Handicap Game No. 7

British Go Journal No. 8. Spring 1969. Page 14.

Four Stones

Black: Unknown
White: Unknown
Handicap: 4 stones

The game-file in SGF format.

You might wish to open a second window beside the first one to view Fig 1 whilst reading the text in the first window.

Figure 1 (1-50)

Diagram 1

The manoeuvres up to 9 are perfectly alright, but 10' would have been better placed at 1 in Dia 1. It is 'well-balanced' with black 6 in Fig 1, and looks for a chance to attack the white group by playing at A next thereby blocking it in to the side.

Diagram 2

Diagram 3

14 is an easy way of playing, allowing White considerable freedom to do what he likes. It is unfavourable in this case because the black left hand side is rather open to attack with 19 etc. and so white can invade the corner without coming under any disadvantage at all. Hence 14' should have been replaced by 1 in Dias 2 and 3. Both of these are advisable joseki in this case.

Diagram X1

Diagram 4

28 at triangle
Diagram X2

The sequence up to 28 in Fig 1, though safe and secure, has resulted in a rather unsatisfactory formation for black. A more positive and offensive alternative would be to play Dia X1. If white reacts with 25' as Dia 4, then black is alright if he replies as shown.

Black 30 is a good move, preventing White from playing here, which would be a natural extension from the corner, attacking white and building up his influence on the upper side.

31 is not so good. it should have been played at A, which aims next at playing at B. This could then not be captured by black in a ladder because of A and so this cut would then threaten black's four upper left stones.

Though white gains greatly by capturing two black stones with 35, black 36 gives much trouble to his two stones and at the same time continues the build up of black influence on the upper side. Playing C goes a long way to prevent the expansion of black's sphere of influence, while saving his two stones from great hardship.

38 strikes at the vital point of the white group in preventing it from gaining any eyes along the side, but 40' should have continued the attack as Dia X2, then black gains an advantage with ease by being able to attack two white groups simultaneously.

If Black tries to resist 41 by playing at 43, white will be able to get a live group inside the corner, and thereby ruin it by playing at D. So 42-46 are forced.

47 is an advanced play, seeing how black will respond before making a direct invasion of the lower right corner or the right side.

Figure 2 (51-100)

59 takes ko at triangle, 62 takes ko at square, 64 connects at triangle

Black answers correctly up to 54. This should have been played at 65, thereby dividing White's army into two weak groups. Protecting the corner is all very well, but not at the cost of being shut out of the centre and being able to attack strongly.

With 65 White has managed to connect his two groups, but his upper right group is still precarious.

70 is not good. Black is forced to play at 72 to secure the corner on gote and, because of 71, he can't intrude much further into the lower side. He should simply have played at 72; this would then have threatened to play later at 71 and destroy nearly all this side.

Black answers the attack on the upper side, starting with 73 with commendable coolness, and, though he gives up three stones, 90 and 92 weaken the White group on the right further.

White invades black's last open corner with 97, which is correctly answered with 98-102, keeping sente, protecting his left hand side and letting the corner group connect to the lower side because a disconnection would gain him nothing of any value.

Figure 3 (101-166)

However, 104 and 106 are premature; they are nullified by 105 and 107, whereas black could have gained later by playing at 105 when White cannot stop his connection without losing two stones.

108 starts a vicious attack on this large white group, which has no eyes along the edge and only one by capturing 108 itself. This results in White being unable to stop the capture of five stones, thereby saving the three black ones which had been lost earlier!

A quick count of the game at this point shows that white is about 25 points down at a conservative estimate, because all Black's territory is secure and White's large territory on the lower side is still very open. This coupled with the fact that, should Black try to retrieve his stones 104 and 106, White's lower right group would be in serious danger, means that White must stake all on 131, challenging Black to a life-or-death struggle in the centre.

From this point on all the moves are forced by this necessity for White.

Notice 153; White could have saved his large group by playing at 165, but if he does so then Black will play at 159 and his stones in the centre will at worst be a seki, so he cannot afford to do so but must continue his attack.

160 threatens the play at 161, for then black could either cut off White's stones on the right, or capture immediately 143 and 145 and thus gain two eyes. So 161 is forced.

White resigns because Black's group will connect to the upper side, either by capturing 165, or by playing one point above 108 and capturing White's seven stones. In either case White's upper right group can't get two eyes and will die.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 8
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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