As some of you may already have read from my Twitter page, I got three wins and three losses last weekend. It’s easiest if I just show the photo of the results sheet now that I managed to take one:
The photo’s quality is again a little bit bad: I lost to insei 11 by half a point, and to insei 2 by 2.5 points. Yesterday, at the Mimura dojo, I played a dojo league game against Mimura junior and lost by 1.5 points — all of these losses seem to be caused by my donating away free points in the endgame! Some endgame training is definitely in order. I did also play a 10-second game against Mimura-sensei yesterday, and the game stayed quite interesting until early endgame, when I finally messed up and lost any hope of a close game. Also, as I wrote just a bit ago, I also got a nice tsumego collection to work out from Mimura-sensei.
Seeing from the results so far, it now seems impossible for me to rise to B class next month, as I’ve way too many losses. I’ll be working my hardest not to drop to D class instead!
On another note, I got an invitation from Aoki Shinichi 9 dan earier today, to visit and receive some teaching from him! As far as I understand, it’s Kobayashi Chizu-sensei who is pulling the strings behind all of these happy coincidences, ensuring that I’ve plenty of opportunities to learn more. Aoki-sensei is quite well known in the Europe — he even spent one year in Vienna a few years ago, teaching go to westerners. I played against him about one month ago at a kenkyuukai.
As I promised last week, here is the game I played at the Mimura dojo last week, against an instructor who is an amateur 8 dan. Commentary is by the professionals from our weekly English class, including Mitani Tetsuya 7 dan, Murakami Akihide 2 dan, Ohashi Hirofumi 5 dan and Osawa Narumi 4 dan. This is likely among my best games here in Japan so far. I play black, white has komi as normal, and time settings were 20 minutes of basic time and 20 seconds per move after that.
White 28 is the first odd move; the professionals suggested pushing with white f16 instead, connecting the white stones on the upper side. Black 31 becomes a great move.
Black 35 is perhaps going too far. The hanging connection of h16 instead would be enough to ensure a black lead.
Black 43 received some praise from the professionals; it’s not easy to see, but white cannot reasonably cut at g13 at the time: black has a splendid response at b14. By black 47, black has a good game going on.
White 50 is the kind of kikashi that high level go seems to be all about. If black simply answers with r16, white o17 would become a good move. I really need to compile that kikashi article I’ve been thinking about!
By black 57, black has a very solid position on the board. Japanese players call black 57 “karai”, which is a term which I haven’t heard used in western go at all! The meaning appears to be close to “(a move creating) a solid position, including a territorial profit”. Professionals appear to love “karai” moves and groups. English translation, anyone?
Black 67 is the type of move that I need to get rid of in my play; it makes the situation needlessly complicated for black. M13 instead, keeping white weak and creating some eye potential for black, is a good move. It’s enough for black to strengthen his group in sente and take the lower left corner. After white 72, a complicated fight occurs.
White 90 is slighly early, and practically a game-losing mistake. Black’s left-side group is already alive, but white’s upper-side group is not. After black 91, white is in for some real trouble.
Black 107 is a really bad move played under time pressure. L8 instead keeps the situation easy for black to handle.
At move 120, I’d almost given up hope to survive from the pinch black is in. I even played black 123 out of desperation, and it took me a moment to realize that it actually works! After black 125, black is out and white is all dead, and the game is over. Talk about a close call!
As usual, today it is time for another English class. Tomorrow I’ll go to the dojo again, Thursday is an off day, and I might go to the dojo again on Friday. After this weekend, there’ll be a two-week Christmas break from insei studies, and I may finally get some time to work on that kikashi text.