Monday, February 25, 2008

New Jersey Open - Day Two

During my first game of the day I played a young lady who had also gone 3-0 the day before. I tried to make the center of the board less valuable by extending into it, and was doing a pretty good job of it. It got to the point where it looked as if I was going to be able to kill a large number of stones in the middle, which would been even better than just making the middle less valuable. I was told by a dan player that I should have ignored the threat to my group in the upper left to make a clean enclosure of the stones in the center, but I didn't do that. I was afraid to make the game hinge on the kill. I did manage to separate the center stones, but unfortunately some of my surrounding stones got disconnected and it was going to be necessary to make seki. Sadly I had a moment of blindness when I should have thrown a second stone into an eye to prevent my opponent from capturing the single stone to make two eyes. Instead I chose to fill an outside liberty. It was stupid and it should have been obvious. If I had been watching someone else's game it would have been. I should have walked away from the game to gain composure when I realized I needed to make seki. The move was something I ordinarily would have seen, but in the excitement of the game I made a big mistake. I am not sure that seki would even have been good enough after part of my group in the upper left had been killed. I'll look into that later. I'm not ready to know that now. The board position at the time of my fatal mistake is shown below. I played A, but I needed to play B instead. I am white. One really good thing about this game was the way I handled the lower left corner. My opponent tried very hard to kill it, but I kept it alive.

In my second game of the day I managed to get a resignation from my opponent after I made a decisive kill. After it was pointed out to me in analysis that my opponent could have made a ko for life by playing at o1, I didn't feel quite so smug about the kill. But if one's opponent doesn't see the ko, then the ko doesn't exist. I was euphoric from the kill and wanted to avoid the mistake of failing to take a break at the appropriate time. I went for a break to clear my head so I would not do something stupid in the aftermath of the kill. That has happened to me more than once. The second game of the day is shown below at the point of resignation. When I returned from my break my opponent resigned. I was really tired by then, and it was a relief not to have to play the end game. I am black.

My final result for the tournament was 4-1. That earned me a nice certificate suitable for framing, and a cash prize of $40.00, which paid for my playing fee and then some. As much as it would have been nice to go 5-0 I am glad things worked out the way they did. If I had not lost the 4th game I would not have had the valuable lesson about seki, which I am unlikely to forget. I also would not have been matched against my 5th opponent so I would have missed our game, which I found to be very interesting.
I do not expect my record to be sufficient to bring me up to 10k from 11k.

It is my plan to have Mr. Yang review the NJ Open games during our next lessons.

1 comment:

NannyOgg said...


4-1 isn't bad at all.

And yes, it is annoying to have tournament games where one misses an obvious move. It is psychologically very interesting to see it happen in my own games, and I feel it is a matter of focus and discipline way more than it is for go knowledge for me.

Which sometimes I can find, and sometimes I can't. It is nice to have something to work on.

Karen / Nanny