Gomoku World Championship 2009 - The QT

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Attila Demján
#1 2009-10-11 18:23:50

Gomoku World Championship 2009 The qualification tournament

In this article I will mostly focus on my and other finalists performance in the gomoku world championship qualification tournament. First of all I should say that I really enjoyed being in Pardubice and taking part on this great tournament, so thanks for the organizers and congratulations to Czech Republic for organizing successfully this event!

The parameters of the qualification tournament: (Swiss system, 9 rounds, swap2 rule, 80min + 30sec/move time limit, the first 8 players go to the final)

The number of participants was 21, maybe a bit less than we expected, but the players average strength was much higher than in any gomoku competition before, so getting into the top 8 was not easy at all for anyone. In my opinion there were like 12-14 players who had almost the same good chance to qualify.
The games which are not attached can be watched on renju.net

Round 1:

Demjn (106) Eged (103) 0,5:0,5, R: +, 104 moves, 1=c4

I always want to have a warm-up/relaxing game in the first round, but this time I was not lucky because of the lotting. I had a pretty uncomfortable opponent, and it was him who put the opening, so I really had to focus. I didnt play so well at the beginning; I was very passive in the first few moves and gave away the tempo. I gave several opportunities to my opponent to make some dangerous and not that hard attacks (like after 5th move or 13th move or 15th move or 19th move) but he didnt use my any of my gifts. After his surprising 22, it was my time to attack and I just did it until the last move. After 84, blacks position looks very strong, but unfortunately I could not manage to win. It was big time trouble for both of us already so the game ended with a fair draw. I think we both played rather bad than good.

- Tamiola beated Nipoti on such a lucky way, Nipoti had an easy win 20-22, 24-21, but somehow he did not see it. Both players played bad in my opinion.
- Tth lost to Lu, and I still dont know how it could happen. Lu just learned the rules right 5 minutes before the tournament and then could beat Gergő. I have to say that Gergő played very bad, but at least, we could know that probably there will be a Taiwanese player in the final. They both played bad in my opinion.
- Zukowski made a draw with Bielak in a quite boring game.
- Laube got an easier opponent; he won very fast over Kaufman.
- Nowakowski also had an easier opponent, Sakamoto. Nowakowski won without suffering.

My thoughts after the round: Okay, 1 round passed and I am in the middle of the list. Since other players who earned 1 point played not so good, I am not worried, but I am warmed up! We still have 8 games to play; nothing is decided yet, lets go on.

Round 2:

Demjn (72) Nemec (88) 1:0, R: 2 more stones, Demjn didnt swap, 41 moves, 1=h8

I played calm and safe at the beginning, I controlled the position, and nothing could threat me. I was just waiting for my opponent to pass the tempo and I can start my attack. 15 and 19 ensures the left wing and gives the opportunity to further attack. After 20 and 22, black had quite nice and long win. It was pretty hard to visualize if there is a win or not with 23-23, but after like 25 minutes, I could see everything, even 31-31, the key move. If 24-L6, then 25-g6, 27-L8 and white can not defend blacks strong base.

- Tamiola beated Purkrabek with giving him a nice puzzle.
- Tth beated Kaufman from old-school, pro opening.
- Lu won his second game against Kostlivy with showing his very strange style, which seemed new for us.
- Laube and Nowakowski had an extremely nice and great battle. Finally Laube won the fight.
- Zukowski beated Eged, the reason of the result can be the lack of theory knowledge from Eged.
- Nipoti BYE

My thoughts after the round: Okay, 1,5 points out of 2 is acceptable, I dont know so much about the tournament yet, just lets continue playing.

