Commentary on my T.A. Death GM

Thread in 'Strategy' started by colour_thief, 25 Mar 2008.

  1. Now that the carnival is over, I think I'll finish this at a more relaxed pace.

    Z - Level 506

    This move is notable because I create an overhang in the middle, where you are supposed to avoid holes the most. I could have occupied columns 6-7-8 instead, but that would have caused overstacking. I could have placed it in columns 1-2, but then I'd have an inward facing overhang that would effectively cut off the entire left side of the screen until I got the right piece. I think I chose the best option, as it's very easy to recover from this. This overhang is actually very very common, so immediately when I placed it I created a L-plan of "left B right" and a T-plan of "left B B". Notice how this is a Z piece... but it is creating the common S overhang pattern. (See level 299)

    L - Level 511

    Here I take a line, creating a hole in the process. One thing people who first reach these speeds do too often is cash out lines too soon for instant gratification, at the cost of stability and ultimately creating holes. This particular line clear is ok though, because it only overstacks by 1 row, and it's very easy clear that row by placing a wide number of pieces to the right.

    J - Level 514

    Notice that placing this piece to left far left would have also been a good move. But my priority was to re-open the hole I buried at 511, and also getting the piece in the left hole is much harder to execute... You have to press B 3 times. That's not something I can do consistently at this speed.

    L - Level 520

    This does some serious overstacking in column 10. I could have avoided this overstacking by making column 10 my tetris hole, but I felt that unless I got ZJ (in that order) almost immediately, column 1 would become a tetris hole as well. I overstacked in anticipation of needing to make column 1 a tetris hole.

    Levels 521-523

    T - I made column 1 a tetris hole. Now, no I piece could actually make it there at this speed, so building a path became a priority.

    J - Looking good, I've made a path for the I.

    I - Well... Crap... all that work and I blew it. This is another example of context changing fast, and not properly adjusting my I-plan. It's like I've got an I-plan of "don't go left yet", and before I can change it to "GO LEFT!!" I get an I piece. [​IMG] (Compare with level 173.) This is also an example of not trying any last moment fixes. (See level 421.) I almost certainly noticed my mistake quickly, but trying to fix it would have probably just made things worse.

    Z - Level 524

    Because of my previous mistake, no I piece was going to go left in the immediate future. For this reason, I decided to cash in a line while blocking my tetris hole, instead of maintaining my tetris hole. An L or O, both likely pieces, would reopen this hole immediately anyways. Compare with level 511 for the sort of "immediate gratification" line clears I think are worth going for.

    L - Level 526

    I have absolutely no idea why I triple rotated here. I haven't screwed up this bad since level 348.

    O - level 527

    While this placement is obvious, it was while placing this piece and looking to the J ahead that I saw a line clear of opportunity that would allow me to quickly recover from my previous error. (See levels 372, 411.)

    I - Level 531

    While this piece might have been better placed in the hole, the context was changing really fast and frankly I was a bit stunned that my line clear of opportunity was achieved so quickly. Forgiving this lapse in concentration, placing the I piece in column 5 is a very good move in many situation because it guarantees the mobility of all pieces in the immediate future. I should use this more often... See levels 459 389, 218, and 53.

    L - Level 532

    Whenever I place an L like I have here, I get a T-plan to place a T flat on top of it. This is because placing the T piece overstacks the tetris hole by exactly 4 lines... a potential tetris! This is pretty important in master mode and TGM1 and Ti. It doesn't really matter much in death mode, but I just thought I'd point out that I get a tingle for a T piece.

    J - Level 536

    I didn't place this against the right wall because that would create a hole that wants a J piece... The piece that has just entered the history. Additionally I feel really uncomfortable with I holes in columns 4,5,6,7.

    L - Level 542

    Notice that I'm cutting off columns 1 and 2. At this point though, I'm focusing on uncovering the hole in column 1, so this column had a self-imposed cut off anyways in order to avoid overstacking.

    L - Level 549

    I could have easily placed this piece sitting in columns 7/8. However, that would create a formation I generally dislike (see level 103). It was not easily, but very possible, to place this piece in column 10, but I don't trusdt myself to pull that off. I settled for a decent placement that maintains the height of column 5.

    Z - Level 552

    Placing this piece in columns 4/5 would have been a good move. I was drawn to the move I chose out of a need to create a path for an I piece to go right. This wasn't strictly necessary, but I have a strong preference for I placements that are first horizontal and then are rotated vertically into position. Without this, missing an IRS would cause a misplaced I. Additionally, I'm very familiar with this overhang pattern. Just looking at it I see many possible high speed solutions... J,T,I. I,O. I,L,J. And column 7 is pretty low risk, if I really can't fill it.

