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Ōhira’s First Title Defense, Part IV

From Kidō, March 1967

Kidō Magazine Special Game Selections

Classic Kidō Games, Part IV

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


Observers crowd the playing room in the Nihon Ki-in. Ōhira made his reputation as a professional go player by winning multiple Nihon Ki-in Championship titles.


Game Record up to this point (White 28: throw-in at 2)

Figure 4


Figure 4 (71-86)

The pincer attachment of Black 71, capturing White’s single stone, is big. It is an expedient to avoid the techniques for White shown in Diagrams 8 and 9 in Part III. Should White omit playing at 74 and let Black push at the point, White’s group here on the right side would end up without two eyes, so this is a point that must not be missed. This exchange was a profitable forcing sequence for Black.

Fixing the shape from above with Black 75 and 77 was premature. Black should have just made the placement of 79 to see what happens, keeping these moves in reserve.


Diagram 11

If White exchanges 2 for Black 3 in Diagram 11, this time it is possible for Black to invade at 5. It was a mistake in the order of moves in the figure that lost the opportunity to make the most of the available maneuvers here.

For White 80…


Diagram 12

…blocking with White 2 in Diagram 12 would be met by the technique [suji] of the attachment of Black 3, leaving White devastated.

Black would like to use the move of 83 to push through at “a,” but that would let White hane upward at 85, forcing Black to make life in the upper left corner by playing Black “b” in exchange for White “c,” which would be painful.

Playing White 86 as…


Diagram 13

…White 1 in Diagram 13, extending to the right, but Black answers with 6 and 8. Since there is a cutting point at A, White is destroyed.


Diagram 14

White 7 in Diagram 14 is met by Black 8, ripping White to shreds.

Figure 5


Figure 5 (87-100)

By using the move order with the wedging-in move of 87, Black was finally able to connect underneath at 91, but this is hardly admirable.

With the moves of 92 and 94, White attacks Black while at the same time creating conditions where it is possible to make a bit of territory in the upper area.

Black 95 is a move that further reinforces the group here as it aims at an invasion of the lower side at Black “a” and other things.

The diagonal move of White 96 is big. The outlook is for a close game.

The hane over White’s stone of Black 97 is a do-or-die move. Using this move to directly launch an invasion of the lower side with Black “a” would not go as well as one might expect.


Diagram 15

The upshot would be the result in Diagram 15, which would adversely affect Black’s group in the center.

Fighting spirit leads White to cut at 98, but it appears that this move is greatly questionable.


Diagram 16

Pressing on the outside with White 1 in Diagram 16 would be mild, but by discarding a stone through 7 to defend the center, it seems like there would be a close game in prospect. Furthermore, if Black should first cut at 4 instead of playing at 2, White 6, Black 2 and White 5 would capture Black’s stone in a ladder. Black would be allowed to cut at 3 to capture White’s trailing five stones, but discarding them would be fine.

Figure 6


Figure 6 (101-127)

For White 100 in the previous figure various moves might be considered, but it seems that none of them work out very well. For example…


Diagram 17

Had White pressed with 1 and connected with 3 in Diagram 17, it would incur Black’s escaping with the moves through 10, and it does not look as though White has any move to capture the stones. Even if White cuts Black off by playing White A, Black B and White C, Black D, White E and Black F forces White to capture with G, and it is easy to see that Black can then separate White’s surrounding net of stones in the center and annihilate them.

For White 2 in the figure, once again the way by simply connecting at 8 would have left Black with more difficulties, and instead of White 8…


Diagram 18

…discarding six stones as in Diagram 18 would allow White to wrap Black up and squeeze on the outside, and then White could play at A and stake the game on White’s attack on the center. This would seem to have been the best chance.

I think that if Black used the move at 11 to cut at 12, in all likelihood the White position was untenable, but by capturing four White stones with Black 15, the advantage in the game for Black was unshakable.

Engulfing two Black stones with White 22 through 26 was also big, but Black then gets to turn to the long-awaited invasion of 27. Conditions are different from the time of Diagram 15. Since Black’s position in the center is secure, White is faced with a painful and difficult fight.

Figure 7


Figure 7 (128-163)

White makes the diagonal move of 28 to fence Black in, but Black’s marked stone in lying in wait above, so things will not go well for White. But since making a jumping attachment of White 31 would let Black easily connect underneath to the right, a clearly bad result, White hangs tough while understanding that this is unreasonable.

Instead of White 38…


Diagram 19

…even if White cuts with 1 in Diagram 19, the result after Black 6 is a one move loss for White. In the same way, for White 40…


Diagram 20

…if White 1 in Diagram 20, the attachment of Black 6 leads to a kō fight following White 7 and 9, but White does not have enough kō threats to win it, and after Black connects at 10, White A is met by Black B, a crude move but effective enough to capture White’s four stones here.

Black 45 fills White’s liberties without giving an inch. For White 48…


Diagram 21

…cutting with White 1 in Diagram 21 would result in the sequence through Black 6, ending in White’s total destruction.

White 48 puts the shape in order and aims at the cut at 57, but Black 49 saves Black’s positions on the left and right simultaneously. After the exchange for White 50, even if White uses 52 to cut at 57, the diagonal move of Black “a” makes “b” and “c” equivalent options for Black.

Using Black 53 to connect at 55 would allow White to cut at “d” to wrap Black up and squeeze, and if White uses 54 to capture at 55, Black wedges in at 54, destroying White.

Should White play 58 at 60, Black “e,” White “f” and Black “g” make “h” and “I” equivalent options. In the figure, White’s cutting at “e” results in a race to capture that White loses by one move.

[Game Record]

163 moves. Black wins by resignation.

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