Attach-to-almost-everything-style

Hey guys I have a question.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not thinking that I’m better than those guys I will talk about right now. I just want to know, how to deal with something like this.

It’s seems to me, that in the lower kyu levels (so where I play) there are some players, that have this “i-attatch-to almost-every-stone-you-put-on-the-board-style”.

By now I had a few games against those kind of players. I won and I lost.

It feels like there is no real opening. You just want to start the game but after the corners are taken, they just attach almost every stone you lay and there is not a real development in this game. I can imagine that realy good player know what they do when they play like this on the 19x19 board. But in my Kyu level around 18 to 25 I can’t imagine that they realy now what they are doing. Just disturbing the other player. Yes and sometimes it works, cause i dont know how to handle it… :smiley:

So does someone have some ideas or so how to handle this?

Thx guys! sorry for my poor english. I’m from germany ^^

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Keep cool, build up strength and exploit their weaknesses.
Just an example.If you start answering a cross cut with extending move, you will build up strength.
And do realise that those blind attackers/attachers don’t pay much attention to defending their groups.

Good luck (and destroy those blind attackers).

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Eh, should probably add some context - this is a high dan player doing a “tsuke” challenge, meaning each move is either attach or extend. So you can see even for high ranking players it is not a situation to deal with easily, and can be a “valid” strategy.

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jxhe plays most games like this
so you need to open games where jxhe lost to see how to win against this

this program has bot that plays locally only

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I think it’s important that you follow the advice you’ve been given here even when you suspect that it’s too slow, that it’s going to cost you the game. That will certainly be true in some games. But as you gain experience you’ll get a better sense of how secure your groups are and how much flexibility you have. Then it becomes possible to make a series of adjustments that will make you more competitive. You can’t avoid fighting completely, and the game probably wouldn’t be very interesting if you could. But you do need to avoid fighting simply for the sake of fighting. Be patient, stay with the plan, and play the game that suits you best.

If I could express myself in German half as well as you do in English I would feel pretty good about that. No need for apologies.

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I agree - this type of fight-focused style is quite common with 18-25kyu. I wrote a bit about it in the first 2 sections of this 19x19 FOR BEGINNERS article - see if this helps:

The 30 words or less version is - wait until your stones are just settled(1) in one area and then tenuki(2) and play the biggest move on the board for that stage of the game(3)

CAVEATS
1 - you have to understand what it means for your stones to be settled in one area
2 - you have to have some understanding of the right time to tenuki and the best place to do so
3 - you have to understand the shifting priorities of the various stages of the game to see what the “biggest move” at that point might be.

good luck!

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generally there are a couple situations:
A) the stone attached to was kinda weak: usually in this case what you should do is focus more on making your stone stronger, sometimes hane-ing, but aware that the hane invites the cut. To be really solid you can just nobi away.

or

B) The group attached to was somewhat strong: here you can be a bit more aggressive, but not always “I kill you” aggressive, just “I can push you around where I want you to so I can make profit” aggressive, and sometimes if it’s not any real threat to your groups or territory you can just ignore.

notable is that attaching is usually not a great attacking strategy (unless it is also a cut), as most of the time attaching just provokes the attached stone to get stronger. But you also have to recognize if you let him cut and make things complicated, you might run into some real issues.

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You can check (in sensei library for example) articles on “hane at the head of two stones” and “double hane tesuji”.
A main reason to not attach everywhere is that it leads to bad shape. Exploit that but with some reading of course to back up.

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thank you all for your reply! I will check out and read what you recommend!

@tonybe Where can i find your Beginners series: Part 1 and 2? Does they have a different name? With the search I can only find 3 to 5

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Thank you for your feedback! The links to the previous 5 articles are at the very bottom of the STAGES OF THE GAME article (sorry it’s so long!)

Otherwise, you can always find the full, updated list of articles on the OGS COMMUNITY RESOURCES page here:

https://forums.online-go.com/t/ogs-community-go-resources/28982

Third heading down - OGS Forum Article Tutorials, under
tonybe’s 19x19 FOR BEGINNERS SERIES

and hit the little triangle on the side. Enjoy!

As an aggressive player myself, and mostly favor the camp of sharp and brute strength (not afraid the thickness, even increase opponents’ thickness with my own build up), contact fighting moves are still common in my play. Although, sometimes the attachment is more of a trick move, and sometimes it’s just tricky tesuji.

So, when you find some particular attaching moves hard to answer, don’t get annoyed, but learn to embrace them sometimes and remember them. Can’t beat us, join us :facepunch:

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Hey Claire - so I took a look at your OGS profile, and it looks like you are currently 5 dan. I wanted to suggest a fun challenge:

Take another look at your excellent advice above - and now try unpacking every individual concept (thickness, benefits/weaknesses of attachment, tricky tetsuji, etc) and imagine explaining them to a 25kyu player who does not yet understand what it means for their stones to be settled in one area, or how their cutting stones create weaknesses.

In my experience - it very quickly becomes like taking apart a Russian doll where unpacking one concept suddenly leads one to realize all the other concepts that it uses as a foundation - and now you have to explain those concepts.

