63rd NHK Tournament Cho Sonjin vs. Yukawa Mitsuhisa

63rd NHK Tournament Cho Sonjin vs. Yukawa Mitsuhisa

Hello everyone. This is the 63rd NHK Television Go Tournament. I am the moderator, Nagashima Kozei. This is the 12th game of the first round. Starting with B block This is the game between Cho Sonjin 9 dan and Yukawa Mitsuhisa 9 dan. Please enjoy. After the nigiri, Cho Sonjin will go first. Komi is at 6.5. Both players must make their move within 30 seconds. Each player is given 10, 1 minute periods of byo yomi. Have a good game. Black 16-4 Upper Right corner Star Point White 4-16 Lower Right Corner Star Point Now let’s introduce the players. Black: Cho Sonjin 9 dan. He is 45 years old and was born on April 18th, 1970 in South Korea. He learned Go under Ando Takeo 7 dan. He plays under the Tokyo Go Federation. He has been playing in the NHK tournament for the past 5 years. This is his seventeenth time participating. White 4-4 Upper Left Corner Star Point White: Yukawa Mitsuhisa 9 dan. Born on August 7th, 1967. 48 years old. He is from Osaka prefecture. He studied Go under Ieda Ryuji 8 dan. He plays under the Kansai Go Federation. He has played in the NHK tournament for two straight years. This is the 19th time he has participated White 9-16 Pincer Now to introduce our commentator. Michael Redmond 9 dan. Thank you for being here. Glad to be here. What will be the highlight of today’s match? Both players play “Power Go.” They’ll both play solidly during the opening and then wait for their chance to start a fight. Once they start fighting, it feels like it never stops. How will they fight indeed. In the game, he pincered. When Black approaches, White can protect, then Black can play something around here. Or like this where you are inviting the pincer. Pincer, then double approach. He attached. This is a relatively calm move. A normal joseki (standard sequence). Now to see the players themselves. In matches between these two, Cho Sonjin is 1-0. Not many games then. The one game they did play was during the NHK tournament. They played in the second round. Now they’re battling again in the NHK cup. A match between a player from the Kansai Go Federation and the Tokyo Go Federation. That would be the reason why they haven’t played that many games against each other. Yukawa is looking for a little revenge. Invading the 3,3 point was a common joseki in the past. Nowadays, the attachment is more popular. The 3,3 invasion joseki for Black isn’t thought of to be as good. This is a joseki you would even see in handicap Go. White has the choice between this wedge and playing the hane on the 3,3 point. The wedge is a joseki that has been played for awhile. It’s easy to understand. The followups are easy to understand. He has a lot of cutting points, so he plays the hanging connection. White being able to atari at the 3-3 is very good. That’s why it was thought that this joseki was good for White. That’s why Black didn’t used to attach. He’d instead go into the 3-3 point. Nowadays, Black will take sente and extend along the left side. Now Black can play elsewhere. Professional thinking has changed. Black can extend along the left side. This is playable for Black Black can develop quickly. If White were to get a stone in the middle on the left, that would be ideal for him. Because Black can extend along the side, it’s unclear how effective White’s wall is. Yukawa is an aggressive player. That type of style is commonly seen in his games. He likes to be on the offensive. It’s his specialty. He probably likes openings where he gets thickness. You can try and surround the Black stones on the side. That’s one way to play. Black is a bit thin. It all depends how he deals with it. The two black stones are three spaces apart, so you can invade. The invasion is a problem. Black can choose to push through and create a cutting point for White. He could also use White’s weakness in the corner to strengthen his stones. They’ve used all their thinking time. This move here by White is rare. If you play closer then it feels more like you’re attacking. Black will probably protect. If you play a bit further away, then Black will defend like this. Does Black protect this area? Does he let White play over here and then push through to attack? There are two ways. So it’s a matter of choosing which one. Black could directly defend to strengthen himself. Or he could push and aim for White’s weak points. By attacking White these stones could become stronger in relation to White. He chose this one. He pushed here. Now play the hane. Black could play here and aim at this cut. This move becomes sente. This protects the weakness of the three space jump. You can also aim for this cut. I learned this sequence from Go Seigen It might just be Go Seigen’s invention. He said that this joseki was good for Black. Professionals still don’t really know if he was right or not. Go Seigen has since passed away. How long ago was that? Not too long ago. I like to play out this joseki as Black. I don’t really know if it’s good for Black, but my win rate is good with it. White has been building a wall, but you can’t really call it strong. If Black picks the right spot, White’s in real trouble. He invaded. White 3-12 Invade Earlier I said that the descent on the second line worked. White may have moves against it. I played a game just like this once. Exactly the same. It was a few years ago. Black cut and then it turned into a big fight. This will definitely turn into a fierce battle. It will get pretty intense? If White connects then