Sunday, 26 April 2015

2015 Ottawa Cup

I participated in the 2015 Ottawa Go Tournament this weekend. It's great to see lots of Go friends as usual. The competition is fierce in group 1 with almost all top players from Ottawa and Montreal regions present. Congratulations to champion Manuel Velasco! He beat 3 strong players and won convincingly.  Considering he also won Montreal Winter Cup last year, his recent good run reminds me of Spanish national soccer team who won the World and European champions in a row.

Ottawa Cup 2015 Album

Even I lost 2 out of 3 games, I tried my best and was content with the quality of all 3 games. Here are some highlights.

This is my game #1. I was black. Game is still early but due to some mistakes black's central dragon is in serious trouble amid white's influences. Black 1 attachment and 3 counter-hane seem a good way to make eye shape. White has a bit of weakness too and it is not easy to find a safe way to kill black. In the game white let black live and won the game by good judgement and endgame plays.

Game #3. I was black against local Go friend and rival Jun Li. We have played lots of games since early 2000's. Jun is no doubt stronger but I always try to show good fighting spirit and resistance. Our recent games tend to be decided by my success or failure to kill his dragons.

I played san-ren-sei opening this time. I decided to give up territory and go all-in for attack and kill, since I am always behind in territory against Jun anyway. But when white 1 extends, I am puzzled and don't know how to continue the attack, and the game seems hard for black. San-ren-sei opening is hard and you often find yourself behind playing all the seemingly right local moves.

After spending about 10 of the total 60 minutes time allowance, I played black 2 invasion, which seemed to me like the only move. The idea is, it may be overplaying locally. However if black can use it as a sacrifice and create some sentes in surrounding areas, white's weak group on the right may die naturally.

As expected, a very complex global war erupted with the black invasion. This is what happened later:

Black paid a very high price on the left and died epically. In return, I did get some sentes in centre and what I wanted in the first place: capturing white's right. There are still lots of ajis with the white dragon and black really should have fixed them if in the lead. I had only about 10 minutes left and based on my count, the game is getting close and black has to play Q-17 big move to have any chance. That is the right judgement except I missed the atari at A and a couple other sente moves in the centre before playing Q-17. Eventually white managed to live the dragon by making good use of ajis in the bottom right area, and won the game.

It is quite an epic game! Black might have some ways to fight more severely after black 65 invasion. I have added some variations in the game record shown below.