Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tips from Ramon

These are some pointers on handicap Go I picked up from Ramon Mercado, our resident 9 kyu, at the Cyclone Go Club last Sunday in Ames. Ramon is better than a shelf of Go books, for a beginner.

The point being, that when you play at Dragon Go Server, eventually you have to play with a handicap, even though taking white in a handicap game with black at 3 or 4 stones seems like the most unnatural thing in the world. Go is go, even when high kyus pair off in unnatural matches.
  1. Handicap go does not require brilliance from black.
  2. Leave no weaknesses, play solid, play conservatively, at least in the opening.
  3. White's job is to separate black into many groups.
  4. Horse face is better than monkey face when trying to make influence.
  5. Monkey face is better than horse face when trying to make life.
  6. "Weakness" means fewer options than your opponent has.
    Ramon clarifies: A weak group is a group with two options, weaknesses are cutting points, lack of eye shape, etc. "Don't leave weaknesses" means not to let your groups become weak, and not to play shape with weaknesses in them.

    [Heh. I don't promise to understand what Ramon says. Be advised.]
  7. Make the pincer closer.
  8. Win with one group, ideally, or maybe two. Three or four at most, never with six. Six groups always lose.
  9. Maybe seven moku is safe, but only if you play right.
  10. Don't let white get away with nuthin'!
  11. Plus one from Brett: Play the net against your own position, to keep white from doing it. Part of "your strong move is my strong move," I suppose, but I'd never seen it done.
nigiri, nom. A guessing game to decide who plays first in a game of even go, similar to a coin toss but there's no coins and no tossing or flipping or anything.



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