Monday Go Meditation: Game 62



About a week ago, there was a bit of discussion about the importance of endgame. Now while I would never even begin to propose that endgame is not important or can’t make a huge difference, I was saying how I didn’t think studying it would serve kyu players as much as say dan players.
Ironically, the game featured this week was played shortly after the discussion and happened to feature endgame as the shining star of the game. In addition, this game is also a good example of competing moyos and how critical points in shape and boundaries can make a huge difference in the resulting outcome. Hope you enjoy this review!


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One Point Lesson

When you’re really behind, your only hope is to complicate the game and push your opponent’s abilities to the absolute limit.

Game Summary

[table colwidth=”50|140|375|375″ colalign=”center|center|center|center”] no,Category,Good,Bad
1,Opening,Move 11 – Decisively ignoring White’s extension to play on the right inside seemed like the correct move.,Move 35 – This was a bad move that allowed White to get a nice result on the upper right.
2,Attack and Defense,Move 111 – Ignoring White to defend my group was an important step to giving me a chance to make a comeback.,Move 80 – Letting White attack my group like this was very painful. It could have been awful if White had continued his attack.
3,Shape,Move 147 – Being able to find this point in the midst of near death was another proud moment for me.,Move 48 – Letting White get this shape point was unbelievably painful.
4,Strategy,Move 115 – Ignoring White’s approach on my corner to try and reverse the game was importantly to try and reverse the game.,Move 47 – Trying to take the corner instead of expanding my moyo was a pretty big mistake.
5,Overall Reading,Move 151 – Being able to read out this attachment almost instantly was a proud moment for me.,Move 63 – This was so painfully obvious to my opponent. Should have saved it for later.
6,Endgame,Move 161 – Taking my sente to connect here is probably what eventually pushed my opponent to resign later.,Move 86 – Seeing White fly into my area like that was so painful. It nearly ended the game.

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<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="5471">24 comments</span>

  • Another brilliantly annotated and instructive game. Thank you, Ben! But is there hope for me? It is difficult for me to believe you are only 3k; I would guess 1d or 2d for sure!

    • You’re welcome! And what do you mean is there hope for you? I believe with certainty that anyone with the right mindset and attitude always has hope for improvement. So yes, there is hope for you!
      Haha. Maybe occasionally my analysis is 1d/2d, but my play has not been consistent as of late, and that is something to keep in mind as you gain each additional stone. Consistency is more important than shining moments of brilliance.

  • Hey, I just wanted to say that I find endgame to be a very interesting thing to study. And I think you might be very surprised at the difference in points between good and bad endgame. Whether or not it is useful for a kyu player is debatable, but I think that there are several reasons to study it over other aspects of the game.
    1. It is great practice in how to read long sequences of moves(on multiple sides of the board).
    2. It helps you to learn better how to count what territory is actually yours, and leads to an understanding of the huge differences in points gained just by getting sente in an area.
    3.It will help you almost EVERY game! Every game eventually ends up in endgame, but how often will you use some new joseki that you just learned? Or some mid-game tesuji? Those “few” points you gain by studying endgame can make a world of difference in the outcome of a game, especially if it leads to better decision making in the middle of the game.
    4.Unlike many aspects of go, there is nothing mysterious about the endgame. If you take the time to use what you learn, you simply have more points at the end of the game. This means that study and effort in endgame much more directly results in better play. This is in direct contrast to studying something like joseki, which can easily result in weaker play due to incorrect assumptions.
    If anybody would like to begin studying endgame I would recommend watching these excellent videos:

    • You bring up excellent points in favor of the endgame Scott. I know that for me personally, I’ve found that games tend to end in the middle game more often as opposed to the endgame; but perhaps that is just a trend with me. Haha. Overall though, I would have to agree with you.
      PS. It’s funny you should recommend Starstorm3’s videos because he lives in the area and I know the guy. Great guy and great teacher!

    • I agree with you, Scott, on the endgame. It is not quite the microcosm of the game as in chess, but I think very core skills like visualization, counting, connecting and even reading to some degree can be learned well from endgame. I am just a beginner at Go, but I do have experience in chess where I reached a little over 2100 ELO in my prime.
      Ben is also correct that a majority of games are decided in the middle game – but that’s not really my point in favor of endgame study. Most chess games (at least at the amateur level) never reach an endgame but most instructors teach the it first for its core skills.

      • After the numerous discussion points, I do have to say that I have to agree that studying endgame can actually have beneficial effects on multiple aspects of the game regardless of whether the game reaches the endgame or not. I certainly hope to hone my endgame skills in the near future!

    • 33 Q17 is definitely an option for Black. I think the reason I chose not to play it is because of my study of the Chinese opening. Taking the corner allows White to attach at R15 to start making sabaki in an area where Black is strong. In addition, from my understanding, the reason the knight’s move is the normal response in this scenario is because you would like to make use of the pincer stone at L16 while easily making territory.

  • At Move 105 you say White is 20 points ahead. I can see White is ahead – but did you make this estimate during the game, Ben? If so, some insight on how you arrived at that number, please.

    • Good question. To be honest, this particular analysis was made using SE since I didn’t actually count in the game. For most of this game in particular, it was more by emotion than anything else (which is actually a really unreliable way to judge the board position). The next time I do an in-game estimation though, I’ll be sure to detail it out in the game commentary for you!

  • I’d just like to point out, that I disagree with move #79. For me it’s begining of endgame, and corners, first! C3 or C2 would be my choice

    • Excellent point! I was so caught up in being defensive of my territory at the time that I failed to realize that there were bigger points on the board to play. Thanks for your advice!

      • That’s definitely another option! I think I was more concerned with sealing White in at the time. However, that cut and ko might actually be good for Black. Didn’t consider it at the time!

By BenGoZen