Games from the 13th Little Golem TwixtPP Championship

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Some games from the 13th TwixtPP Championship at Little Golem.
Commentaries by György Csizmadia, Alan Hensel, David J Bush, Tim Shih (not to be confused with the German player "Tim") and others.

Game 605388: György - Klaus

1.d4 2.swap 3.j15 4.l13 5.j11 6.k7 7.m8 8.l17 9.e15 10.k11 11.l10 12.i12 13.h12 14.g13 15.f13 16.g17 17.d19 18.d18 19.g16 20.resign

605388 8.gif605388 15.gif
Position after 8 movesPosition after 15 moves

György: Up to 7.m8 I was feeling ok, but his 8.l17 made me feel uncomfortable. I played 9.e15 to defend against the k11 cut. I was afraid of a black h15 at that point. But Klaus played forcing moves from 10.k11, and finished it with 16.g17 which lets me connect to the side with 17.d19 (a simple looking but hard-to-find move).

David: Maybe he could have won with 16.F21.

György: Yes, 16.f21 is a good move, but the continuation is very complicated, I cannot tell if that is a winning move.

Game 605389: Klaus - Alan

1.d3 2.o10 3.m11 4.j10 5.p12 6.o16 7.h14 8.j15 9.i17 10.k17 11.k18 12.i12 13.s16 14.p14 15.r13 16.r20 17.p19 18.o19 19.r18 20.q20 21.l16 22.n13 23.n11 24.m17 25.l12 26.resign

605389 11.gif
Position after 11 moves

Alan: A very stiff-armed opening where I was trying to use Klaus's own preferred opening moves against him. (Maybe I should just stick to my own style.) I almost played 12.k12, but then I saw the possible response 13.f10. There doesn't seem to be a good reply to that; it would have been a quick win up the left side for Klaus. So I played 12.i12 instead, which was weak on the right side. The rest of the game, I was fighting a rapidly deteriorating position. I lost. But if I made a mistake, I don't know what it was.

David: Maybe instead of 12.K12* or i12* you should have played 12.K8* or maybe even 12.J6* (my favorite pattern) which uses the top half of the board more effectively.

Alan: I remember looking very intently for a viable threat across the top. Klaus's m11 and p12 double threat made it difficult. K6 was a spot I looked at very intently. It's a little awkward, but better balanced than J6. And I also remember spending time thinking about K8 (Q10 was the reply that worried me). I can't swear it doesn't work, just that cutting thru the middle looked more promising at the time.

György: 6.o16 could have been a mistake, although it is such early in the game, that I am not sure about it. How about 6.p13, 7.o14, 8.m9, 9.q10, 10.q6. This is a one-way street and looks like a win for Alan...;) But I didn't analyse it too deeply...

Alan: I'm not really feeling up to the task today, but a quick fgrep of my twixt games db suggests you're probably right.

David: Following György's variation 6.P13 O14* M9* Q10* Q6. This might be the best sequence for both sides on the right, but vertical (white) could have played on the left side at any point, and can still play there. For example 11.F11 looks hopeful. The right side is not completely dead yet; white has one possible resource of playing at L7 (threatening R8*) followed by J8*. Maybe there is a way to stay alive here. One line is 11.F11 G13 E14 F16 F15 Am I missing something basic?

Game 605394: Tim - Klaus

1.u4 2.swap 3.j16 4.l10 5.p10 6.o14 7.m13 8.m7 9.r9 10.r7 11.p6 12.n9 13.t8 14.s5 15.o8 16.n5 17.v7 18.p4 19.u5 20.o18 21.n15 22.p12 23.p14 24.r13 25.n11 26.j21 27.s17 28.s21 29.j20 30.resign

605394 7.gif
Position after 7 moves

Tim: At move #7 at M13, I felt comfortable. According to Klaus, it was his terrible mistake to have let me play at M13.

