Does anyone else out there actually play go? Or at least have a vague interest in my go posts?
This was an online game against a human player for once. We were (theoretically) evenly matched, both rated at 13-kyu. I was black.
It wasn't an easy win per se — the middle game began with a fight in the center, and as you can see, I had a very large group being chased by white and desperately trying to form two eyes to stay alive. Until move 117, I was not sure my group would survive, and by that point, losing that whole group would have pretty much guaranteed a catastrophic loss for me.
But, by letting me extend down to the bottom, white allowed me to form two eyes, and at that point, I was able to go on the offensive.
When I played 123, he blocked at 124 to keep me from threatening the entire group above me, but then I played 125, and there was nothing he could do to save those four white stones in the center. But to my surprise, when I played 127, he resigned.
He was probably disappointed at both failing to kill my big group and then suddenly losing much of what had been his territory. I know if that had been me, I'd have been slapping myself hard. But, was that really game over at that point? True, I now had an solid group occupying the lower center, but not much territory. I owned the left side and probably most of the top, and had a good start on the right, but he had plenty of good invasion opportunities. Also, my stones marked 59,63,65,67,71,73,79 were very weak — do you see the threat?
Against an opponent no better than me, I probably had won the game at this point. But I saved the game and loaded it into MFOG and set the computer at 1-dan.
As I suspected, the computer proceeded to clean my clock. Even though I backtracked several times to do-over my worst mistakes, this was the best result I could obtain:
Here, white still wins by 13.5 points. No matter how many times I replayed that scenario, I could not save those stones in the center, and it took me several tries to make sure those two groups on the right lived, and notice how little territory I actually claimed: 2 points and 6 points, respectively.
Of course, one of the skills go players must develop is knowing when you've lost. Normally, there is no point in fighting to the bitter end, which is why many games end in resignation. But in this case, I wonder if my human opponent could have made a comeback. He was not a 1-dan player, obviously, but I still think he resigned prematurely.