Last night, Vox and I sat down for 9 games of Go. We were quite evenly matched – I won 5 of the 9 but it could just as easily gone the other way. Here’s the final game of the evening. I played the black stones.
Early in the game, Vox established a weak group on the right side. Looking at the game today, I think I should have been more effective in splitting that group from his powerful group on the left. However, as the game developed, that right-side remained a problem for Vox, even though he was able to make the group safe easily enough.
What if I had made a 2-space jump towards the centre from my 4th line stone in the bottom centre, right away. That would have made it very difficult for Vox to connect his floating group on the right to the left side stones and I think now the attack would have been severe. If he tried to run and make shape, I could have tried to sustain an attack, then reduced his larger group on the left and taken a centre position. Instead, I let those stones off the hook in favour of gaining a position against his 3-3 point in the top corner. I was worried he was going to get too much in that corner. Maybe I should have attacked with some abandon while I had the opportunity.
The result after I took a position on the top left side of the board seems reasonably equitable. I claimed a good corner in the bottom right. Vox took some 3D territory in the bottom left, but I had a small corner on the left, taking away the possibility of making it really huge. I had started with the 4-4 in the top right. Vox approached and mitigated the corner territory a little, making a safe shape. His best corner was shaping up to be the top left, but I was claiming some space on the outside of it.
I was able to connect up my left and top right areas. Instead of Vox expanding his biggest corner, I created a wall against it and made a bit of territory on the outside of it. I wonder if achieving this was the margin of victory in this game?
Vox connected up his weak right-side group and used it to limit my territory on the right side. I grabbed a little cash on the right side. Unfortunately for Vox, his stones had no potential for additional territory.
Going into the endgame, there wasn’t a lot of potential left on the board. Vox was behind and there was no way for him to catch up. Looking at the final game, you can see that for all the moves Vox made on the right half of the board – about 60 – the best he was able to do was limit my territory. On the entire right side of the board, he was only able to grab 10 points for himself. Even with one large territory on the left, it just wasn’t going to be enough for him.