Second matching of the beginners tournament, and we split white wins. Not much more meta-commentary for this pair of matches.
A road win as white, with our caps up against each other for most of the fight. As with game 1 previously, pinning the black cap with a road under it kept options limited, and this time, ultimately gave me the road I needed when it moved.
I was worried in the first half, and too confident in the second. That extra-large citadel (fortress?) was tough to work against, limiting my options, and in getting greedy, missed the obvious road threat.
Another year, another tournament, and only gotten a bit better. With a new member of the family last year I missed the July beginner tournament, and had to drop from the ’21 Open (I did get to play GenCon Online though!), but am excited to give it another shot this year. My first of the round-robin pairings was with Evoshen, with a long and brutal first game that went to flats, and a shorter Tinue on round two. Games were 15 minutes + 10 second increment, no komi.
First round, I played black and ultimately won on flats. I missed two Tinue wins throughout (at moves 26 and 29), but was only able to find 26 at first. had to reach out to Simmon to get a hint. I think I got a bit focused on the flat endgame even around that 26 Tinue, and didn’t think through the cap throw, preferring to keep placing. View on PTN Ninja for a better interface for the alternate threads. Missing from the playback is the time controls— by the end, Evoshen was under thirty seconds (although a good player can keep that momentum going on the increment for a while).
We took a few minutes before this second game to let the heart rates settle a bit. Second win was a Tinue as white that I’d like to be a bit more proud of, but I was doubting the direction I was headed just a move or two before.
With the state of the world such as it is (not to mention the arrival of my son), I was sad to miss Gen Con in Indianapolis this fall, but happy to be able to claim participation in Gen Con Online once again this year, this time in the form of another USTA Tak Tournament.
As it turned out, signups were quite light, and only three of us were on the bracket for the event— and one no-showed. So it was up to PlutoTheBrave and I to duke it out for first and second place.
The matches were short and brutal (I’d played my opponent a couple times before, and knew I had a tough game ahead of me, even without having been absent from playing since early summer). I won’t be going through the effort of embedding commentary, only remarking that for the first, I’ve still not figured out how to make the “Knight Opening” work for me, and I ended up unable to do much over-committed to another 6×6 edge crawl. In the second, 4. d4 was a terrible play and shortly after, I’d realized I had no place for my capstone, who sure enough ended up isolated out of the game by the end, doing me no favors out there.
Still, my losses secured me that coveted second place in the Tournament, and I received this lovely board from USTA made by Bill, the organizer. I’m looking forward to playing a few rounds on here, and more importantly, hope we get to do this again over a table in Indianapolis next year.
Local no longer has you SSH into the container to use WP-CLI, but the “open site shell” option in the drop-down menu instead sets up all the various environmental variables needed to use WP-CLI, but it’s annoying to have to go through the Local GUI every time.
We’ll follow the same instructions in Sal’s configuration to setup wp-cli.local.yml and wp-cli.local.php, but instead of looking for the remote host and remote port in Local’s database tab, we need the path to the mysqld.sock file.
With that path, we can update our DB_HOST constant in in wp-cli.local.php like so:
Once again getting to posting/reviewing these games later than I’d like so, the notes are sparse. My last game of the round-robin games, leaving me at three match wins and two draws, or 8/10 games. With that, I have a chance of moving forward to the next round, but that depends on the outcome of Doomsbeard‘s games— He could take the group if he wins all four remaining games, or we could be tied (which would go to a blitz runoff) if he draws either match.
Don’t have a whole lot to say about this one. I had a fun Tinüe at the end, although didn’t quite play it out, it was getting there. With some slight variation, it looks like I had possible wins a little faster, but took the slightly longer approach to Tinüe.
A “Knight” opening served me well, although I worried about taking my cap out of play by spreading it to the edge in that early play, I eventually got it back in the middle after a scenic trip around the board.
Split wins as white, both solid games, both of us lost to missed threats. Also the first game I got to watch back with full commentary which is always a blessing and a curse— there is plenty to learn from the commentary on a game, plenty painful to hear all the thoughts you could have had without the pressure of clock and tunnel vision being in the middle of a game brings.
A bit harder to step through in the embedded view, but this one has a few more branches explored if we had been better about catching the threats we missed.
Commentary from Nitzel & Ineria
Ineria intended to capture from the beginning, but due to technical difficulties, they picked up on Nitzel’s stream about halfway through the first game. You can watch the whole video from Twitch. Always lovely to hear the commentator’s confused voices with such classics as “Why did he do that?” and “How do I pronounce pwhaug?”.
The hard cap next to that back wall was a nice position to hold to keep those road threats going and forcing the black capstone to keep vacuuming up pieces for a few rounds.
I felt very clever about my wall-smashing road at the end of this one, until post-game, Sky pointed out I had a solid Tinue halfway through the game I flat out ignored multiple times, hyper-focused on the horizontal threat. Reviewing the game with ptn.ninja it seems impossible to me that I would miss it, yet there it is.
