Sunday, September 12, 2010

Good to be back

So I'm back in the good ol' U.S. of A but I have no car so I'm currently stuck in Southfield :)  I got to see my friends and they all took me out for the greasiest, sloppiest, cheesiest American food we could find, and it felt good to be welcomed back.  I'm basically going to take it easy for the month of September, in fact the first few days I got back I just played World of Warcraft and sat on my butt.  Now I'm feeling like I gotta somewhat get back to work, so today's post would be a good way of doing that!  Let's do game review for today's lesson.

I've been playing on Tygem more and more ever since I got to Korea as it's usually faster to get a game there than it is KGS.  As for the style, most people think of Tygem as this awesome fighting server where everyone plays crazy moves but to me it's....normal.  Maybe playing the kids at the dojo makes me think that, because sometimes I'll play someone and I'll think they're a kid given their play style and the speed of their moves.  Lately, Tygem 4d is easy.  Not so easy I don't have to think but I win without having to push really hard to do so.    The reason this is is mainly because of the fact I got much better in center fighting.

I'm Black.  The opening fight was rather interesting because I did it not necessarily because I thought I'd have a great position but more so to see what happens when Black cuts.  I think Black 17 should be at 19 because it feels like better shape.  If White directly plays 20 instead of the bad push at 18 then I have to defend the corner differently.  In the game I just make living shape in the corner and have a two stone fighting force on the outside.  This position isn't great for either player but I feel if White had played 22 at A he'd have a better position because his right side group would be stable.  With Black 7 in a high position that group is screaming "attack me".

Instead of pushing and cutting I could just play the plain Jane joseki at 9 and just make points.  I usually like to push one more time at 11 instead of jumping immediately but that's just personal preference.  I pictured the opening would proceed similar to this.  7 is in an awkward position but I feel since 4 is not useful we're even.

I thought about playing 1 but it kind of ends up being pretty similar to the game.  I just feel overall both players are foiling the other's plan so it ends up being halfway playable.

As I said before, White is just screaming "Attack me!" so I obliged.  This will help my center group be more than stones that just sit there because while he defends I'll build a wall.  When I come out at 31 White has a choice, he could let his bottom group be sealed in facing my 3-4 stone in the lower left, meaning a good sized area for Black, or he could prevent that, which is the option he went for.  Black 33 is a must have move, no question.  We continue the pushing fight out into the center, and again, Black 39 is another of those must have moves.  White 40 is an okay move but that group is really strong and even if he was going to play from there he should've played low to take the territory solidly.  He was probably worried if he directly approached the lower left 3-4 Black stone he'd be counterattacked because of my thickness. White probes with 42 and 44 which I thought were good moves but I do not understand 46 at all.  It's heavy, the follow up move isn't a concern for Black, and it leaves a group open to be attacked later.  In cases like these, just ignore your opponent and find a big point elsewhere on the board.  Find the shiniest point possi...Oh look, a point that covers White's eyeless group from the center!  

Here's why fighting is important.  This is like the climax of an action move, where the hero has chased the bad guy from rooftop to rooftop.  The police who were helping the hero have all fallen by the wayside and now the bad guy is cornered on top of a building and he and the hero have to duke it out in a do or die brawl. The movie could end with the hero lying on the ground, having been beaten to a pulp by the physically superior bad guy, only to win by a stroke of luck.  This fight felt like that.  White thought that he had to attack my lone stone on the right as it's far from it's friends and he has a big wall.  This is the right idea but the execution is off because instead of capturing/neutralizing my stone and saving his group, he instead allowed me to build a wall facing his weak group as I throw away stones I don't care about.  This fight could go a lot of ways.
I expected White to play 4 and then 6 which are the standard moves for this shape.  Black 9 is the key point as it protects the cut and keeps White separated.  
A trade is possible but I don't see how it ends up being fair to White at all.  The center stones do have some aji if White attaches and tries to come out so that's a plus, but after 11 Black will end up with sente after White kills off 7, so Black will play to enlarge the top and White coming out with those stones is painful in just about any scenario.

This move isn't glamorous but I think given that Black is ahead in the center and directly fighting Black doesn't lead to a good result it's better to play the calm move of 48, make this group alive and then move to the left side of the board and make the lower left forcing moves useful.