Baduk TV English: Attacking Vitamins: Lesson 14

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 14.

Lesson 14

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Translated by Oh Chimin 7d

Edited by David Ormerod 5d

Episode 14: Attacking Oriented Players - Lee Sedol I

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

We talked last time about how to improve your Go skills.

I told you that it's important to enjoy the game.

The player I'm going to introduce today really enjoys and loves Go.

He's Lee Sedol 9p.

He has a number of nicknames.

They included 'Undefeated Boy', 'Genius' and 'Bigeumdo Boy'.

[Tr: Bigeumdo is Lee Sedol's hometown.]

Anyway, he's extremely good at slaying his opponents' dragons.

I can't wait to show you his games.

Let's start today's lesson!

This game was played between Lee Sedol 9p and Kong Jie 9p in China, in 2007.

Lee's a Korean player, but he's been playing in the Chinese A League.

This is from one of his Chinese A League games.

Kong was ranked #3 in China at the time.

Let's see how Lee attacked Kong's group.

At the beginning, a large scale joseki appeared in the bottom right corner.

It took over a quarter of the board!

Lee expanded his moyo, and Kong invaded immediately.

This was black's only big moyo.

So Lee had to attack this group severely, to gain some sort of profit.

How would he play in this situation?

The knight's move and the capping play are conceivable.

Black had a wall here.

Capping here intends to drive white into that wall.

And that was Lee's choice. Kong ran away with a kosumi.

This push isn't good, because white can't get out after black extends.

Before escaping, Kong exchanged these moves.

Then he jumped out.

How about the push and cut?

White will block here.

Black's stones will die.

This attachment is of no use. White will wedge and capture black.

It's no good.

Therefore, you should be careful not to play such moves in haste.

Lee was aware of that, of course, so he answered here.

White attached here, looking for a way out.

This wedge is a typical mistake, made by many players.

Black can cut white, so it looks ok for him.

But white will cut and extend, then black's two stones die.

Now these stones are dead.

Black not only failed to attack, but he lost many points.

So black needs a more flexible attack, like this.

White extended, and Lee pushed again.

After white's extension, Lee's attack was very good.

You might be thinking this push looks good, because it doesn't leave any weaknesses on the outside.

But there's a cutting point here.

The wall looks fine, but white's counter will be severe.

Black can't rescue his three stones.

Since black forgot to defend while attacking, the result is disastrous.

You always need to think about where your own weaknesses are.

"Make a fist before striking." This tiger's mouth was a slow, but good move.

White had to move out, but Lee peeped and separated white powerfully.

Black had nothing to worry about.

Because of this tiger's mouth, white couldn't go any further.

So Kong had to make a ko in the corner.

He had to rely on some local threats.

However, black had many ko threats in the bottom right.

White had to cut here.

When black made a threat here, Kong couldn't answer.

As a result, the top left corner was captured.

In order to get our of danger, Kong had to give up his corner, and it was huge.

The game was practically over here.

Through attacking, Lee quickly took control of the game.

Lee Sedol's attacking method: Adjust the severity of your attack!

How should black attack white at this point?

When attacking, be mindful of your own weaknesses too!

If you attack blindly, you'll fall prey to your opponent's counter.

Keep an eye on your own weaknesses, then you'll succeed!

This game was played between Lee Sedol 9p and Wang Lei 9p in 2009.

As you know well, Chinese players are very strong, and their positions tend to be solid.

Therefore, they don't collapse suddenly.

Wang is a typical example of this sort of player.

Despite this, they often succumb to Lee's attacks.

We're going to look at Lee's superb attacking skills.

Lee took black, and this jump was the last move.

Normally, black would push and escape like this.

In response to this jump, black can just run out with white.

If white extends, black plays a knight's move.

This is the natural flow of play.

I think it would be normal here.

But Lee doesn't like such ordinary moves.

He started with this atari.

This move was played to make white's group heavier.

But it also reduced black's liberties.

However, Lee was determined to attack white.

Instead of this knight's move, Lee kept pushing.

White was extending along the fifth line.

In terms of territory, these exchanges were very bad.

Other players wouldn't choose to play like this.

When attacking, Lee doesn't mind playing very severe, or even experimental moves.

As a result, he made a wall here.

