Small # of Groups = Higher Chance to Win

Today’s game was a reminder of a concept I was told long ago in one of my teaching games:

The less groups you have on the board, the more likely it is that you’re going to win.

Sounds simple enough right? And yet at the same time, why is this the case?

Let’s not forget an important aspect of Go - the players who use their stones the most efficiently are the ones who will most likely surround the most territory. After all, when you’re killing two birds with one stone, it becomes just about as close to having two moves as a player will ever get!

If we look at the results of my game, you’ll notice that Black has 5 different groups and White has 4 groups. Yet if you play close enough attention, you’ll see how much more efficient White’s stones were at surround territory compared to Black’s. In fact, a number of Black’s groups seems like they barely escape death.

In terms of reflecting on my own play, I know that I experimented with a number of different plays that a higher ranked player would have probably punished nice and well. And in a few instances I tenuki’d when I should have paid more attention to the livelihood of the group. Overall though, I felt rather collected and was happy with each of my moves.