OGS: acke (5k) - ThomasMeli(10k)

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Thank you for your review!  I am looking to improve my understanding of how to play handicap games as black (and thus utilize influence more effectively).  I was paying attention to shape a lot in this game, but was unsure how to attack my opponent's heavy stones for profit.  I ended up often going for the corners, but this didn't seem to turn out as well as I'd hoped - and I made a huge life and death blunder and lost a huge group, causing me to resign.  How could I have kept up the pressure on my opponent to profit while attacking and at the same time retain good shape?

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Hi Thomas,
Thanks for uploading your game to go-academy.org!

My name is Leo and I play as 2k on KGS. I will have a look at your game and leave some comments to provide you with some ideas how to improve your game. 

As you want to improve your "understanding of how to play handicap games as black" I want to start with some general thoughts:
- Playing black in a handicap game you have a huge advantange at the very beginning. To win the game you "just" have to keep some of that till end of the game.
- You get extra stones because your opponent is stronger and more experienced than you are. Hence in complicated situations like fights and life&death situations he will have a good chance to get the better result.

Consequently to successfully play black in a handicap game I would encourage you to always try to keep the situation as easy as possible. As long as the game the game is "normal" your opponent might be able to get slightly better results here or there but that will not be enough to catch up.
Throughout the review I will keep this "keep things easy" idea in mind and point out where the game became unnecessary complicated allowing white to benefit.

I hope you will enjoy the review. Good luck for your next games!

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Thank you for taking the time to invest in my growth Leo. I look forward to your review when it is finished!

This review was amazing, super clear, and really helped answer exactly the questions I had.  Thank you so much!

Thanks for your kind words - glad that I was able to help.