Black will extend. Is there any chance White won’t connect? Normally you do. They’re now into byo-yomi. For example, normally after this push and hane and cut, you have to connect. He descended here. You could treat these stones lightly. It’s not totally out of the question. Letting Black take this stone is painful. You do get a move on the other side. Yes it is. Black’s shape is very good. Black can play here, so we have to extend once more. Now our attention turns back to the left side. You need to connect. Now he extends. Black no longer descends in this position. He’s now aiming at playing the kosumi. If White comes out with this stone then Black naturally encircles this group. If White comes out then he’s aiming at bringing this stone out. White has his work cut out for him. He’s still using his thinking time. He’s considering what might happen if he doesn’t connect. Cho Sonjin has made into in the “Best 4” while Yukawa made it into the third round of the NHK tournament. At what point in the tournament did these two play? The second round. He connected. He would regret not connecting. He’s spent two periods of byo-yomi. Connecting was difficult for him. He was wondering whether to play on the left or the right. There is a lot going on on the board in this game. Very intense fight. He played the kosumi. You want to play one higher, the knight’s move here. However the connection is weak and White could get clumped together. The kosumi is stronger shape. Black has two things to consider. Playing the kosumi here looks like a solid move. White wants to come out as the next move. If White plays here, Black will cover and then Black will throw away these two stones. Black can feel satisfied after taking this part. So this is an exchange then? Maybe. I think people who play “Power Go” won’t play like this. I think Black will play here to make shape first. He won’t throw these stones away. Instead he’ll aim for this spot. He’ll play this after. This move is big though. He is choosing between these two ideas. Another byo-yomi period. We were talking about the kosumi just now, correct? What if White plays over here first? That could be a problem but… That’s true but this knight’s’ move feels really good. I haven’t read everything out from here. It’s going to be really difficult to make eyes here with these two stones threatening this area. Black will shut White in. Even if White somehow lives, then all this is Black’s. That’s just my feeling. You can also connect or jump and then aim for this move. If you’re going to play on the left, then the kosumi is the only move. In the center there are various moves. He played on the left. Black 4-13 Kosumi Cho might not be sacrificing the two stones in the middle. That is a possibility. He’s not the type to just throw away stones. There eh? White 4-11 Kosumi I had felt that this move was overplay. I didn’t really think of it. This move is tough. Black is aiming to capture the lower left White group. This kind of move is normally terrible. I feel he’ll hane above. He’ll hane on the fifth line and then White will come out. These two moves are really bad with respect to the left side. But, they’re aiming at capturing White’s group on the bottom. He’s done the math. He must play here. Black 5-11 Hane Can White let himself be captured? White cannot play elsewhere. He has to come out. He doesn’t want to lose this and his bottom left group. He’d capture the White stones by playing on the left star point. It’s up in the air though, whether or not he can capture the bottom group. White would get captured if he didn’t respond. He’d lose. You might want to play to save the lower left corner fearing you would be captured. If that happens it would mean White should have escaped earlier. White’s move avoided capture. You do it even though you have a weak group. Now Black looks really good. The moves he played previously were bad, but he has to find a way to make them work. White is trapped. But Black’s shape is thin, especially with the knight’s move. Can White make use of that? This is scary for White. How would White come out? If White peeps then Black isn’t going to connect here. The correct sequence would start with the crosscut. Letting this stone go means we can get out. So pull back. Even if you were to take all the liberties on the outside, there is still this atari. I don’t think this works. Even if you play like this, the net doesn’t work. You can’t capture. If White can’t capture Black you have to think about living on the inside. The hane is better than descending. They’re still thinking. White cannot make an eye in sente. Even if you descend, this is just one eye. Even playing one move over, this is still just one eye. Like this. I fear there is a chance this will become a ko if White plays here. This is a ko. White has ko threats here. Because of that, Black will connect. White can’t make two eyes if Black plays here. This may just be the vital point for White. If the outside is connected, this move may become sente. If this happens then White’s done a good job at making life. He also made a good amount of territory. Just as much as Black. This is success for White. This could turn into an interesting fight. Another move to think about is the keima. Black will push on the third line. This is rather painful. What about the eye space here? If White plays both these points then he has an eye. Being able to play on both of those point is another matter entirely. The corner is still one eye in gote. Painful. I think the kosumi works better. What happens if White gets captured. That won’t do. So this is the make or break part of the game? Right, this is where the game will be decided. Let’s say White plays elsewhere. It’s still hard to find a move over here. Let’s say this move captures. I think White loses. This looks big. I hope White can make use of the weakness in the center and make life. I’m the commentator though. I want to have my cake and eat it too. Yukawa 9 dan is using a lot of his time. These two moves were very powerful. Normally you wouldn’t play like this. Well if he doesn’t get a return on these stones, then he has damaged himself. If he hasn’t done sufficient reading, then making those moves would be scary. He spent some time thinking before he played the kosumi. He probably had planned all these moves out before playing it. It’s rare to see someone use so much time already. I think he’s in a bind. How will he survive? He might be in trouble, but the kosumi is probably the only move. Is Black’s shape on the outside strong? Well, it’s sort of thin. We just looked at some variations. Directly breaking through won’t work. Well, there is another way to try and break out. Shall we try them out? You can break out with the empty triangle. You can extend here and then later aim for moves on the inside. If he plays elsewhere then there is a net here. If White gets to play the kosumi here, breaking through with the empty triangle might work. He attached with the kosumi just now. If Black does nothing White can connect. I think he’ll hane. Yes. Prevents the connection. After you block then it feels like Black will atari. It could be dangerous. White 2-16 Block He might be considering the hanging connection instead of the atari. This may become a capturing race. The safer move is to connect. He atari’d. So he’ll start a ko and then there will be an exchange. So White has ko threats at the bottom? Yes, the atari on those two stones. I think White will directly cut. Black will take and White has ko threats. Black doesn’t have any threats. He didn’t take. Now he’s making more threats. He may descend to the first line after White cuts at the ko. This could be used as a threat. White wants to have enough threats to prevent that from happening so he played in the center. Just when it looks like there’s a ko, we don’t actually start it. Professionals do that. This move creates ko threats. We’ll play like this, and here, probably. I think this move. I think since Black doesn’t have any ko threats, he’ll descend. We connect, then take, and then White can live. The atari here works. There’s a peep here. White looks fine here. He didn’t pick this variation. In the game he picked this. Black will most likely block. Now we cut. We can start the ko over here, then have threats here. Take the ko, descend, then pull back, continuing the ko. Then this cut is a ko threat. If we push through he may run away. Now we use this cut to make ko threats after we push and he blocks. He cut. Now Black has to run away with those two stones. That means that White has even more ko threats. That means White had already won the ko when it was first played. Which means Black gets two moves in the center. Black 10-14 Bend White has to think about how he’ll continue in the center. He’s thinking about when to stop making ko threats in the center. One more move. Getting caught in a ladder is bad. When this is all over, White would like to attack Black’s left hand group. Yukawa likes to attack. Black has no choice. It’s about time to continue the ko. It feels like Black came out ahead in this fight. He did. Isn’t White worried about his group at the bottom? Those stones can be sacrificed. The fight on the left is bigger. The chance that Black will lose the ko is high. Let’s say White connects out and Black makes territory in the lower right by capturing those stones. Black will get attacked. If Black loses the ko, he needs to think about how to help his stones get into the center. They’re both thinking about how to attack their opponent. Yukawa especially. He is good at offense. When he’s in a position to attack, he does. He used a ko threat there. That works. Should he take or connect? Connecting or taking, it affects the number of ko threats. There is a subtle difference in territory. Spending a lot of time on a very crucial point. This is unexpected. There is a subtle difference between the two moves. We don’t like the fact that if we capture he gets another ko threat. If we connect, we have to consider what happens if White wins the ko. If White gets this he can atari and Black gets less territory. 3-4 point difference. Nothing he can do about it. There’s a bit of a difference, so he’s thinking whether or not he should take. If we play the other way, there’s a possibility White can come from the other direction. If he chooses this, the situation over here is different. That’s why he chose here, thinking this loss for Black might be bigger. He connected. It’s unexpected to spend so much time thinking about connecting in a speed game. I said earlier that black can descend to the first line. But actually White has quite a few threats again the 4 black stones in the center. Black may not descend. There, eh? Powerful move. It looks pretty strong. It looks like it’s going to capture those two stones in a net. If White tries to push out, Black might be able to capture it after extending. If Black can capture those two White stones, it’d be very good for him. Very severe and very big. He’ll take now. Now there is no way for Black to cut White off. White