We started out tied with Turkey at the top of Division C, but they are nominally the strongest of the other teams in the Division and quite close to us in overall strength. Nevertheless we had high hopes as we put out our strongest team.
Sadly, this was not to be to be the case as we lost all three completed games...
On top board Andrew Simons had a good opening with one cutting group between two weak groups. He didn't play that severely and his opponent managed to settle both groups, but he got some decent profit in exchange, though Andrew did make an annoying timing mistake which meant his opponent could get a big tenuki during the fighting.
However, as Andrew went into byoyomi he started a new fight instead of playing simply for a comfortable win (again!) and ended up dying despite a few opportunities to compromise.
Alex Kent on board 3 felt that the opening was reasonable and that going into the middle game he could even claim a small advantage. However, he rather overplayed his hand later on and created two weak groups. In the end he survived with one of them, but the other died off.
As he says "I think it's a pretty classic example of over-complicating the game when I should have played more solidly and sealed a win (or at least made my opponent play on for longer). I'm a bit embarrassed too :("
On bottom board Des Cann felt he had the easiest game on paper and let the side down a bit in losing. The early playing time didn't suit him, not playing the best in the opening, but was happy when he got to cut in the centre. As the middle game developed he had one weak group and his opponent had two... Des made a bit of territory and got some shape, but no eyes with his group whilst one of his opponent's groups connected. His other group was just a couple of cutting stones.
Des should have run with his group and let his opponent's stones connect, but got over confident and cut off the cutting stones. A few moves later Des played a move from his weak group threatening his opponent's original group which was ignored. His opponent then played a move which made his second group safe and leaving Des's group surrounded. Des's threat came to nothing and Des was left with a large eyeless group and a lost game.
So, that's three losses and a lost match - the final game played by Jon Diamond is still unfinished...
Jon made a significant mistake early in the game and was behind for a very long time with several groups struggling for life across the board. However, his opponent failed to make much territory out of this, so it wasn't absolutely fatal, and then let Jon live inside his territory giving Jon an opportunity. His opponent then left a large group alone to kill some of Jon's stones and Jon attacked the eye shape to reduce it to one eye. His opponent then struggled to get an eye on the outside and as part of this struggle managed to isolate part of the surrounding stones.
During this fight Jon suffered badly with a Pandanet problem - Jon thought his opponent's clock was still running, going into overtime as he needed to think carefully about how to save his group, but suddenly Jon's clock lost 20 minutes and it was his move with only 3 minutes and 30 seconds overtime left for his 25 moves. Sadly, due to these time pressures he made a small mistake and lost the semeai fight, which he should have won, which would have left him with a won game.
Consequently, the game result is under appeal - we'll let you know eventually what the official result is, but it won't change the match result sadly...
_ Full results for the season and game records can be seen here. _