Review request 25k - What did I do right?

This was a very fast game that just kind of came together really well without a lot of overthinking or analyzing. It seemed to flow really intuitively and just worked in a way a lot of games I spend much more time with don’t. I’m wondering if there is anything to learn from it looking back. Was I just lucky and happened to capitalize on some of black’s missteps or are there some positive strategic examples I can keep in mind in future games?

I’d say you consistently took advantage of your opponent’s mistakes.

Here’s a review for you:

Thank you! This was very helpful. At a point you said that the game was pretty much over and I could have just passed and won. One problem I have been having starting out is knowing how to recognize when that point is. I just started playing other humans on here. Most experience is with apps/ai so it will just tell me when the game is won or lost and no more moves are necessary. I don’t know if it’s a healthy thing to do but if a game is close enough I have been playing all the way through to the last possible stone just to see how things pan out. Any recommended reading/videos on end game and recognizing when you can safely say a game is over without playing out all options?

The game is over when both you and your opponent agree that it’s over and can agree which stones are dead. (full stop) If you or your opponent don’t think it’s over or you can’t agree about which stones are dead, then it’s not over no matter what anybody else thinks.

That said, if you can’t find a move that would change the score in your favor or stop your opponent from making a move that would change the score in his/her favor, then it’s a good time to pass. Passing is how you tell your opponent that you think the game is over.

Advice that I can give is to review your game backwards:

  • move 122: If you and your opponent both see that the black group is dead, you don’t need to move at J6.
  • move 120: Same here. I expect that you saw that there wasn’t any way for black to live. Passing would have been fine here.
  • move 118: Here you moved at B1 to kill the C1 stone, but likely your opponent knew that there was nothing he could do to save the C1 stone so you didn’t really need to do that. In the mean time, the J7 point was critical for you to move in. Do you see why?
  • move 116: This move was necessary to save the J2 stone, but should have been played much sooner.
  • move 114: A1 killed the B1/C1 group, but I expect you can see that there was no saving B1/C1 anyway, so the move could have been played at J1 to protect the J2 stone (as above.)
  • move 112: Same as 114 above. The B3 stone is dead no matter what so no point in moving at A3.
  • move 110: Same here.

And so on. Go through the game backwards one move at a time. Was each move actually necessary? You will see that a lot of them weren’t… At the point where the stones were pointless (pun intended,) it’s time to pass. :slight_smile:


Thanks! all very helpful. I definitely see now that by not playing J7 on move 118 I left an opening for black to create two eyes and lock down their entire formation. Luckily they missed that too and played J8. Definitely need to keep an eye out for that. I also see that move 116 was an important move that should have been played way sooner instead of wasting stones in situations that don’t even need them. Thanks for actually responding. I’m glad I found a site with people who are actually willing to take the time to help others learn to play better!

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This is a normal difficulty for beginners and is related to the issue of being able to recognize live and dead groups. You seem to understand the basics of it - you understand why move 118 should have been at J7 - but still have difficulty applying it.

The rules do not define life and death - it’s something the players need to agree on at the end of the game after they have both passed. a group is live if both opponents agree there is no way to capture it, and it is dead if both opponents agree there is no way it can save itself from getting captured. If the players can’t agree, they can resume the game - but it’s not common because they really shouldn’t have passed in that case.

Now in practice, you should be able to recognize live groups - most commonly, a group that made two eyes is alive (it’s not the only way though, there is also seki). Once you are good enough at recognizing life, everything becomes more clear:

  • When an opponent group is dead within your territory, you generally do not need to capture it. It will just get removed at the end of the game when both players recognize it as dead. So, you do not have to spend moves there if you can make some points somewhere else (for example, moves 90, 104 or 114 in your game).

  • When an opponent moves into your territory, you need to consider whether he will be able to live there. If there is no space for him to live, you can just consider it dead and ignore it. For example, consider move 39 in your game - for black to make two eyes, he would need to play B1, B2, B3, B4, A2 and A4 (making eyes at A1 and A3). That’s a lot of moves, so you can just ignore him for now and play somewhere else - you only need to respond if he comes close to making his group alive.

  • If your territory is already safe enough that your opponent can not invade it (either he would already not have enough space to live, or it would be easy enough for you to block him if he tries), then you do not need to play within your own territory to secure it (like black tried to do starting with move 103 in your game).

Once both players territores are fully enclosed and there is no way for any of the players to make new live groups, extend their existing live groups, or kill any of the opponent groups, it is time to pass to end the game and count to see who won.