Requesting review: simple 9x9 24k vs 16k

Very short 9x9 game against a more experienced player.


  1. White’s second move was an attack, and I wasn’t sure what the best way for black to respond was.
  2. At move 12, white advanced towards the right half of the board. I didn’t know how black should respond, and I think I did so poorly.

I’m very new, both to Go and to OGS. Part of my question is the best way to request reviews. How do you refer to areas you would like reviewed? Is this the best place to ask for a reviews? Is there some special way to post games on OGS that makes them easier to review?

Thank you!

Asking for reviews in the forums is usually the best way. Sometimes you can get a quick review by asking in the main chat rooms, but like this asking for and getting a review is a more thoughtful process for both parties, and that’s generally a good thing, right? Also, the record of the review is more visible and lasting if it is linked in the forums like this.

Anyway, you wound up losing everything in that game, but hopefully I’ve pointed out some of your basic mistakes, answered your questions and better framed your conception of the game so that you can improve more efficiently:

Getting a better handle on local fights is probably the most important thing for you at this time. When the position is complex and you sorely need to capture a stone or two to maintain your connectivity or eyespace, you will simply lose if you can’t find an opportunity that is there. If you can’t get what you deserve in these kinds of situations, then you will have to back down from every possibility for a fight and play so conservatively that you simply lose, which was also what was happening on that board as Black’s early game only yielded a very cautiously defended group in the southeast.

Improving your tactics will improve your confidence to play more ambitiously. When your stones spread out more efficiently into the big areas early on, you will also be in a better position to handle fights. There’s a kind of a virtuous cycle here that can be pretty palpable at the beginner level.


Thank you so much for the comments and he review! I’m beginning to work through it now, but the comments were so great I had to stop and immediately come say thank you :smile:

Already I can tell I’ll be referring back to this several times before I can fully understand everything. Thank you, you’re helping me understand how to get better!


Also, few more meta questions:

  1. How do you usually read reviews? I read through your comments on how play actually went, and then I worked backwards through your variations. Is there a particular way that is more skillful?
  2. If I have questions about your analysis, where do I ask? It seems like it would be most useful to respond to your comments in the review, but I don’t see a place to do that?
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  1. Yes, that’s basically how it goes. The main thing (especially with reviews as I try to make them) is to be attentive to the tree. Usually a comment indicates whether I’m proposing a move next turn or an alternative choice for this turn, and when I’m saying that a move is bad I will try to give you an idea of why it’s bad in the very comment on which the move is placed. But yes, some explanations are clearer when comments are focused on particular consequences of an earlier bad move, and there’s no avoiding this. And if you don’t recall what actually happened then it is especially good to review the main line first. I see no problem in your approach as you have described it.

  2. There are two text boxes in any review. One is for the reviewer’s comments which bind to particular nodes, and one is for regular chat. Unfortunately there is no way of giving you the power to directly attach questions to my comments, but the good news is that the regular chat box allows you to post variations with the analysis tool (there’s a toolbar for titling and posting the variation right above the chat box). Asking your technical questions there is not at all a bad idea, since you can use variations to show exactly what you mean. On the other hand, I won’t really know that you have any questions at all until you notify me in the forum or by private message on the server. Replying in the forum again has the benefit of keeping other interested parties up to date, so I would say that it is preferable. Also, sometimes the reviewer might say that they don’t really know the answer to your question and open up the floor to stronger players. The forum makes it easier to gather advice from other sources in this way.


I agree with your analysis that I need to work on my basic local fights. I’ve been solving go problems on, and I’ve started reviewing SL’s basic instinct section. In your opinion, what is the best way to work on this aspect of the game?

Thank you again :smile:

The basic instinct section looks okay and covers a lot of local shape stuff.

goproblems is okay but disorganized. I recommend more ordered collections that give you some means of paging through problems and solving them in your head quickly without many clicks. The best free online collection at the beginner level that I know of is here: note that you can change the rank in the address to go to a problem collection for a stronger or weaker player. Tasuki Tsumego also has some good booklets of progressively harder material, but if you work at it carefully and systematically review problems that you’ve solved, I see no reason at all why the elementary cho chikun booklet should be beyond your grasp. You will probably also be able to find some good smartphone apps, but that environment is chaotic.

Part of what you need to train yourself in is recognizing some of the tactical situations you might find yourself in so that you can think systematically about them. I’m thinking especially about capturing races like the one I reviewed in your game, and tried to show the benefit of switching to a systematic analysis there to decide which side to defend on. If you can’t bear to give either side up when split, then defend the weaker side. Many of the ideas in Go are about that simple, but if you don’t try to invoke the idea, you won’t look for the weaker side, and you’ll play the wrong move. Similarly, if you don’t know that you are in a capturing race, you may not realize that you can probably switch from raw combinatoric analysis to counting liberties.

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