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May 28th, 2008

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WAGC rounds 1&2

I had a reasonable first day, starting with a win against Christovao Neto from Portugal. The game (thanks to Chris for linking the sgf in the previous post – they seem to pick 10 arbitrary games to record each round; the poor recorder had to sit through more than 3 hours of our weak moves unfolding like a battle between two sloths) felt under control most of the way, with him making several mistakes and falling behind. I made a huge moyo which he felt he had to invade (afterwards one of the pros showed us that just reducing is much better). But instead of just securing my surrounding stones and leaving him with a dead group inside my territory (and an easily won game), I tried to play more forcefully and get myself into serious contortions, which allowed him to make life fairly comfortably (in fact in the final position he does not even need to live, he can connect out). I thought I would be ahead in the resulting endgame, but as the pro demonstrated I was actually behind. So a good thing that he took ages to find the moves to live and lost on time.

Round 2 paired me against Franz-Josef Dickhut, 6d, from Germany. Before the tournament I was planning to stick with 4-4 point openings, but waiting at the airport I happened to review the game from 2 years ago in which I came close to beating Aketa, and so on the spur of the moment I switched to the double 5-4 opening I used quite a lot that year. The theory being that if you start by building centre-facing thickness early on, you are assured of some winning chances until late in the game. As in the Aketa game, this worked – provided you define “worked” as getting close but then losing anyway. In today’s game I started off fairly badly, but my opponent matched my poor play – first giving me an opportunity I failed to take, then making a big moyo in which he inexplicably allowed me to make a living group, which put me in the lead (as opposed to completely winning, which I would have been if I hadn’t delayed taking a certain kikashi…did I mention this was a low quality game?). Unfortunately, instead of just living unconditionally, I opted to live in ko (don’t ask). No problem, he played a ko threat which I could ignore, having read out a devious way to make life for the group he thought he was threatening. When it came to the critical point, I noticed that the line I originally planned would only live in ko. No problem, because I can sacrifice four points and live unconditionally after all. But wait, on rereading the original line, it also lives unconditionally. No need to sacrifice the four points then. So – you guessed it – my second reading was correct after all and I ended up in ko. The two moves he got elsewhere were enough to give him a clear lead and I soon had to resign.

One game from this round caused plenty of amusement to the spectators. Frank Janssen, 6d, of the Netherlands was playing Antonio Fernandez Caballero, 5d, of Cuba in a very close marathon game (both players in byo yomi), when he played a key group into shortage of liberties at around the 2-point stage. This left a 50 point ripoff in the offing, not immediately obvious but simple enough for even the 1- and 2-dan spectators to spot. Both players carried on oblivious for about 30 moves – eventually they started fighting the last half point ko – after several other ko threat excanges, Caballero, still oblivious, played the first move of the ripoff sequence as a ko threat, then retook the ko. Janssen responds with another unrelated ko threat, and retakes. Suddenly Caballero spots something – a one point gote move both players had missed. He takes this and lets Janssen connect the ko. Caballero takes a dame and finally Janssen rescues his 50 point group. The spectators burst out laughing. But Caballero wins by 4.5 points anyway…

Tomorrow I’m facing a 14-year-old 4 dan from Israel – perhaps I’ll have a chance…

Posted by konrad in News, Tournaments


This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 at 5:28 pm and is filed under News, Tournaments. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Responses to “WAGC rounds 1&2”

  1. Chris says:

    Konrad lost to the 4dan representative from Israel. The sgf of the game is here (I managed to find a better viewer than the terrible nihon ki-in one):

  2. Chris says:

    In round 4 Konrad plays yet another youthful player, the 13 year old 2dan from Croatia

  3. konrad says:

    Nope, round 4 was against a 2 dan from Vietnam. I lost 🙁 Will do a post soon.

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