18k Looking a review of my game (I played black)

Are there anything you feel I need to concentrate on to become better? Am I not getting direction of play correct?

Maybe one thing you could try is to follow the principle of “Corners, then sides, then center”. It is related to direction of play.

In the game it looked like you tried to build your main territory in the center, which is difficult in general, because one can’t use the edges of the board to surround territory.

It takes only two walls of stones to surround territory in the corners, and three on the sides, compared to four in the center


Your moves are at times very passive, accepting to reinforce instead of separating. Another point is when you lean on your opponent stones to help yourself going out and such but in that process you help a lot your opponent becoming thick or make points.

So that’s 2 points to consider (from this game)
1 Don’t play passively or too conservative.
2 Avoid contact/pushing moves when you can

In the opening, move 15 probably appealed to you because it felt like you were chasing White’s eyeless group of stones. But situational awareness is all-important in Go. By this time, White’s strand of stones has come around and nearly encircled your lone stone at R12. It was urgent at this point for you to play something like Q9 (or R9, or even Q10) in order to avoid having all of the oxygen sucked out of the air surrounding that stone. Instead your move – which could be very good if you already had backup for R12 – more or less forces him to dive in with something like his 16th move. At that point, the fate of that stone is pretty much sealed, even though he gets around to taking the small, dead group clumped around it only some 70 moves later.

In the middlegame, you both do some jumping (moves 27 to 41 or so). While the specific moves are sometimes questionable, the bigger point is that you are surrounding only ~40 points of central territory, while his sketchy line blocks out half of the top side, the top left corner, the entire left side and lower left corner, and part of the bottom edge. At a rough estimate, if White’s sketchy line turned into a solid wall, that’s about 100 points of territory. Such is the difference in efficiency between surrounding central space and making territory in the corners and on the sides.

The only dent you made in that massive moyo was the invasion at C17, and you got around to that very late in the game (move 145). These days, as we’ve learned from AIs like AlphaGo, it’s considered a good idea to do an invasion like that very early – as early, say, as move 5. (This would have been considered a bad idea up until AlphaGo introduced some new ways of handling the invasion, amounting to new joseki.) Yes, you have to learn how to handle such invasions. And maybe invading that early won’t turn out to be something that leads to positions you enjoy. But whether you invade or just approach, you must do something in the opening so as not to give your opponent a vast canyon of territory to either side of his corner stones. He started right in on your star point stone at move 6 with his approach. But you didn’t get within hailing distance of either of his star point stones until move 145.

So in addition to the advice you have received from other people:

(1) Remember to make a base for an edge stone by something like a two-point jump along the same edge – don’t let a lone stone get surrounded!

(2) Make territory in the corner and on the sides rather than in the center. And as you’re thinking about corners and sides,

(3) Approach or even invade his star-point corners with moves like the 3-3 point invasion or at least the Knight’s-move approach (e.g. F17 or C14, with regard to the D16 stone). He may have gotten into that corner first, but the star point stones don’t mean he owns that corner. Make him fight for it, and take some profit from the fighting!