James A. Cook vs. Niall, December 2010

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Game information


You can see the diagram for each move by following along at this HexWorld link.


James Cook (http://www.littlegolem.net/jsp/game/game.jsp?gid=1252463):

Move 38

  • J2 (H4) F2 (H2) I1 (G2) G1 (B3) D3 (C3) D4 (C5) D5 (B7) D7 (C9) A13 (E11) F12
    • (G11 - necessary push) G12 (H12 - Sets up K10, and threatens (H11)) H11 (I9)
    • (H11) I12 (G12) G11 (G10) H10 - red is forked and blue wins
    • (I11) G11 - connects to main group and blue wins
  • A13
    • (E11) F12
      • (G11) G12 (H12) - now I think red wins?
      • (I11) starting at J2 blue can force a connection to the RHS to get to E8 in sente, then play G11
    • (I11 - red mistake) - now blue comes along the top and joins to the left through E11 later
  • E11
    • (C9) I12 (I9)
      • G12 (F12) G10 (H12) I11 (H10) - red wins
      • For other variants see the notes for move 36, I12 section.
    • (I9) J2 (H4) F2 (H2) I1 (G2) G1 (B3) D3 (C3) D4 (C5) D5 (B7) D7 (C9) A13 - blue wins
  • B12
    • (C9 - blue still has D7 and A13)
      • D7 (B3) C6 (J3/F2) I12 [good for blue as now (F12) can be answered at G12]
      • A13 (F2/J3) - looks like a red win :(
    • (I11) J2 (H4) F2 (H2) I1 (G2) G1 (D2) D3 (C3) D4 (C5) D5 (B7) D7 (D8) E7 (D9) A13 - blue wins
    • (A13 - now (F12*) is reduced in power as E8 is directly connected) I12 (I9) G11 (F12*) G12 - blue wins
  • D7
    • (B3) C6 (I11) J2 (H4) F2 (H2) I1 (G2) G1 (C3) - red wins
    • (B3) B2 (C3)
      • C6 [doesn't threaten the top after C3?] (I11) J2 (H4)
        • F2 (H2) I1 (G2) G1 (D2) - red wins
        • G2 (F3) F2 (D2) - red wins
    • (I9 - or other move in the RHS) J2 (H4) F2 (D2) D3 (C3) D4 (C5) D5 (B7) D9 [!] (B10) B12 - blue wins?
    • (C9 - can red do this? kills F12 threat?) - blue wins?
  • J2 (H4) F2 [revisiting this as F10 helps with (D8) response later] (B3) B2
    • (C3) E1 - blue wins
    • (D2) D3 (C3) D4 (C5) D5 (B7) D7 <(D8) E7> (D9) - red wins
  • C9 (D8) D9 (D2) D3 (C3) D4 (C5) D5 (B7) - red wins, he connects around at the top via (D8) to (E6) which [by forcing earlier at (H2) I1 (G2) G1] is connected to (H4) and hence the bottom.
    • (I11) J2 (H4) F2
  • I11
    • (K11) K10 (M9) L12 (L10) J13 (J12) I13 (I12) H13 (H12) G13 (F12) G12 (G11) - red wins!
    • (I9)
      • H12 (F11) E11 - red must occupy one of F12/G12/F13, but none of these work, so blue wins?
      • F12 (G12) - red wins
  • I12 (I9) [red wins, because:]
    • G11 (F12*) F11
      • (H11 - connected to (I9) via (H10) or (I11), connected to the bottom via (F12)) - red wins
      • (I11 - mistake) H12 - now blue wins
    • H11 (H12) - red wins
    • G10 (H11) - (H11) can get to the bottom with (F12/G12/H13) and to main group with (I11/H10), so red wins
    • H12 (F11 - looking at D8) E11 (H11) I11 (G12) H10 (G10) - red wins
    • H10 (F12*) - red wins [as below]
    • F12 (G12)
    • G12 (H12) I11 (G11) - red wins
    • F13 (H12)
    • G13 (F12*)
  • C6 (F2)
  • F2 (B3) D3 (C3) C6 (C5) - blue has achieved nothing

Move 34

Why not just H4 now, because red played (L5)! Not (I7) So J4 no longer connects.

