Baduk TV English: Won Seongjin vs Cho Chikun – Searching for Exquisite Games: Episode 11

Searching for Exquisite Games is a Baduk TV series that reviews some of the best games of Go from the last few decades. The commentators are Yoon Seonghyun 9p and Shim Wooseop 7d.

Episode 11 looks at a game from the round of 16 in the 8th Samsung Cup, played on August 29, 2003. Won Seongjin plays black and Cho Chikun plays white.

Won Seongjin vs Cho Chikun

Video: Won Seongjin vs Cho Chikun

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Transcript of the video

Translated by Oh Chimin 7d for

Edited by David Ormerod 5d

Searching for Exquisite Games - Episode 11.

Hello! Today's theme is 'Miraculous Tesuji'!

This is a term that's quite moving.

Generally speaking, these sorts of moves are dramatic.

And they can change a game instantly.

I can't wait to introduce today's game.

Let's meet today's guest.

Hello! My name's Song Yangseok.

I'm Song Hongseok 7d's older brother.

[His brother is one of the strongest amateurs in Korea.]

He's playing in the preliminary rounds of the Olleh KT Cup at the moment.

I hope he can make it through to the main round.

Q. Which game would you like to recommend?

This game was played in the round of 16 at the 8th Samsung Cup.

Cho Chikun 9p and Won Seongjin 9p met each other there.

Cho eventually went on to win this championship.

Q. Can you summarize the game?

Cho normally likes to take territory first, then manage his groups.

But in this game, Cho took the center first.

I thought his invasion at the bottom was a failure.

However, Cho realized something about his dead-looking group,

And Won didn't.

In the midst of the game, Cho revealed a move.

It might be easy to find the tesuji if you know it's there.

But, in an actual game, one can easily miss it.

After his success, he didn't give Won a single chance.

Q. Why did you choose this game?

I like Cho's style of play.

He's keen on territory and good at sabaki.

I was very impressed by his games against Takemiya Masaki 9p.

When he was at his peak, his deep invasions were fascinating.

This game was a bit different though.

Even though his heyday was over, his reading was still deep.

I hope you'll also appreciate this game.

Every game in the Samsung Cup important, right?

In this game, a tesuji seemed to change the flow dramatically.

Many viewers suggested this game to us.

Cho was already past his prime at the time.

But he participated in this championship as a wild card.

On the other hand, Won was becoming popular in Korea.

And he'd begun to perform well on the international scene.

There are many fascinating variations in this game.

Let's have a look at the game.

Won Seongjin plays black, Cho Chikun plays white.

Every Go player knows who Cho is.

But at one point, it became hard to see his name,

On the international Go scene.

He was awarded a wild card for this tournament.

Whereas Won was a very promising, younger Korean player.

This formation looks normal.

Here's an interesting fact.

This was one of the best games of 2003.

If you keep that in mind, you'll enjoy this game.

Cho's next move greatly affected the development of the game.

Cho's rival, Kobayashi Koichi 9p, loves this formation.

It's called the Kobayashi Style.

I thought that white should approach this corner.

But Cho approached here. Had he studied this move?

This approach was often played before.

If black secures the corner, white extends here.

After black approaches, white jumps.

It used to be a joseki. But many other moves were researched.

Let's see what white's intention was.

When Won pincered, then Cho approached here.

What's the difference?

When white extended, black couldn't approach.

Compared to this, white's group is under less pressure.

Therefore, white doesn't have to jump immediately.

Depending on the situation, white can utilize his stone.

So this stone isn't completely dead.

That's the advantage of this approach.

Indeed, the pressure on the two stones is weak now.

Everyone used to approach the bottom right corner in the past.

And later pros realized that black shouldn't answer in the corner like that.

They found a move to keep applying pressure to white.

Won would have already investigated this formation.

It was one of the most popular openings in Japan.

This move was Won's response.

After white slid here, black attacked.

It maintained the efficiency of all black's stones.

And it looks aggressive and powerful.

Won loves fighting and thickness.

Cho tried to settle in the corner quickly.

Isn't this extension normal in this situation?

Won connected here. What's the difference?

Black can also play here. Then white will push.

This is the expected sequence.

This counter-atari is a useful move.

Black can atari, or extend, next.

If black ataris, white will extend here.

There's a reason why Won connected solidly.

It doesn't mean the extension is bad,

But in this variation, black's hane looks good.

If white hanes, black can cut and leave aji.

This empty triangle is inevitable, then black can attach here.

Since this area was urgent, Won wanted to take sente.

Otherwise, the extension is conceivable.

White's shape doesn't look nice.

The actual game proceeded as Won intended.

I recommend Won's move, because it's simpler.

After that, Cho invaded the bottom side.

The first serious contest arose here.

Because the ladder favors black, white can't wedge.

It's no good.

It was still a well timed invasion though.

If the ladder favors white, he can wedge here too.

After this cut, the ladder's important.

