Thoughts/questions on a broken ladder in 8~10 k game

I’ve just finished a game which included a broken ladder that was played out (intentionally). It wasn’t quite Lee Sedol, but still! :wink:

The ladder itself starts being played out at move 53, but there are preparatory moves too.

My reasons justifying the ladder were: that it was quite short (8 moves each, I think), although still long enough to be catastrophic in normal game conditions; I had some surrounding positions to support the resulting weak stones; and I also made sure that I got the move before and after the ladder to play an extra supporting stone on each side to make catastrophic weaknesses playable. I would be able to fight for life inside and the stones on the outside should be able to link up and/or run, and hopefully give me some good influence. That said, I fully expected that it might actually be revealed as a clear overplay and end horribly, but once I had seen that opportunity, I felt that I would regret it if I didn’t at least try.

I was hoping to get some thoughts on whether or not people think that the ladder was good for one player or other, or if it was a fair exchange, and also how well each player dealt with the fallout or what we should have done differently. I thought at the time it was probably close to a fair exchange for our levels. It turned out really well for me in the game, but I suspect it might have been harshly punished by a better player?

Some points I’ve already come up with: The G4 J4 exchange immediately before the ladder is probably a bad exchange for white; and both players, but especially black, should have played away earlier than they did (move 103 is particularly bad, I think). Looking back on it, the outside group was very weak at first (black really should have just killed it), I should probably have tried to find a slightly different variation where that group came out stronger, or perhaps more flexible.

Left you a small review.

Totally missed the net variations, obviously, thanks for pointing them out.
Other than that, I obviously saw the ladder was broken, and decided to play it anyway. I was asking about whether that decision was good (and how both players followed it up). I thought that my original post made that clear.

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I wonder if the concept of someone deliberately playing a broken ladder is so left field that it won’t sink in :slight_smile:

The way you did it looks brilliant from a beginner perspective! It did deliver influence to both sides that got used, and appeared to be 7 forced moves black played that didn’t end up delivering a lot. If I was black at that time I’d have been thinking “Hah hah! Can’t believe my luck, this dummy 9k doesn’t even know about lad… oh crap!”. That’s a psychological victory :slight_smile:

As a major feature of the game, it appeared overshadowed by black’s dubious cut at G12, but maybe that in itself was prompted by panic about the centre area being taken, which the ladder contributed to.

(I know this is just beginner talk, but hopefully I’m allowed to be interested :wink: )

I can’t really read it all out, but if black cut on m4 after the ladder it looks very scary for all the white stones to me :-/. Very interesting nontheless. :slight_smile:

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@GreenAsJade : If you’re a beginner, you might not be familiar with Lee Sedol’s ladder game, so go have a look if you don’t know it. It’s a very famous game which was basically a far more sophisticated version of playing out a broken ladder but in a proper professional game (see eg but also loads of other places).

I’m not sure the cut at G12 is the questionable move in that sequence, I’d point more to black responding to the L12 peep when I think they should just have ignored it and played at eg K10 (which reduces the territory massively and probably makes the cut work).

@Adam3141 : Yeah, M4 looks scary, but the position makes it very easy to throw away one or two stones lightly, so I’m not even sure if I would have responded to that, I think the connection at M9 might have been my choice, although I might have played out some forcing moves inside first.

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Not sure we mean the same thing. After m4 I am talking about at least the five white stones in the corner. If white gave those up black would get like 50 point corner with very little compensation for white.

I agree with @Adam3141, black M4 after white K7 seems to threaten the whole lower right.

@Purble how would you answer M4?

Sorry for skipping the answer to your original question :slight_smile: Playing our broken ladders only works in extremely exceptional situation - this one worked for you because of the way your opponent attempt to kill it forcefully in a less than skilled fashion. Was the decision to play it out good? On ~ 10k level it’s acceptable, in dan game it would have ended much worse - see 2 variations i added.