Crawl instead of taking open area?

In the mid game AI kept telling me to E3 instead of taking the open side on the right. This doesn’t make sense to me because the right side has more potential the extend towards the center. Can someone explain this to me please?

Same with R10. I thought it was good because it had more potential to extend to the center. I don’t see why it would be so much worse than R8 which that only takes like 3 points to the side.

Your F3 group is weak; the AI keeps telling White to attack it. Also E3 would pressure White while strengthening you. On the R file, R8 cuts White.

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Still I can’t imagine W getting past my H line. Feels like I’m only securing 1 or 2 lines while the right side can take like 7 rows upward.

E3 is pretty good for White; it greatly strengthens the corner and pressures the lone stone. And H5 is also good for White, creating the start of a wall and pressuring Black. Black hane response creates a cut-point, but extension allows White to extend the wall. Urgent takes priority over big, but it is hard to know how urgent the weak group is. The AI thinks it is urgent for Black. H5 by Black would also be strong; it mirrors the situation of the E3 F3 points.


I wouldn’t worry too much about E3. I think it’s big because white has to respond or else the cut at D4 wrecks white’s corner. That requires reading and starting a running fight with a weak group to exploit, which I wouldn’t recommend at your level. If white plays E4 first, you have to respond not because the single stone is in danger, but because a move like K3 becomes a lot harder to deal with. If both players respond locally, then it only nets you something like 4 points, but it’s an urgent move because either player can get it for free, because ignoring it leads to a huge potential loss. The general rule is “urgent before big”, but if you can’t read well enough yet to tell why the move is urgent then you shouldn’t make the move. Your instinct towards “find the big point” is absolutely correct and is what you should be trying to learn.

For R8, the cut is way better because it gives you good strong shape and a chance to break out towards the center from a good position on the side. When white cuts you, you end up pulling back along the side, and get a small weak group at R11. That kind of weak group has almost no prospects at becoming territory. If you cut at R8 and press white down against the side, giving up the R11 stone, you end up with a strong group facing the center. You could even capture the single cutting stone at Q8 for immediate profit and extra strength. All of that builds on your bottom moyo, which is your biggest source of potential profit on the board. Extending that upwards is how you’re going to win the game, not by carving out territory in the center of the board. You aren’t getting third line territory on the right: you’re aiming for 8th line territory on the bottom.

I’m guessing your thought here was that the weak group would link up to the top group and give you a framework. The two problems with that are that doing so doesn’t build territory as well as extending up from the bottom, and that it doesn’t work. For the first point, building territory as a bubble in the center is tough to do. To link up to your top stones, you’ll be extending around your opponent’s strong group in the top right. That means you’ll be open for attack, and that most of your territory will be disconnected from the side. You’re building three walls and trying to defend against reduction on three fronts if you do that. Building the bottom, and building strong groups on the edges of that moyo, not only gives you territory, but also provides strength to fight against invasions in that area. For the second point, as white showed in the game, you’re locally weak and don’t have time to link up to the top. Cutting would mean you’re the one that gets to do the leaning on a weak group for strength, and would keep your side well connected.


Bottom right was already secure so I thought I might as well strengthen where I’m weak. After playing a few variations it seems it really is better to build on where you’re strong. Thank you.