7-Stone Lesson

British Go Journal No. 16. March 1972. Page 11.

John Tilley & Nagahara

Black: John Tilley, 1d.
White: Nagahara, 4p.
Handicap: 7 stones

The game-file in SGF format.

All comments are by Nagahara except those marked [T] which are by Tilley.
Some of the diagrams are out of sequence with respect to the accompanying text. The [Ref to Dia] symbol by a diagram title links to the associated text.

Figure 1 (1-100)

  • Black got off to a good start; he made no real mistake up to black 30.
  • Black 2 & 4: [T] I like this joseki in a seven stone game, when the side star point is occupied. It's aggressive.
  • Black 6: [T] When white plays from the other side I like this joseki - again it's aggressive and a maximum play.
  • Black 12: [T] Could play at 13 to build a wall, but 5 is not completely captured.
  • Black 18: [T] I felt that this was an aggressive reply - it separates white 15 and 17, but, looking back, black's resultant wall, 6, 20 and 22, is nullified by white's 11, 13 and 5. Maybe another joseki was needed here, e.g. Basic Techniques of Go, pages 125-7.
  • Black 28: alright. A play at A is a little dangerous as White could play 45.
  • Black 30: No good. Just what white expected though! Black should think as follows:- "The obvious move is black 30 and white will be happy to play 31 - more than he deserves as black is very strong around here. So maybe the opponent's vital point is where I should play." (See 'Go Proverbs Illustrated'.)
    Dia 1. Black 1 here is obviously correct, as it forces white towards black's strength. (C.F. proverbs "Don't approach strength," and its converse "Push enemy groups towards your strong positions.") Also black triangle is black's weakest stone and black 1 helps it a lot. Black 1 is an excellent move.
  • Black 32, 34: Tesuji, good.
  • Black 36: Should play atari, then 36.
  • Black 38: good. This stops white 42 and gives the black group shape.
  • Black 46, 50: Both reasonable moves in a handicap game.
  • Black 54: A good point, but Black should aim for bigger things - B would be excellent.
  • White 59: [T] Designed to confuse Black.
  • Black 60, 62: Correct. Don't play atari, it reduces possibilities.
  • Black 64 could and should follow Dia 2. White would be in trouble.
  • White 65: Unreasonable, in fact a bad move, but...
  • Black 66: It's a pity Black missed the tesuji sequence of Dia 3 which would have exploited White's poor move 65.
  • Black 72: A must, a simple move, but it gives black the possibility of a counter attack.
  • Black 80: D would be the severest response, but rather tricky.
  • Black 84: (Grin!)
  • Black 86, 88: Good.
  • Black 100: Maybe at E.
Diagram 1 [Ref to Dia 1]

Diagram 2 [Ref to Dia 2]

Diagram 3 [Ref to Dia 3]

Figure 2 (101-174)

117 ko at 105, 120 ko at 114, 123 ko, 129 at triangle
BGJ had two move 115s and no move 125. 129 was listed as 'ko' but that is implausible - assume it captures 128.

At the start of Fig 2 Black has a comfortable lead.

  • Black 104: Too aggressive, a game losing move! White is very strong to the right and black can't hope to kill white 103. Better to play at 105.
  • Black 108, 112: Too aggressive. Black has managed to get himself into big trouble.
  • Black 126: A large exchange took place, in which black has lost 15-20 points.
  • Black 130-138: Quite good for Black.
  • White 139-151: [T] All designed to play 149 and 151 in sente and keep Black worried.
  • White 153: [T] Too big, Black has lost now.

The game finished after 201 moves, White winning by seven points.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 16
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

Last updated Thu May 04 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.