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Rin Kaihō’s Solid Play as Black

From Kidō, March 1975

Kidō Magazine Special Game Selections

Classic Kidō Games, Part IV

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

Game 4

Rin Kaihō’s Solid Play as Black

30th Annual Honinbō League

White: Takagawa Shūkaku 9 dan

Black: Rin Kaihō 9 dan

Black gives a 5 1/2 point komi

Analysis by Ishida Yoshio, Meijin Honinbō

Figure 1: Black Starts Off in Good Form


Figure 1 (1-32)

After being honored with the Shiju Hōshō [Purple Ribbon Medal] Award, Takagawa, Honorary Honinbō took one step in his comeback bid to enter the Honinbō league.

For Rin 9 dan as well, this was an important game to start off and to predict his fortunes in the tournament. One feels a visible sign in the dash to Black 5 for the Chinese style opening.

In response to the Chinese style opening, White plays on the point next to the star point, and as far as I know, this is an unusual ploy. The ordinary idea is to play one point less far, as White “a” beneath the star point.

In order to punish (?) the advanced placement of White 6, Black attacked the corner instantly with 7, a strategy that is shrewd and appropriate in this board position. The sequence of moves from the diagonal attachment of White 8 through the corner enclosure of Black 13 is an unbranched path, but…

1) One feels that it is painful to make an exchange that induces Black to opportunistically make a corner enclosure with 13.

2) It may be said that White’s two space extension approaches the strong one point corner enclosure as to come under its pressure, meaning that due to this relationship, not too strong measures can be taken against Black’s three stones with 7 and the rest.

Because of these observations, one wants to criticize the original positioning of White 6.

White 14 is a big point, no objection about that.

Consequently, explaining the fuseki plans up to here from Takagawa’s standpoint, “On the lower side the shape is in general played out with the moves through Black 13, and so the strategy is to take sente and head to the big point of White 14.”

After attacking the corner with Black 15, Black makes the extension to 17, upon which White instantly invades at 18, a natural thing to do in order to avoid Diagram 1. For White 18…


Diagram 1

…it cannot be said that the fuseki with White first attacking the corner with 1 is not possible, but after White 5 if Black makes the diagonal move at 6, this move by itself solidifies the territory on the left side, while having the severe aim of making use of Black 6 to invade at Black A.

The attachment of Black 19 and then the sequence through the butt against White’s stone with Black 25, is first of all, an unavoidable response. In exchange for having the territory gouged out, Black makes thick and strong outward influence, and within this sequence Black extends out powerfully with 23. Even though White defends with 24, this shape is not completely stable. Playing directly…


Diagram 2

…Black can continue with 1 through 5 (with the idea of pushing at Black A), then the cut of Black 7 is possible.

Defending against this aim…


Diagram 3

…enclosing the area with White 1 makes the shape complete, but Black develops with 2 and there is the worry that White would thereby fall behind over the board.

White 26 and the following moves shift the fighting to the right side, but as might be expected Black 31 is a sharp move, and exchanging it for White 32 gives Black a good feeling of playing an effective forcing move.

Figure 2: A “Strong Move in These Special Circumstances” Gives Black the Lead


Figure 2 (33-52)

Entering the 3-3 point with Black 33 takes advantage of an ideal chance now. It may be said that descending with White 34 is played with natural momentum. (Refer to Diagram A below.)

The knight’s move of Black 35 is promising under these circumstances, and may be thought to probably give White the most distress.

In cases where White descends at 34, for Black 35…


Diagram 4

…the peep of Black 1 is the ordinary method, and the sequence through White’s grasp of the stone with 10 is one example of a variation. However, with this result White is also stabilized, and that leaves White with no cause for dissatisfaction.

Instead of White 36…


Diagram 5

…something like the diagonal move of White 1 is slack under these circumstances since White 1 offers no hope for advancing forward, while Black 2 completely usurps the profit and this style leaves White the same as being naked.

In general, the diagonal attachment of White 36 is the strongest answer to Black’s knight’s move of 35. (Refer to Diagrams B & C below.) However, Black relies on the thickness above to draw back to 37, and plays Black 39 to take away White’s foundation. Adopting this attitude, this severe method makes it difficult for White to deal with the situation with sabaki. For White 42…


Diagram 6

…the diagonal move of White 1 would be a commonsense answer, and then attaching with White 3 and extending with 5, aiming to cut at A would be a mild way to go, but incurring the connection of Black B would leave White without an advantageous line to play.

