I figured the readers might be more interested in my game in the Pandanet European Team Championship from last Tuesday than anything from last weekend, so I’m prioritizing the non-insei game first. The tournament game actually took quite a bit of preparing from me. We had arranged for the game to start a bit earlier than the other games, at 17 PM CET, which means 1 AM here in Japan. The reason for putting the game forward was because Israel’s first board is also currently studying abroad — in South Korea, which is in the same time zone as Japan. I had to make sure that I’d still be in a good state of mind during the game, late into the night, so I altered my sleeping rhythm a bit for the game, and drank coffee late into Tuesday evening. I was successful in this, as I felt like I was in good shape during the game, but as I only got to sleep at about 4 AM, I was naturally incredibly tired the following day.
Currently, the fifth round’s situation is unfortunately 2-1 in Israel’s favor — the fourth game was arranged to be played next Tuesday due to some issues with the internet (or possibly IGS?). While Finland isn’t doing too well at the moment, I’m at least happy to say that I won my game against Israel’s first board, Ali Jabarin 6 dan. Here’s the game file along with some remarks! Some are my thoughts, and some are from Su Yang 6 dan. I’m thinking of also presenting this game to the professionals on next week’s Tuesday’s English class; if I get really good input from them, I’ll write another commentary relating to this game.
Up to white 14, there isn’t anything really special about the opening. Black 15 may be an off choice, as the joseki that results from white cutting with white 16 appears well-placed for white.
Up to white 46, the joseki has been played correctly out. Professionals nowadays actually don’t like to play big joseki like this, as it leaves little room to explore other variations in the game. The result in the lower right corner will dominate most of the board. White doesn’t mind that however, as white’s stone at j4 makes sure that black cannot build anything big on the left side, and black’s low stone at r14 makes sure that black’s right side stays small as well. If black r14 was at q14 instead, the situation would be completely different — then the sequence would work out just fine for black, as the right side would be well expandable.
Black 47 leaves black with some bad shape with his centre group. Black should push once more with o7 before playing here.
By white 56, white has an advantage; black’s centre shape is bad.
Black 59 seems too territory-oriented; as black gets s4, s2 and t2 in sente anytime he wants, both black groups on the right side are already completely alive, and q10’s value is relatively small. There’s no option but to jump to k12 instead.
White 60 is an excellent point, and the game becomes even difficult for black by then. However…
…White 64 is trying to work a bit too hard. The extension to k13 instead is sufficient, as then white’s shape is almost flawless. I was too fixated on the left side with white 64 in the game, but needlessly; black won’t gain too much there in any case.
Black 65 and white 66 plunge the game into close combat. Compromising with something like white n17 should be plenty enough, but the following fight is not all bad for white either.
White 78 is definitely too slow. A large net like f13 or f12 would have a much better feeling. With the kosumi of white 78, it almost feels like white’s defending instead of attacking.
From white 84 on, I was aiming for the cutting combination of f15 + h15. As black would be able to live on the upper side then, however, there was no use to play it right away.
Up to white 96, it was difficult to say what would happen. Black 97 seems to cut white some slack though — d5 looks like the correct defense instead.
Black 109 is an overplay, but black was otherwise behind anyway — trying to make the game more complicated might be a good idea. As white is able to refute black 109 with d2, however, the situation remains difficult for black. I had to double-check that black wouldn’t be able to play m2 after white 114, however!
The ko fight that emerges at d4 is not a real threat for white, and I got too nervous about it in the game. Black would have to spend too many turns to both win the ko and to kill the corner. A little bit needlessly, I hurried to end the ko by submitting to play white 156, which forces black to connect his upper-side group out.
White 178 is kind of a gamble. During the game, my thoughts were like “there’s no way I can lose this semeai!” but it really got pretty close. I didn’t actually count the liberties until the semeai was initiated, and a few moves into it, I was startled to find out that I would win it by only one liberty. A black mistake in the semeai later changed it into a win by two liberties. Instead of playing the semeai, it would be safer for white to connect with m18, followed by black h7 and white b16 — that way, it should be a five-point win for white. Sure enough, the semeai left a good finishing touch for the already otherwise entertaining game!