Thursday, August 3, 2017


My rank on IGS is now 1d+!

Slowly clawing my way up:

(The long flatline is from when I was in Japan and not playing online.)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Back to the grindstone

I'm back home and returning to my usual modes of study.

Guo Juan reviewed some games of mine from the club last week.  I lost both games by resignation.  Here's one with Mr. Cho, in which I played Black (no komi).

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[0.50] GN[2017-07-27a]PW[Mr. Cho]PB[Becci]WR[5d]DT[2017-07-27]EV[Diesel]PC[Cambridge]C[White+res.] ;B[pd] ;W[dp] ;B[pq] ;W[dd] ;B[fq] ;W[cn] ;B[jp] ;W[pn] ;B[qo] ;W[po] (;B[qp] (;W[jn]C[This move is strange. White should play P3.] (;B[cf]C[This is big, but not urgent.] ;W[fc] ;B[bd] ;W[ch] ;B[dh] ;W[ci] ;B[cc] ;W[ce] ;B[be] ;W[df] ;B[dg] ;W[cg] ;B[bf] ;W[dc] ;B[ef] ;W[de] (;B[qf] (;W[di]C[This move is good for White. ] ;B[pj] ;W[ld]C[Ambitious.] ;B[jd] ;W[je] ;B[ie] ;W[ke] ;B[hd]C[Black has no problem here.] ;W[eg] ;B[ig]C[Jump out -- very good.] ;W[kh] ;B[kg] ;W[lg] ;B[jg]C[This same shape came up in an earlier game between us. At that time, I was the one with the cut-able jump but he peeped instead of cutting, which (supposedly) helped me. ] (;W[lf] ;B[lh] ;W[ki] ;B[mh]C[Nobi -- very good.] ;W[ii] ;B[eh] ;W[fg] ;B[hh] ;W[ic] ;B[id] ;W[kb] ;B[hc] ;W[ib] ;B[hb] ;W[nc] (;B[ff]C[This move is wrong.] ;W[gg] ;B[gf] ;W[fi]C[I missed this geta. :(] ;B[hg] ;W[gi] ;B[hi] ;W[hj] ;B[kc] ;W[lc] ;B[jb] ;W[pb] ;B[qc] ;W[lb] ;B[ia]C[Game is better for White now.] ;W[ng] (;B[qn] (;W[pi]C[Tsuke here gives Black a chance.] ;B[qi] ;W[qh] ;B[ph] ;W[oi] ;B[rh] (;W[oh]C[This is a mistake for White.] ;B[qg]C[Very good for Black.] ;W[nk] ;B[dr] ;W[eq] ;B[er] ;W[fp] ;B[gp] ;W[go] ;B[hp] ;W[ho] ;B[io] ;W[in] ;B[cp] ;W[co] ;B[bp] ;W[kp] ;B[jq] ;W[jo] ;B[ip] ;W[ep] ;B[dq] ;W[kq] ;B[gr] ;W[pl] ;B[pm] ;W[om] ;B[qm] ;W[ol] (;B[nn]C[End of commentary.] ;W[op] ;B[ko] ;W[mp] ;B[oq] ;W[nq] ;B[pp] ;W[oo] ;B[am] ;W[bm] ;B[an] ;W[al] ;B[bo] ;W[bn] ;B[ao] ;W[bk] ;B[ql] ;W[qb] ;B[rb] ;W[ra] ;B[cb] ;W[rc] ;B[rd] ;W[sb] ;B[oj] ;W[nj] ;B[kr] ;W[lr] ;B[jr] ;W[or] ;B[pr] ;W[nr] ;B[og] ;W[of] ;B[pg] ;W[ne]) (;B[np] ;W[mo]C[Even like this, Black doesn't have enough.])) (;W[qj]C[White should play this way.] ;B[qg] ;W[pk] ;B[oh] ;W[oj] ;B[nh] ;W[mj] ;B[qb]LB[qb:A][nc:B]C[White B group should still be alive, even after Black A.])) (;W[pm]C[White should just nobi here, so there's nothing on the right side.])) (;B[np]C[Again, Black should play from this side.] ;W[qn] ;B[nn])) (;B[hi]C[Black should just come out.] (;W[ij] ;B[fi] ;W[fe]C[White can live,] ;B[gk]C[But Black comes out. This is quite ok for Black.]) (;W[fi] ;B[hk]C[This would be much better for Black.] ;W[jk]C[Say White tries to run away with these three stones,] ;B[ob]C[Black has the chance to save this corner, and White can't make much on the other side because Black is out in the center.]))) (;W[lh]C[If White plays this way,] ;B[lf] ;W[mf] ;B[me]C[Black can cut like this.])) (;W[fh]C[White could also play this one.])) (;B[di]C[Black should play here.] (;W[dj] ;B[cj]C[White can't hane because Black can cut.]) (;W[cj]C[White must play this way.] ;B[dj] ;W[dk] ;B[ek] ;W[dl] ;B[el]C[The left side is a very inefficient way for White to make territory, and White needs a move on the top.] ;W[ic]C[Say White plays here,] ;B[dm] ;W[cm] ;B[np]C[Black can do something like this (note this move coming up again). The game is more interesting for Black.]))) (;B[np]C[Black should respond here. (Throughout the game, GJ is looking for Black to play this move, but I never did...)] (;W[cf]C[If White plays here...] ;B[nn]C[Black jumps out. Now, what is K6 doing? The White stones on the right side are dying.]) (;W[nn]C[White needs to try to connect, ] ;B[cf]C[which leaves Black plenty of time to play here.]))) (;W[oq]LB[qp:A]C[White should play here to punish Black A. Black doesn't have the ladder.] (;B[or] ;W[nq]C[Playing this way is bad for Black.]) (;B[op]C[If Black wants to fight, this is the move, but it doesn't work.] ;W[pp] (;B[nq] ;W[or]) (;B[np]C[This would be the move, but...] ;W[qq] ;B[pr] ;W[rq] ;B[nq] ;W[qn]C[Now these stones die.])))) (;B[pp]C[Black must play like this.]))

