A Game Against Myself

Have you ever played a game against yourself? Perhaps it could be beneficial, if not fun. I know many Go players who learned the game in this way; I used to play games against myself when I first learned the rules and had not yet discovered internet Go servers. I decided to try it again last week and it was certainly an interesting experience.

After each move, I would get up and move myself to the other side of the board to get the “other” perspective. I tried to imagine that it was a real game, and that I did not know the other player’s thoughts. I would always ask myself, “what is the best move?” Overall it was a great chance to analyze what my intuition was, and my reading abilities. My only complaint, perhaps, was that the game lacked the unpredictability of real games. Although I did not have a set plan for the overall game, I would often know where the next move would be (but sometimes I surprised myself by thinking about the situation even more, and finding a better move).

Here is the game. “Both sides” made reading mistakes (I think Black really started losing the game around move 87). I was somewhat surprised that White won by 19.5 points, I had predicted that the game would be almost even. I should say once gain that I play as 6-kyu on KGS.

What do you think, does the game seem natural?


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2 Responses to “A Game Against Myself”

  1. Tyler says:

    Move 16 seems odd, since with the supporting stone at K4, I would have expected 16 to be played on the 4th line as well.
    Similarly, Move 33 seems awkward on the 2nd line: my instincts push me toward L17 instead, with an eye toward either P14 or M16 as follow-ups.
    I think it would have been more punishing for Black to play Move 43 at D11 rather than the purely defensive D9: E10 could have been pushed around more, I think.
    Move 45 seems slow, even though it secures Black’s base, since White has now established a strong center influence: Black needed to run out and block some of White’s avenues of colonization. “Run before Living” as they say.
    White 46 hammers this point home… Black is now decidedly behind.
    Black’s sequence to 51 shows he’s realized what needs to be done
    By Black 71, I’m wondering if a gambit launched by playing at H2 and followed up by J5 would be to Black’s advantage…
    I would have been inclined to play Black 75 one space lower at G12.for better connectivity with H9.
    B79 seems overly conservative… Black needs to be more aggressive if he hopes to recover. I would recommend something like M10 or L10 with an eye to running toward either K14 or P8.
    B89 seems weak also, since it doesn’t challenge White’s connectivity. L10 or the poke through at N11 seem more appropriate IMHO, even N7 looks attractive; but, I know it’s hard to ignore the opportunity presented by White’s Elephant Jump to K11.
    B93.. I wonder about poking at N11 first…
    In Variation2, B97 seems to be clumbsy, since O11 connects and leaves aji at O13, or steals sente, no?
    For 101, why not start a desperate assault at E18, spreading to E18 after W cuts at D17 and then dropping in at H19 with an eye toward cutting at H18, but settling for killing all 7 White stones if he connects at H18? Is my intuition off?
    White starts chasing Black around the board after this, and Black is blindly following White’s petty threats: e.g., W106, B107, when the latter might have been to decend to P2 or H2, or prepare at D5 for a tesuji at B4… For White to capture at P4 would be gote, as Black counters with atari at Q4, no?
    B151 @ J8 seems limp compared to F11’s threat to cut at E11, to me.
    B155 & 157 seem to help white seal.
    W188 is bigger at O7 IMHO

    Those are just my off-the-cuff thoughts… Let me know what you think.

  2. Nik says:

    Wow, Tyler, thanks for the comments! They are really helpful. It is amazing that I can miss things like your suggestion for move 101, even with two “brains” thinking about the board. For 106/107 I worried that White capturing, Black defending, and then White playing atari at P2 would be too many points for White; but I see your point that there are bigger moves on the board.

    I will have to try this again sometime…

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