Subject:	THE BIG GAME (Intro)
From:		John Fairbairn <>
Date:		Thu, 17 Apr 1997 22:31:32 +0100


This is a forum for r.g.g. readers to discuss a pro game which will be fed in piecemeal. "Discuss" means guess the next move, ask questions, make sensible and polite comments. After a few days I will post the published professional comment on the same move(s) and we can further discuss where we differed.

The next move(s) will be fed in into a different thread. The threads will be marked THE BIG GAME XQ or XA, where X is the thread number and Q stands for Question (our bit) and A for Answer (the pro bit and our follow-up).

I have no intention of moderating the discussion, but I will generally try to provide a focus (since I know the next move) and will throw in odd anecdotes, quotations, statistics, new proverbs, etc from time to time for pump priming. I will also provide a translation of definitions of all technical terms used to try to ensure we all speak the same language.

I had two games in mind. Since, as far as I can tell, the big boys declined to join us and most of us are nearer the lower end of any learning curves, I have rejected the one with dense variations and opted for the one that concentrates on ideas. The pros' comments are therefore relatively sparse, but there is one for almost every move. The game here has an added advantage in that next to no-one will have seen it (adding spice to the guesswork). There was no game recorder and so it has not appeared in the Nihon Ki-in database of pro games. It survived because one of the players recorded it for himself afterwards (this is quite common).

On the notation

The game will be presented in Ishi format, which means:

  a b c d e f g h j k l m n o p q r s t

i is omitted on the horizontal axis.

On the game

The players are White: O Meien 9-dan and Black: Kudo Norio 9-dan. They met in the 3rd Preliminary Round of the 19th Meijin (sponsor: Asahi Shinbun) on 9 September 1993 in the Nihon Ki-in, Tokyo. Both players were in with a chance of progressing to the league if they won. Time limits were 5 hours each. Komi: 5.5 points. The game lasted over 250 moves but I won't reveal the result yet.

The first six moves and commentary were:

Black 1: q16 (star point in the upper right)

White 2: d4 (star point in the lower left)

Black 3: r4 (komoku in the lower right)

A favourite fuseki of Kudo. He uses it in about half his games as Black so that he doesn't have to spend too much time in the opening.

White 4: d17 (komoku in the upper left)

Black 5: p3 (shimari in the lower left)

White 6: d15 (shimari in the upper left)

It would be far more common to play a splitting attack (wariuchi) around r10 below the star point on the right side (as in the diagram below). A double shimari type game is relatively rare.

-- John Fairbairn