So tonight, at the regular club evening in Cape Town, I ended up playing 3 games against a 9k (SAGA ranking). Since I am ranked at 18k, we started with a 9 stone handicap; this first game I won, so we lowered it to 5 stones, which I lost… The last game we played at 6 stones. Overall, they were enjoyable games, but the fact that all three were played in under 2 hours means that we kinda rushed through it. Mostly it is cause both he and I have the tendency to play fast; when our opponents play slower, it kinda makes us slow down, but against each other it just speeds us up… Thus at time stupid mistakes are made.
So starting with the first one (above)… well, not much to say… I focused on keeping things connected; overall, experience has taught me that if nothing dies, you’re likely to win if you have 9 stones handicap working in your advantage. I do must note that my opponent has little experience with playing against such a handicap, which definitely works in my advantage; usually, with 9 stones, people are kinda forced into making overplays and odd moves to shake things up. We finished this fairly fast, as my territory was marked out pretty quickly, after that it was just a matter of playing things out.
We started a rematch at 5 stones, since we had finished the first game in less than 30 minutes and everyone was still on their first game. I again tried to mark out territory… but I made one crucial mistake: I put four stones (you can see the nice tetris -stone like shape in the middle at the 10-10 point) in dansu [단수, atari]… this meant that a push into what was formerly at least 30 – 40 points territory led to half of my black stones dying… Again, look at the centre of the board… there they are, valiantly they fought… bravely did they die… In the end that was a swing of at least 50 points, if not more… I got a bit flustered and he almost killed the entire group on the lower right side, but he made a crucial mistake… In any case, the result was a disaster for me… While I was comfortably ahead for the first half of the game.
We had a brief discussion about another game; this time I asked for 6 stones, considering my huge defeat at 5 stones. So off we went… This game ended up more close… I made only one mistake, which cost me about 6 points, but that’s it. Overall, this result was very good. Though this game has lead to the decision to revert back to 5 stones when we play again.