Accompanying materials of The Art of 9x9 Go:
MONTEO BEAT 4 DAN HHMET (2140)
White resigned at Move 45, komi 7.
This is the last game before I stop playing 9x9 go in 2017. I hold one principle of go: Solidity, not territory, is my top priority, which is the reason why I can beat this 4 dan player. Before the game, he won four players in a row (one 2 dan & three 4 dan guys). He was at peak, and one of the top 500 - 600 9x9 go players in the world.
As usual, I opened with the Darksniper's opening, , my most favorite first move. White answered with , which is a balancing or symmetrical play--a usual response of White players in high dan games.
The Unusual Attack. was intended to interfere White's base. It makes White unable to form two eyes with ease. White cannot occupy a large space around here, because of and . I said is unusual because GoQuest has never named the shape formed by , , and , as it is not common in high dan games.
The Exchange. After , there is the exchange between White's bottom zone and Black's top zone. Things go as Black predicted.
Greater Potential. White was not satisfied with the exchange, as Black seems to have much greater potential or influence over the northern and the eastern regions. wants to split Black's big army.
Urgent Task. Black played a solid defense with , leaving no room for White to attack. is more urgent than any move to help , because this big black group is the military target in White's strategy. White is so close that Black should not play elsewhere, or this big black group will get killed. has many ways to go and will be able to manage to live.
White played a cut-off move with ; the west and the east Black's armies are now completely separated. Kyu players may play a territory-oriented move by extending from , which is not urgent in my opinion because there are a lot of free points around , and if attacked, it can survive without difficulty. I am more concerned with the security of my big black group.
So, I haned with . As mentioned above, remains strong. It is needless to help at this moment. is to ensure the security of this big Black group. White is a strong player, who can destroy our big group that seems already strong but actually not yet. may be regarded as overplay by kyu players. That's true but I wanted to make sure this group is much stronger than the nearby White army.
White keeps pressing the big black group. He might wish to possess the two corners, and expect Black's response at a.
Yes, I did response with , an implementation of my solidity policy. Now, White is free to initiate an attack. He saw the vast space behind and wanted to occupy there.
Contact move, like , is a good weapon in a tiny battle field. The previous overplay of Black caused in hardship. Black wants to hane at a as his next move, but this plan is too simple to put into practice. White also wants to play there.
Black attacked White with rather than guard his group with a defensive move in the north east region. The position of was conceived as the shared weak point of the two White armies. Black attacked both of them at once, although this black unit has not yet well formed.
White planed to squeeze the middle black army. His global strategy was simple: To occupy the three corners for victory.
Black visualized the future of local battle: If White moves deeper to a, disaster will happen to the city.
But White is a dan player, who has a habit of attacking before defending. He attacked with instead of defending at a. White expected Black to defend at b, and then he will cut at c to weaken the middle black group.
Correctly, Black played in White's game, with . Now Black was cut into three groups, which would lost, according to Alexander's Law for 9x9.
The law was falsified, as Black will successfully manage to kill the bottom white group, starting from that empowers the east black group.
White initiated a violent war with , although his south city has not yet been well walled. He planed to kill the whole group. Black needs to attack at the back of the city, to set a fire and create uncertainty. The chance of Black's success is fifty-fifty, or less, but he has no choices. He must invade the narrow hillside near , guarded by the two big white armies of the mastermind of 4 dan.
Black haned with , to empower this black group before attacking the adjacent white group. If White answers with a, Black will stand at b and become a strong army.However, this strategy will come up with a very few points for Black. He needs a more complex scheme.
Black introduced a space racing between the bottom white group and the south black groups. It is not clear to Black yet which side will win.
White though the army is strong enough to support his attack from the west, with , which pushes the group near to the cliff of death. Black needs to lengthen the lifetime of the group and attack the army as soon as possible. After , it is a matter of life and death, which higher dan players tend to have higher ability to deal with it.
Black is making sure that these three black stones are strong enough before attacking the bottom white group. Black wants to play next at a to be in good shape.
White knew where Black wants to attack, so he prevented it with , which forced Black to defend at a. The fighting was indirectly weakening the bottom right group of White.
White was trying to destroy Black's space, with forcing moves , although this action reduced White's liberties from 4 to 3 points.
White was looking for sequential moves that will lead to the death of the bottom black group. Simply forcing at a is not only ineffective, but also allows Black to kill the bottom right group.
White finally used a filling tactic to kill this black group. Black still had confidence in the good fate of this his group.
Capturing with is a must. Fighting in a narrow space, he who has more liberties left will win. They were trying to reduce each other's liberties.
This is a complex fighting. Wrong sequences of play can lead to doom. White still believed he can protect the bottom left group, according to his standing with .
Black was counting the liberties of both sides. He had THREE liberties, two of which are shared liberties (). White had FOUR liberties. Black seems to follow White a bit, based on liberty, but his group is stronger than White's in terms of location: White cannot destroy Black's liberties within two moves.
Black's strategy is to reduced the liberty of this white group in an efficient way. So, he played . Now, Black can kill this white group in one move, at a, while White cannot.
White read the board deeply, and found that he has no way to kill the bottom black group. So, he defended with . Kyu players might try to kill the black group by playing at a instead of . But that is not effective (see variation below).
is a must, or the middle black group will get killed. This is a very big move, equal to the number of white dead stones plus the points Black surrounds and plus the number of rescued black stones and the points they occupy. Very very big.
If I were 4 dan or above, White would have resigned after . But I am 1 dan, and White is 4 dan; he expected I did mistakes while solving the life-and-death problem at the top left corner, so he invaded with . However, I am a shodan who has gained the basic knowledge of capturing the enemy along the edge.