Laurens takes 2nd place in Belfast Open 2009

Belfast top 3

At September 26th and 27th the Belfast open Go tournament took place in Northern Ireland. There were 17 players from the UK (7), Ireland (8), Poland (1) and The Netherlands (1). The McMahon bar was set at 1 kyu with 4 people above the bar including Laurens Spijker. The main time was 50 min and there were 3 periods of 10 seconds overtime. The games were played with Japanese rules and 6.5 komi for white.

By winning three of the four rounds Laurens Spijker managed to take second place in this event, behind Matthew Crosby who won all his games.

On Saturday the first 2 rounds were played. In the first round Laurens (black) managed to beat Collin MacSweeney (white) a 1 kyu from Dublin, Ireland. After taking a solid lead Laurens made a 15 point mistake. However, he still managed to win by a small margin of 2.5 points. Matthew Crosby, a 3th dan from the UK, was the winner of the other game above the bar in round 1.

In the second round Laurens was paired against Matthew. The winner would take a big step towards the overall victory. From the start the game was lead into complicated fighting all over the board. After falling behind, Laurens (black) managed to get an interesting attack going, giving Matthew (white) big problems. But Matthew found a nice escape and the game was lost for Laurens. Laurens still tried several desperate moves, but had to resign soon after. With a 50% result Laurens still played a nice first day.

Sunday there were 2 more rounds. In the first round Laurens was paired against James Hutchinson, a 2 kyu from the UK. After a really nice opening, taking a huge lead, Laurens (white) ended up having to deal with some horrible aji because he made a stupid move. For 7-8 moves James (black) could have captured a huge corner. Laurens knew this, but there was no time to defend. Luckily James did not see the defect and Laurens could defend the weakness soon after. This gave the initiative to James, so he could catch up in points. Then, when the game was really close with both players in overtime, James made a big mistake resulting in the death of some 10-15 stones and he resigned. Had James not made this mistake Laurens would probably have won by a margin of 2.5 point.

In the last round of the tournament Laurens played against the only female player present: Martha McGill, a 3th kyu from the UK. Laurens (white) played a disastrous opening, in which he gave away points and got a weak group. But after that Laurens's game improved and he slowly cached up. Then a huge ko was formed, where Laurens risked a whole side of the board. Because this ko was so enormous, Martha (black) ignored the first ko threat. However the treat may have been even bigger than the ko. After this huge exchange and the earlier comeback Laurens was now getting a solid 10-15 point lead. Because there was no potential left for Martha she resigned soon after.

The Complete results can be found here:

Pictures taken by Ian Davis:
Pictures taken by Laurens Spijker:


Nice result, congratulations

Hi Laurens,

Allow me to congratulate you on the nice result. Unfortunately you could not repeat the magic against the 3th dan. But still nice to become second. I hope you've enjoyed!

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