    L - Level 557

    Here I'm executing an L-plan formed at level 552. Not that I,L,J is really not my ideal solution, but it's a solution I commonly use. You have to make due with the pieces you get. When it comes to overhangs I like to play the first solution I have the pieces for.

    I - Level 563

    Would you have placed this horizontally? Lots of people miss good horizontal I placement opportunities. I think it was the best move here.

    Z - Level 568

    This piece couldn't have it's lock delay reset at all. This messes with your rhythm and often results in misdropping the next piece.

    J - Level 569

    All I wanted to do was tap right once... But because the previous piece was placed too early in my rhythm, I failed to time it right. It's really hard to stay in control of the small bursts of speed that happen when lock delay isn't reset.

    I - Level 571

    When you are planning to fill columns 9 and 10 with I pieces, it is best to fill column 10 first. This saves you from tapping left after reaching the wall with the first I. More importantly, the second I can easily be rotated into column 9 after hitting the wall in the horizontal orientation.

    S - Level 573

    This placement is part of a commitment to build cleanly on the right while keeping my mess on the left. Notice also that this placement required me to abstain from using IRS, instead waiting until I reached the wall to rotate. Many options open up when you learn the full spectrum of DAS moves.

    T - Level 581

    Placing this in the middle would have created a need for an O piece, which is freshly in my history. Taking the lines feels ok to me, because it's "practically" a double.

    O - Level 584

    Look who just got moved left once!

    T - Level 597

    I should not have taken these lines. This piece would have been better placed in the middle, elevating column 5. My screen was flat before this piece, but that was ok because the ready-to-go lines offered me some flexibility. Now I lost that flexibility and didn't even get a double out of it.

    Z - Level 599

    This placement was made to recover from flatness and to create a path for an I piece to go right.

    L - Level 599

    This is an interesting decision. This piece would have fixed my overhang nicely, however I decided I would rather have a hole in column 9. Filling the overhang would require a double-tap right -- something I can't consistently do and wouldn't want to risk when there is a lot at stake (a ready made tetris in this case). Additionally, it would have prevented me from moving an I into column 1 the slow, safe, IRS-less way.

    T - Level 599

    This piece again could fix my overhang, though without a double tap this time. But it would still prevent me from moving an I into column 1 the safe way. I don't want to mess around when I have a tetris at stake.
  2. pictures!!!
  3. ema

    ema Unregistered

    It takes trouble and will be serious, but I am looking forward to continuation [​IMG]

    This topic is fantastic, but this is in English. So I hope to translate into Japanese. As a starter, I copy all messages to below page. ... pwiki_body

    Translation might take a while. But I'll do it.
  4. colour thief will like this!

    Great work ema!

  5. I'm glad you like it. [​IMG] That it is being translated into Japanese comes as a great surprise to me. One of my main motivations for writing this was the fact that there are few good learning resources in English.

    I hope that TiT will forgive my lack of skill. I am sure that there are much stronger Japanese players that could give more useful commentary. But hopefully it is still interesting.
  6. L - Level 604

    I had avoided this move previously (see L - Level 599), though here I attempted it and succeeded. The difference is that this time there was no tetris waiting to happen. There is less at stake, so I was more willing to try a difficult placement.

    T - Level 606

    This placement leaves no good place for an S piece, which is out of the history and quite probable. The T would have been better placed if I rotated clockwise once.

    S - Level 607

    With no good place to put this, I shoved it my hole as the least bad of my bad options. (See also levels 78, 197, 230, 280, 300 etc.) Another important thing that happened with this move, was that since no lines cleared I knew immdiately that I could not unearth my left hole until I had fixed the hole on the right.

    Levels 608-611

    As per my rapid change of strategy that was an automatic reaction from level 607, I staacked high on the left to open up the right.

    O - Level 614

    Notice that I didn't leave it in the middle. I moved it left once, again.

    Z - Level 618

    A misdrop. When you play without locking, it takes a very good rhythm to time IRS during ARE. I was a little early here, causing the active piece to rotate unnecessarily. These mistakes happen a lot when you are just starting to play these speeds, but with practice they will disappear. You start to develop a very concrete sense of when lock delay is reset.

    S - Level 619

    This is a less than ideal placement. However, it was deliberate. After making a mistake at high speed, as happened previously at level 618, it is very easy to lose control and turn your 1 mistake into a series of mistakes. This placement was made with the intent of knowing my current stack shape. By contrast, if I had tried a different placement and failed, I would be surprised by the error and would still not be in control. (See 421, 438, 523.)

