InvincibleTheGamesOfShusaku/Game 27 analyzed with KataGo

This is the 4th Castle game putting Shusaku against Ito Showa, 28 years his senior. Showa takes White.

Key points according to the pros and KataGo:

Moves 11 to 13  

After White attached with white+circle, Black's pressing move B1 gets criticized by the pros. W2 weakens the black stone to its left and protects against having his corner stone cut off. They think Black should approach at B3 immediately. KG kind of agrees, be it that it prefers A.

Locally, KG prefers B1 at W2 itself:

Alt 11  

This looks natural.

Moves 30 to 32  

Pros and KG agree W30 is good timing and positional judgment. Both seem to agree B31 should next have been where W32 is, the mere extension of B31 being too passive.

Moves 40 to 40  

The pros find Showa to play brilliantly: "by W40 Black's advantage has slipped away". Whether they mean it has decreased or vanished, is unclear, but KG thinks it has indeed decreased from 6 to a small 4. Nothing dramatic, that is. Of course, by human standards that lower right moyo is just too good. KataGo may find invasion points easily but I (Dieter) agree that for a human, even if they're a professional, the task might look more daunting, especially having a weak center group to handle.

Moves 47 to 56  

Black picks B47 as his invasion point. It aims for connecting to the upper right or linking up to the center stones around B51, which of course invites a splitting attack with W52.

KataGo prefers another invasion point: A, aiming for life at the bottom, connecting to the lower left (maybe) or running into the center.

Incidentally KG agrees B53 should resist here.

Moves 61 to 70  

In fact, as Showa will experience, Black's running group is surprisingly hard to attack. KG hence doesn't approve of the leaning maneuvers White employs. When the center evolves into a ko, Black's top has already solidified due to the leaning at W4 and especially W10, which KG doesn't even consider forcing.

Instead, KataGo would have cut at A.

Moves 85 to 94  

B87 answers White's ko threat with a counter attack. White is probably right to finish the ko at W94 but Black's breakthrough in the lower right corner puts all the more weight on White to capture the running group wholesale, since Black could decide at any point to shed a tail to save the body.

Moves 136 to 139  

Fast forward to the crucial point in the game. White plays a ko threat at W136 then captures the ko, and Black counters at the same place to essentially capture White's forcing moves in the area. This would be the moment to connect the ko for White at black+circle. But Showa doesn't and plays W140, which KataGo evaluates as a 10 point blunder.

The pros indeed think Showa was awestruck by Shusaku's fighting spirit. Ishida speculates what would happen if White connected the ko and he picks up the very same idea as KataGo: a large scale swap.

Swap ctd  

Black can now go into the endgame, moves A and B considered biggest.

Conclusion on the analysis

Historically this has been called a masterpiece by both players, Showa for catching up in the opening, which was considered Shusaku's strength, and Shusaku for taking it into a 3 point victory by sheer fighting spirit.

KataGo brings some nuance to the points made by the pros and on the other hand makes a bigger deal of White's move at 140. On the whole, the pro analysis and KG's is largely in agreement.

InvincibleTheGamesOfShusaku/Game 27 analyzed with KataGo last edited by Malcolm on December 1, 2023 - 13:55
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