Review request 12k versus 12k

I played a game against an opponent who used an uncommon fuseki style (basically capping all 4-4 stones by 5-5 stones and similar and playing only for the center) and I lost by 38.5 points

I blundered in the left lower corner, but most of all I thought that I needed to invade. My judgment after the game is that I might have won by a few points (or that the game would have been close in any case) if I had not only avoided that blunder but concentrated on consolidating my territory.

Is that assessment correct? What else could I have done to handle that style of game better?

I’ll give it a quick review after work today! Right off the bat I can say that your fuseki plan contributed quite a bit to your loss, though. The general logic is that 4th line influence is equal in value to 3rd line territory. Playing on top of white’s 4-4 stones was a bad trade, since influence on the fifth line is likely to be worth less than the fourth line territory you’re giving away in exchange.

Cosmic go, and other moyo-oriented styles of play can be tricky! I’d definitely encourage you to study pro games and keep practicing if that’s the way you want your go to develop.

You misunderstand my ambiguous post. It was my opponent who used the uncommon fuseki and I generally do very badly against these uncommon fuseki.

Ah, I see. I found the time to go over the first 30 moves! I can do the rest later today, unless someone stronger comes by to offer their fifty cents. ^^

From the look of things so far, you let black’s strange moves intimidate you, and thus he got to be greedier than he normally would.


Thank you, that was very instructive.

kitten1 provided some good commentary, but since the opening is the most interesting part of this game I spent some time looking at it specifically. I propose that in this sort of situation, you should prefer to play normal shape in response to shoulder hits on a single stone, and to maintain high-quality miai for accessing the sides. When Black shoulder hits your first stone in the corner, Black’s main tactical resource is the ability to walk ahead of your stones in both directions for a while, then maybe block in one direction, the other, or both. You want to limit the value of this resource, especially in the early game when the board is unsettled and outside influence is generally at its most valuable.

Taking sente to get another corner is quite reasonable but when you do this you should also make an effort to ensure that the blocking moves are not too strong. It’s a balancing act, really; you’d prefer not to push from behind for a very long time in order to fix your problems and take sente, because the influence can still become very big, but taking sente is very valuable in order to get a position on the outside that can nullify Black’s influence. You want enough solidity to tenuki, but not more than is necessary because that will make it all the harder to nullify the center.

Looking at the final position schematically, the reason why you lost this game is indeed because you failed to get deep enough into the sides and center area while keeping your corners; move 70 stands out as a strong example of a mid-game move that fails with respect to this goal. Your speculative diagram about a more peaceful variation is a red herring really, and you could see this just by switching views between the two final positions, keeping in mind that area scoring is generally equivalent to territory scoring to within a point or two. In terms of areas controlled by the players, there is almost no difference between the diagrams; not even close to the net difference of 19 intersections or so that would be needed to change the outcome.

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