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1972 Pro Best Ten Final, Game 2

How to Read Japanese Go Analysis

From the Kidō Yearbook, April 1973

Here is the ultimate challenge in reading Japanese go analysis: a page from the 1973 Kido Go Yearbook (棋道1973囲碁年鑑). (The second page is given here, the first page last month.)


imageBelow that, one sees the characters: 4月臨時増刊号(Shigatsu Rinji Zōkan-Gō = April Special [literally “Temporary”] Publication Issue) and on the right side of the line:日本棋院発行 (Nihon Ki-in Hakkō = Nihon Ki-in Publication). For GoWizardry, instead of the usual format this time the material is broken down piece by piece, with notes given right next to the original Japanese. Therefore, although this is complex work, it is not beyond anybody’s comprehension.

The game here is from the Pro Best Ten tournament: プロ十傑戦決勝五番勝負 (Puro Jūkessen Kesshō Goban Shōbu) (= Pro Best Ten Final, Best of Five [i.e., three wins needed for victory]) 第2局 Dai 2 Kyoku (= Game 2)

Black (先番 = Senban): Honinbō (本因坊) Ishida Shūhō (石田秀芳) Note: Shūhō was the honorary name Ishida assumed when he won the Honinbō title.

Win by resignation (中押勝 = Chūoshi-kachi) 9 dan (= 九段 = kudan) Iwata Tatsuaki (岩田達明)

Note: Instead of indicating that Iwata played White, the only notation is that he won the game by resignation. However, Chūoshi-kachi (中押勝) literally means “While Pushing, Wins,” that is, while still playing, the opponent gave up. Had the result been the reverse, with Black winning by resignation, those characters, 中押勝, would have been displayed over the 先番 above Ishida’s name.


imageHere is the first paragraph. It starts with: [第2譜] (= Dai Ni Fu = Figure 2)

白2まで(Shiro 2 made = up to White 2) ともかく(= tomokaku = anyway) 右方(= uhō = right direction) の (= no = possessive particle) 白の (= shiro no = white’s) 一団 (= ichidan = one group) は(= wa = topic particle) つながった。(= tsunagatta = connected.) Note thatつながった(tsunagatta) is the past tense of the verb つながる (tsunagaru = to connect). とはいえ(= to wa ie = even in saying) 白は(= shiro wa = as for white) ダメを(= dame wo = upon empty points) だけ (= dake = only) で (= de = copula infinitive = is and) 左方 (= sahō = left direction) の (= no = possessive particle) 一団は(= ichidan wa = as for the group) 依然 (izen = as before) 不安で (= fuan de = is uneasy and) 白の(= shiro no = white’s) 苦戦 (= kusen = painful fight) に変わりはない。(ni kawari wa nai = there is no change.) ところが(= Tokoro ga = However,) 黒3 が(= kuro san ga = Black 3 is; note that “ga” is the subject particle and really does not mean “is”) 大変な (= taihen na = a terrible; note that “na” is necessary as a modifier) 打ち過ぎ(= uchi-sugi = overplay). この一手 (= kono itte = This one move) によって(= ni yotte = due to) 攻守は(= kōshu wa = as for the attack and defense) 主客転倒する (= shukaku tentō = host/guest reversal, i.e., turn the tables) のだから(= no dakara = therefore; note that “no” indicates that “this is the situation” ) 恐ろしい。(= osoroshii = frightening.)

So the translation is: One way or another, White managed to connect to the group on the right. All the same, White just connected on empty points, and the group to the left was unsettled as before, so there was no change in regards to White’s difficult fight. However, Black 3 is a terrible overplay, and with this one move the tables were turned, which is frightening.