Game 605397: Alan - György

1.c11 2.swap 3.n8 4.n10 5.h12 6.h14 7.j13 8.k15 9.p14 10.n6 11.f13 12.m8 13.i6 14.h19 15.j18 16.i8 17.f8 18.e8 19.h9 20.h10 21.i7 22.i16 23.f16 24.g16 25.h17 26.e15 27.n13 28.f11 29.j9 30.k11 31.l12 32.j10 33.n11 34.k8 35.resign

605397 14.gif605397 26.gif
Position after 14 movesPosition after 26 moves

Alan: I believe I was winning until move 27. His 14.h19 was brilliant, but I found a way to deal with it, with my j18, f16 combo reply to create a gauntlet for any ladder chase coming down from my p14 peg. At move 19, György tempted me to blunder: the more obvious 19.d9 would have been disastrous for me (19.d9 20.e4). At move 27, I basically flipped a coin in my mind between 27.L14 and 27.n13, which I erroneously thought were effectively equivalent. 27.n13 was my original plan (before György's i8, e8 diversion) so I went with it. Unfortunately, it has a fatal flaw that 27.L14 does not have, and that it did not have before the i8, e8 diversion. And that's how I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

György: I agree with Alan about his description of our game. Alan had an excellent game, he outdid me in every local fight. I thought 18.e8 was winning, but he found a good defense. Let me add, that his 15.j18 was a brilliant move, definitely the best move of my championship games. I answered with 22.i16, but when I saw his 23.f16, it was clear that it is not the right answer. Perhaps k20 is better - I am not sure. In the end I got lucky when he made the mistake of 27.n13.

Game 605398: György - nie_wiesz

1.d3 2.o10 3.l11 4.j14 5.h14 6.i12 7.o14 8.o18 9.m17 10.l19 11.l20 12.l6 13.m9 14.n7 15.i7 16.l17 17.k16 18.resign

605398 12.gif
Position after 12 moves

György: My plan was to maintain a double threat of either connecting on the left side with g12...etc or in the center. The opening was balanced. A possible black m11 was the weak point of my position (I planned to answer it with k9 or j10, let black play k12 and then try to make a connection on the left with g12). I think nie_wiesz panicked and made the mistake of 12.l6. That still let me connect to the top and defend the m11 cut with 13.m9. At that point the game was over.

Game 605399: spd_iv - György

1.d8 2.swap 3.h6 4.o15 5.h15 6.i13 7.k13 8.k9 9.h11 10.j11 11.g13 12.h8 13.o10 14.m8 15.s10 16.n17 17.m14 18.n12 19.d12 20.f7 21.n13 22.p11 23.q11 24.l13 25.t16 26.r16 27.r15 28.q14 29.q13 30.t17 31.o14 32.j15 33.l16 34.m16 35.resign

605399 8.gif
Position after 8 moves

György: 9.h11 was a mistake, because 10.j11 connects black to the left, and shows strength towards the right. After that it was an uphill battle for spd_iv. But he played it really smartly, used every chance he had. 13.o10 was a very good move, just like 15.s10. It was a tough fight, perhaps the most difficult for me at this tournament. Unfortunately for him, he was too much behind, so I clinched victory with 26.r16.

Game 605400: György - technolion

1.d3 2.swap 3.j15 4.j13 5.q10 6.p12 7.l12 8.n17 9.l14 10.k11 11.k10 12.m15 13.n15 14.j19 15.l18 16.k18 17.n19 18.o19 19.j17 20.l13 21.n13 22.k8 23.k6 24.l6 25.m5 26.j10 27.n7 28.resign

605400 11.gif
Position after 11 moves

György: 10.k11 was a very good move from technolion. I was suddenly in trouble. I had no choice but to stop black with 11.k10, but that let the black threat of m15 out in the air. Now 12.j19 would have killed me. I have no good answer: 13.j20 is answered by 14.m15 - 16.i17; 13.l18 is answered by 14.k18. Fortunately he played 12.m15 (in Go it is called aji-keshi), which I answered by 13.n15, and the game was over.

David: What about 12.J19 G18 and now if 14.H18* E17* G16* F14 for example.

György: Your comment is right, but that looks like an open fight (with the help of black c4 and k11-j13). I did not mean that 12.j19 would have been a winning move for black, but it would have given him a psychological advantage by destroying my original plan.

technolion: György, are you sure about 12.j19 being a killing move? What about some block around 13.F18?

