UK beat Sweden to Head for Play-Offs
In the ninth and last round of the season, the UK (second) beat Sweden three games to one. This left the British total at an impressive seven wins and two draws. Assuming Germany did not draw or lose to Turkey (they won four-nil), the team's next game will be a best-of-five play-off against Italy, the second-bottom team in the A League, to try for promotion on 29th May. This would have been Serbia, but the appeal against the claim of computer-assistance was in Italy's favour and their forfeits will be cancelled, moving Serbia down to bottom.
Andrew Simons wrote: For a change I finished in under two hours, winning by resignation against Martin Li 4d. The opening was Alpha/Leela Zero inspired (I've recently been studying with the Lizzie interface, highly recommended!), with a kiai-filled tenuki fest in which I ignored a double approach on my 4-4 to press and surround his group. We then had a bit of fuseki on the top side, I took sente instead of the honte defence when he invaded my 4-4, plus a big knight to resurrect my 4-4 stone that was surrounded. Rather than pulling out his cutting stone to start a fight, he extended on the side so I loosely netted it. We had a bit more opening type stuff with him playing territorially, so I played two attachments to develop the centre, he plopped in a reduction stone on tengen and I probed to see if he'd give me territory or keep centre access to help his reduction. He opted for the former, so he jumped further into the moyo, but with a big knight move instead of the one-space jump I expected. So I cut it, he jumped out with half the group to safety, but I got a thick shape in the centre and felt good as I'd switched my moyo from upper to lower side. When I grew this, he played a surprising yose move (S15), so I surrounded more, he played a nice shoulder hit reduction but extended one too many times, meaning I played a thin net, which ended up capturing him thanks to a cute little tesuji I just managed to find in overtime. He then failed to kill my corner and resigned.
Chris Bryant wrote of his game against Erik Ouchterlony: I won my game tonight by 5.5 points. I felt that I was miles ahead after the opening; he lived by crawling along the 3rd line on the bottom, then along the 2nd/1st line on the left. I got a bit complacent though and missed how severe was a wedge he had at G12. We ended up having a big trade; thankfully still I had enough to win, but not as clean as it really ought to have been.
Des Cann wrote about his game against Anton Christenson: I had a good opening, overplayed at the bottom and was too aggressive with my group on the left, losing it in a bad way, made poor shape on the right and got further and further behind until I had to resign: a poor game for me.
Jamie Taylor wrote of his game against Marc Stoehr: I tried to keep things calm, but my opponent wasn't having it and started a tonne of fighting, which I reluctantly agreed to. I did well at first, but he managed to capture a few important stones after playing a few good moves and what was either an excellent tesuji or a silly blunder on my part - I can't decide which. Surprisingly, Leela Zero seems to think the situation was still good for me at that point, but I was feeling pretty behind. The game didn't last much longer though, after my opponent messed up a corner causing a big ko fight, which then died after playing a fake ko threat and he resigned.