# Review Request: 4 Beginner 19x19 Games

Hello everyone, I am a beginner in Go.
I played some games but felt a bit confused.
I feel like I need help.
Here are 4 games.
I hope you can help me analyze what problems I have and how to improve them.
(By the way, the system thinks I have 14k, but I really don’t think I have it…this ranking is definitely a joke😅.)

Game 1:

This was my first game and I fought hard but got wiped out.
I don’t know, this is the strongest opponent I feel I have ever encountered, even if he is only 15k…

Game 2:

This is my second strongest opponent.
I tried to capture some territory during the game, but my opponents easily invaded and killed most of my stones.
I was helpless throughout the whole process. I didn’t know how to resist the opponent’s invasion. I was very afraid…

Game 3:

I won this game, but I still felt a lot of pressure from my opponent.
I think the opponent just doesn’t know how to attack, there should be 1,000,000 ways he can invade my territory.
Anyway, in the end I managed to defend my territory, but I have no idea how I did it.

Game 4:

This is a very tense and exciting game.
In the end, I unfortunately lost the game by 0.5 points.
For this game, I desperately wanted to know what I was missing.
Also, the system confuses me.
The system says I have a 98.4% winning rate and 6.8 points, but shouldn’t the game be over?

4 games might be a bit much, but I’d really like some suggestions.
Thank you for your patience in reading!

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I won’t comment in detail, but I’d say the most important thing is to identify weak groups and cutting points, and try to connect weak groups together. For instance

In the game you played A, but then Black became disconnected into three pieces. You should have played B instead, to get a strong, connected group and it’s White who would have to worry about cutting points.

I this position you played A, however you already has 2 weak groups and you added a third one. Playing at A allows White to play at B, which produces a ripped keima which is notoriously a bad shape (except in rare circumstances where you want to sacrifice one of the stones).

After White played B, you didn’t see that White threatened to capture the 5 stones in a ladder.

This move is bad because it leaves a cutting point. Black is outnumbered and can’t afford to leave weaknesses like that. The correct shape for Black is to play at A. If after that White continues with C5, then Black continues with D6, etc. White gets territory while Black builds a wall which can become useful later.

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In game 1 you have at least 8 groups on the board and your opponent has everything connected. Connect your stones and groups. In game 2 it is more or less the same.

In the third game you managed to connect it all. Result: win by resignation.
Game 4 you lost by .5 points. Good result against a stronger player!

Hints:

• connect you stones
• don’t play only 19x19; also 9x9 is useful (less strategic, more life and dearth fights)
• check out Multilingual Go Project: https://www.gobook.eu
• see you play a lot (challenges, tournaments, etc.); maybe better to focus on less and go for quality instead of quantity
• some players are open for teaching games (instructive games with a lot of chatting during the game or review afterwards)

Welcome to OGS and have fun playing go.

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Yes, that could be a nasty joke but in some games you’ll get a more correct ranking.

1 Like

A bit late to the party but I thought you might appreciate some inputs.

First, you play waaay too aggressively. Keep in mind that you cannot kill all of your opponent’s groups! You cannot have it all. The best illustration of this is this game : Golecram vs. BattleOh You were super aggressive, always playing each stone touching an enemy stone, making atari as soon as you could. The result? All your groups died.

It’s a mistake I frequently see with beginners. They will attach to every enemy stone (attach, here, means playing a stone touching an enemy stone) trying to kill everything. They see a stone a think “Oh! I will kill it and grab all the points!” and it takes practice to realise it’s impossible.

You have a fighting spirit, I appreciate it. But in go, to fight, you have to be strong. First, build some strength (by having some solid groups), then start a fight. In your game, you always go headfirst, running into battles you cannot win because you’re not solid. Take this picture for example:

Here, white has two groups, and they’re solid, connected, have a lot of liberties, and are near the edge (so they will have no trouble making eyes and finding life). Black has five groups, all disconnected, all super weak, all short of liberties. Black is trying to fight, but he brought a knife to a gun fight. Also, he has to manage five weak groups at once, so he’s guaranteed to lose half of them at least.