György: Technolion & David: Sorry, I didn't use the right phrase... I just meant that locally Technolion would get the advantage by 12.j19. I would still have an open attack on the left and on the right and perhaps I would still have the advantage. But I still think that 10.k11 was a great move and it put me into an uncomfortable situation. Sometimes psychology matters. (Although I don't do jinxing...;)) (Or perhaps Tim's jinxing on Technolion helped me too...;))

technolion: Sorry, David, overlooked that you've also covered the possible block on the left side. Well, I am glad, that I've at least locally put some pressure on the new Champ, even though it did not help me :)

Game 605402: György - Tim

1.d3 2.i10 3.k10 4.o16 5.k15 6.k17 7.m16 8.k11 9.l12 10.m18 11.o17 12.l13 13.m14 14.o19 15.q18 16.q20 17.u19 18.o6 19.j8 20.r18 21.t17 22.q16 23.r14 24.r13 25.t13 26.p14 27.r12 28.n4 29.q10 30.resign

605402 7.gif
Position after 7 moves

György: 8.k11 from Tim was a huge surprise - it was perhaps a misclick. Then 12.l13 let me create an iron wall with 13.m14. After that it was a straightforward victory for me.

Tim: Move #8 at k11 was not a misclick for me. Even today I am not sure if it was a bad move. But I think that move #12 at L13, as Gyorgy pointed out, was definitely a mistake. I temporarily forgot about some basic local tactics that white could easily adopt to block me from reaching the right edge. Had I remembered them, I would not have made the exchange (L13 with M14).

Game 605403: Dan - György

1.h4 2.o10 3.j15 4.j12 5.h12 6.i14 7.g14 8.h16 9.q14 10.p8 11.f16 12.h8 13.j11 14.j9 15.l9 16.n9 17.d8 18.e11 19.resign

605403 12.gif
Position after 12 moves

György: I think 3.j15 was a white mistake. After that, I felt comfortable with being able to rule the center. 12.h8 was the winning move, especially after white forced black p8.

Game 605404: György - Hartmut

1.d4 2.swap 3.j15 4.k11 5.m11 6.m9 7.q9 8.o15 9.k10 10.g11 11.l14 12.k5 13.o10 14.q5 15.q4 16.resign

György: 6.m9 did not look right - a move out of balance with k11. 10.g11 was a black mistake, Hartmut mixed up the directions for a moment. After that, it was easy for me.

Game 605405: nie_wiesz - Alan

1.c4 2.swap 3.j10 4.k14 5.q15 6.p7 7.m13 8.j8 9.n8 10.p12 11.h11 12.k6 13.m6 14.n6 15.i6 16.i5 17.h4 18.g7 19.o5 20.n13 21.l11 22.l14 23.f16 24.g14 25.s14 26.n18 27.s10 28.r18 29.o19 30.p17 31.g13 32.h16 33.f15 34.g20 35.i19 36.i21 37.h18 38.j19 39.resign

605405 18.gif
Position after 18 moves

Alan: The pivotal moves were 10.p12 11.h11. Then my strategy was to squeeze his line on the top, so that he had no choice but to connect n8 to the bottom, which I was betting he couldn't. 18.g7 was awkwardly chosen to prevent a viable f10 threat from nie_wiesz. I needed j8 to connect to the left side, so that the sequence n13 L15 l12 would produce a double threat. The rest of the game was a walk thru a mine field. Some of the potential hazards: 22.l15 23.h16, 26.o16 27.n18, 30.p19 31.m18, 36.g18 37.e18...

Game 605406: Alan - spd_iv

1.l6 2.o10 3.h12 4.i16 5.q14 6.o14 7.m14 8.k11 9.k13 10.i12 11.i14 12.h10 13.m10 14.p16 15.o13 16.l18 17.r16 18.r20 19.o19 20.resign

605406 14.gif
Position after 14 moves

Alan: An odd opening, because I never open with 1.d3 or 1.e3. I mix it up. Still, it started to look normal until my 7.m14, which is an unusual play for me, but it looked like the best move, and it worked. Later, at move 14, the temptation was to respond with 15.n16, but then I saw spd's sneaky L11 threat. So I had to deal with that, leaving my connection to the bottom just barely strong enough, I think.

