I won the ladder but lost the game lol 12k v 6k (no handi)

i can usually make it to 9k but have been playing faster games

in this game i won the ladder but lost the game, i must be missing something huge about how to play go

take a look if you’d like

thank you very much

Sorry what game? (No link)

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I am pretty sure that he is talking about this game:


Move 141 was not enough. White cannot disconnect you so you should go down instead and cut white in 2. That will have made a huge difference.(A winning one)

Move 75 was far too easy going. Why we say you cannot lose a game after winning a ladder like this? Because you got a kind of nuclear aircraft carrier in the middle of the board. With it in your back you can go fight hard everywhere, because white is handcuffed! 75 proves you didn’t get the idea. 95 and 119 too.

And 123. Wrong direction. Look that edge and corner of white. Look at your carrier. Time to jump inside. Even a 3x3 will be bigger as 123

So you played so shy that finally you lost.

In more general way, when you press or push you get strength, influence but this has a price (points to the other). If you repeat this multiple times you may finally get a territory in between the walls but then big chance it will be too small compared to all the points you gave to the opponent. So that’s why we say that 2 walls facing each other are not a good sign for the direction of play. The classic way to play when you have strength to use, like here is to push the weak stones of your enemy toward the wall. Not the opposite.


Congratulations, what an impressive feat!


I wrote comments for specific moves:

White 24 and the opportunity to enclose White in the corner in sente

White chose to take the initiative and play elsewhere with 24. It is not necessarily a bad idea, but now Black has the opportunity to enclose White in the corner in sente:


This would be great: it reduces the territory of White’s corner, and strengthen Black and weaken the White stone Q10. So you should do it as soon as possible. In the game you never played there, which allowed White to play this annoying sequence, and White ended up linking all their stones and making territory on the side:


Since S6 would have been sente for Black to play, and was played in sente by White in the game, it’s a really big loss. Double sente moves are considered really urgent since they’re completely “free” for both players.

Black 31, atari is a bad move

At move 31 you played an atari:

This is a mistake. After White answers the atari, the White stones are strengthened, and the two Black stones D10-E10 are weakened. After Black 33, White can play a hane at A or B, and this would be very annoying for Black:

If you hadn’t played atari, then White wouldn’t have been able to play hane. For instance, consider any of these two alternatives:

In both these variations, the two black stones D10-E10 look a lot stronger. They have more liberties, White cannot play the painful hane on their heads, they can easily escape towards the centre.

It’s also a case of the famous proverb “If you have to choose between two atari and you don’t know which one is better, then don’t play atari at all.” In the game you had to choose between two atari, so you shouldn’t have played atari at all:


Lucky for you, White didn’t play any hane, and instead let you extend and gain more liberties at moves 35 and 37, which make the end result very good for Black:


White also sacrificed two stones for no reason at moves 40 and 42, I think it was a reading error on White’s part. It strengthened your Black group D12 a lot, which made the situation even better for you.

Black 47, don't start a fight when you need to add a move

Then we have this sequence:

In the game, White played atari at A, a move which doesn’t achieve much except strengthening the White group a little. This gave you the opportunity to capture three White stones in a ladder, which is incredibly good for Black. However, if White had played at B instead of A, then the situation would have been dire for Black. The four Black stones around F10 would be nearly dead.

The reason why the situation got so dangerous for Black is because of moves 47 and 51. Those moves would be very good if they acted as double threats on the two White groups, so that while White is busy saving one group, you can take the other group in a ladder. This is what happened in the game because White made the mistake of playing at A. But moves 47 and 51 are not really double threats, since White could have played at B directly after Black 53 and didn’t really need to add a move to save the White group in the North.

So, moves 47 and 51 would have been good moves, if Black didn’t need to answer at 53. But since you need to answer at 53 when White plays the atari at 52, you can’t afford to start this complicated fight with 47 and 51, and instead you should choose a simpler sequence.

