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.