Review for a 23k vs. 20k, focus on beginning moves

This is a game I played a while ago. If anyone has any insights about my play, or is willing to write a review, it would be great. Personally, I don’t know how to open a game strong, and it leads to me losing the game.

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So this is true for 19x19 but especially so for smaller boards. You want to develop corners first, then sides, then middle. Your first three moves say “you can have my corner, I’ll make territory in the middle”

If you’re playing handicap games it might be a good idea to look up a few 4-4 (hoshi) josekis. In this case, L10 might have been a better response to your opponent playing L9 first.

I second the joseki comment. I also agree with taking territory if you are playing with a handicap, that’s what I prefer.

Honestly, your opening didn’t seem to be the weak point to me, at least in this particular game. It seems like you value influence over territory in the opening, nothing wrong with that. I do think the territory you gave in exchange for the control over the center was somewhat not in your favor (subjective opinion), but I don’t think it lost you the game.

I think the game could have gone in your favor if you played a different move from move 24 G5. I would have played it at D7. G5 24 builds a moyo, but D7

  • prevents D11 from advancing and building his moyo
  • builds a moyo for you with the help of stone D4
  • it weakens the attacking G7 by threatening to cut it off from D11. You probably cannot kill stone G7, but you can simultaneously attack it while building territory on the sides. Meanwhile, white will struggle to live in the middle. Or it has to run away to D11 and not surround territory while doing so.
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I made review -

Very nice game - amazing use of wall and you stayed connected. Just play more games and get feel for which area is important / when to tenuki and you will not be beginner for long.

about josekis - A FEW is key here. better understand one or two (whats the point of those moves) than being confused by memorizing many.


I second this.

2 things:

  1. I think it is possible to kill L11, as commented on one of your moves.

  2. Why are moves 108, 110. 112, 114, and 116 a loss of a point? Would I just claim that those stones should be removed in the remove stone phase after the game?

Also, side note, if you’re down for another review, here’s another 13 by 13 game. It’s closer, losing only by 0.5.

That is exactly what that phase is for. Every extra stone you play in your territory that you don’t need costs you a point.

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ad 1) point of that move order is to FORCE opponent to capture your stone, you play stone on L11 and opponent needs 2 moves to kill it - you gained usefull stone on J11 for very low cost - succesfull sacrifice. (L11 stone had no hope of living anyway at that point) when you blocked other side of opponents corner group (easily alive at that point) he had an option to play J11 himself instead of capturing stone (he can always capture it later if he needs to, L11 will have no hope of living at that point. That way he would get rid of you stone with just 1 move so no you dont gain free move)

ad 2) BHydden already answered it. (assuming japanese rules) Every group need to BE ABLE to create 2 eyes* to live at the end of the game, if group cant it counts as prisoners like captured stones (so you get 2 points for territory + 1 for dead stone compared to 1 point for territory + 1 point for prisoner -> -1 point) Capture dead groups only when you need to for some reason (you need liberties for group that surrounds dead group etc)

  • there may be some special cases like seki, but dont worry about them for now

EDIT: quickly looked at your other game - this time too much aggresion (stay connected, find good middle ground) + start in corners (its easiest to make living groups and territory in corners) + capturing dead stones again.