Kadoban / Discussion

Sub-page of Kadoban

The same situation for the player one game away from winning the series is called tennouzan.

Bob Myers: I don't believe this is the correct usage. Kadoban refers to the state of being one game away from defeat. Tennouzan refers to the game which might cause this state to come about for one of the players.

Velobici: Bob, you may very well be right. I am certainly not a Japanese expert. Your statement seems into indicate that there are only two definitions (the two below), rather than three, as the particular game is not called kadoban. That said, please note that both the Go Players Almanac and Invincible list kadoban in their glossaries as a game which if lost will end the match or lead to a change in handicap. Perhaps John F could help?

Bob Myers: I was not talking about the definition of kadoban on this page, which I think is fine. I was talking about the statement that "Tennouzan refers to the game which might cause this state to come about for one of the players", which as Bill also says below is a misinterpretation.

Velobici: As is read John F's comments at Tennozan / Discussion, it seems that tennouzan can refer to a particular game (one definition), while the more common go definition is commanding position that must be seized lest your opponent gets there first. As I have said above, I am no Japanese expert, so please dont take this as arguing a position, rather I seek to understand the statements of others.

unkx80: "... it seems that tennouzan can refer to a particular game..." -- Yes, at least in Chinese.

Bill: Yes, tennouzan can refer to a particular game, but a game such as the fifth game of a five game match, when the players are two and two, not the third game when the score is two to nothing.

Bill: Doing some web search, as far as I can tell kadoban usually refers to the condition of needing to win, but it can also refer to the game or the player.

However, I don't think the part about tennouzan is correct. For example, if the score in a 7 game match is 3 and 0, the next game is kadoban, but not tennouzan. It is decisive only if the leader wins. If he loses, we're still in a kadoban situation. Also, while a web search yielded thousands of hits for both kadoban and tennouzan, I did not find a single case where both terms referred to the same game.

kokiri: from infoseek: (1)囲碁・将棋などの連続した対局で、勝負が決まる局番。七番勝負ならば三敗した次の一戦。 In go or shogi, the deciding match. In a seven game series, the game after getting your third loss.

Velobici: 5th game in a 2-2 tied 7 game match is tennouzan. 4th game in a 3-1 7 game match is kadoban for one player. if that player wins, the next game is still kadoban. every game will be kadoban till the match ends.

3rd game in a 1-1 tied 3 game match is kadoban. Is it also tennouzan. by analogy to the above statements regarding a 7 game match, it would seem that the answer is yes....the game is both kadoban and tennouzan for both players.

''Moved from kadoban, refers to the sentence "Kadoban is a Japanese word adopted by the English speaking go community."

[1] Bill: Do we need this sentence?
Velobici: Yes. It gives us the source of a word used in English that is very unusual...we might have thought that it came from some other foreign language, and the sentence explains that one might assume serious go players in the English speaking countries will recognize and use the term.

Bill: Well, I see that such a sentence is on the dan page, but not the aji page or the fuseki page. English speaking go players certainly use those terms, too. (And, IMX, most of the ones I know use those terms but not kadoban. Maybe its usage by English speakers is more common in England and Europe.) English speaking golfers say dormie rather than kadoban. I'm not sure when you want to say that a word has been adopted to English usage.

Velobici: The sentence should be added to both aji and fuseki. What do you call the situation in English, if not kadoban (dormie is a new term to me). Among the folks I know in the US and at the US Go Congress, kadoban is the term used.

Bill: If only English speaking go, shogi, and sumo players and fans used the term, I would not say that it had been adopted into English. It would still be jargon.

Velobici: Ahh....I see. Yes. I have been writing "adopted into English" whereas perhaps I should have written "adopted by the English speaking go community" or "adopted by English speaking go players". I had been assuming that was understood without specifying explicitly. I am sure that you are right that usage is limited to go players. mea culpa.

What do you call the situation in English, if not kadoban (dormie is a new term to me). I cant think of an English term...only phrases, such as "make or break" etc.

Bill: Yes, such phrasing would be clear. :-)

Dormie is golf jargon in match play, where each hole is contested. I was once dormie with three holed to play. My opponent made par and I had a 30 foot putt for a birdie. My putt stopped an inch short, so I lost the hole and the match. <sigh>

Stymie is golf jargon that did make it into general parlance.


Does the kado of kadoban refer to a corner? Can kadoban be translated directly as in a corner? Is the kado of kadoban related to the same character in the term kak(u)kai referring to sumo? We just don't know.

Bob Myers: The above seems unlikely, given that the term is said to have been borrowed by sumo from go/shogi.

It seems at least as likely that kado refers to an outside-type corner, like that of a street, as the corner of a room. The fact that kado is written in hiragana and katakana sometimes leaves open the possibility that it is not even related to the corner meaning, and that the 角 character is an ateji (character chosen after the fact for its phonetic equivalence).

This word apparently does not exist in Chinese.

kokiri English language papers in Japan often referred to kadoban sumo wrestlers as being 'in the corner'. However I agree that in my experience kado is used in an 'outside' sense whereas the corners of rooms and the go board are termed sumi, 隅.

Bob Myers: I don't recall ever seeing this usage.

Neil: I suppose the corner translation is tempting because being cornered is a pretty good metaphor for the situation.

amadis: Here's my understanding of how kadoban normally works in amateur games. Whenever one player wins three games in a row against another, the handicap between them is adjusted by one stone. That's three-game kadoban. So, after a player wins two games in a row, the next game is the kadoban game.

Alternatively, they could play one-game kadoban, changing the handicap after each game.

Kadoban is a good way to get the competitive juices flowing in casual games between friends.

   I remember reading in the AGA Journal
   many years ago an article that agrees with amadis.

Sinprejic I have no knowledge of oriental languages, but reading this discussion brings to mind a slightly different metaphor that might also apply. If kado is an outside corner (like a street corner or the corner/edge of something you might fall off of) perhaps it refers to turning the corner as a large change... (such as the shift of handicap, or the decision of the match) ?

In geometric terms a corner is a point of change... a discontinuity in the slope of a curve.

Just a thought.

Bob McGuigan: The terms of kadoban are not rigid and can be any system agreeable to both players. The requirement of three wins in a row to change the handicap is actually more stringent than what was used in the old jubango. For example a sequence of WWLWWLWWLWWL ... could go on for a very long time with no change in handicap resulting. In the old ten game matches the handicap changed when one player achieved a four game lead in the score. According to this system WWLWWLWWLW would result in a change of handicap. Club players occasionally play "one game kadoban" in which your handicap drops by a stone if you win and increases by a stone if you lose. As far as I know there is no "official" rule for determining the kadoban system. It's important that whatever it is it should be agreed to by both players.

Kadoban / Discussion last edited by tapir on June 9, 2015 - 15:48
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