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Shūkō 9 Dan’s Beautiful Creation

From Kidō, February 1975

Kidō Magazine Special Game Selections

Classic Kidō Games, Part III

Games from the 30th Annual Honinbō League and 13th 10 Dan Tournament

Game 3

Shūkō 9 Dan’s Beautiful Creation

13th Annual 10 Dan Tournament

White: Fujisawa Shūkō 9 dan

Black: Takagi Shōichi 7 dan

Black gives a 5 1/2 point komi

Analysis by Ishida Yoshio, Meijin Honinbō

Figure 1: A Pattern of Sudden Fighting


Figure 1 (1-45)

Here is a semi-final game from the 10 Dan Tournament. Fujisawa 9 dan was matched with Takagi 7 dan, who has been playing in good form recently. In this game, Takagi 7 dan displayed extraordinary fighting spirit that did not give an inch, while Shūkō Sensei has undergone a renaissance, playing with crystal clear brilliance of his supreme art which has not been seen in his game (?) for some time. “Even for me, I played with great fighting spirit, you know,” he proudly proclaimed. There was nothing the slightest bit strange in speaking about this game, which was thrilling in its turbulent fighting, and will undoubtedly be pleasing to the reader.

Up to White 16, a big point occupied to counter Black’s territorial framework on the right side, there is nothing in particular to comment on. However, with that Black territorial framework as the backdrop, Black invades at 17, quickly sparking a sudden fighting pattern in this game. For Black 17…


Diagram 1

…Black should attack the corner in the usual way at A in Diagram 1, or else expand the right side with Black 1, then the policy with White 2 and Black 3 would be a comparatively mild progression of moves. But more so than that, it was desirable for Black to initiate a challenge with 17 in order to make the best use of the influence on the right side according to Takagi 7 dan. It may be expected that his perception of the fuseki was transmitted to his opponent, Shūkō 9 dan.

The diagonal move of White 18 is an essential point in terms of influence. The sequence from the jumping attachment of Black 19 through White’s extending at 26 was an unavoidable flow of moves, then attacking the corner with Black 27, successfully stopping White’s progress cold on the left side, but in exchange for that, White makes thickness through 32 that neutralizes Black’s territorial framework on the right side from afar.

A lull in the action in the lower left corner for the moment comes about with White 28 and 30, the “three crows formation.” [White 28, 2 and 30 make up the three crows formation. Interestingly, the term in Japanese is “samba-garasu,” which is also the term used for a group of three go players, such as Ishida Yoshio, Katō Masao and Takemiya Masaki, who were known around the time of this game as the “three crows of the Kitani dōjō.] However, with Black’s strong influence on the board, the invasion of Black “a” is a time bomb ticking that makes White feel uneasy.

Following Black 33, should White descend at “b” it would naturally settle the matter completely, but doing so would cause White to fall behind overall on the board, so White played the attachment of 34, a common method to neutralize the territory here. For Black 35…


Diagram 2

…should Black block on the outside with 1 in Diagram 2, White makes the forcing moves on the outside with 2 through 6, dealing with the situation with sabaki shape more effectively than as in the figure. For the pressing move of Black 39…


Diagram 3

…pushing through with Black 1 in Diagram 3 is the usual model, but Black 39 in the figure puts the emphasis on the relationship with the position to the left.

Black 45 is a painstaking attachment made out of consciousness of the large territorial framework on the right side, and becomes the source of a great melee. However…


Diagram 4

…consciousness of the left side would induce Black to play something like 1 and 3 in Diagram 4 (or Black 3 as Black A, White B and Black C) to surround territory, but that would provoke White D, or else E, so that aims in the lower left corner would be lost, and it may be surmised that this was disagreeable.

Figure 2: The Aim Held from Before


Figure 2 (46-57) White 52 connects

Blacking with White 46 is natural fighting spirit. The crosscut of Black 47 and then the atari of Black 49 are a standard forcing move method, but in regards to the White capture of 50…


Diagram 5

…the connection of White 1 in Diagram 5 would let Black solidify the left side with 2 and 4, which would be no good.

Takagi 7 dan naturally expected the capture of White 50 as well, and after making the forcing move of the atari of Black 51, envisioned the attachment of Black “a” as a strategy to build outward influence. However, rather than doing that, the invasion of Black 53 was an aim held from before, so instead of making territory on the left side, it is clear that Black’s intention was set on this invasion.

The descending move of White 54 is natural, but the aim of Black 57 at the “2-1 point” was a tenacious technique [suji].


Diagram 6

Even if White tries to capture with 1 in Diagram 6, Black makes the forcing move of 2, then manages to just barely live with eyes with Black 4.