has escaped. Now the first fight is over. We can call that “Round 1” I think there will be plenty more fights. Now those stones are for the most part captured. Black has blocked off the exit for those stones. They’re essentially captured. Even if White pushes, it’s hard for him to get out. Black might play a knight’s move in case White tries to escape. It gets complicated. The more I look at it the more complicated it is. I hope I get it right. I’m the commentator after all. It’s complicated, but White is in trouble. I think we can turn our attention to the bottom side. I’d like to know how this turns out. Shall we play it out? Please. Push, push, then extend. We have to think about what happens if White pushes and cuts. If White cuts we have to play here. If Black extends White gets one more liberty. White succeeds at getting out this way. If he has one less liberty, he’s dead. The other move we need to think about is the kosumi attachment. It’s like this. If White plays this then atari here. Then you connect here. Black cleanly captures White. He’s run out of liberties. Actually White could go here. Like this White loses the capturing race. If White extends then Black is in danger. Black has 3 liberties. Now he’ll be atari’d At this point we’ll just throw away these stones. Capture in the middle. White has failed. They won’t play this out. He’s going to strengthen his bottom group and throw away those two stones. This is the expected strategy. He hane’d. Double hane. He’s going to leave those two stones in the middle alone. If he can come out with them he’ll cause trouble. Black will go… Black 11-15 Cut White 13-14 Connect He cut. Very severe move. I thought he would cut at the other spot. Does his cut mean that he’ll capture the bottom White group? He’ll capture, but the middle is still a stone in his shoe. This cut here. If Black extends White will come out. Black will try to capture. Like this, these stones look like they’re captured. Playing like this is also good. You can let these stones go and use them to escape. This leads to a ladder. Please play White for me. Now we have a ladder. As long as you don’t make a mistake. You won’t try to escape at this point. Black is captured. Therefore, if Black extends and White tries to escape, Black will play here. These White stones will be saved, but now we have a new fight on our hands. Well, it might happen. He played the kosumi. The kosumi is going for a lot, more so than the descent. White could still attach on the outside. The shape here is not resolved. A mysterious move. This turned out differently than I thought. When Black plays the kosumi…yes…White wants to play there. I was sure he’d extend and aim for the center. What a fight. The next move depends on the ladder, yet again. This went as we expected. He attached to the kosumi. White will continue to expand on the right. He blocked. When White extends he has a good followup on the bottom. He may have another move in mind though. White has various moves he can consider. This is the most direct, honest way to play. When Black connects his stones at the bottom, then White will atari, and we’ll have a ladder. He’ll atari the one stone He’ll play something so that he doesn’t get cut. Hanging connection. Black still has problems in the center. The bottom has become Black’s territory. White’s four stones are captured. He can’t save them. They basically just died. He doesn’t seem to care about the aji in the middle. It’s there. White running away with those two stones may result in Black building the top side of the board. He might want to play at the top next. Black 17-16 Hane He’s taking away White’s liberties. He could have also played the 3,3 point. If you hane you remove White’s liberties and it is easier to attack. He felt that pushing through and using the atari at the 3,3 point would help him strengthen his stones. We can see how Black is taking away White’s liberties. He’ll play to take a liberty away from those four White stones. The middle of those three stones is the vital point. There are moves to make use of the lack of liberties, like an atari. Both players realize this. White will make shape because he doesn’t want that kind of thing to happen to him. White 17-17 Cut Black has about 40 points of territory at the bottom. It’s very big. White has a good amount of territory on the left. It’s tough to estimate. There’s still an invasion at the 3-3 point in the upper left corner. White has maybe 30 points. Black is around 10 points ahead. If the center doesn’t turn out poorly then Black is ahead. White is still in the game if he can do something at the top. It’s hard to play elsewhere here. You could play the hanging connection here. If you play the hanging connection then it might fix White’s liberty problems. Atari. They’re both thinking about the center. It’s exciting. Who will play in the center first? Black did well at the bottom but he needs to continue playing on the right. Black 12-16 Connect Cho studied under Ando Takeo 7 dan. I heard he lived with him while he was studying. Redmond, you studied under someone else? I lived with and studied under Oeda. Ando has had many strong pupils. Many great players, genius players, like Yoda for instance. Everyone studies and learns together. You study harder when everyone is watching your games. It’s good to have a rival, and you can’t have one if there’s nobody around you. I felt that way too. As a young child studying in a foreign country, did you ever feel sad or lonely? Well once I started studying under Oeda I began