Subject:	THE BIG GAME 1 (Answer)
From:		John Fairbairn <>
Date:		Sat, 19 Apr 1997 20:09:47 +0100

This thread contains the answer to BIG GAME 1Q[uestion]. If you don't want to see it until you've seen that thread, duck now.

I will use this thread also to answer a couple of side questions in the first thread, and it can also contain comments on the answer. The second chunk of the game is now in BIG GAME 2 (Answer) - a slight change in format of the subject line for clarity.

On the game

The pro (Kudo) played:

Black 7: q10 (star-point on the right side).

He said there were other big points but this was the biggest/most important. The other two he gave were k16 which he said simply was "a good point", and f3, which he said was "a big point, but..."

His explanation of why he chose q10 was "to punish White for not having come in with the wariuchi (splitting attack)" on the right.

So far as I can see, most people were right in picking on q10 and k16 as correct areas but most fudged about whether the precise move should be high or low. It was interesting to me that the strongest player to comment (Matthew Macfadyen 6-dan) had no hesitation about choosing the high points, just like the pro. The explanation (confirmed with Matthew) seems to lie the high position of White 6 (d15).

Almost everyone set great store on the left side, which the pro ignored. He does not say it here, but from many other Japanese texts I have seen I think the explanation is easy: tedomari (getting the last big point). If Black plays on the right, White will be in no hurry to play on the left, because then it becomes predictable that Black will play k16, White must match it on the lower side, then Black gets the last big point around tengen (k10), see diagram.

However, if Black plays 7 on the left, assume White plays on the right, Black on the top and White on the lower side, then tengen ("A" in the diagram below) is no longer a sensible big point, so White has got the last big point.

As to f3 rather than j3, it has an element of being a forcing move, so Black might have time to go back to q10. But White might be awkward, and Kudo has chosen this favourite opening so he can stay in control. q10 gives him that control.

I find it fascinating that a "standard" move as early as 7 can generate so many difficult points. With the exception of Matthew I don't think the stronger players showed any obvious superiority over the weaker ones.


(from Japanese books)

When one good point or big point remains, playing so as to get there. There are tedomari situations in the fuseki, endgame and elsewhere.

JF: I think you will find it beneficial in the long run if you get used to thinking of Japanese verbal nouns by using the English -ing form. So here: "getting the last big point" rather than just "the last big point" and "making a shimari" rather than just "shimari". I think it will make your thinking and your go more dynamic.

Answers to side questions

  1. The Nihon Ki-in database is available to buy on CD-Rom. I haven't got a copy. I did look at it in the Nihon Ki-in last year but can't remember if you need Japanese operating software. Perhaps Louise Bremner can help, please?
  2. I am giving stats from a Japanese book that draws on the database and can't conjure up any more detail than I'm giving, I'm afraid.
  3. I prefer not to go into detail about the tournament - too much of a chore!
  4. The game was published last year. It would not be sensible to reveal where yet.
  5. Thanks to Roy Schmidt about Wang Mingwan. The final character is a very rare one that has a dual reading (very common with the rarer characters), but if Roy heard wan rather than yuan that's good enough for me. Can you recall, Roy, why his brothers have a different surname?
  6. Joan Semelis made a good point about a lower komi for part of the timespan covered by the Nihon Ki-in database, but 4.5 points was not used alone in that period - tournaments such as the Meijin had 5 points komi. And I have never heard of 3.5 komi in this context. Any more details?
  7. Richard Brown understandably got confused about left/right up/down in Segoe's list. He meant one pair or the other depending on which side of the board you were.

Thanks to those who are doing some nice formatting and sgf conversion. Jan: are there any similar fusekis in your database?

Yes John, my database contains 8 games with the position after white 6, one of them featuring Kudo Norio with the black stones. These games continued as follows:
Ishida Yoshio           Ishii Kunio            1979/10/11
Kato Masao              Inagaki Koichi         1979/12/20
Kudo Norio              Sakata Eio             1979/04/12
Kato Masao              Honda Kunihisa         1981/02/19
Sakata Eio              Sakai Takeshi          1979/02/14
Rin Kaiho               Sakata Eio             1968/06/19
Sakata Eio              Go Seigen              1950/03/31
Ishida Yoshio           Rin Kaiho              1974

So the pro's seem heavily biased towards Q16 (around) while k17 (around) seems possible as well.


-- John Fairbairn