My second game was with Cam, who is a student at MIT and who has been sprinting up the Go rank system.  He was in Thailand for part of the summer playing in the World Collegiate championship. He went 3-3 overall and is now gearing up for the US Go Congress in San Diego.  In this even game, I played White.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[7.50] GN[2017-07-27b]PW[Becci]PB[Cam]DT[2017-07-27]EV[Diesel]PC[Cambridge]C[Black+res.] ;B[cp] ;W[pd] ;B[dc] ;W[pq] ;B[fq] ;W[cj] ;B[cl] (;W[cf] (;B[nc] (;W[kd] ;B[de]C[GJ did not like this move. She suggested White C16 in response.] ;W[bd]C[Going into the corner is a good choice for White. (Though GJ's first instinct was C16.)] ;B[ne] ;W[pf] ;B[ic] ;W[df] ;B[ef] ;W[ce] ;B[ee] ;W[id] ;B[hd] (;W[ie] ;B[jc] ;W[kc] (;B[po] (;W[qm] ;B[qq] ;W[qr] ;B[qp] (;W[mq] ;B[om]C[The ladder is good for Black, so he can play this way.] ;W[qj] ;B[or] ;W[pr] ;B[oq] ;W[op] ;B[pp] ;W[os] ;B[np] ;W[nr] ;B[oo] ;W[jq] (;B[pg]C[This is overplay.] ;W[of]C[Coming out is very good.] (;B[qc] ;W[pc] ;B[pb] ;W[ob] ;B[qb] ;W[oc] ;B[re] ;W[rf] ;B[qe] ;W[qf] ;B[sf] ;W[sg] ;B[se] (;W[rh]C[Good for White. But...] (;B[qd]C[Slow. Black can live in seki even without this move.] ;W[hc]C[Cutting here is good.] ;B[gc] ;W[hb] ;B[gb] ;W[he] ;B[gd] (;W[cq]C[The upper side is big. ] (;B[bq]C[This is not the correct move.] ;W[dq] ;B[bp]C[Ooh, really?] ;W[ep]C[White comes out; very good for White.] ;B[iq] (;W[fp]C[Running away is good for White.] ;B[jp] ;W[kq] ;B[gp] ;W[dn] ;B[do] ;W[fn] ;B[eo] ;W[fo] ;B[en] ;W[lo] ;B[ho] ;W[fm] ;B[hm] ;W[in] ;B[hn] (;W[dl]C[This is not a good idea.] ;B[em] ;W[el] ;B[fl] ;W[gl] ;B[fk] ;W[gk] ;B[fj] ;W[gm]C[Now White has a problem.] (;B[dk] (;W[ck]C[No. This side is not important now.] ;B[dj] ;W[bl] ;B[cm] ;W[jl] ;B[ik] ;W[il] ;B[hl] ;W[hk]C[Cut is good.] ;B[di] ;W[bh] ;B[ij] ;W[fr] ;B[gr] (;W[hi] ;B[hj] ;W[gj] ;B[gi] ;W[gh] ;B[fi] ;W[kj] ;B[ii] ;W[hh] ;B[ih] ;W[ig] ;B[jg] ;W[if] ;B[ki] ;W[kh] ;B[li] ;W[kg] ;B[lj] ;W[kk] ;B[ji] ;W[er] ;B[cr] ;W[dr] ;B[br] ;W[hr] ;B[fs] ;W[hq] ;B[gq] ;W[ir] ;B[dp]) (;W[gi]C[This side is the shape.] ;B[hi] ;W[gj] ;B[gh] ;W[fh] ;B[hh] ;W[fi]C[It's not easy for Black to kill.])) (;W[ir]C[White should still play here.])) (;B[ir]C[Black should play this way.])) (;W[ir]C[This move is key to the game at this point (for both sides, and we both missed it repeatedly). This move is super big, both for points and for the base. If Black gets this move, White almost has to go back to live in the lower right.]) (;W[em]C[To be safe, White can exchange this sente move first, ] (;B[cn] ;W[ir]C[and then play here.] ;B[gl]C[Black can't kill White here, ] ;W[hq]C[Because this is also White's