Review requests [15k]

At my current level, it feels like I know a lot but I understand very little.

For example, I know “hane at the side of two stones”, “two-space extension from one stone and three-space extension from two stones”, plus common shapes such as keimas and tiger’s mouths, all of which I regularly use in my games, but I do not understand when to use what or how to follow up.

Likewise, for fuseki, I play a mix of orthodox, low Chinese, nirensei and sanrensei, but what is my strategy after the first few moves? I know the 3-3 invasion on a 4-4 point joseki, but how do I use the outside thickness?

Basic tactics are easier to apply, which is one reason why I win 90% of my fights. The other reason is because I tend to play solidly, or per the principle (to quote Lessons in the Fundamentals) “keep your stones connected and the opponent’s separated”.

Per advice from past reviews, I am trying to look harder for big and sente moves, but I have little understanding of what makes a move big (other than the very obvious like taking an empty corner) and my attempted sente moves are often endgame moves too early or worse, thank-you moves.

Despite saving a large vulnerable group from moves 27 to 41 and another from moves 101 to 113, I knew I was slightly behind at that point and had to grab some space from the right. From moves 142 to 154, White managed to separate my top and top-right groups (the former died), sealing my fate.

Thoughts on specific moves:
15 was probably unsound but I played it because I did not want a game where I completely own one side of the board while my opponent completely owns the other side.
For 19, I chose not to play a three-space extension from a two-stone wall because I felt the group would be too weak.
For 63, besides not wanting the three-stone group to escape, I wanted the potential to extend to the right.
69 was to prepare a three-space extension from two stones (which White prevented with 70) and prevent a 3-3 invasion as White was thick on the outside.
For 71, 73 and 75, I was not sure whether the White group was killable but I was trying to follow the principle that I could profit from attacking it even if it lives. Unfortunately, the sequence from 100 onwards neutralises any potential outside thickness. Perhaps 97 was a mistake.
133 was intended to be a three-space extension from a two-stone wall but on hindsight, it was a blunder. I did not foresee 142 and 144 at all, mistakenly thinking that the group was connected enough.
187 was also a blunder due to playing correspondence games too quickly.

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I tried to punch in some ideas for you here:
Plus hit off a full AI review for you as well, might want to check that out too.

Overall, I must kind of agree with your interesting assesment that you know a lot, but can’t use it in practice :D. I almost never do this (as I am not much of a reader myself and believe you can easily get to a SDK level without reading too much), but in your case you might benefit from trying to practice some basic reading.

I saw pretty much two types of mistakes from you throughout the game. Small endgame moves in middle game, and what I can only assume were severe reading errors.

  • At least two times you captured stones that would have died anyway (one time being a ladder on a third line…).
  • You seem to value proverbs over a simple read, it is a good guidline to know to jump three spaces, but it is even better to quickly check whether it works while being surrounded by enemy stones.
  • Plus you were “saving” groups that were already safe (in which cases it was a tougher read sometimes to be fair…)
  • As a general rule of thumb, capturing less than 4 stones in gote, is not big enough for early endgame (unless you gain some other advantage by it). Keep in mind that if you play elsewhere and your opponent comes back to save these stones in gote, it means you get yet ANOTHER move elsewhere on the board which usually means much more than 6 points you would have gotten by the capture.

I am not talking about any complicated 10 moves sequences, but learning to read a forced sequence two or three moves ahead (ESPECIALLY IN A CORRESPONDENCE GAME!) might be pretty vital for you currently. Your argumentation and ideas were usually correct (hence you were also winning), but if you mess up basic fighting then even a good plan just falls apart. It might also help you to roughly estimate the value of a move. If I play here I get this, but if I play here I get more and reduce more…

  • Yeah and also, don’t play empty triangles :smiley: just don’t…



Thank you for the review.

One very big unanswered question: How could I have prevented White from splitting my top groups (thus killing the top-centre one)? For move 141, you suggested I tenuki, but perhaps a move that prevented 142 and especially 144 may have won the game.

I agree that I need to try to read harder and have more confidence in my reading. Perhaps I was intimidated because my rank had been 16 kyu for a while (rising to 15 kyu due to a long winning streak against weaker opponents) and this was my first 14 kyu opponent.

This is what happens when I do try to read against a slightly weaker opponent:

Oh no, we misunderstand each other, I was NOT suggesting a tenuki (though it would be possible and a good option - just very complicated later), I was trying to illustrate that (forgetting for a moment there is a possible split of your groups) the very idea behind the move is extremely slow and best left for a very very late endgame.

That is a simple question, but provoking a complicated answer. Preventing splitting of the groups is easy, just connect instead of the descent. However, at that point the game was relatively even, so such a safety gote move could cost you the victory.

There is complicated way to protect in sente or a better answer after the cut if black tenukied. I will add them to the review.