This series “How to Become 1-Dan” focuses on habits, mistakes, knowledge, strategy and much more, which in my opinion would help every Go player to reach their desired level.
Furthermore, these articles might also help players who have already reached the level of 1-dan. I noticed that while teaching Go to kyu level players, they have many similar strategical mistakes or lack of knowledge in certain area. I decided to combine ideas that I find important and to build these series.
I hope that by following this series, you will have an easier time reaching the 1-dan level.
The topics are various and the examples are taken from games of kyu to dan levels.
This article was grammar edited by: Kevin Remy
White played the marked stone forcing black to defend in the corner. White’s move focuses on isolating black’s outside stone. Afraid or ignorant of best practices, black did not play the connection at A.
Black plays passively and allows white to play at 1 later.
White will not play this ko now, instead, they save it for aji. Black has created a huge problem for himself.
This is the natural connection and I was surprised that black did not play it. If they did, black can capture white’s marked stone by playing at B and additionally black can hane at C. Locally with the hane, this forms a very standard Carpenter’s Square shape, which you can read about here.
The lesson here is that you shouldn’t just play passively as black did, most good looking moves require reading after all. If black had spend time on this connection, he would have figured out that black has the hane at C which captures the marked stones and secures the corner.
I will do my best to write article only about Carpenter’s Square shapes in the future.
Later in the game this situation happens and black ataried at A. To me, there is no other move than connection at C for me. However, when you are playing the game, you are influenced by a lot of emotions and the choices you might make during the game are totally different than those after the game. In the game white got greedy.
White cut at 1, but black just captured white’s stone and now we can see that black will either kill white stones at C or capture 1 at B. White not only did not gain anything, but white lost a lot. White will most likely continue at A, however, this is disaster.
White has to connect and force black to defend his cutting point at A by playing some connection. This way black’s stone B stone is weaker and white can start to address the stone at D. White has to focus on neutralizing the stone at D and building some strength in the center area.
As you can see I have several examples and although I know that I cannot show too much in one article, I believe that if the reader can understand these principles/ concepts, he can apply them to his games immediately. White peeped and Black must consider which stones are important and which stones are not. Black did not think much before making the choice in the game.
Black connected passively and he let white split his groups at A, this way he had to care about settling while white attacks powerfully and builds points. This is a total failure, you have to avoid this and ask yourself which stones are important and which aren’t.
If black played the kosumi, he would have somehow connected B and C, which would be far better than the game. Even if white pushes at A and cuts black’s marked stone, it does not matter. I believe this is also one of the biggest lessons I learned about Go, about the strength of stones. It is very important to have strong stones on the board. Catalin Taranu 5p has shown me how I forget about the strength of my stones which loses me the game.
White peeped and now black has to make choices. Should black be passive or active?
In the game black connected passively and gifted the game to his opponent, very kind player who didn’t want to win.
White forced black to capture at 2 by playing 1 and white managed to put pressure on black’s stones. Well done, this is a position which requires one of these signs “Don’t do this at home”.
Black had to push solidly, you might even feel the resistance of this move 1. If white just gives up A, then after cut at 3 and extension of 4, black can peep and start fight. Black’s group is settled and white couldn’t put a lot of pressure on black’s stones. It is important to not let your opponent seal you in which would put you on the end of life and death.
If white escapes, black can push with 3 and then if he is worried about his shape, he can push at A and fix at B or directly peep at C and fight with D. There is probably a better way to play, but my purpose is to rather explain an idea than to show a thousand variations which might not happen even once in your game. Understanding these concepts will help you to improve your game. If you have your own examples, that are relevant to these concepts, please send them my way !Follow me in social media: