Challenger's League

British Go Journal No. 63. November 1984. Page 23.

Black: J. Barty, 4d
White: T. Stacey, 5d

The game-file in SGF format.

(Introductory discussion of the Challenger's League omitted.)

Before the start of the Challengers most pundits would have picked Jim Barty as Terry's biggest threat. But a disastrous start of 1/3 put Jim out of the running. So when he met Terry in round 6, he had nothing to lose. Of course by then, neither had Terry.

The comments to their encounter are Jim's, who says that his thoughts about the game have changed since he wrote them. But "they indicate my thinking during the game... I don't claim any other merit for them".

  • Black: Jim Barty 4 dan
  • White: Terry Stacey 5 dan
Figure 1 (1-71)

  • White 12: Presumably White is playing so far back in order to discourage a Black pincer, but in this position Black can go ahead anyway.
  • Black 15: More usual is to pull back to the 3-3 point. This leads to the joseki shown in Dia 1, but such a high position would enable White to press at 'A' before invading at 'B', or simply to pincer at 'C'.
  • White 18: The joseki books give the more elegant hanging connection at the right of 18.
  • Black 19: More severe would be to play immediately at 20, but White has more threats against the black group, so it is easier for White to advance into the centre. I preferred to let White settle on the edge.
  • Black 25: It is also possible to play at 26, but I preferred to strengthen black 13 and take the centre-facing position.
  • Black 33: This is a horrible mistake. I must play at 34. The sacrifice of this stone would enable me to block off the side in sente, and then jump to 38. Black 35 is gote, but even then White has let me off the hook - consider white 34' at 35...
  • White 38: Gets there first.
  • Black 41: Gives White a shape problem.
  • White 42: Patches the white shape while maintaining pressure on the two black stones, but there are still weaknesses in White's position. Since white 40 is so far away, I decided to see what I could generate from the aji straight away.
  • Black 55: Cuts off the white stones, but White can be content because he will be able to settle his stones by jumping into the centre and further nullify Black's thickness.
  • White 56 - Black 59: White is a little unlucky that Black can push up at 59 and hane at 61, since the White push (at 96) and cut (at eg 140) doesn't work in this position. It would therefore be better for White to jump to the point above 62 or some such vaguer move.
  • Black 71: Black has acquired enough thickness to invade. The invasion at 87 is more natural here, but for some reason it never occurred to me.
Dia 1
BGJ showed this diagram on a whole 19*19 board.

Figure 2a (72-100)
BGJ had Fig 2a and 2b as one diagram, Fig 2.

  • White 72: White decided to kill the Black invasion; he can reduce Black to one eye, but he is left with a cutting point. Neither player read out the ensuing semeai correctly before embarking on this sequence.
  • Black 83: White decides that if he reduces Black to one eye, Black can push and cut, and have enough liberties to kill half the white group. So he seeks compensation by messing up Black's position next door.
  • Black 87: Black's compensation is the push and cut.
  • White 94: The position is tricky for White. I think it would have been better to push on and sacrifice three stones to connect out 76 and 78, as this weakens the black group on the left hand side.
  • Black 95: The white centre group is settled, so I am content to sacrifice the cutting stones and take a large corner.
  • Black 99: Black now has a slight lead, but it is essential that the group (19, 15, 3, 17) [1] is settled before it becomes an embarassment. The 99, 101 sequence forces the 102, 103 exchange which helps Black.
    [1] BGJ had 19,15,2,17.
Figure 2b (101-120)
BGJ had Fig 2a and 2b as one diagram, Fig 2.

Figure 3 (121-200)

  • Black 121: This is essential. The game is now difficult for White to win.
  • Black 127: Black lives, but this may not be the best move, as White promptly demonstrates.
  • Black 131: Allows White to capture 17 and 127, but in gote.
  • Black 141: A compromise but probably best, considering his bad aji.
  • Black 149: I was hallucinating non-existant dangers, should be at 224. My play starts to go downhill as Terry puts the pressure on. In the yose that follows points are gained and lost by both sides, but overall White gains ground rapidly.
  • White 168: Skilful play. This aims at the cut at 'A', perhaps preceded by the clamp at 'B'.
  • Black 169: When Black takes this liberty away all the immediate sequences lose for White...
  • White 174: ... The counter tesuji. If White can play kikashi at 182 before the clamp of 'B' then a rather large ko ensues.
  • White 194, 196: Worth 4 points in gote, but possible because of Black's mistake at 149.
  • Black 199: A bamboo joint is better, White immediately tempts Black into an indiscretion.
Figure 4 (201-257)

Perhaps 231 at Black triangle, perhaps 255 at White triangle.
"Perhaps" because the BGJ article omitted these moves which are assumed to have been played where stones are already shown in Fig 4.
  • White 208: Black's lead is still there, but it is dangerously small.

Black 257 was the last recorded move. Fortunately for me the last 50 points were straightforward. Black wins by 4 points.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 63
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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