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  Attila Demjan's Blog  
My games on RIF 20 years anniversary celebration tournament2008-09-06 19:57:13
I would like to begin my article with saying thanks to the organizers again, they made a great job. It was a very nice tournament with so many strong players. The tournament rule was rejection rule (RIF, Soosyrv, Taraguchi). I think the only bad side of the competition was, that there were only 6 rounds for 52 players, with swiss system. There were only 6 rounds because we didnít have time to play more rounds because of the celebration at the evening. I think that 6 rounds are not enough to decide the places effectively. I was sure before the tournament, that the one who wants to win canít have less than 6 points, so have to win all games which means a though task because there were so many very strong players. The time limit was 30 minutes without extra time.
At first I didnít want to take part on this tournament because I wanted to save some energy, but in the last round, I changed my mind and registered. I was wonder how can I play with new rules, I think that rejection rule is a very good choice. I learned the rules just before the tournament. I didnít want to play any game with taraguchi rule because I was afraid that good players have enough experience in this rule and can trick me. I succeeded to avoid taraguchi rule, I played 5 games with soosyrv rule and 1 with RIF.

In the first round, Iíve met with Rasmus Kodasma, a young player from Estonia. I was player number one in this game. I rejected taraguchi rule, he rejected soosyrv rule. So we played with RIF rule, I have put d8 against him. For my big surprise he didnít swap and chose to play with white in d8, just like Alvar Timmermann against me in the 2nd round of YWC.
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Since he chose to play with white stones, I had to figure out a good tactic. I wanted to play with so many surprises and new positions in this tournament. I decided to suggest 5-5 and 5-20, dunno why but he chose the most frequently played 5. I wanted to avoid the long theory because I think that the chance for draw is too big there, therefore I played 9-9. The following moves are quite logical. After his 14, I wanted to begin the winning attack. At first, my idea was to play 15-h10, but after I saw 15-15 which suits more my style. 17-17 has similar idea as 15-15. I think that most of you would play 15-h10 and 17-18. I was satisfied with this attack because white didnít have any chance to confuse blackís position. After my 19, white had no defence, I managed to win the game with a simple VCT, beginning with 21.

In the second round, my opponent was Tomoharu Nakayama, a young player from Japan. He was player number one in the game, he rejected RIF rule, I rejected taraguchi. He has put d9, I didnít swap and declared that there should be four 5th moves. After a while he decided to play with black stones and offered the general alternatives.
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I chose the weakest 5th move but I couldnít use the initiative enough well. His 7 and 9 were strange for me, after the 9th move I couldnít find any good move which has good possibilities to the continuation. Where to play 10? Finally I chose 10-10, hoping that he will let me keep the tempo. After the starting moves my goal was to build up a strong attack and force him to make a little mistake. In this situation, itís very hard for white to find the best attacker moves. 12 and 14 show what I want to do. His 15 was a surprise, I didnít expect any offensive move. I was in a big trouble here, how to keep the tempo and the good base. If white plays 16-18, then black can turn the game and start to attack. So 16-16 and 18-18 are needed. I was thinking about 18-19 but then I realized that itís worse than 18-18. Next question: Where to play 20? The moves from 10 to 20 were not easy to figure out. 20-20 seems a bit strange but I think it is enough strong in tactical aspect, because I was sure that itís too hard for my opponent, to evaulate the strength of this move. I was right, he didnít defend and played a very offensive 21 on the other side. I had to win this game so I began the final attack. After my 40, he resigned because of 3x3 foul.
In the next round, my opponent was Maria Pestereva from Russia. All my opponents in the first half of the competition were younger than me, I began to think that I am maybe too old :-)
I was player number one in this game, I rejected taraguchi, she rejected RIF. As I already mentioned, my tactic was to give new positions for renjuplayers so I chose an unpopular opening, d2.
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She immediatly swapped, which made me feel happy because I wanted to try my homemade move, 4-4. I played 4-4 and declared four 5th moves. She thought that there are enough 5th moves so she didnít swap and put the four suggestions. This position (until 4) is black surewin with RIF rule, but with soosyrv, I think it isnít. She didnít offer the strongest 5th moves, I chose 5-5. After 17 I thought that there is win for white, but I couldnít find, maybe there isnít win. I was thinking a lot about 20 because it was an important move. I played 20-20, I think this is the best move here. I had similar tactic against her as against Nakayama, I wanted to make her let me attack and make a little mistake. After her 21, I made a very strong attack and finally won by making overline. She resigned after 42.

