Game analysis is the process of estimating fairly accurately the relative territorial prospects of each player at key stages throughout the game. This may seem difficult or even irksome to many players. In fact, without the ability to sit calmly and judge the overall situation, vital moves may frequently be overlooked. Moreover, the estimation has to be accurate enough for you to make important strategic decisions: should you defend or should you invade, should you attack aggressively or should you try to wind up the game quickly? If you can't assess accurately the balance of territories and calculate whether you are ahead or behind, you lack the information that is the key prerequisite for making such decisions.
This book aims to illuminate a long neglected but essential side to the game. It tackles all aspects of the subject, from easy methods of counting territory right through to Cho's own methods of game analysis during play.
List of Content
vi Foreword - Notes to the Reader
001 Chapter 1: The Three Main Points of Game Analysis
Point 1: First Count the Territory
003 Example 1
012 Example 2
015 Example 3
Point 2: Assess Territory from Thickness
018 Example 1
023 Example 2
027 Example 3
031 Example 4
Point 3: Estimate the Territory From a Moyo
033 Example 1
039 Example 2
043 Example 3
046 Chapter 2: A High-Speed Analysis Test
047 Problem 1
049 Problem 2
051 Problem 3
055 Problem 4
057 Problem 5
059 Problem 6
063 Chapter 3: A Broad Overview Results from Accurate Analysis
065 Example 1
071 Example 2
077 Example 3
082 Example 4
085 Example 5
091 Example 6
097 Example 7
100 Example 8
105 Example 9
109 Example 10
113 Chapter 4: Large-Scale Analysis Problems: The Type Amateurs Often Get Wrong
115 Problem 1
119 Problem 2
123 Problem 3
127 Problem 4
131 Problem 5
135 Problem 6
13 Problem 7
145 Problem 8
149 Chapter 5: Cho-Style Game Analysis
151 Game 1
166 Game 2
Victory and defeat in the game of go are decided by amounts of territory. One point in your favor produces a fine win. It's too late when the game is over to complain, "Oh dear! I've lost by only one point!" But such scenes are commonplace in amateur go and are frequently the direct result of failure to analyze the overall game situation.
Learn to estimate territory accurately and game analysis becomes easier. One might almost say simple. For those not in the habit of counting territory and conducting game analysis, the idea of making estimates of territory may sound irksome. But, of course, without making such estimates, game analysis, especially high-speed game analysis, is impossible. For this reason, professional players train incessantly, examining countless actual game positions, until they build up such a store of experience making estimates that eventually judgments can be made in the twinkling of an eye.
In this book, the shape of potential territory is depicted using X's. We want estimation and the discernment of territory to become an essential habit. There are no X's on the actual board surface, so you will have to imagine them while making estimates. Complicated though this may sound, with plenty of practice, it really isn't so difficult.
As estimation is at the basis of game analysis, we start by learning to think in terms of areas surrounded by X's. By counting the area within the X's and by comparing the relative amounts of territory for Black and White, a judgment as to which side is ahead can be formed. After such a judgment, based on territory counted, shows who is ahead, it can also help in the choice of countermeasures to alter the indicated outcome.
Whether the evaluation is good, and augurs well, or whether it is bad, and paints a gloomy picture, will affect one's subsequent style of play. Good judgment made in the opening, the middle-game fighting or when entering the endgame should in every case enable you to make the correct choice of move on the road to victory. This is essential to the large-scale whole-board approach.
It also goes without saying that a true whole-board understanding comes from correct game analysis.
In this book we start from simple estimation techniques that anyone can use and gradually help the reader to progress to an understanding of large-scale game analysis.
Chapter 1 introduces basic methods of counting territory for game analysis and in Chapter 2 these methods are put to immediate use in a collection of easy problems. In both chapters, the emphasis is on fundamental principles.
Chapter 3 is central to the whole book. The overall aim of this chapter is to develop skills in large-scale analysis. If even a small degree of progress results, this book will have succeeded.
Chapter 4 contains problems derived from Chapter 3. They may be a little difficult, but try your best.
The final chapter, Chapter 5, presents two of my own games. I find it difficult to explain the methods of game-analysis used in my own games, but I have tried throughout to highlight the pertinent points. I will very happy if you can learn something of the intuitive nature of my own 'Cho-style' analysis.
Remember, it is absolutely essential in high-speed game analysis to have the ability to make large-scale judgments instinctively. The aim of this book is to help you acquire this ability.
Cho Chikun, preface