Friday, 19 July 2013

Interesting End Game Problem

This is a game between Seo Bongsoo 9p (white) and Kobayashi Koichi 9p (black) in 1993's Fujisu Cup. Seo seemed determined to challenge Kobayashi's yose skill, so we end up seeing a peaceful game atypical of Seo's "wild grass" fighting style. For those who are familiar with the history of the professional Go history, Kobayashi's yose and positional judgement skills were top among pro players at that time.

Seo did fairly well and as the game approached end game, it remained very close. In fact, he only lost by 1.5 with 5.5 points komi. As shown above, white answered black's A squeeze with B. Did he have to?!

If w ignores, black 1,3 are to be expected. After white 4, black seems to be short in liberty ... but black 9 is the killing move! Locally it's a very unfavourable ko for white. If white 4 jumps at 6 (2-2) instead, it will also be a ko that's heavy for white and free for black.

Both players must have seen black 9, and it must be with regret when white answered at B in the previous diagram, knowing he would lose by a very small margin.

Complete game record and discussions around the point of interest: