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 Post subject: Goldilocks go
Post #1 Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:30 am 
Oza

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The following positon is rather famous. Black was Yamabe Toshiro and he had just played the Black hane on the lower edge before the players trooped off for dinner.

White, Ushinohama Satsuo, had travelled up to Tokyo from Osaka very early for the game and felt in need of some shuteye. He therefore went upstairs in the Nihon Ki-in, where there are some overnight rooms for pros, and fell asleep - and stayed asleep. Unfortunately for him there were no three bears, and as he was alone in the forest of Tokyo, no-one thought to look in the bedrooms, so that eventually he lost on time. It was a pretty important game - the Challengers' Final in the Tengen - so Ushi snoozed away an awful lot of porridge.

But had the game continued, what would White have done and why? The story continues in the hidden part, but first put your jimjams on, clean your teeth and get into bed - then look hard at this position (suitable for all ages grades) before we go on.




The reason for highlighting this position is to mention an intriguing series long ago in Kido, in which the go writer Akiyama Kenji had the wheeze of getting three top pros likewise to put their metaphorical jimjams on and then come up (separately) with the continuation of a position he presented. This one was ideal as there was no real continuation, but he managed to keep the series running for quite a while despite the risk that top pros might already have seen many of the games most worth considering.

Very often, as here, the pros came up with totally different ideas. Sometimes a couple of pros would suggest the same line, but for totally different reasons. We can be sure that Akiyama protected himself to a degree by choosing pros that had different styles, but the diversity of opinion was still remarkable - as this game shows.

The three suggested continuations are given in the sgf file above. All three pros agreed that White was a long way behind - at least 10 points. Kajiwara Takeo 9-dan though that the only thing to do was to try urgently to seek complications on the right side, and if that didn't work (and it didn't in the lines he proposed - just one shown here) then White might as well resign. He concluded that falling asleep was probably the only move.

Kojima Takaho 9-dan was more circumspect. He thought White might have a chance if he could prolong the game and hope to haul back slowly. His suggestion, kosumi on the left, exemplified that thinking. He was at pains to point out that his White 1 was not necessarily a good move, and that White was really up against it, but he felt this was the right way to go about creating a sniff at a recovery.

Kobayashi Koichi 9-dan had overheard some of Ushi's post-game analysis, in which he proposed the mole attack on the right. The mere fact this analysis took place is interesting in scotching the idea that Ushi may have pretended to have overslept to avoid having to resign after behind so far behind so embarrassingly early. It also meant that it was hard for Kobayashi to fix on a move of his own, but he demonstrated several variations and concluded that White was still clearly behind but it was not a resignable game. His/Ushi's approach could be categorised as a mixture of Kajiwara's urgent complications and Kojima's stalling.

We are used to seeing magazine commentaries in which one pro comments and he says Black must do this, White must do that. I think I demonstrated in Kamakura and the other books (which were based on commentaries by lots of different pros) that "must" is a dangerous word in go. There is usually more than one way to carve the turkey. This exemplary series showed that it is not just very famous games, which get mulled over a lot, where differences of opinion and style apply. Even run-of-the-mill games show startling differences.


This post by John Fairbairn was liked by 3 people: Chew Terr, Ortho, p2501
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