Advice about a position from my game (20k vs. 20k)

In the following game:

At move 69, I (black) was confident I had full control of the center territory, and passed.

White invaded and quickly crumbled my entire position.

So my questions are:

  1. Would it have been safe to pass in this move, if the game was between professional players who would not make any silly mistakes later on?

  2. Regardless of #1, given that I am nowhere near professional and bound to make mistakes unless the defense is easy… What should have been my clues that my position wasn’t as strong as I thought? Too much space between the border lines? Border made of groups which are too small? With too few liberties? Some combination of the above?

I’d like to be able, next time, to better assess the strength of my borders, and the best ways to bolster them.


I shared a variation in the game which was the first thing I thought of when I got to the point in the game where you passed and I began to analyze the position.

First I saw the cut points in the upper left for you*. Then I wondered what would happen if white took one of them. So I read it out and discovered that white could break in. I did not check to see how white went about doing this; it was enough to confirm that white should be able to do it in at least one way.

So first off, learn to recognize weak points and shapes, in this case: cuts. Then, once you recognize them in game, try and read out if your opponent can take advantage of them. It won’t always be so straight-forward as cutting directly, so be careful. If you have trouble with the first part, just keep playing games and trying to recognize weak points and reviewing games where you think you missed a weakness to try and find out what the weakness looked like before it was taken advantage of. Eventually you will start to recognize these weaknesses as (or even before) they come up. If you’re having trouble with the second part, do tsumego. The better your reading gets, the better you will be at evaluating your weak points.

Just connecting simply probably works here, but the important thing is to locate the weakness. Reading it out afterwards is good, but you’ll get better at that with practice and tsumego.

_* Note: there are other cut points, but I did not read any of them even a little bit.

  1. No. See @Samraku’s variation in the game.

  2. Without reading, I notice Black is ahead by more than one point (27.5 points?) so the cost of investing a move to defend is really low. It would increase your chance to win even if it reduced your total score.

Now if you’re greedy and are playing for score, do you still need a move? Probably, yes. Again, without reading, you could notice there’s 3 spots to cut. There’s 4 groups with 3, 3, 3, and 4 liberties. Does it feel dangerous to you? It should.

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Thanks for the replies!

And yeah, I know my alleged territory was far greater than white’s so continuing play would be correct anyway… But I am greedy :smile:. And also, in my silliness I was more confident that the territory was mine than that it was more than the opponent’s.

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IMO, the hardest thing to learn is not to be too greedy. If you’ve got way more than half the board and you’re playing someone of the same rank who didn’t make any huge mistakes, there are probably deadly weaknesses. Step back a bit and fix your weakness and you’ll be more certain of winning. Play not so you can win, but so you can’t lose.


A fellow 20k who can’t follow his own advice :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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