Foreign Tournament Report
For the final game of the season our team had to play another mid-table team, Turkey. With Des Cann dropping out of the match at short notice, captain Sandy Taylor stepped in and led the team to a three-one victory. Daniel Hu and Alison Bexfield were the other winners. This left the team in fifth position in the B-League after Germany beat top team Netherlands to stay in fourth. Italy was the runner up and Finland was third.
Daniel Hu wrote of his game against Kaan Malçok: I played solid shapes for a moyo game. My opponent made a few too many weak groups and though I spent a long time wondering if I was able to kill their big group that invaded my area, I decided it didn't work due to a shortage of liberties on the lower side. Still, I could attack by using some driving tesujis.
For the second match in a row in the B-League, Alison Bexfield was the team's star player, with the only win. Finland thus won the match three games to one. Germany won their match which moved the team down to fifth position, with just one match to go.
Alex Kent wrote of his game against Javier-Aleksi Savolainen: I lost my game by resignation. The opening had an interesting bit of symmetry on the bottom side which meant it was miai to lean on the each of our 3-4 stones. I gave my opponent too much scope to lean on (and potentially separate) the top side, so I fell a bit behind. My assessment was that I was nearly alive in the centre so my opponent's wall wasn't worth as much, but this proved to be inaccurate! I should probably have tried to treat my central stones more lightly.
Germany had been struggling in this year's B-League, but the grades of the team they fielded against the UK suggested this match was likely to go their way. Four interesting games ensued and the top three boards were won by Germany. However Alison Bexfield was the team's star player, with a very entertaining game giving her the only UK win of the evening. The loss meant the team slipped to fourth position with two matches to go.
Daniel Hu wrote of his game: I lost by resign to Benjamin Teuber after losing a large group at the end. The game was mostly good for my opponent, but within +/- 5 points. This was after I backed down from an early fight, failing to punish an overplay in the lower left joseki and instead sacrificing my stones. The variation on the right was probably questionable, and in several variations I was probably too willing to sacrifice my stones.
It was an exciting match against Italy with some interesting games and the added excitement of Jon Diamond's game breaking just at the crucial point in a fight. In the end it ended honours even which left us third in the B-League just ahead of Finland, both on 7 points. At the top Netherlands beat Sweden to go a point clear of Italy with 10 points.
Daniel Hu wrote of his game against Matias Pankoke: I was first to finish this time, in less than 2 hours, a surprisingly relaxing game. My opponent tenukied in the upper left which may be slightly questionable. A standard joseki ensued on the lower side, where he should get 2nd line territory on both sides and I get thickness on the 4th line and half an eye on the lower side. I'm not sure my clamp was best, but it was fighting spirit when he refused to play the simple one space jump. He certainly misplayed it, trying to save everything.
A late change on each team meant it was going to be close against Croatia in the fifth match of the season. In the end the UK lost three games to one, with Des Cann taking the only win. At the top of the B-League Italy drew and Netherlands won to equal Italy on match points. The UK stayed third, just ahead of Finland on board points tie-break.
Alex Kent wrote: I lost by 2.5 points to Matej Zakanj (komi was applied retroactively as it was set incorrectly). The opening seemed very balanced - I played a slightly dodgy sequence in the lower left corner but this ended up working in the board position. We ended up with a situation where we each had a large framework in addition to some smaller territories. We traded moves for a while prodding each other's moyos before I messed up a bit and sacrificed a number of stones which I probably could have done more with.
The UK lost three games to one in their fourth match of the season. A strong Netherlands team meant this result was likely and only Daniel Hu, on board one, managed a win. As Italy beat Turkey they moved top of the B-League, whilst the UK slipped to third behind Netherlands on board points tie-break.
Daniel Hu wrote about the longest game of the evening: I won by resignation playing white against Geert Groenen. We started off with a 3-3 MYT flying dagger joseki, that I knew the variations for, knowing I had a severe cut. I think it's meant to be a good result for me. However, my opponent worked hard to attack that cutting group and I prematurely counterattacked seeing my opponent's shape was so bad on the right. I was just unable to capture the cutting stones and so my own group was attacked with Black profiting by capturing most of the lower side.
In the third round of the B-League for 2020-2021 the UK played and beat Switzerland. There was a big gap in time between Jon Diamond's win and that of Daniel Hu, with that last game lasting not much short of three hours when the opponent's cuckoo clock reminded him it was bed time and he resigned. This kept the UK team in top position, with Italy beating Finland to move up to second place, a point behind UK.
Daniel Hu wrote: I won by resignation against John Walch. This was the last game to finish, with plenty of tiring calculations.
My opponent made a mistake in the upper left 3-3 invasion fight, losing 2 cutting stones early on after which the game was easier for me. He set up several weak groups over the board which all managed to live (though I kept wondering if the upper right was a ko, but didn't try it as I felt I was ahead). There were many kos into the endgame.
Alison writes: I am playing in the World Amateur Women's Go Championship. There are 33 players from 33 countries taking part. The top seeds from China, Japan, Korea and Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) do not need to play preliminary rounds. All other countries have been put in four geographical groups to play knock out preliminary rounds. I am in the European group and there are four places available in the preliminary rounds from 15 countries.
The tournament is played with fast time limits (even for me). It comprise no basic time but byoyomi of ten lots of 30 seconds. So not much scope for lengthy thinking on any single move.
It is also being played on the wbaduk server. It was a good thing I did some practice on this in advance of the match. It is actually quite nice to play on, but working out how to join it in the first place and then how to set a game with the right settings was quite difficult.
My first opponent was Viktoriia Symonenko from the Ukraine.
In the second match of the new season in the B-League, the UK played and beat Sweden by three games to one. It was a long evening for the spectators as the top board was scheduled one hour after the others and that game lasted three hours.
Previous league leaders Germany lost four-nil to Italy (including two no-shows) and so the UK moved up to first place, the only team to win both matches so far.
Daniel Hu wrote: I had a toughish game against Charlie Åkerblom, spending too much time thinking in the opening and not with a great result. I tried playing a bit more solidly with my shape. My opponent made a largish moyo but I got out with weak group one into the centre in sente and invaded with a ladder breaker. My opponent capped, letting me pull out the ladder stone and attack the weaknesses on both sides.
In the first match of the new season of the Pandanet Go European Team Championship B-League the UK beat Belgium three games to one. There were wins for Daniel Hu, Alex Kent and Jamie Taylor, their game reports are below. This placed UK second behind Germany who beat Croatia four-nil and just ahead of Finland who beat Netherlands.
Jamie wrote: Against Gabriel Mercier I managed to isolate a nice chunk of stones fairly early on, but then messed up the capture a bit, giving away some nice influence in exchange unnecessarily. I thought I was only a bit ahead after that, but my opponent played some slow moves and let me neutralize the influence to get comfortably ahead. I lost the ability to read towards the end and let him capture some important stones but my opponent seemed to be having the same difficulty and I managed to hold on to the lead and win by resignation.