Category Archives: Games

2015 SAGA Winter League – Game 3: halfway to SDK

So I entered the SAGA Winter League, which has replaced one of thee quarterly internet tournaments. The league has two groups, and I’m in Group B with people ranging from 5k to 18k (the 18k being yours truly); Group A has all the players upwards of 5k in it. While Group A plays even games, in Group B – due to the bigger rank difference between players – the choice is to play proper handicap -2. So far, I have played all games with the handicap, and have lost 1 and won 2, with 4 more to play. In the process I’ve move from 18k to 16k (with some help from 2 regular games I played during a club night).

I found this game interesting, as I usually play badly online… I tend to speed up really fast, just clicking away… It doesn’t matter if I start out with all sorts of good intentions. This game, I sat back and didn’t touch the mouse until I knew where to move… I got all excited when I managed to play slowly… Though after this game I played another free game on KGS, and clicked myself to an early grave; guess that lesson didn’t stick.

So here is my third game, and my second win, against a 6k:

B+23.5; 8H & 6.5 deom [덤, komi]
B+23.5; 8H & 6.5 deom [덤, komi]
The overall result is good, I think I made one major mistake when I let the five stones at  E17 die; if I hadn’t the result would a 42.5ish instead of 23.5 point win. Considering the proper handicap would be 10 stones (i.e. 9 stones plus an adjustment of 9.5 reverse deom [덤, komi]), it was quite a good win. In fact this win got me from 16k to 15k in one go, as league matches – like tournament games – count 1.5x on the SAGA ranking system. I played my two previous games over the board (either is allowed, since the players are divided between Johannesburg and Cape Town), with one loss at 7 stones against a 5k and a win at 5 stones against a 10k; I’ll post the latter game later, as I snapped a few pictures of the board.

Also looking at the rankings, If I make it to 13k, then I’ll be the best female player at SAGA; this probably says more about the lack of female players in South Africa than anything else, but still ^_^

Quick recap

The opening was started simple, it being an 8 stone handicap game it turned quickly middle game-y. We settled the top and the left side of the board fairly quickly:

Board by move 53
Board by move 53

Then we moved to the lower left corner, and danced around a bit. However, I was really sure I had made a mistake with the sequence after White played 55 at C3. 20150727 league game 01 Somehow, with the stone already at G4, I thought I should block at C4 instead of playing 56 at D3 and allow White to get the corner and link up, however in the end it turned out okay. So instead of doing the jeochim [젖힘,  hane] underneath at C2, I attached with 58 at E6; I’m not sure if this was good or bad, but with the three stones there already, I though I could. My logic here was to not get white to simply box me in and start building a wall on the fifth line; though in retrospect, 5th line territory doesn’t sound too bad in exchange for   a wall towards the centre. When white played 59 at F5, I panicked a little, and my first reaction was to safeguard my territory at F4 and sacrifice 58… But I didn’t, I ended up playing out a sequence that got me a small part of the corner, and enough liberties to ensure my group didn’t die; at the same time I was able to develop to the right… Part of me still thinks I was really lucky though.

20150727 league game 02Next we went to the other side of the board, and White made a low approach with 75; I decided to pincer with 76, thinking that if white played R3 I’d just give him the corner and take the wall. Instead White counter pincered with 77 at R6, and I didn’t know what to do at first. Now the sequence 78 and 79 is jeongseok [정석, joseki], though I’m not sure if 80 and 81 were… I’ve never dealt with a situation before, only seeing the situation up to 79 in a book somewhere with the note that it is jeongseok… But overall, I felt okay with the result, apart from losing my second corner.

We moved on, and slowly started to divide the rest of the board; I didn’t think I did anything majorly wrong, and by move 150ish I was ahead.

