Juergen Mattern

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Jürgen Mattern

Famous German Go Player (b. 1944, d. 1995)

German Champion 1970, 1973, 1975-76, 1980-81, 1983-84, 1989, 1993. (And probably several earlier ones as well.) See [ext] crosstable site.

European Champion 1965-66, 1968, 1970, 1972-73, 1975, 1979.

Author of the book Go - der Richtige Zeitpunkt. At the time of writing he demoted himself to 5 dan due to the influence of his terminal sickness.


He was born, raised and lived in Berlin. He was a student of psychology and gave up a job as an optician (I don't remember in which order). On Fridays he payed a regular visit to the famous "Souterrain" pub (in Berlin), in walking distance of his flat. I considered him a very friendly person and a very competitive one too. While he played with every one who was in a 9-stone handicap range, he also took great pride to mention his very positive score against several players: e.g. German player M.K. (solid 5dan at that time) "Never lost any tournament game against him" (that means at least 20 games in a row) etc.. And for sure he had positive records!

The late Manfred Wimmer (2p, Kansai Kiin) when he returned from Japan, could not get a positive score against him (even I won (only) one even game against him (MW), in the Souterrain, hence only a pub game and usually he would give me 3 stones & play tricks in the taisha with me). Manfred Wimmer might not have been in such a good psychological shape at that time (being kicked out of Japan). All of this shows that he had an overwhelming talent and love for this game. After all he became 5 dan (European strength) and 6 dan by himself and the study of some Go Reviews when the strongest environment was only about 3-4 dan. Can you imagine what he would have achieved in an environment like Korea/China/Japan today?

He was a fast player - who also could take his time of consideration in crucial moments: I remember a blitz game against Rob van Zeijst where Jürgen took 5! minutes to calculate the effects of a corner defense (should he crawl for several moves on the 2nd line or not; I was too weak to remember the details) and he won this game in time!

He also gave Go lessons in the FU-Berlin (university) where I learned from him (as ~15k) and lots of other courses. While not having proper (well paying) jobs and living on students jobs etc., this seems to have been his deliberate choice.

Jürgen once played a 2 stone game against a Japanese professional 9d. This professional gave him the comment that Jürgen "would be a good runner" (when several groups are competing for access to the center). For sure Jürgen was a very good at fighting, something what might disrespectfully in Japan be called "peasant's style" (once I have read this), which is ok (I guess) in Korea. We could have learned so much more from him! It is such a pity that he is not anymore around.

He also had his times where he was into study chess, but then only in "studies" (I do not know much about chess, it seems to mean positional analyzes or so).

Game records

A game of J.Mattern with 3 handicap against Hashimoto Utaro is on a sub-page.

Two games of Mattern against Japanese professionals are available in Go reviews : one was against Takemiya (7p) with 2 stones, lost by 9 points by Black, the other one is a jigo against Takagi? (7p) with 3 stones. They are now available on Gobase : [ext] http://gobase.org/games/nn/masters/mattern/
RueLue: I remember a game against Hashimoto Utaro 9p (J.M.lost by resign), printed in Deutsche Go-Zeitung.

tderz] RueLue, could you try to remember the year (of the DGoZ copy)?

RueLue: I checked and found two game (files) against Hashimoto Utaro: one from 1974 in Tokyo, 2 handicap stones, J.M lost by 8 points (the game, mentioned below, but I don't know, which DGoZ); the other is from 1990-jan-17 in Duesseldorf, Hotel Nikko, handicap 3 stones, J.M. lost by resign (impressive fighting game!) (DGoZ 3/90, pg.32, should contain comments). tderz I don't have access to these DGoZ magazines, as I only became a member (again) in 1999.
Could you please enter these games where you have access to? On one hand I feel that I owe him to enter these games, on the other hand, I simply regret not to have played more, learned much more from him.

RueLue:Hi tderz! I put the files (both) on your page (bottom), so you can handle.

Looking at those two games vs. pros, I'm a bit dissappointed by Jürgen's play (strategically, shape). However, against amateurs, he unleashed often a tricky, combinational devil. tderz

RueLue: I've entered the 2nd game against Hashimoto Utaro on a sub-page (see above)

The game was also used by Pierre Aroutcheff for his regular article in the French Science et Vie magazine: see [ext] https://web.archive.org/web/20160627024614if_/http://jerome.hubert1.perso.sfr.fr/Go/Text/Science_et_vie_714_Mars1977.JPG.

Juergen Mattern last edited by PeterHB on September 5, 2022 - 12:25
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