Round 3:

Bielak (71) Demjn (54) 0:1, R: -, 54 moves, 1=e14

It was not so easy but neither so hard game. I decided to play offensively from the start and try to push out my opponent. 8 and 18 are very offensive moves, I planned to win with connecting these 2 moves, but it seemed that Bielak can defend me well. So the game was like I attack, he blocks me, I attack, he blocks meand I got a feeling that it will end with a bitter draw. His 37 seems good enough, but actually it isnt, 37-j10 would be better. When I saw my position after 37, I felt that it is my last chance, cause if he can block me again, well fulfill the board. After some thinking I found the perfect move 38-38. It was the key of my win, there was no good 39. Although his 39 and 41 is nice and logical they are losing. But if 37-j10, then white can not win on this branch and would have had a harder win probably.

- Nowakowski beated Nemec easily.
- Nipoti lost to Kozimor, playing very badly. Kozmior could surprise his opponent with a tricky swap2.
- Tth beated Zukowski very nicely in the endgame of a big and hard war. This success was very important for him; I think if he would have lost this game, he couldnt have made it to the final.
- Tamiola tied with Kopecky from corner game. Tamiola tried to attack during the whole game, but Kopecky could stop all his attempts.
- Lu defeated Laube in a nice and tough battle. The Taiwanese guy absolutely proved his skill.

My thoughts after the round: I finished the first day with 2 wins and 1 draw. It is not bad, but the thing that I had quite hard wins is bad. I thought before that I will have easier games, but I must realize that on this tournament I wont have an easy game at all. I should cheer up myself and get a better shape. I hope the coming days will make it true.

Round 4:

Demjn (33) Kopecky (37) 1:0, R: 2 more stones, Demjn didnt swap, 29 moves, 1=h8

This game doesnt require much comment. Everything happened as I just planned before. I put a hard opening into the center; I knew that my opponent doesnt really like to play from the center. I got the expected two more stones, chose my color and started to play calmly. I controlled successfully the whole game and got my point.

- Tamiola beated Lu very easily, Lu played very bad.
- Zukowski lost to Kaufman from his well known opening. It is so strange that a veteran who doesnt have any knowledge about long pro theories can beat a well practiced player. At this point I was sure that Zukowski wont be in the final cause he played like a beginner.
- Nowakowski played a draw with Fitzermann.
- Nipoti got his first win in the tournament. He beated the Japanese veteran, Sakamoto.
- Tth beated Sviridov from a long pro opening. Gergő played well, he deserved the point.
- Laube made a draw with Kozimor after a long fight.

My thoughts after the round: Its okay now, I got 3,5 point out of 4 and I am leading. I am looking forward to continue the day and stabilize my position in top 8.

Round 5:

Demjn (61) Tamiola (49) 0,5:0,5, R: +, 25 moves, 1=c12

The two leaders of the tournament met in the 5th round. Since it was him who could put the opening, I had a little disadvantage, but it was okay cause its not the final. I knew that he had prepared with some tricky opening to this championship and I was sure that he wont publish it until the final. He put me his traditional corner opening. The draw was okay for both of us so I didnt want to risk, neither did he. We played a peaceful game and agreed in a draw soon. Long after the game, I realized that 17-g5 is maybe win, but after some analyze, it became clear that white has a nice potential defense afterwards, which means 17-g5 is not win.

- Lu made a draw against Fitzermann. The polish draw monster is losing precious points as the time passes because of his extremely passive playing style.
- Zukowski beated Nemec. Nemec made a tactical mistake cause he put an opening which his opponent knows much better.
- Nipoti beated Bialkowski easily.
- Nowakowski lost to Kopecky very fast from a balanced opening.
- Tth beated Kozimor easily. Kozimor chose the swap2 option but he placed the extra stones on such a bad way. Tth used his advantage and won fast.

My thoughts after the round: The last game didnt make me worried, rather made me feel stable. Draw was okay, Tamiola and me are leading. I got 4 points now and I think that 5 points is enough to be qualified. So I have to gain at least 1 point out of 4 games, I guess its not so hard.

