Review request: 5k vs 5k

I’d appreciate a review of a game I played today:

My thoughts on the game:

37: Obvious blunder. I should’ve played G17, but somehow missed the atari.

37-75: This play all feels reasonable to me. I think I’ve gained some ground back since messing up in the top left.

76: I feel like the timing is right here to invade/reduce the top, but maybe not? The move I played invites the split: I was thinking I had enough space to jump deeper if they split me, and then save the group. There’s also some atari with the double hane I think I can use, but I’m not sure what the best way to proceed here is. Perhaps I should play more of a reducing move, since I’m strong on the right? If I can convert that into territory, it’s likely worth more than the middle/top my opponent is building.

88: Is this just making my stones heavy? I had somehow got it in my head that there was too much territory in the middle to give up, but if I’m getting compensation on the sides I should probably throw away my garbage. My opponent revives their stone on the side, so I’m likely coming out worse.

90-164: Big middlegame fight, where I come out worse. After this, I think my opponent is way ahead, and it’s possible I should’ve been dead on a large scale somewhere in the middle. This is the main thing I’d like to avoid in my games: I’m struggling to fight a big fight that I haven’t really read out, because I can’t really read effectively on a large scale like this. Perhaps this is a good indication that I should’ve abandoned the middle stones back around move 88: even if I’m living at the end of this, I’ve gained very little territory and my left side is basically gone.

166-206: Endgame. I pull back a few points, but I’m still substantially behind.

207: My opponent misses an atari and resigns, probably prematurely. I may have a slight edge but the game is very close.

Overall I feel like I’m making reading mistakes and ending up with far too many weak groups. Reading mistakes probably just mean I need to do more tsumego, but I’d appreciate some tips on how I can stay a little stronger, both in this game (e.g: where should I be defending, what stones should I be giving up), and more generally.


(22) B13 seems unreasonable; after (23)–(25) it becomes clear that your stick doesn’t have eyeshape and is therefore weak. Instead, (22) B17 is the proper move. See

I definitely misremembered the joseki. I was thinking of the variation where black plays the cut on the outside first (a mistake, apparently), and white gets the ponnuki on the outside in exchange for the corner. I was more interested in the outside, here, since my opponent had gone for the sanrensei and I wanted influence to combat it.

The result doesn’t seem that much worse than the standard joseki, though. After white ataris, black cuts, and white captures in the “better” line, white gets an even weaker shapeless stick on the outside. (Though white has the corner as compensation, of course.) At the very least, I don’t think going off book here was as bad as the other mistakes I went on to make immediately afterwards :slight_smile:


move 76, the timing seems good. Maybe you can force with double hane first (with or without O11 forcing)
and then your move (or just J14 to both built and reduce in a more connected way)
(you kind of invite for the fight when jumping this far with K14)

then, when you saw battle was going bad, it’s often better to just give up the fight. at our levels, it’s not a big deal to loose some fights in a game, just need to stop it before growing too big.
for instance, move 88, it’s still time to block with H13

then regarding tips for fights (beside shapes and reading)

  • give up quick that fight if going bad
  • at start of fight, if you see it a bit disadvantagous, sometimes a tsuke to put mess up nearby can help
  • try to keep in mind what you were looking at initial of the fight
  • and on big scale fight, try to see on global view what part is the most important and focuse on that part of fight
  • then as far as possible, avoid moves that are forcing your opponent in a move he wanted to play anyway
  • there is the 1-2-3 technics, when you see a sequence, sometimes you feel one move of the sequence is the important one. It happens it is better to start with that one (and sometimes, it just turns into a disaster :stuck_out_tongue: )
  • give up quick that fight if going bad
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