to fight, so I didn’t have time for such thoughts. They’re playing in the center now. So you lived in the Oeda house… Well we did make each other upset sometimes, but I never felt sad or lonely. Studying under Oeda was really rewarding. Ando didn’t have many students studying under him, but they were all talented. Now White will come out and Black may play another stone. Black may try and squeeze White. He’ll try to make the left side as small as possible. He can’t just sacrifice the center. He pushed. Will White extend? Black can’t follow along anymore. He must protect the center. The Black stones on the left are captured. White might want another move. Black will protect the center. White should push one more time. He can also play elsewhere. You can think about playing elsewhere. He’s considering his options. White 11-11 He has to play this. Now that the Black stones on the left have been captured, they won’t be involved in any more fighting. Extending after the atari is the correct shape. Extending is a fine move but he might not play it. He can’t continue the attack. It’s great shape though. He captured. So now White’s left side is bigger. Now White has more territory. Black has large territory at the bottom and White has large territory on the left. White is bigger. White is ahead. We’re not counting the territory around the 3-3 point in the upper left corner. If he got that, White’s territory would be really big. Black will aim to play in the upper right corner. White has a bit of a wall going on the right, but we don’t know if it’s strong yet. It has one eye. The hanging connection. It has at least one eye there. Not sure whether it has two eyes or not. If Black extends along the right side White isn’t settled. White is ahead on territory. Let’s say Black extends around here. He has a weak point here. We’re a long way from saying that White is dead. We worry about these stones. Black can increase his territory by attacking. Cutting here and then playing the kosumi… And then White running away here. Both were unexpected. White’s territory is bigger. White is working hard. Black is in the position to attack. It’s still anybody’s game. The upper side is wide open. Will he play on the right or at the top? Well there it is. This move threatens White. We can’t say White is dead though. Won’t defending make Black thick? We don’t wan’t want to play on the right. Yes, there. Earlier I said that this extension is note sente. The move on the space to the left is. This is still a long way off, but… White can force Black to capture his 4 stones at the bottom. He can do this by encircling Black’s middle stones. Black will have to come back and capture. That would be semedori. This reduces Black’s territory. Black has taken a lot of space. Since he extended so far he does need to defend. White can’t simply defend. The top is big. We would want to play something there. Side extension. 10-3 Expansion You want to play this move from the star point. He has extensions on both sides. It’s common sense. Now the 3-3 point is something we need to think about. The weakness is the 3-3 point. He went in. Black 3-3 He didn’t need to think about block this way. It’s common sense to block from the side that is wider and more expansive. This side White’s extension stone is further away. Just like the proverb. Black 3-4 Come Underneath When you use the large knight’s move as a corner enclosure for a star point stone, You have to pick this joseki. I thought we’d see some basic joseki from these two. It feels just right here. I was wrong. This is more severe. Normally white plays the hane the other way. That would be the normal joseki. What about the hane underneath? White wants Black to struggle. He’s taking away eyespace. There are a few variations. If Black comes underneath then there are fewer. The attachment here is a common tesuji. It’s interesting Black didn’t play on the 2-2 point. White would block if he did. When you attach you’re basically skipping the 2-2 point. White plays on the fourth line to continue the normal joseki. Does he have a special move prepared? Strange move. Is White trying to take Black’s eyespace. He wants Black to have a thin shape. White is thick on the left. It’s so strong he has nothing to worry about. So he is taking away eyespace to make the corner bigger for himself. Black might break through on the left side. White won’t mind much because he’s thick. The top is the important part. White wants to emphasize the top and the upper left corner at the same time. Now there’s a hole in Whites wall. Black could come out. If he does that the two stones in the corner might get captured. That’s what White is aiming for. Normally you come out here. Will he play here? He can cut. Black captures but then his two stones are captured in a ladder. This is terrible for Black. The corner lives but in gote. This is bad. Then this cut isn’t good? Black might play the hanging connection and let the two stones go. White is very strong here. We wanted this area over here. Developing from these stones is not interesting. Especially if we exchange this. White doesn’t care about that stone. Black would feel awful. White’s territory here is pretty big. When he takes he naturally takes this area here. Depending on the situation this stone could become weak. This way there’s no chance of that. White feels good. Black didn’t push out, he hane’d underneath. Atari here. Connect. I did say earlier it’s better not to block here, but now… Now Black wishes he had. White wants to descend. “Man I should’ve