We have the microphone pointed at Ireland's Bernard Palmer for some
question right after his game in round 7.
Before I continue, however, I first have to apologize for mistakenly
posting that at the end of round 6 China had not played Japan yet. This
was not correct since China already had beaten Japan's representative,
the 75-year-old Kikuchi in round 4. The same Kikuchi posted a second
loss in round 7 against South Korea. My mistake was probably due to lack
of sleep and the fact that China appears three times on the scoreboard,
China, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong China. After Kikuchi had lost for
the second time depressed Japanese fans could be found in front of the
scoreboard looking quite uh, well, you know, depressed. "Now there's
no telling what place he (Kikuchi) will end, sigh". To be sure, this
year with two loses things look bleak for Japan. Some people seemed
to, partially as least, blame the Swiss pairing system. This is used
in Japan quite often nowadays but most are not really used to it here.
Complaining at the side, everybody knows, of course, that China is just
plain and simple very strong, no matter what tournament system is used.
Palmer is 47 years old and picked up go about 15 years ago. "Well, I
knew go long before that thanks to the novel "Meijin" by Kawabata. I
am a chess player originally (ELO 2200) and was fascinated by this
unknown game. I wanted to start playing and learned the rules but there
was nobody to play with in Ireland at that time, say 20 years ago or
something like that. It was when I was living in London for about a year
that I finally got my feet wet. In the mean time when I came back to
Ireland John Gibson had set up a club which was just what I needed.
Now we are with about ten, twelve people meeting regularly to play a
game or two. We play in the pub so it's Carlsberg and games for me.
There are actually about 30.000 Chinese in Ireland officially and some
more unofficially I guess. Among the Chinese here there are some strong
players but we don't see much of them because they tend to keep to
themselves which for us go players is unfortunate, of course."
Palmer was late for his morning games a couple of times so it is easy
to mistakenly conclude that because with one win he plays at the bottom
area of the field he is not motivated that much anymore. The reason why
he's late is because he desperately is trying to rearrange is return
schedule. Reaching the people he needs to in Ireland is because of the
time difference no piece of cake. Everyday in the morning now he has
been trying to, so far unsuccessfully, fix matters in order to get back.
This is why some of his opponents had to wait a bit although his clock
was properly started and started the games with a substantial time loss.
"I like the games of Shusaku, I have this book of his "Invincible" I use
to study. I am, by the way, by no means the strongest player in Ireland.
I think I am somewhere in the middle. Noel Mitchel and Steve Flinter
who have been at the WAGC before both are stronger than me. This WAGC
is the first one for me but I was here already in 2003 for the pair-go
championship. I must say, it is marvelous here and I like it a lot.
At home I am studying art history in order to get my Master of Arts. I
also teach a little English to foreigners here who are learning English
as a second language.
||26th WAGC, round 7|
||2005 May 27|
||Ertug Akkol, Turkey|
||Bernard Palmer, Ireland|
||Pieter Mioch, 6d|
Figure 1: 1-22
The opening of this game was as common as they come. White 10 is a bit
of a troublesome move, however. What I mean is that the easiest way of
play shown in diagram 1 is not at all bad for white. So, as a general
principle, when there's nothing wrong with the simple continuation play it.
White 16 diverts from the standard pattern but instead of (again) taking
up a joseki dictionary I'd like to focus here on what to do when things
- Realize that things are indeed not going quite right
- Don't panic!
- Play tight and don't force the issue.
In this case it boils down to this. Even though white's two corner
stones are captured it is not the end of the world. White 20, however,
makes it easy for black, of course he defends at 21. The point is, there
are more moves possible for white, besides 20, which make black defend
at 21 or, as shown in diagram 2, at 2.
Now looking at diagram 2 after the exchange white 1-black 2 playing
at 20 as in the game is not urgent. Instead playing somewhere in the
direction of 3 is the way to develop the white stones. For people who
like to play a bit thin white A seems to be a nice move too, although
one has to be prepared for a black counter attack. Black wanting to
attack would feel natural since the gap between the lower right corner
and A is rather large.
Figure 2: 23-49
Black's game move of 35 is a good point. As an alternative it is
possible to play as shown in diagram 3 too.
Black 3 is tesuji, white's best answer is probably at 4. After black 5
he almost has two eyes already and his stones are by no means weak. By
the way, if white plays 4 at A black B will become sente and this is not
to white's liking.
Instead of black 49 in the game the alternative shown in diagram 4
develops the black stones a bit faster. Black is not trying to capture
the white pillar but all the same, white has to watch his step in order
to not find himself under attack and digging trenches.
Figure 3: 50-67
White 56 is a dangerous move. The white stones in the top right corner
are not alive so wherever white start a new fight he'll have to be very
careful whether his stones can still escape or not.
That's why I'd like to add another move in the corner to make eyes once
and for all. White 1 in diagram 5 is the move.
Diagram 5 & 6
Playing white 1 at at A still leaves black with no definite eye shape.
If, as in the game, white starts on a new front then at the first
opportunity black will play as shown in diagram 6 and make white
eyeless. Even if white plays at A next, this is only one eye, gote.