How to behave with clingy opponent

I ended spoiled and confused with some ultra sente “overplaying” (imho, sorry for them if I’m wrong) players.

Here two recent exemple :

Most of the time I follow, get overconcentred, scamming myself in some tsumego situation and I probably miss big moves, direction, counterpincer… I’m also maybe totally misjudging the whole problem ^^`

How would you play to keep your head clear with this kind of games ?

Thanks :pray:

Tough examples, for me it looks like in those games you were also playing really close to your opponent when you had sente. A lot of shoulderhits, attachments, and pushes in those games, espesially in the latter one and by both players.

I dont really know what else to do tho, sometimes its hard to maintain any safe distance even if you try to ://

I’d say

  • Defend your weak groups
  • Don’t defend your strong groups
  • Don’t help your opponent become stronger. Watch the opponent’s weaknesses.

For instance

  • in game 1, at move 41, it looks like you applied a classic tesuji to connect two groups. However these two groups are already quite strong: one group is a big wall, and the other has the corner. It would have been better to tenuki, or to attack the two stones N16 on a big scale. Instead of that you gave the opponent a ponnuki, which is a very strong shape.
  • What is the purpose of S14? Your corner group is already strong, no need to defend it. Better tenuki.
  • What is the purpose of moves 83 and 85? Everyone is strong around. You can play in bigger spaces.
  • At move 115 you create another weak group, although the central group is not safe yet. Better defend the central group first. If White plays at the bottom next, you can reduce later.
  • In game 2, at move 22, White has pincered instead of playing F3 as in the joseki. So continue in the corner with a move like E3 or F4. Put pressure on the stones D3 to make a strong wall. After that you’ll be able to attack the weak stone C8.
  • Move 27 looks wrong. In general, wedging like that makes the opponent stronger.
  • Move 33 gives a ponnuki to the opponent, which is rarely good. C7 would have been better. This links two black groups and captures C8.
  • Move 43 looks small. Better attack the stones on a big scale. I understand you want to remove White’s base, in which case playing at the vital point B12 is more promising, but perhaps attacking from the outside is better.
  • Move 55: is it really important to respond to that cut now? There are bigger spaces on the board.
  • Move 89 is too small. Both groups are safe, this is an endgame move.
  • Same for move 111.
  • Move 149 at Q19 is bigger. If you allow White to capture P19 then White has a followup with R19.
  • Move 215 should be at B16. This avoids the ko.
  • Move 229 should be at F17.

You seem to love cutting through a tobi by sacrificing a stone. You did that several times in both of those games.

If you want to cut a tobi and you have to choose between sacrificing a stone on the fifth line or on the third line, it’s almost-always better to sacrifice on the third line.

Offering a ponnuki on the fifth line, oriented towards the center, is rarely a good idea.

Offering a ponnuki on the third line, and surrounding it with a wall on the fifth line, is often okay.

Also, this move doesn’t work:

Your opponent can make sure that you can’t connect your groups if they play this way:

But you don’t even need to read that far to realise that playing inside White’s tobi like this is bad. After two moves you get this shape:

The four black stones marked with triangles form an empty triangle, a very inefficient shape. The two black stones marked with squares are isolated and surrounded by white stones.

Look at the whole board. Black has played a lot of nobi, resulting in thick and heavy groups. White has not played a single nobi. resulting in light and fast moves.

Try to avoid:

  • empty triangle, especially this early in the game;
  • too many nobi;
  • the kosumi-tsuke.

The kosumi-tsuke is this shape:

After a kosumi-tsuke, there are two alternatives.

Alternative 1: your opponent extends up with a nobi. As a result, your opponent is a lot stronger than before the tsuke, but you still have weaknesses.

Alternative 1 after kosumi-tsuke: opponent extends up.

Here is one way that White can exploit Black’s weaknesses after Alternative 1. This is not necessarily the best way, just one example.

White exploits the weaknesses after kosumi-tsuke alternative 1

Alternative 2: your opponent plays hane and atari. As a result, you have a very thick and heavy shape, while your opponent has a very light shape. This is what happened in the game.

Alternative 2: the game.

Note that kosumi-tsuke is not necessarily a bad move. But you play it a lot and always end up with the same shapes. I suggest trying to be more imaginative and play more varied moves, and avoiding the kosumi-tsuke can be a first step towards that goal.


Thanks for your wise and generous answers, and for have found and explained some of bad habits I have !

1 Like