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Topic: Pente for the rest of us
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wmbekking

Posts: 5
Registered: Aug 30, 2018
From: Ottawa
Pente for the rest of us
Posted: May 6, 2019 4:32 PM

Do you ever play against the top players here? How can we, mere mortals, be expected to put up much of a fight against those who have more experience,
study the game far more, strategies with other top players, on and on. Well, it's tough, I know. It looks like I lose by move 3 or so.

Something I like to do is review games the top tier players (you can see them on the Leader Board) play against people of similar ratings to mine. You can
glean much insight this way.

I use to think making an open three early did not lend itself well to a good opening. But it seems I was wrong. Often times, it's the third move made.

Interesting...
It seems like a good opening is to make an open three early and threaten a pair if it's possible.
So, it also seems like if you play an opening too close to his opening shape, I'll lose by being threatened. However, play too far away and they'll make a three to build off of and, again, another loss.

These are just my ramblings based on the few games I've played and looked at.
I'd like to display some games, but I don't know how yet and the etiquette. Can I just display them? or should I ask the players first?

Pente is a good game. We all must think so, or we wouldn't frequent this site and you certainly wouldn't be reading this thread. So, what are some of your experiences when playing top players?. Maybe we can all get better together.



karlw

Posts: 858
Registered: Mar 7, 2006
From: Eugene, Oregon
Age: 31
Re: Pente for the rest of us
Posted: May 6, 2019 10:37 PM

Note: by "moves" I mean one move by each player.

How to beat a top player as P1:

Most games of pente are over in ~15 moves, and one side usually has a clear winning advantage somewhere between the 4th and 8th moves. This means you have to be extremely precise in the opening: one weak move and you may actually be losing as early as your 3rd move, with little or no chance to reclaim the initiative (masters are notoriously reluctant to give it up). Too many strong players are hindered by playing imprecisely in the opening. You must study the strongest P2 openings and internalize the correct plans to deal with the corresponding threats. People who you should shameless copy include virag, nosovs, dmitriking, richardiii, zoey, etc. If you do this, you can win as P1 against nearly anyone, especially in TB.

How to beat a top player as P2:

It probably won't happen, but it's always fun to try. The two best approaches are either (a) play something new and bizarre, aim for as complex a position as possible, and hope that your opponent blunders or (b) play a "draw opening" (forcing early capture trades) and aim for a tactical middlegame where the race to 5 captures can spook your opponent into making a mistake. Examples of such lines are the hammer/wedge (K10 L9 N10 N9) and Boston (K10 L9 N10 J10), which were two of the most successful P2 openings in top level play in history (both pioneered by Rollie Tesh, I believe, which is astounding).
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"It seems like a good opening is to make an open three early and threaten a pair if it's possible.
So, it also seems like if you play an opening too close to his opening shape, I'll lose by being threatened. However, play too far away and they'll make a three to build off of and, again, another loss."

This is an astute observation. The solution to the first problem is to threaten back: your stones are close enough to your opponents' that you have a good chance of playing a move that both defends and attacks. The solution to the second problem is to "divert the keystone": play a line that forces your opponent to make a pair that blocks your tria (3 stones in a row), and then threaten to capture that pair. If done correctly, they will have to address this threat and build closer to your stones.
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Finally, as long as you are analyzing a completed game, I don't think you are in any way obligated to ask the players' permission. Just be respectful of them and the game. Only analyze a game in progress if it is unrated and you have permission from both players, however

A guide for posting game analyses is here:

https://pente.org/gameServer/postanalysis.jsp

It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.
watsu

Posts: 825
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Home page
Re: Pente for the rest of us
Posted: May 6, 2019 11:25 PM

Karl is being modest, feel free to shamelessly copy his P1 TB lines as well. There are quite a few excellent posts in the forum to help developing players improve both their openings and their games in general. When I'm not on my tablet, I'll post a link to some which I put together for my Boat Pente class.

ETA: under general resources it's mostly links for Pente theory -

https://piazza.com/pente.org/spring2019/boatpenteai101/resources


Message was edited by: watsu at May 7, 2019 12:44 AM


I don't want to play non tournament rules games. If you take one of my unrated invites, play tourney
wmbekking

Posts: 5
Registered: Aug 30, 2018
From: Ottawa
Re: Pente for the rest of us
Posted: May 7, 2019 3:08 AM

Thanks a lot for the tips and resources. Definitely much to study. It's clear the opening is of crucial importance. I'm not a fan of chess where you have to memorize openings etc, but I think Pente is far more palatable in that way. For me I'm just curious to see how you top tier players seem to win so easily.
Thanks again.

watsu

Posts: 825
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Home page
Re: Pente for the rest of us
Posted: May 7, 2019 6:31 AM

Pente openings are much simpler than chess and have far fewer principles involved, so it's definitely a lot easier to learn and study. I never went in for study in chess, but to learn it for Pente is pretty easy, and in turn based games at least not even that all that necessary to memorize, since it's mostly all been worked out. Looking forward to seeing you getting a boost, wmbekking. From the games we played and I've seen from you against others, I think you've got a very good sense of the game. Get the openings right and you'll be a force to be reckoned with.
ETA - Hammer theory is one thing I forgot to mention by name, but I see a lot of players walking into sure loss positions as P1 by their move 3 with plays like 1. K10 L9 2. N10 N9 3. K8 (or P8) simply because they apparently don't know it.


Message was edited by: watsu at May 7, 2019 6:32 AM


I don't want to play non tournament rules games. If you take one of my unrated invites, play tourney
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