blocked” is what Black is thinking. There’s a chance after the atari White will take these two stones, but for now, connect. Those two stones aren’t important. Now expand here. That could become territory. If Black were to come in here and somehow make it out, this stone would come under attack. It’d be sad for White to lose control of an area where he thought he had territory. White has a lot of solid territory here. He may not mind if his territory up here gets broken up. Black didn’t gain much here. Yukawa’s style is fighting. He might try to come in. This went as I expected. This is correct. Keeping track of the territorial balance is no easy task. Being strong here will definitely affect how this part of the board plays out. Even if the top doesn’t turn into territory, White has plenty already. He needs one more move here to be safe. Playing elsewhere is dangerous. In a previous game, Mukai couldn’t decide between these two moves. Now Black is having the same conundrum. Cho is thinking about it now. Playing like this is painful. You atari and then connect. You can live by playing the hanging connection here. Black is not totally alive yet. This is a possibility. Both players see this instantly. This feels bad. Whether or not White plays here is another matter. However, this feels bad for Black. If you descend White will turn. He’s considering his options. He played there. That must be frustrating. He must feel frustrated with this. White can turn this into a ko. He can live. If he descends he’s alive. Taking two stones becomes sente then. This is painful. He won’t play like this. He may wait to play out the ko instead. He played. This move doesn’t make you feel great. You must be pretty mean to play this. When he connects, I wonder if he’ll play the hanging connection. He could connect. There is no need to play the hanging connection now. He might be checking his opponent’s mood. He played it. Well they say nice guys finish last in Go. For the most part, yes. When you’re ahead, you have to keep pushing. You have to keep pressing your opponent to keep your lead. In real life most people would dislike you for doing that. Strange move. It’s not alive yet. So do we save our two stones or look for ko threats? Cho Sonjin is playing a lot of weird moves today. White doesn’t have to play there straight away. Trying to take the group with a ko could be bad. If you’re going to play the ko, you need to prepare threats beforehand. White needs to take precautions. I think Cho just laughed darkly. One of the things Black is hoping to do with this attack is to perhaps split White. Aiming for White’s weak points? Black is aiming to make use of White’s lack of liberties. If he plays the kosumi then Black will attach with a one point jump. That is the shapes vital point. He protected. White 15-13 Kosumi Attachment White might not have two eyes if Black extends. White might be in for it. Yukawa hasn’t changed his expression. I’ve played Yukawa before. He always looks like that. He’s always like that when he’s playing. Who knows if he’s happy. It’d actually be weird if he smiled. Black extended. It’d be bad for White to let his two stones get cut. Now White isn’t alive. If Black plays the knight’s move on the third line, he doesn’t have two eyes. He is out in the center… It won’t die if it can get out. Now White has one eye. The fact that White only has one eye makes a big difference. He has to play in the center to find another eye, or else he’ll die. I wonder how he’ll do it. Knight’s move there. Will Black use this opportunity to chase White’s group and simultaneously reduce White at the top? That might happen. Well Black’s territory on the right could also get bigger. With the Knight’s move, the right is basically Black’s. Technically speaking it’s not territory yet though. It has some places where White can invade. There might be a chance that White can enclose Black’s center and aim to make a capturing race. Black 13-8 Black’s right side has gotten very big. Some might be afraid of how big Black is getting. They’d want to play in that direction. That’s why I found it interesting that he aimed his move towards the left. He is intent on attacking, no matter what. White 14-3 White chose the knight’s move. Bending at the spot 2 spaces down from the Tengen stone is sente. Then it becomes a one space jump instead of a knight’s move. That’s why White is solid. If Black doesn’t attack he’s really behind. White can somehow make eyes. Black does need to find a way to attack this group. He already has one eye. He just needs to choose how he’ll make his second eye. Black is trying to encircle White. He wants stronger shape in the middle. White could make a bamboo tube shape. If he has to defend, he can make an eye. Black connects. White will continue to run away towards the left. He’s not trying to make an eye. He’s thinking about territory. White could hane. Normally Black pulls back. Black should respond. Black 17-12 Pull Back The peaceful move would be to continue towards the left. But then Black’s right side becomes territory. There’s a weakness between Black’s center stones and the right side. He’s thinking about that opening. Will White find it? He played softly. It would have been more severe to play one spot over. I don’t have the patience to play like this. I’d want to erase the right and then make eyes. The Knight’s move is perfect. Now there are no more moves for White. This is the first time we can truly call the right side of the board Black’s territory. It’s always looked like it