Till the last man… or stone…

This game was played at the club this Tuesday, against a 10k player (the same one I played earlier this year, where I won by 35.5 points) I’m going to call him King Leonidas from now on, because he plays till the last stone… It’s basically “you want my stones? come and take them!” attitude-resignation-be-damned. Even in the face of inevitable doom, he doesn’t give up… This game, where I ended with a 71.5 win, was over midway already, but again: resignation be damned.

Black+71.5; 9H & 0.5 deom [덤; komi]
Black+71.5; 9H & 0.5 deom [덤; komi]
Overall it was a fun game; I made a few mistakes, but I also managed to pull off some great moves. I don’t have an extensive gibo [기보; kifu], as I didn’t record it while we were playing; the following is based on snapshots I took during the game, which already distracted me at times.

game at club yesterdaySo the start was very good for me: White didn’t finish his jeongseok [정석; joseki] patterns, and played very passively. The marked stones is where white probed, and I responded; so I got fairly strong wall-ish things that secured a lot of territory, while White was suddenly limited to living in the centre. We each had two corners, though one of my corners need to be secured further, and one of White corners (lower left) wasn’t fully secured either, which I would end up exploiting later. None of the White groups look very safe at this point, a lot of them didn’t have eye shape yet, so I was surprised that White went for the passive probes, rather than first secure himself and then start invading aggressively.

game at club yesterday 02I moved to attack the centre, and secure territory in the centre, as well as influence. However, I tried to do it by attacking some of the White stones that were played in the centre. My aim with the square marked black stone was to seperate the triangle marked white stones, and potentially kill them. Here I made a mistake, the cutting point where White played the circle marked stone was a major weakness, this ensured that my two stones above were dead, the ladder works for White. In the end I ended up making a mistake here, I didn’t read things out properly.

game at club yesterday 03White ended up connecting, and I lost a capture race by one liberty, which I should have seen in advance. The fact that the white dragon (marked) survived mean that White moved back into the game. The three captured stones was at least one eye, and the two dead stones on the left was at least another eye; plus there is influence for white to start taking the centre. My respond afterwards wasn’t much better. At this point I should have started to play more defensively, as I was still ahead, and thus could afford that style of play.

game at club yesterday 04So I tried to save three of my stones, and simultaneously disrupt some influence of White. However, I made a second mistake… Again I was short in a capture race, this time by two liberties. The marked black stones were captured, and now White is starting to catch up, however I did disrupt some of white’s influence, so I could make more territory on the lower side, while on the upper side White pretty much was starting to make points.

game at club yesterday 05So we ended up fighting a bit over the lower right side… I tried to kill White again, but with A, the two marked black stones were dead, and thus the marked White stones could connect, and were safe. I actually didn’t see this immediately, so later I played N2, thinking that I’d killed it, which I didn’t. The overall result at this point is still in my favour by roughly 50 points at least, so I wasn’t too worried. At this point it is a lot harder for White to do anything to catch up.

game at club yesterday 06White made an endgame move with 1 in the lower left corner; I spend some time reading it out, and responded by extending; and White pushed in with 3, and I blocked with 4. Here is a huge mistake by White, the proper response to secure the corner would be B1, but he played 5 at E1 instead. Black 6 at C1 created a problem for White (a 1k observing the game mentioned afterwards that at this point black is dead already), but when White connected at A, I played B, which solidified my premeditated murder… There is no way White can save the corner; the cut at C (which White did end up playing) wasn’t possible because of the marked Black stones.

game at club yesterday 07Black ended up playing A, and I responded with B; this created a dead shape for White, further killing the already dead corner. White tried to save the corner by attacking the marked stones, but had too many liberties against white. Also C wouldn’t work, as the liberty at D means that I can kill a cutting move by White. At this point the game is over, but as I mentioned, I am playing King Leonidas here: resignation is not an option! But his brave Spartan will fall, inevitably.

We ended up playing endgame, and he tried to do some funky stuff inside my territory, but those invasions came too late in the game to be effective…

In reviewing the game, a 1k game some advice to King Leonidas for the future, in terms of playing against a 9 stone handicap. Next time, I probably won’t have as easy a time. But this game was fun, definitly after a series of losses I’ve suffered online recently.

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