Board by move 150
Board by move 150

I did make one small mistake around that time…I played 160 at L7, aiming to gain a few points by swallowing the stone at L6… 20150727 league game 03 So far so good, but I misread when Black played 163 at O7; I thought I could save the two stones at N8 and O8 by moving underneath with 164 at O6… but I was wrong, I misread the push at N7 as I didn’t see that it would put my two stones in dansu [단수, atari]; having to capture the one white stone meant that White could play 167 and kill two of mine… Stupid mistake, and probably the reason why I am still DDK after a year of playing this game.

20150727 league game 04This is the biggest (obvious mistake I made), and something that should teach me the meaning of dwitmat [뒷맛, aji]; specifically I thought the stone at G17 was dead, and I just ignored it while I played out the sequence 181 to 185. After 185, I patted myself on the back on gaining some points and went sonppaem-ing [손뺌, tenuki]; we danced around the board, doing some endgame, until White came back and played 193 at G18… which cost me about 19 points… I was still happily ahead, but I just could kick myself for making such an obvious mistake. If I’d had played maybe E19 after White played 185, before going somewhere else, this could have been avoided… But ooooooh nooooooo HeJin just had to go and think she had seonsu [선수, sente]….

The rest was endgame, and in any case I did win. I then sent the game of to a dan player from the Cape Town Go Club for a review, while staring at the screen at my new status as 15k for a while. Though, if you want to see the game as a sgf, I’ve uploaded it on EideGo; we’re listed as 5k and 15k respectively, but that’s cause our KGS ranks aren’t the same as our SAGA ranks.


Three games, one night

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.

B+63.5; 6.5 deom [덤, komi] & 9 stones handicap
B+63.5; 0.5 deom [덤, komi] & 9 stones handicap
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.

W+47.5; 0.5 deom [덤, komi] & 5 stones handicap
W+47.5; 0.5 deom [덤, komi] & 5 stones handicap
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.

B+16.5; 0.5 deom [덤, komi] & 6 stones handicap
B+16.5; 0.5 deom [덤, komi] & 6 stones handicap
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.

The cat is back!

Hello everyone! The (imaginary) cat is back from hopping around Southern and East Africa! I haven’t played in a while, mostly due to work; and here I want to also apologise to all those who were in game with me on OGS and DGS… timeouts were the order of the last few months…

But I started playing again, I’ve got a few game running on OGS and DGS, and this time I’ll make sure to finish them! Also I’ve played two games over the board tonight at the monthly club evening in Cape Town. I forgot the take a picture of the second one, but let me start with the first one:

W+17.5; 6.5 deom [덤, komi]
W+17.5; 6.5 deom [덤, komi]
I took black in an even game with 6.5 deom [덤, komi] against a new player at the club. He’s 12k on IGS, and mostly has played online, so we were a bit unsure about the rank difference, but it should have been between 3-4 stones roughly. In any case, since it wasn’t a ranked game we decided to just play even and see what happens. My aim was to lose by less than 6 points. Overall my first opening moves were good, then I plunged into a grave that was digging myself… Basically all the black stones in the middle of the board should have been dead; until my opponent made one small error and allowed a pae [패, ko] fight to start, which I won… thus the amount of dead black stones was significantly reduced… I lost by 17.5, which isn’t too bad… I wish I could more easily capture these games in sgf files, so to comment on them…

The second game I played was again a 2d, at 9 stones handicap, and I lost by about 37.5 points… Also not bad, and while my opening sucked, I managed to kill off one group of his. I made a few reading mistakes that, upon review, would have given me a loss by only 10-ish points. Still I was proud of this achievement at 9 stones against someone who is at least 20 stones stronger than me.

I’ve played a few more games online, and slowly will start posting them… But for now, all I can say is: my cat is back :p

[KGS] 1 loss and 2 wins…

So I decided to revisit my account; previously I didn’t really do much on KGS… it was too hard to get games. However, recently I managed to get a few; mostly I think this is because somehow my rank got jumped to 14k? and thus automatch had more options for pairings, and while I’m down to 16k now it still is easier than when I was at 20k. My current won/loss record (for ranked games) is 11/12, which looks better as well.