Round 6:

Tth (89) Demjn (96) 0,5:0,5, R: +, 77 moves, 1=h8

Before the World Championship I played 6 games in live with Gergő and I won all of them. This time the situation was much more serious than before. I really wanted to see my friend and country mate in the final but I didnt want to push him in there, I wanted him to see in the final as a player who truly deserves the place. So I tried to play my best. It was me who could put the opening; I chose a long pro opening, hoping that he will offer me 2 more stones. He didnt use swap2 option but chose black. This was my best game with him ever, he played good like never. I was attacking almost during the whole game but he could defend me well. The most interesting point of the game was after the 19th move. I was looking for win in the area of 12-14-16, but after 25 minutes I had to realize that I dont have win there. So I had to figure out a new plan. I think that none would play 20-20, it doesnt look the best at first sight, but I think it is a brilliant move (connections!). The reasons why I chose this move: - If I dont have win in the left-down area, why should I waste my opportunities there, that area can be important at the end of the game, and I can make connections and even winning attack if I put there more material using some connecting stones from another area. 20-20 controls blacks attacking possibilities and if black doesnt defend well enough, I can build up a very strong base aswell. His 21 was good, but not the best in my opinion. 22-22 just proves my words; this move has a connecting function with the left-down area. I was lucky that he chose 23-23, cause I got the chance to make the long waited connection, if he would have played 23-24, then I couldnt have connect the 2 areas. 27 was very surprising, it seems a bit risky. 28 is a magical move, it seems to be the key move. I thought that it is undefendable. Black must block whites double three threat and white got an extra stone to the left-down area. I thought that I got win, but I had like 5 minutes left. After 29 I had to choose, 30-30 or 30-34. After the game I analyzed the situation and none of them is winning, 30-34 is a bit more dangerous. I tried my best afterwards, 39 saves black from losing the game. After 45 I offered a draw but he immediately refused. I had to hurry cause I almost lost all my time and the position looked much better for him. When he put 51-51, I saw that I might get a last chance; I got back the tempo and could start the endgame. 62-62, a new chance! He offered me draw but I refused fast :). It made me him a bit nervous, the game became very tense. Very nice defense after my 64, he could block my last attempt with an overline threat. After 77, we finally agreed in a draw. This was my best game with him ever, and the best game in the QT so far.

- Tamiola beated Sviridov confidentially and nicely.
- Lu beated Kopecky very easily from corner opening. Kopecky shouldnt have lose this game on such an easy way.
- Zukowski beated Laube, Pavel didnt know the theory so Zukowski had an easy game.
- Nowakowski luckily won over Purkrabek. Maciej put 2 more stones to Purkrabeks opening, but he put a surewin for white. Purkrabek chose black! :) They played an unordinary theory and although Purkrabek had better positions during the game, Maciej won at the end.
- Nipoti beated Eged very fast and easily from Egeds corner opening.

My thoughts after the round: I am still in the top 3, I have better position as many others, so why should I be worried. I played a very nice game, but I still didnt play with some strong opponents. Lets finish the last day and see what happens.

Round 7:

Demjn (66) Lu (77) 1:0, R: +, 37 moves, 1=f5

I really wanted to put the opening against the friendly Taiwanese guy and have an easy game but unfortunately it was his chance now. He put an expected 50-50 opening, my plan was to play very offensively and forcing him to fail. 9 and 11 are a little bit risky, but if he doesnt defend them well and start attack then I am good I guess. It just happened, he tried some strange attack which I could block, then take back the tempo and win the game. 21 was the key of my victory.

- Tamiola and Tth made a draw. This was one of the best games of the QT, both players played very well, the game was very exciting. Nice job guys!
- Zukowski got a point from Nipoti. Nipoti played in straight style; he missed an easy win and finally lost. Zukowski had so much of luck on this championship.
- Nowakowski beated Bielak easily and nicely.
- Laube also got an easy point, against Sviridov. Sviridov made a stupid swap2 which Pavel used on the best way.

My thoughts after the round: Good, I am in the final I think! I got 5,5 points and still 2 rounds left, there should be some magic happening to see me out of top 8. Although that I got my place already, I wanted to win the 2 last games.