Ishida Honinbō on the left below is all smiles after winning a game in the 9th Annual Pro Best Ten Title Match against Iwata Tatsuaki 9 dan.


imageThe second paragraph:黒3は(= Kuro san wa = As for Black 3) 53の断点(= gojū-san no danten = cutting point at 53) を狙ったもの (= wo neratta mono = aimed at; note that “mono” means “thing” usually, but sometimes, as here, means “typically”) だが(= da ga = is but) これで (= kore de = with this) は (= wa = topic particle = as for) 黒6と(= kuro roku to = with Black 6) 手厚く (= te-atsuku = thickly, i.e., in a strong way) 備えて (= sonaete = prepare [things]) おくべき (= oku beki = better to set, i.e., put [something in a certain way] should [be done]) だった。(= datta = was.) それなら (= sore nara = If that, i.e., “such being the case”) 白の(= shiro no = White’s) 苦戦は続くはずだった。(= kusen wa tsuzuku hazu data. = difficult fight continuing expected.) その一瞬の虚をついた (= Sono isshun no uro wo tsuita = That momentary hole penetrated; note that虚is an offbeat kanji, that is, it is not standard and is hard to read; that is one of the pleasures that Kidō provided: it used literary language that stretched one’s skills; 虚is similar to 嘘 = uso, or “lie,” and since that is a kanji that everyone knows, one can understand that the meaning here is something like an “undependable point”) 白4が (= 白4 ga = White 4 is; note that “ga” is the subject particle and does not really mean “is,” here it just identifies “White 4” as the subject) 捨て身の(= sute-mi no = sacrifice) 勝負手(= shōbu-te = win-or-lose move, “do-or-die move”) これに対して(= kore ni taishite = opposing this) 黒5と (kuro go to = with Black 5) オサえた (= osaeta = blocked; note that the “osa” part is in katakana; that is because the word “osaeru,” or “to block” is a technical go term) のが (= no ga = thing is; note that “no” is the equivalent of “mono,” or “thing” and “ga” is the subject particle) 敗着 (= haichaku = losing move; note that this is another go term that one will not find in ordinary dictionaries) になった。(= ni natta = became, i.e. ended as). 白6の(= Shiro roku no = White 6’s; note that until the rest of the sentence is read, exact what “belongs to White 6” is unknown) 切断から(= setsudan kara = following the cut) 8とピンとついでは(= hachi to pin to tsuide wa = connecting precisely with 8; note that “pin” is written in katana in order to emphasize it, although “pinto” written completely in katakana means “in focus,” a technical photographic term) 完全に(= kanzen ni = perfectly) 攻守所を(= kōshu-sho wo = attack and defense place as the object) 変えた。(= kaeta = changed.) 黒5では (= Kuro go de wa = For Black 5) まだしも(= mada shimo = even still, i.e., even now) 8に出ていれば (= hachi ni dete ireba = if pushing through at 8) むずかしく (= muzukashiku = difficult and; note that the “ku” ending here is equivalent to the “kute” ending, i.e., some state exists, and…) どうなるか分からなかった。 (= dō naru ka wakaranakatta = no way of knowing how it becomes, i.e., how it would turn out.) 中央を(= Chūō wo = The center as the object) 切断されて (= setsudan sarette = is cut and) 黒は(= kuro wa = as for Black) 上下とも (= jō ge tomo = both above and below) いっぺんに (= ippen ni = in general, i.e., across the board) 薄くなった。(= usuku natta. = became thin. Note: the word “usui” basically means “thin,” but in go this generally also means weak. I always translate this as “thin and weak” because many players do not automatically associate thinness with weakness.)

Translation: With Black 3, the cutting point at 53 was aimed at, but with this Black should have thickly and strongly reinforced the position with Black 6. In that case, it would be expected that White’s difficult fight would continue. At that instant White struck at the opening and used the sacrifice of 4 as a do-or-die move. In response to this, Black blocked at 5, which became the losing move. After cutting with White 6, White connected solidly at 8, completely reversing the tables in regards to attack and defense. Had Black nevertheless used 5 to push through at 8, the game would have still been difficult and there is no way of knowing how it would turn out. By getting cut in the center, Black became thin and weak overall both above and below.