So I here are three games that I played recently; I don’t have time to review them in depth, and I can’t embed EidoGo on wordpress… for some dumb reason, really… So here are the numbered gibo [기보; kifu], as well as links to the sgf files, should you want to review them thoroughly (hint hint)

20150131 rispec
W+3.5; 6.5 deom [덤; komi]
The first game was a loss, but not by that much… I’m Black, and my opponent is a 14k from Japan (evidenced by their profile, and the Japanese comments I couldn’t understand during the game) I payed very light, more so than usual, so it wasn’t a typical big-framework-turns-into-territory game that I would normally lose by the early middle game… It remained close till the end of the middle game, with a few mistakes costing me a win. The result of a loss by 3.5 points, is very slim. Gibo is here, and if someone can tell me what they were trying to say to me, please do.

B+Resign; 6.5 deom [덤; komi]
B+Resign; 6.5 deom [덤; komi]
So after this, I went on to play a game against an 18k, I had dropped back to 18k? with my previous loss, so got paired up to someone a few stones weaker. This game because a massacre… I’m not sure if his 18k rank is very solid, or if my understanding of normal strength at 18k is overestimated. Either way, I turned on the auto pilot after the opening… Of course this isn’t the best way to play, and he managed to capture 8 stones of mine, simply because I wasn’t reading at this point and just clicking… Somehow, it is hard to concentrate on a game like this. In the end I was ahead by enough, and my opponent ended up resigning close to the end. While this game wasn’t useful for me, I think such games help the weaker player; when I was in a similar position, seeing my groups die one after another after simple reading mistakes definitely spurred me on in terms of studies.The gibo is here, but there isn’t much to say about this.

B+49.5; 6.5 deom [덤; komi]
B+49.5; 6.5 deom [덤; komi]
The third game now… which is more even. I played black, and this was against a 17k, whose username was “serenity”… In my head that is a Firefly reference, and anyone saying differently will be scoffed at! Anyway, the result was a convincing win for me, so I ended up at 16k after this, which is about what my rank on KGS should be (according to other people). The game ended up fairly territorial, but my opponent was more aggressive than I was; however, I had an edge in reading/fighting skills, so I stopped most of his invasions. A few mistakes here and there didn’t affect my score that much. What was interesting is that I started realising that his invasions actually helped me in securing my territory; of course this is normal, but it made me rethink invasions… I’m not sure what the lesson for me here is, but there must be one for sure. The gibo is here.

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.

Revisiting pae fights and maek

Remember the game with the pae [패; ko] fight, and – what I thought at the time to be – a great maek [맥; tesuji]? Here is the gibo [기보; kifu] again to refresh your memory:

game end
Basically I lost… but not even by as much as I should have…
ko threat
This is like punching yourself in the face during a fight

If you want my initial comments, here is the blogpost where I review my own game. But I am really sad… because in reviewing this at the club evening yesterday, I was unequivocally told that my great play at B1 was basically kicking a dead corpse after I killed it; apart from being just very very disrespectful, it lost me the pae fight… 149 was an exchange instead of a threat, and any air of greatness I felt after playing it – and the supposed B1 follow-up – evaporated into thin air. What is also interesting is that, according to The Kibitzer, it was only after I responded with 147 to 146 in the first round of threats, that the pae fight became really valuable; I guess it has something to do with the fact that otherwise White can still run.

ko theats creation
In wingchun, this is called a “chain punch”

Another lesson they instilled on me in the review was the fact that I had more threats on the board, so the exchange with Black 149 is not a good one; it gets me 30 points tops, but winning the pae fight would have gotten me more as well as seonsu [선수; sente] if White wanted to save the corner. Either way, the outcome would have been better for Black if I had not played 149, but saved that for last if White had more threats than I did (which she didn’t, apparently). The reason I had more threats is the following sequence, or at least it is a sequence of threats that would set up a new one for Black every time, and if played out will can give at least six from what was initially just one. Basically, after I played A as a threat, white answered with B; my next threat should be at C, which White needs to respond with D; next threat at E, with white playing at C to connect; then the next threat is at F, with white having to dansu [단수; atari] by playing G; then the next threat is to descend with H, and White needs to respond at I; then a threat at J, and white has to capture; then a throw in at F, which is the last clear threat there, and white responds by playing H. Including the threat that I had played in the game (A), the area can provide seven threats for Black, which is an edge in a pae fight. It is sequences like that that I have a hard time spotting.

