Dieter's study of Otake game 5
As you may have noticed, these games are all from Otake's starting period in the early sixties, against not too famous opponents. Here Otake takes White against Sato Kaoru, who opens with a san-ren-sei. Otake plays a 3-3 point in response. White's opening is low.
The joseki ends with . Keeping a balance of solid territory and central influence is a hallmark of Otake's style.
seems inevitable, but maybe Black should just have stayed away from this area, as neither of the usual moves looks very attractive. After , the corner joseki usually continues at b but it is clear that Black a is not a good move against White's solid lower right. This allows White to tenuki at . After I had expected at c, so was an easy guess.
Dieter: I agree with both remarks, as a trigger to think more about these moves. At first seems too close to the wall. But then there is the aji of d. Also, after , White's wall is still influencial but the room for eyes can dry up fast, so essentially is a move for thickness. is very much the same idea, I believe. Otake often plays the ikken tobi when it is available as an obvious means to create strength. But both moves would have made more sense at the circled points. Then would have truly created miai at and .
I'd never expected from stylish Otake. That's prejudice for you. is the forbidden move of the Ghent Go Gathering as I continue to tell my fellow club members, but then my own guru plays it. Of course I understand the ploy: White wants to settle fast and accepts a strengthened potential territory for Black.
takes the unwanted spot. Surprisingly White reacts locally with , allowing Black to reduce the moyo with -. Both sides have left aji at a and b respectively.
After , pushing once more at a is no longer sente, so Black ties his stones together loosely at . is instructive: I'd always play a. starts the highlight of the game: Black's attempt to create central territory with his influence and the relationship with the marked group.
After , Black's plans are clear and it is very instructive to see in which order Otake reduces the central territory. Especially is notable: I would alway play the glaring turn of first. Now , and are blatantly overconcentrated. I'm sure Black is now regretting his game plan.
The added value of comes to surface: White can solidify his corner in sente. I'm still puzzled though why has provoked this sequence. The forcing move of 85 and White's resistance at further reduce whatever prospect Black thought he had in the centre. The black chain that was originally part of the moyo now has become thin.
At , Otake seems to be happy with the damage done and proceeds to the big endgame. Black resists with but this only provokes the counter-attack at Otake must have been waiting for. This is another usage of thickness: you can respond to your opponent's threats in a powerful way.
I didn't manage to prove it completely, but after , Black's top group can be attacked severely so he responds with a connection. Then is (in my opinion) a mistake ...
At least the follow-up is problematic: Black rushes to play sente endgame with and , before returning to , fixing his last aji. But this hasn't taken into account the powerful which threatens a while ruining the shape of Black's heavy group.
Black can't help but answering at and give control to pilot Otake. The chase is on. The Black group will likely not be captured, but White will decide how the open central area evolves. The main benefit though lies in which makes the white group fully alive in sente, making gote and opening a chance for White to play at a.
I truly like . The result of the attack is merely that Black needs to respond yet again but then White has fixed the marked attack in sente and can proceed to play a.
So Black tries to resist once more, with , after having sipped the taste of sente at . White now takes two stones in sente. The central territory Black was after, has become very small.
The way the bottom right is handled is new to me. I'd always expect i.o. . is huge endgame. I'm surprised none of the players went there earlier. is instructive technique to me. In the late endgame this is a big gote.
I expected at a. I understand that is big. It shows what a great move was and how thick play has a lasting effect in the endgame. Anyhow, is big too.
, 88 and 90 further annihilate the Black territory in the centre. Two moves later Black resigns.
The highlight in this game was how Otake uses his top left thickness to answer with capturing , thereby taking control of the middle game and endgame. The effect of thickness on the endgame is a returning theme in Otake's games, which is why I want to study them. Otake's way is the way I would like to play: gently moving forward until there are no resources left for the opponent.
Dieter: I read about Hane having a similar style. I haven't studied him (nor Otake sufficiently). From what I saw of Hane in recent top pro games I thought his style was more solid then influencial. A bit more territory oriented too. But if Hane says so himself, it would be preposterous to deny it.