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Secret Moves Revealed — Young Players Debate

The Timely Deployment of a Ploy


Left to Right: Cho Chikun 6 dan, Haruyama Isamu 7 dan, Kobayashi Koichi 7 dan; in the lower right 仕掛 = Shi-Kake = Ploy

From Kido, June 1975

An ambush (?) in the Meijin League of Otake Hideo 9 dan by Kada Katsuji 9 dan, landed him in the mud with his sole loss. The three young players in the group here were surprised at this unexpected development and probed deeply to find out the cause of the defeat of their elder colleague [in the Kitani dojo]. Although it is a game of their elder colleague, they spare nothing, in keeping with the mindset of today’s young professionals. According to the conclusion of the three players, the reason for the loss seems to have been due to Otake 9 dan’s reluctance to bring to bear all of his strength. However, the three young players do not seem able to grasp tightly onto the core of the narrative, and yet end up considering the destruction of their elder colleague as being expected.


Haruyama Isamu 7 dan

Kobayashi Koichi 7 dan

Cho Chikun 6 dan


Source Figure 14th Annual Meijin League
Those interested in replaying the game move by move can click here to do so.

Otake Hideo 9 dan (Black) — Kada Katsuji 9 dan (White)

Otake Destroyed

4 wins 0 losses. In the midst of tromping over everyone in the Meijin league, Otake was destroyed. [Note: Otake went on to win the league and then defeated Ishida Yoshio to become Meijin.] Here, Cho 6 dan cheers on his elder colleague, Otake, while Kobayashi 7 dan is non-committal. The theme examined here is the reason for the defeat.

Editor: Kada san with only a single win, was outside the running, and Otake, with 4 wins and no losses, had a chance to take a secure grasp of the right to challenge for the title by winning this game.

Cho: In response to the pincer of Black 7, White made the diagonal move of 8, you know.

Kobayashi: How should this be played?


Diagram 1

Haruyama: Attaching with White 1 would be usual, you know.

Kobayashi: Black hanes over the stone with 2, and the usual sequence is played, then, since the ladder is no good, White has no choice but to capture with 11, and then play continues through the diagonal move of White 15, doesn’t it?

Cho: This is an unavoidable sequence, you know. How should this be evaluated?

Haruyama: For myself, with this model joseki dislike both White and Black.

Editor: In that case, neither side is badly off, but it will be difficult for both sides to find a good continuation to adopt here, you know.

Kobayashi: In regards to the diagonal move of White 15…


Diagram 2

…I wonder if the attach and cut of White 1 and 3 is possible. The idea is to make Black overconcentrated.

Editor: If Black patiently bears down with 4, the sequence through Black 8 would be played, wouldn’t it? However, just in regards to the left side, Black’s spacing is good, you know.


Diagram 3

Haruyama: If Black counterattacks with 1 and 3, how would it turn out?

Cho: Black pushes through with 5, you know.

Kobayashi: White cuts with 6, and the unavoidable sequence here follows. Black makes the forcing move of 7, then captures with 9 and 11. White 12 is met by Black capturing at 13, then Black plays at 15, or maybe at A. This would also be thick and strong for White.


Kobayashi Koichi 7 dan


Diagram 4

Haruyama: In that case, would Black play 1, 3 and 5, making life in the corner?

Kobayashi: White plays 6 and 8, and Black ten just simply descends at 9, you know. In response to White 10, if Black presses at 11, White pushes in at 12 and then plays atari at White 16. When Black extends at 17, White cannot omit defending at 18.

Haruyama: Following White 20, even if Black seals White in by playing at A, White lives with a move at B.

Kobayashi: White would seem to have a promising game, I must say.


Diagram 5

Haruyama: But what if when White attaches at 1, Black immediately makes the fencing-in move of 2? How would that be? It seems that this has often been played in actual games.

Cho: Play continues with Black 4 and White 5, and White has had to submit to forcing moves, I must say. Black hanes over White’s stone with 6, and the sequence proceeds through White 17 and Black 18.

Editor: In regards to that, what is the meaning of it all?


Diagram 6

Kobayashi: In short, after this if Black incurs the invasion of White 1, it will not be easy to deal with. After Black 2, should Black make the capping move of 4, White makes shape with 5, comfortably ending up living.


Diagram 7

Haruyama: On the other hand, if White plays elsewhere, pressing with Black 1 and 3 is severe. If White plays at 4, Black pushes in t 5 and cuts at 7. With the sequence through Black 11, the entire left side would seem to become Black’s territory.

Cho: The shapes on the board were a little different, but before this I had the moves in Diagram 5 played against me and I had an awful time dealing with it. The way I played after that was terrible, but…


Diagram 8

Kobayashi: However, when White plays at 1, Black can attach at 2 and extend at 4, no?

Haruyama: White makes the forcing move at 7, then goes back to play at 9.

Cho: White’s set-up is not impressive, I must say.

Haruyama: That does not seem to be true.

Kobayashi: White is left with the invasion at A, and if Black cuts at B, White can tenaciously draw back at C.


Diagram 9

Cho: If White goes for the low move at 1, Black could play 2 and 4, but then White has the move at 5. This is distressful for Black. Instead of 2, should Black play at A? In that case, Diagram 8 is superior for White in terms of theory.


