Back from hiatus

I am a serious chess player who began playing Go regularly last February. After over 200 correspondence games on this site and some studying, my ranking was around 16 kyu. Playing Go seems to have improved my chess (which had plateaued for a while) and I did very well in my last two chess tournaments. Last November, I went on hiatus, but I have just returned and have completed two games.

Am I still playing at a 16 kyu level? I can still remember basic principles like “corner-side-centre”, but I cannot tell whether I am applying them correctly.

Here is the first game :slight_smile:
I tried to not put too many things so that you understand the important ones.
You did well in taking corners, surrounding opponent groups (and seeing that you are ahead ? ). You seem to have some problems on basic direction of play (see review).
My comments go until move 40 where i do a quick recap of important ideas.
Hope that it’ll be useful.

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And here’s the second :slight_smile:

I think you definitely have an idea of the basics but need more practice identifying urgent and bigger moves. In this second game there were a few slow moves that put you behind , but once you get past these phase of playing slow you will improve very fast.

Not a full review, but go to the very end of the game. I wanted to point out that neither one of your groups is alive yet.


Thank you for the review! To be honest, I did not see that I was ahead, and as introductory books barely cover direction of play, I had the impression that it only becomes important closer to SDK level.

Looks like my fundamental flaw was thinking my group at the top was in danger, when it was not. I agree that I need to work on identifying urgent and bigger moves, which tsumego (at least at my level) do not cover.

I actually felt those two groups were weak, but could not find the way to kill them.

Notice that the shapes are nearly identical. The lower-left is much more complicated, because of the ko. But you should be able to work through the top shape with some practice and be able to kill that one.

I don’t mean that as a scolding. I’m saying that at your level you can get this, but you do need to do basic life-and-death problems.

User “mark5000” made some excellent beginner puzzles here:

The shape and technique needed for killing that top group is a direct sibling of the concepts in these puzzles. If you practice these and get to where you can solve them you’ll be multiple stones stronger.

Probably, yes. It’s clear from the thumbnails that you understand the game on a basic level.

Currently, no. Corners-sides-center is more than placing moves 1-4 in the corners. It’s a shorthand for judging where the most points are at stake in any given position, even as late as move 80. The CSC principle is meant to stimulate active play, hitting the biggest points around the board in the general order corners-sides-center.

You’re not doing that, currently. Each game ended with only one big group, and you placed no stones in the right side areas, including those corners. The inference I draw is that you’re overly focused on growing your own area and missing big moves because of that narrow focus. I have some suggestions below:

  1. Try making a second group early, once you are reasonably safe, and not intending to connect up to any prior stones. Once these are reasonably safe, try making a third.
  2. Check your opponent’s intention. Go is a conversation. If during that conversation your opponent says they want something, try asking them how much they want it (using stones instead of words).
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Since I know the bulky-five shape, I agree that I should have figured out the top one. The first move was the key that I missed.

Thanks for the suggestion. I have been trying that in my recent games. Since two just finished, you can see how well (or badly) my attempts were. In the first game, my separate group at the bottom had to hang on for dear life, while in the second, I ended up connecting two large groups (the third had to be kept separate) because it seemed the right thing to do. Guess I am too used to simply trying to keep my stones connected and the opponent’s disconnected (even Lessons in the Fundamentals mentions this as a key principle).

In theory, a two-space extension on the third line should be able to create a living group, but in practice, I do not know how to make such a group live without significant overall concessions.

You’re welcome. I see you made two groups in each game above, but noticed you never took it a step further and made three groups. I looked at the first game record and I think I found why: you’re spending too many moves defending your second group. To maximize efficiency of your stones, you should learn the difference between “completely safe” and “safe enough, for now.” See detailed comments below.