The attachment of White 42 challenges Black to fight with violent fighting spirit, and moving out with the natural diagonal move of Black 43 immediately sets off a sudden fighting pattern. Black puts up the strongest resistance with the attachment of 47 and the solid connection of Black 49 with the judgment that the fencing-in move of Black 51 is playable.

The diagonal move of White 52may be said to represent a longed for attack to gain compensation for the sacrifice of White 42 and 44, but…

Related Jōseki Classroom


Diagram A

In response to Black’s invasion of the 3-3 point, blocking with White 1 is a way of playing that lets Black hane at 2, losing an attack against Black on the lower side. Along with that, the strength of Black’s two marked stones above means that there is no hope for an attack on the left side. Due to these two points, under these circumstances there is nothing in particular to give White encouragement. This is for the reference of beginners.


Diagram B

In circumstances where White has the extension of the marked stone in place (this is most often the case), in response to White 4 and 6, it is standard for Black to engineer an escape with 7 and 9. Since Black cannot play 7 at A, it is desirable to focus sufficiently on the difference between this variation and the sequence played in the game. Furthermore, for Black 5…


Diagram C

…it would be painful to play Black 1 and 3.

Figure 3: Rin 9 Dan Survives Exquisitely


Figure 3 (53-101)

Aiming at the cut at the point of 56, Black jumps to 53, then after waiting for White 54, attaching at Black 55 is a good tesuji for survival, and the connection of White 56 cannot be omitted. Instead of the move connecting at White 56…


Diagram 7

…should White attack with 1 and 3, Black cuts at 2, and after 4 and 6, White cannot connect.

Backtracking, instead of the diagonal move of White 52 in the previous figure…


Diagram 8

…fencing in with the knight’s move of White 1 is another attacking technique [suji] that is often used, but Black attaches with 2, then plays the crude sequence with 4 through 10, leaving White in a quandary for a move in this shape. Should White connect at A, Black turns at B, and White has no chance to win the race to capture.

Starting with the sacrifice moves of White 58 and 60, the fencing-in move of White 68, relying on the atari of White 80, is played from a kind of momentum, but with the move order of the attachment of Black 69, then Black 71 and 73, cutting points are inserted into White’s outward influence, so a attack cannot be pursued successfully after all.

Beginning with the fencing-in move of White 86, through White 92 outward influence is a side benefit of the attack, but Black cautiously plays 93, so that even if White attacks with “a,” after Black “b,” White “c” and Black “d,” it does not go well. After Black 95, White must also feel uneasy about Black moving out at “e.”

The invasion of White 94 and the sequence through White 100 is White’s last aim. For White 100…


Diagram 9

…should White live with 1 and the following moves, the outlook in the game would not be cause for satisfaction.

Figure 4: The Finishing Blow


Figure 4 (102—159)

In response to the attachment of White 4, Black does not answer at “a,” but jumps to 5, a calm and collected reply typical of Rin 9 dan. If White saves the lower side with a move at 35, Black can hane over White’s stone with “a” and has sufficient resources to fight. At the same time, should White connect on the right side, the extra profit by taking the lower side with Black 35 comes into the calculation.

White hanes over Black’s stone with 6, then cuts with 8, which may be seen as a strategy to make the center thick and strong. For White 6…


Diagram 10

…if White plays by cutting at 1, playing simply and easily by extending with Black 2 is good, and even though White expands the right side with 3 and 5, the atari of Black 4 looks towards drawing out with a move at A, so White cannot expect to surround territory in the center.

The hane of White 12 also defends against Black “b,” a reinforcement that cannot be neglected.


Diagram 11

If White greedily play something like 1, it incurs Black 2, threatening Black A as well as the aim of Black B, White C and Black D, which is painful for White.

Black 13 is designed to prevent White’s invasion at the 3-3 point of White 26, and as might be expected, Takagawa 9 dan is hogtied. Wrapping things up in sente with Black 15 and the following moves, is also the ultimate in agony for White.

White 24 may be understood as White’s last do-or-die move in the face of a losing position on the board, but Black answers in a simple and easy way with 25 through 33, then turns to play the diagonal move of Black 35, making the win obvious. In this game one can see the cautious Rin 9 dan’s firm and steady style coming through.

159 moves. Black wins by resignation.

[Game Record]

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