Zürich Go Tournament 2009 – Day 1

As every year, the Go club Zürich is holding another tournament this autumn. Admittedly, it’s not quite as famous as the Paris Go Tournament, but it’s pretty well-known in Switzerland. This year 38 players participated at the first day. It was fun, especially as people from all over the world are present.  To give you a rough impression of the first day of the tournament, I’ll just write a short summary on how I experienced it.

After having catched my train at 11.30 am I gave Thomas (the organiser of the tournament) a call to make sure I was on the list in case i didn’t find the location in time. The first round was scheduled at 1.00 pm, so I panicked a little when I (at 1.05 pm) arrived in Wollishofen and the Jugi (location where the tournament is being held) was nowhere to be seen. Later a friendly old lady showed me the way, still I was 15 mintues late. Once I had arrived, the thing that first caught my eye was that nobody was playing. I wondered what was going on and asked Lorenz, who replied that the printer didn’t work and they didn’t have internet access to fix the problem. So the first round pairings were written by hand.

Round 1: My first opponent was Norman Frenzel (2k) from Basel. I hadn’t played any tournaments in nearly a year, so the atmosphere was kind of intimidating at first. The opening went well, as well as the middlepart of the game. I felt i was in control and was confident to manage a good result in this game… that was right before I made a rash decision which led to one group being killed ^^ Still, the game was close and I decided to keep on playing. After counting it appeared that I had won by 6.5 points.  So after having written down and handed over the results, I went outside to get some fresh air. A couple of minutes later my opponent comes out and asks me to have a look at the game as he had miscalculated my territory and I had in fact 10 points less. I was like


Basically I had now lost by 3.5 points… counting is a bitch -_-  So much for round one

Round 2: This one was against an opponent I knew well, Dan Burkolter (2k) from Zürich. I used to play him quite frequently back when I visited the Go club every week. However since my 6 month break he had become considerably stronger and  I didn’t feel very confident, additionaly I was still frustrated from the strange pseudo-loss I had experienced in the first round. So I decided to play blitz ^^ The opening was a mess, I let him secure a huge top, while I barely had any points to begin with. This changed when he decided to invade one of my positions. His group died, leaving my positions strengthened and ready to attack. Eventually he resigned, basically I just got lucky in this one.

The next round wasn’t played until 8.00 pm, so I had a little more than 2 hours to waste.  I guessed getting some food would be a good idea, so I searched for a decent restaurant nearby. The only one I found was a Pizzeria which I could have only barely afforded, so I grabed the next streetcar and was on my way to McDonalds… then however I thought Burger King might be better… or should I go to the Spaghetti Factory? To cut a long story short, I ended up in:


Chicken Strips with Curly Fries and hot sauce, nothing wrong with that 😀  Stuffed and content as I were, I then returned to the tournament location (a 20 minutes ride) where Josef lectured me on good cuisine and expressed his reluctance towards certain other restaurants ^^.

Round 3: Sad, so sad. My opponent this time was Jonas Jermann (1d) from Zürich. I don’t like to admit it, but he’s kind of like my black sheep. I can’t seem to figure out a decent strategy to counter his go and the games always end up in a total mess. In this game it wasn’t any different. You can’t really say there was much of a Fuseki as move 15 already started a huge fight that spread out all over the board, not in my favor though. I lost two big groups and staked out a huge shaky moyo in order to maintain something like a territorial balance. The good news was that I even managed to transform most of it into territory, it even became close. However the initial loss was too big and it was too late to turn the tables, so I ended up with another loss.

Not much to say here, just:


And now I’ll try to catch some sleep in order not to suck too bad tomorrow. Wish me luck 🙂