This ladder seems favorable for black at the moment.

Yes, that's true.

It'd be nice if there was a ladder breaker here.

This looks like a brilliant strategy.

This a ladder breaker.

If black pushes, white can extend. It's miai.

White can push through. Black's in trouble.

However, this move prevents the ladder again.

And white doesn't have a good follow up next. It's too bad.

Unfortunately, the wedge doesn't work now.

As a result, Cho extended here.

This is a common variation.

When the ladder favors white, he has to wedge.

If there's a good ladder breaker, white should wedge too.

In the game, Cho haned here.

How about this? White will gain many points.

It used to be played often, but it's now obsolete.

Ah, is that so?

This attachment looks wonderful to me.

This cut is important.

Because of the hane, black can't come out.

Black used to descend here, the result's even.

But later, this attachment was found.

Can't white resist?

If white extends, black can hane or bump.

This is a ladder.

If white defends like this, this hane is a nice move.

It creates a burden for white.

Because of that aji, white has to back off.

This move is still sente.

This exchange is pretty good for black.

On the contrary, it's very painful for white.

It will be helpful in managing the center later.

Because of this attachment, white doesn't connect anymore.

This move was found during pro study sessions.

We barely had a chance to introduce it to public, because nobody plays this way anymore.

Because of that move, this variation disappeared from pro games.

We should remove that variation for white from our minds.

Cho haned here.

Now black couldn't allow white to connect here.

It's a normal progression.

One interesting point was that this move was sente.

It creates miai.

This common position is good for the sake of comparison.

In the actual game, the tiger's mouth was sente.

It was a special circumstance.

Because of that, black was able to get a thicker moyo.

This enclosure looks nice.

However, white can't tenuki here.

Inevitably, white must jump, which is a bad exchange.

But it's too painful.

After that, black has more forcing moves here.

This will weaken white's lower right group.

This tiger's mouth aimed in both directions!

This attachment was Cho's resistance.

Answering here looks too submissive.

It's hard for black to cut here immediately.

This atari doesn't seem so good.

White has miai to live.

So Won enclosed here, as he'd planned.

Before defending, Cho enlarged the weaknesses in black's shape.

Cho would've hesitated a little here.

These moves are tempting.

But white has weak points on the right.

This empty triangle is a good way to attack in this case.

It seems like white's group is in danger.

White can't resist. Those moves are all sente.

Getting an eye is the best choice in this situation.

But black will quickly reduce white's liberties.

White's one liberty short.

This cut is conceivable.

However, it doesn't help white very much.

He's only got two liberties.

This is the last resort.

White can make an eye here.

We can expect this sequence.

It's a ko, and black has a number of local ko threats.

Before starting the ko, black can even cut here to make white heavier.

Though complicated, this battle favors black.

White's weaknesses are critical.

Yes, so he can't attack black.

Cho cut here, but this move was controversial.

Let's see how the actual game progressed.

When black extended, white couldn't attach here.

This attachment is a good punishment!

Black can cut and capture one stone in sente.

Enclosing white like this was nice.

White's lower side group ended up getting hurt.

Both players agreed that Cho should've answered here.

In this case, black can't shut white in.

White can cut here now.

Black will meet a severe counter-attack.

He has to connect instead, then white can jump.

White's moved out successfully.

Instead of the cut, preventing the enclosure was urgent.

Both players agreed on this point.

We can compare the actual progression with this one.

In terms of the outcome, they had different opinions.

Won thought it was better for black.

But Cho thought it was even.

Won played a good combination here.

And Cho's resistance helped black.

Cho was unable to attack, so this cut was his alternative.

But it wasn't successful.

Consequently, Won enclosed this area.

From here on, Cho's move order was exquisite.

I was touched by it, at the time.

I was expecting black to remove this weakness.

Or, otherwise, I'd think about capturing these two stones.

To my surprise, Cho bumped here.

This answer seems normal to me.

But white will connect, saving his stones.

Won resisted. This move looks interesting.

When Cho played here, I thought it wouldn't work.

Because there was some aji at the bottom.

White's weak, and has to live like this.

Since the right group is unstable, this kosumi (connecting) is sente.

That's why capturing black's two stones is big.

Astonishingly, Cho cut here!

Isn't that a ladder?

This cut was a high level of asking move.

Won ataried here. If black ataris this way,

White can come through here.

Black can capture white's stones in sente.

Let's see what the exchange will do.

To capture those stones, black has to block here.

Thanks to the exchange, white can hane.

White can rescue this stone later.

If black cuts anyway, white will move the stone out.

It's a big problem for black.

After this cut, black's bottom group will be in danger.

Ah, that was Cho's profound aim!

Here's one more variation.

If black responds here, white will come out.

Now this move works.

When black separates, white can cut.

The right hand group is dead then.

Cho's cut was a sophisticated asking move.

Won couldn't capture it.

These were well timed asking moves.

Since these stones were pivotal, Won ataried here.