imageThe third paragraph: 黒9以下 (= Kuro kyū ika = Black 9 and the following) 19まで は(= as for until 19) 上方の黒の(= jōhō no kuro no = Black above’s, i.e., the “something” which is not known as the object until the complete sentence is read of Black’s in the area above) 薄味(= usu-mi = thinness; this is the “something” just referred to; “usu-mi” itself is a go term not normally used in standard Japanese) に備えたものだが(= is done as something to offer protection, but) 白も(= shiro mo = White also) 固める(= katameru = fortify)ことになり(= koto ni naru = becomes; note that “koto” is a “thing that cannot be seen,” i.e., here “the fortify thing becomes,” or fortification is done) つらい。(= tsurai = painful.) 先手をとった白は(= Sente wo totta shiro wa = For White, who has taken sente) 20以下 (= nijū ika = 20 and the following) 下辺の (= the lower side’s) 黒を攻めながら(= kuro wo seme-nagara = while attacking Black) 地を盛り上げ(= ji wo mori-age = compile territory) 自然に (= shizen ni = naturally) 53の断点の(= gojū-san no danten no = the cutting point of 53’s) 嫌味なども(= iya-mi nado mo = such things as the unpleasantness also; note that “nado” is a vague word that means “such things as”) 解消してしまった。 (= kaishō shite shimatta. = ended up eliminating; note that “shite shimatta” usually means “does and it ends like that” with a negative inference.) 更に(= Sara ni = Furthermore,) 一転して (= Itten shite = a change, i.e., things turn in another direction) 黒の薄味を(= kuro no usu-mi wo = Black’s thinness as the object) つきながら(= tsuki-nagara = while striking at) 白26、32と (= shiro nijū-roku, sanjū-ni to (with White 26 and 32) 中央の白も(= chūō no shiro mo = White in the cente as well) 先手で治まった。(= sente de osamatta. = settled in sente.)

Translation: Black 9 through 19 were measures to cover Black’s thinness in the area above, but White also became fortified, which was painful. Taking sente, White played 20 and the following moves to attack Black on the lower side while making territory. Such a thing as the unpleasantness of the cutting point of 53 also ended up naturally being eliminated. A further development was that White used 26 and 32 to attack Black’s thinness in order to get settled in sente.

imageThe fourth paragraph: 黒35の備えに (= Kuro sanjū-go no sonae ni = In response to Black’s defensive measure of 35,) 白36と (= with White 36) 大きなコスミ(= a big diagonal move) に回り(= ni mawari = turning to) 白の (= shiro no = White’s) 優勢が(= yūsei ga = superiority is) はっきりした。(= hakkiri shita = clear [was].) そして (= soshite = Then,) 白40と(= shiro yonjū to = with White 40) 最大の (= saidai no = biggest)ヨセを (= yose wo = endgame as object) 打つことになり(= utsu koto ni nari = playing becomes) 白の (= shiro no = White’s) 勝利は (= shōri wa) 不動となった。 (= fudō ni natta. = became unmovable.)

Translation: When Black defended with 35, White turned to play the big diagonal move of 36, securing a clearly winning advantage. And then, by playing the biggest endgame move of White 40, the win was immoveable for White.


imageThe fifth paragraph: 黒53のキリは(= Kuro no kiri wa = As for the cut of Black 53,) 最後の (= saidai no = biggest) 抵抗だが(= teikō da ga = is resistance but,) しょせん (= shosen = after all) うまくいかない。 (= umaku ikanai. = does not go well.) 白60と(= Shiro rokujū to = With White 60) 備えて(= sonaete = as a preparatory measure) 万全の (= banzen no = complete) 構え。(= kamae. = build up.) これで (= Kore de = With this,) お互いに(= otagai ni = for both [sides]) 悪い碁を (= warui go wo = bad game as object, i.e., badly played game) 勝ち (= kachi = win) 一対一になった。(ichi tai ichi ni natta. = one to one [in the match] it became.)

Translation: Cutting with Black 53 offered the greatest resistance, but after all it did not go well. By making the defensive protecting move of White 60, the structure was perfect. With this the score in the match was 1-1.

194 moves, the end. (Hyaku kyūjū-yon te, kan)

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