Game 605407: technolion - Alan

1.d12 2.swap 3.n9 4.n11 5.l11 6.l15 7.j15 8.j19 9.l16 10.m17 11.h16 12.m9 13.k9 14.h6 15.l6 16.j14 17.f11 18.g13 19.k13 20.l19 21.f15 22.f19 23.resign

605407 13.gif
Position after 13 moves

Alan: I found myself in dire trouble at move 13. It's not as clean or obvious as it was in my game with Hartmut, but I found a downstream peg from j14 that made a reasonably strong threat across the top. I don't know if I got the upper hand with that move, but it was the best I could do. Also not obvious: my 20.l19 move, which strengthened my path to the right, and created a double threat on the left, but it wasn't clear whether there was something in the d16 area for technolion to deal with both threats. If there was, technolion didn't find it. I don't think there was.

Game 605409: Tim - Alan

1.u4 2.swap 3.j16 4.k13 5.p10 6.o18 7.n16 8.k8 9.u12 10.r14 11.m13 12.p8 13.t8 14.r9 15.t10 16.o6 17.n9 18.j6 19.u6 20.p15 21.s13 22.p20 23.o14 24.j20 25.t19 26.t17 27.s17 28.r21 29.u21 30.r16 31.o17 32.m17 33.q16 34.p13 35.q12 36.n12 37.n11 38.o16 39.o15 40.n15 41.m14 42.m12 43.k14 44.l14 45.p16 46.q17 47.r17 48.t18 49.u18 50.resign

605409 15.gif
Position after 15 moves

Alan: The first 15 moves are an extremely well-played opening. Then I carelessly played 16.o6, thinking it would force an immediate s6 or u6 response. Instead, it let Tim strengthen his position for free with 17.n9. Later, I set Tim up with a critical decision: 33.q16 or 33.q18? Q18 makes a cleaner connection; locally, it looks like the better move. But it would have led Tim to swift defeat: 33.q18 34.p14! 35.p16 36.o12 37.q12 38.m11... whereas 33.q16 doesn't allow the 34.p14 response, because 35.o15 would threaten to go under it. So, as of move 34, I started playing for a draw, but Tim Shih escaped.

Tim: My technical remarks are basically the same as Alan's. Let me simply add that I almost did want to play Q18. But suddenly I remembered that Alan was notorious for his ghost moves. (wheeew, lucky me) So, I looked at it more carefully. yes, indeed, p14 would have been his ghost move to kill me.

Game 605410: Alan - Dan

1.b5 2.j10 3.n11 4.n9 5.l10 6.m15 7.q15 8.q19 9.s16 10.o11 11.p12 12.q12 13.k8 14.o13 15.k15 16.k18 17.g17 18.i16 19.m14 20.n13 21.h14 22.h18 23.e18 24.h13 25.f13 26.i11 27.j13 28.resign

605410 12.gif
Position after 12 moves

Alan: Tough game. 5.L10? What was I thinking? After that, I was scrambling to recover. 13.j9 looks stronger than 13.k8 for attaching to my pre-planned k15 peg, but has the defect of allowing a Black i8 threat across the top. Also, it's not obvious, but my k8 is just as good as j9 at preventing Dan's j10 peg from acting as an effective downstream peg. His 16.k18 was very strong, but I found a way around it.

Game 605411: Hartmut - Alan

1.e3 2.k15 3.n14 4.n12 5.p12 6.o8 7.k8 8.l17 9.o16 10.l11 11.o10 12.q19 13.r17 14.s18 15.t18 16.t20 17.v19 18.u22 19.n18 20.m19 21.o20 22.n21 23.q21 24.p13 25.resign

605411 11.gif
Position after 11 moves

Alan: The opening moves made me nervous, because they reminded me of the game I lost against Martin Bernhardt in Ch12. I calmed down when I saw his 7.k8. It's not well balanced; it's too high. At move 11, my obvious reply would have been 12.m9, but before I figured out whether that corner battle would work or not, I saw 12.q19. It's downstream to n12, and a 2-5 gap from l17. He could break either, but not both. I don't think there's anything Hartmut could have done after that. He broke the 2-5 gap, and I just used it as an opportunity to make more gauntlet on the left side.

Game 605415: nie_wiesz - Tim

1.c4 2.swap 3.o10 4.o16 5.h15 6.k12 7.i11 8.j9 9.l14 10.o12 11.m11 12.j14 13.k16 14.m13 15.p12 16.p14 17.e11 18.l10 19.f8 20.g6 21.g5 22.g15 23.f14 24.i16 25.g16 26.g20 27.i17 28.resign

605415 19.gif
Position after 19 moves

Tim: At move #19 at F8, which was a good move, I spent hours and hours in trying to figure out a sequence of moves to penetrate through white's left defense line, but was unable to find any. Could I5 have been a better move?

