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 Post subject: My games from the British Challengers' Tournament
Post #1 Posted: Wed May 27, 2015 1:05 pm 
Oza

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Here are my games from the British Challengers' Tournament. This is an 8-player round robin between last year's champion (Andrew Kay 4d) and the top 7 available players from the Candidates' tournament, which I won a few weeks ago (I had actually only planned to play the Candidates' as I'm rather busy recently and out of practice but it was near me, but then no one strong turned up and I won it so felt like I had a duty to give Andrew at least a bit of challenge before being champion again). The top 2 players of this then play each other in a best of 3 or 5 game title match to be crowned British Champion. Andrew Kay won all his games, and I only lost to him so we will play the title match (as we did 2 years ago).

Perhaps the first (against Andrew Kay) and last (against Charles Hibbert, 3rd strongest after the two Andrews and also a contemporary of ours from Cambridge University) games are most interesting, but I included them all for interest. I'll add in a few comments of mine later. Any comments from others welcome.

1. Rather unfortunately the game between me and my friend/rival/current champion Andrew Kay which was likely to be the deciding game for first place was first in the draw.
- The opening was the same as we have played a few times before, notably the 2nd game of the title match 2 years ago, but then I extend rather than wedging and playing Go Seigen's ladder breaker. When we did this before Jeff Chang 6d (who has taught both of us) said it was better for black, but I still did it for the lolz, and if Go Seigen suggests it then it can't be so bad right?!
- I was happy enough with f5 sequence to get sente reduction and make his 2 stones duff, he was happy to solidify the territory. Perhaps this is souba?
- Andrew viewed r3 as pure sente gain, but it was making more points near thickness and giving me r9 so I wasn't convinced it was urgent. Had I play k17 at o17 as I preferred in hindsight I think it would be bad, but the 3-3 made r9 less good for me.
- q18 was probably too showy, maybe block the other side and double hane is better to stay strong and use r9, but I thought he would tenuki the ponnuki to play e17 after and then I r12 is ok but not so amazing.
- Andrew thought e15 was trying too hard, but I wanted him to not have a clean net to use d8 thickness.
- 92 probably the losing move, it's too early as I should fix middle group first and too easy for him to sacrifice the 4 stones.
- 104 maybe should block even if ugly. If I wanted to trade I should have got m12 first.
- 124 dumb to give ko in corner.
- 140 trade is enough for black, I lost more than if I just settled the group to start. Game over now.


2. Alastair is a former 4d and can be quite tricky (good at beating up weaker players) but I've got an 11-0 record against him so won quite comfortably, but had to be careful as usual.
- 44 was strange, he should save the 3 to make sense of his cutting. Corner is not dead if q19 sente. This L&D was mentioned on the forum recently!
- 59 at d2, also considered l9 but figured it was gote
- b9 typical Alastair!
- 88 bad as makes ponuki sente. I tried to find a seal using the liberty shortage at f6 but couldn't. Game seemed good enough anyway.
- 103 probably bad, but simplifies and I'm winning.
- 121 maybe I can kill but I'm lazy and winning.
- 129 I also though about finishing off the left, probably easier way. The following attack wasn't so great, and I think he could have actually counter-attacked harder.


3. Harry likes the centre. In our game at the Candidates he did san-ren-sei and after approach and one space pincer I took both corners, then reduced. Although I won by 13, it was closer that I wanted and I let him play the sort of game he likes and make points too easily. So I decided to fight and crush him this game with 5-3s.
- q2 eh?
- 21 not sente, so should play m5
- 32 maybe he would have connected the atari, but I think he should l4 trade so I didn't play it.
- 74 Kay agreed better than ponnuki, because running just makes a target.
- 76 He can cut and my squeeze isn't good, so I should connect.
- 81 He got a nice squeeze.
- 95 etc just making a liability.
- Cruised to victory, though perhaps b4 made it unnecessarily complicated.


4. James is from Northern Ireland and will be Ireland's WAGC rep this year. As a 1d this was his first time in the Challengers I think. He's quite a steady player and had done well in the Candidates' to qualify.
- 21-25 I figured the moyo was bigger than top side.
- 32etc Don't think he saw the squeeze so he made me unncessarily stronger.
- 44etc nice invasion from him
- 96etc playing out this ladder was funny, and doesn't actually lose much.
- 135 is g12 bigger? The stones are quite big with l5 and l8 aims.
- 141 or e7?
- w190 should be n10 as it's sente for t12 (lol ladder!)
- Although I was about 20 ahead by the end, once his centre settled and I didn't have many ko threats I wasn't so confident of victory, he should have kept fighting the ko.


5. Richard Hunter used to be 4d and may be known by some for his books about capturing races etc.
- He played moyo to make it easy for him and hard for me
- 26 probably too early as I couldn't k4 after. Should I just do k4 and let him connect on dame? Cutting has so much future potential though despite the initial suffering.
- 42 not needed now, but actually caused Richard to change plan as he thought it was a bigger mistake than it was to lose a lib, so he didn't drive through and ladder as he should.
- 47 nope.
- 80 p17 simpler.
- 130 I almost managed to lose a won game here. Lucky that Richard backed off the f19 ko (he incorrectly thought I won the semeai).


