Saturday, May 20, 2006

Perfect Record

Well, I played in another go tournament today. My record is still unblemished by a victory.

My first game was against one of my opponents from my previous tournament. Since I had regressed to a 17 kyu ranking, and she had advance to 15 kyu, I got a two-stone handicap. It didn't help -- the same result. She cordoned off a massive amount of territory, I tried a desperate invasion, it failed, and I resigned. She ended the tournament undefeated, so I guess I shouldn't feel too bad.

My second game was against a 15-kyu kid. I played more respectably and lost by 32 or 34 stones (I can't remember). I feel like I was a few mistakes away from winning that game.

My third game was something else entirely. I played against a kid who entered at 35 kyu. That meant I had to give him an 18 stone handicap. I didn't even know what that looks like. (The most I had played with online was 10, and the most I had played in the tournament was previous two games.) After some consultation, we came up with the following diagram:

The more observant among you may notice that there are only 17 stones in the diagram. They couldn't figure out where to put the 18th stone. So they decided black could go first (normally reserved for white) as the 18th stone. Now, even if you don't know how to play go, if you recognize that the object of the game is to use stones to surround territory, you realize that black starts with a lot of territory almost surrounded. If I played an 18 stone handicap game against a 2 dan, I'm fairly confident I could pull that off.

But I almost did win despite the handicap. I made one mistake late in the game that allowed my opponent to win by around 30 stones.

The fourth game was much like the third, but this time I had to give my opponent only 15 stones handicap. Once again, I lost by 30 stones. This opponent also finished the tournament undefeated.

So I stand at 0-8 in competitive go. Despite all this (or perhaps because I'm hungry for a win), I am itching to play again. I'll drop to 19 or 20 kyu after this tournament, and I'll have an even better chance -- right?

I've been selling Christina on the idea of spending a weekend in Richmond next month for the Virginia Open. Winning (or losing) is not guaranteed, but a report here either way is.

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