Subject:	THE BIG GAME 2 (Question)
From:		John Fairbairn <>
Date:		Sat, 19 Apr 1997 21:18:46 +0100

We have seven moves played so far: 1. q16 2. d4 3. r4 4. d17 5. p3 6. d15 7. q10.

The next few moves were:

White 8: o17 (kakari)
Natural, said the pro. But he could equally have played on the centre of the lower side (he didn't say exactly where unfortunately - suggestions?).

Black 9: m17 (one-space low pincer)
A favourite of Kudo. He could have played q14 and then White would play k16 (star point) - not q18 because he couldn't rely on Black answering at r17.

White 10: m16 (attachment on top)

His idea was to move out into the centre and thus erase Black's moyo on the right, amongst other things (unspecified - but what?). White did not play r17, r16, q17, p16, o18, n15 (see diagram) simply because that would be following Black's orders.

Black 11: l16 (hane)

There was a choice: l17. But Takemiya Masaki said that if Black pulled back to l17, White would play n16, Black k15 and White r14 (see diagram). JF: A shade less control for Black perhaps?

White 12: m15 (extends to the centre)

White had a valid alternative too: n16 (see diagram). The likely continuation then was Black k17, White q14, Black p14, White p13, Black p15, White r17 - a dodging manoeuvre by White. Then would follow Black q17, White r16, Black q15, White r15, Black q13, White r14, Black o13, White p12, Black n14, White q12. The conclusion was that this exchange is even (White can count on getting in q18).

Territory is about the same but Black is thicker (JF: Of course he has an extra stone in the area). [JF Comparing what I read in pro commentaries to what I hear amateurs say, the word "thick" is many, many more times commoner in pro talk. I'd suggest that would repay a good discussion]

Black 13: n17

White 14: o16

Now, apart from any comments on the above, what is Black's move 15?. A chance to use those joseki dictionaries?


(Japanese definitions)

A move that moves against an enemy stone in the corner by establishing a bridgehead or aiming at something.
A sphere of influence. Not at present a secure territory but may eventually become a large moyo (oo-moyou) or a territorial moyo (ji- moyou).
A move that stops the opponent's stones moving in a certain direction by being played diagonally against them and in contact. Given the intention of the move, it often has the same meaning as osae (block). [JF Not the world's best definition - but how many of you actually think of stopping/blocking (yin) rather than turning or pressing (yang)?]
Atsui (thick)
Also te-atsui, Generally has the following three meanings:
  1. Thick of shape. Refers to secure stones that have eye shape and no unsettled aji (loose ends).
  2. Thick of outside influence. Refers to a position where the outside influence is strong and it exerts power over the surrounding area.
  3. Thick of a game. The side having the more favourable prospects is referred to as thicker.
The antonym is thin.

Background noise

I mentioned in Thread 1 that the game was recorded from memory afterwards. A related story....

Last autumn an exhibition to celebrate Kitani Minoru was held in Hirotsuka City Museum - he lived in that town from before the war. In preparing for the exhibition they discovered a cache of over 500 game records Kitani had kept. Very many were new games, and a lot were by his first teacher Kubomatsu Katsukiyo. The bulk of the rest were handicap games Kitani had played with strong amateurs or his pupils, mostly around 1946 when he toured Kyushu, etc. His pupil Tsutsui Katsumi 4-dan said he accompanied him. As Kitani was a late riser, some games against amateurs generally started about 10 or 11 at night (he played between 1 and 3 a day), by which time Tsutsui was ready for bed, so he was excused his normal duty of recording the games. Kitani took the games seriously and many went on all night, but Tsutsui never saw any game records being taken. He was therefore astonished when they came to light last year, and was forced to conclude that Kitani had memorised them all and wrote them down several weeks later on his return to Hirotsuka. And we all know that remembering an amateur's bad moves is harder than remembering good moves!

One game against an amateur even took 24 hours. What makes this doubly surprising is that it was a time, just after the war, of dire food shortages and pros had to grub for a living. The more games they could play against amateurs the more they could earn. Kitani's wife, Miharu, in her autobiography, records an occasion about this time when Sekiyama Riichi was ill and the Kitanis went to visit him. Sekiayama's wife (I think - I'm using my amateur memory) told Miharu about how he would get absorbed in games against amateurs and take ages over his moves, while there was a queue of other amateurs outside to play him. Kitani roared with a laughter of recognition while the wives clucked ruefully.

-- John Fairbairn