Hopeless kyu dies again - review request

Thank you in advance for your cruel honesty.

The top went bad fast. AI says to the right, which of course it does, but could have anything worked on the top?

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after that white stone is there its too late

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you could do something like that:

but, you needed more stable top left corner to have time for that



You asked for cruel honesty.

You need to work on your basic local shapes, moves like 65 and 105. These are things where looking at a small area of the board, like 4x4 is enough. Asking about big picture things like what happened on the top is like asking for feedback on the thematic structure of your novel when you can’t yet spell the word “the”.


when you have weaknesses everywhere, you will have time only to defend those weak stones, you will not have time to choose where to move


I will echo the “basic shapes” advice - since that is the one I usually give anyway - and add “forcing moves/sente” and asking yourself “what does this move do?” before playing it.


You have a full triangle with a move pending, the opponent has an incomplete table shape

There are still many local moves left that are very important and sente. In that regard, what does c10 do?
Sure you can tenuki during a joseki or leave a sequence unfinished or change the order of moves, but those moves will also have to be sente and more important than the local sequence you left in the middle.

In a single phrase: “That is an advanced technique for later
At DDK it is better to learn what works first and then you can decide that “hey this move is not that good now, this one is better, I’ll tenuki and return later since I will retain sente after the sequence I plan on playing”.

In this case the AI is screaming to play e17, not only now but many moves later when other local fights are going on. It is that good/important/sente of a move.

In order for this to work and review to have a result, I would like to ask a question. Now that the game is completed, why do you think it is a good move?

Example 2, since you asked about top right:

Playing s15 is a standard forcing move and sente. It is practically a free move in the local fight. Why? because if white plays elsewhere, s17 kills his stones.

There is no cut at q15, in case you play s15. Why? Because there is a simple net there. Here is the sequence (white’s X marked stone is in dire peril):

Else, you are safe and you have a weak white group which is floating with no base and white’s corner is dead since it is Black’s turn:

If White plays 6 to defend the corner, it is probably still dead:

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Sorry, where?


It would be unfair to not give any review.
On my own opinion, @Uberdude comment is the most pertinent, as you miss some simple moves which work (cutting connecting and more…) so it looks like sometimes you are overdoing.
i’ll be less concerned with direction of play, as you improved a lot and your moves are getting more consistent on this side (which you can still steadily improve ofc).

So mostly when you feel a move would magically do all what you wish (65 105 as pointed), be careful and check with a bit of reading that you didn’t forget something, and if another more straight answer won’t be better afterall.
Maybe a good time to go read (in the “study” sense. Find the sequences by yourself) tesuji, the book. Or go problems for beginners vol3?
Something like that if you find some fun in it.

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We can quibble if we like, but in this case if that is the definition of it, then there are rarely any “empty triangles” in any game what-so-ever.

The fact of the matter is simple, whenever such a shape is played in the openings/joseki it is strongly suggested that it is re-inforced/expanded by the next move. In this case:

For another example, one of the most classic/simple joseki:


Can someone ommit move 7 and play elsewhere and leave that group hanging and ripe to be attacked?
Yes, as I said earlier, it can be done.
Is this a DDK tactic? No, it is not.

Is this “joseki”? Josekipedia says yes:

Are there boards where this can be playable? Yes.
Is it a DDK tactic? No.

That’s because… it’s a bad shape. So indeed it’d a bit more common in beginners games, where they don’t see yet the advantage to not share the same liberty with 2 stones.
Anyway, sensei library may provide a bunch of examples to go further.
And sorry, an empty triangle is by essence not a plain one. It’s empty


In my opinion you should try to get out of your comfort zone if you want to improve. This can be painful and may result in worse results in the short term, but help you learn “higher level techniques” (i.e. get you out of a local maximum).
Here’s my suggestion: Pick one topic that you want to improve in, e.g. “good shape” has been suggested. Then come up with a stipulation for your games that will help you focus on just this specific topic.
For example for topic “good shape”: “Play opening normal, and afterwards always answer the opponents move locally, trying to make a strong shape, without playing too held back, and attack the weakness in opponents shape when you think it is appropriate. Don’t even think about playing away, unless there is no local move, e.g. during the endgame.”
It is important to remember that this stipulation needs to be abandoned eventually, because it is not part of “good play”. Even so, I believe that this is a viable strategy to improve, and perhaps most importantly, it forces you to leave your comfort zone.
When you feel that you have improved your understanding of shape, it will be time to switch to another topic. Then come back to the forums with a new game to review (and mentioning the stipulation). If reviewers verify that your shapes have improved, then move on to another topic to improve on. Otherwise continue your shape training, trying to put the reviewers comments into action over the board.

I really belive that this kind of strategy is underrated and worth considering.


I can verify this is a study tactic that works for me. I mean, making a point to work on a theme each time. It’s easier to maintain during a live game, but I’ll make it a point to write it in personal chat during corr games.

It kinda hurts when my rank sinks, but I do enjoy trying new things, so it will balance out. :slight_smile:


Indeed, you won’t find many empty triangles in the earlier parts of stonger players’ games, because they are a notoriously bad shape (inefficient). Full triangles on the other hand are good shapes.

