Tournament report Bochumer Bambus 2019 - In detail review of my games

Tournament report Bochumer Bambus 2019 - In detail review of my games  

  By: GoDave89 on Oct. 1, 2019, 11:56 a.m.

Hello everyone!

To celebrate my first ever EGF-tournament win last weekend, I decided to write a little report about it and share my games (as far as I could remember them correctly ^^), thoughts and feelings during that time.

I arrived in a good mental state, with the knowledge that last year in Bochum I managed to get a 4:1 result. That one loss was against this years 3rd round opponent - so more on that later! :)

My main focus of this tournament was time-management! I had noticed, that I tend to spend way too much time on early, smaller decisions, which often led to blunders under time trouble. So my goal was to spend less than 2 minutes on each move until the real important fights start! (Btw. the time settings were 1 hour main time and then Canadian Byo-Yomi 20stones in 5 minutes)

Note: I have that problem to have trouble with small decisions irl as well, so I see Go as a very good playground to improve and transfer that - it's working out great so far! :)

I also wanted to get up often from the goban (when it was my opponents turn to think) to calm myself down and refocus, especially in the second half of the game, where in the past I often messed up due to loss of focus.

Which brings me to Round 1 - A 10 year old 2d, who ended up using only 30 minutes of his time. I did not get too flustered by it I think, but it did give me less time to get up, so a couple of times I had to do that on my own turn.

move 21: After an attachment to his large knights enclosure, the game quickly turned into a wild fight, where I kept losing ground and after a few bad exchanges found myself in a really bad position. I had to calm myself down and decided to treat the situation like an online tygem game (who knows how many kids I've played there anyway), reminding myself that a lot of those games end in some sort of comeback.

The comeback worked! After a few blunders by my opponent (at this time he had only spend 13 minutes and for the first time stopped to think a bit more), the game turned really good for me and even though I was already in byo-yomi by then (because I had spend so much time trying to figure out how not to die horribly) I managed to remain cool and calmly steered the game towards a win.

Here is the game: [goban][/goban]

 Last edited by: climu on Oct. 1, 2019, 3:01 p.m., edited 8 times in total.

Tournament report Bochumer Bambus 2019 - In detail review of my games - Game 2  

  By: GoDave89 on Oct. 2, 2019, 9:23 a.m.

So I had just won my first game with a bit of luck. Since my opponent had used so little time, I was not the last one playing (for the only time in this tournament - even though I had much better time management, did not mean that I wasnt using it as much as possible). That gave me some time to make sure I stayed well energised (apparently soup seems to be the best tournament food for me) and rest my thoughts from the close call I just had.

My next opponent was the first of two participating (solid) 4dans. I had played both of them before and had already managed to have good games, so I was confident I could at least give him a good run for his money. I played white and used the rather popular, territorial fuseki of playing 3-4 and 3-3. Not much happened until the first little invasion at move 34. My opponent immediately messed up though and by move 41 I felt pretty good about my position and had to think about how to keep it that way. 20 moves later however, I started a fight that I misplayed a bit - but then so did my opponent. Curiosity got the best of my however, when at move 90 I played a move "just to see what happens", without really knowing it to work. The game became a back and forth, with both of us exchanging mistakes. A big fight in the middle arose and I had a choice to make: Fight it or back off to take immediate profit at the bottom side. I decided to take a leap of faith since the game was too close for me to call and I was not about to let myself lose because I avoided a fight. However, a ko fight occured that was too early for me to start without the proper ko threats set up and I fell behind.

I was a bit mad at myself for starting the fight after losing that ko - but I reminded myself to leave the regrets for after the game and managed to refocus. The game was not good for me, but it also was far from lost!

(Note: unfortunately, we were both already so deep into byo-yomi, so I do not really remember the correct move order beyond move 170.)

I started to come back in the endgame bit by bit. At one point I used the start of a new byo-yomi period to count the score. There still was a ko in the middle, but only after counting that I was behind by a few points, I started that ko and won it shortly after.

I still was not sure how much that changed though. So then we counted and to our both surprise (my opponent also saw himself ahead by a small margin) the game ended with a white victory by 1.5 points.

