked stone...

P.S. I have inverted the order of comments to moves, so that the latest is the first to be read. I think this way is easier for a reader to follow what's going on.
If you agree we could continue like this.

BenShoemaker: Black 23(O3): This is my first reaction. I'm a little worried about the marked stone, but I don't see a good way to use it right now.

AvatarDJFlux White 22(R6): Ben, I must say that so far you've played an excellent fuseki - the exchange in the upper left cannot be considered a serious mistake.
The supposed 17-stones difference is not apparent at all: it may be my normal psychological trait, but I feel a little behind... :-)
Now, I must of course do something with this framework you're building in the lower right area. I do not feel like entering SanSan(R3), as it will give you much too outside influence, which will work well with your marked stones...

BenShoemaker: B21(K4): This seems to me to be one of the biggest moves left on the board. It also puts a little pressure (I hope!) on the white group in the lower left.


[Diagram]
Moves 11-20  

BenShoemaker: I know this is a move too late, but it's pretty much the same situation again, right?

AvatarDJFlux Well, not exactly... For what I understand of the game (please remember, I'm only 3 kyu), we both have pushed one step further, so, as I said before, also my group is stronger and more solid: I do not want to keep on pushing (for instance, with a move at a) and I prefer to establish my moyo, or, in other words, to put to use the influence I've obtained.
If my move is the right one, only a stronger player can tell. For sure, I wouldn't like a Black stone around there - it would neutralise my wall...

BenShoemaker: OK, well I don't know how to respond directly to White 12(L17), so I'll start something in another corner.

DJ I think the first half of your comment is about right (WhenInDoubtTenuki), but the second contains two common mistakes... ;-)))
I'll start something: What?
In another corner: Where?
In other words, now it's time to plan a plan!
If you consider the left side, you can see that your group is strong, and not only because Black 11(C12) is on the third line. Mine is strong too.
All this makes the left side uninteresting for both, as far as I understand. Moreover, now you have two low stones there, Black 11(C12) and Black 13(C6). I do not exactly know how to punish this, though... :-)
Maybe Black 13(C6) could have been played from the other direction, at b (F3) (which would also be backed up by your marked stone:Q4), in order to make me develop toward your strong Black 11(C12) and an uninteresting area... Or play SanRenSei at c (Q10)...
Now what shall I do? I'm just hopeless at this game, so I will take a little time to think...

BenShoemaker: I chose that corner because I thought Black 11(C12) and Black 13(C6) would reinforce each other... But if you feel the Black 11(C12) group was relatively strong (and uninteresting) I guess that didn't help too much.

Bill Spight: The Black 11(C12) group is already alive, and doesn't need much in the way of reinforcement. So it and Black 13(C6) do not really reinforce each other. But a play at c(Q10?) would help both black stones on the right, which are still unsettled, and at the same time create a black sphere of influence on the right side. :-)

DJ Thanks, Bill. I too felt that the right side is more important. On the other hand, I also wanted to press Black low on the left one and make him overconcentrated, but I wasn't able to think of a good move. Maybe later...
So I invent this: I've been kakaried at 3, I'll return the kakari at 4... ;-)
The point is, I didn't feel like playing a wedge at c... What about that?

BenShoemaker: I considered c, but played Black 15 at c because it seemed to take a stake in a larger part of the board.

DJ 16: Your pincer is very good, and I really didn't know where to play... Most of the options I considered had some serious drawbacks, to my opinion... I'm afraid I've taken on too big of a job!
Anyway, The idea here is to play simple moves, to keep your upper right hoshi separated from the pincer, and to push it against my strong position.
Whether this is the right direction, I do not know... :-(

BenShoemaker: I don't want to lose the corner, so I play at d now with B17.

DJ 18: Locally this is sort of joseki. I hope you'll answer me locally... ;-)
The drawback of this move is that it settles the shape here, and I must have read somewhere that strong players do not like this (except Kobayashi Koichi in my good ol' days and Korean players today...). Another drawback is that probably there are bigger moves elsewhere...

BenShoemaker: I considered c, but didn't want to give up too much corner territory.