sente.] ;B[gq] ;W[ek]C[Then White comes out, and White got the points and took Black's base away.]) (;B[dm]C[If he plays this way, White still has an atari] ;W[ir]C[Again, this is the move.]))) (;W[jp]C[White can also nobi.])) (;B[nb] ;W[oa] ;B[nd]C[This is sente.] ;W[pe] ;B[le]C[If Black comes out like this, White's top group is not safe. So the upper side is really big.])) (;W[lg]C[Capturing here is big.]) (;W[kb] ;B[ib] ;W[lg]C[Or this way.])) (;B[] ;W[qd] ;B[rd] ;W[sc] ;B[rc] ;W[sb] ;B[pa] ;W[ra] ;B[rb]C[Alive in seki, and Black has lots of forcing moves outside.])) (;W[qd]C[White can play this way instead.] ;B[rd] ;W[pe]C[and then connect.] (;B[rg]C[Is Black going to cut here? "I don't believe it.."] ;W[rc] ;B[sh] ;W[rb]C[This is much too big for White.]) (;B[sc] ;W[lg]C[White takes the all-important sente.] ;B[rg] ;W[qg]C[There's nothing for Black over here.]))) (;B[pi]LB[pg:A][pi:B]C[After A, Black should follow up with B. (But jumping out instead of A is better.)])) (;B[ng]C[Black can simply play this way,] ;W[ph] ;B[jh]C[attack the middle a bit, and still jump into the corner.])) (;W[or]C[This might be better for White.] ;B[on] ;W[om]C[White could consider this...] ;B[nm] ;W[ol] ;B[nq] (;W[nn] ;B[no] ;W[mn] ;B[mo] ;W[ln] ;B[nr]C[Black still needs a move on the bottom, ] ;W[ng]C[White can switch to the top.]) (;W[mq]))) (;W[hc] ;B[hb] ;W[gc] ;B[gb] ;W[fc] ;B[fb] ;W[ng]C[Feels like the upper side is big, and should be dealt with. (White can treat the G17 stones as kikashi.)])) (;B[ng]C[Black should probably just jump out.] ;W[ph] ;B[dg] ;W[cg] ;B[dh] ;W[ch]C[These moves are sente for Black, ] ;B[jh]C[So Black can play something like this. White shouldn't die, but gets closed in, which is painful.])) (;W[jc]C[GJ suggested this move.] ;B[ie] ;W[jd] ;B[hc] ;W[kf]C[Normally, this is terrible for White, but now Black is overconcentrated.] ;B[ng] ;W[oc] ;B[nb] ;W[ph] ;B[kh]C[If Black plays here,] (;W[if]C[White has this. And Black has to watch out for N14. ] ;B[] ;W[mf] ;B[nf] ;W[lh]) (;W[mf]C[Maybe White can even play this directly.] ;B[nf] ;W[md] ;B[nd] ;W[lh]C[This is not so easy for Black.]))) (;W[bc]C[White should take the corner.] ;B[gc]C[If Black defends, ] ;W[qf]C[White can play somewhere else like this.] ;B[ch]C[If Black invades here, it doesn't matter, because White is already alive.] ;W[ef])) (;B[cd] ;W[dh]C[This way, White is smaller.])) (;W[ce]C[White should go further, like this, because it shares the corner.] (;B[cg]C[If Black invades, it's ok...] ;W[ee] ;B[fd] ;W[dh] ;B[cd] ;W[be]C[This is fine.]) (;B[ed]C[If Black plays this way...] ;W[dg] ;B[cd] ;W[de]C[This is different, because now...] ;B[] ;W[gd]C[White has this attack as a follow-up.])))

