I played 6 games of Go with Vox last evening, giving him 2 stones handicap. Although I’ve been doing very well in our play lately, I wasn’t sure I could win with that handicap in place. As it turned out, though, I dominated play, winning 5 of the 6 games we played.
Vox’s victory was in the second game. He grabbed good cash and destroyed my potential by running a weak group up into the centre and safety. He played this one very well and I was forced to resign.
I was able to kill several of Vox’s groups last night, and as a result I won most of the games by a significant margin. Here’s an example from game 4:
In this game, I was able to kill the bottom right corner, but more importantly, cut off and kill 15 stones on the left side. I was able to harass Vox’s group in the middle to gain strength then used the strength to attack his stones on the left. I threw in to force him to take a single eye, then denied him an escape route.
It’s difficult to distill down what went wrong for Vox. In general, my reading was stronger. I was able to find weaknesses in his shape and figure out how to exploit them. To win, I think he has to stop me from hemming his groups in. I would have more trouble against him if he played lighter and more flexibly, getting out to the middle and making shape out there. If I can’t surround his stones from the outside I can’t kill them. As well, I was able to achieve a lot of sente going into the middle game in many of these games, choosing the direction and putting Vox on the defensive. He has to stop me from doing that.
Last night i believe showed two things, one a long standing constant, it being that your fighting skills have always been sharper than mine. But last evening your reading skills were especially sharp, consistently getting to the key spots around the board and forcing direction….i believe you are correct in thinking i have to place more emphasis on getting to the centre of the board where it is more difficult to surround me. And i will have to be more careful about leaving groups whose life is not yet assured to play elsewhere unless the potential gain is greater than what i might lose….You have become a very difficult opponent to face and that is certainly to your credit. So enjoy it while you can, you’ve earned it with hard work, but i will be back.
Of that I have no doubt.