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Ōhira’s First Title Defense, Part III

From Kidō, March 1967

Kidō Magazine Special Game Selections

Classic Kidō Games, Part III

Games 2 & 3 from the 14th Annual Nihon Ki-in Championship

Game 3

Ōhira’s First Title Defense

14th Annual Nihon Ki-in Championship

White: Ōhira Shuzō 9 dan

Black: Rin Kaihō, Meijin

Black gives a 4 1/2 point komi

Analysis by Rin Kaihō, Meijin


A jubilant Ōhira sits at the board with Rin Kaihō, chatting with the official observers and scorekeepers. He barely hung on to with this match.

Figure 1


Figure 1 (1-17)

In the olden days, Black 7 used to be played in the fuseki as the one space corner enclosure at “a,” but when the game progresses as it does with the sequence up to White 14, Black’s having a stone at 7 is superior to “a.” In other words, there is now nothing to fear from White “b.” During classical times, the theory was that with Black 7 played low, incurring the fencing-in move of White “c” was a disagreeable situation. However, contemporary go welcomes the opportunity to push at “d” so as to make territory. This territorial emphasis is a special feature of go today.

In response to the outside attachment of White 16…


Diagram 1

…Black 1 through 11 in Diagram 1 is the usual treatment of the position. After White takes control of Black’s stone with 12, Black invades the upper side with 13. Laying waste to White’s territory there is also a feasible fuseki here.

Black 17, a counter-attachment at the 3-3 point, is absolutely conditional upon…


Diagram 2

…the ladder following Black 14 in Diagram 2 being favorable. This is just common sense.

Figure 2


Figure 2 (18-50) White 28: throw-in above 19

For Black 19…


Diagram 3

…should Black draw back with 1 in Diagram 3, it would incur White’s thick and strong connection of 2. Consequently, Black 19 through White 28 has been established as jōseki, whereupon the extension of Black 29 cannot be omitted. If this is neglected…


Diagram 4

…pressing in with White 1 in Diagram 4 is severe, since Black has to play atari at A in order to make eye shape. Exchanging that for White’s capture at B is no good.

The tight, one space jump with White 30 is a good developing move that gives White a thick and strong stance on the left side. One feels that somehow it has become a wide open game. If White jumps sideways at “a,” leaving everything else aside, Black will at once invade directly at “b,” destroying the territory on the left side. That was my intention, and should White make the checking extension in the lower right on the point to the right of 31, that would have also been a good point, but likewise the invasion of Black “b” was the place to play. With these considerations in mind, it appears that Black 17 in the previous figure was probably questionable.

With 34, White this time makes the sideways one space jump, and this is a conception characteristic of Ōhira 9 dan.


Diagram 5

The two space extension of White 1 in Diagram 5 is usual, upon which Black would view the upper side as being an unpromising place to make a pincer in light of the disposition of the upper left corner. Therefore, as might be expected Black would defend the corner with 2 and 4.

The one space jump of Black 35 is a move that is not usually played, but speaking of how it is adopted just in this local context, having White respond by making good shape with a move at “c” would be a comparative loss for Black, but with the two space extension of Black 29 in place in this game, White’s response at “c” would not be good. It is for that reason that Black played 35.


Diagram 6

If Black conforms to the conventional shape with the fencing-in move of 1 in Diagram 6, White would press repeatedly to take sente, then turn to make the extension of 8. Playing Black 9 at 13 would be met by White’s sliding to 14, but regardless of that, the block of Black 13 would have no great value due to the relationship with the position in the upper left.

Black 37 was played as a one space pincer because I thought too much about it. Here, common sense dictates that Black make the pincer at 38, with the idea of afterward making a peep at 44 for shape. There was nothing to prevent that from being played. Actually, instead of the move of Black 41…


Diagram 7

…I had intended to cut with Black 1 in Diagram 7. Should this meet with the resistance of White 2 and 4, it would unexpectedly not go well, so I played with more circumspection. For Black 43, I did not like the idea of pushing on the third line again, so I slid low like this, but this seems like a little bit of a failure.

Figure 3


Figure 3 (51-70)

Black moves out into the center slowly and carefully with 51. Although Black has in general occupied the four corners, White is thick and strong in the center, so it is an unpleasant game for Black.

After White makes the forcing move with 54 and 56…


Diagram 8

…White can aim at turning the corner into a Carpenter’s Square shape as in Diagram 8. (In regards to this, as long as Black has moved out into the center, this is not so worrisome. [If Black is confined to the corner, the Carpenter’s Square shape turns into kō.]) Besides this, there is one other thing.


Diagram 9

In this position, White can also play the pincer attachment technique of 1 in Diagram 9. Since White’s inserting a stone at A is a forcing move, Black cannot block White from connecting underneath to the group on the upper side. White keeps both of these options in mind.

Following White 58 and Black 59, I wondered whether White would next butt against Black’s stone with a move at “a,” but coming on with the play in the center of White 60 was quintessentially an Ōhira style move. Black 61 was played to deal with the center, but to a certain extent also aimed at an invasion of the left side, so this is the kind of guess that one is inclined to go with.

The jumping attachment of White 62 may be interpreted as motivated by a desire to gain impetus for playing in the center, since White is in a quandary as to how to handle that situation. Momentum leads to the swap in the figure, but I was a bit thankful for how this turned out. What would have happened if White used the move of 66 to simply slice through the knight’s move at 68 as in…


Diagram 10

I thought that White’s connecting underneath with 7 here was more profitable than the result in the figure, but perhaps it was disagreeable to White to have Black use the move of 2 to draw back at 6. However, in that case it would be good for White to connect at 2.

[Game Record]

To be continued next week.

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