Norway Draw Sees UK Slip to Second

Pandanet Go European Team Championship
13 March 2018

In the seventh round of the European B-League, UK were matched against Norway placed fourth. With a staggered start time the match lasted from 19:00 to nearly 23:00 UK time. The match ended a draw with Andrew and Chris winning on the top boards, but Des and Jon losing on the other two. This left the UK in second place with 12 points, as Germany beat Denmark to go clear top with 13 points. Netherlands drew with Austria to stay third on 11 points. With just Netherlands and Sweden to go the UK team are still hopeful of promotion.

Andrew Simons wrote: I won my game against Jostein Flood.

I was black and started off with the AlphaGo (and 19th century) idea that approaching both his 3-4 points to prevent shimaris and then tenuki-ing was a good idea. He then started some forceful play against my lower right corner and I crawled a bunch of times on the 3rd line which didn't feel great but allowed it me to cut and start a good fight, however he wisely sacrificed 3 stones which were small now, but then saved them again when I tried to make a forcing move. He immediately activated his r9 stone (I think tenuki was better), so I let him live on the right side with the option to capture the 4 stones back in sente.

Next I pulled out my top left approach stone. He played a classic squeeze tesuji to capture me, but I used the aji to surround his corner. I used a lot of time trying to work out the best move order, and entered overtime on move 64. I rather messed up and, although I saved my captured stones, the group wasn't yet alive and he got a strong outside as I got horribly squeezed again.

His move 88 was maybe overly solid, so I gote sente to sabaki with my bottom left approach stone, using a 5th line attachment of AlphaGo. He took the corner, so I had to make shape on the outside, and ended up living by connecting with points along the lower side.

He then had a large centre moyo, and I a top side moyo. He played on the right edge, aiming at some weaknesses of my stones there, but I played to sacrifice them and consolidate the top side and it worked out fairly well. He started poking around at its weak points and, with an uncharacteristically sensible decision for overtime, I let him make a sizeable reduction in exchange for solidifying the rest of the moyo and reducing his centre as I figured that left me ahead. There was a bit of bad aji inside my top right which he tried to use, but he resigned when that died with a cute belly attachment tesuji (he should have played a bizarre 2-2 empty triangle himself to live, but I would still have enough).

Chris Bryant wrote about his game against Severin Hanevik: I won my game on time, but would've been by resignation otherwise I suspect (I had killed a large dragon).

I was happy with how I played, much better than last time. I didn't do anything that I thought was stupid half a second after clicking, which was nice.

At the start of the game, he built a large moyo after I played an early 3-3, but then he switched to playing very territorially, and allowed me instead to get a really big moyo on the right of the board.

I felt he had to really do something about my moyo, and after a fight at the bottom, I offered him a trade of some of my corner stones (with quite a bit of aji left) in exchange for isolating some central stones of his - I figured this would be enough to win. He took the trade, I killed the centre as planned and so won since my moyo was just too big at that point. I think his timing for reducing/invading the right was a bit off (much too late) - he ended up invading the bottom side of the board and I think the game was hard for him after that.

It was nice to play a moyo game again! With my early 3-3 invasions, I'm usually playing a territorial style nowadays. I still have the blood of an influence-based player though, good nostalgic game, had a lot of fun with this one.

Jon Diamond wrote of his game against Heming Hanevik: An early start (19:00) obviously didn’t suit me, continuing my string of losses at Cambridge!

All was proceeding not too badly and not quite over-pressing for a change, but I played a little loosely and didn’t see the severe nature of his cut, isolating one of my groups. It died…

Des Cann wrote: I lost my game against Tomas Hjartnes by 3.5.

It started quietly and I gave up a little too much thickness in exchange for territory. When I pincered his kakari on the left he played a spurious kikashi which hurt his group, but he then strengthened his group by giving me territory at the bottom before attacking some light stones of mine. I felt this was unreasonable and answered aggressively and we soon both had two weak groups on the run. When he connected his largest group, I settled one of my groups a little passively and then, when he allowed me sente, I played another slow move securing my second group instead of jumping towards his position.

He then had the better position. Although I did well from there up to a point, he got the left side first to a double sente area. I could have kicked myself; if I'd got there first I think I would have won. I only just managed to live with a connection. There was no coming back after that. I must have been tired because I believed the score that came up as a 13.5 win to him. Actually it said 15.5, but he had let the game default to the wrong komi and the result was just 3.5 to him.

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