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 Post subject: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #1 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:19 am 
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Hi guys,

I think it is very important to be able to count well during midgame in order to have ideas on how to play next.
Howhever I have never managed to do this very well.
I think the reason that I have never done this very well is because I always have done this by just "feeling" how big things are.

So lately it has been happening a lot that I loose games which I thought I was leading and vice versa.
I want to learn to count well but not loose too much time with it.
How did you learn to count well, and did this have impact on your game ?
Do you use some kind of guessing system, acurate counting, pair counting ?

Any tips welcome!

Thanks,
Otenki

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #2 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:36 am 
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The basic idea is:

1. have or else imagine to create a quiet position

2. imagine White to reduce Black's territories

3. count the remaining black intersections

4. imagine Black to reduce White's territories

5. count the remaining white intersections

Don't forget to count each dead stone and prisoner.

(More details will be in my next book.)

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #3 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:52 am 
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otenki wrote:
[..]

How did you learn to count well, and did this have impact on your game ?

I’m still far from being able to count well, but I find the after-game phase of IRL games (where both players rearrange the opponent’s territory in order to make it easier to count) to be helpful for me to develop a better »guesstimate« of territory. Meanwhile I can relatively easy recognize lumps of 5, 9, 10, 15, 20, etc. intersections.

Also always keep in mind that dead stones count double—1 pt of territory and 1 pt for the stone.

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #4 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:18 am 
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you only need two step:

Step 1:
count what is definit resolved territory.

Step 2:
for unresolved territory, make an estimate on howmany points you or opponent need to cashout in order to make the game balanced.
you must factor thickness, weakness, aji, etc.

very simple and surprisingly accurate.

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #5 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:22 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
(More details will be in my next book.)

if you finish it, you can send it to me for review.
i will be very fair and impartial.
i would like to compare it with other good endgame books i have read.

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #6 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:25 am 
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http://senseis.xmp.net/?SteveFawthrop%2FCounting


This post by xed_over was liked by 2 people: Bill Spight, Phelan
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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #7 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:10 am 
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Magicwand wrote:
if you finish it, you can send it to me for review.
i will be very fair and impartial.
i would like to compare it with other good endgame books i have read.


According to current planning, the book must be split into 2 or 3 volumes, probably vol. 1 territory, vol. 2 thickness + influence, vol. 3 (if I write that volume at all) other strategic aspects (options, aji etc.) and endgame (only the part of endgame related to making a positional judgement; a thorough treatment of the endgame deserves an independent book or book series).

Therefore, a comparison to endgame books would not be appropriate; at best, you could consider comparing the planned endgame part of vol. 3 to related discussion in books specialising on the endgame (or on border play). A more appropriate comparison might be to books about positional judgement. However, while I have read a few books about positional judgement of territory, it will be hard to find anything close to what I want to write in vol. 2.

In your other message,...

Quote:
you must factor thickness, weakness, aji, etc


...you show that you have a basic understanding of which other aspects must be considered. Again, to get a proper (re)view of all of them, you'd better read all volumes.

After finishing the Positional Judgement series, I will consider whether to send a free review copy to you or whether you should buy the books.

Quote:
very simple and surprisingly accurate


That I thought when I started to write. Now I know better;) It is not as simple as I hoped and getting accurate counts for fighting positions can sometimes be difficult.

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #8 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:01 am 
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I read book (i dont remember who wrote it..but it was a korean professional) 20 years ago and that was all i needed to count accurately. about 20 page with 30 ~40 diag.
it took one day to read them and understand whole book as 1k or 2k strength.
Since then i started to count and it wasnt much different than professional's count.

Robert: it seems you are making it much harder than it is necessary.
estimating aji and thickness requires some strength but after some practice SDK should be able to count accurately(error tolerance should be less than 5 for most game).

I suggest everyone to study endgame before counting. you must have basic knowledge on endgame in order to apply counting.

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #9 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:08 am 
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Magicwand wrote:
20 page with 30 ~40 diag.


This suffices for the very basics. You will see what else there is!

Quote:
it seems you are making it much harder than it is necessary.


No, I am just revealing what others pretend does not exist. A little exercise for you: Write down principles for a complete consideration of prisoners when making a positional judgement!

Quote:
I suggest everyone to study endgame before counting. you must have basic knowledge on endgame in order to apply counting.


Basic endgame knowledge: yes. Endgame can be very difficult; such endgame knowledge is (usally) not needed for middle game positional judgement.

