This game did not go well for white

I played this game last night on the board with a buddy and it was the worst I’ve played recently. This is just the early game, and I am most interested in how White could have played to maximize his two walls on the upper and lower right, and/or responded to Black’s right-side invasion more effectively. How it played out after move 27 was a symptom of exhaustion and not reading ahead. I made some notes in the game review.

Thanks for insight.

His Majesty Lord Speezwax

In my (8-10k) opinion, I actually like white’s position up until move 27. I think the “baseless” top group is much stronger than you think, because it has plenty of liberties and is right next to a much weaker heavy black group.

The first problem I saw was at move 28, since it encourages the push at n12 that creates tons of cuts and complications. This seems like a clear case of “don’t attack to kill, attack to profit”.

It’s not urgent to seal black in, because where will he run to with no friends around? If he does escape, you should be able to attack the running stick for huge profit on the top and/or center right.

If you are really concerned about that top group, I would have played n14 at move 28 to create at least one eye and ensure center access. I would have also considered p8 - connecting two weak-ish white groups while gaining influence and hurting q8. Also, in general, don’t be afraid to play at a distance from your opponents stones while fighting - it often leads to better results.

Hope this helps!

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Great perspective, thanks!

Maybe a stronger player can weigh in, but move 2 seems like wrong direction of play. The 5-3 can let you develop quickly, but the easiest direction for it to develop here is down the right side. Because black already has a stone in the bottom right, it would always be an uphill battle to make use of influence on the right.

Black starts a cross game, which should favor white because it makes it hard for anyone to develop quickly. The 3-4 in the lower left seems like an appropriate response. But pressing with move 6 again tries to develop toward black’s stone. I would consider the side extension instead. Takao Shinji’s joseki book says 3-, 4-, or 5-space extensions are possible.

My experience as a kyu player has been that when you want to know how you could’ve handled a situation better, the answer is almost always to not have gotten in that situation in the first place. The knowledge and skills that keep you out of bad positions will also help you deal with them when you make a mistake.

I’ve added a few comments to the game, your main problem here was one of bad shape, which is something I think all kyu players should work on, if you have good shape then you don’t need to read much.


Thank you, your comments were insightful and illuminating. We shall tell tales of your exploits and the halls will ring with song for ages to come; for you have given our Kingdom a great gift.

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A couple more comments added.