I'm so fortunate to have strong players around who are willing to play with me.  I just learned that we have another strong player (around 5 dan) who will be enrolling at Brandeis as an undergrad this fall!  I might have to share An...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

JGC -- last day, and last day in Japan

I lost my last JGC open tournament game to Sirithep Chen, from Thailand, leaving me with a 2-2 record overall for the tournament.

I didn't get a chance to get it reviewed, but here's the game.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[6.50] C[Sirithep Chen played white] ;B[pd] ;W[dd] ;B[pq] ;W[dp] ;B[fq] ;W[cn] ;B[ip] ;W[po] ;B[np] ;W[qq] ;B[qr] ;W[ql] ;B[qp] ;W[qi] ;B[fc] ;W[df] ;B[jd] ;W[qf] ;B[pf] ;W[pg] ;B[qe] ;W[of] ;B[pe] ;W[og] ;B[nd] ;W[rg] ;B[fo] ;W[dr] ;B[ch] ;W[cj] ;B[eh] ;W[ge] ;B[hd] ;W[ej] ;B[gg] ;W[hf] ;B[hg] ;W[gi] ;B[hi] ;W[hj] ;B[hh] ;W[if] ;B[jh] ;W[kf] ;B[ij] ;W[gj] ;B[eg] ;W[ff] ;B[fg] ;W[ik] ;B[jj] ;W[ld] ;B[db] ;W[cc] ;B[jk] ;W[pb] ;B[lc] ;W[mc] ;B[kc] ;W[md] ;B[qc] ;W[qb] ;B[rf] ;W[qg] ;B[rd] ;W[sf] ;B[rb] ;W[ra] ;B[sc] ;W[re] ;B[pc] ;W[ob] ;B[rn] ;W[jl] ;B[bf] ;W[cf] ;B[bg] ;W[cb] ;B[il] ;W[hk] ;B[im] ;W[kl] ;B[kn] ;W[ml] ;B[dm] ;W[dn] ;B[fm] ;W[em] ;B[el] ;W[en] ;B[fk] ;W[cl] ;B[fn] ;W[ei] ;B[mi] ;W[sb] ;B[sa] ;W[ic] ;B[id] ;W[sb] ;B[dl] ;W[cm] ;B[sa] ;W[qa] ;B[sb] ;W[sd] ;B[se] ;W[kd] ;B[jc] ;W[sd] ;B[fj] ;W[rc] ;B[fi] ;W[mo] ;B[mp] ;W[lo] ;B[kq] ;W[fr] ;B[gr] ;W[eq] ;B[fp] ;W[jo] ;B[io] ;W[lp] ;B[lq] ;W[jp] ;B[jq] ;W[gs] ;B[hs] ;W[fs] ;B[hq] ;W[qn] ;B[rm] ;W[rl] ;B[ro] ;W[jn] ;B[qm] ;W[in] ;B[hn] ;W[jm] ;B[hm] ;W[pm] ;B[mg] ;W[eb] ;B[ec] ;W[dc] ;B[fb] ;W[da] ;B[bd] ;W[fa] ;B[hb] ;W[nj])

In the afternoon, we had the Pair Go tournament. Fukami-san got Nakura-san to come to Takarazuka to be my partner.  (Thank you, Fukami-san!!)  Nakura-san made the trip out just for this; he wasn't part of the Congress otherwise. He's 7 dan, so I apologized in advance for my poor performance. He was really good-natured about it though and happy to play. (This is really important in pair Go; it's no fun if your partner gets mad at you for making mistakes.)

In both games, we played White, giving a 2 stone handicap (in the first game, we also had 6 points reverse komi).  In the first game, the female player was the weaker player and would often play sente moves to avoid making decisions about what would happen next.  This made it easy for me to just respond and allow my 7 dan partner to decide what to do.  We won this game by resignation.

In the second game, the female player (in the kimono above) was the stronger player of our opponents (she was in the open division; her partner was 1 dan).  That meant that I was responsible for responding to her moves.  We won this game on time.  It was really interesting because it was clear that the stronger player of our opponents knew they were almost out of time (sudden death time setting) so she played her moves instantly, but her partner was oblivious and would continue to use time to think about where to play.  But she never made any move to indicate to him that he should speed up or pay attention to the clock; she was completely stoic about it.

Pete played with Miyoko-san.  We thought they were going to play these little kids, but it turns out the kids had much lower rankings and ended up playing someone else.

Gabby won all four of her games in the open tournament.  We were (again) really proud of her.

It was really hard to leave all my new friends.  We were all crying when we had to say goodbye.  There was a farewell party for the Congress, which I joined for a little while, but many of our group had not paid for it so they were just lingering outside.  Inside, the party was large and noisy and excluded most of our group, so I left quickly to re-join my crew.  Maeda-sensei and Li-sensei soon joined us at an okonomiyaki place down the street, where we had our last time together.  When we were saying goodbye, Maeda-sensei said to me, "I'll see you in San Diego, right?"  I had to say no, which made me sad to not be attending this year's U.S. Go Congress.

The next morning I met Pete at Cynthia (the Takarazuka version of Hachiko):

and we took the Shinkansen back to Narita to fly home.

Everyone has scattered across the planet.  We'll never get a chance to have everyone together again, though I'm sure I'll see groups of them at various future Go events, and hopefully will see some of them at future Osaka Go Camps.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

