A Low Ranking Even Game

British Go Journal No. 9. October 1969. Page 13.

John Tilley

The idea behind including a game between two 7-kyu players like this is to show the weaker player some of the basic mistakes they should try to avoid in playing Go. Players stronger than about fifth kyu will not find very much of interest in this game.

Only the basic mistakes of the two players are commented on.

Black: Unknown, 7k
White: Unknown, 7k

The game-file in SGF format.

You might wish to open a second window beside the first one to view Fig 1 whilst reading the text in the first window.

Figure 1 (1-100)

84 at 15.
  • 1 - 8: A good start.
  • Black 9: usually at 67.
  • White 10: Bad. White has to make a too narrow extension to 12, in reply to 13, too early in the game. The joseki of Dia 1 is fairly common in such a position.
    Diagram 1

  • Black 13: Dubious. Corner plays are normally much larger than plays along the side early in the game.
  • White 14: Very bad. Partly for the same reason as the above, and also because it is already pincered by 13 and so is under strong attack already.
  • Black 15: An interesting idea as it makes White's group heavy. It also protects the corner against future white attacks.
  • Black 17: Perhaps better at A, to separate White's weak groups and thus simultaneously attack them. Proverb - Keep weak groups separated and one will probably die.
  • White 18 - 24: Funny. A typical example of a non-joseki. White tries to make black heavy and then take away his ideal extension to 20. A play like 18 only works if 20 has already been played, or a strengthening move around 43 is already there. If 20 has already been played then White plays 43 after Black responds at 19.
  • Black 21: Correct. Black now shuts white into the corner, showing White his mistake in playing 18 and 20.
    Instead of 18 a pincer play at 87 would be good.
  • White 28: Must be at B Instead to give himself some share of the corner.
  • White 30 gives white ideal extensions in both directions, but his position is over-concentrated for this early stage of the game. Also, he should play high on the fourth line to balance up his position properly.
  • 31 - 41: An interesting exchange by which black profits.
  • White 42: Very bad as the ladder created by 43 favours Black.
  • White 44: Interesting, a ladder breaker for two ladders!
  • White 50: Very funny!! A verbal exchange between the two players made White (who admits to being gullible) believe the ladder didn't work! Never listen to your opponent!
  • White 52: Too small as it only tries to surround a little territory in the centre. There are many larger moves along the sides.
  • Black 53: Not good. The proverb In this situation says- don't make territory around an open skirt. black's open skirt is around 99, for White can play one point to its right to invade this territory.
    However at this point White has lost the game because he has two weak groups on the right and all Black's positions are strong.
  • White 54: White attempts to consolidate his position. I am undecided about the merits of this move.
  • 54 - 70: White does well.
  • Black 65: Very bad. Never play like this because white easily captures 3 by playing the atari at 66.
  • 71 - 75: Mysterious.
  • White 76: A clever move, it seems, but white cannot live in the corner or connect to 14 with proper play, so it doesn't amount to much.
  • Black 77: No. It must be 79 to stop White joining and kill him in the corner.
  • White 84: Almost totally useless. Worth precisely one point.
  • White 92: A perfect example of what not to do. Well defended territory should be reduced from the outside is the rule. White could invade at C, though. A play like 92 is only applicable in a large handicap game. White is now very hard pressed to live.
Figure 2 (101-217)

  • Black 103: 110 is better.
  • Black 107: Bad shape but effective in this position.
  • Black 109: Good shape. This ensures that 111 cuts white off in this direction and that his groups are connected.
  • Black 113: Not so good. It forces 114, which in turn forces 115, and then White can quite cheerfully play 116. If Black plays 120 immediately he is in better shape and white is attacked more strongly.
  • White 124: Should be played at 127 or 129 to get out to the centre as he isn't going to form two eyes along the side.
  • Black 139: 139 A fatal mistake. It must instead be played at 142, and then one or both of White's attacked groups should die.

No further comments on moves 140-216.

217 was very big, being worth at least six to eight points and should have been played much earlier.

White resigns after 217 as he is at least 20 points behind.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 9
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

Last updated Thu May 04 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.