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Secrets of Professional Reading Revealed

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By Kudo Norio 8 dan

From Kido March 1972

Positions I Agonized Over in this Game

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Game Progress Figure 1 (1-44)

Those interested in replaying the game move by move can click here to do so.

Through White 44, this was a masterful display of moving around the board by Fujisawa Shuko, the former Meijin, and incurring this play across the board, I have the following to say:

This game [played December 27, 1971] is from the 11th Annual Meijin League. During this sequence, instead of jumping with Black 37, the move defensively as Black 38 is usual. However, under the current conditions, since Black’s several stones starting with 5 are weak, immediately attacking White’s three stones including 6 is impossible.

I spent a lot of time, close to an hour, considering Black 41. Putting all else aside, I used this move to stabilize my group. However, White jumps out to 42, then jumps out ahead at 44, finally bringing about a board position where the outlook is unclear.

Considering this later, the exchange of Black 43 for White 44 is questionable. The result is that White is driven into Black’s territorial framework [neutralizing it], and to that extent it will be hard for Black to recover, making for an agonizing situation.

Board Position Diagram

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Black to Play

In the present position, practically all of the big points have been taken. In regards to Black’s fighting opportunities, whether good or bad, there is nothing else but the upper right area. In that case, if we enumerate the possible points to be considered, they are as follows:

1: The diagonal move of Black A gives White leeway to play at B, so it is a terribly slack move.

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Diagram 1

2: If Black attaches at 1, momentum leads to the sequence from White 2 through Black 5 for a swap. Here, too, White is left with something like the move at D to neutralize Black’s territory here, making this dissatisfying.

3: The checking extension of Black B allows White to get settled with A, so it is also no good.

4: In the local area, the most severe move is Black C, striking at the corner, but at this point that makes the exchange of Black’s marked stone for White’s marked stone particularly regrettable…

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Diagram 2

Pressing close with Black 1 makes White 2 the only move. When Black pushes up at 3, should White extend at 5, Black 4, or else Black A deprives White of a base. This would be too good for Black, so White will make the diagonal move at 4, and Black blocks at 5. At that point, when White plays at 6 to completely ensure life, Black attacks with the capping move of 7, and with this order of moves, the thickness built with the moves through Black 5 works effectively. However, the White marked stone in the Board Position Diagram is an impediment to Black’s blueprint.

This is the reason that striking at the corner with Black 1 was not appealing to me, but regardless of that, if White neglects to reinforce with 6…

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Diagram 3

…the diagonal move of Black 1 followed by the hane of Black 3 is a good order of moves. Should White block at 4, Black exchanges 5 for White 6, and then makes the placement of Black 7. Then, White A, Black B produces ko.

Fully explaining Black 3…

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Diagram 4

When Black hanes at 1, backing down with White 2, and when Black extends at 3, ignoring that to make two eyes with White 4 ensure that one way or another White has managed to live unconditionally. However, Black is left with the move at A to capture two White stones. That defends the cutting point at B. In the end, this may be said to be outside of consideration.

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Diagram 5

Instead of the diagonal move of White A, the way of playing with the knight’s move of White 1 is possible as well, but this incurs the block of Black 2, too, so that a considerable amount of tormenting cannot be avoided.

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Diagram 6

When Black hanes at 1, there is nothing that White can do but to play the move-in-a-row of 2. Once the shape is fixed with the sequence from Black’s extending at 3 through the block of White 6, the attachment of Black 7 is played at the vital point of the formation. Rushing to play Black 7 and 9, is met by White’s turning at 8 and connecting with the hane of White 10. For Black 7…

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Diagram 7

…concealing that aim, the hane of Black 1 initiates a good order of moves. Should White block at 2, the attachment of Black 3 kills White unconditionally.

Consequently, rather than White 2, there is no alternative but to make life with White 3. However, without a White stone at the point of 2, pressing at Black A becomes a forcing move that makes the center thick and strong.

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Diagram 8 White plays 3 elsewhere

Other than this, jumping with White 1 to make life is another feasible move, but afterwards Black can make the forcing moves of 4 and 6, and is not dissatisfied.

The above lines [suji] of reading show that in the local context Black 1 in Diagram 2 is the strongest candidate, but dissatisfaction from a whole board perspective requires alteration of the policy. Here I thought for a long time again.

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Game Progress Figure 2 (1-14)

At that point I made the violent attachment of Black 1, choosing a policy of territorial acquisition instead of outward influence. For the hane of White 2…

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Diagram 9

…the hane of White 1 here is handled well by Black drawing back at 2. When White descends at 3, Black cuts at 4, and can be satisfied that White has to live in gote with 5.

In answer to the diagonal attachment of Black 3, momentum leads White to play the atari of 4. Besides White 4, connecting underneath to the corner with White 5 will save the group, but having to make life with the sequence Black A, White 6, Black 4 and White B is painful for White.

Therefore, the swap starting with White 6 is unavoidable, but getting caught up in the tempo of play with the descending move of Black 7 is reckless. Instead of this move…

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Diagram 10

…Black should hane with 1 to fill a liberty of White’s three stones. If White slides at 2 in the same way as in the figure, Black extends out at 3 and blocks at Black 5. With the implication of playing atari at A, this would be a forcing move made in sente, which would be a big difference compared to the figure. So when Black hanes at 1, rather than replying by sliding at White 2, it would be best to dodge out with White B.

Except, the attachment of White 10 is an overplay by Fujisawa 9 dan. After the sequence of Black 11 through White 14, I thought that I had recovered for the most part, but…

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Game Progress Figure 3 (1-64)

Instead of venturing forth with Black 1…

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Diagram 11

…playing the neutralizing moves of Black 1 and 3 here would make for a game that could still be fought out.

122 moves. White wins by resignation.

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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