JGC -- Day 3

I played Nikita again today. (I played him at the camp too.) He played a much sharper game this time though and I resigned. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to get it reviewed.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[6.50] C[Nikita Prikarev played white] ;B[pd] ;W[cp] ;B[pq] ;W[dd] ;B[ep] ;W[gq] ;B[fo] ;W[jq] ;B[cn] ;W[eq] ;B[dq] ;W[dp] ;B[fq] ;W[er] ;B[fr] ;W[dr] ;B[gp] ;W[hq] ;B[lq] ;W[io] ;B[do] ;W[en] ;B[eo] ;W[qo] ;B[qp] ;W[po] ;B[np] ;W[qj] ;B[qf] ;W[cf] ;B[jd] ;W[cj] ;B[hm] ;W[im] ;B[hl] ;W[jc] ;B[ic] ;W[id] ;B[ib] ;W[kc] ;B[fc] ;W[ec] ;B[fd] ;W[je] ;B[pj] ;W[qk] ;B[kd] ;W[ld] ;B[ke] ;W[mc] ;B[ie] ;W[pc] ;B[qc] ;W[oc] ;B[qb] ;W[qg] ;B[pg] ;W[qh] ;B[rf] ;W[ef] ;B[ko] ;W[kr] ;B[lr] ;W[ir] ;B[ne] ;W[le] ;B[kf] ;W[lf] ;B[jf] ;W[oe] ;B[lg] ;W[od] ;B[mf] ;W[pf] ;B[qd] ;W[og] ;B[ph] ;W[mg] ;B[mh] ;W[ng] ;B[qi] ;W[ri] ;B[pi] ;W[rh] ;B[kq] ;W[ks] ;B[jn] ;W[in] ;B[jp] ;W[ip] ;B[es] ;W[cq] ;B[hs] ;W[is] ;B[hp] ;W[jl] ;B[lm] ;W[km] ;B[ln] ;W[ll] ;B[kk] ;W[kl] ;B[nl] ;W[jo] ;B[kn] ;W[kp] ;B[lp] ;W[gn] ;B[hn] ;W[ho] ;B[go] ;W[fn] ;B[cl] ;W[fk] ;B[dj] ;W[dm] ;B[cm] ;W[dk] ;B[bj] ;W[ck] ;B[bk] ;W[ci] ;B[bi] ;W[bh] ;B[bo] ;W[ij] ;B[rm] ;W[pk] ;B[pm] ;W[ok] ;B[fb] ;W[eb] ;B[gh] ;W[lh] ;B[nk] ;W[nj] ;B[mj] ;W[kg] ;B[ni] ;W[oj] ;B[mk] ;W[oi] ;B[eh] ;W[dh] ;B[hj] ;W[gj] ;B[hi] ;W[om] ;B[ol] ;W[pl] ;B[qm] ;W[qq] ;B[pp] ;W[on] ;B[ro] ;W[mm] ;B[mn] ;W[nm] ;B[ki] ;W[ml] ;B[ii] ;W[jj] ;B[hk] ;W[lk] ;B[il] ;W[ji] ;B[jm] ;W[jp] ;B[fs] ;W[ds] ;B[ap] ;W[br] ;B[oo])

After the game, Pete and I went to Shin-Osaka to buy our shinkansen tickets for Tuesday and to make sure we know where we're going. We have to get back to Narita airport (in Tokyo) in time for our afternoon flights back to the states. The end is near.

In Japan they don't just have express and local trains.  They have lots of variations.

Back at the camp, one of the options that stopped at our station was something like the "sub semi-express".

Here I am with Mike, who was given this kimono by a friend.

This family wore their Boston Go Congress t-shirts today!

Full disclosure: I also got clobbered by a 5 dan (one of the Chinese guys who joined our camp at the very end) in a free match this afternoon.  I didn't record that game though.

I also asked Fukami-san if he could find me a Japanese partner for pair Go tomorrow, figuring he knows half the people in the room and could easily find me a friend who is willing to play.  But he ended up calling in back-up, so it sounds like another friend (who did come to our camp for the friendship match) is coming out to be my partner tomorrow.  This friend, Nakura-san, is 7 dan.  I hope he will be patient with me...  Meanwhile, I just got another email from Fukami-san saying he heard back from another friend who is willing to play, so now I might be finding a partner for him!

Pete, Joel and I ended the day with an absolutely stunning 7-course meal (for about $25) at a nearby restaurant ("Taka", in case you're ever in Takarazuka).

Saturday, July 15, 2017

JGC -- Day 2

This morning I played Utsunomiya Tatsuko.