could become Black’s. There was a possibility Black wouldn’t get it. White’s group in the center is pretty much alive. It’s fine. It’s alive. This move is sente. White 11-11 Atekomi Now we have to think about territory. With these two players, I figured one of them would have finished the other one off by now. Now we actually have to calculate who is ahead. Let’s see who is leading. Please. This game may be decided in the endgame. I do think White is ahead. White’s area at the top is not completely territory yet. Black can still invade somewhere in here. Instead of invading here, what about the shoulder hit? We don’t know how much White will ultimately get after this, so it’s hard to calculate who is leading. Ah, for White? There are two big points, the 3-3 and over here. The part over here is basically settled. Playing this makes this an eye. If Black plays here, then this move is sente. This looks like it could be an eye. If White plays this you must play here to kill. There’s still some possibility White may die. Black is low on liberties here. If he loses them… Black may be the one who gets captured. If his liberties are taken away that is. Trying to directly capture White is not going to work. So White can play elsewhere? Yes, he can. In the game he played here. He wants to settle. White is helping Black settle his shape. If White plays another move, then Black will feel relieved. White should take sente here. It’d be strange not to. Will he play a move to protect the top? I think he will. Ahh, the 3,3. I wasn’t in time to comment. The 3-3 is also big. Since White played the 3-3 point, it’s up to Black to figure out how to play at the top. White will then try to cut Black off. White playing the 3-3 point reveals his intentions. He blocked. This move is worth a lot of territory. It protects against White’s knight’s move underneath. White’s Knight probably would have been sente. Now White can turn his attention back to the top. The 3,3 was the right point. Good thing that White played the 3,3. Picking the right spot to protect was difficult. I was thinking about playing a knight’s move between the two third line stones. This move protects against the shoulder hit. Black probably would have played that. He had this move all along. White’s response to this would normally be the kosumi, but White’s stones are one line off. The connection between White’s 2nd line stone on the right and the keima is weak. You can’t really capture this stone. If you kosumi above it… Then Black’s center stones are doing their job. Playing here covers up the weakness of the knight’s move. Now White’s connection is fine. Even though it’s on the fourth line it affects the second line connection. Black 12-5 Jump I’m actually interested to see how White will play now that Black has escaped. White’s stones in the upper right are good because they took an important area, but now it’s a life and death problem. That’s why he rushed to protect here. Black descends, White hanes, and then that is the normal endgame sequence. Expanding in the center would be big, but descending here is also big. It has to do with whether or not White is alive. It also affects the endgame. He played that move quickly. Now the game is going to get exciting. This will decide the game. So he attaches here. It has to do with Black’s one space jump on the right and White’s descending move. The descent works to keep White alive. Black’s attachment move has friendly stones to help it. White 10-2 Descend Now it’s a matter of reading. If Black gets surrounded? Well it counts as an invasion. White would surround first then think of moves afterward. If White had wanted to seal Black in, the move would be on the fifth line, but he’d have a lot of weaknesses. Black is the one who is afraid because White is so strong nearby. White is not going to be captured. If Black extends towards the left then things get complicated. There it is. White’s two stones at the very top will be fine. The two White stones in the center aren’t safe though. White will pick a group and then run with it. If Black plays here then White is dead. Let’s play this out. Keep going out? This is a net, isn’t it? Not quite. Play the knight’s move. White is surrounded. White is afraid. Yukawa is thinking now. Attaching underneath is another move we can think about. If you play here, even if he pushes, you have a move like this. He extends, and then you do this. There’s a lot you have to read out. This will be the last fight. This is Black’s last ditch effort to win. I was wondering who was ahead. This is difficult for Black too. He made the decision that he didn’t have enough points, so he had to play this. White has weak points too. Remember how I said earlier that Black wouldn’t attempt to kill the White stones in the middle? Well, the board is different now. It could happen now. He doesn’t have two eyes just yet. If Black gets thick around it… White 12-2 Attach That spot would have been good for Black. That would have been perfect for him. Black 7-5 Knight’s Move White 9-6 Extend Black’s got his work cut out for him at the top of the board. There is that thing in the center. Black jumped out with the knight’s move but the connection between the stones is bad. They’ve both used all their time. All gone. If he jumps here, there is this attachment or just the push and cut. White captures. So he’s not connected. If you want a more solid shape then you could kosumi or use this one space jump. Making eyes on the top would seem very difficult. That’s why Black is in a rough