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The curious incident of the seki in the daytime

Humorist Will Rogers said, "Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." As Go players we all have our individual blind spots - mine seems to be seki. In the game above, I managed to miss both putting myself into seki, and then getting myself out of it. I am Black.

I enjoy playing my friend pablopicollo, because he's stronger enough than me to make me really raise my game, but not so strong that I can't see how he's beaten me. After some experimenting, I find that the fastest way for me to improve is to play people 1-2 stones stronger. I note with pleasure that since we played about a year ago, I have caught up to him by 3 stones!

Won by a seki

I was convinced I'd lost this until I remembered to count the point A1. I really can't count!

A close game against Frank Janssen 6d

Frank Janssen is a well-known strong amateur and Go educator, 4 times Dutch national champion, and he plays many 9x9 teaching games on DGS with players of all strengths. I was pleased with this 3-handicap game in which I thought I didn't entirely disgrace myself. I lost by 1.5 points.

I think I lost it quite early on, allowing cuts at C5 and F5 - but I feel like I showed good fighting spirit in working for every point.

Jigo

I don't often get a jigo. I was pleased to draw this 4-handicap game on DGS as my opponent (pablopicollo) is a fair bit stronger. However, I missed the winning move. I also thought I had won, but miscounted.

Some interesting lessons from this game. I definitely feel that I'm happiest playing opponents 2-3 stones stronger, who can attack well, defend hard, and punish my mistakes. If I win, it's a sweet win, and if I lose then playing over the game can be very instructive.

However, I am bad at counting, or just lazy - the one implies the other. I didn't count this at all before passing - I felt pretty confident that I was just ahead, and CGoban's score estimator showed me +1, so I relaxed.

Unfortunately, the score is jigo (equal). As if that wasn't bad enough, Pablo pointed out rightly that I had missed the winning move: A6.

It is annoying to miss out on a win by one point in a game that must have lasted several months. I think there are at least two important things I'll take away from this:

  1. I need to count more, count better, and count often. Even if I don't count at any other point in the game, I should count carefully just before passing to make sure I know what result I'm accepting!
  2. I need to put more effort into the endgame. Because I thought I'd already won, I didn't search very hard for the last 1-point moves. Even if I think I've won, I should still fight for every point.
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