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #10 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:11 pm 
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My teacher taught me a way to count for blitz games. It is accurate by about plus or minus 10 points, which is a lot, but the counting time can be less than a minute. It is really quite simple, you make a rectangle that fits the area you are trying to count and multiply to find the area of it (making sure you don't include the boundary of the territory in your rectangle), and then you round it to the nearest 5. If the area of the rectangle is a bit over, like in 6x7, you can say it is about 40+ points. In the case of 7x7, you can say it is 50- points. If you have two pluses you can add another 5 points to your total, so if you have 40+ and 30+ it is about 75 points, and if you have two minuses they subtract 5 points. If you add a plus and a minus they will just cancel out. He also told me if my answer is within 10 points, I should count them normally =P, but this way can be much faster if you are short on time and only need a rough estimate, and if there aren't any large dead groups.

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #11 Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:48 pm 
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Bonobo wrote:
recognize lumps of 5, 9, 10, 15, 20, etc. intersections.


mrnoob wrote:
make a rectangle that fits the area you are trying to count


Counting intersections once one knows which to count is the trivial part. Knowing which intersections to count at all is the difficult part.

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #12 Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:38 am 
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Robert. Sometimes I think you can make science out of drinking milk or yorning.

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Post #13 Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:51 am 
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Still busy with trying to describe correct calculation of prisoners?:) You have mentioned a 20 pages text by a professional, which, according to you, had it all. Just cite!

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #14 Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:24 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
Still busy with trying to describe correct calculation of prisoners?:) You have mentioned a 20 pages text by a professional, which, according to you, had it all. Just cite!

Most of them are examples of how professionals count on certain stage of game. I doubt that you will have any better formula for counting than professionals.

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #15 Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:04 am 
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Magicwand wrote:
Most of them are examples of how professionals count on certain stage of game. I doubt that you will have any better formula for counting than professionals.


If most of them are examples, then which formula do they have at all? Anyway, what I have is more methods and conditions when to apply them. E.g., moyos need a different method than ordinary territory.

So... from those examples, what can you tell us about prisoners (apart from counting for the opponent)?

Does that text use the same basic method as here or which other method?
viewtopic.php?p=115023#p115023

Not better? Let us find out.
1) How do they combine different territory regions? (I combine them by maintained sente.)
2) What (besides teire) do they assess after an imagined reduction sequence?
3) How do they assess fighting positions?
4) How do they assess moyos?
5) How do they assess middle game kos?

IIRC, Cho Chikun's book and that recently mentioned Korean book with the "cool" cover say almost nothing to nothing about (1) to (5). If you have better books, tell us. If you don't, then you need better evidence. I am sure that professionals must use something for (2)-(5), but do they also teach it in books? Simon Goss, Charles Matthews and I use, e.g., swing counting for (5); are there any similar positional judgement evaluations by professionals? For local evaluation, do they have anything equally good as or superior to my Unsettled Group Average method?

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #16 Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:28 am 
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every point is unresolved until solidified.
they look at each position by deciding who has more rights to the position and draw imaginary sequence accordingly. <---SDK level
from that it is counting what you have and what your opponent has. <----DDK level.
for unresolved territory that is hard to calculate they leave them at last and use comment such as "in order for A to win he has to create at least 5 points in this unresolved region"
much much simpler than what you described.

edit: do you ever read professionals comment?

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #17 Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:00 am 
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Magicwand wrote:
every point is unresolved until solidified.


I am not sure what you mean by this.

Quote:
they look at each position by deciding who has more rights to the position


The whole board position? What does "having more rights" mean? Such a phrase makes more sense for each intersection considered for itself; then it can be substituted by "having more influence there". If it refers to the whole board, then counting numbers of "rights" makes little sense because difference rights can be differently mighty / important.

Quote:
and draw imaginary sequence accordingly.


Ok. But what is such a sequence's nature? Like Cho's or my peaceful reduction from the outside of every territory region?

Quote:
for unresolved territory that is hard to calculate they leave them at last and use comment such as "in order for A to win he has to create at least 5 points in this unresolved region"
much much simpler than what you described.


It may be "much much simpler", but is also much much less informative. E.g., there can be positions with several unresolved regions and several moyos. Each of these can favour Black or White and have different degrees of safety. You / they appear to forgo a moyo assessment. I don't; I assess their territory potential. Being simpler is worthless when essential information about moyo values is missing! What is more, there can be territories ending in moyos; one must know where the safe territory ends and the weaker territory potential starts.

And what about the prisoners? Come on, it is really very "obvious"! But I want to know whether your professional sources have made you aware of it, i.e., whether they teach what they should teach. It is so easy to make the most elementary mistakes if one does not know yet.

Quote:
do you ever read professionals comment?


Which kind do you mean? Books or journal articles written by professionals? Those: yes.

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Post #18 Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:06 am 
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How about posting some example positions and comparing both of your analyses?


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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #19 Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:15 am 
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Robert: i am not going to argue with you because i do not enjoy it.
if you are so smart and have anser for everything why are you so weak?
exactly my point!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: How to learn to count during midgame
Post #20 Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:16 am 
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I prefer to "post" examples in the book. However, if Magicwand does not solve the prisoner aspect by himself, I may show an example for that.

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