Life and Death Problem and Game Record from Yuan Zhou's Monthly Group Go Lesson
At our monthly go lessons, Shifu has a problem set out on the board in the front of the room when we walk in. We have a lot of time to try to solve it: it’s embarrassing how infrequently I manage to do so correctly. Even this month, with an easier-than-usual problem, I failed to get 100% of the correct result. The challenge is always to tell Shifu “what is the best result?”, not simply to find a way to achieve a stated outcome. Frequently, the best result is not simply life or death.
Black to Play
(Note: Eidogo’s problem interface is not the best. Soon I’ll use GoKibitz to do this, and it’ll work the way I want, damn it. SOON!)
After several months away, my nemesis Nathan returned, who is now officially 1d AGA! It’s some slight consolation for the fact that I’ve fallen behind him in our head-to-head record. This month, true to form, we had an exciting game. The game record has full commentary by Shifu Yuan Zhou, which comes courtesy of the AGA, who paid for it, and Bill Cobb, who provides the significant work of transcribing and crafting a written record from a complex, in-person back and forth that he records on a video camera. I’m very grateful to Bill for that service; it’s no small luxury to have such a high-quality version of a strong player’s analysis of my games.
I played black.
It was a heart-breaking result to lose after working so hard to put myself in a winning position, but Nathan’s ability to struggle and make chances for himself is no joke. As always, my judgment is a little stronger than my reading accuracy, which makes reading–especially under time pressure–a painful weakness.