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“Small Shadow”

Shinrinjin (Artist)

Cover of Kido, June 1975

I had an unusual experience today. I was paying for a purchase at a store when a song came over the speaker system. I asked the cashier if he knew who the singer was. He listened for a moment, then said that he did not. I told him that the singer was Eric Clapton, one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived. The cashier said that he was not much of a music fan. But to me, that was irrelevant. He was in his mid-twenties and Clapton hit his prime 50 years ago. However, he is truly one of the best musicians ever.

What this shows is the fleeting nature of celebrity. I could have asked the clerk about any number of things that he would not know. For instance, the first election that I ever paid attention to was that of 1960. I remember an ad that made my mother laugh. It was short and to the point: “I Like Ike. I liked Harry, too.” How many young people would have the slightest idea what that means? (Just to explain for those too young, “I Like Ike” was the campaign slogan for Dwight D. Eisenhower, who won the presidency in the 1952 election and took over from Harry S Truman. [Note: S was Truman’s middle name; it was not an abbreviation of anything, so no period point after it. Another piece of trivia no young person would know.] So the ad was an endorsement for Richard M. Nixon, who was running as the incumbent vice president against Senator John F. Kennedy.)

The funny thing is that virtually everywhere you go today the music played in stores is by artists who were active many decades ago. Many of them in the sixties.

Anyway, the point is that I like to translate articles from Kido that feature players who were in their prime long ago. Some have slipped into obscurity, and that strikes me as a shame. That is because I admired their play, and learned a lot from them. In some ways I modeled my play after them.

Rin Kaiho is a case in point. I first learned how to play go when Rin and Ishida Yoshio were rivals for supremacy in the go world. Practically every year they would contest the Honinbo and Meijin titles. Ishida was nicknamed “the Computer” for his exacting calculation at the board, and I respected that. But Rin had raw power that was awesome. The game that follows is exemplary of that. Just look at how easily he defeats one of the strongest young players of the day.

Specially Selected Game

30th Annual Honinbo League

Rin 10 Dan Closes in on the Goal

From Kido, June 1975

White: Ishii Kunio 8 dan

Black: Rin Kaiho, 10 Dan

Played at the Nihon Ki-in [Japanese Go Association], Ichigaya, Tokyo.

Analysis by Ishida Yoshio, Meijin

This was an important game for Rin 10 Dan. Had he lost it, his thoughts of playing for the Honinbo title would have had to be postponed to next year. [Actually, Sakata Eio won the right to play for the title, and lost to Ishida that year. Then Takemiya won the title, followed by Kato, to whom Rin also lost a challenge for the Honinbo title. It was not until a decade later that Rin won the title, from Cho Chikun.] Besides that, his opponent was Ishii Kunio 8 dan, whose sharp strength is powering him to a string of wins. However, as might be expected, Rin displayed the solid and rock steady play that is his hallmark.


Figure 1 An Important Game (1-31)
Those interested in replaying the game move by move can click here to do so.

There is nothing in particular to say about the play from the Chinese Style move of Black 5 through the shoulder hit of Black 9. The suitability of White’s pushing at 10 and sliding to White 12 will be demonstrated in the next figure.

That is to say that instead of the jump of Black 13…


Diagram 1

…If Black blocks at 1, White 2 is an ideal knight’s move. In addition, the typical extension of Black 3 is directed towards the upper left corner, where White has a solid knight’s move corner enclosure, so Black’s play lacks much force.

How about using White 16 to attack the upper right corner? It might be imagined that readers of this magazine would have that question, but…


Diagram 2

…The attack on the corner of White 1 would likely result in the sequence to Black 8, and this clearly disadvantageous for White.


Diagram 3

It would be possible for White to make the attack on the corner on the upper side with 1, but the play through Black 6 would be unavoidable and it is difficult to determine a follow-up line of play for White.

In response to the center-directed play of White 16 and 18…


Diagram 4

…Black could also have put the emphasis on preserving the profit in the lower right with 1, but that would have let White attack the corner with 2.

In the figure, Black occupies the key point in regards to control across the board with 19, then when White plays at 20, Black replies at 21, the idea being to disrupt the flow of White’s moves.

[Note: Beginners should pay particular attention to Black 31. This is such a simple move that strong players often fail to explain how vital it is to play. But Black’s stone makes a solid base on the right side, while White is left floating in the center.]


