Baduk TV English: Attacking Vitamins: Lesson 13

In Attacking Vitamins, Lee Hyunwook 8p provides performance enhancing supplements for your mind, and helps you to master the art of attacking! This is lesson 13.

Lesson 13

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Translated by Oh Chimin 7d for GoGameGuru.com

Edited by David Ormerod 5d

Episode 13: Attacking Oriented Players - Kato Masao II

Hello, welcome back to 'Attacking Vitamins'. I'm Lee Hyunwook 8p.

Amateur players often ask me how to improve their Go skills.

There are many ways to do so.

The most important thing is that you need to enjoy playing Go.

There's a proverb, "hardworking people can't overcome people who enjoy themselves".

I hope that you'll enjoy Go and like it more the more you play.

We've prepared some of Kato Masao 9p's games today.

He enjoyed Go more than many others.

Let's explore The Killer's attacking style!

This game was played in 1987, against Kobayashi Koichi 9p.

Kobayashi's nickname is 'Metro'. [Ed: Kobayashi's style was sometimes jokingly called 'Subway Go', because he often played on the 2nd line.]

Kato was famous for his excellent head to head record against Kobayashi.

In this game, Kato executed a wonderful attack and took control of the game.

Let's have a look.

Kobayashi was white, and he invaded black's moyo deeply.

White already had many points.

In contrast, the right side was black's only large moyo.

The first thing to note is this white group floating in the center.

Let's see how Kato engineered his attack on both groups.

When attacking, it's very important to remove your opponent's eye shape.

Either of these moves is good, because they prevent white from settling on the side.

In the actual game, Kato attached here, and white jumped out.

This knight's move looks obvious. This is how black can continue attacking.

Then white will try to escape with a knight's move.

You should beware of pushing and cutting like this.

Even though you might capture some stones, it doesn't help you to attack white's group.

Some players cut like this whenever they can.

However, white will sacrifice his stones, and I think we've seen this kind of variation before.

Black can capture these two stones, but white will manage his group easily.

Black's weakness here is exposed in the process.

Black has to defend, but white will push here and connect his weak groups.

Penny wise and pound foolish! It's a big loss for black.

These two stones aren't at all big.

Therefore, pushing and cutting is a bad idea.

When attacking, it's important to aim at the main body.

You might think this enclosure looks nice.

But white will push here, and black has to block.

After that, white will push again and cut.

After white connects here, his stones are all working together nicely.

Now these two stones will die.

It's a big failure for black.

If possible, you should avoid this kind of direct attack.

I've emphasized this to you several times.

Because of black's weakness, pushing here is conceivable.

However, after white pushes here black's attack doesn't seem very severe.

I don't think black can gain much from this attack.

Black can't attack properly with normal moves.

This is a crucial moment.

As I've said before, sometimes you need to find a way to exploit your opponent's weak group.

So you can attack both groups at the same time.

This is a leaning strategy - "make a sound in the east and strike in the west."

It looks so brilliant!

If white defends here, black can attack this group more powerfully.

Now black can play here.

Do you feel the difference between the two variations?

In the previous variation, white could push and cut black.

But now this exchange is already in place.

If white cuts here now, black connects. There's no problem.

White can't escape. This cut isn't a forcing move.

After this exchange, black can atari here or jump like this.

These five stones are in grave danger.

This is a good example of making a sound in the west before striking in the east.

By attaching here, black threatens white's left group, while aiming at the group on the right.

Thanks to the exchange, black can shut white in beautifully.

Once Kato attached, Kobayashi couldn't answer locally.

To avoid enclosure, he looked after his right group first.

These exchanges strengthened white's weak group.

But this hane was so powerful and white's center group became weak.

In addition, this white group wasn't completely alive yet.

So Kobayashi connected, then Kato ataried here.

White settled down on the right side.

However, his center group died suddenly.

This was the result of Kato's brilliant leaning strategy.

They continued the game, but this battle had practically decided it already.

Black successfully exploited white's weak group.

Kato's attacking method:

Exploit another weak group.

If you attack directly, white will find a way to escape.

Black 1 is essential and 3 is a nice learning attack.

With a move like 3, you can attack your opponent's group more severely.

Here's another game which Kato played against Cho Chikun 9p in 1987.

Cho doesn't need any introduction. He's a very famous player.

Cho's very good at sabaki, whereas Kato is a dragon slayer.

These two opposing styles of play clashed against one another.

However, Kato's attacks weren't always successful.

He sometimes failed, and he had to suffer the consequences.

Today, we're going to look at a game in which his attack failed.

Let's have a look.

Cho took white, and he extended here.

Kato had jumped here, to threaten white's three stones.

However, Cho tenukied and took territory on the right side.

Kato might've been provoked by Cho's tenuki.

So he started attacking here.

I can't emphasize enough the risks of attacking directly.

