British Championship - Game 3

British Go Journal No. 61. March 1984. Page 10.

Black: Matthew Macfadyen, 6d
White: Terry Stacey, 5d
Time: 3 hours. Komi:5½

The game-file in SGF format.

Game 2 is on page 8.

Figure 1 (1-31)

  • Black 31: The first crisis of this game came early, with my play at 31. The purpose of this stone is to create a huge ko threat, so that the sequence in Dia 1 becomes possible. Actually it would have been better for Terry to follow Dia 1. Although he loses out in the top left corner there, his upper right position has been strengthened considerably (black A may be useful later but there is hardly any other useful aji), and the marked white stone is ideally placed to restrict the influence of black's stones in the upper left.
Diagram 1

6 ko at diamond
Figure 2 (32-78)

35 ko at diamond, 39 connects at 32, 44 connects at triangle.
  • Black 49: The next crisis came with black 49. Terry should have prepared an answer to this before playing 48 - if he couldn't find one then 48' must be at 53.
  • White 52 is definitely bad - he should either play 54, letting black capture 3 stones in a ladder and then try to disrupt the lower right corner with a ladder breaker - or play 52' at 63, which gets tricky. In the game, black captures four stones cleanly and is left clearly ahead.
  • White 62 threatens to save his four stones in the centre (do you see how?) and forces 63, but this exchange loses out on the left, since black now has the 71, 73 exchange which either captures three stones or breaks up the white side position.
  • Black 67, White 68: The exchange of 67 for 68 allows white to secure his position on the side, which is bad locally, but I was trying to find a satisfactory way to complete my eyeshape with the group at the top.
    If 68' had jumped out two points to the left of 66, then I would have played at 70 which would have been ideal, leaving White's side position overconcentrated and Black's group alive with territory. In the game the black group is still not quite secure, but white has farther to reach to get into the lower side. It is hard to say which is better for him.
  • Black 77: It is tempting to cut above 72 and capture three stones, which is worth 20 points, but 77 is about the same size even if we only count the value of the corner and it also threatens to make a huge territory on the lower side. I felt that 78 was going to be too slow for White, and expected him to invade the lower side. My plan was then to let him live, but concentrate on keeping sente with which to go back to the left side. Note also that, depending on what happens in the centre, black might prefer the atari to the right of 74 instead of the one above 72.
Figure 3a (79-115)
BGJ had Fig 3a and 3b as one diagram, Fig 3.

  • Black 87: After 87, the white corner can be killed in ko ( see the problem on page 17. White could chose to save it by pushing out below 84, but this would be dangerous, since his group in the upper left is not quite secure.
    The momentum of the game is going against White, however, and it seems necessary to do something to disrupt it. When Black plays 89, the game runs right out of White's control.
  • White 94: White's invasion is very deep indeed, and it is tempting to try to kill it unconditionally. However black has enough territory to win without killing this group (count the game for yourself and see) and can afford to concentrate on making everything solid so as to leave no chance for white to do anything alarming.
Figure 3b (116-153)
BGJ had Fig 3a and 3b as one diagram, Fig 3.

  • White 110 tempts black to start a ko in which his whole group could get into trouble.
  • Black 111 makes sure of black's eye shape while aiming at the upper left group.
  • Black 129' should be one point below 128, making miai of 129 and 136. This would prevent white from making an eye and probably kill the group.
Figure 4a (154-200)
BGJ had Fig 4a and 4b as one diagram, Fig 4.

162 ko at 154, 165 ko at 159, 168 at 154, 171 at 159, 174 at 154, 179 at 159, 182 at 154, 185 at 159, 188 at 154, 191 at 159, 194 at 154, 197 at 159, 200 at 154.
Figure 4b (200-251)
BGJ had Fig 4a and 4b as one diagram, Fig 4.

206 ko at triangle, 209 ko at 203, 212 at triangle, 215 at 203, 218 at triangle, 221 at 203, 224 at triangle.

Terry successfully connected his centre group out, but now the upper left corner was isolated. The huge white group in the centre was too thin to allow white to fight the ko in the corner. Eventually Terry decided to ignore a ko threat and hope he could find a way to live. It didn't work.

White resigns after Black 251.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 61
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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