UK Climb to Third in Euro B-League
The 9th round of the B-League on 21st March saw the UK playing Switzerland. The match was won as Andrew Simons. Des Cann and Jon Diamond won, and only Bruno Poltronieri lost. As top team Poland beat second-placed Italy and all the other teams drew, the UK moved up to third place (just ahead of Austria on boards won).
Andrew Simons wrote: My game was against 4 dan Armel-David Wolff, who I'd met at the World Amateur last year. I thought the opening was slightly good for me once he didn't go for complications by pincering my bottom left approach and I invaded his dubious shape on the left side. Inspired by AlphaGo, I went for the kick and jump when he approached the top left, aiming to overconcentrate him on the side but he extended further on the 3rd line so I didn't get a chance to play the 5th line shoulder hit and he snuck in the corner and lived (for now) in sente which was a bit annoying. I took a big thick endgame move and grew my lower moyo, and he reduced it by aiming at an invasion. I answered in a thin but good endgame way, but maybe I should have ignored and split his right side (splitting groups was big and created powerful follow-ups) which he then fixed. He resisted my attempt to get a double sente endgame and attacked my left group: deciding discretion was the better part of valour I lived submissively. By now I was in overtime and lost of a lot of points when he broke into my lower side (I missed a tesuji to kill him due to his shortage of liberties from a bad push) and the game got uncomfortably close. There were a few minor ups and downs in the endgame but in the end I fortunately managed to squeeze out a half point win (after losing the final ko).
Bruno Poltronieri wrote: Not a great game from me today against Flavien Aubelle... Everything was pretty boring until a kind of running fight happened in the centre. I decided to cut off one of his stones which left me with two groups in the centre. I think everything was still fine though as I had stones to run to on both sides and black had one large group that was still in theory unsettled. Unfortunately I made a blunder in byo-yomi which cut off one of my centre groups and it just died...
Des Cann wrote: I was calmly playing for a safe win against Benoit Felix for most of the middle game. However the end game was a little tricky. I ended a nice nibble in the centre with the wrong last move leaving bad aji. Then when I thought I had hacked into his side he found a resource I hadn't seen. Suddenly I found I had given him significant profit as my hacking stones all died. Fortunately I managed to sacrifice the original nibble in order to capture a larger group of his and when the dust cleared I had won by 2.5.
Jon Diamond beat Guillaume Lob by resignation after an exciting fight.