After that, he kosumied.

If white jumps out, black will attach and connect here.

White can't connect his group. It's miai for black.

If white plays here, black cuts.

Inevitably, white had to defend his weak point.

After that, Lee's attack became more powerful.

His attacks are sometimes very fierce.

His intention was to seal white in.

That's why Lee pushed several times, losing many points in the process.

It seems like white's in trouble.

So Wang jumped out.

As a result, Lee captured.

Wang managed to connect his group, but there was still a weakness here.

This empty triangle was great!

Finally, Lee captured white's three stones.

Frankly, these aren't very big in terms of territory.

However, black's group became strong after capturing them.

In contrast, this white group was still floating in the center.

Lee took control of the game in an instant here.

Lee pushed several times, which other players would hesitate to do.

Because of his attack, Lee was leading by a big margin.

In this way, Lee's attacks often work well against typically flexible Chinese players.

Lee Sedol's attacking method: Attack first to take the initiative in a battle.

How should black attack white now?

When both sides have weak groups, you have to attack first.

Even if you give up some points, you can take the lead by attacking!

Even though you may have to give up some points at first, you can gain even bigger profits later!

This game was played between Lee Sedol 9p and Cho Hanseung 9p in 2003.

These two players became professionals together (in the same year).

And Cho is strong against Lee.

Lee has lost to Cho several times, in crucial stages of tournaments.

Cho is one of Lee's toughest opponents.

But, in this game, Lee attacked very effectively, so he won quite easily.

Let's have a look.

Lee enclosed here, to fortify his moyo.

Before that, white made many points at the bottom.

This area was black's only big moyo, so Lee had to protect it.

If white could reduce this area without any problems, the game would be favorable for him.

If white tenukis, this area will become uncontrollable.

So Cho tried to reduce the moyo.

This is a very tricky situation for black.

He could complete his moyo, or start attacking white powerfully.

But the choice is difficult.

This capping play is more in keeping with Lee's style.

In response, white exchanged this move, them jumped again.

Some people might think white jumped too far.

But this kind of direct attack isn't good now.

This sort of attack sometimes works, but not in this case.

Black was able to capture white's two stones.

White can still use these stones later though.

This area is open, so black can't make much territory here.

White's built a wall here, so he can attack the corner.

It's a failure for black.

It's important to attack the entire group.

After exchanging this push, Lee jumped here.

Cho attached here, then Lee peeped.

There's a Go proverb, "don't try to cut when your opponent attaches."

If black cuts off white's attachment stone, white will crosscut.

With this atari, white can easily manage his group. That's what the proverb means.

Instead, this move is more flexible.

To live on the inside, white exchanged these moves.

However, he couldn't make two eyes there.

In order to escape, Cho had to sacrifice another stone. Then he jumped out.

This was the highlight of the game.

How about this peep?

After white's bamboo joint, black has to defend his weakness.

Then white will settle down with this one space jump.

White's connected nicely, making several points at the top.

Black hasn't gained anything from the attack.

This knight's move is practically the same. White will jump here anyway.

If black tries to separate white, he'll slide into the corner.

White can easily live on the inside, because black's corner is very weak.

When it's not easy to attack a group, you need to look for a special move.

"Make a sound in the east and strike in the west." You need to use an indirect attack against another group in this case.

If white extends, black can push and easily isolate white.

So Cho played a tiger's mouth, and Lee haned.

Black shut white in very naturally.

Of course, white won't die, but black will become thicker as white struggles to make life.

And white's position in the top left will be damaged in the process.

This is a typical example of a successful attack.

Lee Sedol's attacking method:

How should black attack white now?

Exploit your other stones in the vicinity of the target!

Move 7 is a wonderful. Black executed a successful attack with this move.

It's never easy to capture a dragon.

But don't forget that you can still take profit by attacking it!

Today we've looked at Lee Sedol's games.

His attacking style is different to that of Kato Masao or Yu Changhyeok.

His moves require deep and sophisticated reading.

I think his attacking style is the hardest to imitate.

In my opinion, it's this unique style which has made Lee perform well so far.

Next time, we'll see Lee Sedol's lethal attack after a complicated battle.

Thank you!

Baduk TV English at GoGameGuru.com