Review request (~16k): new mistakes entering my play, or just bad luck following good luck?

I’ve been losing a lot lately, and I would appreciate some guidance on what I’m doing wrong.

I made a review of a recent game that I lost as black by 10.5 points.

My key questions about this game:

a) move 23: was M10 the right way to respond to white’s extension toward my wall? Was the wall doomed to uselessness from the start because it was facing white’s enclosure and white had time to grab the extension?

b) move 29: Was white’s moyo really a threat? What would have been a better move here? I know I made some pretty bad blunders in the fight that followed, so it makes it hard for me to evaluate the soundness of my overall plan there. Maybe even very good moves would have led to something unfavorable to me.

c) Did I make any big strategic mistakes that I missed?

d) Is my review focusing on the right things? People always say to review your own games (and I do often review my games in Sabaki), but I get the impression that this means different things to different people.

e) Other tips/suggestions? Are there any general patterns to my mistakes in the game?

My recent losing streak followed a run of wins, so it would also be helpful if someone could also take a quick look through one of these games and tell me if there’s something I was doing well then that I’m no longer doing well, or if it’s just good/bad luck. For example, here’s one that I won by 1.5 points as white (not necessarily looking for anything in-depth on this one, just want to know if there are any obvious changes in how I’m playing).


That’s good guesses questions and half answers, especially if I consider your ranking.
You shouldn’t care too much more even if you lose.

d)e) play more. Train your reading if you can’t wait to win again.

I’ll try not to care too much about losing, but it’s hard sometimes :slight_smile:

I will certainly play more and train my reading. I just want to avoid turning repeated mistakes into bad habits as much as I reasonably can and to have some idea of what to think about while trying to improve – hence the review request. If my take on the game is accurate enough, then I guess I already have an idea on what to work on going forward

a) The way you responded was very small. I think you got into the mode of “my opponent is taking away the extension that’s I’d like to make from my wall, so I need to use it immediately,” which led you to make a small move. Here, the left is far bigger, and you’re probably better off playing over there for now and coming back to the top later. Something like C8 or D7 would be better than the small extension off the wall. Your intuition that the wall was poorly placed is good, as well: your opponent gets a big corner in sente in exchange for a wall that you can’t use very well. At move 15, the best move is probably just R17, taking the corner.

b) White’s moyo is a threat, and your reduction isn’t an unreasonable way to answer it, especially if you don’t want giant fights. However, if you’ve allowed white’s moyo to become a threat, and if their moyo is more threatening than yours, what could you have done earlier to prevent that situation from arising? You played a number of small moves like R9 before your opponent built up their moyo. Invading/reducing sooner will have better results.

c/d/e) In general, you seem very hesitant to invade or attack. This is true of both the game you shared here and your games in general: you play mostly defensive moves or moves that enlarge your territory. Often times, you’ll start an attack, and then pull back to try to keep your stones as safe as possible. Don’t let yourself get pushed around.

This is true of a lot of your recent games. Many of your losses come because your opponent is carving out big chunks of the board and you’re too hesitant to challenge that, or because your opponent is severely invading your territory and you are focused on playing defense instead of pushing their stones around. When you consider walls, for instance, you’re thinking of them as one edge of a block of your territory. This is wrong: walls give you influence and influence is used to attack. If you’re locally strong, you can fight more fiercely, and walls give you local strength. Your goal with walls isn’t to push territory out from the wall, but to press your opponent’s weak groups into your walls. Later in the game, when things are starting to settle down, you can start turning those walls into territory, but it isn’t something you should be focused on at move 25.

When you review games, look back a few moves and see if the moves you made then led to a good result. If they didn’t see if there’s any sequences you think would’ve led to better results. Pay special attention in your reviews to attacking variations: these are your biggest weakness and finding moves that press your opponents instead of just passively building territory will be very helpful to your game.


I put a few comments on your second game.
Your play is solid with no big mistakes. You are a bit too passive sometimes. I showed you a few places where you can ignore your opponent and play elsewhere.

Thanks, this is very helpful. I will try to play a bit more assertively and see how it goes. I’m often reluctant to attack or invade because I feel like I’m exceptionally bad at it – but of course I will be if I never practice! I guess I sort of had a feeling that I play too passively, but wasn’t able to articulate what that meant, so your specific advice is much appreciated.

Thanks for the comments. All the wasted moves you pointed out seem so obvious in retrospect! If I only I could see them during the game (I guess it takes practice). I see that you also agree that I’m being too passive, so I better work on that twice as hard!

One thing that might help would be to try to make as few moves as possible that only build territory. You don’t need to be invading deeply to avoid passive play: often times there’s great moves on the edges of your groups where you can both expand your frameworks and push into what your opponent is trying to build. There’s certainly times that a deep invasion is called for, and invading is definitely a skill worth learning, but starting by just trying to avoid moves that build passively and replacing them with moves that build actively might be a way to push yourself in that direction.


Okay, that sounds like a good way to get started, so I’ll give it a shot.

New mistakes entering your game might very well be a sign that your game is improving (which unfortunately not always directly shows in your game results).

1 Like

Hi @jcrozum I reviewed your game with Hoizi

I hope you’re right, @Atorrante, time will tell, I suppose.

Thanks @Jerry_R for the review. I was definitely thrown off by the 3-3 opening, so I’ll try to keep your suggested sequences in mind next time that happens. And you are absolutely right about that bottom left group; I should have realized how precarious it was much sooner, but I hadn’t considered that black’s looser surround would work so early on (and thankfully black didn’t consider this either).

As fate would have it, after I had studied some of the reviews posted here, the very next game I played was against the same opponent I faced in the first game – and I won! In case anyone is curious, here’s the game:

I might have gone a little overboard in trying to compensate for some of my weaknesses that people pointed out in this thread, but I figure trying out new ideas with reckless abandon part of the learning process. It’s going to take me a while to find the right balance, but I’m having fun trying new things. Thanks again everyone for the advice!

no problem