UK Starts Season at top of B League
The UK team started the new season of the European B League by beating Denmark by four games to nil. This put the team in first place, equal with Germany. Congratulations to them for this result!
Daniel Hu wrote:
I won by 16.5 points in a very intense game of 160 minutes against Jannik Rasmussen (4d). I played pretty well, certainly better than on Saturday, but it took me around 20 minutes to get my reading and shape feeling up to scratch. I think my opening was slightly better, playing an AlphaGo joseki, but it was an unfamiliar fight, and it used up a lot of my time. He was left to cut with an empty triangle, while I got sente.
In the middle game, I played an invasion that got slightly messy, as my top side got reduced, and I spent several moves playing dumb second line kosumis on the right side not worth much territory, but reducing his eye space. But when he simply lived with four eyes with one group and jumped to reduce my top side with the other, my moves looked embarrassing. Towards the endgame, I wasn’t sure who was ahead, perhaps I was slightly leading. But he cut off my centre group, and I missed an unconditional life deep in byoyomi. So we played a huge ko that was very heavy for him too, worth nearly 100 points. But while he still had lots of time I was repeatedly not playing until 2 minutes remained of my byoyomi… The ko was so big, maybe I shouldn’t have responded to his R8 threat which threatened to cut off 11 stones and 11 more points in sente. But he played several dumb responses to my local threats that gave me a lot of local ko threats, and there was no way he could fight the ko. My local ko threats threatened to rip through his left side territory of 10 points and disconnect his upper left group. Finally he played a ko threat against a 36 point group that I couldn’t answer. It took me some time, but I found a solution to not end the ko, but atari the ko and make it even heavier (his top left group had insufficient eye space), I played a ko threat to save both my centre group and my 36 point group by capturing 3 of his stones. He had to respond, and to save his upper left group, he played a threat against a 26 point group of mine. Hence I ended the ko, capturing 22 points in the process. He killed my smaller group, and I lived with my 36 point group. He got sente to secure his 10 points on the left side, and I got to play the last big 8 point move. The other endgames were at most 4 points, and it was easy to play fast. He lost around 2 more points though.
Bruno Poltronieri wrote:
I barely won this one against Uffe Rasmussen (4d) by 3.5 after making a huge blunder in late middle game which cost me a 10 stone group in the centre. The game started very normally, he played high Chinese and I played very simply. In exchange for letting him consolidate his territories I took some influence in the form of a ponnuki on the right side and three floating stones on the left. I didn't really know how to use those three stones so I just left them there while I took some big points. A fight broke out in the bottom right as he tried to prevent my influence from connecting. This fight gave me the lead as I jumped into his territory, splitting him into three groups. It ended as a ko for his corner which I won.
After that I played too relaxed, just taking points on the top and again leaving my three floating stones on the left alone. They got in serious trouble but barely lived. There was another ko on the top side for the life of one of my groups but by this point my opponent didn't have many threats so he let me win it to secure his centre group. At this point I had a pretty big lead but then came the 25 point blunder! I was ready to resign until I counted and realised I was still (barely) winning :)
Sam Aitken wrote:
I managed to win my game against Torben Pedersen (3d) by resignation, after fighting for the last 100 or so moves. I opened with mini Chinese. First interesting joseki (3-4, high approach, two space high pincer, ogeima) came in top left. After I descended to second line my opponent avoided complications by tenuki rather than cut so opening proceeded quite peacefully. I took gote in bottom right (perhaps unwisely) and for a few moves it felt as though my opponent had the initiative. But then he played a second line move, I got a ponnuki in the centre and game felt okay again. Eventually I invaded his top territory and we fought. A couple of his groups got away and he found an annoying wedge but finally I caught a 20 stone group in the centre and he resigned.
Chris Bryant wrote:
I won my game against Mathis Isaksen (2d). I spoke with Daniel before the game, having a joke about opening on 3-10 after my shenanigans in the final game of last season, and he said "what's wrong with 4-11?" So I decided to take the wise advice from our newly crowned champion and opened with 4-11 instead. The game overall was pretty clean, never felt under pressure. He got a bad result trying to reduce one of my corners which was difficult to overcome. We ended up having a moyo each - he played deeply into mine, I chased it out while reducing his and stole a few of his points in another area. I counted that I was about 20 ahead going into the endgame so I was a little sloppy/careless, won by 12.5 in the end.