2

Playing white against the Linux programme kigo1, I (c. 6 kyu) reached the following situation, which seems typical of my games with it: (unfortunately one can only put 10 moves in a diagram, so I have split the game into three; the first two diagrams are at the end)

$$Bcm21 21-29
$$ ---------------------
$$ -???...??...????????-
$$ -???...??...????????-
$$ -???X.O?.O.X???X????-
$$ -???,.....,.????,X??-
$$ -??X..8....9????????-
$$ -??..........???????-
$$ -??..........????X??-
$$ -..7..........??????-
$$ -.............??????-
$$ -..O,.....,....?,X..-
$$ -??............1....-
$$ -??..............O..-
$$ -??O.........6....??-
$$ -??...........??????-
$$ -??...........???O??-
$$ -??O,X....,..???,???-
$$ -???OX?5..X.O???O???-
$$ -???423???...???????-
$$ -????..???...???????-
$$ ---------------------

Counting roughly and conservatively the fairly definitely claimed points of territory (shaded) I estimate that I am about 22 points behind, on my move. I give kigo about 89 points (18 top left + 64 top right + 7 bottom middle) and myself about 67 (5 top middle + 22 bottom left + 40 bottom right). This is roughly consistent with the final result3.

This analysis seems to mean one of three things, each of which leads to a follow-up question:

  • (A) I have already fallen behind badly in the fuseki.
    • If so, where did I go wrong so soon? (See earlier moves below.)
  • (B) I am overestimating black’s moyo (or other territory).
    • If so, how should one estimate such territory, and how does one reduce it2 from what it looks like?
  • (C) My move is worth 15 to 20 points (depending on komi).
    • If so, which move could be worth that much?

So my question is: which of these is the case, and what is the answer to the follow-up question?

While I am not uninterested in other comments on this game, what I really want is to understand better how to cope with a moyo strategy such as kigo appears to deploy.

Earlier moves

$$Bcm11 11-20
$$ ---------------------
$$ -...................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -...X.8..2.9...1....-
$$ -...,.....,.....,X..-
$$ -..X................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -................7..-
$$ -...................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -..0,.....,.....,5..-
$$ -...................-
$$ -................6..-
$$ -..O................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -................O..-
$$ -..O,X....,.....,...-
$$ -...OX....3.4...O...-
$$ -...................-
$$ -...................-
$$ ---------------------

$$Bcm1 1-10
$$ ---------------------
$$ -...................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -...3...............-
$$ -...,.....,.....,1..-
$$ -..5................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -...,.....,.....,...-
$$ -...................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -..0................-
$$ -...................-
$$ -................6..-
$$ -..4,9....,.....,...-
$$ -...87..........2...-
$$ -...................-
$$ -...................-
$$ ---------------------

Notes

1 kigo 0.5.6, a KDE programme by Sascha Peilicke available with SUSE Linux. It appears to be roughly my strength when set to its maximum level (10), or maybe a little stronger.

2 How do I chose invasion or reduction points? sounds relevant, but seems to be more about invading a rather more solid territory.

3 In spite of some blunders on my part.

  • 2
    I am only a weak player myself but I don't like move 22. After the exchange 22-23-24-25 black's position on the bottom is very solid. Before that move, it was possible to invade or put pressure on this group. In the fuseki it is more important to evaluate which group is strong or weak than possible territories. Weak groups makes it difficult to transform moyo into territories. The biggest problem for white here is not that black is ahead in territory, it's that all his groups are strong. Also, the double-wing formation of 1-11-15-17-19 is too nice for black. You shouldn't have let that happen. – Djaian Jan 18 '18 at 8:38
  • @Djaian: Thanks for your suggestions. Looking at the answers given (which both blame B 12), I think you are right about 1–11–15–17–19, but I am not so sure about 22—25. I could equally imagine that one might consider the result overconcentrated for White: an ideal extension from 25 would probably not be at 13. I am also not sure how significantly 22—25 strengthens my corner. – PJTraill Jan 20 '18 at 12:05
  • 1
    @PJTraill The main problem with 22-25 is how much is strengthens black, especially while you're trying to gear up and attack that moyo; now any attempts to attack will be wedged between two strong groups. It may look like a fair trade-off on a local level, but you need to take the whole board situation into consideration. – goldPseudo Jan 20 '18 at 20:12
1

Just a few things to note here:

  • The vast majority of the moves, black and white, are played on the third line; this emphasises territory over influence. As far as third-line territory is concerned, you're both fairly equal.

  • Black starts to break into the fourth line early with E4; this is a common joseki move which serves to strengthen black's group while also putting pressure on white's corner.

  • White doesn't crack the fourth line until N7; this is a rather simple extension from white's already strong corner and doesn't really put any extra pressure on black.

As you noted, black is more developed: He not only started building influence earlier, but he did it while also securing territory and pressuring white. Any move that can do three things at once is intrinsically more valuable than taking three moves to do it one at a time, and over the course of a game that can seriously add up.

Black's influence gain with E4 isn't really a big deal this early since most joseki moves are balanced to take that into account; you're trading off his improved influence for your own more secure territory, and many of your own joseki moves are similarly putting pressure on black to respond.

However, you can see the same idea play out after move 21 when joseki moves are no longer involved: Black plays at P9 which puts more pressure on white's R8 while simultaneously defending his territory and expanding his influence, and his later extension at L15 looks poised to cap (or possibly cut off) white's J17 stone in much the same manner. Meanwhile, white's N7 extension and later extension at F15 are simple extensions which really don't threaten black's strong groups at all; they're basically only doing one thing each where black is still achieving multiple benefits from each stone. Same idea, except here the influence that black is building while pushing on white is also developing into the moyo you were worried about.

