UK beats Slovakia while the world holds its breath...

Pandanet Go European Team Championship
8 March 2016

Whilst the world was holding its breath waiting for the start of the Google DeepMind Challenge in Seoul there were some more prosaic games of Go being played - the latest round of the Pandanet European Go Team Championship.

The UK has got off to a poor start in the second division, but with our latest 3-1 win over second-placed Slovakia we're gradually hauling ourselves up the table.

Andrew Simons was our sole loss, not totally unexpectedly to to 1 dan pro Pavol Lisy, but our other three (Bruno Poltronieri, Alex Kent and Charlie Hibbert) all scored good wins to round off the match.

Andrew Simons said: "My game was rather like my first game of the British Championship, a disappointing loss after throwing away a large opening lead in late fighting, though I suppose I should be glad to have outplayed Pavol in the first 100+ moves. We started with a fairly standard joseki but then he left a ko cut shape unplayed (probably I should have captured before the connection on the top side after his hane connect).

At the top side he played some rather crude moves which didn't work (I guess he misread) and I got a great result, but he did create a huge threat which meant he could fight the ko and there was a large gote left on the right side which he eventually took. After some lower side fuseki he pulled out his 3 cutting stones which I attacked to build thickness which meant an invasion of my lower side was unlikely to work, and then sacrificed some now small stones to smoothly develop the left side and was pretty happy.

I got more cash in the lower left attacking his group and was 20+ points ahead after compromising on the attack assuming my lower right territory remained intact, but he invaded, I screwed up and allowed a ko, then ignored a ko threat to kill it, but then it still lived anyway. And then in the endgame he scooped out even more of my territory with a tesuji following my incorrect answer to a monkey jump, so my 50 point corner turned into 5 points and I lost by 15 points (the game komi was set incorrectly if you look at the game record)."

Alex Kent's game was "quite exciting - I played nirensei as black while my opponent had a Chinese structure as white. The first fight started around move 33 and I missed a good opportunity on move 55 to enclose my opponents group and make a large centre. In the resulting position we each had a running group, and I made some bad shape to try and get ahead - this backfired slightly and I had to sacrifice some cutting stones, however I did gain thickness and there was quite a lot of potential available for later. On 109 I played a probe in an area with a lot of aji, in the resulting complications I gained a significant amount of territory and was comfortably ahead. In the endgame I was in some time trouble and lost quite a few points, but not enough to lose the game."

Bruno says of his game: "My game felt like I kept tripping up, but in the end it was a fairly comfortable win by 7.5. I think the reason is probably that Black played sanrensei, but I reduced quite early on so I was never really worried about his moyo. After that I repeatedly tried to take advantage of his shape in different areas, but because I was short on time, I never quite managed what I was going for. I think I must have been behind at the end of the middle game, but he then let me cut off a stone on the top side too easily and that gained me the lead."

Charlie had an easy win: "I took White and have recently been trying this thing where i play sensibly and actually bother counting. It's been rather effective, though it's more boring, so i may just go back to crazy.

Black played a fairly passive opening, so I had one light stone as aji on a board otherwise split along the diagonal. I had a mini chinese looking thing, which I'd expanded in exchange for some black stones on the side. Black then decided to invade it, so I killed him then spent the rest of the game taking cash. "

Congratulations to the team.

League Page with game records

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