You could have avoided all this if you had played this much simpler sequence instead:

Now White still need to save the White group in the North; but all the Black stones have many liberties, and the Black stones around F10, H9 and K10 are pretty much connected. This is a much simpler fight for Black.

White 56-72, pushing the ladder for no reason

Then White pushed the ladder for no reason:

Pushing a losing ladder like this is game-breaking. White should not have played any of these moves. White should read the ladder, see that it’s good for Black, and play elsewhere. Don’t push a losing ladder!!

Black 93, answer the peep and don't fear for your invulnerable stones

Finally White played this sequence:

As I said before, Black could have avoided this by playing S6 first, in sente. Still, you were a bit too submissive in this sequence. You have a supersolid strength thanks to the ladder that White has pushed, so you don’t need to be afraid. For this reason, Black 93 looks bad. Black 93 looks like it is trying to protect the Black stones in the centre. But the Black stones in the centre are already invulnerable. Instead you could just connect your stone to make sure that White is cut and cannot connect to the corner:


This would make it much harder for the two White stones to live on the side.

Black 197, wasting a ko threat

Then you start a ko, which is very good:

But instead of playing a ko threat, you play at 107. What does 107 achieve? Nothing. It’s a move inside your own territory that doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t make territory, it doesn’t strengthen your stones, it doesn’t threaten the White stones, it doesn’t reduce White’s territory: it does nothing. It’s a wasted move, just like if you had passed in the middle of the game.

Instead you could play a ko threat, like A, or just a huge move elsewhere on the board, like B or C:

If you play B or C and White decides to connect the ko, then you get to play a second huge move, which will be very bad for White:

Or you could be even more aggressive and play a contact move as a ko threat, resulting in one of these two situations:

Black 127, a 'thank you move', again fearing for your invulnerable stones

At move 127 you helped White connect their stones:

Helping the opponent connect is rarely good. Instead you should either play the cut directly, or leave the cutting-point for later use; but don’t help your opponent fix their cutting-points!

The cut would have worked like this:

Remember that all the White stones which you captured in a ladder can be captured at any time, so the Black stones are super strong already. Black move 127 looks like its goal was to strengthen your already so-strong-they-cannot-be-stronger stones. Don’t play moves like this.

Black 141, Missing an opportunity to cut

Then we have this sequence:

Every move is good, except the last Black move at 141. Black 141 looks like a pretty shape, but it’s not immediately necessary, and at this point you should want to play at A instead to cut the White stones. So play at A now!!

The reason I said 141 wasn’t immediately necessary is because White cannot cut directly, otherwise White would get captured in a ladder:

Black 163, monkey jump and looking for alternative yose tesuji

Then we move on to the endgame. You played a monkey jump:


However, with 163 you end the monkey jump sequence in gote. That’s a bit disappointing, so you should try to look for alternatives. Here I can find two alternatives:


As a first alternative you can play P19 to threaten the cut at A.


As a second alternative you could play Q19 to create a good yose at B.

Both these alternatives would have been better than 163. In general when you end a yose sequence in gote you should look for alternatives. Sometimes there are no alternatives, but most of the time there are plenty of alternatives, and the more you search for them, the more you’ll learn to spot them easily.

Black 183, missing an opportunity for a flower-picking ko

Later you played the yose at 181:


It’s a good yose, but I find 183 a bit disappointing. It’s a protection move, protecting your Black stone that was in atari. However, the value of this Black stone is not very high, since if White captures it it’s a ko. The value of White stone 182, on the other hand, is pretty high: if you capture it, then you destroy White’s corner territory.

Because the value of White stone 182 is so much higher than the value of Black stone 181, White has more to lose than Black, so you should start the ko:


Now White has a lot to lose! If you win the ko, then White’s corner territory will disappear. But if White wins the ko, nothing happens.

In the game, White forgot to protect the cut, and you didn’t notice. The game ended with the cut still unprotected: