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I Think This Way

From Kidō, March 1967

I Think This Way


High dan players’ techniques that surpass amateurs’ common sense! What strategy is hidden there?

By Fujisawa Shūkō 9 dan

A Ploy in the Fuseki (Figure 1)

Figure 1

Figure 1 (1-25)

Honinbo League (Black) Yamabe Toshirō (White) Fujisawa Shūkō

The way of playing with White 2 on the 3-3 point and then 4 occupying the 3-4 point in this direction is something that during one period Sakata Honinbō regularly used, and I have also tried it out in any number of games myself.

Black 7 naturally could also have been played as the Avalanche Jōseki on the point below 5 because the set-up on the right side would make it powerful.

Black 11, leaving the left side as it is in order to make a corner enclosure was Black’s ploy.

This move is usually played as…

Diagram 1

Diagram 1

…the extension of Black 1 in Diagram 1. Then, it goes without saying that White attacks the corner with 2, followed by the standard sequence through Black 7 which can be predicted.

Since there is a stone on the 3-3 point in the upper left, one might argue that Black is not inclined to make the extension of Black 1 in Diagram 1, but I do not think that go is restricted in such a way as to say that the shape envisioned in Diagram 1 would be unsatisfactory for Black. In relation to the upper left corner, the stone on the 3-3 point occupies a perfect point, but Black’s shape on the right side is also ideal. Of course, this is no more than one example.

At the very least, when I was able to make the checking extension against Black’s stones with White 12, I was not dissatisfied at all.

Black 13 is the kind of way to play in this position.

Diagram 2

Diagram 2

White 16 is usually played as a knight’s move, but when I considered the shape in Diagram 2, it occurred to me that it was better to play 16 as the jump in the figure.

For White 3 in Diagram 2, the knight’s move at “a” might be played, but since it incurs Black’s building up the upper side with 3, it is slack. However, another reason to reject the variation in this diagram is that as shown in the figure, I thought it better to play on the upper side with 16.

Black 17 has rich implications of speedy development in the first class Yamabe 9 dan style.

The strategy is to repeatedly play first on the right side, intending to freely deal with the left side by way of sabaki, but in this case how will that turn out?

I thought that White 18 was the only move here.

In general, attacking the two Black groups above and below makes the game difficult.

Diagram 3

Diagram 3

I think that playing the knight’s move of Black 1 in Diagram 3 as a forcing move and then developing at 3 was a superior way of playing.

I expected this variation.

It is difficult for Black to find a place to play 19.

Diagram 4

Diagram 4

For this move, the hane of Black 1 in Diagram 4 leads to the sequence through White 6, but as might be expected the White stone played as 12 in the figure turns out to played at a good place [because it acts here as a ladder breaker].

This is no good for Black.

Black 21 was unexpected.

I think that this is clearly a bad move.

Diagram 5

Diagram 5

In this position, Black should simply make the diagonal move in Diagram 5.

Later on, the attachment of “a” remains to deal with the situation by way of sabaki, so there would be a great difference in Black’s freedom of action.

Figure 2: Overlooking a Good Move

Figure 2

Figure 2 (26-29)

For White 26, I really had no idea what the most severe way to play was, so I just chose the thick and strong way of playing with 26.

Diagram 6

Diagram 6

However, using this move to play White 1 in Diagram 6 would have been powerful.

Sometime later Kajiwara 9 dan pointed this move out to me, but while I was playing this game I was completely unaware of it.

Black 2 and 4 manage to move out into the center, but White goes back to play 7, and this is a good move that gives Black’s shape a shortage of liberties. If now Black plays at “a,” White naturally answers at “b.”

Diagram 7

Diagram 7

One’s eye also gravitates to the point between White’s stones, but playing Black 2 in Diagram 7 leads to the brute force sequence through 11 fixing the shape. It does not seem like Black’s group below will survive.

Diagram 8

Diagram 8

Therefore, the standard response would be to block with Black 1 in Diagram 8, working out a way to make life. Then, extending to White 2 in order to make shape is superior to the figure and a big difference.

Diagram 9

Diagram 9

White 1 in Diagram 9 leaves Black with the moves of Black “a, White “b” and Black “c” for Black to aim at, so it is a mistaken line of play [suji].

Figure 3: Planning to Force, But Instead Being Forced

Figure 3

Figure 3 (30-73)

Black 29 and the following is about what to expect in this position, but Black 33 cannot be omitted, so White takes control of the center with 34, and as shown by the course of play figure, White comes cascading into Black’s territorial framework on the right side. When that happened, I thought that the game was promising for White.

In other words, Black’s ploys in the opening (Black 11 and 17 in Figure 1) had not been successful, I thought.

Black 47 next aims at pushing through and cutting with 53 and the rest. That was a natural plan to decide the game.

Without thinking deeply, I played White 48 as a single forcing move, but…

Diagram 10

Diagram 10

…immediately playing White 1 in Diagram 10 would have been severe. When Black replies at 2, White extends at 3, and Black is in a quandary as to how to respond.

Connecting with White 50 means that White has been forced. Considering it later…

Diagram 11

Diagram 11

…it appears that the attachment in response of White 1 in Diagram 11 was powerful. After Black connects at 2, White plays 3 and 5, and by cutting here White’s shape is thick and strong.

Diagram 12

Diagram 12

The pincer attachment of Black 2 in Diagram 12 leads to the hane of White 7, which is a move that give White a good feeling.

Next, extending in at “a” is sente, and that is a point that is not only profitable territorially, but also paralyzes Black in terms of eye shape.

At this point in the game, I was playing quickly and not reading deeply.

White 52 threatens Black’s group in the center, while at the same time indirectly being a preparation in response to Black’s pushing through and cutting with 53 and the rest.

Black 53 and the following may be thought of as an inevitable course of play that fixes the shape here.

Figure 4: Lacking Prudence

Figure 4

Figure 4 (74-120)

Starting with the attachment of 74, White makes life in the upper left corner in sente, and I read out that after cutting with White 84, both sides would make life.

Black 93 defends against incurring White’s making a diagonal attachment at the same point.

On White’s part, having Black defend at “a” would mean that White would end in gote [after preventing Black from cutting below “a”], so there was no reason to first fix the shape with a move at 93.

Black 103 is a natural move as a preparation against White’s thickness in the center, but I thought that with this move Black would peep at 107. After White connects, Black plays at 103, and making more eye shape like this would have been superior to the figure.

Diagram 13

Diagram 13

Consequently, I worked out that in answer to the peep of Black 1 in Diagram 13, I would defend with the move-in-a-row of White 2. The sequence through White 10 would be standard and this is what I foresaw, but comparing the merits and shortcomings of this result to the figure is difficult.

Black 115, putting the shape in order here, cannot be omitted.

Planting a base with White 118 is a good place to play, and although the game is difficult, I did not think that White was badly off.

In response to Black 119, I resisted with White 120 and the following, taking into consideration the condition of the thickness in the center and the weakness of Black’s stones on the right side, but…

Diagram 14

Diagram 14

…it would be usual for White to play 1 and the following in Diagram 14 to settle the group here.

The sequence after that is an unavoidable order of moves, and when Black plays 14, White takes the big point at 15.

With this, the game would be close, but the board position has many features that are promising for White.

I judged intuitively that the fighting with White 120 and the rest was manageable somehow, but I should have taken a step back and played in a calm and collected way.

Figure 5: White’s Overplays and the Last Chance

Figure 5

Figure 5 (121-163) Black 63 at the marked stone

For White 22, one’s first impression is…

Diagram 15

Diagram 15

…to start the kō fight with White 1 and the rest in Diagram 15.

For kō threats, there are quite a few that would be effective against Black’s large group extending from the left side into the center. So White should have put that plan into action.

White 22 and 24 are clearly overplays.

Instead of Black 29, at this point Black should first make the preparatory move at 37. That would be exchanged for White’s sliding at 38, and then Black would play 29 and the following.

Therefore, instead of White 36…

Diagram 16

Diagram 16

…this was White’s chance to play the attachment of White 1 in Diagram 16. After making the forcing moves that end with Black 4, White plays 5 and then the counterattack of Black 6 is the only move. However, White cuts at 9 to create a race to capture which White wins.

As for White’s six isolated stones, since the cut at “a” remains, the stones will not be captured.

Diagram 17

Diagram 17

When White plays 7 in Diagram 17, should Black play 8, a swap with White 9 and the rest is predictable. When White cuts at 17, Black 18 cannot be omitted, so White takes hold of Black’s stone with 19. White’s corner is big, so this division is playable for White.

Regardless of that, it is strange that both sides missed the vital point of 37.

Once Black makes the preparatory move of 37, it does not seem that there is any way that things will go well for White.

[Game Record]

163 moves. Black wins by resignation.

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