Sunday, 16 November 2014

Won the fight but lost the game

I often have the experience that I did well in a local fight, but lost the game. Here is yet another good example. It's a recent online tournament game. I was black.

As shown, black's left group is not settled down yet. Black 1-3-5 are probing moves. To answer black 5, white is not willing to play ko at A, because of black's local threats at B and C. Furthermore, white thinks black 5 is a mistake, and he has gotten black 5 with the white 6 descent. If this was a face to face game, I wonder if I could keep a poker face after playing black 5 -- it is tricky.

Black 1 push is good timing. If black plays this push later, white likely will not block at 2. Black 3 is planned, and it works because of the black 9 tesuji!

White has no choice but give up 3 white stones. At the end of this local fight, black's weak group lives in sente with points, and reduces white's bottom. It's a very good result for black, for sure.

However, the game is far from over. Black's opening is not that good, and even black gains in this local fight, the lead is actually not that big. In the game my judgement was overly optimistic. I played some questionable end game moves, end ended up losing by 1.5 points.

It's as if the 20 moves or so of reading in this local fight had taken all my energy and concentration. I feel that to turn this leading game into a won game, it takes not only good control and end game skills, but also great patience and a professional attitude. That is a bit too much to ask of me, so I don't blame myself too much!