Longest Time Spent Thinking About A Move

    Keywords: Culture & History

The longest recorded time a professional has spent thinking about a single move in a game has two categories. One is for games with time limits and the other is for games without. Please feel free to add to the lists.

W/ Time Limits

Time Player Move # Date Event Notes
5 hours, 7 minutes Takemiya Masaki 45 1988-06-29 43rd Honinbo final, game 5 Takemiya didn't know a large avalanche main-line variation, so invented it on the spot. He vowed to never play the large avalanche again after this game.
3 hours, 54 minutes Kada Katsuji ?? 1976-07-08 1st Kisei tournament, All-Dan KO, round 1
3 hours, 37 minutes Honinbo Shusai 110 1933-12-04
"Game w/ the Meijin" There was a 24-hour time limit, w/ Shusai having the privilege of adjourning play. It was his abuse of the adjournment? system on this move which convinced many people that the traditional system was too open to abuse and lead to the adoption of the sealed-move system.
3 hours, 3 minutes Rin Kaiho ?? 1968-05-09 23rd Honinbo final, game 2
3 hours, 0 minutes Cho Chikun 43 1985-02-06 9th Kisei final, game 3 Cho makes a careless move the move before, so reproaches himself while thinking about how to recover.
2 hours, 57 minutes Fujisawa Hideyuki 93 1978-03-01 2nd Kisei final, game 5 The game is regarded as one of the great fights in go history. The entire game hinges on whether Fujisawa can kill a group.
2 hours, 35 minutes Kitani Minoru 89 1947-10-22 4th Honinbo final, game 1 About to play the sealed move, Kitani starts to ponder and re-emerges 2 hours 35 minutes later, having missed the evening meal. No-one was quite sure why he had taken so long. Was he working out the endgame? Did he feel he was in trouble? Was he just being unreasonable? He was just refuting the obvious move and avoiding certain death.
2 hours, 33 minutes Otake Hideo 47 1988-06-16 43rd Honinbo final, game 4 Otake was considering his sealed move for the day during a strategic turning point in the game and while under a tired and hazy influence. As part of an overall decision to slow down his play (for this game) he didn't want to rush his moves.
2 hours, 30+ minutes Sakai Takeshi 70 1999-01-28 47th Oza, 3rd Prelimnary Sakai tries to read out a corner life and death problem.
2 hours, 6 minutes Cho Chikun 13 1984-11-07 9th Meijin final, game 6 Cho considers some variations during an opening joseki.

W/O Time Limit

Time Player Move # Date Event Notes
8 hours, ? minutes Honinbo Shusai 147 1907-12-02 Jubango w/ Nakagawa Senji, game 1 The first game ever to be reported with an eye-witness account in a newspaper. Reporter, Kojima Kazuo.


[1] Record Slow Moves, Go World Iss. 54, p.55.

[2] Old Fuseki vs. New Fuseki (2011), pp. 45-6, 90, 110.

[3] A Fighting Art. Go World Iss. 85, p.22.

Longest Time Spent Thinking About A Move last edited by bugcat on July 19, 2021 - 19:49
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