no komi

    Keywords: Culture & History

No komi refers to the fact that historically there was no komi to compensate White for Black's right to move first, i.e. an initial advantage of e.g. 5,5 points. In those days White was usually the better player and their goal was to catch up with the weaker player taking Black. That, or the encounter included multiple games where the players would alternate colors (see jubango). Jigo was a possible outcome, i.e. an even score.

Shusaku's castle games are famous examples of no komi games, where he showed to be Invincible with Black.

Other players who didnt lose game playing black: 1. Honinbo Dosaku* 2. Honinbo Jowa

  • Dosaku also never lost castle game playing white (with no additional handicap stones), he just lost 2 games when giving 2 stones handicap.

(bugcat: Removing a comment in which I confused Dosaku and Huang yet again...)

John F. There are several things wrong with this page, both factual and interpretative. To take some of the factual items first, Xie Youyu never played Dosaku, nor could he as travel between Japan and China was prohibited. Xie's only three known games are against Huang Longshi (who you perhaps heard as being likened to Dosaku). Second, historically komi did exist. The earliest known komi game now is from the Horeki era, that is a little after 1750, and there are various 19th century examples. Third, Jowa did lose with Black.

To consider some of the interpretative problems. First, there is the strong likelihood that Dosaku did lose with Black but these games have been purged from the record. There are only about 30 games with Black anyway (a ridiculously small proportion of the 130 total Dosaku games known), but as reputation counted as well as skill in the old family system (sometimes for more - witness the Satsugen extravaganzas) there was extreme control of game records, and the Honinbos had the biggest lock on the system by far (they could control publication - or lack of it). Furthermore, when Dosaku lost as White, he sometimes lost by large margins (e.g. 17 points) that far outweigh the first-move advantage of 6 points or so. It therefore seems easy to imagine he could lose with Black against those opponents.

There is also the fixing of opponents, which we know about in the case of Shusaku from Yasui Sanchi. It is a lot easier to be invincible when you avoid the best players.

In short, the sparse facts known have to be weighed in context.

See also komi go

bugcat: Ah yeah, I confused Dosaku and Huang Longshi again. I keep doing that...


no komi last edited by bugcat on October 6, 2021 - 13:50
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