David: Yes 20.i5 looks better, for example 21.H7* H3* J6* K6* L7* M7* N8** O6*. One continuation is 29.Q7 Q5* U6 Q10 Q9* S5 T4* T3* U2* T7* T8* S9**.

Tim: Thanks, David. In your suggestion, both Q10 and S5 are very good moves. :)

Game 605420: Tim - spd_iv

1.u4 2.swap 3.j16 4.l10 5.p10 6.n15 7.r15 8.s15 9.s17 10.m8 11.q8 12.q14 13.o12 14.p5 15.t5 16.q3 17.v4 18.o13 19.m13 20.l16 21.k14 22.j20 23.l17 24.o20 25.n18 26.m21 27.t19 28.r20 29.u21 30.resign

605420 17.gif
Position after 17 moves

David: As you can see from the way the game turned out, the attack by black at S15 did not work. 8.Q19 looks much better. After 8.S15 S17* white's P10 peg is effectively connected to the bottom. All that remains is to try to cut it off from the top, maybe with 10.N4. But 10.M8* did not get in white's way at all. You made a good try with 22.J20 but it was not enough.

spd_iv: I think 18.o13 was my losing move, 18.p16 would be better.

Tim: I agree with both David and spd_iv in that (a) s15 might have been a questionable move, and (b) p16 is better than o13.
In response to spd_iv's s15, however, my s17 might not have been the best. q17, for example, might have been better.

David: After 18.P16** M13* L16* white could play 21.H15* and then if 22.J15* i13*, or 22.K14* J12 J11* H11* L12** H7 for example. White is still winning.

Tim: David, thank you very much. Yes, spd_iv already pointed out the possible move for white at H15 in the chatting messages during the game. I also did investigate the possibility of this move. But my investigation was not as thorough as your instruction is.

Game 605424: technolion - Tim

1.g4 2.i10 3.k10 4.o16 5.l16 6.l14 7.p14 8.o12 9.n15 10.k12 11.m11 12.m13 13.i11 14.k16 15.j17 16.o6 17.i15 18.h12 19.o10 20.j8 21.o5 22.q11 23.h13 24.n8 25.resign

605424 20.gif
Position after 20 moves

Tim: I think that the won game would have been easily his, had he played move #21 (at O5) at M6, instead. One morning, I was jinxing him, "bad luck to him, bad luck to him," on the way to my office. After I entered my office, turned on the computer, and my homepage, which is LG homepage, popped out on the screen, and clicked to take a look at our game. Hurray, he made a mistake! My jinx worked. (I do not greet my opponents with "Good Luck" in the beginning of the games.)

David: That jinxing stuff is potent s**t, you might want to be a little careful...

technolion: Tim, of course you are right about my mistake. Afterwards it proves only to be true, what I said in move 7 of that game: In general, yes. But there's more to Twixt than skill. Since in most games between advanced players one mistake proves fatal also personal mental fitness is a factor... I don't use analysis software any longer, so a mistake that has nothing to do with my skill might happen...on the other hand, that Jinxing stuff might have to do something with it ;)

Game 605430: Dan - Tim

1.h4 2.i10 3.k10 4.o16 5.l16 6.k8 7.o9 8.m12 9.i11 10.k13 11.h13 12.h16 13.n15 14.n14 15.g15 16.i18 17.s15 18.p18 19.w15 20.s21 21.q20 22.r19 23.i16 24.k17 25.f17 26.f21 27.j15 28.m18 29.resign

605430 12.gif
Position after 12 moves

Tim: The exchange n15 with n14 was probably bad for Dan. He eliminated some weaknesses in black's group. Again, my victory had to rely on my opponent's blunder.

Game 605431: Tim - Hartmut

1.u4 2.swap 3.j16 4.j12 5.p10 6.o14 7.q14 8.r7 9.n11 10.m15 11.s13 12.q18 13.s18 14.u18 15.q17 16.n7 17.o8 18.resign

605431 17.gif
Position after 17 moves

Tim: After move #17 at O8, I think that white was guaranteed to reach the top edge. If someone can figure out a way to block white, then that will be a new local tactic for me.