Diagram 7

Should White take the vital point of the eye shape with 1 in Diagram 7, it incurs the hane of Black 2 and connection of 4, and the situation would be out of White’s control. For that reason, it appeared that even for a great player like Shūkō 9 dan, it would be difficult to come up with a move. However…

Figure 3: An Exquisite Attachment


Figure 3 (58-77)

At this kind of point, the attachment of White 58 was played nonchalantly as if it was merely part of the line [suji] that was previously read out, but it was an exquisite tesuji, and thereby brilliantly escaped from a critical difficulty.


Diagram 8

The toughest resistance would be put up with Black extending at 1 in Diagram 8, but White descends at 2, forcing Black to make life with 3, and then White can pull back at 4 and relax. Furthermore, even if Black turns at 5, White drops down to 6, a technique [suji] that is effective in both directions. Should Black make life with 7, White leisurely gets back alive with 8. Rather than live with Black 7…


Diagram 9

…if Black stubbornly plays 1 in Diagram 9, the attachment of White 2 metes out severe punishment.

Next, in regards to the block of Black 59…


Diagram 10

…what if Black blocks on this side with 1 in Diagram 10? The fact is that White plays the crosscut of 2, inviting Black 3, whereupon White could connect at 5 without problems, but the move order with the forcing move of White 4 and hane of White 6 is not bad.

With the block of Black 59 and the atari of 65, Black abandoned the attempt to capture in the lower left corner, but even if Black tenaciously played 65 at “a,” White would draw back in sente with White 65, then make the forcing move of White “b,” and the shape of the group would not be a dead one.

The neutralizing move of White 68 included the move of striking through the knight’s move at “c,” and was perfect timing. White 70 is also a big fencing-in move, but the attachment of Black 77 again brought about a great ruckus.

Figure 4: A Fight Where Not an Inch is Given


Figure 4 (78-100)

The hane of White 78 is natural. Should White hane from below at 83, it would incur the two-step hane of Black “a,” which would not be promising for White.

Black 79 and 81 are a practical sacrifice stone technique [suji], but White counterattacks with 82, refusing to give an inch. For White 82…


Diagram 11

…giving way with White 1 in Diagram 11 would incur the forcing move of the atari of Black 2, and then Black would build outward influence with 4 to initiate a plan of focusing on White’s marked stone on a large scale. Even professionals other than Fujisawa 9 dan would find this out of their lexicons.

Furthermore, following Black 4, should White cut at A, Black would naturally answer at B.

Even if Black uses 89 to pursue White with 97, it would let White get a comfortable position with 99, and just leave White with the move at “b” to capture Black’s stones.

Momentum propelled Black to play 89 and the following moves, what may be considered an unavoidable stiffening of attitude, but when Black lived with 93, suddenly White attached with 94, a fine tesuji characteristic of Fujisawa 9 dan.


Diagram 12

If Black clings to the marked stone in Diagram 12 and draws back at 1, the stylish move of White 2 shines brightly.

For that reason, Black made the pincer attachment of 95, but White 96 strengthened the center, demonstrating beyond doubt the effectiveness of the tesuji. Then in answer to Black’s press at 97, the hane of White 98 was surely part of the line [suji] of reading that went into the attachment of White 94.

Black 99 and White 100 cut to bring about a race to capture.

Figure 5: A Brilliant Style of Winning


Figure 5 (101-146)

As for the hane of Black 1, once matters have come to this point, there is nothing else to do.


Diagram 13 Black 11 connects

If descending with Black 1 in Diagram 13 worked, there would be nothing better, but using the move order of the hane of White 2, then returning to connect at White 4, means that if Black fills a liberty with 5, White plays 6 and the moves through 18 to create a situation of rapidly disappearing liberties for Black. Instead of Black 5…


Diagram 14

…should Black get some breathing space with 1 in Diagram 14, White blocks with 2 and then hanes at 4. Unfortunately for Black (Black A is met by White B), the Black stones have too few liberties.

The fencing-in move of Black 17 and the placement of Black 19 are a desperate attacking line [suji], but after incurring the hane of White 20, Black cannot prevent the fate of having liberties rapidly disappear.

Black 29 is an unavoidable cut, but White 30 captures four stones, so that the deliberately played move of Black 19 ends up turning into a meaningless move. Furthermore, should White use the hane of 20 to…


Diagram 15

…cut at White 1 in Diagram 15, it should be noted that Black 2 and the following moves set up a kō, but the attack and defense of the left side makes this out of the question. Regardless, this game may be considered a masterpiece by Shūkō 9 dan.

146 moves. White wins by resignation.

[Game Record]

A new game presented here next week.

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