Four Larks And A Hen

British Go Journal No. 61. March 1984. Page 18.

Last summer we were priviledged to welcome Mr Nakayama Noriyuki to this country as the Nihon Kiin's official representative to the European Championships. Before that event, he toured the clubs, playing simultaneous games with all comers and generally spreading his infectious enthusiasm for the game.

Among these encounters was the following game with Eddie Smitthers of Leicester. Eddie wrote some comments on the game for the benefit of his clubmates. We received a copy of these together with a few additional remarks from Richard Granville. The following commentary marks comments by Eddie as (S), those by Richard (G) and those by the editors (E).

Black: Eddie Smithers, 4k
White: Nakayma Noriyuki, 5p
Handicap: 9 stones
(One of eight simultaneous games for White.)
The game-file in SGF format.

Figure 1 (1-40)

  • Black 5: Bad – 6, 7 or 10 would have separated white cleanly.
  • Black 7-11: These moves achieve nothing (G). I probably played this wrongly – 9' below 8 might have been more interesting (S). The game result does not seem too bad for Black – after 23 he can pull out his stone 7 and threaten the white stones on the side (E).
  • Black 17: I did not want to lose the chance of a corner foothold for my group (S). Not bad but played for completely the wrong reason - the purpose of 17 is to attack (G). If Black really wants to defend his corner he should play 18 before 17 but this is not recommended (E).
  • Black 19,21: Once he has played 19, Black must follow at 22.
  • Black 23: He should attack at 38 – the corner is too small.
  • Black 35, 39: Rather ineffective – the white group is difficult to attack after 30 (G). I disagree – Black's play here is surely justified by the fact that he did kill the white stones in the end (E).
Figure 2 (41-87)

  • Black 49: Bad shape and purely defensive – he should hane to the right of 42, counterattacking the white group on the side.
  • Black 57: . . I thought this would give me a bombproof position (S). Oh ye of little faith (E).
  • Black 65' must connect at 66. The black group at the top can live if it is cut off.
  • White 84: Both Eddie & Richard Granville thought that this would be better at 85. The position is shown again on page 21 as a problem.
Figure 3 (88-110)

  • Black 89: Better at 95.
  • Black 91: Pointless.
  • Black 95: Good, but only if he cuts below 98 instead of playing 99. That would have killed a few stones on the side and connected all Black's stones together.
  • Black 101: Unnecessary. Please convince youtself that this group cannot be killed (but notice that White has handled his dead group on the left so that it has many liberties, and would win the capturing race if he did contrive to kill black on the side (E).
  • Black 107: His "bombproof" position has died in gote.
Figure 4 (111-145)

  • White 134: Cheeky – White wants his bread buttered on both sides, none of your polite 5 point win for Nakayama. (E)

Remaining moves were not recorded – Black played on to the end and lost by about 70 points.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 61
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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