I had 3 points out of 3, I was in the leading group already, maybe in the top 5. I knew that the second half of the tournament wonít be that ĒeasyĒ as the first half. I was right, in the last three rounds, I played with World Championship players. I expected 3 of the following opponents for the last three rounds: Savrasova, Taimla, Okabe, Karlsson, Soosyrv, Kadulin, Purk. Nice list, isnít it? :-)

At first, in the 4th round, I had to face another woman player, Yulia Savrasova from Russia. The second russian girl in a row. I was a bit confused about her, I couldnít imagine how can she play. I knew that she is very strong, I had to pay more attention and stay calm. She has very good results so I had to take this game very seriously. Fortunately, I was player number one in this round so I could continue my well working tactic. I rejected taraguchi, she rejected RIF. I decided to put a never played opening, i13.
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I knew that she likes i5, and I was 100% sure that she will convert the position to i5 theory. She played the 4th move and declared two 5th moves, I immediately swapped because I feel good to play i5 by white. She offered the two most common moves. Since my tactic was to surprise renjuplayers, I chose the weaker 5th move. I let her attack, I was wonder how strongly a girl can attack :-). Her 9 was definately an unexpected move but I was calm and able to find a good response. Her 11 seems a bit passive, maybe she wanted to play a safe game. After 17, I think that the position is a bit better for black. 20-20 is an important move, white must use the four in order to gain new opportunities in the future. Already after 26, it was my time to make some action. I played 34-34 because I wanted to close that area and begin a new attack on the other side of the board. My attack was enough good to get precious advantage, after my 42 I felt good. It seemed that itís hard for black to find the correct move, I hoped that she will fail, but yet she didnít, although her 43 is weak. Black should have played 43-46, itís much better. After her offensive 45, I felt that I got win but it was not easy to find. I didnít have VCF so I had to balance, what is better: using my fours or stay calm and block. I imagined the coming moves on the board and saw that I got a VCT. It was not easy to see my win, I had to focus so much. After my 60, she gave up. I liked this game, it was a nice win.

Only 2 rounds left. I had the maximum points, such as Tunnet and Ants. Ants and me were on the same branch, so it was obvious that we wonít play in this round against each other. Tunnet will play with one of us, the other will play against Stefan Karlsson or Hiroshi Okabe. So my opponent in the 5th round could be Taimla, Karlsson or Okabe. If I would have a chance to choose, I really donít know who would I choose to play with, all of them are very strong AT players. And it was already sure also, that in the last round I will play with another one of them. Promising chances :-).

The new pairings were published, my opponent is Stefan Karlsson from Sweden. I think that he is the best swedish player, and also one of the best players on the world. I admire his stability and personality. I didnít play with him renju before this game (only gomoku) but Iíve met with him some times. Everytime, when I saw him playing, I felt that he is a very wise man who has very big knowledge. In psychical aspect, this was the hardest game for me, I was under pressure. This feeling made me a bit nervous when I had to face him, but fortunately I could control the situation. He was player number one in our game, he rejected RIF, I rejected taraguchi and after he has placed i6. I expected this opening because I saw some games in i6 with soosyrv rule and also Stefan played the same against Skuridin in the third round.
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I swapped and began to think about what is his plan against me. As I mentioned already, I was under pressure because of some psychical reason. He has put without thinking the 4th move and declared four 5th moves. I had to think deeply. This position should be black surewin with two alternatives, but whatís the situation with four alternatives. First, I decided to stay with black becaue my intentions whispered that the position must be black advantage even with four 5th moves. I offered 5-8, 5-12 and 5-21. After the game I realized that 5-19 is also a good move, it converts the game to d3 theory. So 5-5 converts to d9, 5-19 converts to d3.
We began to play the well known d9 theory. Moves until from 5 until 16 were played fast but my time was already much less than my opponentís. This fact made the pressure much bigger on me. I didnít play this theory so many times and since I was player number two, the position was rotated from my point of view. I did not have problems with rotating in the games before this, but this time I got some horrible problems with remembering the correct 17. I have spent about 6 minutes to figure out the correct 17, I was seriously thinking about some sure losing 17. After too many spent time, finally I found the correct 17. The game went on according to the theory until an interesting thing happened. After I placed 27 and Stefanís time was going, I got a crash in my head. I donít know why but I became frightened of the possibility of 28-28. This is not a popular move, everyone plays 28-j6. It was like I was praying, I told in my mind: ĒJust donít play 28-28, please play anything but not 28-28! Ē
During I was hoping, my opponent was thinking and finally he has moved 28-28. Oh my god, my fear. At this moment, psychically I was under everything. I was sure that this move is his home preparation, he moved all of his moves so fast, it was clear for me that everything happened exactly like he has planned. I thought that his tactic worked on me, I got trapped. On the other hand, I had already some minutes left, Stefan had much more. So what to do? I knew that I had to calm down and be harsh. I tried not to care about my fears and focus on the board itself. I was counting the moves very fast, I could check every variants and I found out that 29-29 is a winning move. I dunno how but I was able to stand up from the floor and count every branches in very short time. I could see that 29-29, 30-35 is win, and also 29-29, 30-30.
After I placed 29, I checked whiteís every possibility and I could see everything again, white lost the game, no matter where he moves. I became calm and relaxed. After 32, I had VCF.
I learnt very much from this game. I learnt, how to beat my fears. Thank you Stefan for the lesson!

