Hitachi Number 1163
Minoru Harada's No. 1163 elementary problem for 2018-12-10.
Unfortunately the answer diagram isn't preserved at web.archive.org, only the text stating:
- Black 1 is crucial.
- If White 2, Black lives with 3.
This problem seems to have no correct solution. Even KataGo can't find one...
kmr - If this is an elementary problem, I guess some black stone/stones are missing. Adding one at D19 for example makes it truly elementary and instructive problem. Adding one at A18 or B 19, makes it a bit tougher, but still easy.
Several of the 2019 problems have some flaws, and from 2017 on they tend to get much easier than usual. So my guess would be that Harada made a mistake here.
PJT: I do not see the problem position either at the Internet Archive:( This is consistent with https://www.reddit.com/r/baduk/comments/13ckgsu/harada_minorus_go_problems_gone/. I wonder where the above position comes from.
kmr - there is another possibility - white stone at B 17 could be black in real problem. Then problem is valid, and solution is close to elementary/intermediate.
unkx80: I recall that after a hiatus of perhaps 2 or 3 years, suddenly a pair of problems that are not life-and-death appeared on the Harada's problem site, which I found highly unusual and uncharacteristic of his problems that I wondered whether these were composed by another person. If I recall correctly, these two problems had something to do with good local shapes in the opening, and the position in at least one of the problems and its corresponding solution didn't make sense to me either, but I no longer remember what these problems are now. In any case, these two shape problems turned out to be the final hurrah on Harada's problem site before it completely disappeared.
Several of the 2019 problems have some flaws, and from 2017 on they tend to get much easier than usual.
This comment, together with my observation of his final problems, suggest to me that his mental facilities could have been declining as his age passed 80.
In addition, I would speculate that his ability to compose challenging problems, especially those with novel ideas, declined as he probably lacked practice as he entered his very advanced age. Apart from the part on advanced age, my speculation comes from my own personal experience - I have effectively not played Go for at least a decade, and prior to that my strength in Go had been declining for another decade or so.