Journal No. 60. September 1983. Page 18.
Black: John Rickard, 2d
White: Francis Roads, 3d
The game-file in SGF format.
This game from the first round of the Candidate's Tournament is
about as brutal a slugfest as one could wish to see. John Rickard's
strategy of marching steadily round the board converting his own weak
groups into his opponent's dead ones proves devastatingly effective. The
simple minded pragmatism with which Francis Roads trusts to the
traditional virtues of eyes and liberties somehow becomes irrelevant.
Francis has the White pieces, comments are by Matthew Macfadyen.
Figure 1 (1-62) |
31 ko at 25, 33 connects at 24.
- Black 11: A bit slow - usually he either counterattacks with 12 or
takes the corner with 15.
- Black 17: Looks like an overplay, and when White starts the ko with
30, Black is in trouble, since 32 is a good ko threat.
- Black 43 could have been at the 3-3 point in the corner, which
would probably make two eyes. John had more ambitious schemes for saving
his group ...
- Black 63 is a sort of tesuji, and 69 invites White to cut at 88 and
start a very complicated fight. Francis counts the liberties and plays
70, which leaves him one liberty ahead in the capturing race on the side
and takes some of the pressure off his other two groups running into the
Figure 2 (63-100) |
BGJ had Fig 2 as 63-93.
99 at .
- Black 81, 83: The awfulness of these incredibly vulgar plays is
discussed in the 'Shapes' article on page 26.
- White 86: White is obviously overlooking something - John sees his
- White 88: The long awaited blunder. There is no answer to the empty
triangle at 89. Suddenly Black's game is looking playable.
Figure 3 (101-163) |
BGJ had Fig 3 as 94-163.
129 ko at 117, 131 connects at 122.
- Black 101: A gross overplay - he seems lost without a weak group to
look after. The sane alternative would be 146 on the lower side.
- White 112 is good - Black's stones look doomed.
- White 116: The intention was presumably to simplify the position
while taking all Black's eyes away, but there is no harm in allowing a
group one eye as long as it can't escape - he should have played at 121.
- Black 117, 119: Brilliant - Black finds a tiny chink in the armour.
- White 126: Imprecise - he should play at 133 first, now Black gets
an eye in sente with 133.
- White 134: The game losing move. It is no longer reasonable to try
to kill this group, and when he plays 134 it is clear that Francis has
been successfully led into the trap. In principle the game is still
close - Black's capture in the centre is only worth 16 points and White
has plenty of compensation - but the game has acquired a psychological
momentum such that White is going to play a series of moves, each more
unreasonable than the last, until his position collapses. The ability to
recognise such a downhill slide, and to get oneself out of it, is shared
by very few amateur players.
- Black 141: His first mistake for 20 moves - it would be correct to
play 142 first - but the effect is to lure White deeper into the trap.
- White 144, 146: May look plausible but the wall is too thin. Black
finds the winning tesuji at 159 which threatens both sides at once.
White resigns after 163.
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