Dragon Killer Series: Death of the One-Eyed Dragon



In this edition of the Dragon Killer Series, Brown Stone discusses the power of direction of play and the power of stones in developing the Apex and creating advantage during middle game fighting. A failed attack during the early middle game resulted to sufficient strength for a late middle game kill of a one-eyed dragon.


Brown Stone played Black. White 4 was weird. Maybe White did not want Black to play a Chinese Fuseki. In that case, White should have played P16. Black 5 emphasized the East. Black wanted White to enter the corner. This formation looks bad for White.


A bad variation for White

Imagine the sequence White 1, Black 2, and White 3. White has no business splitting at 3 after Black approached high with 2.


Black 7 uses the power of Black Q5, but maybe Black C6 may have been better. White 12 was more active than F3. It threatened Black’s heavy group and weakened the power of Black D16. Since White did not jump at F4 (or F3), Black had the chance to punish White with 13. Black was happy to a wall. Black D16 did not look so important given the power of this thickness and Black Q5. Black’s two-space enclosure aimed at using the power of Black Q5 and the South West wall. Black settled shape in the North West corner.



Black (Triangle) Pairs

North West – 6.5

North East – 7.5

Total – 14

White (Square) Pairs

South West – 10

South East – 5.5

North – 3

West – 3

Total – 21.5 + 6.5 komi

Black was behind but had a lot of potential in the Apex and the East. However, it was also White’s turn. Black was in a bad position.


Maybe White is better playing at Q8 instead of 28 to nullify Black’s emphasis on the Apex. In response to Black 29, White played A. Black expected the joseki starting at B.


Variation Move 30

This is the joseki Black had in mind when Black played P6.


Black pressed White from 31 to 37 and gained more influence towards the Apex. After White 38, Black was dominating the Apex, but White was taking all the early profit. Black secured profit first with Black 39 and used the power of Black R16 and O16. White 40 was too slow. This maybe a crucial mistake for White. Black wanted to invade at C12, but that could give White thickness that would nullify Black’s thickness or start a fight where White had a lot of support. Black 41 emphasized the center and aimed at C12. The shoulder hit of Black 43 emphasized the Apex again. White 46 surprised Black. Black 47 cutoff White’s connection to the corner. If White connected with K2, Black will seal White and aim for a big Apex territory. Black 49 defended the wall and made White heavy. Then, Black 51 made sure White’s Apex group had no opportunity to connect with the other live groups. White was making very good shape in the center. Black 57 made White a little heavy. Black used the power of the corner enclosure on the North East and the thickness on the East. Black did not see the jump of White 60. White can connect to either side. White can connect at B, but White played A first.


White connects Variation 1

White connects.


Wrong variation for White to connect

White dies. White should play 1 at 2.


White connects Variation 2

This looks bad for Black.


White connected with 68. The fight’s result might have been bad for Black. Black 69 and 71 were unnecessary. Black 73 used the power of the East wall and Black L10. White 74 was surprising. Black 77 attacked White and made good shape. Black 79secured the North East corner. Black 81 prevented White from sliding and getting a chance at connecting to White’s North West group or creating a base. Black continued the pressure with 83. White tried to escape with 84. Black exchanged 85 and 86 first before continuing the attack with 87 to 95.


Black aimed at keeping White heavy and eyeless. Black 99 prevented White’s escape, but the coming fight would be difficult. After White 104, White’s dragon was trapped. Black’s North group looked very weak, so Black reinforced with 105. White continued the dragon’s rescue with 106. Black 111 saved the three vital stones, but Black had not read out a success at this stage. Black 113 defended the push and cut that White 112 threatened. After Black 115, A or B does not work for White.


Variation Move 116

Black is safe with the sequence from 1 to 8.


Starting with the attachment of White 122, Black had not read out this sequence from the beginning, but felt comfortable with the support of the North Black group. From 123 to 131, Black saved the crucial stones. White failed in using the nearby stones to White’s advantage. White made a last effort to save the White dragon. After White 142, White failed in saving the dragon. With White 144 to 148, White made a one eye.



Black (Triangle) Pairs

North West – 6.5

North East – 19 + 31 captures = 50

North West – 2.5

Total – 59

White (Square) Pairs

South West -8

South East – 12.5

North – 3

Total – 23.5 + 6.5 komi

Black was leading by about 44.5 points. The game was over at this point.


White almost killed Black in the South West starting with White 176 and 178, but Black managed to live after 185.


White resigned after 194.


White’s weird move at A dictated Black’s strategy in using direction of play in this game.  Black ignored A and played B. C was a mistake that simplified the game for Black but made it inefficient for White. D attempted to use the power of stones and what Black thought was correct direction of play to overcome an early lead and destroy White’s attempts at invasion. Black should learn to synchronize analyzing direction of play and counting. White tried to attack Black’s group at D with E. Black consistently built influence towards the Apex with F, a consequence of White E. G helped Black gain more influence in the Apex. Black aimed at using the influence in the Apex to kill the White H group. However, I saved this group and foiled Black’s plans. Black gained more influence in the Apex after the short attack on the White H group, but Black J and K were unnecessary moves for Black. Fortunately, Black had time to play L and emphasize the Apex more. White M was probably the losing move. Black attacked the White M group with aim of killing it because Black was so strong in the Apex that allowing it to live would be too soft for Black. White almost had a counterattack, but Black saved the vital three marked stones with N. Black did not read out the effectivity of N, but Black was confident because of the surrounding Black stones, especially the Black L North group. White made a useless eye with O. Black killed a big dragon and won the game.

Brown Stone attempted to use good sense of direction and sufficient counting to take control of the game. Brown Stone needs more practice to develop this kind of style.



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