Yesterday was the Vernal Equinox Day, meaning the day in spring when the day and night are equally long. That'd mean now we are on the better side again, with the day lasting longer than the night! The Vernal Equinox Day is a national holiday in Japan, meaning that people (generally) have a free day from work, and as such most shops are closed as well. While outside, I spotted an incredible number of families taking a walk together with their children — something that you totally don't see on a normal working day.
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.
This time, I'm writing a shorter status update only. There was a nice snowstorm yesterday here in Tokyo — indeed, the snowfall was pretty much at the same level with what we usually get in Finland. In addition to the snow, there was also some thundering, which is something we usually do not get in Finland. A few hours into the snowfall, the ground was all slushy, and even now, some eighteen hours later, it appears there's some snow left on the ground. Just when I was thinking that I wouldn't see any snow at all this winter!
Last weekend marked another pretty bad result for me (the last time was in December), with only one win and five losses. I'm not letting it get to me, and instead opt to learn from my mistakes — I find that getting to B class is something that will happen on its own if I actually do learn to play better. Furthermore, if I went to play next weekend with an attitude like "if I win all my games, I'll get to B class", I most definitely wouldn't make it. While the weekend didn't go well, yesterday I beat Mimura Jr. (who's in B class) quite easily at the dojo, meaning that I cannot really be in a slump or anything.
As of late, as the topic also implies, I've been having more and more things to do. Last week, I went to the Mimura go dojo on three days, and adding the insei weekend and our English class to that, I had only one purely free day. It's not like these blog texts are quick to write, either, especially if I'm preparing a text with go diagrams. I've also the Nordic Go Academy to co-run all the while, and the Finnish Go Association's new website to plan. While on the other hand that could sound like a lot to do, I prefer being busy over getting bored.
Adding to all the rest, tonight I'll be playing a game in the Pandanet European Team Championship. On this round, Finland will face Israel, which appears to be the most decisive match in the B league. Hopefully many of my readers will come enjoy the match! Note that my game with Ali Jabarin is played earlier than the others, at 17:00 CET, because I'm located in Japan and Ali in Korea. This means the game will start at 1 AM my time, but I'm planning to do my best nevertheless.
If all goes well, I'll write another blog post or two tomorrow, or the day after. The Weekly go magazine had "ten most popular joseki" in this week's edition, and I've also something game-related to post from last weekend.
Last Tuesday, on May 24, was the ninth and final round of the Pandanet Go European Team Championship. The final round was important in deciding which countries get to play in the European Team Championship tournament in the European Go Congress 2011 in Bordeaux, but it was also crucial in determining which team drops from the A league to the B league next year. The system is such that the last team of the league drops automatically and gets replaced with the winning team of the lower league, and the second to last team of the league plays a qualifying match with the second best team of the lower league. The ninth-round game between Finland and Serbia was to determine which team drops automatically, and which team gets to qualify.
The situation before the round was exceedingly exciting: Finland and Serbia were tied in both game points and board points. If a tie like this were to occur after the ninth round, too, the next tie-breaker would be the number of first-board wins; before the ninth round, Finland and Serbia were tied on this part, as well. In a sense, the first-board game of the match was worth two games. Having known about this situation well in advance, I had been training a lot during three weeks between rounds 8 and 9, my main methods of training having been doing tsumego and reviewing professional games.
Today's post's theme revolves around strategy based on the 3-3 point, as per Joachim's inquiry. The example game in question was played yesterday in the Pandanet European Team Championships: I defeated Catalin Taranu of Romania by resignation, getting revenge for my loss to him in the European Go Congress 2010. The game this time was very good, with few apparent mistakes for both sides. I received commentary for the game by An Younggil 8 dan professional right after the game; some bits of what I write here come from there. I play black.
More sharp-eyed readers might notice that I differentiate between writing about black in first person and in third person: when I write in first person, I am reflecting on my thoughts during the game, and when in third person I'm looking at the position now, after the game.