So lessons learned:

  1. Read out what happens when you don’t play a maek, perhaps it is already dead
  2. Pae threats are only threats if the opponent has to respond, killing something is not a threat (it, in fact, is murder)
  3. Think through pae threats; and don’t approach them on a one-by-one basis, but try to find a way to play it so you can force your opponent to respond where you want them to respond.
  4. How does the board look after your opponents response? is it beneficial? are there follow-up threats? or follow-ups even after the fight is over…
  5. Calculate the value of the pae fight, and see if an exchange is better or not; also make sure that your threats are big enough in terms of potential point value

[KGS] Killing corners… my turn!

W+24.5; deom  [덤, komi]
W+24.5; deom [덤, komi]
I haven’t played on KGS in a while… and for some reason my rank got listed as “14k?” from 19k when I last logged in… Something here doesn’t make sense. So automatch put me up against an established 14k, which was going to be an uphill battle for me. I ended up playing fairly solidly, and we established two moyang [모양, moyo], but my opponent started aggressively pushing in, and at this point I just became very defensive and got pushed around the board. There were a couple mistakes on my opponent’s side, which allowed me to catch up, but I still lost by 24.5 points.

20150119 move 50
Move 1 – 49

I decided to move for the orthodox opening, and started with taking the star point in the upper right corner; my opponent took the lower right star point, and at this point I wondered for a moment whether I should make it a cross by taking the lower left, but I decided that I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to follow through. So instead I simply finished my opening patter with a corner enclose on the upper left. My opponent also finished an orthodox on the lower side. When I reviewed the game with Sundaay, apparently it is more common for White to go either to A or B, and split, instead of finish the enclosure; so as it was my first move, I should have moved to C or the point above, splitting the orthodox of my opponent, but instead I went for an approach with 7. White went diagonal, and I extended; and then, instead of finishing the jeongseok [정석; joseki]; here I should either have finished mine by making a 3 space jump upwards,to E or D, or attach at F, attacking… I thought 11 was an attack, but it doesn’t pressure enough, and 12 is an adequate response, securing the corner, and still allowing the develop to the left. I jumped to 13, trying to develop some sort of framework, and White starts to make some sort of box shape with 14. The sequence after it is fairly plain, and probably not good for either, we’re just building a walls and dividing the board here. With 49, White tries to push into my, still developing, framework.

Move 50 -100
Move 50 -100

I didn’t really know how to respond, so I got defensive, and started blocking. White did a 3-3 invasion, which seemed to live, and at this point I was seriously behind; however,with White pushing harder and harder, it felt hard to just sonppaem [손뺌; tenuki] at any point. Here is where my weakness comes in… My increasingly defensive responses, and fear of losing too much territory, allows White to play aggressively; at this point my moves really had only one purpose, try and salvage territory that I thought would be mine. The thing is, it wasn’t, and by building walls in the beginning, it made it hard to simply invade anywhere in the left side of the board… Panick, panick, panick… That’s pretty much what happened.

Move 101 - 150
Move 101 – 150

So we ended up with a seriously reduced territory for Black, and me rushing to respond to every move White makes. As you can see, I didn’t know where to push White; eventually I managed to box White in, and save points for myself, but they weren’t nearly enough. White ended up making points on the right side as well, extending from the corner invasion. However at this point I was eyeballing S9, this cut would possibly give me those three stones, and also perhaps give me the initiative for once. When White played 150, I decided to make my move; it seemed like I didn’t have to respond locally immediately.