Phew, what a wild ride! Here is the game: [goban sgf=][/goban]

The other 4dan had won his game in the matter of minutes, because his opponent had made a huge blunder very early on - still weird to me to resign that early. Anyway, that meant that I most likely would face him next. I was exhausted from a very long, very close game while he was well rested for hours at that point. This should be fun... ^^ Stay tuned to see how that game turned out - I promise, it is a doozy ;)

 Last edited by: GoDave89 on Oct. 4, 2019, 6:21 a.m., edited 14 times in total.

Re: Tournament report Bochumer Bambus 2019 - In detail review of my games - Game 3  

  By: GoDave89 on Oct. 3, 2019, 8:14 a.m.

Round 3. From the outside in, this must have already looked like the tournament deciding game. My opponent had already beaten my second round opponent in the first game as well as one of the 3dans (as mentioned, in a really quick game due to a huge blunder in the opening).

My opponent was well rested and the favorite - at least on paper. But I had three advantages on my side: 1) I played black and thus got to play my slightly unusual opening to throw him off. 2) I had just beaten another 4d, so I came in with the confidence that I not only have the skills, but was also in good shape. 3) The opponent was well known to me, since he used to live in my town. So I knew about his weaknesses, while he hadnt played me in a while and didnt know how much I had improved. When I first played him a few years ago, he gave me 4 handicap. I slowly managed to lower that handicap to 2. Last year, when after a longer break he returned to play at our local club, I claimed I had gotten stronger, but he refused to lower the handicap. Then, just a few weeks later, I got to play him in an equal game anyway. It was the same tournament as this one and I had just gotten a 4:0 score (my first and only other time I ever lost less than 2 games in a tournament) and as a reward got to play him in round 5. I lost, but already then I had managed to keep the game equal until the second half of the game.

So after this little bit of history, maybe you can understand that there was some extra motivation to win this game. Forget what that meant for the tournament (I really tried), it was all about this one game.

I started with me 3-3 + dragon enclosure opening - and immediately got an advantage: A psychological and a time advatage, as my opponent stopped, a bit confused, for 4 minutes (!) to think about how to handle my opening. It does not seem like a lot, but when you are used to being the one down in time, it sure feels like it ;). The game developed rather equally with slight advantages for me (according to lz) after the bottom left joseki and the ensuing fight. But after I had messed up the top right, the advantage was on my opponents side. I knew I had fallen behind, so once again I tried to catch up by being greedy. That gave away the control in the center fights to my opponent though. At this point I did not feel good about the state of the game. I got up often during this game, since my opponent also always took a long time to think. So at that moment I really tried to find a way to cut off his left side two stones. After thinking for quite some time, I could not find anything, so I played a sente exchange to strengthen my weak group, expecting a certain defense and already looking for other ways to find a comeback. But he did not defend the way I thought he would. I checked again and now my tesuji all of a sudden worked! My opponent told me after the game, that he had seen my tesuji, but for some reason only had read one variation that worked for him. There was a countertesuji, but my opponent didnt find it. Nevertheless, he could have still lived locally and stay in the better position. However, for some reason he misread a rather simple tsumego and the status of the group became a ko! Soon after I ignored a non-local ko threat of his, thinking I could handle that new fight. Now I felt good about the position, but I also knew that there was still a lot of possible game left. At this point I did not have all that much time left and after a few careless mistakes the game became really complicated. I ended up almost dying on the right side and was really low on (byo-yomi-) time, but a final mistake by my opponent allowed me to capture his cutting stones and he gave up - at that point I only had 6 seconds left for 3 more stones, but the fight was over.

Here is the game: [goban sgf=][/goban]

I was really exhausted, but also felt exuberant joy. This was already a real milestone for me and I probably will remember this game for weeks - and the tesuji that set up my win for a lot longer :-) I had now beaten three out of the last four 4dans I had faced in tournaments and felt like I was finally getting the results I knew I potentally could, but was not quite able to show in the past.

But now, the pressure really was on. I had already beaten the two favorites to win the whole tournament. Suddently, I became a favorite to win it all! The next day, I would have to face the only other player who had a 3:0 result up to this point! How will I handle that additional pressure? Stay tuned! ;-)

 Last edited by: GoDave89 on Oct. 3, 2019, 8:15 a.m., edited 1 time in total.

Re: Tournament report Bochumer Bambus 2019 - In detail review of my games - Game 4  

  By: GoDave89 on Oct. 4, 2019, 6:10 a.m.

For the first game on sunday, it was time to welcome the only other unbeaten dan-player to "my" board 1. At least that is what it felt like contrary to round 3, where I felt like being the guest to my opponents board 1.

