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May 2000's Go Answer of the Month

Dia 1 - British Congress 2000 Ipswich.

Dia 1

I did very badly at Ipswich in April, so that means that there are quite a few situations which can be worth looking at. Here is one from the fourth round. I was white against Bill Streeten.

1-4 are fine. I felt 5 made the top side left and right miai, so I decided to play an approach to one of the bottom corners before deciding which upper corner to play. Hence I approached with 6.

7 is an unusual response, but 8, 9 & 10 all seem reasonable. 11 caused me some problems.

Dia 1 shows the game. I now feel 12 wasn't right. Can you improve on it?

The 'answer' is presented as a discussion. My thanks go to everyone who commented on this game, in particular Alex Rix and Tim Hunt whom I quote here extensively.

Move 11 caused me some problems.

TH: 11 is basically greedy. Black is trying to play on both sides. This is supposed to be bad. The reason being that the odds are good that Black will have to finish with a gote defensive move on both sides, and there just isn't time for that. Generally speaking there are three possible was for white to proceed:

  1. Push on the bottom to attack on the right.
  2. Push on the right to attack at the bottom.
  3. Play a move in the middle that threatens both sides, Black chooses one side to defend on, then White attacks on the other.

Dias 2, 3 & 4 - Eyespace in the corner.

Dia 2   Dia 3   Dia 4

The first comment is that at move 12 in Dia 1 the eyespace of all the groups is a little tentative and stabalising them should be first priority. To that end White 1 in Dias 2..4 is recommended. TH suggested these three variations where White pincers the stones that Black doesn't play on.

White 12, as played in Dia 1, is an attempt to keep the 3 Black stones separated from Black 11 whilst sticking my nose out into the centre. That is fine except that it encourages Black 13 against the proverb "Don't push your opponent along the 4th line".

Dias 5 & 6 - Better separations?

Dia 5   Dia 6

Dia 5 is one suggested improvement. It may be better to exchange A for B, making a bamboo joint, before playing 5.

The diagonal of Dia 6 has also been suggested, white White 3 playing on the other side to Black 2. So Black A gets White b or Black C gets White D.

However the 2-2 point of Dia 2..4 is more urgent than these moves, and Black's reply to it will dictate how White plays next.

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