Game Review(s) - Two games from OGS 1 game from KGS

Hello, good morning.

Ive been playing games since my last review. Last review the take-away was to be looking more into sente moves. Ive been doing my best to look at each position and finding moves that give me sente while settling the position.

The first game I want to talk about is: Game 1 where I played as black.
The general feeling of Game 1 was very positive. I enjoy building and influence and I feel I was able to make a lot of this.
I was very unhappy with the two-space jump result on the bottom center of the board but overall felt good again after getting in G8 and O8.
I was hoping on a review on this game, possibly making an emphasis on sente like moves and overall strategy.

The second game I want to talk about is: Game 2 where I played as white. Honestly, this game perplexed me with the final result. I won by Komi. I was positive for more than half the game that I was loosing brilliantly, but AI shows that I was winning by 20 points. I completly wasted away my middle board by not making correct shape, but the reason i bring this game up for review, is that I feel I could have had a different strategy for building and becoming stronger. I would love to hear someone elses input on this game.
Also, a question, on the upper right corner, after getting the ponuki shape, I doubted whether to play an extension on the eye or not. Maybe the shoulder hit at L16 would have allowed me to re direct the influence towards the upper left corner. Maybe there is no need to add a stone to the ponuki. Honestly that end result was good but I still dont know if I should have followed up or not. In-game I decided not to follow up and build on the middle board influence.

Finally, the last game I want to talk about is Game 3 where I played as white. I had a very good feeling about this game. I felt I was playing forcing moves while building my position, but in the end I lost by 20 points.

I cant seem to break past the 5 kyu barrier. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose and I still dont see what is going on.

Additionally, I am also trying to open up to the idea of tenuki and playing it from there.


I can set up a review and we can have a discussion on ogs if you want. I’ve played many games in a bad tired winter mood few weeks ago, so don’t get afraid when you see my rank, it doesn’t corresponds to my strength(or at least I hope so :slightly_smiling_face:).

1 Like

That’d be great :smiley: Let me know when you are available :smiley: Im free for the next 3 hours.

I’ll create a review in your first game

Interesting games, a good selection for review!

On a ten-minute flick through, I’m seeing three things:

  1. Big points. You can improve your sense of the whole board, what’s big, what’s urgent, what’s not worth worrying about at an early stage of the game. The clearest example is game 1, move 53. White’s atari on the previous move is a mistake. Just ignore it. Let them capture one stone, while you take a big point with move 53 at E6 or N6.

Several times you did more subtle versions of this, defending something small and neglecting another area of the board.

I’d suggest going through some pro games as a way to improve this. You don’t need to understand the games, just lay the moves out on the board and let it sink in at a subconscious level. Just try to pay attention to when they answer a previous move and when they go to another part of the board. It works better if you can find or make a diagram and lay the stones out on a physical board. And 1960s-1980s games are a little easier to follow than recent games.

  1. Be more assertive. Look for moves with a dual purpose: something that builds up your own position and also sets a problem for your opponent. Examples: game 1, move 17 is totally passive: white is free to do whatever they want. You want to approach or invade the bottom left corner first. Game 2, move 98 is more subtle. Your invasion only does one thing. If you play G11 instead, you’re enclosing the centre and also threatening a more severe invasion on the left.

  2. Shape. Keep working on your basic instincts. It’s not bad – I’m pleased you found the cut at game 2 move 44 – but it’s inconsistent, and sometimes you make very bad shapes. As well as Sensei’s Library, you can improve this by doing a lot of tesuji problems. I found the book “Making Good Shape” helpful here too.

A few other notes:

Game 1

  • Move 5: generally the high approach to a 4-4 point doesn’t work so well (compared to approaching the 3-4 point this way). You just give away too much territory in the corner. It only works as a special-purpose strategy, for example to build up an already existing moyo.
  • Move 35: basic instinct! You really need to play D6 here.
  • Other places where you played passively and could have taken big points: moves 25, 27, 55.

