19k vs 20k — review request

Hi guys! Can you, please, review this game? I’d like to know how many big moves I lost and how many mistakes did. Thank you!

I left a review. Only 14k, but some ideas. You played solidly.


Well played! I added a review, as well. In general, a lot of your mistakes come in the form of continuing small, local fights when you could be taking big points elsewhere.

You also tend to play a bit timidly when you’re defending your territory. I’m not sure if this was because you’d already pretty much won at that point, and didn’t need to reduce your opponent, but look for opportunities to build your frameworks with attacking moves, instead of just walling along the edge of your territory. You had a few moves where you did this really well, more towards the middle of the game, which I marked. Play more moves like that and you’ll be moving up the ranks in no time!


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About your review: I think move 5 isn’t bad. Go Seigen 9p called that move the second-best sanrensei just behind a diagonal sanrensei. See diagrams 2 and 3 of this GoBase article: http://gobase.org/studying/articles/mioch/goseigen/interview-3.html

Move 5 could be good because it breaks pretty much any ladder starting in any of the four corners. It also gives a future invasion a place to run to in the middle game. It’s definitely not like passing a turn.

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Thaks a lot! It was interesting to see some options. Tengen confuses me every time :slight_smile:

Thank you very much! I agree that I play timidly. I don’t completely understand the value of moves and afraid of invasions. I’ll try to do better.

I think that you’re not taking into account that this is a beginner game.

Beginner strategy #1 is “corner sides centre”.

In this context, tengen sanrensei seems out of place.

I agree it’s too much to say that in general it is a passing move. But perhaps for this player it was?

This is reminiscent of a discussion we had not so long ago about whether there is an absolute best move every time, or whether the best move is relative to the players who are playing.

I think the latter.


“Corners sides center” isn’t a universal truth so much as it is a general principle. A general principle isn’t an answer. It’s like a crutch, helping you stay upright (find a decent move) when otherwise you’d be falling down all over the place (stabbing in the dark).

I realize that one way of teaching might be to make the student use the crutch up to a certain level and chastise them when they don’t. For me, I’m more concerned with whether the move has a purpose (most important) and whether that purpose was good (secondary importance), without regard to any single principle.

To be honest: I don’t really understand the value of a lot of my moves either, and I’m probably far to timid when it comes to invasions! The main thing to think about is what your moves are trying to do. You want to enlarge your territory while reducing your opponent’s influence. Part of this is fighting and knowing when to fight, of course, but that’ll come with time. At your level, you should focus on moves you’re making when it doesn’t seem critical to fight.

Consider moves 50 and 52. The first is kind of bad, the second is great. Why is that? In the first case, you aren’t giving yourself any additional territory or reducing your opponent. In fact, you’re encouraging him to strengthen his shape, without getting anything yourself. Consider what would happen if he went with D9 instead of E9: he’d have eliminated the weakness in his stones, strengthened his center position, and improved his influence towards the bottom corner. You haven’t gained anything in exchange. You’ve got the same number of liberties, and you haven’t surrounded any more territory.

In the second case, you play a peep, pointing at the cutting point your opponent created by playing at E9, instead of at D9, like he should’ve. This move is great! It forces your opponent to respond, and he has to respond in a way that doesn’t give him any territory or really anything useful. Since he has to respond, you’ve got sente, which you can use to reinforce the stone you just played. He could challenge for some of the territory you claim with your new stones, but he’s challenging to reduce your territory in an area he was previously planning on making his own, with the wall he was constructing. You’ve reduced your opponent’s territory while increasing your own, which is a great result.

This is the type of aggression you should look for. Not necessarily rash invasions, (though they can be fun and instructive and you should try some of those, too), but moves which pressure your opponent while helping you achieve your goals.


I guess this exchange is triggered by the chastising tone of my comment about tengen.

Which I withdrew :slight_smile:

Thanks for the pointer to the related article - very interesting. It sort of begs the question who Go Seigen’s favoured sanrensei’s are not more popular.

But beyond that, I would hate to be misinterpreted as saying “this is the answer”.

Corner Centre Sides is not an “answer” but neither it is a crutch. It is a strategy - a basic strategy for how to proceed.

As with any strategy, when you gain experience you can vary it depending on circumstances, but you would ideally understand why it is a good strategy before doing that.

Of course, another strategy for beginners is to throw the unfamiliar at your opponent and see if it shakes them into losing. Tengen Sanrensei might have been an attempt at that - can’t really argue with that.


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Thoughtful points! Especially about beginners and experimenting. I would leave it there, but I just realized AlphaGo Teach evaluates tengen move 5 as really terrible. It loses 4.5% win rate compared to invading a corner. But this is a computer player. Maybe for human beginners the difference is not so severe.

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