The 1972 British Championship

British Go Journal No. 18. October 1972. Page 14.

Game 1 - Best of 3.

Played on Saturday 23rd June.

Comments by John Diamond; edited by John Tilley.
(Y) = yes, (N) = no, show whether Haruyama, 6p, agrees or disagrees with the comment.

Black: Tony Goddard, 4d
White: John Diamond, 4d
Komi: 5½
Time: 2 hours + 30 seconds byoyomi

The game-file in SGF format.

Figure 1 (1-100)

73 connects at 60.
  • White 6: Diamond prevents black from enclosing two corners, but white's position on the left side is a little low.
  • Black 9: Nearly always played as it keeps white 8 separated from 4 and therefore weak. The sequence 7 to 18 is very common.
  • Black 19: Normal in this position as black must utilise the power of his upper right corner. The joseki of A is not so aggresive.
  • Black 21: Fujisawa Shuko played this move first and it is correct although Diamond did not realise it.
  • White 26: John Tilley feels this is incorrect as black B is too good in conjunction with the upper right corner. C mmay be better but white is now too low.
  • Black 29: A typical Goddard move. Tony is an aggressive player and he loves a difficult fight. It is possible to leave the joseki in the upper left, (e.g. Honibo Shusai v. Go Sei-gen 1937 - see Matsuda's Go Letters) but joseki is to play at D. An analysis of the game in an upstairs room felt that 29 was a bit loose.
  • (Y) Black 31: Diamond feels that this is unnecessary as it destroys the aji of 9.
  • (Y) Black 33: Definitely bad, as black 34 could be useful much later on. There is no point in protecting the opponent's weakness for him.
  • White 38: Diamond was unhappy about this as it strengthens black too much. He suggested E after the game. Black's territory now becomes secure.
  • (Y) White 42: Diamond also regretted this move. It should have been nobi at 58, because, if Black plays 58, white 44 and black B is good for Goddard. 43 would have been better at 58 therefore.
  • (N) White 50: Diamond, worried by black's tremendous influence leapt in at once. Afterwards Diamond regretted this move, but it is difficult for white. Maybe an invasion around G?
  • 52-76: White's four stones, clinging to the black mass at the top of the board are weak, so they don't constitute a great threat to black 25 and 27. White 52 was unnecessary and black, by attacking well with 61 and 67, has done better than white.
    (N) However, 71 should have been at 72 for a better shaped position. Now white will have to struggle.
  • 77-81: White's right side group is now much weaker as his escape route to the centre is cut off.
  • (N) White 82 may be wrong as it allows black a cut. Diamond feels he should have played at 83 himself.
  • (Y) White 84: A terrible move and now Diamond is in big trouble. The vital point was F - the eye stealing tesuji and centre of three stones. It becomes apparent fairly soon how bad this move was.
  • Black 89: White has no eyes now - see Fig 2.
  • White 90: Too good for white. 25 and 27 are in trouble. Possibly black 87 was premature. Diamond is wriggling free.
    Black now tries to patch his centre position, leaving 25 and 27 for later.
Figure 2 (101-200)

110 connects at triangle, 116 connects at square, 128 connects at 123.

The fighting is extremely involved and with white's cut at 112 both black and white have two weak groups.

  • White 114: A mistake - better at 115. White can aim next at 114 and black will be in trouble.
  • (Y) Black 117: A superb move. It becomes apparent that white is weaker than he seemed. White must protect at 118. He cannot cut at 119 or 120. White cannot connect at 135.
  • (N) White 122: Wrong. If Diamond had played 130 immediately he would have avoided Black 136, which could have killed the white group.
  • White 124' should be played at 125 giving up two stones so that he could get to the vital point of 136.
  • (Y) White 136: The only move. Black had to play it earlier.
  • (Y) White 144: White is now several moves ahead in the semeai. The position is now:
    Black White
    38: Upper right
    5-10: Lower right
    10: Left
    5-10: Lower left
    10: Right (so he thinks)
    20: Lower right
    35: Upper left
    10: Lower left
    5: Komi
    63: TOTAL 80: TOTAL
    However, White's right side group is still weak and if Goddard can kill it he will win. The analysis upstairs led by Dr. Hattori, 5d, thought that Goddard could capture siz stones in sente and, if Diamond tried to save them, he would lose everything.
  • White 148: With this move Diamond attacks black's centre to right side group.
  • Black 151: He cannot play 152 as white 156 threatens 151 and 157 simultaneously.
  • Black 159: White could have played here himself, as it threatens the black group.
  • Black 161: At last!
  • White 162: Popular opinion was that John Diamond could not play here. He had to abandon six stones and make eyes on the edge. His group is now struggling.
  • Black 171: Black has to live as well. This move makes way for 175. If black and white both live then black will be behind and cannot win. Should Black have played 169' at A for the final ko? There are conflicting opinions about black 165 - some think that Tony lost his chance there.
  • 181-198: Difficult to evaluate. White seemed to gain a few points. After 191 Tony Goddard was playing 30 seconds byoyomi.
Figure 3 (201-290)

212 connects at black triangle, 221 ko at black square, 224 ko at 218, 227 at black square, 247 connects at 214, 258 connects at black circle, 262 ko at white diamond, 265 ko at black diamond, 271 captures at 263, 272 retakes at white triangle, 275 blocks at white square, 290 connects at 263.
[BGJ Fig 3 showed unnumbered 164 at 39.]
  • White 214 started a hanami ko for white.
  • White 226-228 gains 8 points.
  • Black 235: A mistake due to time trouble.
  • White 262: This ko is not as serious as it looks.

290 moves in all. White eon by 21 points. John Diamond also won the second game to retain his British Championship.

The game shown here is fully analysed in the September [1972] Go Review, by Haruyama, 6p. The key points are:

  • 31: Bad: unnecessary.
  • 33: Bad: unnecessary.
  • 41: Poor move. the severe sagari at 42 is best, then white 76, black 58, white captures below 39, black 41. The nobi is also better than 41.
  • 43: Bad. Too much aji left behind. Agrees with Diamond's comment.
  • 50: A good point!
  • 54: Poor. Left of 51 correct.
  • 67: Overplay. most of Goddard's troubles stemmed from this move. Much better at 69.
  • 82: Good: Also 84 good.
  • 84: Unnecessarily risky.
  • 97: Black missed a good tesuji.
    Diagram 1

    Dia 1 captures one* stone in a loose Geta. See Go Review for a superb tesuji sequence. (If you cannot work it out for yourself.)
    * [One stone or two? SGB.]
  • 122: A good tesuji.
  • 130: Tesuji.
  • 136: Tesuji.
  • 146: This fight is now a 4-move yose ko. Black is in real trouble.
  • 154: It looks as if White suffered a mental breakdown at this point. (Diamond still fails to comprehend this cruel remark.)
  • 181: Black's last fling. White makes no mistakes and wins.

In conclusion, the key moves wre 41 and 43. Goddard had too many weaknesses to protect his territory and the overplay of 67 snapped his overstretched defences. A good game.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 18
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

Last updated Thu May 04 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.