BQM 430

    Keywords: Question
A losing move ?!  

NhanHo? : In The Direction of Play, Takeo Kajiwara says that white+circle is a losing move . The reason is because of the black stone at hoshi , black now have a perfect approach at "a". So here is my question , according to that theory, 2nd move komoku is always a losing move, because then your opponent can always play at hoshi facing your komoku . What 's wrong here ?

Bill: First, Kajiwara is a known jokester. Overstatement seems likely. However, this is a question we have explored online, on SL, as I recall, and, indeed, for White to allow this kind of 4-4 vs. 3-4 position (as by any 3-4 play on move 2) seems to be statistically disadvantageous. So maybe it is not much of an overstatement.

Dieter See also BQM160

Dave: According to GoGoD this W2 first appeared in game 1 of the Jiji Shinpo 10-game match between Kitani and Go Seigen in 1933.

  • Kitani tried it five times against Go over the years and lost all five games. In total he played W2 here 13 times with only 3 wins. However, others did better.
  • Sakata Eio beat Go as White in game 2 of their 6-game match in 1953. Sakata won five games in a row as White in this fuseki in 1982, including wins over Kato Masao and Rin Kaiho.
  • Cho Chikun beat Kobayashi Koichi with this White twice in the 1982 Honinbo match, beat Chang Hao in the 1997 Tong Yang Securities Cup, and beat Yoda Norimoto in game 1 of the 1999 Meijin match.
  • Hashimoto Utaro seems to have been the most fond of it. He played this W2 in 16 games and won 9 times, including his own 5-game winning streak spanning 1957-1958.
  • Nevertheless, over 120 games in total Black had the advantage 56% to 44%. So maybe Kajiwara was only overstating things a little. :-)

Dieter: Knowing that in the 5.5 komi era, the overall winning percentages were

Black wins: 6701 games (53.15%)
White wins: 5906 games (46.84%)

(figures taken from komi), Kajiwara may have been overstating things just a little more.

Bob McGuigan: In the original question it was asked why it isn't always bad for White to play second move komoku. In the question diagram it is Black's turn so Black can immediately approach at a (or a keima approach). If the order of moves had been as in this diagram

White plays first  

Now Black has lost the ability to play at the a points immediately. This is a small point, but it could affect subsequent play.

Dave: The question arose from reading Kajiwara's book. Even with Black playing first, Kajiwara's claim has to be discounted by the evidence. Out of 120 hits, only 3 games featured a direct play in the lower right and the only time Black played immediately Kajiwara's high approach was a game between Hashimoto Utaro and Takagawa Kaku (Black) played at a "party to celebrate the promotion of Mitsuhara? 7-dan".

Xanthus: Kajiwara's claim is not that you should play in the lower right immediately, as you say. (Actually he suggests a move that I can't find in any pro game at all.)

Bill: I found the earlier discussion on Go Discussions, starting with this note: [ext]

I did a Go Base search that suggested this next play for Black :

Diagonal opening  

Xanthus: My Kombilo search (games 1990-2005) seems to prefer a and b (with 10 and 8 games).

Diagonal opening  

Bill: My Go Base search (from 1970 on) did not distinguish B1 and B3. This pattern favored Black by about 65% (37 to 20). OC, statistics do not prove anything, but they do support Kajiwara's claim.

BQM 430 last edited by Dieter on October 21, 2008 - 18:03
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