    O - Level 623

    Much like level 607, I'm making a hole at the side of the screen where it is easily recoverable. Note that I didn't place the piece left twice, which would have avoided holes, because then the left side of the screen would have been unreachable with a T piece.

    J - Level 624

    I had just received an I at level 624, and I wasn't going to wait for another because my screen was very unstable. Also, note the higest holes are in columns 3, 8, and 10. When you have 2 holes in the same row like that, creating a third is not a big deal. I needed a lot of work to dig deeper than row 5 anyways.

    O - Level 630

    This placement was made to avoid overstacking, hoping for an L or I-J easy fix.

    O - Level 637

    Left, once. [​IMG]

    J - Level 640

    After avoiding overstacking for the last few pieces, I placed this piece to overstack a single row. My strategy, at his point, is to stack high on the left, while clearing lines on the right, with a secondary goal to avoid overstacking.

    L - Level 649

    All the effort I went through to avoid overstacking was wasted with this placement. I had a fairly large O-drought at this point, and felt a need to keep a good place for the O piece.

    I - Level 651

    Did you know this move was possible? It doesn't come up very often. The auto-synchro move placing I pieces to the left, by comparison, is a staple.

    J - Level 665

    This is a bad move because it uses a J piece to make a J-hole. This piece would have been better placed flat in columns 5-6-7... But placement in the middle (ie. without lock reset) must be decided on early or else you will lose the rhythm and misdrop your next piece.

    T - Level 666

    Another bad move. I overstack my hole unnecessarily, and also create the need for an I piece in column 1. Better alternatives would have been to place it in columns 4-5 pointing right, or in columns 1-2-3 facing down (see next comment).

    T - Level 677

    Here I create an unnecessary hole. However, I feel that the screen shape is much more more versatile now. Alternative placements without holes would leave few options for S or Z pieces. Though my placement makes a hole, it is very easily recovered, and I am guaranteed to keep column 5 the highest for many pieces to come.

    Z - Level 682

    This move made my screen unstable, but I was focused on fixing the hole I had just created at level 677.

    L - Level 684

    This is a lot of overstacking, but I felt my screen was too bumpy, and preventing future holes is more important than efficiently clearing current holes.

    J - Level 693

    This might look like a bad move, with a great alternative placement on the right. Bu this move stabilizes the middle of the screen, and the overhang is easy to deal with. When I placed this piece, I immediately created an L-plan of "DAS left, move right once". Also note how my placement technique controls the speed (see commentary for level 6).

    S - Level 694

    Another example of making a hole on the side where it can be easily recovered.

    I - Level 696

    In continuing talking about my placement at level 693... The overhang is so versatile because even now I can easily fill it. My L-plan changed to IRS B, DAS left, A. Note that even if the I piece filled one space higher in its column, the L-plan would still work.

    O - Level 699

    I didn't place this once left. Why? Specifically so that I could keep a placement option for the Z piece, which I then proceeded to pass on anyways...

    Z - Level 699

    I originally wanted to to place this piece in columns 3-4. Note how I would still have been able to fill in the hole with my L-plan. However, I noticed that my hole on the right, after the line was cleared, would require an L piece. Since I was having to luck getting L pieces, I decided to abandon my plan (a good call - I would have waited 12 pieces). This made a hole on the left, but opened the hole on the right. Importantly, this move grouped all my holes close together on the left. It would have been possible to keep going with my L-plan, expecting an I piece or an (improbable) L piece for the right. But there is an advantage to moving all holes on the same side, and I think it allows for more agressive digging.
  7. L - Level 701

    Even though this L-hole was only opened up with the previous placement, I had no hesitation in filling it. In fact, ever since I placed the T at level 695 I knew I could use an L in the future.

    T - Level 703

    This piece was actually the best possible piece I could place left, given my top 2 holes. This is because it avoids overstacking without creating additional holes an it also leaves room for an easy S placement on the left wall.

    S - Level 705

    The aforementioned S placement that avoids overstacking. This move is very versatile. Even if columns 3 and 4 were a deep pit to the bottom, it would be possible to place the S here.

    S - Level 714

    In retrospect, I should not have been afraid of placing this on the right in columns 8 and 9. This would have created an I hole, but the I piece was out of my history and therefore probable. And placement of that I piece would be very simple. As it is, I overstacked. This was probably a basic reflex from my left over S-plan created at level 703.

    S - Level 728

    This was an intentional move to keep column 5 the highest. Unfortunately with this piece sequence it was a bad idea, but I feel it is an ok move in general when you are playing for survival above all else.

    O - Level 729

    A placement hoping for a line clear of opportunity that would use a J piece and something else in order to clear a double and repair the hole made previously.

