Nagahara - Heavens

British Go Journal No. 54. October 1981. Page 9.

Black: Steve Heavens, ?
White: Mr Nagahara, 6p

The game-file in SGF format.

During his visit to Manchester Mr Nagahara played simultaneous games against eight of the local players, winning seven of them. Steve Heavens sent us his game, with some comments as to how he could have avoided losing. Remarks by Steve are labelled (H) in the following text. Other remarks are by Matthew Macfadyen, and are concerned not so much with Black's errors as with White's skilful use of them.

Figure 1 (2-105)

  • White 12: Black 11 was a bit slow, though not bad. Black, however, is thinking defensively. White 12 offers him the chance to make a similar play (one point below 38 for instance) where it would definitely be bad.
  • Black 27: (H) 28 or one point below 28 would be more severe but would lead to complications.
    • This is typical of the results of playing at 13, a move widely recommended in books but which usually leads Black out of his depth in a 9 stone handicap game.
  • White 32: At this point many amateurs would feel tempted to try to save 2 and 4, but actually White would be delighted to see Black play again in this area (where he is already overconcentrated) to kill them. Instead White makes Black even heavier with 32 and then switches to the urgent point at 34.
  • 34-82: All too predictable - of course Black had chances to save both of his groups, but the fact that they ever got weak is a measure of his failure.
  • 86-106: White adopts a blunt strategy - he wants to see how many eyes this group is allowed to get before deciding what to do on the left side. Little mistakes like 95 (which should be one point to the left) are a great help in such circumstances.
Figure 2 (101-208)

151 ko at 145, 154 ko at 146, 157 ko, 160 ko, 163 ko.
  • White 114: (H) Black should probably have played here instead of continuing to attack with 111 and 113.
    • Certainly White has no cause to complain as he runs all over Black's potential territory - the eyes will come somehow.
  • White 128: There's always a tesuji when you know how (Black cannot reply at 130 because 166 would then be sente for White and five Black stones would get cut off).
  • Black 139: (H) I couldn't see how to continue.
    • 140 seems best.
  • Black 143: Commendably vigorous, but there's nothing like a ko for White to pick up odd points here and there.
  • Black 147 gives White an extra eye - it should be at 150; 161 gives up over 10 points - the correct threat here was to the right of 162, and by the time Black wins the ko the game is getting close.
  • Black 171: (H) Idiot - 188 is the tesuji for connecting.
  • Black 181: good - White is completely dead.
  • Black 187 should be at 189, 187 loses three points, it's getting closer.
  • White 204: Can't do any harm trying.
  • Black 207: Oops. If this had been at 208 White would not even have had a ko threat to live.

Black resigned a few moves later.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 54
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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