This is not to discourage you from sharing your expertise, but to try and create more bridges between Go players at various levels.


I think this meme can describe what those would be like, just adding Volume 2: attaching, crosscut, and semeai with spectacular results (not :woman_facepalming:) .

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I’ve been wanting to grow my attacking skills lately and am wondering if it is worth it to try out this style of play. That is can I myself learn something by attaching to everything my opponent plays?

I’m afraid I’m growing to afraid to take risks and end up playing to passive, allowing my opponent to over extend and not responding with severe moves.

Long time ago, I was teached that contact move is more a defensive move as an attacking move. So I dunno if it’s really the way to train attack

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well, there are generally 3 major weaknesses in go: liberty weakness, cutting weakness, and base weakness.

Liberty weaknesses are hard to inflict and take advantage of, and I would usually not recommend attachment as part of that.
Cutting weaknesses are the most volatile, and can achieve huge results when exploited successfully.
Base weaknesses are the most common to exploit, as that is the basis of basically every running fight ever.

To get better at attacking one must learn how to exploit these weaknesses for profit (and occasionally for killing, but the common advice is that the opponent has to kill themself before you can deliver the finishing blow)

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This is somewhat similar to what my teacher taught me (and scorned me a lot) - “Attacking your opponent with attaching would make the group stronger, and wait for your opponent to approach yours and then reinforce your defense by attaching the approaching stones, maximize the efficiency of your stones”.

However, over time, I come to have my own opinions, that contact fighting with purpose can make your opponent’s stones thick, but also over concentrated. If I can create a relatively strong group out of the contact, and force my opponent to extend or connect toward undesired directions, then I can keep my sente, and keep attacking, attacking, attacking. However, be aware that most contact fighting usually has variations involved semeai, or ko. And if the opponent chooses the risky variations, I’ll have to initiate the crosscut, forced to kill or be killed. Those usually lead to spectacular results (:ok_woman: / :woman_facepalming:)

I couldn’t count how many times, I was happily cutting my opponents, or reducing a group’s liberties, and then suddenly realized my seemingly natural response not threatening enough lead to a total disaster because I forgot some groups I left behind somewhere else weren’t completely alive yet, and the board is already too full to turn things around.

(General wisdom - it’s better to be extra careful and make sure to have a solid base, before initiating the attack if you are not sure the attaching would work out. And whatever the result of that game, you can analyze its success/failure easier, and treat them similar to tsumego problems and study them)

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https://igo-kifu.com/kifu/10105

Today, Ichiriki Ryo is going to demonstrate what strong attachment and contact fighting could do in pro games. He is one of the strongest brute strength players in Japan and favors aggressive fighting to a fault, where sometimes I can tell he just cannot resist the urge to fight when the chance arises.

Ichiriki’s move 22 Q11 asked : what moyo
move 42 M3 asked : what territory
move 52 N6 asked : I dare you to fight, or get sealed in.
move 66 S8 : An empty triangle? No.
By using three dead stones to force a semeai, Ichirichi said if you don’t want to die right now, better connect up.
move 82 F6 said : think those 3 stones are trapped? think again.
move 102 D14 : Attachment can also be used to build moyo, and pushing down your opponent, building influence all at once.

Ichiriki made this game feel like a teacher game.

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On the other hand, one the strongest women and upcoming star players, Ueno Asami (the hammer :hammer:), famous for her brute force approach, also demonstrated the wisdom of securing a strong base before rushing an attack definitely is a proverb worth keeping in mind.

Move 100 Q11 - just when she is happily attacking and winning, but leaving a bottom group wide open…

Move 107 black O4, tragedy strike. And the natural instinct to connect at P5 is the worse she could do.

Move 109 black Q10 clamped, the attacker now needs to save the stones that are being cut off and have little space to live locally.

Move 118 M8 tried to lean and start a fight, created even more cut-off groups. Fighting is not always good for you.

Move 124 K3, what’s keeping all the white group ahead in local liberties is sente, so if a move is not technically sente, you give control to your opponents.

Move 136 E2, being greedy and not watching out for liberties… it would cost you a game…

This is how “not to” do attach attack - turning a winning game into a disaster :woman_facepalming:

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I would suggest to work on attitude towards the game. Either your opponents play good moves with Their attachments or they don’t. In either case, it’s on you to learn how to handle the situation. At this level of the game, there is so much to learn that you can 100% focus on your own play and be in peace with the opponents and the game.
There’s equally much to learn in situations without attachments, but there it’s harder to see if you made a mistake.
So use the chance that your opponents attach to get direct feedback on what is working and what isn’t.

There’s no particular way that the game „should“ be played, and even though you sense that these attachments are not good moves (and you are probably right), your task is to play stable and good shapes, keep your stones strong and/or connected, hold on to territory and train to calculate accurately if your plans in a direct fight are working: are my stones really connected? Can I really capture these stones in a ladder?

Whenever you are convinced that a play is very annoying to deal with, take the freedom to try it yourself in a game and you will quickly learn how to handle it.

Best of luck!

P.S. at your level, I would suggest studying many tesuji problems that are a bit below your overall level to learn to „see“ good moves and calculate accurately.

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