FICGS Go championship final match


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Thibault de Vassal    (2008-07-11)
FICGS Go championship final match

The first FICGS Go championship 5 games final match (in WCH Go 000002) just started !

Svante Carl von Erichsen (2478, 4 dan) vs. Ke Lu (2591, 5 dan)

Nice & instructive games to follow :)

Best of luck to both.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-01-30 16:43:43)
Svante Carl von Erichsen leads 2-0

Svante Carl now leads by 2-0, one game (22802) has been lost on time, the 3 running games are on the rope...

Any opinion on the games ?

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-02-28 03:35:14)
Svante Carl wins FICGS Go WCH (again)

Congratulations to Svante Carl von Erichsen who keeps the FICGS Go champion title by beating Ke Lu 5d on an impressive 5-0 score, also reaching a rating of 2653 !

A rematch just started between our two top Go players, as Ke Lu convincingly won the 3rd FICGS Go WCH preliminary tournament by 7/7

You can follow the games here :

Svante Carl kindly accepted to answer a few questions on his match :

FICGS - Hello Svante Carl, first of all congratulations for your win in the FICGS correspondence Go championship final. Your opponent was Ke Lu 5 dan, you won 4 games out of 5 already (the last game is not finished yet), how do you explain such a result?

Svante Carl - Hello! Thank you very much! It is certainly astonishing for me that I was able to hold my own in these games. I believe that the main factor that helped me in getting on even terms with such a strong player was that I could spend much more time analyzing each move than in a face-to-face or online direct playing situation.

FICGS - Did you have a particular preparation or plan before to start the games?

Svante Carl - The only things I planned beforehand was to really give my best, and to make the games as distinct as possible.

FICGS - The site will now try to attract more correspondence Go players from Asia (with a few chinese, japanese or korean words on the home page already), what do you think about the games format played at FICGS (30 days + 1 day / move, chinese rules komi 7.5 points) and the championship rules?

Svante Carl - I like the format. I am also interested in the rules of Go as well as the rules that surround Go, like tournament rules and time settings. My current conviction is that the "real, pure" Go rules are area rules with superko, and territory rules should be seen as a shortcut which should give the same result. I have come to think that the "Taiwan rule", i.e. White gets a point of compensation if Black got the last play (before the first pass), is a sensible part of the rules. FICGS has taken a very easy route by declaring the rule set and leaving negotiation of the result to the players. While in the end, it is only important who won, I think that showing a result as e.g. "White+3", "Black+Resign" adds a lot of flavour. As a time system, I think that bonus time (a.k.a. Fischer time), like on FICGS, is a very general and sensible approach to timing a game like Go. I think that many "real-world" tournaments and internet servers will switch to that in the future, for all, blitz, speed, normal, slow, and correspondence games. The championship format is quite nice. I like the title holder/challenger way of tournament series. The only thing I would like to see is some sort of nigiri to determine the colours in the odd game. Attracting players from Asia is really a worthwhile goal. I look forward to playing players from all over the world.

FICGS - Does correspondence Go bring you something more than real time Go? What is more addictive according to you?

Svante Carl - Since I think that analyzing is a forte of mine, I might be a bit stronger at correspondence Go than at "real time" Go. I don't think that one is more addictive than the other.

FICGS - Do you often play real time Go online? What servers do you prefer?

Svante Carl - I usually play on KGS, but not too much, perhaps one or two games per week on average, often in "bursts". KGS is quite nice, but not perfect. Sometimes I play at CyberOro, but there is much less communication; I like to watch pro games there.

FICGS - Do you use softwares that assist you in your games (FICGS rules allow this)? What do you think about computer Go in general nowadays?

Svante Carl - I only use a board or a simple SGF file viewer for analyzing. There are no playing programs that could help me. The programs have advanced quite much recently, but I think that it will still be a long time before they can beat me in an even game. Currently, most tests of these programs are against professional players with high handicaps, and I think that this is a good situation for the bots, since they get exponentially weaker the further the game is from the end -- high handicap practically eliminates the opening, their weakest spot. I would like to see more tests against amateur players at the bots' own level.

