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China’s Hope Challenges Sakata 10 Dan, Part II

From Kidō, October 1973

◊ China’s Hope Challenges Sakata 10 Dan

Classic Kidō Games, Part IV

Young Lion Champion Huang Just Falls Short


This 1st Japan Go China Delegation was a great success, with fans flocking to public lectures using large demonstration boards to analyze the games. In Beijing and Chenzhou an average of 1,000 fans attended, while in Shanghai there were 3,000. The top photograph of the lecture hall in Beijing was taken by the Yomiuri staff, and the one below has a caption that states, “At the 27 Hall in Chenzhou. Ogawa Tomoko 2 dan (on the right) is accompanied by young Chinese women. The young lady on the far left resembles Kitani Reiko 6 dan.”


Game Up to this Point (1-60)

Figure 4: The Left Side is Big


Figure 4 (61-85)

Putting aside the move of Black 61, for Black 63 there is another point that is essential to play. That is…


Diagram 5

Playing at Black 1 in Diagram 5 defends the cutting point at A.

Once the defensive move of Black 1 is in place, Black can look forward to blocking at B, a move that has associations with both the corner and the marked Black stone.

When White cuts at 64, one expects that it is difficult and painful for Black.

The sequence from the atari of Black 65 to the attachment of 69 is natural, but by taking control of the Black stone with 68, White gets a thick and strong position, while the additional profit in the form of capturing Black’s two stones in the lower left corner remains.

However, caught up in the tempo of play, White 72 and 74 are a bit of an overplay.

White has no play to counter the diagonal move of Black 75, so the center comes completely under Black’s domination. That shocked me a little.

The fact that White 72 and 74 are heavy moves becomes obvious when Black later cuts at 85.

Of course, since Black is allowed to play at 75, White is given the opportunity to turn to the attachment of 78, capturing Black’s two stones in the lower left corner with the moves through White 84. This makes the left side big for White. With this in mind, Black could also consider using 75 to rescue these two stones.

As already mentioned, Black 85 is a sharp move. I was in a bit of a quandary as to how to respond.

Figure 5: Surrounding Territory is the Game


Figure 5 (86-107)

White 86 develops the right side, but speaking frankly, it was not clear to me how to deal with Black’s cutting stone.

It is popularly said, “When one does not know what to do, play elsewhere [tenuki],” but it may be thought that this is a situation where the words fit the truth.

The moves from the attachment of Black 87 to White 94 are standard in this situation, but after extending at Black 95, putting weight on the value of the center with Black 97 is questionable.

This is a loss in exchange for White 98, and at the same time, once the stone of White 98 is in place, the conditions under which to consolidate the lower side become difficult for Black.

Instead of Black 97, perhaps Black “a” would have been customary.

Having that played would have made neutralizing the lower side difficult, so that White could not be complacent about the game.

Anyway, since White has a big left side territory in this game, unless Black skillfully consolidates the lower side in the same way, catching up will be impossible.

When Black initiates the attack starting with 99, playing White 100 and the following moves to survive make for a pitiful sight for a professional go player. However, since White has profited elsewhere, this cannot be helped.

Black plays 107 to surround territory on a large scale, but this can be characterized as a “do-or-die move.” In other words…


Diagram 6

Playing something like Black 1 in Diagram 6 brings about White 2 through 6, whereupon the White group cannot be captured.

Nevertheless, surrounding the territory in a smaller way would not be sufficient. It would be enough for White whittle down the territory with endgame moves from the left.

Figure 6: Living Easily is Decisive


Figure 6 (108-130)

Having Black play one more move and then invading was my plan, but it seems that it turned out that way because of Black’s poor play.

The attachment of White 8 is played in order to gain a foothold from which to operate.

In regards to Black’s extending at 9…


Diagram 7

Black 2 and 4 in Diagram 7 would be an example of the worst play.

When White plays at 5, should Black capture with 6 and 8, White puts in the cut at 9, then the moves through White 17 turn the tables, ending with Black’s three stones being captured.


Diagram 8

Playing Black 1 in Diagram 8 and going back to connect at 3 was possible.

It is not clear whether White should play at 4 or extend at A, but in this case Black could still look forward to attacking White. However, it cannot be said that the prospects are bright for Black.

It may be thought that extending at Black 9 is unavoidable, but playing this way means that it is already too late to capture White’s stones.

White probes Black’s response with 10. At this point, it is natural that playing in such a way with Black 11 as to allow White to connect underneath would be no good, but White then plays 12 and settles the shape with the hane of 14 and connection of 16. Through 20, White lives easily.

Once White lives here, there is no way for Black to fight on.

The placement of Black 21 shows sharp technique [suji]. Displaying such power in a local situation means that a player is very strong.

Since White is assured of an eye for the group in the center, this group in the corner will not die. Therefore, Black’s tesuji is played too late. Black has no choice but to resign, and when White made life with 30, Black gave up.

On the lower side, after this…


Diagram 9

Black could make the attachment of 1 in Diagram 9, but White defends with 2 and 4. Should Black continue with 5, White 6 is a forcing move that has to be answered, so White lives with 8.

Champion Huang had also read this out, and did not play it out.

In this game, I took 35 minutes on the clock, while Champion Huang used 2 hours and 45 minutes. The number of moves played was comparatively small and the end came quickly, but overall, Chinese players are very tenacious and quite often use all of their time on the clock in their games. These matches were looked upon as rare opportunities, and they were determined to make the most of them. That may be considered to be a manifestation of their fervor.

Their playing strength is great and their reading sure and steady. However, there is a dark aspect to their conception of the game. At least, that is my impression.

In this game as well, I think that tendency appeared, but what does the reader think?

130 moves. White wins by resignation.

[Game Record]

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