DJ 20: I think that locally you played the right move. c doesn't appeal to me because I perceive it as bad shape (d would be better shape), but still, imagine the exchange White 18, Black c (or d, for that matter), White 19: your stones will be floating without a base. So your move was in my humble opinion good not because it took territory, but because it sort of settled your group.
Now I can answer your original kakari with a standard move.


[Diagram]
Moves 1-10  

AvatarDJFlux I'll take this on. I'm only 3 kyu, so not everything I'll say will be right, but still I may give you some hints.
The only thing is: you'll probably have to bear with my inconsistency and laziness... ;-)

BenShoemaker: My strategy is basically:

  1. Stake out corners
  2. Attack/Defend corners to develop sides
  3. Connect through the middle while preventing your opponent from connecting
  4. Hope for the best

DJ I think you have a basic, sound strategy for your level. I'm personally always afraid of talking about strategies because I fear I'll not be able to carry them on consistently... Nevertheless if you play nirensei it means you want to go for influence, moyo and an attacking game, so I play mokuhazushi only to bother you... ;-)

BenShoemaker I do find that I have trouble following through in some situations (like high-handicap games) where I have the advantage and white is tempted to resign, but I assure them "it's not as bad as it looks."

Is 5 OK, or should I be developing a or b?

Scartol: Being a masterful expert at Go (har har) who is currently being vivisected in two teaching games, I would say that Black5 is good -- getting in there and making a place for oneself early on is a good tactic. The longer I wait, the harder it is. Now I just need to work on making those invading stones live..

DJ Well... As I understand, a play at mokuhazushi places emphasis on influence, that's way I played it: to contrast the influence of your hoshis.
If stones had eyes, my mokuhazushi and your hoshis would stare into each other's...
Entering at komoku is just what White wants: she will press with 6 or t (for Taisha, the most troublesome of all troublesome joseki... I didn' play it in order not to scare you! (Actually because I'm scared myself... ;-))))
(The point t is now White's move 8)
Thinking twice, taisha can be played only if you have favourable ladders, and here White doesn't...
With 6 White will give Black some territory in exchange for influence that will neutralise any influence Black will obtain from his nirensei.
Very often Black won't play at 5, just not to follow orders: he will take other big points (b for instance is a very good one), and eventually White will make a shimari, which can be turned into territory but won't have the same contrasting influence of a wall.

Bill Spight: Black 5 at 6 is a good play, consistent with the rapid development indicated by the rest of the board. (Not that Black 5 is bad. :-))

BenShoemaker : My idea with 7 is to keep 5 alive with corner/side possibilities, and cede the inside influence for now.

Ben: DJ? Hello?

DJ Sorry, Ben, I must have missed you move in the RecentChanges...
Here I am, playing by the books! I stick with my strategy described above.

BenShoemaker : I considered c, but that seemed to leave me locked in the corner, so I chose 9 to extend along the side a bit further.

HolIgor: TG66move9Joseki

DJ I think your move is in the right direction, but usually you would want to jump ahead of White as soon as possible, so 9 could have been at d: see in fact TG66move9Joseki, where I have also added some comments.
Your move is not joseki (but who cares about joseki... play as you feel!). Still, it is not entirely out of question: Ishida mentions it in his joseki bible as a special strategy to take sente!
What is the situation now? You have increased your territory, but it was a very small increase; my influence, on the other hand, has grown more than your territory has. Your best achievement here is that you are more solid and I have less aji to exploit with various kikashi.


(Non-game commentary moved to bottom of page)

Search for TeachingGame resulted in: TeachingGame TeachingGame22 TeachingGame44

So I assume following the naming convention makes the next teaching game 66?

Sure, but notice that I only named my first one 44 because it's Reggie Jackson's number {and Forrest Gump's for some reason} .. 22 is just 44 divided by two. But sic semper linguistics, I suppose. -- Scartol
(so this should really be TeachingGame11...)

I think lots of commentary (by everyone) makes for a good learning experience (and nice reading material for other beginners.)


Teaching Game 66 last edited by Phelan on July 9, 2006 - 02:18
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