spot. That’s why exchanges like these could be useful. That way Black could play through here. Who knows if all that will really work though. They’re so close yet so far. It’s a solid shape, it’s hard to totally surround it. This is a bit difficult. The kosumi doesn’t help the fact that the connection with the knight’s move is weak. Sacrificing the two stones is an option. White 8-4 He went for the simple, direct route. Black could extend. He could extend one more time. It’s probably better just to throw those two stones away. That’s about right. Black 6-3 Jump Black is saying “Here take two stones!” He’s successfully invaded the top. Now it’s a matter of territory. White 7-3 Wedge Black 7-2 White 7-4 Connect White’s corner is strong. Black is regretting not having saved those two stones. He made an eye with a chance for a ko. Saving those two stones… Well who knows how that would have affected the game. It would have affected White. White 10-7 Kosumi He didn’t cut. He has two ways to capture stones. He’s fine. They’re worth the same. The kosumi is meant to help the middle group out. Black 6-8 Jump White 2-4 Cut Who do you think is ahead? I think White is winning. By a lot? Don’t know about that. I think they’ll play until the end. Black 11-5 Connect White 8-2 Cut He needs to play there. His shape is thin. He attached to connect? Yes. So he should be fine. White has some weak points in this shape. There are some places where he could get squeezed for liberties. That’s a solid move. I would have played the monkey jump in the upper right. The wedge here might be sente. How would Black protect? Does he have to? Black’s group at the top isn’t totally connected. Big move. Now White might be able to reduce Black’s liberties and force him to capture the stones at the bottom, reducing his own points (semedori). Black 7-9 White 7-10 Capture Black 8-9 Extend I’m wondering about the Ko. On the left? Yes. I don’t think White will start it. The problem is the number of ko threats. I still might worry about it. Well it’s a possibility but…. If White’s ahead there’s no reason to do it. White 19-6 The monkey jump is a big move. The monkey jump is just the right move here. This is sente for White. Black has to defend. Black 18-5 White 19-5 This is a standard sequence for monkey jumps. Pay attention. Even 5 dan level players make mistakes with this. I was wondering how to properly play out the monkey jump. There are many different ways to defend against the monkey jump. The Kosumi. Black should have played there. Now the game feels easy for White. The kosumi looks like it reduces the territory here. It prevents Black from coming under. It also reduces territory. Black 2-18 Jump Big move. He’s calm. This is just like the knight’s move before. He might have been able to come in a little bit further. There might be a chance he gets cut off inside Black’s territory. He decided against going in any further. Black 18-11 He probably wanted to go in a bit further but didn’t. At this stage we’re in the end game. We just need to find the big moves and play them. It’s surprisingly difficult. The cut on the upper side of the board is big. White may have a right to that move. This is big too. Black will connect under. Black 3-19 That move may have been worth somewhere between 5-9 points, maybe 7. White can force Black to run out of liberties. So the corner moves are really big. White could start a ko. Whoever gets there first… He played elsewhere. Well like this coming out doesn’t have any meaning. Maybe it was sente. If Black does nothing White comes into his center territory. He played elsewhere. Black 2-17 If White connects, Black making an eye in the corner is a big move. It’s almost as big as if White had connected and then turned earlier. White has a move at the top now. This move right here. Black can’t cut. Black is in trouble. He needs some time. White 3-17 Capture Patient. This is a bit painful. I might have resigned. White is ahead. Black 15-10 Well he’d lose on time if he did nothing, so he protected. Did Black really need to protect there? Play on the right or at the top? Black’s shape could run out of liberties. He played there. Will Black lose two stones? Not connecting would be terrible. Black 17-5 Connect White didn’t actually have any special moves there, even though it looked like he did. Maybe he’s reading something out? White 5-8 He didn’t have enough time to read it all out. He resigned. Yukawa Mitsuhisa wins by resignation after 190 moves. Yukawa Mitsuhis a 9 dan wins by resignation. What did you think of today’s game? It was a fierce and intense fight, just as I expected. The fight started off with White having a hard time. Once White did well in the middle and was able to get out into the center, White was ahead. He also did well at the top. Wonderful game. Michael Redmond 9 dan, thank you.

26 thoughts on “63rd NHK Tournament Cho Sonjin vs. Yukawa Mitsuhisa

  1. Japan attacked China during WW2 because their Emperor loss a game of 圍棋 to a Chinese monk. Now you know the truth.

  2. In the middle of the night when you just leave the bathroom dizzy, this very woman, will appear from inside your closet and say lowly : – rrrrhhhae…

  3. played go with mr. hsu at the church of jesus christ of latter day saints at jinhua street, taipei ciy
    a couple of years ago

  4. For all the people complaining about this … In JApan you must interrupt with hai, ah or something similar to show interest and to show that you hearing what they say …

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