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Takemiya Masaki (9Pro Dan): This is Go the Natural Way !

British Go Journal (Winter 1990)

British Go Journal (Winter 1990)

Long time ago, between 1983 and 1991 the Japanese Go Professional Takemiya Masaki (9p D) wrote for the British Go Journal (BGJ) about different topics, as the table shows (see bottom). The articles originally had been published in Kido Magazine which was for many years the Nihon Ki-in’s dan-level go magazine till 2000.

From 1988 on Takemiya presented in the BGJ different problems of Fuseki-s (openings) within the series “This is Go the Natural Way !” – naturally related to SanRenSei.

Three interesting problems Takemiya presented in part 7, being published in edition No. 81 of the British Go Journal (Winter 1990), as you can read in the PDF (free download here).

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If you like to read the whole series, best you buy the book with same title which was published in 2008. “This is Go the Natural Way!“are the watchwords that the author takes as his philosophy of play in this unique volume, but the book could also be viewed as The Best Games of Takemiya Masaki.

yellow mountain imports sold this book originally published by Hinoki Press in the past at a reduced prize of 17.99 US dollars (original prize: 20.00 US$). There it is no more available. It might be a challenge to get one original print nowadays (ISBN 13 978-0-9788874-9-0).

yellow-mountain-importsWhen Takemiya published the material that has been translated by Bob Terry, he was Honinbo and at the top of his form. Few professional go players were serious rivals for him. And the ones who were are today considered as great players in the same way as he is, such as Cho Chikun, Kato Masao or Sakata Eio. All of these players and many more make appearances in this volume.

The twelve games covered (the list gives the White player first) are:

  1. Takemiya Masaki – Hashimoto Utaro, 1972-08-08, All Japan No. 1 Tournament
  2. Kato Masao – Takemiya Masaki, 1974-05-18/19, Honinbo League
  3. Takemiya Masaki – Rin Kaiho, 1974-03-28, Pro Best Ten Final
  4. Takemiya Masaki – Abe Yoshiteru, 1977-10-06, Oteai
  5. Ishida Yoshio – Takemiya Masaki, 1970-12-20/21, Nihon Ki-in Championship
  6. Hashimoto Shoji – Takemiya Masaki, 1969-05-22, Pro Best Ten
  7. Ishida Yoshio – Takemiya Masaki, 1974-03-03, Nihon Ki-in Championship
  8. Yamabe Toshiro – Takemiya Masaki, 1970-06-04, Nihon Ki-in Championship
  9. Ishida Yoshio – Takemiya Masaki, 1974-03-30/31, Honinbo Title Match, Game 2
  10. Takemiya Masaki – Rin Kaiho, 1974-01-23/24, Honinbo
  11. Takemiya Masaki – Honda Kunahisa, 1974-01-14, Meijin League
  12. Takemiya Masaki – Cho Chikun, 1981-05-26, Honinbo Title Match, Game 1

This is not merely a collection of brilliant games. Far from it. In fact, several of the games analyzed in this book ended in losses for the author. But that is not the key factor that Takemiya takes pains to explain. The laws were not in his strategy, but in the execution, and at critical points more experienced players edged him out for wins. Such as when Ishida Yoshio defeated Takemiya (4-3) in the 1974 Honinbo Title Match. One of Takemiya’s greatest games appeared in that match, but he ended up losing it and the match. He won the title two years later, but he would rather dwell on that earlier loss than recount the triumph that followed. The reader should examine that game published here.

   book author: Takemiya Masaki (9p Dan)
original publisher: Hinoki Press
year of publishing: 2008 (176 pages)
ISBN: 13 978-0-9788874-9-0
reseller: Yellow Mountain Imports
prize:  $17.99 ($20.00)

Takemiya’s article published in the BGJ (source: British Go Journal Archive)

Author Title in British Go Journal (BGJ) key subject year of publishing edition
number
pp.
Takemiya Masaki Josekis, Enclosure – Lit 1983 59 19
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 1 * Fus 1988 73 19-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 2 * Fus 1989 74 16-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 3 * Fus 1989 75 5-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 3 * Fus 1989 76 12-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 4 * Fus 1989 77 25-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 5 * Fus 1990 78 6-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 6 * Tec 1990 80 19
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 7 * Fus 1990 81 22-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 8 * Fus 1991 82 7-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 9 * Fus 1991 83 6-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 10 * Fus 1991 84 26-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Part 11 * Fus 1991 85 10-
Takemiya Masaki Natural Way, This is Go the -! Solutions * Tec 1990 81 28-
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Influence (and centre) oriented Pro Games… safety first ?

Tks to Mark5000 (1Dan/OGS) and Sefo (8K) for the lively discussion…


Sefo (citiation):

I’ve found some recent pro games that were largely influence oriented. Top pros play the Chinese variants and orthodox for safety, because that’s how they make a living. Playing center oriented is risky, they won’t bet their salary on it.

I came across an interview where a pro player was discussing non-territorial openings. He clearly stated that center oriented (tengen for example) are not bad. They just open too many possibilities that it’s very hard to review and make a viable opening that will have a safe win/loss ratio.

Only amateurs, who noticed these openings weren’t played that often, flagged them as bad openings.
But they are indeed a perfect way to learn direction, invasions, attack and they are an immense source of fun.

When money or fame is not a consideration pros jump on the occasion and play very unorthodox openings. High level games on Tygem are a proof of that.

As for Takemiya have you seen his games? He plays nirensei every single time and attacks.
As soon as the occasion presents itself, he puts the stone on the middle hoshi. (unless his opponent afraid of his style plays there first)

So I don’t know where you got that information from…

So yeah, sanrensei is definitely a viable option even at top pro level. Don’t spread wrong information please.


Mark5000 (citiation):

Sefo must be talking about Seo Bongsoo (see page 17 of “British Go Journal”, Edition: Autumn 1994, No. 96)…

british-go-journal-no-96-autumn-1994These days [1994] the emphasis is changing from corner, side, then centre to just side then centre, since it is difficult to develop the corner. We can thank Takemiya for this change. Korean players have always had to play to win in order to earn money, so they have concentrated on the corners and were afraid of the centre because of its vagueness, and they did not research it. However, Takemiya was brought up by a rich family, and the Japanese don’t allow their players to think about money, so he researched into this unknown area. Having been beaten several times by Cho Chi-hoon, who found his weak points, he perfected his centre strategy as a way of playing against Cho. He has done the most research and has shown us how fantastic, magnificent, and deep the centre is, like the Universe. Before him, Korean amateurs and professionals used to avoid the 4-4 point; now this is the most popular opening.

The origin page (scan) British Go Journal you can read here [Rec.: All issues of the British Go Journal (Archive c/o British Go Asociation) are available online – http://www.britgo.org ]

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