    T - Level 731

    Here I abandoned all hope of getting that line clear of opportunity. If I was a real man (or I had Ti wallkicks, heh) I would have placed the T piece against the right wall using advanced techniques. Without confidence in my ability to pull that off at max speed, I thought that the only stable placement was to overstack 3 rows. [​IMG]

    I - Level 736

    Too often, I think people miss good horizontal I placement opportunities. This placement isn't exceptional or anything, but I think many people would not even consider it.

    I - Level 756

    Now this, is an excellent horizontal I placement. It helps greatly to open up my hole with minimum overstacking.

    S - Level 761

    On the one hand, I've just re-created the hole I worked so hard to open up, but on the other hand my stack has a very stable shape and I've opened up the tetris hole on the left.

    L - Level 763

    A seemingly bad move, but I'm more interested in fixing the hole in column 6 than having a clean pit on the side. My screen is still very stable, and I'm now well positioned for recovery.

    L - Level 769

    Notice how I am stacking in preparation for a tetris on the right. With my previous 2 pieces I fixed my hole in column 6, I filled my pit in column 1, and immediately I knew that my next hole was in column 10.

    S - Level 777

    An intentional overhang that I am very familiar with. There are many possibilities for filling it, even at high speeds, at there is a good path for moving an I piece to column 1.

    J - Level 779

    Even though this move is not optimal, I will often settle for it, especially at high speeds. It creates a hole, but a quick single will open it back up. Also, it trades an overhang in column 4, for a hole in columns 2 and 3. On the bad side this trades possible badness for actual badness. However, this move also moves the badness towards a wall, making it less bad.

    S - Level 782

    Someone without a larger plan might have instinctively placed this piece to the left. However, clearing this single was a huge priority for me, and was planned since level 779.

    O - Level 788

    Another O piece I didn't move left! (See level 699.) This time, it was because I didn't want to create a deep hole in columns 2 and 3, and there was no place for an I piece on the left anyways.

    Z - Level 792

    Another misdrop from IRS timed too early. As always, with a mistake like this you need to keep your cool and concentrate on stability and clearing your built up lines so that the screen becomes lower and you can recover more comfortably.

    O - Level 794

    I previously mentioned how important it is to clear your built up lines. It is important to note the row the misdrop affects, and carefully place pieces that can clear lines around that row. This O placement planned for a double, which I knew could fit under the imperfect row. I don't think it came up much in this performance, but there is a wide variety of tricks you can do to clear lines around an imperfect row, so that you can compact your stack and move your mistake to the bottom. As a side note, both J and I were outside the history right now. [​IMG] So this double was practically guaranteed with safety.
  8. My sloppy beginning may have been more noticed, but I believe it is in fact my 800-899 section that was filled with the worst mistakes.

    L - Level 804

    Previously, I was focusing very hard to make sure I cleared the tetris I had built up. After I cleared it, and entered section 800, I became directionless. As strange as it sounds, sometimes when I focus very hard on getting a tetris, I find it difficult to readjust afterwards to get new goals to guide my placements. Sometimes I'll get a similar effect if my screen is too low: When I fix my last hole, suddenly something I was very focused on no longer exists, and I'm more likely to lose direction and make foolish placements.

    T - Level 807

    Though this placement leaves a stable surface, it was a very poor decision. It is best to keep one half of the screen clean, and keep holes together on the other side. So, it would have been better to overstack on the left.

    Z - Level 811

    I placed this piece thinking the hole I created at level 807 didn't exist. [​IMG] On the one hand, this is advanced thinking because it predicts the shape after a line clear, but on the other hand I show that was definitely losing concentration at this point.

    I - Level 817

    This was a poor placement, but it actually saved me. I was too tired to adapt to the rapidly changing holes on the screen, but this poor placement helped me instinctively establish the right side as my clean side and the left side as my dirty side. I might be in a very bad position right now, but at least I've established this strategy. Though ideally my brain wouldn't get exhausted like this in the first place...

    Levels 818 - 823

    Notice that my stacking shows a lot more direction now that I have regained a strategy. Things are still relatively clean on the right, and I've created a hole and an overhang on the left.

    S - Level 824

    This is an unfortunate misdrop. But my screen is relatively stable and I can go forward with my general plan.

    O - Level 829

    With this line clear my "dirty side" became filled in, and, guided by the hole in column 6, my strategy changed to make my left side the "clean" one now. A hole in column 6 is extra tricky... Really, you want both sides to be clean while you attack the middle. But my priority is absolutely to keep the left clean.

    Z - Level 835

    Holes in the middle are such a delicate situation at high speed 20G that I am much more willing to settle for a partial solution like this one. It can get extremely dangerous waiting for the ideal piece.

