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 Post subject: What a chaotic mess.
Post #1 Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:02 am 
Dies with sente
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As I climb the ladders, the shapes become more complicated (as the overplays are not as blatant) and the threats my opponents make grow more sophisticated with each game. I feel like I can keep up, if barely so, but there's still this kind of players I absolutely dread playing. You know, the ones so confident in their ability to manage ten groups on the board that it just happens that they (almost) all end up alive in the end, as if by magic. They start by plopping stones seemingly randomly on the board, then building some strength in one part of the board, then pulling out each stone step by step or looking for potential peeps and cuts. What results is usually pure chaos that the stronger player is expected to succeed in, mainly due to their better reading and evaluating ability.

Games like that are so out of my comfort zone that I can't even understand what went wrong in them for me. One example of such a match I attach below, with some simple comments. If you could advise what the weak points of my game are based on it and how to systematically get better at fighting in those scenarios, I'd greatly appreciate it.

 Post subject: Re: What a chaotic mess.
Post #2 Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:24 am 

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Top of the head comments:

:b5: Don’t worry. Be happy. :) If you want to play locally, how about a pincer at L-16? Let White worry.

:w6: Heavy. White should let Black have the one stone, if he wants it.

:b7: IMO, better to attack White’s heavy group and not let it easily make a base. How about a pincer at K-16?

:w8: Maybe not best, but now White makes Black worry.

:b9: Now you’re confident? How about something like P-14, separating the White stone and attacking both sides? Divide and conquer!

:b11: What is your plan for the top right corner?

:w12: From your comment it sounds like you ar going to sacrifice it.

:b15: Leela is right, IMO. Tenuki.

:b17: Violates my heuristic for local play. Most of the time you should play to get one stone ahead locally or to catch up. Locally Black is now three stones ahead. White can easily sacrifice the pincered stone.

:w18: White gets one stone ahead locally.

:b19: Doesn’t threaten much.

:w20: Counterpincer.

:b21: Tenuki may be best. And, while keeping the two White stones separated, this does not threaten much.

:b25: Feels a bit thin to me, with a weakness at E-10.

:b33: Thin.

:b37: Is saving one stone worth the trouble?

:w38: Black is heavy on the 10th rank. Who is attacking whom?

:b43: is capturing one stone worth the trouble?

:w46: Sigh!

:b47: An excellent play if Black plans to sacrifice the Black stones on the left side. (Actually, I think that Black should have continued the battle by running out and attacking White at the same time.)

:b49: Apparently not.

:w50: Look at the board. Doesn’t White have a won game?


Whatever one may think of Black’s plan not to defend the top right corner, it is at least a plan, and a bold one at that. :) Otherwise, Black seemed to suffer from planlessness. I admit that planning is hard when White has scattered stones all over the board. Znosko-Borovsky’s advice at chess is good. Think first about what you want to do, without worrying about the opponent’s play. Once you have a good idea of what you want to do, you can consider your opponent’s counters.

One weakness seems to be an over concern about single stones, both attacking your opponent’s single stones and saving your own.

Another is a certain thinness, giving your opponent targets for attack or counterattack.

Another is a failure to seize attacking chances, at least, a failure to attack more than one stone.

Another is a failure to recognize heaviness. White made a heavy group which you failed to attack; later you made a heavy group on the left side which you let White attack. Edit: Note that on the left side your heaviness arose out of thinness. During the fight you went back to protect your thinness, and in the process ended up making heaviness.

The Adkins Principle:
At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?
— Winona Adkins

My two main guides in life:
My mother and my wife. :)

Everything with love. Stay safe.

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