Review request 10k vs 16k (handicap game)

Handicap games confuse me. I see small things that lost me the game, but I don’t know what lessons to take from them.

Any pointers welcome.


Just one very short remark: The double hane variation after 3-3 invasion isn’t trivial. Study it or avoid it for now.


Te idea in handicap games is that Black can fight with an advantage, so should keep White as weak as possible: pincer and separate white groups whenever possible, don’t give White the opportunity to take the initiative, harass weak groups. Unfortunately, due to two failed josekis, you lost a lot of your initial advantage and gave White too strong groups.

Also, you should avoid adding stones to your strong groups at early phases of the game, for instance moves 28 and 66. If there is no interesting local move, play elsewhere. Make points, or build large moyos. If you start making a big moyo, then the opponent will be forced to invade at some point, and you’ll make profit by attacking.


I understand 28, but why 66? I thought I was stopping W.

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You already made a ponnuki, which is strong, then added a stone D8, and have an extension at D4. The whole group is super strong. What happens if White plays E8? Nothing, this doesn’t threaten your group. Making a shimari at E3 is bigger. Or play S12. This is not a big threat against White’s group but still adds points to your group on the right while removing points to White and reducing White’s eyespace. So this would not be directly sente but White would need to react to another move on the top right.


Given that its a 4 stones handicap with a 6 stones difference (with the current ranks), overall you did well!

I’m mostly concerned with Move 22. We should try to avoid this kind of mistake as much as possible.
1.) It makes a big difference (both regarding points and security for white).
2.) I’m sure you can read the short ladder against the edge.


The variations of 3-3 point invasion Joseki are not complicated. However, if you feel uncomfortable with them, you could just close the corner by playing yourself at 3-3 point in handicap games. Also, the white group at the top right corner was kinda weak before your opponent played R12, you could have considered harassing it by playing that point yourself – the point is not necessarily to kill it but to naturally build a thickness that will help you surround territory on the right center.

When I play handicap games, I like to play cowardly, that is, I tenuki a lot so as to build a heavily disproportionate advantage on specific sides of the board that will guarantee me the win without contending for the rest at all.


Sorry, this strikes me as a recipe for “how not to improve”. If you just play defensively, never get outside your comfort zone, never try things that are challenging, then you’re not giving yourself many opportunities to learn.

And “guaranteed win”–that only works if your opponent isn’t very strong!

This part I do agree with :slight_smile:


That’s the best way to lose IMHO. Furthermore running away to play somewhere else makes it difficult to learn something.

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I’m not so sure. Trying to steer the game in a direction that suits yourself is part of the game.

I agree with this generally though. Learning requires getting new experiences, and being open minded to change your habits. But there are many opportunities in a game. Everybody has their own balance between “try to win” and “try to learn”.


The best is to trust Naoki Miyamoto 9p, “The breakthrough through shodan” (translated by J. Davies), p.10.


Well from my very own experience, players who tenukied my approach moves as a strategic choices had the lowest chance to win. Firstly by letting me reverse the balance of power in a place of the board which is not needed. And secondly by not putting in motion the power of their stones. A 9 stones games still need something like 60% of attack vs 40% def (some pro book dixit)

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