Ireland faced Serbia in the second round of the Pandanet Go European Team Championship. Serbia fielded a strong team, headed up by the Mitic brothers, Dusan and Nikola — both 7d, and seasoned competitors at the top level of European Go. With captain Milos Bojanic 4d on board 3, it seemed Ireland’s best chance of a win was on board 4, where Matei Garcia faced Vuk Dusanic 1d. When Matei lost by 9.5, it seemed that all was lost.
But the game on board 3 was still in progress. Playing with the black stones, Bojanic exchanged territory for a thick central position. His strategy appeared to be paying off as John Courtney struggled to make life with his two invading groups. Then Bojanic over-reached, allowing John to engineer a massive seki to save his weakest group and live with territory with the other. With all John’s groups secure, his lead on territory was insurmountable and he took the victory by 21.5 points.
Although Ireland remain without a point, they have won a game in each of their two matches so far and it’s clear that they will have opportunities throughout the season. The next opportunity comes against eighth-placed Switzerland, on Tuesday, December 12th, at 8pm Irish time.