On 2014/11/15, UCLA played their inaugural match against last year's CGL championship runner-up, University of Michigan.
UCLA's team captain kindly took the time to give us a quick game review of the three games, of which they won the second and third boards to win their first match in the CGL!
For board 1, Chaohao, our team captain, confronts a strong opponent. According to CGL, Zifan is approximately two stones stronger than Chaohao. Our captain plays aggressively from the beginning, leading the game to an unusual variation of Chinese opening. However, Zifan settles his isolated white group easily by making use of a loophole in black’s territory. Although black gains some outer influence, the result is slightly favorable for white. After another harsh fight in the left side, white has a clear lead of territory, but b constructs a moyo (moyo: =”framework”, an area where one player has a large influence that could be changed into territory) with great potential in the upper side. Then white invades the moyo deeply, leaving black no choice but to kill the invaders. However, since black’s influence is not thick enough, white manages to live unconditionally. Chaohao then attempts to catch up by starting a ko fight, but there are not enough ko threats. Finally, Chaohao loses by running out of time when thinking of the ko.
White's dragon lives in sente.
For Board 2, Izuki, one of UCLA’s strongest players, plays board two against Eric from UMichigan. Unlike board one, the opening of board two is peaceful and satisfactory for both players. After move 38, Eric, the black player, has got a big solid moyo in the right side, and white also gains a lot of territory in upper-left. However, black is too greedy in the fight of left side. Eric wants everything, leaving his group killed by white’s fatal move of placement (placement: a play inside the opponent’s group that weakens the group). During the review after this game, Izuki points out that there is a chance for black to save the majority of its group. After that decisive battle, there is no chance for black to fight back.
Move 64, killing black's group, is the decisive move of the game.
Board 3: Our strongest female player, Tianqi, plays board three as the black player. Starting with mini-chinese opening, black gets a good result in the first 35 moves. White then wants to reduce black’s great moyo, but the techniques used by white are somewhat flawed. By keeping pressure on white’s isolated group, black cuts off a tail of white’s dragon, and enclosed nearly 70 points in the right side. White then manages to settle majority of the dragon, but he is way behind on territory. In the endgame stage, black plays solidly to secure her lead. Both players make some minor mistakes in the endgame, but these mistakes do not change the result. Tianqi wins this game and guarantees the victory for UCLA.
Black enlarges her lead by attacking white's center group.
It is fantastic for the UCLA Go team to beat the runner-up of last season. Now our chance of entering the championship tournament (playoff) increases. According to last season, four wins are enough for entering the playoff. Even though we did not participate the first four rounds of this season, it is hopeful that we win 3 out of 4 matches left. Many thanks for the hard work of all team members who participated in this match: Chaohao Pan, Izuki Matsuba, Tianqi Wang; substitutes, Aobo Zhang, Yiming Zhang, Tony Zhang; committee members who helped with coordination: Irene Zhou, Lucy Hua, Cicero Lu.