17th “Harburger Mausefalle”

Two weeks after the tournament I finally found the time and motivation to write up a quick summary. As you may know Harburg is a borough in the south of Hamburg. The “Mausefalle” (german word for “mouse trap” also used in Go for “snapback”) is a tournament that runs since 2002 and is organized by the people who also run the “Hebsacker Verlag” which is THE shop for Go-equipment in Germany.

Anyhow – the tournament was on the weekend of March, 3rd/4th. Since Hamburg is quite a drive from Jena we decided to leave on Friday already. There were 6 of us from Jena (and the famous Go-dog Jack), driving to Harburg in 2 cars. We were lucky to find room for our sleeping bags at the organizers place who did also welcome us with a warm soup (Germany was still cold that weekend!) and drinks until late at night. Thank you again Steffi and Tobias!


After a surprisingly good nights sleep we started with a good breakfast provided by our hosts and took off towards Harburg, where the tournament started just before lunch. The location was an outbuilding of a school that has clearly seen better days. It was said, that this would likely be that last time the Mausefalle took place there since the school was moving out soon – probably because the whole place was getting an overhaul.

On Saturday three games were played:

The first one I lost quickly against Fabian R. (4k), who managed to pull me into a whole-board fight from which I suffered massively and thus I resigned.

My second game was against Frank Q. (7k), which I started as a point-grab that turned into a big fight since Frank tried to reduce a bit too harsh. While his invasion-group escaped I managed to create so many weaknesses on the way that in the end something had to die and thus he resigned.

The third game of the day was against Isabel D. (5k) which wasn´t really that eventful and which I resigned after being something like 20 points behind.

So after the first day that was a 1:2 (again) and my motivation was almost down to quitting the tournament. Not so much because I lost – but because I felt that I was playing badly and much below my actual strength.

The evening we spend at a local Chinese restaurant where about a dozen of us had a big table and a huge selection of different dishes was ordered and shared among us. Everything was really good and not your typical German-Chinese “chicken sweet-and-sour”. After everyone was unable to move we rolled back towards our sleeping bags for the night.

The next morning was off to an earlier start, with a quick cup of coffee and breakfast at the tournament.

My fourth game was against Naomi B. (8k), which I was ahead in most of the time but lost in the end by 0.5 points due to her being so much better in endgame and due to a mistake that cost me like 10 points very late in the game. However – this was a good game and I had fun playing it.

The last of the five games was against Daniela S. (7k), who was clearly a fighter. She was playing very aggressively – but then made a huge mistake that gave me an advantage which I quickly used up again after her counter-attack and some too quickly played moves by me. However – I was still ahead and won in the end.

So overall I finished as number 40 out of 93 and with an other 2:3. Which meant again no “German cup” points for me and a loss of 35 rating points. Which brings me down to a rating of closer to 7 kyu instead of the 5 kyu that I used to have.

The best player from our group was Thore v.E. (2d), who finished on a shared 3rd place and who managed to beat a 4d.

This time I also took some pictures, mostly of the people I visited the tournament with. I am not shown since I took the photos.