Dieter's study of Otake game 5

    Keywords: Game commentary
Moves 1 to 10  

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.

Moves 11 to 20  

Soon enough, Otake takes influence using a pincer joseki in the top left.

Moves 21 to 30  

The joseki ends with W20. Keeping a balance of solid territory and central influence is a hallmark of Otake's style.

Moves 31 to 40  

B31 seems inevitable, but maybe Black should just have stayed away from this area, as neither of the usual moves looks very attractive. After B35, 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 B36. After W38 I had expected B39 at c, so W40 was an easy guess.

Andy: W36 looks close to white's thickness to me and W38 looks like making territory from thickness. Any thoughts on these two proverbs in this context?

Dieter: I agree with both remarks, as a trigger to think more about these moves. At first W36 seems too close to the wall. But then there is the aji of d. Also, after B35, White's wall is still influencial but the room for eyes can dry up fast, so essentially W36 is a move for thickness. W38 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 W38 would have truly created miai at black+circle and W40.

Moves 41 to 50  

I'd never expected W46 from stylish Otake. That's prejudice for you. W46 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.

Moves 51 to 60  

B57 takes the unwanted spot. Surprisingly White reacts locally with W58, allowing Black to reduce the moyo with B59-W60. Both sides have left aji at a and b respectively.

Moves 61 to 70  

After W64, pushing once more at a is no longer sente, so Black ties his stones together loosely at B65. W66 is instructive: I'd always play a. B67 starts the highlight of the game: Black's attempt to create central territory with his influence and the relationship with the marked group.

Moves 71 to 80  

After B73, Black's plans are clear and it is very instructive to see in which order Otake reduces the central territory. Especially W74 is notable: I would alway play the glaring turn of W76 first. Now B75, B77 and B79 are blatantly overconcentrated. I'm sure Black is now regretting his game plan.

Moves 81 to 90  

The added value of white+circle comes to surface: White can solidify his corner in sente. I'm still puzzled though why B81 has provoked this sequence. The forcing move of 85 and White's resistance at W86 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.

Moves 91 to 100  

Sure, Black will get some points there, but the thinness of his top chain becomes a problem.

Moves 101 to 110  

At W6, Otake seems to be happy with the damage done and proceeds to the big endgame. Black resists with B7 but this only provokes the counter-attack at W8 Otake must have been waiting for. This is another usage of thickness: you can respond to your opponent's threats in a powerful way.

Moves 111 to 120  

I didn't manage to prove it completely, but after W16, Black's top group can be attacked severely so he responds with a connection. Then B19 is (in my opinion) a mistake ...

Moves 121 to 130  

At least the follow-up is problematic: Black rushes to play sente endgame with B21 and B25, before returning to B29, fixing his last aji. But this hasn't taken into account the powerful W30 which threatens a while ruining the shape of Black's heavy group.

Moves 131 to 140  

Black can't help but answering at B31 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 W40 which makes the white group fully alive in sente, making black+circle gote and opening a chance for White to play at a.

Moves 141 to 150  

I truly like W42. 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.

Moves 151 to 160  

So Black tries to resist once more, with B53, after having sipped the taste of sente at B51. White now takes two stones in sente. The central territory Black was after, has become very small.

Moves 161 to 170  

The way the bottom right is handled is new to me. I'd always expect B63 i.o. B61. W64 is huge endgame. I'm surprised none of the players went there earlier. W68 is instructive technique to me. In the late endgame this is a big gote.

Moves 171 to 180  

I expected B75 at a. I understand that B75 is big. It shows what a great move white+circle was and how thick play has a lasting effect in the endgame. Anyhow, W76 is big too.

Moves 181 to 190  

W86, 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 black+square with capturing black+circle, 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.

Andy: Hane Naoki considers himself to employ a similar style, as he explains in his book The Way of Creating a Thick and Strong Game. I like this book and recommend it.

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.

Dieter's study of Otake game 5 last edited by Dieter on February 22, 2013 - 14:29
RecentChanges · StartingPoints · About
Edit page ·Search · Related · Page info · Latest diff
[Welcome to Sensei's Library!]
Search position
Page history
Latest page diff
Partner sites:
Go Teaching Ladder
Login / Prefs
Sensei's Library