Monday, 28 December 2015

Don't Attack Until It's Time

A game I played about a year ago; I was black. White has just cut black. What should black do now?

This was my choice in the game. As usual, I couldn't resist the temptation to attack. White 6 & 8 are textbook approaches to sacrifice and get rhythm. As a result, black has to spend a move (15) to fix his own weakness. White 16 is a huge move. It's worth lots of points and keeps the pressure on black G-12 group, which now becomes weak. Black gets thickness in the centre. But because white bottom and right are both thick, that thickness is of limited value. Overall, black's whole attack initiative fails.

This is my reflection. The fact is overall white is thick, and it is premature for black to attack. The B-14 is not only a cash move. It settles down black G-14 group, and aims at follow-ups like A through D on white's left. Also the squared white cutting stone automatically becomes weaker, with a threat from black as if saying: 'I am alive with points, what about you?'.  In fact, the squared black stone is nicely positioned to prevent the squared white cutting stone from connecting.

The net result will be much better than the game. Compared to an hastily attack, it often pays off by simply drawing the archer and accumulate power, and shoot only when the target has come closer and expose its weakness.

Happy new year!