  • I7 (M6)
    • I12
      • (F11) E11 (H11) I11 (I9) H10 (G10) F12 (G11) H13 - blue wins!
      • (F12) H11 (I9) G10 - blue wins
      • (G11) I9 (I11) H12 (H11) G13 - blue wins
        • H11 (I11 - forced) G10 - blue wins
        • G10 (I11) - red wins!
    • I11 (I9) G11 (F12*) - blue is forked (need F11 and one of: G12/H12 etc. - red wins.
  • I12
    • (I7) G11 (H11)
      • G13 (F12) G12 (F11) G10 (D8) B12 (D9) C13 (E11) - red wins!
      • H10 (F12) F11 (I11) - red wins
    • (F11)? (H10/H11)? G12?
    • (F12) H11 - blue wins? eg. (I7) G10 or (G11) I7 (M6) I9
    • (G11) I7 (M6) I9 - good for blue

Move 32

Seems like red (L8) is very powerful, blue may have to use the red top left weaknesses somehow as red seems to have bashed either (E6) or (G4) [blues choice] through to the bottom. So blue needs to attack both of those and hope that red can't defend both forever, then attack the bottom appropriately.

Argument that red has won: If red gets (L5) then (I5) is connected to the top (J3 or H4), and to the bottom (M6 (I11 or K10) or I7 (G11 or F10). That involved the left only through (H4). So C9/B12 can't work as an attack.

  • F10 (I7) H4 (J3) J4 (I4) J5 (I6) K1 (L2) K2 (L3) K5 - blue wins
  • F10 (L5)
    • I12
      • (F12) H11 - blue wins? eg. (I7) G10 or (G11) I7 (M6) I9
      • (G11) I7 (M6) I9 - good for blue
    • G11 [G11 is basically not a good move] (F12*)
      • M6 (I7) I9 [connects to E8] (D8) B12 (D9) C13 (F11) G10 (E11) - red connects (E6) to the bottom!
      • G12 (F11) E11 (G10) M6 (I7) - red wins?
  • F10 (L5 - blocking I7 and H4) I9 (M6) I11 (K11) K10 [presumably red now has a double threat at the bottom - if he can get the middle stones to the bottom then he has (I7) or (D8)] (G11) I7 [forced] (M9) and red wins [bottom -> (G11) -> (L8) -> (I5) -> (top or (G4)].
  • F10 <(F11) E11> (L5 [supersedes I7, as now H4 is useless for blue]) <M6 (I7)> G11 (I9) I11 (K11) K10 (F12*) G12 (F11) G10 (E11) C9 - blue wins?

Notes on H4 related sequences:

  • J5 (J4) I6 (L4) K2 (K4) F10 (I7) H4 (I3) - red connects to the top [modulo (G4) stuff anyway]!
  • J5 (I6) F10 (I7 - how H4 not blocked?)
  • I12
    • (F10)
      • G11 (H11) H10 (F12 - now (I11) connects to the lower edge, so E12 and G11 are useless) F11 (L5)
      • C9 (L5) I7 (M6) I9 {(I11) H12 (H11)} F13 (G12) G13 (F12) E13 - red wins even if he passes now...
    • (L5) F10 (G11) I6 (M6) I9 - good for blue!?
  • G2 (E5)
  • F2 (H2) D3 (G2 - connects to (E4)&(E6), hence connecting (E4) to the top, kinda killing the idea of spitting them)
  • F4 (E5) G2 (F5) - no way to block (E4) from the top, it just joins via (C4) through (D8)
  • E7 [aim is to separate reds ways to the top] (D8) E8
    • (L5)
      • H4 (J3) <G11 (F10) - miai for red> - looks like an easy win for red.


At the bottom:

Red threatens: (L5), but if i play @ the top, then (D8), later on the key problem for blue is the doble threat at (F12), hence the * by it:

  • I7
    • (D8 - starts a forcing sequence?) B12 (D9) C13 (F10) G11 <(I9) I11> (F12*) - and red wins
    • (L5)
      • I9 (M6) I11 (K11) L12 (K10) J13 (J12) I13 (I12) H13 (H12) G13 (F12) - blue win?
      • M6 (D8) B12 (D9) C13 (F10) G11 (I9) I11 (F12*) - as usual, red wins.
  • L5 (D8) B12 (D9) C13
    • (F10) G11 (I9) I11 (F12*) - if blue plays at G12 then (F11) connects red all the way to (E6). If blue blocks at F11 then (K11) connects around [all the way to E6] anyway!
    • (F11) E11 (E10) F10 (G9) G11 (I9) I11 <(K11) K10 (M9) L12 (L10) J13 (J12) I13 (I12) H13 (H12) G13> (F12*) G12 (G10). Now red is connected: bottom, solidly around to (E6)!
  • I7 (D8) B12 (D9) C13... - Question, after G11 (I9) I11 does (L8) block blue from the left? Looks like it.
  • C9 (L5) - double threat (attacks I7 and H4)
    • J5 (I6) K5 (K6) H4 (J3) K1 (L2) K2 (M3) I11 (I9)
      • G11 (F10) - red wins
      • G10?

