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Weekly Go

a difficult game for white

I played 9 games of Go last night with Vox. He had an edge overall, winning 5 to my 4. I’m sure he was happy with that result after last week losing 6 of 9. I’m going to try to remember to photograph at least one of the games we play and write a little bit about it. Last night I photographed one of the games I won.

In the pictured game, I was black and opened with a sanrensei fuseki, meaning I played 3 star points in a row on the upper side. In our games Vox has had a lot of success diving into 3-3 points under my 4-4s then reducing on the outside on a large scale, but I’ve become better at keeping his territory small and attacking his reducing stones, so I’m playing this fuseki occasionally, inviting Vox to steal the upper 2 cornerss if he chooses. In this game I followed up the sanrensei by playing tengen (the 10-10 point).

Tengen, according to the various youtube commentators I’ve watched, is supposed to be a bad move. One online go teacher says, tengen is always bad. Still, facing 3 star points, it sketches out a huge moyo and challenges white to reduce it before it gets converted to a big chunk of territory. It also means in many situations ladders will be in my favour.

In this game, Vox wound up with 3 of the 4 corners – and the 2 corners on the bottom side were quite good. His problem was I converted my early moyo into way too much territory – there is over 60 points in that area on the top of the board alone with another 10+ points on the left side as part of the same group. As long as I held my own in other areas, it was going to be difficult for white to win.

If I recall correctly, Vox played a move just above the tengen and I was able to make a wall above that. He might have been better to ignore the tengen stone and try to make a living shape between 2 of the upper star points, with some access to the centre, or try to force me to take the corners and build positions on the outside. I can’t help but feel I got away with way too much in this game.

Of course I’ll continue to occasionally try this opening pattern, until Vox shows me it isn’t a good idea.

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