A Key Game From The Candidates

British Go Journal No. 65. July 1985. Page 11.

Matthew Macfadyen

Black: Neil Symes, 1d
White: C. Stevenson, 2d

The game-file in SGF format.

A key game from the final round of the Candidates - whoever won would have a good chance of reaching the Challengers League.

Figure 1 (1-70)

  • Black 1, 3, 5: Black plays the Chinese fuseki of 1, 3, 5 and the sequence to white 22 is fairly orthodox.
  • Black 23 is strange shape, though it does have the merit of undermining white's eyeshape.
  • White 24 feels like a bit of an overplay. The danger is that he may get two weak groups in the same part of the board. More usual would be 50 or 64.
  • Black 31: A standard tesuji, undermining the white group, but it might have been better to come out at 38 first. With 38 white gets some sort of counter attack started.
  • White 62: Bad shape, making an empty triangle; the bamboo joint (playing one point below 58) would be better. 62 loses any shred of meaning when white plays 64, which should be atari to the left of 61.
Figure 2 (71-120)

  • Black 71: Remarkable, but bad. He is trying to get some forcing moves in (75, 77, 79) so as to be able to continue the attack, but the main effect of these plays is to secure White's corner absolutely. Later on when black gets cut off in this area he dies easily due to these crude plays.
  • Black 83, 85: Takes advantage of White's earlier overplay - now with three weak groups on the right White has to sacrifice one of them.
  • White 114, 116: Very good - White refuses to answer Black's intended forcing play and begins an atack on the left.
  • Black 117, 119: Black must have misread something here - these moves do not work.
Figure 3a (121-200)
BGJ had Fig 3a and 3b as one diagram, Fig 3.

129 at triangle Move 129 is missing from BGJ. I have guessed it as being at triangle.
  • Black 123: Now that he has got this far it might be better to play 124, letting white capture the side with 123 (black has got plenty of territory) in exchange for power in the centre.
  • White 136-142: Too docile. He should either play 140' at 142, or 142' at 143. Black must not be allowed to cut off the White stone (112) on the side.
  • White 152: Very sharp, and White's last chance ˜ but almost too late. It would have been better to play 144' at this point.
  • Up to 186 White successfully cuts off and kills the entire upper black group. However his own lower right group, which is bigger, gets cut off itself. The moves from 188 to 194 merely waste ko threats.
Figure 3b (201-223)
BGJ had Fig 3a and 3b as one diagram, Fig 3.

White 212 at 208.
  • Black 217 & 219: reckless - he neither needs, nor is able to live on the left - and gives black very bad aji in the centre. Dia 1 shows the problem, and also why Black 223 effectively sealed the game.

Black won.

Diagram 1

Black 6 fills at 1.

The sequence to 10 produces an enormous ko.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 65
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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