Monday, July 18, 2005

Tournament Time

This was a tournament filled weekend. I played in two KGS tournaments (Asian day time and American daytime), in the open division, because I have had my rank turned off for a while now. The open division means that every one can enter, and pairings are random. This was an elimination tournament, so the moment you lose, you are out. I knew I wouldn't make it to the end, but figured it would be a good way to play stronger players.

In the Asian one, I made it to the third round, where I had to play against a 6k. So that was the end of the tournament for me. In the European one, I got a 3k for my first game, so that was the end too. I lost that one by only 34.5, which I thought wasn't too bad. Looking back, I did too many nonsense moves though, I should give up on making those.

Yesterday, I went to a real life tournament, in Boston. I decided to enter as AGA 8k (my official AGA rank is 12k at the moment). I figured I could do ok on that level. Well, I did play 2-2, but it was a lot harder than I expected. Because the tournament is rather small, I only played handicap games. Which isn't too bad, apart from the fact that I ended up giving high handicap 3 out of 4 games. If you add up my handicap stones, I gave a total of 25 stones over the day, and received 3. This seemed a bit unbalanced. Oh well :-)

First game was against a 15k, I gave 7 handicap. This game was just a mess. Too many weak groups, and one super heavy group, which he managed to kill. Wasn't hard either. Can't say that this was my very best game ever. Giving 7H is just really hard, I felt too overwhelmed from the beginning.

Second game was against an 18k, I gave 9 handicap. Better game, but she played very solidly. Making iron pillars the moment I played close to a corner. Connecting all of her stones as much as she could. She made some mistakes, but nothing big enough. There was a lot of aji in a certain position, but I couldn't figure out how to make use of it. A friend later told me how I could have done it, too bad. That might have given me the game. Even although I lost this game, I still feel I played better than during my first game.

It was halfway the tournament now, and I had lost all my games so far. I started to wonder whether I should have entered as an 8k, or whether that had been overly optimistic. On the other hand, high handicap games are so different from normal games, maybe I shouldn't worry too much yet, and hope for some more reasonable games next.

Third game I got lucky, finally I received some handicap. I got 3H from a 5k and it was really easy to win. He kept making nonsense invasions late in the game though, I think hoping for a mistake. At some point I was so tired of them (and my time was really low) that I just gave him 10 points in a corner, so I could live easily with the rest of my group, instead of preventing him from connecting, but being able to stir up more trouble. By that point I was around 50 ahead, so I couldn't care less about those corner points, just wanted the game to be over. End result was 35 points or so. Phew, I finally won a game!

Fourth game was yet another high handi game. I gave 9H again, and kind of expected to lose again. I made too many mistakes, but luckily, he made more. I ended up winning by 30 or so, but I don't feel I played that well. Mostly that he made more mistakes than I did. But hey, I'll take the win.

After the game, my friend came over and pointed to a position 'Why didn't you play here? That would have killed B!' I told him I didn't because B was dead already. My opponent agreed. We both considered it a dead group. Of course, it turns out that yes, there was a way to live for B, just one that the both of us hadn't seen. That's why we aren't dan players yet :-) It was on the board for ages too, I think at least 150 moves. Bad, bad, bad.

I feel that my play this tournament wasn't as good as it should have been, I think giving high handicap so many times kind of threw me off. My best games were my second against the solidly playing 18k, and the third against the 5k. The first and fourth game still had too much room for improvement. Learning opportunities.

The other members of our go club did well too. They both played 2-2. Looks like we all entered at the perfect playing level.

After the tournament, there was a blind go exhibition. That was fun to see. Mind boggling how he could do that though. We stayed for a bit, but then had to go back home. It was a long day, but I am glad we went. Hmmmm, wonder when the next tournament within driving distance will be...

1 comment:

Gilgamesh said...

Very cool :) Only 8 stones to go :)