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Posts: 26
Registered: Dec 1, 2022
Some gomoku games analysis
Posted: Nov 13, 2023, 1:30 PM

My opponent starts with a renju opening, stones are close to each other. There is only one opening that doesn't provide a decisive advantage to the first player so I will have to suffer here for a while. OK.
5-K8 is the easiest way to win here; M10 should be sufficient too. Both are bad in renju. M11 is equal in renju so it should be good (maybe winning) for the first player in gomoku as well.
A common plan for this 5-moves-position in renju looks like the following:

Oh my, I wrote "m=k10,l11,m8,j11,m10,k11,m11,m9,l10,j10,j8,k9,l8,k8,l7,o10" in the game tag, the diagram showing looks broken. Nevertheless, the order of moves is correct, the position is just shifted.

After 10 stones being placed (10th move in renju/gomoku, 5th move on this site) there are many options but all of them are not so good in renju. Nevertheless, this particular attack from the renju.net game should be winning in gomoku with a perfect play.

Back to the game.
So, hey, I'm trying to weaken my opp's stones with L10 instead of playing a horizontal three. We have some optimal play until my 6th move. My opponent has a very strong position; I see no active defense so K8 looks like the best option. The typical reply should be either 7.H11 (destroying my last activity and dominating the whole board) or smth like 7.M8. It leads after 7. ... H10 8. G11 L12 to some counterplay for white but I doubt there is a decisive attack so Black should win eventually as well.
My opponent plays 7.L12, and, well, it's not a bit worse than two moves mentioned above.
I have to cut the connections with the right flank so 7. ... N10. Possible 8. H11 looks much stronger now. For 8. ... N7 continuation there is a good option to reply 9. O7 defending the position. Black has some attacking potential but I don't see any winning development here.

Weather changes after 8. K7. White didn't throw a stone on the left flank at H11 or G11 so I feel comfortable there: no opp's threats, some connections for me. So I play 8. ... N7 to disable opponent's resource and prepare some development on the right flank. The goal is to block opp's pair (J12+L12) playing on the right and then play smth like G8 eventually.

9. N8 is the best option, of course. 10. O9 gives me an opportunity to get more space on the right flank; instead, P9 looks stronger.
After 11, it looks like I can try to win in the top-right corner but I don't see a powerful enough attack. So I play very calmly 11. ... L6. Is it a good move? I doubt it =) I've lost the precious tempo. My opponent may switch to 12. K13, 12. H11 or smth alike thus launching a devastating attack since I don't see a VCT* threat for me.
But after 12. K12 M12 I do! A simple threat emerges: I can play P10 creating two threats: 3-3 at P12 and 4-4-3 through Q10, O10. No defense here. So my opponent replies with 13. N11 (?). Now the whole flank is mine: 13. ... P13. It's better than O12 or O11 because it provides me with a lot of space and new lines. My troyak N7-O8-P9 now works not only for Q10 but for R11 as well.

By Q11 I disable last opponent's active defending options and now I'm ready for a carnage. 15. Q10 blocks my main attacking resource but it's already too late. With O14 I can create a lot more resources. Look at the position: there are 2 black stones alone in the attack. More, the two closest stones are also black! And they form a good shape. IMO, this position have to be won already with a perfect play.

Still, maybe 15.N15 could give some hope to the defending side; N13 is a one more too-much-inside-the-position move. No defense after 18. ... P12, I've calculated all the consequences. It's quite easy: there is a main threat, N14+P11+P14 (or N14+P14), also I have O12 P14 Q13 which makes O13 impossible. So 19.P11 is the most robust defense but after 20. ... Q12 there are two independent threats: 3-3 in N14 and VCF by R15, Q15, P15, S12. There are more threats but it's enough to have two independent. My opponent plays 3 but misses my VCF*. The game is over.

*VCF -- victory by continuous fours. This is an equivalent for playing a 3: if opp is trying to play his own 3, he loses.
*VCT -- victory by continuous threes.

Message was edited by: owen_ at Nov 13, 2023, 1:32 PM

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