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49th Annual Honinbo League, Game 22


The Chichibu Night Festival (秩父夜祭, Chichibu Yomatsuri) is the festival of Chichibu Shrine in Chichibu, just 90 minutes from central Tokyo. It is held every year on December 2 and 3, with the main action taking place on December 3. The Chichibu Night Festival is considered one of Japan’s top three festivals to feature floats, the others being Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and the Takayama Matsuri. Its floats are ornately decorated with lanterns, tapestries and gilded wood carvings and are accompanied by drum and flute music.

The festival’s other attraction is its fireworks display, which lasts almost two and a half hours and gives you the rare opportunity to enjoy Japanese fireworks during winter. Additionally, the streets are lined with stands selling festival foods and amazake (sweet rice wine) to combat the cold December night. The main events of the Chichibu Festival take place on December 3. In the afternoon and early evening, the six floats are displayed in their respective neighborhoods and at Chichibu Shrine, before they are being pulled through the streets of Chichibu towards the city hall from around 19:00.


49th Annual Honinbo League, Game 22

White: Takemiya Masaki 9 dan

Black: Kataoka Satoshi 9 dan

Played on Feb. 10, 1994 at the Nihon Kiin.

195 moves. Black wins by resignation.

Commentary by Kataoka Satoshi 9 dan in KIDO, June 1994.

Those interested in viewing the original article in Japanese can click here to do so.


Figure 1

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

This was a great, rough and tumble tussle, and at this stage in the game it is not clear whether black’s stones in the center will live or die. Black 147 is a bad move. Black 1 in diagram 1 must be played.


Diagram 1

Black has good chances to make life for the group by playing at 1 & 3. Because the exchange of black 1 for white 2 was not made in the game, white had a chance to cut at "a" here. If white had cut there, the game would have been over.

Consequently, white 148 is also a bad move. Black 151 is still another bad move. Extending at black "a" would have saved the group. And finally, white 152 is the final bad move in the sequence. That makes four bad moves in a row. Fatally bad moves. The only thing that can be said is that Takemiya was very unlucky, and Kataoka was very lucky himself. Here white had to play at 1 in diagram 2.


Diagram 2

If white had cut at 1, the game is won. By playing precisely, the sequence that follows black 4 gives white a narrow victory in the race to capture [semeai]. I won the Honinbo League with a 6-1 score, and to do so it is often necessary to gain some lucky wins like this.

195 moves. Black wins by resignation.

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