Last evening I played 7 games of online Go with Vox and we enhanced that experience in two ways. The first thing we did was set up a Zoom call so we could chat during (very little) and between games (much more) without having to type out words. The second thing we did was use the review feature on the KGS server to review each of our games, move by move, discuss alternatives and even play through some alternative variations. We both agree this was very beneficial.
Once again, I had a winning evening, taking 5 of the 7 games. We each won one close one, each won one by resignation, and I won the others decisively. Vox has continued to employ a very territorial strategy, taking or invading san-san (3-3 points) at every opportunity.
In the first game, the post-game review revealed a failure to read well enough on my part. The game came down to the survival of one of Vox’s groups. I stole his base then capped him and I attacked hard, knowing I needed to kill this group to win. He tried to escape or counter-attack, and in doing so exposed a weakness in my stones with 2 possible cutting points. I took some time to read through the possibilities and finally decided that his counterattack would be successful if I didn’t play a move to make my own stones safe. As soon as I did so it gave Vox time to make a safety move of his own and my attack (and the game) was over.
Upon review we tested my position without the safety move and it turned out that neither of us could come up with a successful sequence for him. In other words, my defensive move was unnecessary and there was a move available which sealed the death of his stones instead. Had I read the sequences correctly, and continued my attack, the game was mine to win. Of course it is easier to see the problem in review than in the heat of battle.
The final game of the evening was interesting and unusual. Vox opened with san-san twice and I countered with the two 4-4 points on the other side of the board. I decided to play a game that stressed influence and followed up my 4-4 moves with tengen, right in the middle of the board.
I gave him the territory he asked for and made big walls in exchange. When Vox decided to invade, I attacked for profit. The result was a huge territory for me as well as two other smaller ones. Vox secured all the corners for himself but not nearly enough territory elsewhere to make up for my big area. I won by close to 30 points.
We’re going to continue to use the voice chat and continue to review the games together as well.
The two enhancements made the experience much richer. Communicating was much more natural than typing messages out and the review feature is going to prove exceptionally helpful in determining both what we did right and where we could have made stronger moves. Being able to test out alternative moves is really an excellent addition. i did not win as many as you last evening, but i still came away from it thinking these are great additions.