How to prevent "chaotic" games?


some of my games become very chaotic at some point and by that I mean, it’s hard to tell (at least for me) which part of territory belongs to which player almost until the endgame. Those games are a little frustrating to play as I cannot recognize any direction of play and I am just lost. I does not happen often and maybe that’s why I don’t have a clue of how I can make it better. I mostly play correspondence and do not rush things, so this is not the reason.

Here are two examples of this: (be careful if you give any points to this one as it is still in progress)

Do you get what I mean? Any hints?

I can’t see how those two games were particularly chaotic I guess. Sometimes empty space is just empty space, and unsettled groups naturally are still unsettled. To get a judgement of which territory could be whose you could look at what sente forcing moves you have (often moves that fix shape/kikashi) and what your opponent has, and look at the result after that.

Also, if these games are ‘chaotic’ to you, do you have games which are not? Let’s see them.


I think what’s happening is you’re getting up to the ranks where people stop making mistakes to leave giant swaths of territory open. These don’t seem altogether that chaotic to me, but compared to some game with two or three living groups per player, and each player with some massive 40+ point group, it’s a lot busier of a board.


I second what pbgarden said. Those games look complicated and unsettled to my lowly eye. I get the same impression from the higher dan and pro games I’ve watched. I often feel lost in such games. If this explanation is correct, the good news is that those games of yours may represent occasions when you are stepping up to a much higher level of play. Congratulations!


I would like to learn how to create chaotic game. If it’s not clearly where is your territory, then you have chance to kill everything.

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@kajmaj87 I think those look like some reasonable middle game. At least I didn’t find them chaotic.

I would like to learn how to create chaotic game. If it’s not clearly where is your territory, then you have chance to kill everything.

You also have a chance to die horribly :slight_smile:
Look at krnzmb’s games. I’d say some of them are very very chaotic.

I think any of these feels “normal” to me:

@Conrad_Melville I hope that what you’re saying is true, thanks :slight_smile: If it is, then all I have to do is play more and get used to the new level of play, this is encouraging :smiley:

HUGE areas of territory and one player winning by 30+ points is only normal for very low levels


Off topic, I guess, but why did you resign in the second game you shared with us? The score estimator says you’re up by 0.5, and I can’t see any massive groups that are about to die?

Black is dead on the upper side.

Ah, I see, nasty! That’s just the sort of thing I’m always bad at spotting :frowning:

Is it dead? I can’t read it, would anyone mind to post a variation? :slight_smile:

This might help:

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Thanks for clearing that up. There was nothing I could do, so I gave up.

To get back to the original topic, you probably already heard this, but the mantra goes like this. If it’s your move first you check if all your groups that are not connected to two eyes are fine. If you are not sure about some group (and are not clearly losing) you first fix that group. If all is fine only then you search for a big point to play.

Sometimes it takes time to recognize if the groups are fine, but it will get better in time. The point is leaving weak groups on the board usually leads to trouble, because even though your opponent might not be able to kill them, he/she will get great advantage by chasing them around the board while you suffer to make life with little points they get strong at the rest of the board.


This is actually a very good tip. I didn’t think about it that way, I must try this approach (and of course revert it, find weak groups and became the chaser :stuck_out_tongue:)

oh, and you dont find weak groups, try to actively make them. aka create cutting points for your opponent near to your strong stones, then split! and chase him happily now. Reading about life and death would help you a lot to recognize good shape; recognize the vital points, and why they are sooo vital. try to play on points that help your splitting stones make shape while destroying that of the oppenent’s weak group; this way you can maximize your profit