Example: Black made an empty triangle. It is empty because there is no white stone at P15.
White made a full triangle. It is full because there is a black stone at Q16.


Many joseki are about making good shape, avoiding making bad shape, and denying good shape to your opponent.

I’ll use this (partial) joseki to illustrates this process:


White 5 makes a full triangle (good shape).

Black doesn’t play 6 at P16, because that would make an empty triangle. Jumping to O16 maintains good shape.

White plays at 7 to deny black the good shape follow-up move at P17 and at the same time it threatens to push and cut with P16.

Black 8 at P16 would work to defend against the cut, but it would make an empty triangle (inefficient), so black tries to defend in a different, more efficient way.

Making a bamboo joint at O15 or a table shape at O14 would be a good shape defence for black, but pros consider N14 even better. It doesn’t fully defend against white’s push & cut, but it would be bad for white to go ahead with that after black N14, because even if the ladder is bad for black, black can sacrifice O16 to build a powerful wall:


So instead of that push & cut, white usually jumps out at N17 or R14 after black N14 (choosing the most important side to reduce).


The post has been editted. :slight_smile:

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It’s not quibbling, it’s the heart of WHY the EMPTY triangle is bad. There’s actually a follow-up lesser known proverb “the full triangle is good shape”. The EMPTY triangle is bad for 2 main reasons:

  1. It’s bad for liberties as the liberties of the 2 wings pointing into the empty space are shared. A 2 stone stick has 6 liberties. Adding the empty triangle 3rd stone makes the chain of 3 stones have 7 liberties. If you make a 3 stone stick it has 8 liberties. 8 > 7.
  2. It’s inefficient for expansion: if you have a wall of 2 stones and no opponent stones about, you can safely make a 1 space jump from those 2 and it’s still connected. But if there’s an opponent stone in the ‘empty’ space, that 1 space jump is not a safe expansion because the opponent can push through.

I was going to mention the bad tenuki from the urgent top left corner in my comment, but I didn’t because it is not about basic local shape. The local shape emptiness or not of the triangle is not important there, it’s about not getting groups sealed in and identifying urgent points, but that’s a more difficult topic than basic local shapes, which I identified as the most important thing for Gia to work on to improve.

On the topic of less being more, this diagram should have ended at move 7.

The lesson here is that 1 is sente to capture two stones at 5 and connect all the black stones, so there is no worry about white 4 saving the “cutting” stone of 2. Whether or not the white corner then dies afterwards is irrelevant, it’s already great for black.

In fact, for a 16k review, don’t even bother showing the atari of 2, just say “1 is sente”. Yes, there is a question “But can white not answer immediately (after which black could connect if she wishes) but play the cut of 2 in sente and then defend, and then can black capture 2 or not?” but this is not a question that a 16k is likely to ask and so doesn’t need answering and complicating the siutation (if the answer was “no” there is more reason to raise it yourself, as you are otherwise giving a potentially incorrect answer against the strongest resistance even if that is over 16k level, but as the answer is happily “yes” it’s fine to skip over to give a shorter and more helpful lesson).


The advice was “unless there are other amazing moves on the board or you can guarantee yourself ending up with sente again, do not leave joseki/local fights unfinished during the opening, especially when there are good sente moves to play that would take advantage of the opponent’s bad shape”.

I could have called the shape the “upside half-chewed apple slice” and that advice would still have been valid. :melting_face:

As I said, the original post has been editted. Now it says “You have a full triangle with a move pending” and nothing of value has changed on the advice being sound or not.

But that was what she was afraid off and played p15.
The main thing that needed to be answered was why s15 was actually better than the move played (p15) and that by playing a sente move there (s15), you do not have to make a gote move (p15) that still leaves weaknesses (as shown in the game itself).

Well, the main concern here is a cut at Q15. The solid connection here may have been better to not endure 2 atari later.
I an not sure at all that it’s the right time to descend at S15

  • that’s a good ko threat
  • i may aim later at playing at S18 if white get enclosed

But ok as soon as they were no real hope on the top that sente move went essential to ensure a good connection toward the side.
Besides i don’t have a so strong opinion against C10. If white can tenuki after C15 then make a base on this side, it seems not a so bad idea,.even i’d say a move with imagination and experimentation.
I think there are other sides in this game more problematic, like some basic guess the right move in a configuration (moves 65,105)

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To be honest, it’s very difficult to predict what might work or not work in a game where both players leave crucial moves hanging for many dozens of moves.

From move 32 until move 93, the AI keeps saying that black should link up their groups with Q12 and white should cut black’s groups with Q12. So the fighting at the top was largely missing the point.

I don’t think this is a shape or tactics issue per se. Maybe it’s more myopia, both players focusing so much on the move the opponent just played that they forget everything that has been going on earlier elsewhere. Maybe both players should zoom out more often to scan the rest of the board and remind themselves of the other fights that were abandoned along the way.


I missed similar move myself today : )

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