comment 0

Go with Vox

Last night I won 4/5 games online. I’ve been giving 2 stones and receiving 6.5 komi. In July we played 42 games and I had a 62% win rate.

Vox has consistently been a territorial player. That is, he tries to take early cash and then reduce my potential later in the game. He hasn’t changed this approach even though I’ve forced him to accept 2 stones and have continued to do well. That may be fine in that I’ve won quite a few games as a result of Vox making a critical error or in some cases a blunder. And, there is no doubt that I started winning more after doing a lot of tsumego (life and death) problems and improving my reading skills. It’s reasonable to think that if he can clean up his errors, he’ll have an advantage. At the same time, it may be that by keeping his stones under pressure, and in some cases complicating the game, I increase the chance of forcing an error on his part.

While Vox likes to play to grab cash early, he also does not like me to develop big moyos and if I attempt to build one, he will almost always dive in to stop it quickly, rather than make a big development move himself. I try to restrict his base in this kind of situation and make some profit by attacking. He might consider allowing me to make a moyo and take a bigger one for himself, since he has the handicap helper stones – and then later invade or reduce me. I think this is one way he can start to call the shots and force me to make riskier plays. Another way to look at this is to ask the question, when is the right time to invade or reduce?

Another thing I notice about Vox’s approach is that he will always kick against a kakari. It used to be high-level players preferred to pincer rather than kick, unless there is a friendly stone on the other side of the kicked stone. More recently the robots like to kick in most circumstances and do it with success. However, those are even games, those are super-strong bots. If I were playing the black stones with a 2 stone handicap, I would try tight pincers when my opponent makes a low kakari against a 3/4, trying to keep sente and keep him under pressure.

Let’s see what August holds.

comment 0

Whiskey on the Rocks

The latest episode of The Agency Podcast is up and it’s called Whiskey on the Rocks. You can listen to it here or find it in the usual places.

A late night recording, alcohol may be involved. Join us.

I’d like to thank our listeners for sticking with us, and give a big welcome to all you new listeners out there. We love you.

comment 0

Go with Vox

I stole the top right corner and stole the game

We played 5 games online the other night and once again I had an edge, winning 4. Of those, 2 were decisive but 2 were within komi. How can we define this edge? In other words, what does Vox have to do to erase the 2 stone handicap?

At this point, it seems that the difference is that my reading is a bit stronger. For instance, in the last game, on review, we could see that I had no business surviving my invasion stones in the top right corner. Vox needs to be able to read tricky corner situations more accurately. As well, he needs to clean up his game a little and not make inattentive errors.

For my part I’ve been doing quite well at assessing the territorial balance, figuring out what I need to achieve to win, and finding ways to do it, sometimes even in difficult positions. I’ve been trying to force myself to slow down my game and also I’ve been counting a number of times during each game to make sure I understand clearly who is ahead and by how much.

Filed under: Go
comment 0

A beautiful morning in the Enchanted Mushroom Forest

Since we’ve had a fair bit of rain in the past week I thought there might be some chanterelles fruiting in the Enchanted Mushroom Forest, so I took a drive an hour north.

moths
chanterelle
half-hidden
chanterelle
Monotropa uniflora (ghost plant or Indian pipe)
4 dozen

comment 0

Go with Vox

I played 5 games online last night with Vox. I managed to win 3/5 games, but was only that successful because he made a terrible blunder in the second game, giving up 10 points and losing by 8.5. I really didn’t find my stride until the last two games, both of which were solid wins for me.

Here’s a look at the last game of the night.

Game 5

The key to the 5th game for me was establishing a position under Vox’s stones on the bottom, and cutting him off from his other stones. I started surrounding his group, which turned out to be powerful, even though I could not kill the stones.

Filed under: Go