Challengers

British Go Journal No. 56. June 1982. Page 8.

Report: Andrew Grant
Game Comments: Jim Barty

This year's Challengers tournament, held as usual in the congenial but rather noisy surroundings of Covent Garden, was the strongest ever, despite the fact that the total entry of 25 was one down on last year. Added interest was lent to the proceedings by the fact that, although the winner would be the challenger as usual, the players placed second, third and fourth would enter a renovated version of the Challengers League next year, along with the loser of this years title match and the top four from next years Candidate's tournament. The winner of that league will become next years Challenger.

Terry Stacey was expected to win the tournament for the fourth time, but in the very first round he lost to Adam Pirani and the contest suddenly seemed much more open. The days other major upset was Richard Granvilles win by one point against Frank May, who had a disappointing tournament.

The second day produced no major excitements, but after four rounds the front runners were beginning to pull away from the pack. Jim Barty and Jim Bates had four wins apiece, followed by five players on three. The next day saw both perfect records spoilt, as Jim Bates beat Jim Barty only to lose to Terry Stacey; Adam Pirani won his fifth game out of six and so these four started the last day in joint first place with everything to play for.

In the seventh round Jim Bates beat Adam Pirani, and Terry Stacey, still tipped to win by those in the know, lost to Jim Barty so it began to look as if we would soon have a new challenger.

Jim Bates fell at the last hurdle, losing to Richard Granville, who finished with six wins (quite respectable for a supposed 2 dan) and so with Stacey and Pirani both winning their last games. Jim Barty had only to beat Desmond Cann to become challenger and avoid a five way tie for first place.

The game took a long time to finish, and seemed close but, fortunately for the Tournament Organisers sanity, Jim did win and will play Matthew Macfadyen later in the year. The places in next years Challengers league went to Jim Bates, Adam Pirani and Terry Stacey.

Name Score
J. Barty \011.1.111..............17
J. Bates 1\100.11..1..1...........6
A. Pirani 00\11....11.11...........6
T. Stacey 010\...11..1..11.........6
R. Granville .10.\01..1.1..11.........6
N. Webber 0...1\.011...0..11.......5
J. Clare .0..0.\0..111.1......1...5
D. Cann 00.0.11\.0...1..........14
W. Gregory 0..0.0..\....1..1.01..1..4
F. Roads 0.0.00.1.\........1..1.1.4
H. Fearnley .00...0...\.1..1...1.01..4
F. May ...00.0....\.1.10...1..1.4
H. Lee ..0...0...0.\1.10...1..1.4
Q. Mills ..0..1.00...0\..1.....11.4
J. Hawdon .0.00.0.......\0111......3
P.T. Manning ...00.....000.1\1....1...3
J. Rickard .....0..0...1000\1....1..3
J. Smith .....0.....0..0.0\.1.101.3
G. Roberts ........10.1..0...\.0..1.3/6
M.E. Shaw ........0.00.....0.\.111.3/7
T. Hazelden ............0.....1.\..1.2/3
M. Cockburn ......0..01....0.0.0.\...1/6
J. Hobson ........0.0..0..01.0..\..1/6
S. Hughes .........0.000...0000..\.0
R. Thompson 0......0................\0/2

Not The Challengers Tournament

While, in the rarified heights of IVCs upper floor, the best players in the Kingdom clashed in the Challengers tournament, another, less exalted event was taking place downstairs.

"Not the Challengers Tournament", organised to cater for those who were too weak or too unlucky to play in the Challengers Tournament, attracted about twenty players. I say about because there were enough mid tournament entries and droppings out (and re-entries and re-droppings out) to confuse even those clever chaps upstairs.

The first prize, the Geoffrey Gray Go Ban, was eventually won by Mark Cumper (1 kyu, Hammersmith), who will keep it for one year. An Honourable mention should go to Tim Hazelden (1 dan, CLGC) who won his first four games but then had to be transferred to the Challengers tournament as a replacement for the official reserve, who had scratched from the tournament.

The main problem with this tournament was the near-total absence of anyone weaker than 8 kyu, showing yet again the regrettable attitude that tournaments are only for strong players.

Finally, thanks are due to David Vine and IVC for the use of their premises for both this and the Challengers Tournament.

[Start] Game

This is one of the crunch games from this years Challengers Tournament. The protagonists are two Jims, Bates and Barty. This is the only game the latter lost, though he lost it very thoroughly. Comments are by Jim Barty.

Black: Jim Barty, 4d
White: Jim Bates, 4d

The game-file in SGF format.

Figure 1 (1-50)


















  • Black 33: If Black plays 35 and White replies at 33 the black stones seem to be on dame points, so black 33 was played to push White down and give Black some shape in the centre. But having played this way Black should carry on pushing. When White plays 36 to 39 the black stones become desperately overconcentrated. In retrospect it is probably not a very good idea to force White into a strong position facing the black hoshi stone. After 26 and 28 the corner is small and perhaps Black should play 29 on the star point in the middle of the top side.
  • White 44: This is a good move and Black should answer at 46 not 45, even though it is usually bad to let White push through at 45, If Black can take a solid 10 points of territory in the corner with sente with which to reduce any emerging White moyo then the game is still playable.
  • Black 47: Again Black is obsessed with the corner rather than the overall position; Black must hane on the outside at 48 and again at 52, this way he might keep the corner and still get to invade around 50.
  • White 48 and 50: Natural, Black has been completely outplayed here, the wall is useless.
Figure 2 (51-100)


















  • Black 51 to White 56: 53 is a useful aji stone and makes it harder for White to invade the lower left corner.
  • Black 57: However, Black is losing and the aggression unleashed from this move onwards is Blacks best effort to catch up.
  • White 76: A long time later White remarked "When I played this move I wasnt sure if it was a brilliance or an overplay and Im still not sure!" Black simply saw a target.
  • Black 83: The severest move Black could think of.
  • Black 85: Black thought that if 85' had been at 86 White could live. Whether this is true or not is left as on exercise for the reader.
  • Black 87: Abysmal - Black is very likely to want to play 88 himself later.
  • Black 91 to White 96: I had a blind spot here and did not see 96 coming at all. Black now has the problem of finding 20 points somewhere.
Figure 3 (101-186)



















White 156 at 151.
  • White 122: This is a good move and 123 is an inadequate reply.
  • Black 125: Should be at 126 but Black is still not going to make much territory here.
  • Black 137: an overplay.
  • Black 143: Black was afraid of a white play here, but the corner has less scope for thrashing about than the centre group.
  • Black 145 to 159: This is all nonsense. If 158' had been at 159 the corner would die.
  • Black 171: Sente to kill the white group, but a bit too obviously so.
  • White 178: A play at 179 would leave the black group dead.
  • Black 179: Actually Black can still be killed. See if you can read it out.
  • White 186: Black resigned on seeing this. The game is irretrievably lost. Black has been outplayed in just about every phase of this game.

[Start]


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 56
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.





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