White should simply have extended with 24 as shown in Figure 7, which
makes the white stones stronger without helping the black stones get stronger,
too. This is another important Go principle: often the best way to attack
your opponent's stones is to make your own stones stronger. Beginners like
to say "atari" and do it every chance they get. But it is often
a bad idea. In this game, it just made the black stone stronger without
helping the white stones at all, which is exactly the opposite of what White
needed. White 24 in Figure 7 strengthens the white stones at the bottom
and it attacks the lone black stone, too. Now if White could play atari
at 25, the Black stone could not get away (try it and see), and so Black
must defend it by playing a move like 25 just the same as in the actual
game. But now White has only one side to worry about, and 26 is one good
move which will prevent Black from capturing the white stones on that side.
The marked black stones in the corner are as good as dead. (More advanced
readers will no doubt notice that it would be better for Black to play 25
immediately above 24, but White can still capture the marked black stones.)
Now that we have looked at White's big mistake, let's get back to the
actual game. In Figure 8, White tries to get away with 28, but this just
adds another dead stone to the group. Black blocks the way with 29. White
tries to capture the black stones in the corner with 30, but it is too late.
Black plays 31 and says "atari", and the white stones cannot get
away. Rather than waste any more stones, White decides to play somewhere
else. White 32 tries to get as much territory as possible in the corner.
But it is another mistake. Another important rule to remember is: don't
play too close to a strong group of enemy stones.
Black plays 33 which traps the white stone against a solid wall of black
stones. White counter-attacks with 34, but 35 puts the white stone into
atari, and it cannot escape. White plays 36 which keeps Black from coming
any further into White's corner, and it also puts 33 into atari. Black plays
37 to capture the white stone and save the black one. The board has now
been divided up into territories. White has a small group in the top right,
and a bigger one in the bottom right. Black has most of the left side of
the board, and perhaps a point or two on the right side as well. It is important
to remember that you will get most of your points by surrounding territory.
Beginners spend most of their time trying to capture enemy stones, or save
their own, but this is not the main object of the game. In a full-size game
between experienced players, each is likely to have more than 50 points
of territory, but only a handful of captives (unless there has been a long
ko fight). In this game, Black is likely to win because of all the territory
on the left side.
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