Figure 2 White Plays Freely Around the Board (32-103)

White 32 reinforces the center, while aiming at an invasion on the upper side. It goes without saying that the checking extension of Black 33 is meant to indirectly deal with this strategy. [Meaning: Black’s move does not directly challenge White 32 in any way.] However, White 32 had another aim, which was put into effect with the attachment of White 34. The problem is that this striking through Black’s knight’s move with White 34 was premature, and at a singles stroke lost White positional control of the game.

The sequence of moves from striking through Black’s knight’s move with White 34 through the capture of Black 47 are unavoidable, but the loss incurred with Black 47 is great. And it is obvious from observing the progress of the game from White 48, the compensation that White obtains from threatening Black is insufficient. [Note: Black lives in accordance to a go proverb that states that, “On the second line, eight stones live and six stones die. Seven stones will live in gote.” That is, the Black stones live with Black 59.]

Instead of White blocking at 42…


Diagram 5

… White’s extending to 1 would rescue two White stones, but extending with White 1 is bad technique, since incurring the sente atari of Black 2 is terrible. [Note: Black lives in sente in the corner, compared to the game, where Black was forced to crawl on the second line.]

In regards to this position, a temporizing move would be for White to play the move at 34 as…


Diagram 6

… White 1, a hanging connection. This probes Black’s intentions [yosu-miru], and as such is a good move. If Black plays atari with 2, White leaves things as they are there, and slices through Black’s knight’s move [tsuke-koshi] with 3. With the moves through White 9, White accomplishes the aim of separating Black’s stones.


Diagram 7

In answer to White 1, should Black defend with 2, White hanes at 3 and play proceeds as in the figure. However, unlike in the figure, White does not incur a loss [of the two White stones that Black took in the figure] in advance of any benefit.

In addition, concerning the diagonal attachment of Black 49 is the only move in the midst of the skirmishing on the lower side…


Diagram 8

…Black’s moving out with 1 is dangerous since White could play 2 through 6. [Note: “Six stones on the second line die.” – Go proverb.]

With the moves through Black 59 on the lower side, Black lives, so that White has no other hope in the game but to attack Black’s group in the lower left with 60 and 62. But the Black jump to 63 occupies the critical fighting point for both sides in connection with control across the board. Even though White attacks with 64, the attachment of Black 65 is a skillful move that ensures a favorable outcome for Black. [Original text: Black’s stones survive = shinobi]

From the standpoint of shape, the diagonal move of Black 75 is an essential point in terms of eye shape, and if White neglects to play at 76…


Diagram 9

…In connection with the attachment of Black 1, there is the implication of the further attachment of Black that means that Black’s stones will live simply and easily.

Black 81 is a thick and strong developing move that aims at the point of い ―White 82 defends against that possibility, but Black 83 is a skillful forcing move. It denies White the ability to separate Black’s stones by playing at .

For White 84…


Diagram 10

…Had White taken control of Black’s stone with 1, following the standard move order of Black 2 and 4, White cannot omit playing at .

Besides this, the territory being open at the edge at is no big deal. Therefore, heading to make the shoulder hit of Black 85 was a shrewd order of moves. The thickness and strength created with the moves through Black 103 places White’s stones to the right in jeopardy.


Figure 3 A Do-or Die Move Fails (104-135)

Reinforcing with White 4 cannot be omitted, but it seems that if White is to make the same kind of defensive move here, it would be better to play the diagonal move at White 5.

The peep of Black 5 is a severe move, and if White connects at 13, the attacking move of Black would put White in a difficult and painful position,

White played the attachment of 10 as a last ditch do-or-die move. Within the sequence that follows…


Diagram 11

…White’s protecting with 1 would be the true move in this position, but Black would defend at 2 [Note to beginners: Defense is necessary!]. But the fact is that just by defending with Black 2 the position is such that Black would have an unshakeable win.

Black haned at 11 and just left it at that, but thrusting though White’s weak point with Black 13 undermined the vital point of White’s eye shape, initiating a sharp attack that is difficult for White to meet.

In regards to the attack here…


Diagram 12

…Should White block at 1, Black turns to play in the corner with 2, leading to the sequence through White 11. After this, whether Black connects at or peeps at , White stones in the center are doomed.

For White 26…


Diagram 13

…White 1 and 3 would set up a race to capture, but that was a dead end, and White had no chance

Using White 32 to slide to would have been better, but the game was lost no matter what White did.

135 moves. Black wins by resignation.

Those who wish to comment on the opinions expressed here may send their thoughts to info@GoWizardry.com. The most interesting responses will be addressed in future postings.

Robert J. Terry

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