In this game, Kato made the same mistake. Let's look at the progression from the game.

First, he peeped here.

This kind of move is played to make a group heavier.

Cutting here was black's privilege.

If white ataris, black can break through on the left side.

Then this group will die.

Therefore, white had to extend here.

Let's see what happened in the game first.

Kato pressed here immediately.

It was a strong move, and Cho attached here.

After this push, black extended.

When white pushed again, Kato haned.

Does this situation feel familiar to you?

Perhaps this sort of thing happens in your games?

Black's direct attack was underway.

Because of this cutting point, Kato had to defend firmly.

After this push, Cho ataried here.

He thought his group was already safe, so he tenukied again.

This group couldn't be attacked anymore.

If white hanes, this group is almost connected to the corner already.

White can easily manage his group.

If the attack has already ground to a halt, then we need to analyze what black gained.

Originally, this group was weak, but now it had become stronger.

And black gained a bit of influence in the center.

However, because white extended here earlier, that influence wasn't particularly effective.

More importantly, black lost sente.

White's enclosure in the top left corner is an important factor to consider.

Black's direct attack was unsuccessful.

Let's return to the original position.

Black's peep was ok.

However, pressing here was problematic.

If black had just captured this stone in a ladder, white's group would still be weak.

If white jumps out, black can still chase this group.

By peeping here, black can automatically capture this stone.

White still needs to spend more moves to survive.

This would be a better and more natural way to attack.

In this case, Kato's direct attack didn't work.

Lee Hyunwook's attacking method:

Harass your opponent with a slow attack!

If your opponent's group isn't easy to attack, then don't attack.

Strengthen your groups first and wait for the right moment to attack later.

Here's another game from 1987.

When they're behind, pros sometimes leave their weak groups in precarious situations.

Nevertheless, it's not easy to attack and punish your opponent properly.

In this game Kato gives us a good lesson in how to deal with your opponent's dogged perseverance.

Let's have a look at the game.

By capturing this white group, black took the lead in the early stages of the game.

Even though there was a weak group in the center, white tenukied and took points elsewhere.

Kato was black, and he was about to punish white.

Let's see how he attacked white's group.

White extended here earlier, and he already had one eye over here.

But if white could be isolated, his group would be in trouble.

It's easy to come up with this cut.

Black's stone can't be captured.

But white will push here.

If black extends, white will make a net and capture black's two stones.

Since white can easily live, this isn't a good idea for black.

If black rescues his two stones, white will atari and peep here.

Black has to connect here, then white ataris again and escapes.

White's group can connect to the corner now.

Therefore, cutting isn't a good move.

I've already emphasized that direct attacks are rarely good.

First of all, black needs to isolate white's center group.

Cutting here was a good start.

After white extended, Kato blocked here.

White couldn't escape.

So he had to capture these stones instead.

These exchanges strengthened black's position.

After that, black kosumied here, to remove white's potential eye shape.

It was a vital move.

Now this cut works, so white had to defend.

Pinching here was an efficient way to protect the weakness.

This atari is too hasty.

To continue to attacking, black has to block off white's escape route, like this.

However, there's a cutting point here and black has to extend.

White ataris, and black has to extend again.

But now, white can push here and break through black's shape naturally.

So white can connect to the corner again.

Therefore, black mustn't push like this.

Instead, extending here was good.

The cutting point was exposed again.

After these exchanges, white defended here.

Black removed white's eye, of course.

At this point, black played a brilliant move.

If black tries to attack directly, white will come out.

Black can't block here because of his cutting point.

Moreover, there's another weakness here.

Black can't save his two stones.

If he does so, white will capture black's big group in continuous atari.

Therefore, this kind of attack isn't a good choice now.

In this case, defending with this tiger's mouth was good.

Inevitably, white had to find another way to escape.

While white was trying to rescue his group, he kept losing points.

Before blocking, this attachment was a nice move.

White could connect and rescue his group, but he'd lose the game.

Because of that, he had to answer here.

However, black enclosed here, and white's group died.

When Kato attached here, white resigned.

Since black was leading, he didn't overplay.

This soft and flexible attack was the best way to win.

Kato's attacking method: Exploit the opponent's weaknesses

How should black attack white's group?

Before attacking, investigate the weaknesses in your opponent's position, and then begin!

That's something you should always consider before attacking.

Your weaknesses and your opponent's.

Take advantage of your opponent's weaknesses, but don't overplay!

Over the last two episodes, we've reviewed Kato's games.

His nickname, 'The Killer,' really suits him.

His attacking style was great and powerful.

He really enjoyed and loved Go during his time.

I was happy to review some of his games and I enjoyed introducing them to you.

We'll be back to look at Lee Sedol's games next time!

I'm hope you're looking forward to it!

Thank you!

Baduk TV English at GoGameGuru.com