Only 1 round left. Since Tunnet lost in the 5th round, there were two players with maximum points, Ants and me. So the last round was like a big final. Okabe was the 3rd on the list. It was expectable, that Okabe will win his last game against his countrymate. It was also expectable, that none of us from Ants and me will play for draw, I was sure that both of us want to win, because the one who loses gets the 3rd place or even worse. I was very nervous before the game, my psychical plight was very low. I had no experience, all my opponents had tons of experience. Every fact, which I was looking at, destroyed my confidence. Before the last round I remembered how easily did I lose against Ants in 2005, in Poland. We didnít know who will be the player number one, I was hoping that it will be me. I was lucky, as the pairing said, I was supposed to begin the game. I was afraid that he will force the game not to be played with soosyrv rule. The reasons: He rejected soosyrv rule already in this tournament, against Andry. I told to Ants some hours before the last round (when I didnít know yet that I will play with him in the most decisive game) that I only want to play soosyrv rule. So I was expecting him to reject his rule. At first, I rejected taraguchi rule, he was thinking a bit and finnaly he rejected RIF. Good! It was time to make the opening, I wanted to finish my tactic. My choice was again i13, my main goal was to surprise and confuse him as much as possible.
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I didnít want to play i5 theory again, but I was not afraid, I knew that Ants likes inventions, I was sure that he wonít do the same as Yulia made in the 4th round. Already in the beginning stage of the game, I saw that my tactic began to work. Ants seemed more and more confused as the time passed. He was thinking a lot about swap, finally he chose to swap. I was happy about it because it was up to me, where to drive the game. After some thinking I have put 4-4 and offered only one 5th move! It was the highlight of my tactic. This opening is said to be white surewin with this fourth move in RIF rule. I declared only one 5th move which made him much more confused. He was thinking at least 10 minutes after my action and finally he chose to play as black and played the 5th move. There are some other possible 5th moves which can make big troubles for white, but these possibilities require some deeper analyses to determine the value. These 5th moves are: 5-10, 5-8, 5-6, 5-7, 5-15, 5-h10. I was confident because I know this opening very well, I know well each 5th moves. This position (1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4) is an often played variant in gomoku. After he placed 5-5, I was sure that I will win the game and in the same time, tho whole tournament. I played the winning 6. I was relaxed and calm. I didnít expect any surprises. I was so wrong. His 7 was new for me, almost every player plays 7-8. I had to find the winning response, but I failed. It was kinda ridiculous because I was already sure that I will win. My 8 is very strong but not winning. The correct response would be 8-12, 9-13, 10-9. My psychical status turned to the otherside. From realxed, calm I turned to nervous. After 13 I did not see win so I continued to build. Itís obviously better for white, but I had to win, advantage was not enough. At this moment, Ants had only some minutes left and I didnít either have so much time. Maybe my 14 and 16 are not the strongest, but I liked them. 16-18 is maybe a bit better. Antsí final mistake was 17. I think that he wanted to block on the strongest way, but after this 17 white has a pretty simple and nice winning combination. I have to say that his time was almost over at the end of the game. He resigned after my 20.

So, finally I completed my five points with another one and finished the tournament with 100% achievement and got the gold medal. I was very happy about it, it was a very hard tournament, maybe harder than the gomoku tournament and also even harder than YWC, and I could defeat some very strong renjuplayer, although I am a gomoku player. I am glad that I changed my mind at the last moment, and registered to the competition, I learnt a lot from this tournament. The games against world top players gave me so much experience.

Thank you all, and see you in Czech Republic, WC-2009, if not sooner!

Attila DemjŠn

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