Diamond v Macfadyen

British Go Journal No. 40. February 1978. Page 12.

Matthew Macfadyen et al.

Jon Diamond had an uninspiring tournament, playing with the confidence of experience only, and often finding his groups in excessive trouble. Matthew on the other hand was in fine form, continually setting his opponents problems, concentrating bird like on the position, or sitting back with his arms folded and a small smile on his face - though admittedly this was sometimes a favourable sign for his opponent. Comments are by Matthew with additions, bracketed, by the editorial staff.

This 6th round game was important for both players. I had 4½/5 and Jon 4/5. If I won I would need to beat David Mitchell to establish a clear lead while this was Jon's last hurdle on the way to his 3rd London Open title.

Black: Jon Diamond, 5d
White: Matthew Macfadyen, 4d

The game-file in SGF format.

Figure 1 (1-100)

84 at 79.
  • White 2,4,6 are a fuseki I have not tried before. The idea is to concentrate early on the center, in order to attack. (Black 7 would well be played top-left but Diamond dislikes all joseki.)
  • Black 13, 17 are very conservative, leaving him with a lot of ground to make up centrally. (Black 13' could well be at White 14, countering the influence of White 6.)
  • White 24 was not intended to kill the corner, merely to strengthen White outside while Black ends up defending with Black 29. (White 30 loosely surrounds a large corner while aiming under the Black 7, 23 group. 31-32-33 cross-cutting is typical Diamond play to settle his stones one way or another. White 34 is a natural move, strengthening White's weakest stone.)
  • Black 31 - White 56 was a very succesful sequence for me. Note it is probably bad for Black to live in the corner by cutting with 51' below 40, since his centre stones will probably die and he would have no prospects on the left side. (White's group with White 56 is not yet alive, but he can do without 2 eyes - the corner dies first.)
  • White 58' could have been played around Black 59, in order to attack Black 9, 19 but I was afraid that a Black play at 58 would make his lower left territory too large.
  • 59-75 stretches Black's position to the limit, maybe further, but it is not clear how I should attack. Extending at 119 (A) with 76' was possible, intending either to kill the lower group or the right hand side, but I rejected this because I was not sure it would work and I hoped anyway to kill the lower group without disturbing the aji (possibilities) on the right side. (79 leaves White alive in the corner with one more move, which he was anyway, while forcing the useful moves 81, 83.)
  • White 86' at 87 would be too reckless - the ensuing semeai would probably end in ko and Black has several huge ko threats in the upper left corner.
  • (Is Black 95 the correct direction of play, rather than, say, to the left of 89 or 95 ?)
  • Whether or not Black lives, his prospects on the left side are severely limited by White 98 - 100.
Figure 2 (101-199)

  • White 112 makes bad shape. The sound way to stop Black 130 is for White to play there himself. I wanted to be able to play 118 in sente, but did not see that 112 could be played at 118 at once. If Black 119 then White 130 leaves Black in desperate trouble.
  • White 132 - 168: Without examing the sequence in detail, and the problems of life and death involved, it is obvious that 132-168 is very bad for White. It should have been possible to produce an attack on Black's upper left group and reduce Black's moyo at the same time, leaving Black with far less than the twenty points he obtained lower left. Now a small blunder will suffice to lose.
  • Black 167 forces White to live on a small scale.
  • Black 169 prepares to make a few points in the centre.
  • Black 171 and White 172 are both mistakes. If I had answered with 172' at 198, then Black 191 would not work and Black's last chances of winning disappears. After 191-199 White's position is hopeless.

Black eventually won by 11 points.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 40
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