So first principle to attack: before attacking, make sure you are properly armed. Have some strong groups nearby. Start by occupying empty corner, taking the empty space, make sure your stone can quickly find life, and then fight! Second principle: do not attach to weak stones! I know it’s very counter-intuitive. But realise this: when you attach to a solitary stone, the opponent will react by adding another stone to it, making his group stronger. Congratulation, you tried to attack a stone, but you made it stronger, and in addition to that you have a weak group to handle! To kill a stone, you need to enclose it from afar (and I insist, from afar), then to take away the eye space. You won’t kill groups by attaching and atari everywhere. You must prevent the stone from escaping and living.

I repeat because it’s important : Do not attach to a stone you want to attack! It will only make it stronger!

Third principle: do not atari automatically! Take this, for example:

Black is in bad shape. He has two weak groups, he should take care of them. And what did you do? You played, the atari, what a mistake!

Now instead of two weak groups, you have three! While white only got stronger! His white stone had only two liberties before, but after your atari, it now has three! This result is disastreous for black! The atari made your opponent stronger by adding liberties to his group, and made you weaker by adding another weak stone you must now manage!

Here, the correct move was to extend (which means, playing a stone touching one of your stone, to make it stronger.) As I said, you must be strong and solid if you want to fight!

By playing an atari, often, you will make the enemy stronger. I know it’s counter-intuitive but it should be clear just based on the picture above. So do not atari automatically!

Second, play solidly. Other said it, but if you play five stones all disconnected from one another, half is guaranteed to die. You leave way too many cutting points behind (take a look at the first picture again: white has 0 cutting points, black has… FOUR.). When placing a stone, make sure it can find life, or is connected to a living group. Don’t let the opponent disconnect you! Because this is how a go player fights: disconnect a group, enclose it, and prevent it from living. It’s alright to let the opponent occupy a corner and not replying immediately. I repeat: you cannot have everything. You can win a game without fights, but you cannot win a game without safe groups! So prioritize the latter!

Thirdly, remember the goal is to make points, not to kill! Why do you fight when there’s plenty of empty space on the board? Take a look at this:

Why did you go in the lower right corner? Why did you start a fight that might give you (and your opponent) five points, when you could go in an empty corner to grab 10 points without fighting? It’s nice to fight but in the end it’s the points that matters. Identify the area where there’s a lot of points to grab. You can win without fights, but you cannot win without points! So in the beginning, occupy the empty corner first (and let the opponent occupy his corners! As I said, you cannot have everything, you have to share!). Then, grab the points on the side. Making points on the side and corner is much easier than in the centre, but if you want to fight for the centre, go ahead (but remember, only once your groups are safe! Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight!)

Sometimes, in my games, my opponent will attack a group while there’s plenty of free space left. So I’ll just let him kill me. He will need three stone to kill a group, giving him 10 points, meanwhile I played three stones on the side, giving me 30 points, and a lot of strength to fight for the centre. He forgot that the goal of the game isn’t to kill XD. Don’t make that mistake too!

I also noticed you played what some call “puppy go”. You just follow where your opponent played. It’s a mistake. Remember, you have to make points, and very often (not to say always), it requires to conquer an empty territory before fighting. Dare to tenuki, dare to show your opponent you’re not afraid and dare to ignore his moves if there’s bigger points elsewhere!

And stop playing in the centre at your first move. Some pro do it, but it’s a very, very hard stone to “monetise”. Go for the corners first, then the sides, and only then, the centre.

TLDR:

1. Playing too aggressively only makes you weak. Realise that you cannot have all the board for you, so don’t try to kill all your opponent’s groups. If you want attack, don’t attach to the enemy stone, don’t atari blindly; don’t make the enemy stronger. You have to be strong before you fight.

2. It’s important to have solid and safe groups. Without them, no points, no fights, no strength, nothing. Keep your stone connected to one another, don’t play too far from the edge (so that you can find life).

3. Grab the points. Conquer the free space first. It will give you more points than fights started too early.

4. Corners > Sides > Centre. Stop opening the game at the tengen (the point in the middle), it’s not worth it.

5. Don’t follow your opponent blindly. Think of the points first. Often, they’re elsewhere!

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Just wanted to say thanks for your post. I found it very helpful as a beginner. Even though I’m not the OP - I’m even weaker!

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Thank you, what you said is very helpful to me!

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