    L - Level 837

    It may look like I missed a great opportunity to open up my hole in column 6 again. (I would have had to not IRS the piece, or Mihara's conspiracy's J kick would have to work for the L.) But this placement makes my screen extremely stable, with the samll cost of only 1 row of overstacking.

    Levels 838 - 843

    these placements aggressively attack the hole in column 6 without much thought for stability. I may have recovered a sense of direction, but I am still not playing as intelligently as I should be.

    Z - Level 851

    My placement was not bad, but in retrospect I feel tempted to create a J-plan overhang in column 5. This would have maintained screen mobility, whereas my chosen placement cuts off the left 3 columns. Either way I would need a J piece, and the overhang is more flexible. (See levels 299 and 506.)

    J - Level 852

    This was an extremely aggressive move, putting major pressure to stack cleanly on the left so that I can get tetrises on the right. I'm not sure why I decided this, because most of my 500+ play is extremely defensive and purely focused on survival.

    T - Level 858

    This placement disrupts the stability of my stack. L just entered the history and is unlikely to come and fix my pit in column 6. I should have plugged my far left pit. There is often a choice that must be made between stability and avoiding holes. I made the wrong decision here.

    O - Level 859

    Though this placement causes the damage, it is the fault of the previous placement. Notice that the T would have plgged the hole more efficiently by creating a hole of only 1 square.

    J - Level 862

    Technically this is unnecessary overstacking, but it also maintains a place for the Z piece.

    I - Level 869

    Here I attempted the synchro move, the same one that I failed at levels 66 and 193. Notice that in this case the risk is low because failure produces a single. See how I was playing similar to forced high speeds early in the game? At 500+, it is extremely dangerous to tap left twice and then rotate.

    L - Level 871

    Though I would ordinarily be tempted to place it in columns 2-3-4, since I just got an I piece I did not want to create a tetris hole.

    O - Level 876

    Strangely, here is an O I should have placed left once but didn't. Placements that don't reset lock delay require extra planning and comfort with the speed, so often I will miss good centre placements if I am not playing with enough concentration.

    I - Level 878

    This is a terrible placement. Column 10 would have been ok. Or even, placing it flat on the ground. Horizontal I placements are often missed, horizontal I placements that don't clear lines doubly so. (See levels 563, 736.)

    S - Level 880

    I don't think I've commented much on finesse, but it is important to know the full vocabulary of fast moves that are available to you. Here, I DAS'ed to the wall and then pressed left+rotate together to place the piece. Can you see how it is simple to place the S in columns 9-10, 8-9, or 7-8 even at the highest speeds? The placement I just used is the most sophisticated of the three. If you press rotate before releasing your DAS, you will fail because you then need to press left twice to correct the mistake. And if you press left before pressing rotate, the piece can't move so you have to press left a second time (after the rotation) to actually move the piece. If you time things just right, rotating while you are moving the stick left, you succeed. In fact I pressed left and rotate in the exact same frame here. [​IMG] It's possible to do this move very consistently with practice. ...As a side note, this move was strategically motivated by a desire to avoid overstacking column 9.

    T - Level 889

    Another misdrop caused by trying to IRS before ARE. This put me in an extremely uncomfortable position. This is easily the most uncomfortable I've been 500+ during this performance, and it was my final difficulty to overcome on the way to GM.

    S - Level 891

    I could have DAS'ed this into columns 1-2, but I was too surprised by my level 889 misdrop to make that decision.

    Levels 892 - 896

    Thanks to my poor placement at level 891, I now found myself with a tetris hole in columns 1 and 10, with no way to get an I piece there and an I piece coming next!! In this situation, especially near the top with little room for flexibility, a decision must be made to plug one of the holes and making that the dirty side, while stacking cleanly on the other side.

    L - Level 898

    Here I chose the right side to be my dirty side. I think this was the right choice because that side was lower, and could therefore hold more dirtyness and offer me more flexibility.

    J - Level 899

    Here it is, the moment I felt a sigh of relief and thought I would probably make it to GM. The I piece was out of the history. While I still hadn't received it, I received a J piece, which could clear a double while plugging my tetris hole. As I placed this piece, I was hoping for an L piece to immediately open up the tetris hole again... and it was my next piece! With 3 lines cleared to give me a little a little breathing room, I knew my likely I piece would soon come and I was in a good position to dig through my garbage.
  9. jujube

    jujube Unregistered

    thanks ct, it was fun to read that then to go and watch the video again. i didn't feel the same discomfort at level 889, probably because i knew what was gonna happen [​IMG]

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