Another Tak beginner’s tournament, this time I hoped to review each match as I went, but of course by the time I’ve gotten started, a few days have passed and I’ve already lost most useful insight I might have had.
I probably would have had more to say about these games if I’d reflected & reviewed right after the games, but a solid opening match for the tournament. Two hard caps in game one was a unique development.
Another Tak tournament from US Tak Association right on the heels of the beginner’s tournament wrapping up. This one was a quick blitz tournament, Something I’d played probably a handful of times before today.
With fourteen players, the tournament consisted of nine rounds, clock at 3 minutes with 5 second increments, and a Komi of 3 points to black on a flat win. I rounded out my nine games at second-to-last, but had a great time, and was happy to have scored at least a couple points over the nine rounds.
Game 1: PlutoTheBrave
First pairing of the tournament, and missed the road threat across the bottom of the board. Of course saw the missed threat as soon as I played. Blitz is an unforgiving beast.
Game 2: Reimen
This was probably the most interesting (and longest) game. I wasn’t sure throwing the capstone’s stack at 21 was the right move, but I think glad I did it later. I was able to keep up the pressure of road threats in the NW quadrant for a bit, but nothing that could stick— Reiman was cutting them off right and left, and then I was down to a few seconds on the clock for quite a bit, so I was just placing flats without being entirely sure of the count. With the +3 komi, it ended with a tie, the only one of the tournament, I think.
Game 3: EVRNjayhawker
My brain was not functioning by this one. A straight line down the middle is just the worst kind of loss to see on the board. Somehow I thought I was being clever not capturing with 9. 2c4>. Trying not to think about this one any more than I have to.
Game 4: T0afer
My only win! The citadel in the middle was a nice position to gain, I think, then bi-directional road threat at the end gave me the missed threat.
Game 5: Ineria
This was one I definitely wanted to review after the fact. I had a great match with Ineria during the tournament last month, and was looking forward to this pairing especially during the blitz tournament. And it did not go well for me. By the time I dropped my cap (in a terrible location) at move 11, I was pretty sure I was already in trouble, and I’m not 100% sure where it all went sideways for me (or if there’s ever one single point like that), but on reflection:
I should have made the immediate road threat at move 6, instead of giving up tempo AND increasing the black cap’s influence by giving it two different places to threaten me.
Capstone was out when it was too late and was a desperate move. Maybe could/should have been a flat. Not sure of a better, earlier move with the cap unless I dropped it in D in the first five or six moves. I tried a preemptive cap in the middle of the road in my game with Simmon and I’m not sure it really did that much for me.
Wall at 14 b3 might have been more disruptive, but if I’d survived and we kept moving towards flats, would have been a liability as white.
Game 6: Reid
A surprise opening from Reid, not going for the normal opposite or parallel corners. Was wondering a few moves in if I should have made my initial road threat in the B column, but I suppose that would have likely meant granting Reid’s highwaymen control of C3 & C4. Looking back, why did I not place a d6 instead of Cd4? Might not have changed much, just a slightly earlier capture to break up that road. Somewhere along the line I realized I was going to lose the capture war(s) over B4 and B5, and then I was going to have nothing to stop Reid’s road.
Game 7: Ally
Interesting, Ally here went for the off-center road threat I was considering in the previous game. As I’d assumed above, that did give black (me) the chance for a citadel in the middle of the board, but this is not entirely a center control game, so that only got me so far.
In that final move, I had realized I was going to lose the stack war over B2, but had miscalculated that white already had enough stones to throw up the B column and win. If I’d kept capturing and Ally had to use C2 to capture the stack would no longer be enough for a road with a single throw, but it still might have been tough to avoid Tinuë within a few moves, as I had so little in place on the left half of the board.
Game 8: Morten
Another deviation from the “standard” openings, an edge crawl, less common in 6×6 games. I think I was pretty fried by this point. Not sure what else I have to say about this game except that even being able to make a couple weak threats at moves 13 and 14, I felt like Moreton never lost control of the board here. 17. f2+ might have been a better move than uselessly throwing 3d4>12, but with the cap right there I don’t think would have really won me anything.
Game 9: Simmon
A very satisfying game to finish on, even if I lost on time. I look forward to watching/hearing Simmon’s self-commentary on the match when he posts it. Simmon has been putting out quite a bit of content for the Tak community, including commentary for the last few tournaments at his YouTube channel. The early capstone-in-the-middle-of-the-road at 5 Cd2 was in direct response to not having a good place for my cap in my game with Ineria previously, but I don’t know how much it actually got me. The back-and-forth of the stack wars row 4 reminded me of playing some of the bots, which can sometimes go pretty wild on large stacks.
One of those throws in there (maybe 21 6e4+15?) probably took thirty seconds on its own as I debated what I was doing with it, how many stones I was dropping where, and then mis-clicked and had to retry a half-dozen times to get the right stones in the right place. After a bit more back-and-forth I was down to a no banked time for my last few moves, and the clock ran dry as I was partway through throwing that e4 stack.