My opponent was "only" a 1dan and he also had "only" beaten two 1dans and a 1kyu up to that point, but I was very nervous due to the good results from the day before. After all, having beaten the two strongest players of the touranment already, it felt like I could only lose from that point on. When you are used to being the underdog, but all of a sudden become the favorite to win there can be a lot of added pressure. Everybody expects you to win, especially you yourself. There is nowhere to hide anymore, you cant disappear behind the underdog story.

My main job for this game was thus to calm myself down and remind myself to just focus on the game. "It is just the start of the tournament." That is something I tried to make myself believe in order to lessen the pressure I put on myself.

I knew my opponent, but had never played him before. I played white. The game started with a cross opening. 10 moves later my opponent had already played a few slight mistakes and I pulled ahead. A little skirmish developed in the top left. My opponent answered all my moves and I managed to established a lead by taking control of the bottom right quadrant, so by move 40 I liked my position. By the board state you can really see the difference to the games on day 1. My opponent then attempted to drag me into a fight, but he missed a few chances to make it more complicated and I managed to keep calm. There were still some weaknesses left in my position though, so once again I had to remind myself that it was only the beginning of the game (move 56). After a reduction attempt by my opponent that went bad, I had a choice to make at move 84: Choose the potentially complicated fight or just defend. This time I decided that I was ahead and simplified the game. I didnt think the fight was more beneficial, so I said no to that. My opponent even defended right away, so at move 85 I got sente to start the endgame. After a pretty uneventful rest of the game, I won rather comfortably by 8.5 points.

Here is the game: [goban sgf=][/goban]

That was it - 4:0! It already guaranteed me a top 2 spot! This game was not too exciting overall, because my opponenent overdefended a lot. But get ready for some life&death action in the last round ;-)

 Last edited by: GoDave89 on Oct. 4, 2019, 6:11 a.m., edited 1 time in total.

Re: Tournament report Bochumer Bambus 2019 - In detail review of my games - Game 5  

  By: GoDave89 on Oct. 5, 2019, 11:17 a.m.

In round 5, I faced a 1dan I had played a year ago in round 1 of the same tournament. On board two, my first and second round opponents of this year faced each other to determine the top 3 spots. Shortly before the game, there was an interesting comment by one of the tournament organisers: Upon seeing the draw, he told me: "Well then this [opponent] should be easy enough for you to beat." On the one hand I can see it as a compliment. But mainly in the moment, I really disliked him putting that notion into my head. I had to quickly regather my thoughts to focus on the game and the game alone! And make no mistake, I REALLY wanted to win each and every game, even after or especially after already defeating all my opponents up to that point.

The game quickly saw its first fight starting from a joseki in the top right corner. The following 20-ish moves really showed a huge difference in understanding of importnance of stones, something I had recently started studying a lot more. At move 40, the game was already very favorable for white. But once again, it was far from over. It showed, because contrary to my 4th round opponent, this one was a fighter! After reducing the top side to dust, at move 68 I felt my main task was to make sure I stay in control of the center. However, after a fight started in the bottom left, the position became complicated and I started feeling uneasy about it. I began losing my lead and after a bad cut in the center (move 116) I fell behind. At that point I already knew I had won the tournament, because my first round opponent had lost his game, but I also just did not want to lose this last game. I went all in, trying to capture all of blacks stones in the bottom right area. A wild fight for life and death started, which I should have lost a few times. But after a few crucial mistakes by my opponent, I managed to actually kill his dragon and win the game from there on.

Here it is: [goban sgf=][/goban]

Here is also a link to the overall tourament results:

So there you go. My first ever 5:0, my first ever tournament win and I have also barely made it to EGF 3d (2254 points). It was a very uplifting, motivating experience and it is good to see work pay off. That being said, I also know how many close calls I had, how many games I had to come back in and that this can just be the beginning. I hope you enjoyed this report and that there will be a reason soon to do this again! ;)

Re: Tournament report Bochumer Bambus 2019 - In detail review of my games  

  By: climu on Oct. 5, 2019, 1:01 p.m.

Much congrats Dave!

And thanks for sharing such materials.


Re: Tournament report Bochumer Bambus 2019 - In detail review of my games  

  By: Malte on Oct. 7, 2019, 10:49 p.m.

Thanks a lot for sharing :) Amazing work!