FICGS - Do you play other games (board games, video games...), what is your favourite one?

Svante Carl - Go is certainly my absolute favourite. I also know chess, although I am really weak at that. I also like "german board games", there are some really nice pearls there. In video games, well, there are also some pearls, but they get drowned by a mass of ... not so good games..., I don't waste time looking at that scene any more. I also played some online poker, but it wasn't able to keep me interested.

FICGS - Will you defend your title again against Ke Lu who also won the 3rd wch tournament?

Svante Carl - Of course, I am looking forward to that!

FICGS - Could you give us your impressions on the games, how it went from the beginning to the end, do you think that time pressure were a non-negligible factor in the result (the clocks of Ke Lu were quickly near 1 or 2 days left)?

Svante Carl - I was a bit surprised that he let his time drop to such a low level right at the beginning, perhaps he was not familiar yet with the vacancy feature at FICGS. I can't see his reasons for this, or how much time he actually could spend on his games. I was ahead in each game when it timed out, though.

I think that game 2 was quite even from the start. The skirmish in the lower left resulted in me capturing a little group, but he got a nice framework on the lower side. My prospects of reducing this were a bit hampered by the fact that my right side group was not completely settled. I found a way to sacrifice some stones to settle my group while fixing the framework's extent and keeping sente to secure my top side, at which time, the game was still almost even, but I think that I was a few points ahead then. Later, I could seal the top side with some extra points through some rather blunt forcing moves.

In game 3, my opponent made an approach with White 24 that is usually regarded as bad in this situation, because the pincer Black 25 works out very well in conjunction with the stone on the left side. He tried to settle with White 26, but I refused to make things so easy, even though the result from the usual joseki would not have been bad. He resisted Black 27, but I think that White 28 is an overplay. The resulting fight left me with nice profit in that corner and sente, while he made some centre thickness. I then tried to carefully neutralize this thickness, but I may have played some slack moves in the course. Later, I was able to keep a little moyo in the lower right centre, and then I poked into his right-side territory where he had left a serious weakness earlier.

Game 1 started out with an interesting fight in the upper right. After White 42, both the three captured black and the two almost captured white stones retain some serious aji, which I came back to fix on my side a few moves later. When I could set up a splitting attack with Black 77, he was able to connect his two weak groups, but in bad shape. I continued to keep this dragon separated from the top, planning to invade the top side afterwards. However, with White 110, instead of connecting by playing B6, he saved some centre stones, and I proceeded to separate and kill the dragon. He may have overlooked that my upper left side group was still able to live after 110 and 111.

In game 4, after White 22, Black's stones on the left side have a strange relation. The three stones in the corner are a bit far from C10, but putting another move here is way too slow. He tried to remedy this situation with the following moves. After Black 27, there are weaknesses left in both sides' shape. When I entered with White 32, I thought that his weakness at F13 would let me settle easily, but he attacked very hard. After White 60, there are some weaknesses in my shape, but he also has a weakish group in the centre. Playing at K10 with White 76 before taking the two stones with H2 felt very important to me. At move 94, I couldn't find a good move to complete my moyo at the top, but I thought that I had found a good point to invade. This was much harder than I thought, since after Black 95, the 3-3 point fails to live. With 96 and 98, I thought that I would get a ko, but he played a line that I had excluded earlier on account of too many cuts in Black's outside shape. However, with Black 107, he made things very difficult for me, since cutting at P16 doesn't work out too well -- my inside group doesn't have enough liberties. I cut at Q14 instead with the hope to at least get some outside forcing opportunities that might have been able to keep me in the game. I think that Black 115 should have been at R12, because after White 116, R12 and N16 have become miai. Black 117 just doesn't work at all. I really got lucky in the end here. These impressions are naturally one-sided, and I would be really interested what stronger players might say about these games.

FICGS - Thank you very much and have good games !

Svante Carl - Thank you!

Nadia Kaif    (2009-03-20 05:27:23)

Nice to read