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Kobayashi 6 Dan, Full of Fighting Spirit, Part I

From Kidō, July 1974

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Classic Kidō Games, Part I

Young Sharp Players, Five Opponent Elimination Tournament

Kobayashi 6 Dan, Full of Fighting Spirit


White: Tsuchida Masamitsu 7 dan

Black: Kobayashi Kōichi 6 dan

Black gives a 5½ point komi. Two hour time limit for both players.

Analysis by Yamabe Toshirō 9 dan

Notes by the observer, Itō Keiichi

Figure 1: Tsuchida the Viper


Figure 1 (1-14)

Tsuchida Masamitsu 7 dan was born on August 1, 1944 in Gifu Prefecture. He is a student of the Kitani School. At one time, he suffered from health issues and returned to his home town in order to recover, but recently he has gotten completely better, saying that “Sake is delicious.” It seems that when he lived in Tōkyō, “I played often with Kō chan.”

My memory is vague, but there was a go club in Nagoya that was very popular and Takemiya 7 dan and Tsuchida 7 dan played a public lightning go game. At that time, in a pamphlet Takemiya was described as “large bath towel” [a large scale style of play, like wrapping up a huge amount of territory in a big towel] and Tsuchida as a viper. I can understand the “large bath towel” remarks, but I did not understand the one about the viper. Asking the player himself, “The meaning is that there is poison and if chewed, in the end it will be fatal. I didn’t like the comment a bit. I myself think that I play an elegant style of game.” The author of the NHK drama, “The Thief of the Country,” Saitō Dōsan, is from the same home town, so there is that connection in being called viper. [Presumably a character in that drama also had that nickname.]

After playing in opposite 3-4 points with Black 1 and 3, playing at 9 was Kobayashi’s ploy.

Yamabe: “Attacking the corner with White 10 cannot be called bad, but…


Diagram 1

…Playing the big point of White 1 in Diagram 1 would be another ploy.

Kobayashi: “In that case, I suppose the feeling is to make the corner enclosure of Black 2.”

The Focal Points of Figure 2

The fuseki with 11 and 13 does not insist on making corner enclosures.

Attacking the two corners with White 10 and 14 lets Black’s marked stone work effectively on the left and right.

The knight’s move of White 12 makes the proper shape on the lower side.

For White 14, the unorthodox attack on the corner at “g” is also possible.

Figure 2: A Specialized Game


Figure 2 (10-21)

Black played 11 and 13 on the left side. It may be considered a very fast-paced fuseki. Previously, players hurried to make corner enclosures, but recently there has not been that much insistence on the corners. The fuseki with the Black marked stone or a play at “a” is being seen more often. Perhaps this is also due to the fuseki. [In those days, the 5½ point komi was considered so large that Black had to play more aggressively in order to compensate for it.] As Yamabe 9 dan pointed out, due to that consideration, one strategy would be for White to use the move at 10 to make the vague extension to “b.” That is because by encouraging the attacks on the corners with White 10 and 14, the marked Black stone works effectively in keeping with Kobayashi’s fuseki strategy.

The knight’s move of White 12 is played to keep the motion of Black’s two stones on the right in check from afar. If played as the one space jump of White “c,” Black “d,” White “e” and Black “f” would be disagreeable.


Diagram 2

Kobayashi: “For Black 13, I wonder if it was better to go with 1 and 3 in Diagram 2 immediately.”

Yamabe 9 dan said that was greedy. “No good, I tell you, that,” he dismissed it out of hand. 13 is sufficient.

Exchanging White 14 for Black 15 works effectively, and if not played in lieu of an extension to around the point to the right of “a,” the corner enclosure of Black 14 becomes precisely the central vital point of the extension of the marked Black stone.

Yamabe: “For White 14, the unorthodox attack on the corner at ‘g’ is also possible. That is because of the specialized fuseki on the upper side.

After the game, rather than playing White 16 through 20 right away, it was investigated how it would be to just play White “h.” However, the conclusion was that Black “i,” White “j” and what would follow would be difficult.

[Game Record]

To be continued next week.

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