Diagram 10

Haruyama: After the moves played in the Source Figure, what if White invades at 1 here?

Kobayashi: Black attaches at 2, then Black makes the moves through 8 and it is no big deal.

Cho: Well then, Black is decisively better off.

Haruyama: How could Black ever have lost this game?

Cho: Was the play in the Source Figure unavoidable? Black was playing in good form.

Haruyama: Uh huh. Just like School Principal Sensei. (Laughs) Let’s go on a little farther. Where was the game lost? I want to find that out.


Source Figure 2 (Black 1 was move 87 in the game)

Editor: Going through all the moves would take up too much time, so we will just jump ahead to Source Figure 2. Black 1 in the figure was Black 87 in the game. Play then continued through White 4.

Cho: The overall outlook in the game is good for White, isn’t it?

Kobayashi: But there still remain weaknesses that have to be compensated for, I must say.

Haruyama: No matter what else, the jump of Black 1 seems to have been questionable.

Kobayashi: When confronted with the peep of White 2, one wants to counterattack with Black 3, and then White defends at 4.

Cho: Even without playing the move of Black 1, Black could have dropped in with a move at A. But Otake didn’t seem to want to rush it.

Haruyama: I think that Otake san wanted to make the single forcing move first, that was what was in his mind.

Kobayashi: Up to that point Black had played extremely thick and strong moves, and that probably put White out of whack.


Haruyama Isamu 7 dan


Diagram 11

Haruyama: Therefore, it would have been best for Black to hane out with 1 and steadily keep attacking. If White answers at 2, Black 3 takes White eyes. A move around Black 5 keeps up the attack.

Editor: Can’t White cut at A?

Kobayashi: Black has a forcing move at B, you know. If Black ends up cutting at C, it would be fine.

Editor: I see. That kind of ploy was there? But couldn’t White just run away?

Haruyama: If White ends up running away, the game would end. Everything else aside, White is in a considerably dangerous situation. If Black can mount an attack, that would give a winning advantage, wouldn’t it?


Diagram 12

Kobayashi: If Black 1, can White dodge with 2?

Haruyama: Black has the diagonal attachment of 3. (It goes without saying that Black has the forcing move at A.) Should White reply at 4. Black makes the forcing move at 5, then attacks around the point of 7.

Kobayashi: This is also terrible, you know. Depending on the course of the play in the game, Black could perhaps tenaciously block at B.

Haruyama: Otake san took too much time building up his strength, I guess. Really, that’s the kind of feeling that I get.

Cho: Because of Black 1 in Source Figure 2, Black incurred the blow of White 2. When White defended at 4, this seems to have become a difficult and painful one for Black.

Editor: One could say that Black lost all enjoyment, no, lost the goal of the game, you know.


Source Figure 3

Editor: Already the game is out of Black’s control in the figure, you know.

Cho: This despite the fact that Black played more solidly than steel, you know.

Haruyama: He got fooled in the center and wilted, I guess.

Editor: In the midst of the play, White connected at the point of the marked stone. Would Kobayashi 7 dan be so kind as to explain the reason for that move?


Diagram 13

Kobayashi: Descending with Black 1 is a forcing move against the corner. If White defends at 2, Black jumps in at 3, and with the sequence through Black 9, a ko is produced.


Diagram 14

Kobayashi: If Black 1 is met by the technique [suji] of White 2, Black pushes in a 3 and fills White’s liberty at 5. White cannot push against Black’s stones from either side, so the stones are dead.

Cho: As expected, you’re really fast. You’re a great master of life and death problems, you know.

Kobayashi: No, I’m not that good, I must say.

Haruyama: Is that the last word on that? (Laughs)


Diagram 15

Kobayashi: In response to Black 1, defending on the other side with White 2 lets Black set up a ko with 3 and 5. This is a flower-viewing ko for Black [meaning that playing the ko is as pleasant as watching flowers bloom: Black risks little and can profit greatly]. White must play strongly because a question of life and death is involved.

Editor: Can an attack on White on the left side really not be carried out to the conclusion?


Diagram 16

Haruyama: If Black is going to attack, the only move to play is extending with Black 1. When White connects with 2, taking White’s eyes with the move at Black 3 is essential. Then, incurring the block of White 4 is tantamount to having the attack taken away from Black. Taking White’s eyes away with Black 5 and 7 is met by the diagonal move of White 8. Getting cut at the point of 9 would give White eyes, so Black has to connect there. However, then White throws in at 10, and it is a direct ko. White has many moves at places like A, connected to the position, so Black cannot win the ko.

Editor: I see. In that case, what was the cause of the defeat in this game?

Haruyama: Trying too hard to win, you know. It would have been best for Black to attack forcefully in Source Figure 2. Not carrying through with that was the cause of the loss.

Kobayashi: Black incurred a tremendous loss in the center, you know. As might be expected, since a complete win was scored, too tight play was the reason.

Cho: Otake Sensei must be very bothered by losing like this, you know.


Cho Chikun 6 dan

Editor: In the course of this game, there were many interesting moves played. A variety of opinions were expressed, and it is a shame that we were unable to investigate the reason for the defeat thoroughly.

Those who wish to comment on the opinions expressed here may send their thoughts to info@GoWizardry.com. The most interesting responses will be addressed in future postings.

Robert J. Terry

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