She's friends with Hyodo-san (of course).  I ended up cutting off some of her stones, which was too much.  We played through the whole endgame but then she resigned instead of counting it.  Based on the schedule, I think she's only here for the one day.  Here's the game, with some commentary by Francis.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[6.50] PW[Becci]PB[Utsunomiya Tatsuko]LB[jc:2][qh:1][bj:6][nm:3][om:4][kn:5][co:7]C[White+res. Reviewed by Francis Meyer] ;B[dp] ;W[pd] ;B[cd] ;W[ec] ;B[hd] ;W[cg] ;B[ed] ;W[cj] ;B[dc] ;W[pq] ;B[po] ;W[nq] ;B[qq] ;W[qr] ;B[qp] ;W[rr] ;B[qj]C[This is far. ] (;W[qh] ;B[oj] ;W[nc] ;B[qf] ;W[rd] ;B[pg] (;W[jc] ;B[lr] ;W[fq] ;B[iq] ;W[cq] ;B[dq] ;W[cp] ;B[do] ;W[dr] ;B[er] ;W[cr] ;B[eq] ;W[cn] ;B[dn] ;W[cm] ;B[el] ;W[lq] ;B[mq] ;W[mp] ;B[mr] ;W[np] ;B[or]C[Looks like Black misread this.] ;W[nr] ;B[oq] ;W[op] ;B[pp] ;W[pr] ;B[lp] ;W[kq] ;B[kr] (;W[nm] ;B[lo] (;W[om]C[Slow.] ;B[qm]C[Easy for Black to connect.] ;W[im]C[This potentially gives Black a target. This is why it's better for White to attack on the right side to gain strength before trying to reduce this area. With a target, Black can fix her problems while attacking.] ;B[lm] ;W[gl] ;B[ej] ;W[kn] ;B[ln]LB[kn:A][ln:B][nn:C]C[This is a bad exchange for White because now Black can cut at C.] ;W[fn]C[This is a good move.] ;B[ck] (;W[bj] ;B[cl] ;W[dm] ;B[em] ;W[en] ;B[fp] ;W[eg] ;B[ds]C[(end of commentary)] (;W[co] ;B[gj] ;W[ik] ;B[ii] ;W[kk] ;B[ko] ;W[ki] ;B[gg] ;W[dj] ;B[ek] ;W[mk] ;B[nn] ;W[be] ;B[bd] ;W[hb] ;B[gc] ;W[gb] ;B[fb] ;W[je] ;B[nk] ;W[ml] ;B[on] ;W[jg] ;B[if] ;W[jf] ;B[ig] ;W[ji] ;B[ij] ;W[jk] ;B[gm] ;W[hm] ;B[gn] ;W[io] ;B[fm] ;W[bf] ;B[ne] ;W[nd] ;B[me] (;W[rf] ;B[rg] ;W[qe] ;B[sf] ;W[re] ;B[qg] ;W[so] ;B[rn] ;W[nh] ;B[mh] ;W[ni] ;B[mi] ;W[nj] ;B[mj] ;W[ok] ;B[pk] ;W[nl] ;B[oi] ;W[oh] ;B[ph] ;W[of] ;B[oe] ;W[pe] ;B[og] ;W[ng] ;B[nf] ;W[pf] ;B[mg] ;W[nk] ;B[kd] ;W[jd] ;B[md] ;W[lf] ;B[kh] ;W[jh] ;B[kf] ;W[ke] ;B[kg] ;W[le] ;B[lk] ;W[ll] ;B[lj] ;W[mf] ;B[kl] ;W[km] ;B[cs] ;W[bs] ;B[es] ;W[ar] ;B[bk] ;W[bh] ;B[pb] ;W[pc] ;B[nb] ;W[mb] ;B[ob] ;W[mc] ;B[rc] ;W[rb] ;B[sb] ;W[qc] ;B[ic] ;W[ib] ;B[hc] ;W[ip] ;B[in] ;W[hn] ;B[jn] ;W[jm] ;B[jo] ;W[ho] ;B[hq] ;W[jp] ;B[jq] ;W[kp] ;B[mo] ;W[ad] ;B[ac] ;W[ae] ;B[bc] ;W[go] ;B[fo] ;W[ei] ;B[dh] ;W[eh] ;B[dg] ;W[df] ;B[ef] ;W[ff] ;B[ee] ;W[fg] ;B[de] ;W[cf] ;B[fi] ;W[gf] ;B[jj] ;W[kj] ;B[ih] ;W[bm] ;B[hf] ;W[kb] ;B[ge] ;W[di] ;B[fh] ;W[hk] ;B[gk] ;W[eb] ;B[db] ;W[fc] ;B[ea] ;W[fa] ;B[da] ;W[hj] ;B[fd] ;W[fb] ;B[hi] ;W[pl] ;B[ql] ;W[pm] ;B[pn] ;W[gp] ;B[gq] ;W[ms] ;B[jr] ;W[ie] ;B[rq] ;W[sq] ;B[sn] ;W[sp] ;B[no] ;W[os] ;B[sr] ;W[ss] ;B[mm] ;W[jl] ;B[ro] ;W[se] ;B[sg] ;W[am] ;B[aj] ;W[ai] ;B[ak] ;W[he] ;B[ce] ;W[ls] ;B[ks] ;W[ns] ;B[fl] ;W[hl]) (;W[ph] ;B[oh] ;W[rf]C[White can connect this way.] (;B[qe] ;W[re] ;B[rg] ;W[qg] ;B[rh] ;W[pf] ;B[og] ;W[pe]) (;B[rg] ;W[qg] ;B[re] ;W[pf] ;B[sf] ;W[qe] ;B[rh] ;W[og]))) (;W[bm]C[This is possible.]) (;W[fk] ;B[ek] ;W[fi]LB[fm:A]C[White might be able to take sente and attack these stones. (Although, with the weakness at A, White might need to make some exchanges on the bottom first.)])) (;W[bk]C[This is probably better. Even if Black cuts off the top stones, White can play F2 and Black is in trouble.])) (;W[pm]C[White can go deeper. Black wil have a hard time connecting. ])) (;W[lo]C[White could play here, but Black might not respond. If White wants to play here in sente, White should not play L3 first.]) (;W[ql]C[White could also try this first. White can use the R12 stone. Idea: White should attack where Black is weak. Worry about the big strong Black area later, after White becomes strong from the attack.])) (;W[fq]C[Probably playing on the bottom or left side is bigger.]) (;W[cn]C[Hard to say which is better.])) (;W[qf]C[White might want to play back like this, ] (;B[qh]C[Then Black doesn't want to play here.]) (;B[oj]C[If Black still jumps, White doesn't need another move in the corner.])))

