Keywords: Question

DJ: Dear fellow Deshi's, these days I am once more reading (studying?) The 1971 Honinbo Tournament.

The depth of the analysis (which makes it comprehensible even to a hopeless player like me), the quality of the players involved and, why not, the suspence James Davies has managed to put in the tale makes it one of the greatest ever go books in English (my VVHO).

I've been enjoying the [ext] third game of the Honinbo Sen, where Rin Kaiho is black and Ishida Yoshio white. Very exciting game.

At the end, Black is leading due to a mistake by Ishida in the early yose (at move 132).

Can W reduce his loss to 3.5?  

After Black's 185 (black+circle) the biggest yose is of course in the LR corner, where White can choose between what looks to me like a two-point sente at a or a five-point[1] gote at b (Black cannot intercept, else he would face a ko against the five black+square that would cost him the game).

Now Davies says that Ishida had seen

that even if he played there he would lose the game, perhaps by 3.5 points,

leaving the reader to verify such a statement.

I have tried both plays, a and b, but couldn't manage to contain White's loss to less than 8 points[2]. Weeeellll, Ishida is sure much more than five points stronger than me . . . ;-)

Would anybody like to have a try? Remember, in those days komi was 4.5 . . . [3]

What happened in the real game?

The real game  

Seeing that he could not win, Ishida played 186 at W1: he expected Rin to play at W5 to clinch the game, intending to resign after such a play.

Instead, Rin played B2 and B4 (coyly, says Davies, waiting to see what device Ishida would try in the lower right corner . . . cool, eh?).

Ishida therefore played W5 himself, cut at W7, and then ataried at W9 (I personally would think that he knew this didn't work).

If now Rin connected at W5, a terrible ko would happen, so he calmly played at a, unconditionally capturing W7 and W9. Ishida could finally resign.

Just for history's sake, Ishida won the title 4-2 and became the youngest Honinbo ever, at 22. I'm not sure, but I think this record still holds, Cho U being just a few weeks older when he won the Honinbo from Kato last year. Incidentally, Cho U is a pupil of Rin . . .

Robert Pauli:

[1] Not a six-point gote?

[2] Before or after komi?

[3] . . . and - for those not wanting to count all stones on the board - three black and six white stones are in the lids. ;-)

DJ: Dear Robert, thanks a lot for all your editing! I will try to answer your questions...

Question n. 3
. . . and - for those not wanting to count all stones on the board - three black and six white stones are in the lids. ;-)

Wow, that's correct! Did you painstakingly count all the stones to guess how many were exchanged in the ko that gave birth to the lumpy five's (the black+square), or you just have the book? ;-)

Robert Pauli: Neither. GoBase shows the captive count at any point, that's all.

Question n. 2
Before or after komi?

Well, it was counting the komi in. But today I've found a sequence, starting with White's sente play, that brought her to a loss of 5.5 points only... pity that I have already forgotten it...

Robert Pauli: Tough luck, then it doesn't count. ;-)

And now the most difficult, Question n. 1
Not a six-point gote?

At first sight I too counted the gote play as a 6-points one. In fact locally it is 6 points better for White with respect to the sequence where Black goes first. But if Black goes first he will do so in gote, and White has an annoying kikashi that forces Black to play twice inside his territory due to the damezumari of his lumpy five... IOW if Black goes first in the particular position of this game his territory is not as big as it looks. Let's see:

Black goes first  

After Black goes first in the corner White plays W4 and Black has to answer at B5: then when White will play his privilege at a and b Black has to capture at c and d; result: if you assume W y and B z the black territory is 13 points.

White's gote sequence  

After White a and b Black will have to play only c: the black territory is now 9 points and White has gained 1 point at w, for a net result of 5 points.

White's sente sequence  

Again, Black will have to play only c: the black territory is now 12 points and White has gained 1 point at w, for a net result of 2 points.

Robert Pauli: Many thanks, I see. In both cases, when White goes first, White gives Black one teire for free, reducing "normal" figures by one. (BTW, there's not need for %%% before an empty line.)

BQM174 last edited by Dieter on July 5, 2008 - 12:48
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