Here are two games that ended before reaching the middle game.
Game 1: Timing Out. A slow-paced game where Black and White used the time to think.
Brown Stone played Black. Black was happy to play the orthodox opening. White 6 was slow and “unorthodox”. Black expected R10 or R6. Black approached high with 7, aiming for influence towards the Apex.
If Black simply blocked with 1, it will lead to this simple variation.
It is as if Black approached at 1, White kicked at 2, then the sequence to 6 followed. The purpose of playing at Black 3 first would
Since White did not protect the South, which was one of the biggest area for the moment, Black attached at E4, aiming for more influence towards the Apex and the South. Black extended with 11 and aimed at building a wall towards the Apex. White 12 surprised Black. Black first solidified the wall on the South West. Then chose to pincer with high at M4, aiming again for the Apex influence and fight later. Playing low pincer looked bad for Black.
In this variation, Black’s wall on the South West looks wasted.
Black expected the jump to 3-3. Black decided the East had the biggest potential for development, so Black blocked with 19 in this direction. Black really wanted White to block at O4, but White had other plans.
Black wanted this variation.
White also decided the East was the biggest part of the board and aimed at piercing it from the edge. However, Black thought White should have defended the corner first at O2 or O4 before playing this hane. Black cuts at 23 with the aim of pushing through White’s corner.
Black thinks this variation is payable.
Black was very happy to make this much thickness on the East. Even if White invaded the East. Black will attack White and develop the South. White 34 looked like bad direction for White. The East looked bigger.
Black thought about the shoulder hit of Black 1. Black gets the chance to make a big East. However, Black felt this too good to be true. White can easily invade the East. Also, Black’s South West wall looks useless.
Black chose the cap instead, since White cannot make an easy base inside Black’s powerful area. Even if White escaped to the center, Black will be happy to attack White and develop the East naturally. White 36 was a bad move as Black expected this. Black cut. Even if White lived on the South, White’s Apex group will be floating eyeless. Black was ready for the cut of White 38. After Black connects with 43, White timed out.
The game was very slow and finished fast, but Blacked enjoy this kind of pace. White made a slow move with A. Black approached high with B aiming for influence in the Apex. White C might have been a request to simplify the game. Black tried punishing White with D and stayed consistent in aiming for Apex influence with E. When White shifted to F, Black solidified the South West wall first with G and H, before playing pincer with I, again aiming for influence in the Apex. White left the corner vulnerable by playing the hane at J instead of defending the corner with K. White was able to punish White J and make beautiful thickness that radiates power towards the East, Apex, and South. White’s last resistance was L, but this seems inconsistent with the direction of play.
Game 2: The Game-Ending Capture. This game ended with a premature resignation.
Brown Stone played Black. White chose the Chinese opening. This might have conditioned Black to try an AlphaGo move later. Black made an ideal formation with 7. It seemed that it will be a fight of two frameworks, but Black felt better in this formation. The biggest side is the South. Black should have approached the South East or maybe Enclosed the South West to counter the power of Black 3 and 7.
This formation also looks good for Black.
White surprised Black with 8 at tengen. Black thought this was a wrong move. The South was still the biggest side. Black thought about approaching the South West high or low, but since White has a stone at tengen, Black chose to approach high with 9 and build some influence towards the Apex.
Black played the tiger’s mouth with 13. Maybe connecting solidly at G4 would have been better, but Black aimed at leaving this group for later and take sente instead of building a base. White 14 was another surprise for Black. However, Black felt confident leaving the situation as is, because of White’s weakness at A. Black 15 is the AlphaGo-inspired move that Black wanted to try. White played 16 on the West, but Black thought the North is the bigger side and the proper direction.
Black felt comfortable trying this Alpha Go variation. Black looks good having groups all over the place while White is overconcentrated on the West. White’s tengen also looks very lonely now.
White 18 was very slow. White should not have been too concerned of the corner. Black was happy to make a wall and take control of the North, the last biggest side. White 24 must have been the losing move. Black felt that territory on the North was already Black’s right, and White had no agenda invading it. Black 25 prevented White’s connection. Black aimed at staying connected and starting a favorable running fight. At first, Black did not know how to handle White 26, but Black 27 aimed at making White heavy before starting the running fight. If White tries to run, Black will cut and connect groups. White tried to run with 28, so Black cut at 29. Black 32 was a big mistake. White was separated, and Black was connected. Resisting with 32 was futile for White. After the capture with Black 37, White might had been frustrated at because White resigned. However, the game did not look over at this point. White still had a big Apex to surround and Black’s moyo still had gaps.
Everything looked normal until White played A. Black played calm with B after A and aimed for sente and some influence on the South. After White played C, Black felt the group still had a weakness at D to exploit later. Black used sente to play E, the AphaGo-inspired move. White should have replied with F instead of G against Black E. The game would have proceeded peacefully, but White White invaded at F. Black thought White was being greedy. Black G was a shape move aimed at cutting White and connecting groups. White’s last mistake was feeding Black with the K group.
Brown Stone was happy to play these slow-paced games. Although the two games ended fast, Brown Stone enjoyed the opportunity to read and analyze the whole board position before and after making a move.