While yose moves are usually small and mainly consist on winning a few points while keeping sente, sometimes we happen to find big moves during the latest phase of the game. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s because of a shortenning of liberties or due to the presence of some aji-loaded stones.
In this case we’ll discuss the importance of big yose moves such as the one played a couple of weeks ago on KGS, between joehung (7dan, playing as white) and Mr12345678 (6dan, black).
At first glance, we can see there are several yose moves to be played on boths sides in sente. But there is a gote move for white which, as painful as it seems, is the unique path to avoid a 20 point loss. Try and make your guess before continuing to the next paragraph.
Though white chances of playing the big point vanished when he played around the upper-right corner and I’m unable to find a path to defend this formation in sente, black’s next move is so harmful it just shouldn’t be allowed in yose. Moreover, this 20 points loss in yose are extremely -if not impossible- hard to recover.
Black’s move was at A11. It doesn’t matter how you answer to this simple hane on the lowest line, white will lose about 20 points. Just in case you want to try it, I’ve provided a few variations on the tsumego below. Please, comment on it if you find any mistake.
Below this line you’ll see a comparison of white’s territory after 6 moves and the result by the end of the game. Huge, isn’t it?
Now, how big should the difference be in order to resign? If we take into account that big yose moves exist, resigning on the early stages of the game shouldn’t be considered. On the other hand, wishful thinking is regarded as a kyuish mistake…
The situation below is extracted from a game I had on KGS a couple of weeks ago, too. Mindless filling the gaps and liberty shortening might be very dangerous during the endgame. In this case we can see a corner group being severelly threatenned due to the lack of external liberties. And thus, ending up with just 1 point in territory. The final balance from this situation was black losing 7 points.
As you can see, we had already filled all the external liberties, which may be worth 1 point each. Playing a 7 points move in this phase of the game may mean the difference between defeat and victory if the game is very close, since all the other big and small points should have already been played.