Candidates

British Go Journal No. 62. July 1984. Page 15.

Brian Chandler

This year the Candidates Tournament was the usual Swiss, but reduced to 6 rounds to fit into the Mayday holiday weekend. As if this was not sufficient break with tradition, I arrived at 10:20 on a grey May morning to find not the usual melee of players in search of an organiser, but my clock already ticking away, and twenty or so players well into the cut and thrust of the fuseki. I was however outdone by Frank May and Harold Lee, who both arrived half an hour later and managed to produce the first upset by playing each other and Harold winning. The first round was drawn alphabetically, from Amin-Artus to Webber-West, and otherwise produced no surprises.

The second round, drawn at random, failed to produce anything to raise eyebrows either, The mathematically inevitable six people with two wins included the 3-dans Daly, Granville, Roads, and Webber, as well as 2-dans Lee and Smith.

Sunday dawned a bit brighter, and started (on time again) the serious business of thinning out the winners. In the piazza an obliging young lady lying on a row of milk crates was being leapt over by a confident gentleman on roller skates. Meanwhile Messrs. Granville, Smith and Daly leapt figuratively over Webber, Roads and Lee respectively to keep perfect scores. The Granville-Webber game appeared to be a good match of similar styles: both players seem to have a habit of constructing enormous and convoluted semeais. But Richard's style of winning is to have discernibly more liberties at the end.

Francis Roads fell victim to the rather squirmy Manchester School, dubbed the 'style of no style', that those of us who live north of the Nottingham coalfields try to emulate. Round 4, and the needle match was John Smith against Richard - Richard kept his perfect score and John lost his. Andrew Daly, drawn down to an opponent on 2/3 should have had an easy time, but met Frank May battling his way back up from early defeat, and lost.

Name Strength SGDRMCBGCACLCWMHGRTKLWRA Points
J. Smith 2D X011---1---1------1----- 5
R. Granville 3D 1X01---------1-11------- 5
A. Daly 3D 01X-01----11------------ 4
F. Roads 3D 00-X--1---1-1----1------ 4
F. May 4D --1-X-0--1-01--------1-- 4
M. Cumper 1D --0--X-1-0---1-1----1--- 4
W. Brakes 1D ---01-X-----01-1--1----- 4
W. Gregory 2D 0----0-X------111----1-- 4
G. Clemow 1D --------X-011-0--1-1---- 4
M. Amin 1D ----01---X1------1----10 4
B. Chandler 2D --00----10X---1------1-- 3
H. Lee 2D 0-0-1---0--X-------1--1- 3
D. Cann 2D ---00-1-0---X---1-----1- 3
N. Webber 3D -0---00------X1------1-1 3
I. Meiklejohn 2D -------01-0--0X----1--1- 3
M. Harvey 1K -0---000-------X--11---- 2
A. Grant 1D -0-----0----0---X-10---1 2
J. Roussak 1K ---0----00-------X--0-11 2
R. Thompson 1D 0-----0--------00-X-11-- 2
C. Kirkham 1K --------0--0--001--X---1 2
M. Lerner 1D -----0-----------10-X001 2
V. West 1K ----0--0--0--0----0-1X-- 1
M. L-Roberts 1D ---------0-00-0--0--1-X- 1
D. Artus 1D ---------1---0--00-00--X 1

On other boards Harold Lee and Francis Roads beat lower graded opponents, and Mo Amin beat Mark Cumper, while Bill Brakes showed signs of things to come by beating Nick Webber.

At the start of round 5 seven players on 3/4 were chasing Richard. It was Andrew Daly who was to spoil his perfect score, joining him on 4 wins along with Frank May, Francis Roads and John Smith - no great surprises there, and Frank, the only 4-dan seemed to be pulling bock strongly. In the far corner of the room sighs of relief signaled the breaking of the last ducks.

The draw at the top of the last round was Granville-Roads and Daly-Smith, with Frank May drawn down to Bill Brakes. The question was, which of the five favourites would fail to qualify?

Andrew Daly had the strongest position, with an enormous SOS, and he built up an appreciable lead over John. Unfortunately he forgot his own maxim no. 7 (see BGJ 61), and was felled by a smart bit of Manchester yose. The result analysts were now hard at work as the other two games continued. John Smith was definitely in, and Andrew's SOS meant he could be beaten only by a score of more than 4 - i.e. Frank May had to win while Richard and Francis contrived a jigo. Neither event looked likely: Richard and Francis were demonstrating a shared conviction that go is about surrounding your opponent's stones, even if he is surrounding yours. For such a powerful strategic player Frank May has an amazing affinity for complicated tactical melees, and this game was no exception, but was going Bill's, not Frank's, way. On the other board, with Richard going nervously into byo-yomi and answering even duff ko threats, Francis persevered with impossible looking ko fights to compensate for his ever-shrinking territory, but couldn't pull it off. Frank finally resigned, and when the flurry of SOS counts was completed, found that he had tied with Mark Cumper for fifth place, leaving John, Richard, Andrew, and Francis as qualifiers.

Six rounds seemed to have gone too quickly - one mistake and chances were slipping away. In particular, having to choose two players from eight on SOS alone is rather unsatisfactory, while the fact that Frank played only one of the top six shows the thin spread of the draw. Nevertheless, the tournament was very enjoyable, and our thanks are due to Ian Carson for his friendly and efficient, if untraditionally punctual organisation.

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This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 62
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.





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