I wouldn't call black's lead insurmountable: It's definitely there at this point, but nothing that can't be taken down by just playing more aggressively. Ideally, you want to play a balance of low (third-line territory) and high (fourth-line influence) moves in the opening, since the influence from the high stones really comes into play during the middle game. Where exactly that balance is is entirely up to you and your play style, but playing a territory-heavy opening like you did does make it more difficult to fight against an enemy who has already established a moyo.

In other words, if you're not choosing to build influence early for the mid-game fighting needed to break down a moyo, your best strategy is simply to not let him build the moyo in the first place.

Me, personally, I probably would've changed up the game at move twelve, ignoring the top at J17 and playing at K4 instead. Don't get me wrong, J17 is still a solid move and a big point, but K4 would've (a) established a bit more influence, (b) been a decent extension from a solid corner, and (c) put pressure on black's not-yet-established E4 group. When you can reliably notice these sorts of multi-purpose moves your game will improve significantly; like I said before, they can really add up. Even something as simple as playing F15 at J15, which extends/defends the top group about as well while simultaneously threatening an attack around N17 (and also giving you influence closer to his budding moyo), could make a difference.

  • Thanks, plenty to chew on there which sounds useful, so maybe I will come back once I have absorbed it. – PJTraill Jan 18 '18 at 20:13
  • I had trouble choosing which answer to accept, but decided on yours because I took away two main general points from this (play enough high points; seek multi-purpose moves) and one from Tom Au’s answer (do not follow Black so much). Thanks to you two, perhaps, I pushed the programme (kigo) to a handicap of three stones before I lost (I said four, but have since seen that kigo confusingly said that “Patrick (Black) won” by 10). – PJTraill Jan 29 '18 at 12:39
2

Your big mistake was your slack move at 12. It's a bit scary to have Black make two shimaris. The reason he shouldn't have done this is that his two stones in the bottom left corner were left stranded. You should have played 12 one or two points to the left of 13, and chased these stones. This would have given you an initiative that would have more than compensated for the two shimaris. Assuming that you play as well as Black from this point, you should win the game.

When Black got to play 13, he fixed his main weakness AND limited value of your shimari in the lower right, killing two birds with one stone. Now it is your stone at 12 that is in the middle of Black's influence. The 13-14 exchange was all in Black's favor. Ditto for the 15-16 exchange, after he solidified with 17. Your 18 was basically forced, but the 18-19 exchange was again in Black's favor. After you played 20 and he played 21, your (ultimate) response at 26 was too little too late. You have fallen one step behind, all because of move 12.

You are about 20 points behind on the board, although komi will reduce Black's lead to less than 15. By falling a move behind at 12, you, in essence gave Black the equivalent of a "two stone" handicap instead of just playing White. You will probably lose this game, even with komi.

I've noticed a pattern that will likely cause you to lose as White. You "follow" Black around, playing 12 in response to 11, 14 in response to 13, 16 in response to 15, 26 in response to 21, etc. This gives Black the advantage of every exchange, and creates the Black moyo pattern you referred to. (You also have a bunch of moyos, but they are much smaller.)

Komi can offset only one such exchange, so you need to find ways to break the pattern (or punish Black for improperly doing so). Moves 8 and 10 were a good idea, because you had sente in that part of the board. Black needed to play J3 (give or take), and then you could have grabbed the kakari at C15 for 12.

The shimari at 11 was big; it's worth about 1.5 stones because of the synergy with the rest of the position. The pincer (or protective move) at J3 was even bigger, because it affected the fate of two stones. That is, your pincer would either have captured them, or more likely, yielded an equivalent benefit, that would have put you ahead (2>1.5).

  • Thanks, I see you agree with goldPseudo’s answer that 12 was the mistake, but disagree a bit on where to pressure B E4+E5. Having my attention drawn to the bottom right, I looked for references to follow-ups to the joseki. I saw that 8, although not in Ishida, is considered ideal by Josekipedia (where they call it a Shusaku move), but that they call 10 slack and a mistake, saying it should be one point lower (C6). They also say the B extension 13 should be one line to the left, on the third or fourth line. – PJTraill Jan 20 '18 at 12:32
  • P.S. They give no follow-up when W moves next after 10 at C6. P.P.S. What is your view of Djaians comment on 22—25 and my response? – PJTraill Jan 20 '18 at 12:36
  • @PJTraill; K3 doesn't pincer Black hard enough; he gets "enough" room with H3, and if you reinforce your K stone with 14 (as you should), Black can then take the shimari with 15 instead of 11. Black should have played at J3 (the ideal point) for 11. White 22 was "aji keshi" (potential destroying). because it removed the chance for an invasion at h3. But the main mistake was 12; the invasion isn't nearly as severe as the pincer. – Tom Au Jan 20 '18 at 16:18
  • @PJTraill: Note the new paragraphs on Black's moyo, and your playing style generally. – Tom Au Jan 20 '18 at 16:42
  • It was hard to choose, but I fear I accepted GoldPseudo’s answer in the end. Thanks to you two, perhaps, I pushed the programme (kigo) to a handicap of three stones before I lost (I said four, but have since seen that kigo confusingly said that “Patrick (Black) won” by 10). – PJTraill Jan 29 '18 at 12:41

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