Move 151 - 200
Move 151 – 200

I decided to play 151 at S9, and was surprised that White responded with forcing me to capture by playing 152. I’m not sure, but I thought there were other big points on the board. It turns out, however, that White needed to respond, but not by playing T9… After I capture, White makes the mistake of playing 154 at T8, and I simply capture. White then tries to secure block by playing 156 at T12, but that doesn’t work; instead, White should have defended immediately at T16, and then secure eyes by playing S19 afterwards. So in the end, the sequence up to 169 kills the whole corner, and gives me some points; I’m still behind, but it is less of an embarrassing loss by now.

We ended up playing around on the left side a bit, I tried some things that didn’t work, in the end we settled borders and I ended up with 24.5 points, while initially I expected at least a loss by 50 or more. My KGS ranked turned into “17k?”, which sounds a lot more accurate.

[Tygem] trying out the “crazy” server

So… I heard a lot of stories about how many sandbaggers there are on tygem, and how crazy the play can get… I decided to use my account for a change, and thus the result was this:

B+Resign; 6.5 deom [덤; komi]
B+Resign; 6.5 deom [덤; komi]

Just for the record: I am black… I’m assuming I got paired with a complete beginner, who just randomly played his stones around the board. At first there seemed to be some logic behind it, but I now of opinion that this was just luck on his part. Anyway, if ever a win there was…

[DGS] pae fights and maek

I have always had trouble with the concept of maek [맥], the “vital point”; I think this is best considered to be similar to the Japanese concept of tesuji, but if you want to have a fight in the comment section about the finer points of discernment between these two concepts, go right ahead; for the the purpose of my blog, maek equals tesuji. Anyway, I always had trouble with it, I knew in theory what it meant, but applying it needed a serious amount of reading ability (my opinion), so I rarely engaged with this. I did play a few maek in an earlier game, but in the one here, I really managed to use it in a decent way.

W+35.5; 9H & 0.5 deom [덤, komi]
135 at C10; 138 at C9; 141 at C10; 144 at C9; 147 at C10
Jeongseok fail...
Jeongseok fail…

This game is a 9 stone handicap game with a 9k on DGS, I played a game earlier with her but that ended up in my resignation. The game lasted several months, so I started out not really knowing the basic jeongseok [정석; joseki] for attachments that I was playing in response to knights move approaches in the corners; it’s funny how I can see my own progress in one game, but at least it shows I’m progressing (in the right direction). She started with a knight’ s move at C14, I attached, and she extended with 3; instead of moving to F15 or F16 to finish the jeongseok off, I extended to B15… mistake… the following sequence, gave me some of the corner, but gave her two stones for breakfast and influence in all other directions… So to start off, I wasn’t at my best in retrospect.

So we mucked around the board for a while, and by move 128 I was kinda ahead…

The first 128 moves… and snatch the lead!


Overall, I had the potential of large territory in the lower right corner, the middle (a little to the right), and I had the upper left corner. The four white stones around P5 were under pressure, and with 128 at C9 I was moving to kill three of white’s stones, and potentially make more territory there.

start of the ko fight

However, 129 to 134 set up a pae [패; ko] fight, which I was dreading… After 134 white took by playing at A, I created the pae by playing at B, and white made the pae bigger (I think) by playing at C, after which I retook the pae by playing at C9. I wonder if I could have avoided the pae fight, as usually that is my preferred way of doing things; somehow pae fights are scary to me, I never manage to assess pae threats correctly, and often lose because the threats I play aren’t big enough to warrant a response.

ko threaths played
Left jab, right hook, uppercut

So, into the pae fight, I the following threats were played: white played at A, and I had to respond at B; then I moved to C, and white responded at D; then white played her next threat at E and I responded by taking the white stone at A7 with F. I could have responded by connecting my group instead, but I somehow decided that it was better to take, not sure what the best response would have been. So I was settling in for a long fight, and went looking for my next threat.