Move 30

[following notes from 28, as (J10) plays the same role as (K10)]

  • K7 (I7) H4 (D8) B12 (D9) C13 (F11) E11 (E10) F10 (G9) G11 (K11) I9 - blue wins!!

Move 28

  • G8 (K10)
    • K7 (I7) H4 (D8) B12 (D9) C13 (F11) E11 (E10) F10 (G9) G11 (K11) I9 - blue wins!!
    • K11 (L10) K12 (J10) I11 (I7) H4 (J3) - red wins (destroyed blue ladder)

Move 26

Red is threatening two powerful moves: (J2) [I4] and (D8) [B12]. The B12 weakness of (D8) means that red can't connect (E6) to the bottom in one move.

  • G6
    • (K7) K6 (L6) L5 <(J7) I9> (L11 - pointless, as the ladder never gets that far now!) K12
    • (F9 - aiming at (D8) B12 (D9) C13 (F11), and also at (G7) double peep) G8
      • (F10) C9 [because (D8) is now a threat]
    • (D8) B12 - good for blue?
    • <(C9) D7> - good for blue?
    • (H4) I7 - gfb
    • (L10) K7 - gfb
    • (L11) L10
  • <F4 (E5)> G6 (D8) - <> exchange doesn't look like it helps
  • E5 (F5) - because F2 has a weakness at (H2)
  • F4 (F3) D5 (G3) H4 (G6) G5 (F6) F5 - blue wins
  • H4 (G6) I7 (F8)
    • F9 (G8) G10 (H10) H12 (H11) G12 (F10) - red connects (F8) to the bottom
  • H4 (D8)
    • B12 (D9) C13 (F10) G11 - blue wins
    • E5 (F5) G2 (F3) F2 (D2) D3 (C3) D4 (C5) D5 (B7) - red wins
  • D7 (H5) I7 (F8)
    • G6 (F7) F5 (E5) G2 (E3) - reds connection goes: {top->E3/E4/E5 -> F7/F8 -> bottom}
    • <...> F2 (?) D3 (C3) D4 (C5) D5 (B7) C9 (D8) D9 (E7) - red wins
  • D7 <(E7) D8> (I7) H4 (G6) F2 (D2) D3 (C3) D4 (C5) - now red can't connect if he has played (E7)
  • F2 (D2) D3 (C3) H4 (G6) G5 (E7) C6 (D5) E5 (F5) F4 (H2) I1 (G2) G1 (F3) I7 (D8) B12 - now what?
  • F2 (H2) H4

Move 24

<blah> denotes possibilty of exchanging blah

  • C2
    • (I7) F2 (H2) I1 (G2) G1
      • (B3) B2 (C3) <D5 (E4)> E1 (J2) I4 (I3) H4 (H3) G6
        • (C9) D7 (E7 [G6->E8 ok]) D7 (B7)
          • with <D5 (E4)> get: B6 - BLUE wins
          • without <D5 (E4)> get: D5 (B6) D4 (D2) D1 (E2) F1 (E3) E5 (F5) - RED wins!
        • (D8) D9 (B10) B12 (B11) C13 - now blue wins as G11/F10 are miai
      • (J2)
      • (D2) F4 (J2)
      • (E4) E1 (J2) I4 (I3) H4 (H3)
    • (J2) C9 (I7) I4 (H5) H4 (G5) F2 (D2) E4 (D5) E5 - red has no move, blue wins
    • (D2)

Close to repetition! From move 22 notes:

  • I7 (C9 [B9 doesn't work with D11 because of E12]) C2
    • (B3) B2 (C3) F2 (I4) I3 (D2) D5 (E5 [D4 weakness, so (E4)?]) D7 (E7) D8 (F8)
  • (note the K7) K6 (L6) L5 (J7) I9 sequence)
    • (D2) D7 (B7) C5, blue connects, red can play (F8), but looks like this works for blue? What if red plays (H4/G5/H5/I4), threatening an attack around (J2) before (F8)? Well, blue can play at F7 and just connect to I7 and win.
  • I10 (C11 [threatens D8 connection]) C9 (I7)
    • H4 (G6) G5 (E7) F2 (E4) D3 (C3), with C9 in place blue can run down the left
    • C2/F2?