Game 2

  • Move 50: saving the three stones isn’t big. Do something with the top left or top right corner first.
  • Move 66: this is a rare example of where you should approach the 4-4 point high. Good move!
  • Move 74: this risks starting a family feud. Just play M13 instead, and reserve the threat of an invasion for later.
  • Move 96: shape! Extending at E9 is much more solid, and will help you defend the centre later.
  • Move 116: another family feud. K14 instead.
  • Move 122: shape! This empty triangle is where things started to go bad for you. Try J11 or K10 instead.
  • Move 124: think big points here. The centre is the most important thing in this game. Play H9 and sacrifice three stones.
  • Move 142: basic instinct says you must block. Play J9. Yes, black can atari at J12 and capture some stones, but you can make a wall and keep most of the centre, which is much better for you than what actually happened.

Game 3

  • This one was a bit different: it’s all about how you handled the weak group in the centre. The basic strategy is OK – grab territory on the sides, pay for it by having to scramble for life in the centre, and overall it comes out as a close game – but if you’re going to play this way, you need to keep a close eye on direction and make sure you don’t miss the big points.
  • Move 84: basic instinct. Just connect, don’t try to do anything too fancy. The connection would have made your life so much easier!
  • Move 88: this point the game is still close, just complicated. I would suggest playing L9 here. I understand what you’re trying to do with G8, keeping the three black stones cut off. But the gap at G9 means you’ll need to play an extra move there later, which puts you a move behind in the centre fighting.
  • Move 98: here it’s essential for your centre group to run out. A move later is too late: letting black get a stone at K12 makes a big difference. (And as Groin points out in the review, black could have attacked much more strongly instead of playing K12).
  • Move 138: this is close to a suicide run. You started another family feud here: in order to connect out with your invading stone, you allowed black to hurt the top left a lot. Instead, K17 is the dual purpose move, getting you some territory at top left while threatening a better invasion.

Hope some of this helps! Good luck smashing through that 5k barrier :slight_smile:


Thank you a lot for your input! Ill check these moves out as soon as I have some free time today.

The ideas you give are clear! Thanks you for the review! :smiley:

Here are some of the moves that might be questionable for Game 1.
Move 5 - Usually we don’t play this, corner is too huge for white this way.
Move 17 - Locally 1 space jump might be a little better than the 2 space jump. Globally, there are bigger points.
Move 27 - ??? At least make the 3 stone wall first then extend?
Move 35 - This is like a pass at this point. His corner is “safe”, your stones are safe. There are better moves than this one.
Move 41 - You probably need a move around M3 first before playing such move.
Move 53 - You can tenuki. If white takes, you just block.
Move 55 - This is very small. A better move might be N6.
Move 85 - Maybe H5 is bigger.
Move 91 - Feels natural to attack/kill his solo white stone, placing a stone around N5 feels best atm.
Move 99 - Blocking N5 feels better, blocking here, white can just connect at M4

Overall, I find you often play random moves out of the blue(IE. move 27,29,35) . You also often play “slow”/small moves. Usually we strive to play the “biggest” moves unless there are some urgent situations that we need to handle first. Once all the urgent situations are handled, we zoom out and look at the board, try finding like the biggest open space or something, or a big move you think opponent will play. Opponent’s vital points are your vital points, opponent’s big moves are your big moves.

You mentioned something about making an emphasis on sente. The point is when you play small/slow moves, you’ll lose sente.
Now imagine the scenario, opponent playing small moves, while you making big ass moves, opponents invade, you chase them around and gain massive influence/territory in the process. Now here we gained all those influence/territory in sente. Opponent still has no clue what he is doing, just responding nonstop to your sente moves. So you see my point between slow vs big moves? If you have have life and death situations, of course you answer locally to live.

Also the dream like scenario is getting free moves everywhere that opponent has to respond because they’re too big to be ignored. While your free moves are giving you huge advantage in game.

If you can find yourself stop making slow moves, followed by doing more tsumegos, you’ll break the so called 5kyu barrier with ease.

1 Like

That’s gold advice you should apply at each move. Live your game like a tournament game and determine without any break what is the best. Even if you don’t succeed every time.
But you will see if you put enough thinking in the review afterward.

1 Like