Q&A of Yuki Shigeno 2 dan
The question 1 this month
I always end up going too much for territory in my games. I often lose even though I have taken all four corners.
It's really sad when I think I've taken plenty of territory, but the opponent keeps attacking me and I end up without enough territory.
Some people tell me that in order to get stronger, I should forget about territory and just think about fighting. Are they right?
Anser of Yuki Shigeno 2dan
The corners are very important -- after all, there's even a go proverb that goes, "Resign if you lose all four corners." The problem is that when you take the corner, the opponent naturally gets outside influence and thickness.
If you are not good at hand-to-hand fighting, the opponent can use his thickness to attack you, and you end up falling behind. The corners and territory are important, but at the same time you have to think about thickness and central influence and the overall territorial balance. For example, if you have taken the lead in territory, there's no need to take more territory; on the contrary, this is dangerous, as there is a strong possibility that the opponent will build enormous thickness. In such case, you should play so as to keep in check or negate the opponent's thickness; if you have weak groups, you should reinforce them, so that the opponent doesn't get a chance to attack them. This will be more important than taking more territory.
It's a bit extreme to say you should forget about territory and just fight, so I can't recommend this policy. The important thing is to strike the right overall balance between territory and thickness.
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