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Move Order in the Endgame

How to Read Japanese Go Analysis

From Kidō, January 1985


This time the reader is challenged to work through an entire page of Japanese go analysis. This may seem to be a daunting task, but the Japanese is fairly straightforward and deals with simple subject matter. So it probably is not as difficult as one might fear. As always, the notes will explain in detail both the vocabulary and grammar, so that one can get a good grasp of the subject even without having studied Japanese previously. First, the vocabulary on the page above is given, then the rōmaji reading of the text, then grammatical notes, and finally the translation.


ヨセ Yose Endgame
手順 Tejun Move order
Kuro Black
黒番 Kuroban Black to Play
結果 Kekka Result
考えて Kangaete Thinking
アゲハマ Agehama Captured stones
Shiro White
Ko Piece, i.e. counter for single items, here, stones
正解図 Seikaizu Correct solution diagram
Ichi One
Ni Two
Moku Point
争う Arasou To fight [over]
微細な Bisai na Close [game]
局面 Kyokumen Board position
正確 Seikaku Precise
ホウリ込み Hōri-komi Throw-in
Toku Profit
手筋 Tesuji Skillful finesse
カラクリ Karakuri Device, i.e., maneuver or contrivance
単に Tan ni Simply
アテる Ateru Atari, i.e., as verb, to play atari
比べて Kurabete Comparing
オサえた Osaeta Blocked
手入れ Te-ire Adding a move
余儀なく Yogi naku Unavoidable
以下 Ika Following
ツギ Tsugi Connection
Ji Territory
勝ち Kachi Win
参考図 Sankō-zu Reference diagram
上辺 Jōhen Upper side
Katachi Shape
オキ Oki Placement
最強 Saikyō Strongest
抵抗 Teikō Resistance
ツグ Tsugu To connect
大ヨセ Ōyose Large endgame move [stage of game]
丸暗記 Maru-anki Rote memorization


Yose no Tejun

Dō Yosemasu ka?

Kuroban Kekka mo kangaete kudasai.

(Agehama Shiro 2 ko Kuro 2 ko)


Ichi moku ni moku wo arasou bisai na kyokumen desu kara, seikaku ni yosenebanarimasen.

Kuro ichi no hōri-komi ga ichi mkoku toku suru tesuji desu. Sono karakuri wa tan ni kuro san kara ateru yose ni kurabete, kuro go to osaeta toki ni shiro roku no te-ire wo yoginaku saseru tokoro ni arimasu.

Ika kuro nana no tsugi made, kuro ji yonjū-ni moku, shiro ji yonjū-ichi moku, kuro no ichi moku kachi ni narimasu.


Jōhen no katachi wa, kuro ichi kara no oki kara dekita katachi deshita. Shiro ni ika ga saikyō no teikō desu ga, tan ni kuro go to osaeru yose ni kurabete ni moku toku desu.

Seikai-zu (Kuro ichi moku kachi)

•Ōyose wo Maru-anki Shiyō•


The page here uses katakana in many places. Katakana is generally used in Japanese texts to indicate that a word is either technical or is an imported word from a foreign language. It is also used in specialized situations and for emphasis. The endgame in go is a technical matter (since the average Japanese who does not play go would be unfamiliar with the terms used), so words like “yose” (“endgame”) are rendered in katakana. Note also that some of these technical words are rendered in katana as both nouns and verbs. For instance, “yose” is the noun form, and “yoseru” is the verb form, “to make an endgame play.” In the text here there is the compound verb, “yosenebanarimasen.” This is actually an abbreviation of a longer verb! That is, is formally should be, “yosenakereba narimasen.” Anyway, the informal verb form is widely used, and here the word means, “must play the endgame [this way].” “Tsugi” (“connection”) is another example. This is the noun form, with “tsugu” (“to connect”) is the verb form. Finally, on this page one will find the word “Hōri-komi.” The first half of the word is in katana, followed by a kanji and then the hiragana ending! Somehow in Japanese it all makes sense.

Notice also that the heading for the first paragraph ends in “ka” followed by a question mark. “Ka” is essentially a verbal question mark, but the “?” is added anyway. It makes no sense but editors are loathe to leave the heading without punctuation at the end.

One other thing: At the end of the text there is a short phrase that says, “White 8 in the Correct Solution diagram White marked stone connection” This is meaningless. There is no explanation for it. It is a mistake by the editors of Kidō.


Move Order in the Endgame

How Should the Endgame be Played [Here]?

Black to Play Please also think about the result [i.e., which side wins by how many points].

(Captured stones: White 2 stones, Black 2 stones)

Correct Solution Diagram

This board position is a close one, with the fighting conducted over 1 or 2 points, so one must play the endgame precisely.

The throw-in of Black 1 is a tesuji for making 1 point of profit. Compared to the endgame play with the simple atari of Black 3, that ploy means that when Black blocks at 5, adding the move of White 6 is made to be unavoidable.

Following that, up to the connection of Black 7, Black’s territory is 42 points, White’s territory is 41 points, giving Black a 1 point win.

Reference Diagram

The shape on the upper side was produced starting with the placement of Black 1. White 2 and the following offers the greatest resistance, but compared to the simple block of Black 5, this endgame sequence is 2 points more profitable.

Correct Solution Diagram (Black wins by 1 point)

[Above diagram: White 4 connects (1)]

•Let’s Memorize [Standard] Large Endgame Moves•

<16 Points>

<11 Points>

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