UK Win but Get Demoted
The UK team beat Croatia 4-0 in the Pandanet Go European Team Championship on 24th May to give the team its first and only win of the season. Congratulations to Daniel Hu, Bruno Poltronieri, Alex Kent and Des Cann for this convincing win in the last round. To avoid relegation they needed South Africa to lose their last round match, but South Africa defeated a weakened Italian team 3-1. This meant that the UK team ended bottom of League B and have therefore been relegated to League C for the 2022-2023 season. Germany and Austria both won to take first and second places respectively. Finland also won to end third on tie-break from Italy.
Daniel Hu wrote of his game against Stjepan Meštrovic: I won after killing a very large group, leading the whole game except for a dumb N15 move in the opening that let my opponent's weak group capture two stones in my large moyo. Otherwise, it seems I made no major errors, so overall a good satisfying game.
Bruno Poltronieri wrote of his game against Mirta Medak: I won by a large margin but it certainly wasn’t a smooth victory. The opening was fine, but I got into some trouble in the very first fight in the top right. Thankfully my opponent backed down when it could have been a lot worse. After that the game was very even again and I had a chance to attack my opponent’s stones in the centre but I played too slack and it was getting harder to see how to attack. When my opponent made a mistake I decided to go for a massive kill, which backfired and I had to take a huge gamble on a semeai that I’m still not sure who should have won. We certainly both messed it up a few times but somehow I won it. After that we were both in extreme time trouble, about 10 moves in 10 seconds... We threw some random stones on the board then I had a chance to breathe and count. I thought I was losing (turns out I wasn’t) so I went fishing for something. I found a ko sequence, but my opponent tried to resist it and I killed a big group. It was a bit anti-climactic in the end.
Alex Kent wrote: I won my game by a fairly large margin against Vigor Grego. It was a reasonably smooth victory where I had a lead throughout. There was one scary point where my opponent played the corner attachment I'd been anticipating for most of the game, and I still managed to botch it a bit. Even after this I was still ahead though. A counter error soon followed and I then won the yose pretty convincingly.
Des Cann wrote: I had a comfortable win against Tadej Petar Tukara. My early play was less than perfect but so was my opponent’s. He needlessly pushed along the second line and then played what looked like a nose tesuji, but I had a counter he hadn’t seen turning it into almost a zero point move. I needlessly invaded the left side which kept him in the game but he overplayed while attacking. I sacrificed my invasion whilst stealing his top left corner and got sente to reinforce my centre. It was all plain sailing after that and he eventually resigned after losing his top right corner.