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Rin Hoists Kajiwara on the Petard of his Own Strong Attacking Style, Part I

From Kidō, November 1975

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Classic Kidō Game, Part I

Prize Money of 1 Million Yen Offered by Aoyama Go Board Shop

Great Veterans Versus Sharp Up-and-Coming Youngsters, 12 Game Match

Rin Hoists Kajiwara on the Petard of his Own Strong Attacking Style

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Rin Kaihō, 10 Dan on left facing Kajiwara Takeo 9 dan

In the opening the Kajiwara style appears to be set, but Rin 10 Dan maintains his own measured pace with a steady hand. In the middlegame Kajiwara 9 dan’s stones end up on the inside [as opposed to the typical Kajiwara method of getting stones on the outside of positions, i.e., thickness on the outside] and he was therefore unable to display his power.

Game 11

White: Kajiwara Takeo 9 dan

Black: Rin Kaihō, 10 Dan

Analysis by Rin Kaihō, 10 Dan

Reported by Aiba Ikko

Time limit: One hour for each

Black gives a 5 1/2 point komi

Figure 1: A Voluble Seeker of Truth

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Figure 1 (1-11)

According to Kajiwara, for Black’s first move there is no other place to play on the star point, then White answers in the opposite corner and the game begins anew. It seems that if one plays these two moves on points other than the star points, distortion is produced and one is at a disadvantage. Rin, playing Black. Plays on the star point, and putting his theory into practical use, Kajiwara played White 2.

Kajiwara was born in 1923 on Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture. His perception in the local area is unrivalled among his generation, a fact that is widely known, so that when a conclusion is not forthcoming in a study group, someone says, “We have to ask Kajiwara Sensei.” For the past year or two he has been I extremely bad form, but when it comes down to closely examining and judging what best to do in some aspect of the game, his critical comments carry great weight among professional players. His unique expressions, in which he minces no words, are popular with amateurs as well. His motto is to play the go board, so whether his opponent is Rin, as today, or anyone else, does not come into consideration.

For White 8, “a” through “e” might be played in the upper left corner in accordance with the “Kajiwara jōseki” that pushes through Black’s position in that way, but Black 7 itself is a somewhat loose fencing-in move, so White leaves the situation as it is and attacks the lower right corner. Then, after thinking a little, White plays at 10. It seems like it is trying to provoke Black in some way.

Today is Thursday. At the Nihon Ki-in this is the day when 7 dan players and above play their games [in sponsored professional tournaments], so many professionals dropped by to look in at the “Ryūsui [Flowing Water] Room” where this game was played. Rin would glance up, but Kajiwara’s eyes remained fixed on the board.

Figure 2: A Silent Man of Action

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Figure 2 (12-29)

Faced with the wedging-in move of White 12, Rin snapped his fan open and closed loudly. In cases where the ladder is unfavorable, wedging in cannot be played. When that is done in spite of that condition, there is no doubt that there is a suitable counterstrategy to it. With practically no thought, Black plays atari from the outside with 13, disposing with the shapes in the situation regardless of the ladder relationship. This is a careful individual.

Rin was born in 1942 (Shōwa Year 17) in Shanghai, China. He was introduced to Go Seigen 9 dan during a visit to Taiwan and at the age of ten came to Japan. He spent years studying in Kyōto until he reached the rank of 6 dan. He was a supremely calm, deeply centered master of tournament play who was known to seldom speak with a tenacious go style. Perhaps that was a trait fostered by the Kansai [Western Japan] environment of the time. He is 33 years old and Kajiwara is twenty years his elder. At the age of 23 Rin became the youngest Meijin in history, but that is already ten years ago.

Rin: “If Black uses 13 to plays atari from the other side at 14, it turns into a fight revolving around a ladder break in the upper left corner. Since this is what the opponent seems to be inviting, on general principles that is to be avoided.”

Turning to the analysis of the players after the game…

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Diagram 1

…Black 1 and 3 in Diagram 1 are dealt well by the ladder breaker of White 4. The consensus is that it is a difficult question of whether Black should respond at 5 or go for a swap with 6. For White 4, a move at A could also be contemplated but Black would ignore that to go for the swap, and even if White then played the consecutive move at B, Black would end up with a comfortable position. It seems that the way in the figure is straightforward for Black.

Rin: “Black had to play 17 as the atari of 19. I thought that it was all the same, but when White deviated with 18, I was thrown for a loop.”

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Diagram 2

Should Black play the atari of 1 in Diagram 2, capturing with White 2 is the only move. What Rin assumed was that Black 1 here at 3 would still be answered by the usual move of White 2, and then Black could play at 1. That variation was Rin’s assumption. After this, and in another generation, White A and Black B was considered jōseki, but according to Rin White C would be good, would it not? However, Kajiwara asserted that he would have played at 4.

When Black mixed up the move order, Kajiwara sat up straight in his seat. In a formal pose at a slant he shifted close to the board with his glasses slightly sliding down, in a characteristic posture deep in thought. And then, after 11 minutes he abruptly played White 18. Had he right away pressed with White 19, Black would have moved out at “a” and it would have been unreasonable for White. In response to White 18, should Black answer with something like a move at 20 or 23, playing along with Black’s moves, then this time White would have pressed at 19 and incurring this would have made it bad for Black. There was no choice for Black but to push through with 19, so with White making the hane at 20, the shape is lighter than that in Diagram 2.

Rin: “When faced with the hane of White 20, letting White play freely would have been bad form, so Black 21 tries to keep on the pressure. For Black 25…

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Diagram 3 White 4 connects

“…the counter-atari of 1 in Diagram 3 results in a swap, and the moves through White 8 would seem to be a standard division [of profit and influence].”

Kajiwara said that he planned to leave the situation as it was after Black 7 and use White 8 to play first in the upper left corner. And then he aimed to attack the upper right corner with a move at “b” in the figure. At this kind of time, the playing styles of Rin, who views profit as important, and Kajiwara, who favors the “rich direction” [= influence in the center] come to be casually thrown to the winds.

Incurring the block of White 26, Rin sank into deep thought. He snapped his fan opened and closed, protruded his lower lip, uncrossed and re-crossed his legs, sipped tea, and after using 25 minutes put up resistance with Black 27 and 29. These are real game moves typical of Rin. “What a spot I’m in, you know. Tremendous resistance, you know,” he murmured with a smile on his face.

[Game Record]

To be continued next week.

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