Near orgasmic elation at reading this out

I played my next threat at B4 (marked stone), because it threatened to capture the two white stones, but also threatened a follow up at A… I personally thought this was a huge threat as white had to respond to keep her corner, and the entire corner would be worth 20 points or so for me. This little maek made me swell up with pride, this was truly the vital point, when I read it out, if I played A, I should be able to kill the entire corner! so the follow-up at A for this threat would be assured. But somehow, white decided to end the pae fight with A10, and I took the corner… Perhaps it was a calculation on her part, that she decided that the territory around the pae fight was worth more than the corner, and she might have been correct… probably 30-40 points against 20? I’m not entirely sure… Still, this maek made me happy, I would never have seen this a few months ago.

Invasion… into the heart of the enemy

So after this, we started moving into the endgame, and slowly started solidifying our borders. White tried an invasion with 151, right inside my biggest territory, but I responded and I managed to stifle the invasion. I played a one space approach with 152, which is a different response than I would have made months ago, back then I thought that the best way to defend was to attach; now I know better. White made a knights move, but then I decided to attach… the sequence up to 161 might not have been the best way to deal with it, but it kinda did the job. I blocked white with 162, as I was scared they’d connect.

monkey jump
Monkey see, monkey do

After a few more endgame moves around the board, I decided to put something into practice that I recently had learned: the bima [비마; saru-suberi], also known as a monkey jump. I moved with a large knights move to A12, and sequences after that would be standard, and steal away around 6-7 points from white. Again a moment of pride – applause, applause – and we moved to finish the endgame, and started filling in the neutral points… But here I miscalculated.

tesuji number 2
The fall of an empire…

As we were filling in the gongbae [공배; dame], my opponent finds a maek at A… it put the entire group (marked with X) in dansu [단수; atari]… my only option here was to connect at B, after which white can play C, which resurrects the white stones like Lazarus from whatever pit he was stuck in (in a very dead way)…  also the stones marked with a circle were having some sort of duitmat [뒷맛; aji] effect… and thus my opponent gained at least 6 points, and took a whole lot away from me. Up to this point the game was close (within 5 points or so I think) but this maek swung the game decidedly in white’s favour…

Overall, I think I learned a lesson about vital points, and I applied a monkey jump for the first time; I also survived a pae fight, and managed to (initially) stifle an invasion… My play by the second half of the game was good, I think, but I also learned to read carefully, as maek can be used as easily against me as by me. I did really enjoy this game, and I’m playing a rematch with her; though, she asked to reduce the handicap to 8 stones this time… 8 stones might be enough, I’m not sure, but we’ll see.

[DGS] Rematch, and progress

B+Resign; 6.5 deom [덤;komi]
B+Resign; 6.5 deom [덤;komi]
So I had a rematch with someone who I’ve played about three months ago; back then it was only the 3rd game I finished on DGS. That particular game I had played with a 4 stone handicap as black, and lost by resignation. So, when he joined my even game, I was quite excited to see how much I had caught up to them. Turns out that I definitely caught up the 4 handicap stones in those months; though this isn’t that hard, at the high geup [급; kyu] levels ranks are very volatile. Anyway, my opponent resigned at move 98, when I had a clear advantage in influence in the rest of the board.

Personally, I would have played on; I’m not entirely sure that they had lost this game by this point, the upper side might have more Black influence, but white could definitely pull off at least the 3-3 invasion in the right corner, and also work to create territory by trying to isolate some of the stones; the influence on the top does looks a bit thin. The middle White territory, if he defends at J6 to solidify it, and the side is larger than Black’s in the bottom, despite the dead white stones there. Also the right corner is quite big for White. I think it could have easily been a close game… Actually I would love to play this out with someone, though I’m not sure on how to go about it online… I guess we’d have to play out the sequence of moves up to 98 and then start play… Any takers?

For reference, the game we played three months ago is here. In that game I resigned during the middle game; I still think that there is no way I could have won that game.