Advice for player_A 8k to Improve Judging from 1 Game

by Robert Jasiek

Most Important Systematic Mistakes in Order of Relevance

1. Missing shape completion

Do not play elsewhere when the shape still needs to be completed! When your opponent would also want to play where you should play now, then tenuki is premature. Punish the opponent's missing shape completion.

2. Overconcentration

Avoid overconcentration! Let the distances between your stones be efficient! When you play too many stones too closely together, they achieve by far too little on average per stone. Extend as far as possible without leaving a cut or place for opposing life behind. Consider to attack, to defend, or to kill on a larger scale whenever possible.

3. Unnecessary additional stone

Do not add another stone when your group is already alive! Do not add another stone when your opponent's group is already killed! Each superfluous stone equals about one further handicap stone: You could take sente and play elsewhere!

4. Missed chance to continue strong attack or to kill

Continue an attack if you gain from it while your opponent gains about nothing! Your gain might be points or outside influence or thickness. When your opponent starts to gain about the same as you do, it is still time to switch to playing elsewhere. Of course, it is not a gain to drive your opponent into your moyo without killing him or getting greater compensation during the fight. Do not miss your chance to kill the opponent's group if possible!

5. Pushing from behind

Avoid pushing from behind whenever possible! Try to jump ahead or consider falling back for a solid connection. But do not be the honey on the wall trying to push it.

6. Mistake in direction

Avoid mistakes in direction! E.g., when you have a big moyo, encircle it instead of driving your living opponent in.

7. Worthless cuts or connections

Avoid worthless cuts or connections! There is no point in cutting when the opponent could easily run out to the center.

8. Bad shape, bad aji

Avoid bad shape or bad aji whenever possible!

Additional Notes

To assist your improvement and avoid unnecessary confusion, I have not commented on your opponent's mistakes because you should concentrate on yours first. I have provided many 1 move variations because most of your mistakes can be avoided by simply noticing at all that they are mistakes. You can improve a lot already without much looking ahead beyond just 1 move. Identify your mistakes by checking your moves against the above list and, when
you find a mistake in your games, just look for a better move that is not also such a mistake.

Short Comments on Only Black's Moves

(Abbreviation: VAR = see variation.)
11: missing shape completion, overconcentrated
19: "
21: overconcentrated, too near attack, pushing from behind
23: overconcentrated, connection not making points
27: overconcentrated, too near attack, pushing from behind
33: missing shape completion, overconcentrated, too near attack, pushing from behind
35: bad shape (no proper cap, no proper connection)
41: good cut defense + vital point but overconcentrated + missing fast development outwards
45: missing W shape completion should be punished first before attacking invasion stone (and
later still important to play there; shape remains incomplete)
47: missing shape completion right of 45 is more important (good shape move for either player)
49: see 47. Also: Defends less important place. (VAR)
55: misses chance to continue strong attack (VAR)
57: see 55
87: misses chance to continue strong attack, missing connection defense, overconcentrated
89: ", bad shape
91: ", bad aji
95: pushing from behind (VAR)
97: missing shape completion on upper side + center
101: leaves too much aji: (VARs)
109: good
111: pushing from behind; better: hanging connection
113: similar
115: bad exchange (VAR for 116), better capture 104 (because VAR)
119: better capture 104
121: small (VAR); B alive; add unnecessary stone when already alive
123: "
125: mistake in direction, defending moyo much bigger
129: overconcentrated, kill bigger
131: "
133: "
145: "
147: add unnecessary stone when already alive (VAR)
151: overconcentrated, kill bigger
155: bad shape, allows W many ataris (VAR)
183: defend bigger
185: add unnecessary stone when already alive
187: defend bigger
191: add unnecessary stone when already alive
193: makes reading easier
197: add unnecessary stone when already alive
199: add unnecessary stone when already alive
201: makes reading easier
203: add unnecessary stone when already killed
205: "
207: "
209: "
215: kill bigger
219: fails to kill (VARs)

Additional Question & Answer


I don't understand the fifth "Pushing behind" problem. Do you mean I need lead the attack instead of letting opponent to start a new teritory to attack?


. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
. .
O O O O O O 2 . .
# # # # # 1 . . .
. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . .

Black 1 pushes from behind. This is bad.

. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . .
O O O O O O . . .
# # # # # . . . .
. . . . . . 1 . .
. . . . . . . . .

Black should move faster: running ahead of the white stones.

Sometimes, going back to connect a cutting point is even better than running ahead and letting the opponent cut oneself.