Round 8:

Demjn (91) Fitzermann (78) 1:0, R: -, 61 moves, 1=h8

Many people waited this game for a long time, especially the average polish players from the most popular gomoku playing site. Everyone expected Fitzermann to be in the top 8 and I still dont know why. I dont think that a player with such style can achieve any great result. Nevermind, it is not important at all. Luckily I had the chance to put the opening. I knew my opponent well enough; I knew that he can not attack well; he defends even if he has win and that he really dislike playing from the center. Considering this all, I figured out my plan. I chose this opening because I was 100% sure that he will choose white. In this opening, white has the tempo first, white has the chance to make something, and black can defend. Since I wanted him to attack my plan was okay. I wanted to force him to make as much attack as he just can, until he obviously gives away the tempo. Everything happened exactly as I planned. His 8 was a big surprise, I have never seen this move. I became a bit worried, but soon I could became calm and focus to protecting myself. After 14 white has much better position, I was glad to see this on the board. I chose 15-15, this seems to be a strange move, but it just proves my tactic, I am waiting for him to attack, to show me some skill. 16-16 is very dangerous, 17 is logical. I was sure that he will choose 18-19, but surprisingly he chose 18-18. 19-19 is logical, 20-20 is another surprise. Whats the meaning of this move? At first I wanted to play 21-L8 and 23-55 but after some minutes I realized that 21-21 is much better. His 22 came as a sudden storm from the sky. He used like 15 seconds after 21, what the hell is this 22? How can someone be sure after 15 secs that there is no win for black after this 22? I felt now that I got win, I started to check my opportunities but couldnt see any win. I used like 40 minutes to figure out what to do, there was so many ways to choose from. 23-23 is logical; he has to block it on the upper side. 25 and 27 are logical aswell, I secured that area and got a line with which I can connect 2 areas. After 28 I was in a little trouble. I had only 10-15 minutes and I couldnt see any win. What to play? 29-31, 29-56, 29-40? There was only one winning way! The one which I chose. The VCT starting from 29 is extremely nice and was incredibly hard to figure out and visualize the whole attack. The teamwork of 31 and 33 provides the chance to make the base going down and gain more space with more material. 35 is logical, 37 is the key move, also logical. 39-39 is great aswell, although 39-40 is a shorter VCT. From 41 until 52 the moves are logical. With 50-50, my opponent made me overline and he maybe thought that it saves him from losing the game. Thanks to my gift 51, my win became even nicer than I thought. This game was very hard and my nicest game in the QT.

- Tamiola made a draw with Zukowski, it was enough for Artur, so he chose to save some energy in order to fight hard for the win.
- Nowakowski and Tth played a draw aswell, which was okay for both of them.
- Laube beated Nemec and was hoping that he will win the last round aswell, cause if he doesnt gain at least 1 point in the coming game, he is out.
- Nipoti beated Lu from his opening. Lu seemed to lose his chances to the final and Nipoti seemed the one who got back his chances.

My thoughts after the round:
Damn, I have just finished one of the best games of my life and I am safely leading the tournament. What could make it better? I am fine, one game is left and I can finally take a rest.

Round 9:

Demjn (75) Zukowski (51) 1:0, R: 2 more stones, Zukowski swapped, 47 moves, 1=i8

The last round, my opponent is a player who in my opinion doesnt deserve a place in the final. In spite of I am already in the final, I wanted to make one last fight and see a nice game. It was him who put the opening and as I saw what he chose, I thought that he is a bit brave. I know this opening very well and guess I know more theories than him. Before he put his opening I was walking around the other tables and saw this opening on 2 more boards! Laube and Fitzermann played this and also Nipoti and Tth. Since I wanted to play from this opening in the final and show some new theories plus 2 more pairs played it in the same time, I thought it will be better to play a new, never seen outcome, so I chose the swap2 option. I put 2 more stones; the situation became much harder and a bit gambling. After 6 and 8 it seems that white has much better position, maybe even winning, thats what I though. After some thinking I chose 9-9 which seems not logical, but in fact, this is a very good and safe move. After 12-12 I was not thinking about losing already, moreover I got the tempo soon. After 24 it was my turn to show something. I had many ways to choose from. From 25 to 31 my goal was to force him to fail, but it didnt happen. Nevermind, my position is still promising; its time to make something on the other side. After 33 and 35 I was thinking what to do when I realized that I have win. If someone would show me this situation (after the 36th move) I would say Are you stupid, how it could be a winning position? A very nice combination comes now. 37-37 ensures the upper part; it avoids the chance of white to take my tempo away afterwards. But the most important, the key move is 39-39! A magical pause move which is undefendable. White can not win with 16 and 36; neither can stop the black win. I thought that he will try but maybe he didnt even think about it. He answered with a powerless 40 and I didnt have a hard task left, I won the game thanks to 39-39. This was also a very nice game, a performance which is worth to finish the tournament.