Question: Does I7 connect E8 to the right edge? It's a series of double threats. Attacking the direct E8--> I7 connected: If red (F8) then blue walks up to I2, however this only connects by running down to J11. So can red attack the connection of E8 to the right edge by first attacking the direct route through I7 (eg. at (K7) or (L11)) and then playing (F8) having damaged the route down the RHS? Note* I was very worried, after playing move 22 that red would instead play at E10. This blocks E9-->I10 better than D11.

Move 22

                  / F10 (G11) \
I10 (D11)                          I7 [[not needed (F8) F7 (G7) G6 (H6) G4]] (B9) C2 [see below]
                  \ G11 (F10) /
  - (B3) B2 (C3) F2 (I4) I3 (D2) D5 (E5 [D4 weakness, so (E4)?]) D7 (E7) D8 (F8) - blue *almost* wins here. The complication is J3, leading to a ladder down the right hand side, and the possibility of a double threat earlier. Something like (K7) K6 (L6) L5 (J7) I9. So it looks like it doesn't work for red.   
  - (D2) D7 (B7) C5, blue connects, red can play (F8), but looks like this works for blue? What if red plays (H4/G5/H5/I4), threatening  an attack around (J2) before (F8)? Well, blue can play at F7 and just connect to I7 and win.
I10 (C11 [threatens D8 connection]) C9 (I7) 
  - H4 (G6) G5 (E7) F2 (E4) D3 (C3), with C9 in place blue can run down the left
  - C2/F2?
I10 (I7) G11 (C11) 

C11 (B12) D11 (B11) C9 (E10) C10
  - (G11) 
  - (A10), and a ladder
C11 (D9 - cuts off E8 pieces fairly thoroughly) I10 (G11) 
C11 (B10) C9 (D11) - confusing...

D8s connection to both the top and the bottom?
[E3/F2 - looking at C2? C2? - ignoring F2 too much?] H4 [protect against F2, sets up G6 related moves, like C9?]
Can I get J5 in as a forcing move?
J5 (J4) - looks bad for blue
Red is in danger of playing J2 and chopping through the top. After red J2 blue can get to the E8 stones, but not to the left edge yet. 

Move 20

  • D6 (C9? B7? D7? F4?)
  • E4 (D5) C2 (D2) D6 (B7) C5
  • E4 (D5) C2 (B3) B2 (C3) F2 (D2) C9 (G11) F6 - looks good for blue
  • E4 (D5) C2 (D2) D6 - seems to work for blue

Red can pull out (J2) at any time - that looks like a big problem!

Problem is that if I play C9, red will play a testing move like (G8). If I play G7 red can play (I7) and I10 no longer threatens anything. So red can focus on the top, with something like (K4). Then when blue plays G11 red can answer at (E10), connecting to the bottom.

Move 18

  • E5 (F5) F2[say] (I4) I3 (B6) - looks good for red, F5 seems basically connected to top and bottom
  • E5 (D6) D5 (B6) C7 (D8) C6 (B10) B8 - good for blue, red has no way to the top
  • D5 (F4) - red seems to connect to the top and benefit substantially from this exchange.
  • E4 (D5) G5 (B10) - good for red?

Move 14

  • C5?
  • E8 (F8) F5 [looking at I4 and C5, or even D6, with E8?]
  • E8 (F8) F7 (G7) G6 (H6) I4 - doesn't look like quite enough for blue?
  • E8 (I7) H4
  • E10 (I7) I6 (J6) J5 (F8) F10 (G8) G11 (H11) - now (I7) forcing sequence connects red around to (F8)! - Bad for blue
  • I7 (F8)
  • D6 - doesn't connect to the left, can that be ok?
  • F11 (D10) - goes badly for blue when red [later] plays E11

Move 12

Should arguably have been at J3, as this still connects with J11. Should always stretch as much as you can (Jonatan Rydh)

Move 10

  • I8?

Suggested by 'lazyplayer' of iggamecenter:

  • J6
    • (G8) G7 (B10) C2 - a little harder for blue now as the 'sneaking underneath' strategy below has been killed
    • (F8) G6 (E7) E8 (F7) F9 (G8) H10 (I9) I10 - very good for blue.