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 Post subject: Honinbo Shusai - 50 selected games
Post #1 Posted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:40 am 
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I was kindly given Honinbo Shusai's collected Master Works, published by The Nihon Kiin in 1974 in 6 volumes, by Kobayashii Tadashi, the editorial assistant. I asked if he could recommend a subset of games to study, so we sat down and here is his list of 50 selected games, which surfaced after a recent house move. There are some great games on that list, so some forty-five years later(!) it seems appropriate to share it.

I put the list into an Excel spreadsheet which is attached. Please note that when a game was played over several days the date is the date of the first day, although I haven't checked it all through.

I had worked with Kobayashi-san in The Nihon Kiin from 1969-1970 and we had played quite a few games together, he felt that my go was good at shape and feeling, but wasn't aggressive enough. Honinbo Shusai has a reputation for being a fighter, which he thought might inspire me; he also had an ability to read too many moves ahead - a problem that I don't share......

I hope that this list is of some interest, some of the games are very well known, others maybe not at all , they are all on GoGod, the following list will enable you to find them by an opponent and date search. Happy studies!

Game commentaries - There are separate comments on some of these games in English.

First the 3 great games played towards the end of Shusai's life. These are all in Go Review in 1969.
John Fairbairn has written a book on each game, these give invaluable background information on many of Shusai's opponents in this list.
- "Power" - John Fairbairn - The famous game between Shusai and Karigane - 189 pages in total
- "Modern Fuseki meets Old Fuseki" - John Fairbairn - Shusai and Go Seigen - 132 pages in total
- "The Meijin's Retirement Game" - John Fairbairn - Shusai and Kitani - 142 pages in total.
A shorter commentary on Shusai-Karigane may be found in:
- "Killer of Go" - Sakata Eio - The famous game between Shusai and Karigane - pages 149-168

There are 3 further games in Go Review that I know of (there may be others, but there is no overall index)
There is a further one game in Go World.
There are 13 commentaries of games that Shusai played against his teacher, Honinbo Shuei, in John Fairbairn's SmartGo book - "The Life, Games and Commentaries of Honinbo Shuei" <one of these is also in Go Review>
Finally in "Beyond Forcing Moves" - Discussion of move 92 in his 1895 December game against Honinbo Shuei - 6 pages.

John Fairbairn's book "Meijin of Meijins" - The Life and Times of Honinbo Shuei - is a hardcopy of the biographical details of Shuei, from the SmartGo version. It covers Tamura Yasuhisa (as Shusai was originally called) and gives much useful background.

Two further games were mentioned in producing this list of "50 Selected Games" - Kobayashi-san couldn't choose between them.

Note that there are several handicap games in the list, Shusai was exceptionally good at playing handicap games and they should be studied. In 1924 Segoe had won 10 consecutive games against Shusai, moving from 3 stones to even. The rules of the newly formed Nihon Kiin stated that Segoe as a 6 Dan, should play the Meijin on 2 stones in this match, much to Segoe's everlasting regret it was a jigo. (Note - Kobayashi's notes indicated 12 consecutive games, GoGod just 10. Segoe played Shusai 13 times and won 12 of those games). The great dango game of 1903 April against Kohara Gitaro on 2 stones is another classic - if you haven't seen this game it's a treat!

Kobayashi-san had spent over a year working as editorial assistant, his selection fits well with John Fairbairn's of Shuei's 79 selected games in the SmartGo book and also with the 1974 Centenary book.

In 1974 a 114 page book (in Japanese) with photographs, comments on 13 games and reminsciences by sixteen professionals, was published to mark the centenary of Shusai's birth. All of these games are in the 50 Selected Games.

Happy Studies - John Tilley

Honinbo Shusai 50 selected games.xlsx [18.32 KiB]
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