- Laube beated Fitzermann easily and soon. This game was a very decisive one, cause both players had to win. Fortunately (at this point I thought that it is good for me that Pavel comes to the final :)) Laube made it.
- Tth lost to Nipoti, but it didnt matter at all, both players secured their place already.
- Lu made a peaceful draw against Bielak and for his luck, this half point was enough to get into the final.

As the tournament finished, we got the 8 finalists:

1. Attila Demjn 7,5 p, Hungary
2. Artur Tamiola 6,5 p, Poland
3. Vladimir Nipoti 6 p, Czech Rep./Italy
4. Gergő Tth 5,5 p, Hungary
5. Pavel Laube 5,5 p, Czech Rep.
6. Maciej Nowakowski 5,5 p, Poland
7. Michal Zukowski 5p, Poland
8. Lu Wei-Yuan 5p, Taiwan

The final result of the Qualification Tournament:

name pts mbuch buch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 Attila Demjn HUN 7,5 34,5 45 11 14 10 9 2 4 8 13 7
2 Artur Tamioła POL 6,5 36 46 3 19 9 8 1 12 4 7 6
3 Vladimr Nipoti CZE 6 31,5 40,5 2 - 15 18 21 11 7 8 4
4 Gergo Tth HUN 5,5 36,5 47,5 8 16 7 12 15 1 2 6 3
5 Pavel Laube CZE 5,5 32,5 41,5 16 6 8 15 11 7 12 14 13
6 Maciej Nowakowski POL 5,5 31,5 40,5 18 5 14 13 9 19 10 4 2
7 Michal Zukowski POL 5 37 48 10 11 4 16 14 5 3 2 1
8 Wei-Yuan Lu TAI 5 37 47,5 4 17 5 2 13 9 1 3 10
9 Jan Kopeck CZE 5 36 47,5 15 13 2 1 6 8 11 10 -
10 Jan Bielk CZE 5 32 42 7 18 1 11 19 13 6 9 8
11 Igor Eged SVK 5 32 42 1 7 20 10 5 3 9 15 18
12 Andrey Sviridov RUS 5 28 37 13 21 19 4 16 2 5 20 15
13 Adrian Fitzermann POL 4,5 34,5 45 12 9 17 6 8 10 15 1 5
14 Tom Němec CZE 4,5 29,5 39,5 21 1 6 17 7 16 - 5 20
15 Michal Kozimor POL 4 33 41 9 20 3 5 4 17 13 11 12
16 Victor Kaufman RUS 4 29 37 5 4 - 7 12 14 20 18 21
17 Radim Kostliv CZE 3,5 24,5 32 20 8 13 14 18 15 21 - 19
18 Hirouji Sakamoto JAP 3 29 37 6 10 21 3 17 - 19 16 11
19 Jan Purkrbek CZE 3 28 37 - 2 12 20 10 6 18 21 17
20 Piotr Małowiejski POL 3 26,5 34 17 15 11 19 - 21 16 12 14
21 Lukasz Białkowski POL 3 25 33 14 12 18 - 3 20 17 19 16

Attila Demjn, October 10, 2009

#2 2010-06-08 06:51:33

it has been exciting games. As new player i didn't think that it could be so difficult to win a real match.Good game.

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