6. Tim had just beaten Charles Hibbert 3d before this game, which was a bit of an upset (though Tim used to be 3d too).
- opening seemed fair, AK preferred 32 at r3 for points.
- 36 funky, maybe normal jump better.
- 39 good shape point, so w's choice here wasn't good, maybe low not high double approach.
- 43 heavy, in retrospect I prefer o13 or n16 (AKs choice).
- 59 block also ok, life is painful but white right needs move too.
- 73 overplay? white should dodge with L4 and give the 3. Can attack all with k4 directly aiming m3 connect, let w make eyes.
- 76 game seems to show should have defended
- 98 woops


7. Charles Hibbert 3d won his first two tournaments after getting strong online (I played in them but was stupid and lost before facing him), but I ended his winning streak in the Candidates (but he won all his other games, notably against Des Cann 3d (former 5d)). We played this game as the 3rd game on Sunday evening as we both had to work on Tuesday.
- I wasn't particularly happy with my weird opening
- 36 bad aji, but made the cut more appealing and fixed ladder from LL.
- 37 I thought he should defend the cut.
- 43 greedy
- 55 woops, peep would be better.
- 90 n5 should be better and do corner latter, but maybe he would see corner and answer at o2 which is painful to tenuki. But r5 still has aji and k5 would then need to connect so white seems to keep lead simply.
- 99 I didn't see this power with k5.
- 107 getting complex now...
- 115 game shows j4 better?
- 144 seems to be winning move (I actually did left exchanges first to be sure of eyes in case of fighting).


Last edited by Uberdude on Thu May 28, 2015 3:24 am, edited 4 times in total.

This post by Uberdude was liked by 3 people: Bantari, Bill Spight, Shenoute
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 Post subject: Re: My games from the British Challengers' Tournament
Post #2 Posted: Wed May 27, 2015 1:26 pm 
Oza

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I was most interested in the list of opponents. Richard Hunter is now playing as 2d? Last I knew he was 4d. And Harry Fearnley is still playing at that level? I remember his from eons ago.

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 Post subject: Re: My games from the British Challengers' Tournament
Post #3 Posted: Wed May 27, 2015 2:06 pm 
Oza

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DrStraw wrote:
I was most interested in the list of opponents. Richard Hunter is now playing as 2d? Last I knew he was 4d.

Yes, quite a lot of the older former 4ds aren't anymore, Richard, Francis Roads (now 1/2d), Alastair Wall (2d). A combination of them getting weaker and grades getting tougher I think. Richard was quite unlucky this tournament, he was beating Harry fairly comfortably and then blundered, and from his exclamations blundered in some others too.

DrStraw wrote:
And Harry Fearnley is still playing at that level? I remember his from eons ago.

Yup, he likes to tell of how he easily beat Matthew Macfadyen when he came up to Oxford, but that didn't last long... I've not noticed Harry getting weaker in my time playing (only ~10 years), unlike some of the other older players.

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 Post subject: Re: My games from the British Challengers' Tournament
Post #4 Posted: Thu May 28, 2015 6:20 pm 
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Interesting games. Best of luck in the title match!

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 Post subject: Re: My games from the British Challengers' Tournament
Post #5 Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 3:55 am 
Oza

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Anyone have any thoughts on move 26 in game 5 (or suggestion for different play in previous few moves)? I always find these kind of moyo games difficult.

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 Post subject: Re: My games from the British Challengers' Tournament
Post #6 Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 4:47 am 
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Uberdude wrote:
Anyone have any thoughts on move 26 in game 5 (or suggestion for different play in previous few moves)? I always find these kind of moyo games difficult.


Probably my greed showing, but what about F12 for move 16?

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 Post subject: Re: My games from the British Challengers' Tournament
Post #7 Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 7:30 am 
Judan

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Uberdude wrote:
Anyone have any thoughts on move 26 in game 5 (or suggestion for different play in previous few moves)? I always find these kind of moyo games difficult.


How about H-07 for :w18: ?

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 Post subject: Re: My games from the British Challengers' Tournament
Post #8 Posted: Fri May 29, 2015 8:54 am 
Oza

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Bill Spight wrote:
How about H-07 for :w18: ?


Yes, I did think about that in the game (I expected black to continue in the centre immediately rather than approach top right) and it's certainly a key point for mutual influence, but I didn't like allowing black a double approach on the top right. I didn't mind answering there as it means I can have a moyo of my own (and n13 would be nice for me later as well).

illluck wrote:
Probably my greed showing, but what about F12 for move 16?


That doesn't seem an important area to me (only destroying, not building like h7), and even if black meekly answers is it a good exchange? Although they are rather far fetched aims with the weakness of the corner once black gets g17, there is some potential for shenanigans with g16 and then something like d11 leaning to attack the wall. And giving black a stone at d12 would make c10 less likely to work. Or maybe black would ignore and g4 press?

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