Here I am with Pete and Mika:

Mika has a rather unusual situation.  She's been here with us through all of camp and now she's a staffer at the congress, but she doesn't play Go.  She is of Japanese descent, but she was born and raised in New Zealand.  Her uncle is friends with Maeda-sensei and she is thinking of moving to Japan, so she was brought on as a translator.  For the camp, that ended up not working so well since she doesn't know Go.  But she's been a central person for us anyway...  a "mood-maker" as Fukami-san says.  :)  Speaking of which Fukami-san is at camp today:

In addition to running all the behind-the-scenes stuff, Maeda-sensei is also front-and-center, doing running commentary on a Chinese city league relay match.

Francis has been translating the commentary into English.  At one point he said something about there being a "live performance" during the break in the game.  "A live performance of what?" we wondered.  Then they came out:

We had been hearing about this famous all-female Takarazuka Revue since before we got here.  Everyone who found out we were going to Takarazuka brought it up.  When we got here, Pete tried to buy tickets and learned that we basically would have had to buy them a year ago to see a performance.  But then we got a brief performance here at congress!

 The Go players (in the middle of their relay match) did pause to look up and take a couple of photos, but went right back to discussing their game.

Then I got interviewed by Diana Garnet for her TV show on NHK. She said she's a beginner at Go, but I guess they like to have her on TV as someone trying to learn. She's from Washington, DC and moved here to become a singer. Apparently, she's been successful as a singer for songs in anime movies.

They interviewed a lot of us from Go camp.  We're pretty conspicuous.

Later in the afternoon they held a "Teacher-Pupil Tag Match" with Kunio Ishi and Yuta Iyama on one team and Yuichi Sonoda and Toshiya Imamura on the other.  All are 9 dan pros, but Iyama Yuta is listed in the guidebook with the title "6 crowns" instead of "9dp", since he currently holds 6 of the 7 major titles in Japan.  While one team member played, the other would join the commentators.

It was the first time that everyone just sat in their seats and watched.  Usually the main room is just total mayhem.  While the game was first starting, Francis reviewed some of our games from the morning.  Since we got to know Francis and his friend Komatsu during the camp, it feels like we have our own personal pros at congress.  They hang out with our group a lot.  After the exhibition game started getting interesting we switched over to that and then we got Francis and Komatsu's commentary on the game while it was in progress.  It was definitely easier (and more fun) to follow them than to follow what was happening on the main demonstration board.  Plus we got to ask questions.  Here I am with Francis and Komatsu.

All the pros have those boutonnieres to wear so they are easily distinguishable.

There are lots of great events for the kids.  Lulu finally found what she expected our Go camp to be -- tons of kids for her kids to play with, and parents of Go-playing kids for her to talk to.

Today they had a "rally match" for the kids.  I was told this means the kids can win for most games played, most wins, etc.  They played 13x13 games for this.  And they were each given this really nice player sheet, with information about all the other kids, a place to mark the result in their game and instructions on how to greet each other in different languages.

(Taking notes for our future events back home...)

Some photos of more folks dressed up for the congress.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Japan Go Congress!

Last night they held the opening ceremony for the 2017 Japan Go Congress.

Apparently a bunch of important people use mallets to break open some sort of box (I couldn't really see what was happening) to retrieve wooden sake cups to have the opening toast.  I guess this is a traditional Japanese opening ceremony because Lulu was all excited for the kids to experience this.  Mostly, I didn't know what was going on.

There were a lot of people there.  The food was really good, which was somewhat surprising, given that it was buffet style.

A group of local school girls played Japanese harps for us.  Josh (one of the university students I played in our friendship match at the camp) was there taking a video because one of the girls in the group is a friend of his.  Hyodo-san is here too.  It's nice to see some of the friends we've met through camp.

This morning we played the first round of the main tournament. Maeda-sensei entered me at 3d. I played Nguyen Thi My Le.

