Long time no write! I’m now back from one month of quite intensive university studying, and also from a six-day trip to Dublin. Ireland was a completely new experience to me, and also a really nice one: I very much liked the feel to Dublin as well as the architecture, not to mention the natural sights. The tournament went reasonably well: I got a 4-1 result, beating Wang Wei after a lucky turn in the game, but lost to Ondrej Silt in quite a similar fashion. In the end, we had a completely even score with Wei, and so ended up sharing the first place!
Here’s a picture of the tournament venue from the second round, as well as one from Howth, a fishing town with incredible sights, located right next to Dublin. Please excuse the poor iPhone picture quality!
A tournament report would be nothing without a game review, so here goes: me against Wei from the third round. I had black again, just like last time in London. Some move orders may be slightly off, thanks to me scribing these moves some time after the game.
I played the same opening stones as in our previous game, however the game quickly got different. We kicked the game off with a really classic joseki sequence, as seen here.
Wei then played the out-of-ordinary peep of white 18, which I chose to cut off. After white 22, it seems both players have solidified their groups, however I would have felt uneasy if white later had the chance to push up at 23, reducing the three black stones’ liberties. Thus, I pushed at 23 myself, before moving elsewhere. After white 26, black had plenty of options for a follow-up.
The interesting shoulder hit of 27 struck my eye in this game: black could either push at 30 next, building a centre framework, or if white prevents that by pushing at 30 himself, black will likely get the chance to make a double approach to the corner with A. White replied with 28, to which I played 29, pushing white to decide what to do. The sequence here can be relatively difficult to understand: the key part is the interaction of black 29 and 31, removing a white eye, and allowing black to play 35 as a forcing move (threatening to connect if black can play at 36).
White, then, played 38 and 40 to create a ladder-breaker, and then set up the ladder here, up to 44. Black had no choice but to extend with 45, leaving the upper-left group a little cramped. It was here that a complicated fight erupted between the black and white groups on the upper side.
To me, continuing like up to 55, here, was the only course of action. Black could also have lived in the upper left corner by playing at 66, but then the white group would live as well. I reasoned that even if the black group died, I would get a reasonable amount of territory in the upper right corner as well as in the centre. The forcing move at A, requiring a white answer at B, is also left to use. Now in hindsight, I may have missed a black move at 60, which I should have played right after white 58 – it seems likely that the black group would get a liberty more for the capturing race. As shown in the figure, here, black loses the capturing race by one liberty.
The second miss I made in my calculations was white 70 here: with that move, the white right-side group lives for sure, thus leaving time for white to invade the upper right corner. After white 82, the game feels somewhat negative to black.
Having lost a great deal of territory in the upper right corner, I then went to destroy some of white’s profit on the left side, starting with black 83. However, the game gets even more difficult for black when white gets to play the double corner approach of white 88. Quite luckily for me, Wei chose to play the peep of 96 at a complicated timing, leaving me the chance to play 97 on the lower side to stabilise my corner group. Starting with black 99, I noticed some bad potential for white with the black move of A, and went to aim for that. White 102 should be at B, for reasons shown next:
I made sure that the black lower left corner group lives, up to 19, and then turned to play black 21. After 23, white can no longer block at 25: black could then exchange A for B and cut at 24, killing the centre white stones. An “exchange” then occurred, with black saving his long-dead upper-side group, as well as killing the upper-side white group in the process, white only getting to kill black’s left-side group.
Here’s some of the continuation: I felt very optimistic about the game after white 32, and thus played the tight protecting move of black 33. Indeed, most of the black moves here I chose just to minimize complications. The game was played until the very end, finally ending up 10.5 points in black’s favor. Were it not for white 102, white should have had an easy win! I feel I got really lucky in this game.
Concerning tournaments, next up for me are two consecutive tournaments in my birth town of Oulu: the annual Spring tournament, and the Finnish Team Championship. Some more training is definitely due: I’ll be challenging Jeff again in both of them! On another note, I’m planning on continuing the questions and answers post series later this week – there’s still a bit of time to come up with some really elaborate questions for this fifth part!