Wednesday, March 03, 2010

New Jersey Open

I played at the New Jersey Open again this year, and had a great time.

Many of my old friends were present. One old friend who had been conspicuously absent for years made an appearance. Don DeCourcelle, who hosted the New Jersey Yang Workshop for two years, made the NJ Open his first tournament in his return to the go scene after an absence of at least five years.

I played at the rank I "earned" at the Hoboken tournament last year, which is 9k. I was very close to 8k and would like to have played at that level, but I know that the AGA has a policy against one stone self promotions, so I didn't try to push it at registration.

I came to find that, as last year, they were lax in enforcing the policy against one stone self promotions. I found this annoying. I guess it doesn't pay to know and follow the rules.

I went 2-3 and solidified my rating of 9k achieving a revised rating of 9.11 with a sigma of 0.48.

I took my Macbook with me to the tournament and used it to record my games, which drew some attention from the younger set. During the fist game I carelessly misplaced a stone, and recorded only up to the point where it mattered. With the remaining four games I was much more careful and recorded up to the last move of these games. I actually think that recording hurt my games rather than helped them, but at least I have the game records for analysis.

I have already had Yilun Yang review Round 2 and Round 3. I will have him review Round 4 and Round 5 during our next lesson.

Round 1:

I played white against a Chinese Opening. I won that game by 13.5, and did not find myself feeling under pressure during the game at all.

Round 2:

I played white again. This time it was a very close game which I lost by 0.5. I was able to pinpoint a totally unnecessary move on my part which cost me the game. I was so ashamed by the offending move that I was tempted not to show it to Mr. Yang because I knew what he would say about it. I showed it anyway, and he said exactly what I expected, "This is a 25 kyu move." I definitely didn't deserve to win that game. I did take comfort though in knowing that I was playing at the right level by coming in so close in spite of such a terrible mistake.

Round 3:

This game was with a young girl who I had played at the Oza two years before. She had won all her games when she played me, and I think she may have gone on to win the rest of them. I lost this game by 14.5. I was surprised, however, when Mr. Yang reviewed it I was told that I should have won the game. I made some bad errors that prevented me from doing so, but apparently I started out well. This game was the third game of the day, and I don't really like to play more than one serious game per day, so by the time this game was under way I was exhausted. I actually stood for this game to remain focused. It probably worked against me though by making me even more tired.

Round 4

I was refreshed the next morning, and this game I had high hopes of winning. Early in the game I captured quite a large group. Unfortunately my opponent fought back valiantly, cutting off a couple key stones which added significantly to his territory. I lost that game by 3.5.

Round 5

This game was against a young woman who had won all four of her previous games. At the end of the game she told me that I had offered her the biggest challenge of the tournament. During the game she actually said at one point that she would really like to get sente. I know the feeling well. I won that game by 18.5.

I'm not disappointed with my results since two of my losses were so close.

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