I won by resignation.  I played the Yunguseng opening, which does feel a bit like a trick.  It's a tough opening to handle if you haven't seen it before.  In the afternoon, Francis was supposed to be doing game reviews, but no one knew about it, so no one was there (in that corner of the large and crowded and noisy room).  Eventually, all of us campers ended up over there, having him review our games one-on-one and playing each other.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[6.50] PW[Ngyuen Thi My Le]PB[Becci]LB[fc:2][id:3][nl:1]C[Black+res. Reviewed by Francis Meyer ] ;B[pd] ;W[dp] ;B[pq] ;W[dd] ;B[fq] ;W[cn] ;B[ip] ;W[po] ;B[np] ;W[qq] ;B[qr] ;W[qp] ;B[pl] ;W[rr] ;B[pr] ;W[pj] (;B[nl] ;W[qf] ;B[nc] ;W[rd] ;B[qc] ;W[of] ;B[rs] ;W[ql] (;B[qk] ;W[pk] ;B[qm] (;W[ol] ;B[pm] ;W[no] ;B[om] ;W[op] ;B[nq] ;W[lo] ;B[kq] ;W[lc]C[It's dangerous for White to leave the lower left.] (;B[ne] (;W[le] (;B[fc]C[Biggest mistake for Black.] ;W[ec] ;B[fd] ;W[df] ;B[ic] (;W[ie] ;B[ff] ;W[dh] ;B[nf] ;W[gg] (;B[jd]C[This ended up working too, but maybe riskier.] ;W[je] ;B[kd] ;W[ld] ;B[ke] ;W[kf] ;B[lf] ;W[hc] (;B[id] ;W[hd] ;B[he] ;W[hf] ;B[ge] ;W[kg] ;B[hb] ;W[mf] ;B[lg] ;W[mg] ;B[lh] ;W[me] ;B[ng] ;W[mh] ;B[kh] ;W[rc] (;B[rb]C[Black should play on the outside.] ;W[pb] ;B[ob] ;W[qb] ;B[pc] ;W[ra] ;B[sb] ;W[sc] ;B[og] ;W[pg] ;B[ni] ;W[nh] ;B[oh] ;W[li] (;B[jh] ;W[oi] ;B[ph] ;W[qj] ;B[rl] ;W[nj] (;B[rh] ;W[rk] (;B[ok] ;W[qh]C[This is dangerous for White.] ;B[qi] ;W[qg] (;B[pi]C[Wrong way!] ;W[oj] ;B[rj] ;W[ql] ;B[sk] ;W[lk] ;B[if] ;W[er]C[White can't play here with those two weak groups.] ;B[lm] ;W[km] (;B[jk] ;W[kl] ;B[mo] ;W[qn] ;B[rq] ;W[rm] ;B[qk] ;W[on] ;B[mn]) (;B[ll]C[Black should cut somehow. Probably just about anything works.])) (;B[oj])) (;B[qg]C[Black can still play here] ;W[rf] ;B[pf])) (;B[qg]C[Maybe Black should atari first.] ;W[pf] ;B[rh] (;W[rf] ;B[rj]) (;W[rk] ;B[re]))) (;B[mi]C[This cut seems to work. Black should win the capturing race.])) (;B[pg]C[Maybe here.])) (;B[hb]C[Black should play this way.] ;W[ib] ;B[hd] ;W[id] ;B[jc] ;W[jb] ;B[gc] ;W[kc] ;B[hc]C[Black has better shape, White has problems outside.])) (;B[hf]C[This is better. ] ;W[ge] ;B[he] ;W[gf] ;B[if]LB[ff:A]C[The A stone is not important. The goal is to get strength outside.])) (;W[nf]C[White should cover. This is the vital point for both sides.])) (;B[nf]C[This is the vital point, both for Black's saftety and for preventing White from connecting and becoming super strong.])) (;W[id])) (;B[hc]) (;W[ic] (;B[id]) (;B[jd])) (;B[id])) (;W[rl] ;B[pm] ;W[rm]C[White should play this way.])) (;B[qm]C[Might be better for Black to hane this side.])) (;B[on]C[Black should cover. White can live, but Black becomes much stronger outside.]))

The main playing room, prepped to play our morning match:

A woman dressed in traditional clothing playing in the room for the top players:

The afternoon felt pretty chaotic. Things didn't seem to be happening quite according to schedule, and the sound system is such that I can't understand much of the translations into English. Also, it's just so noisy in there, with so many people doing so many different things, that it's hard for me to concentrate on what's coming over the loudspeakers.

But there were cool events.  It's too bad I couldn't get more out of them.  The president of the university where our Go camp was held gave a talk on the history of Go.

The Japan Go Society for the Visually Impaired was there, with boards set up to try blind Go.

Later there was an exhibition match (9x9) between Michael Redmond and a player who was actually blind.

Here's the game.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[9]KM[6.50] PW[michael redmond]PB[blind player] ;B[fd] ;W[df] ;B[ff] ;W[fc] ;B[ec] ;W[gc] ;B[dd] ;W[he] ;B[cg] ;W[cc] ;B[cd] ;W[eb] ;B[db] ;W[dc] ;B[ed] ;W[cb] ;B[fb] ;W[da] ;B[gd] ;W[dg] ;B[cf] ;W[gg] ;B[fg] ;W[fh] ;B[gf] ;W[hf] ;B[gh] ;W[hg] ;B[eh] ;W[hh] ;B[fi] ;W[hd] ;B[bc] ;W[bb] ;B[bd] ;W[hi] ;B[ab] ;W[ba])

In addition to translating everything into English and Chinese, they have a running transcript in Japanese and someone translating into sign language.

Here I am with Pete and Jujo Jiang:

He asked us (well, Pete, really) for a photo.  Pete and I started looking for someone else to take it, but he wanted to do selfies.  He brought about a zillion of his students (many of them little tiny kids) to the congress.  They're all wearing their club t-shirts, so they're easy to spot.  One of them got his shirt signed by Michael Redmond.

William got his fan signed by Michael Redmond: