Commentary 15

White: Honinbo Shusaku
Black: Murase Shuho (wins by 1)

3rd of 9th month, same year (1861-10-06), same venue, throughout the night and completed the next day

1 ~ 100

The extension of White 10 is not at the usual distance, but here it is seems deliberately chosen. It is difficult to say whether it is good or bad: it is a planned change.

Black 29 should be at 41. Initially, when White first played 24, he was concerned that if he played 30 first Black might vary. That being so, it is more active for Black to play at 41 at once now to strike at the weakness White accepted. But he let White play 30 first and it reverted to the usual shape.

When it came to White 54, Shusaku sank into thought for a very long time. Eventually he played this move, but after the game he said, "There were various possibilities for White 54. Should I concentrate on a central moyo by peeping at ▲, since this has the aji of being able to separate Black? Or should I concentrate on territory as I did? Because it was a very close game, it was very difficult to get a firm grasp of estimating the profit and loss of the two plans, and I had to rack my brains."

101 ~ 183

White settled on a fuseki in this game that would keep things very close right from the beginning, and up to the endgame he did not make a single careless move. But Black also made no rash moves for which he could be castigated, and so in the end he was just able to maintain the power of first move and win by one point. If we look back over the game, it was a peaceful, uneventful affair. Yet, although things transpired very simply, both players had to exert themselves to assess the profit and loss of each move and to keep the balance. One mistake would have cost the game. The most difficult games are just like this. Probably this can be called a masterpiece by White.

Book II-30b (Sgf version: sgf)

© John Fairbairn & T Mark Hall (GoGoD), London 2007.