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Kobayashi 6 Dan, Full of Fighting Spirit, Part III

From Kidō, July 1974

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Classic Kidō Games, Part III

Young Sharp Players, Five Opponent Elimination Tournament

Kobayashi 6 Dan, Full of Fighting Spirit


Here is Kobayashi’s entry in the 1973 Kidō Yearbook. The text reads: Born September 10, 1952. Hokkaidō. Entered the school of Kitani 9 dan. Became professional in 1967. In November of the same year 2 dan, 1968 3 dan, 1969 4 dan, 1970 5 dan, 1972 6 dan. In 1970 advanced to the second round of the 18th Annual Nihon Ki-in Championship. In 1972 won the 4th Shinei Tournament [a lightning go tournament for young players] and 16th Annual High Dan Player Tournament [in the Japanese go world, a player is not considered truly professional until reaching the level of 5 dan, and this tournament was restricted to those players]. Finally, in the Kidō Yearbook addresses for all players were given. The address given here is Kitani’s with the direction to send communications in care of the master.

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

The Focal Points of Figure 5

Black 41 is a severe move. White 42 is also natural.

Black 47 and 51 are two ways to make a hanging connection and are different.

White 52 and 54 are technique [suji] when making life, but in this case they are bad moves.

For 52, the hane of 53 was the only move.

Figure 5: Deep Reading


Figure 5 (41-55) White 46 connects

When White hanes at 42, Black does not have life in the corner. It became a tremendous race to capture. Kobayashi immediately made the throw-in of 43 and then the atari of 45, filling White’s liberties. Then, it may seem that the hanging connection of Black 47 is natural to make shape, but…


Diagram 13

Kobayashi: “47 was no good. The way with 1 in Diagram 13 was best.”

It appears that at first Yamabe 9 dan did not understand what he meant, but as he analyzed, to the extent that he did so he became more impressed with the depth of Kobayashi’s reading. If Black makes the hanging connection on the side of 1, White replies with 2 through 6. Then…


Diagram 14

…Black goes for the race to capture with 1 in Diagram 14. Should White connect at 2, a kō results after 6, and it will be White’s turn to take the kō first. However, Black severely wraps White up in the area. What is more, incurring two consecutive moves by Black would mean that White is completely bad off.

Therefore, for White…


Diagram 15

…When Black plays 1 in Diagram 15, White has no choice but to defend at 2. Then the sequence through 6 produces seki. Black has sente to turn to make the hanging connection of 7, and with this would have sufficient chances in the game. So this was the line [suji] that Kobayashi read out.

Yamabe: “Indeed, that was perfect.”

And yet, he mistakenly played Black 47 on the opposite side. Those who think that both ways are the same are amateurs. How are they different?

The connection of White 52 is a bad move. It looks like it can be called the losing move. For 52…


Diagram 16

…White 11 in Diagram 16, to destroy the Black eye there, was to be played at this juncture.

Kobayashi: “After White 1 and Black 2, White hangs tough with 3 and I was afraid of having to face this.” [The position is kō here.]

In response to White 1…


Diagram 17 Black 10 recaptures

…If Black initiates a race to capture with 2 in Diagram 17, this time White connects at 3 and a kō is not produced; White wins unconditionally.

Yamabe: “If it is unconditional, as one would expect White is well off. Therefore…


Diagram 18

…Black 2 and 4 in Diagram 18 produce kō. Even if Black loses the kō, by playing two moves in a row elsewhere, Black would not be badly off. After White A…


Diagram 19

…Potential problems [aji] remain following Black 1 and 3 in Diagram 19, so it is not clear what will happen in the corner.”

Regardless of that, it was best for White to play the way in Diagram 18.

Figure 6: Black is Decidedly Better


Figure 6 (55-71)

When Black turns to make the hanging connection of 55, it is said that Black has a decided advantage.

In regards to the jumping attachment of White 56, if White is going to play on the right side, it would be reasonable to conclude that “a” would be typical, but it still does not seem if White has any chance to catch up. By attaching at 56, White aimed at the cut of “b.”

Yamabe: “For White 56…


Diagram 20

…The knight’s move of 1 in Diagram 20 would be mild, but young Kobayashi said that he would head for Black 2. Black 2 is an ideal point. If White cuts at 3, Black 4 and 6 are good. Should White play 3 at A, Black peeps at B, and after White C, fences White in with Black D. Well then, White 56 could not be avoided, but Black 57 is severe.”

The attachment of White 58 also has dangerous implications. By butting against Black’s stone with 59, followed by Black 58 and White 62, it would have been easy to make sabaki to deal with the situation. There is leeway for making eyes.

Should White use 60 to press at “c,” Black hanes at “d,” and after White 60, Black extends in with “e,” leaving White completely without eye shape.

With Black 61 and the following, Kobayashi used each step to increase the pressure, not relaxing from the pursuit. Through Black 71, the position naturally becomes thick and strong.

[Game Record]

To be continued next week.

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