And then Cho kosumied.

Won had no choice but to block here.

Cho's asking move turned out to be nice.

If white cuts later, black will simply capture it.

So cutting here was well timed.

After Cho moved out, Won pushed through.

In spite of the double atari, Cho wedged here!

What will happen if black just cuts?

Then white can safely capture black in miai.

These four stones are quite big.

In response, Won cut here instead.

Let me explain this variation again.

Because of this stone, the ladder favors white.

Ah, is that so?

[The commentator on the left briefly misread the ladder earlier.]

Even so, white still can't capture these stones.

But black can separate white like this.

And if white cuts later, white's bump becomes a bad exchange.

But thanks to the timing of his asking move, Cho was able to fight back.

And this wedge was a wonderful move.

After that, Won cut here.

Won couldn't atari here, but this move instead was good.

If white saves his stones, black can attack like this.

Can't white escape?

Black can squeeze from the outside.

After that, white can't run away.

It's no use playing atari here.

Black has five liberties, while white has three.

As a result, Cho couldn't rescue his two stones.

So he jumped here.

After black captured, white still needed one more move in the center.

Then Won ataried.

I think it's impossible for white to live inside.

How should we judge the result of this trade?

It'd be better for black if he'd captured the whole group.

After taking the two stones, black became thick.

White also gained thickness by capturing black.

Cho's move order around here was magnificent.

I felt like I was watching him in his prime.

He answered Won's moves flexibly.

It was hard to grasp the whole picture, though.

Following his thought process was like completing a puzzle.

Cho tenukied, as if he was giving up his group.

He attached in top right the corner.

If black blocks, white will wedge.

After that, cutting here is powerful.

Because of the cutting point, black can't play here.

Yes, there's no escape.

These two stones were too big.

After Won captured these stones, Cho came out.

Assuming this group had died, was black leading?

Yes, let me show the actual game first.

Won took the corner.

I thought this attachment was a beginner's move.

But Cho played it.

Cho's saying the top is small because his stone is already here.

It was an appropriate choice in this situation.

Won settled the corner with the attachment.

It was thoughtful of Won to play here.

If black just extends, there's no follow up there.

After this move, Cho had to reinforce his area.

This attachment was brilliant!

It's hard to come up with.

Thanks to black's wall, this move was playable.

After the hane, white had to defend himself.

In addition, white's corner group wasn't alive yet.

In other words, Won's attachment was powerful.

Now this stone was better placed.

Won read many moves ahead. What broad sight!

Cho looked after his group and so did Won.

This was an asking move.

How about this move? Can black play here?

Then this bump is nice. It's useful in many cases.

It looks strange, but it cuts off black's connection.

Now black doesn't have a proper attack on this group.

In this case, the bump is a tesuji.

So Won just connected here.

Black couldn't cut white, because white would cut on the other side.

Up to here, the situation was stabilized.

Leaving this group, both sides played many moves.

In my opinion, they thought this group was dead.

If so, black would have had 45 points at the bottom.

In total, black would have secured more than 70 points.

White had more than 30 points on the left.

Adding the territory on the right, it's 50 points in total.

Well, there are no weak groups on the board.

It's a big margin. Some would say it's over.

In fact, Won thought the same thing.

But there was something he didn't even imagine.

It was time for Cho to do something.

Let's keep going after the break.

Today's program is part of the 'Miraculous Tesuji' series.

We're reaching the climax of the game.

Now the key issue is this group.

Won never realized during the game.

But there was a great tesuji inside black's territory.

Unaware of the problem, Won replied in the safest ways possible.

Cho didn't play at the bottom, as if he knew nothing.

He only revealed the tesuji after gaining a lot of profit elsewhere.

Could this group really be alive?

It looks hopeless because of black's thickness.

I think white should exchange this first.

What about this jump?

In this case, this hane is also sente.

White has two choices. How about this move?

Then black will keep removing the eye shape.

After black connects, white's in trouble.

If white plays here, black will pinch. It's dead.

Because of the throw-in, this move doesn't help either.

It's not easy to live inside.

Making an eye seems possible.

But if black plays here, it's miai.

White can't live, it's too bad.

He's unable to make another eye.

How can white survive then?

I suppose you'd search very hard for a move.

At this point, white revealed his tesuji.

Because black can cut, this jump is impossible.

The proverb says, 'the enemy's vital point is your own'.

However, this hane looks rather bad.

Cho's hane wasn't just an endgame play.

I think it's the perfect time for an endgame play though.

Now Cho clamped.

In general, this sort of move is inconceivable.

Won had to cut here.

This move was sente.

If black attacks, white can save this stone.

After the inevitable capture, white lived at the bottom.

It's a huge reversal.

Leaving this possibility for later, Cho played elsewhere.

He's a real player.

Won would have felt as if he got hammered in the head.

If it were a life and death problem, he'd solve it in an instant.

But it appeared in a real game.

It looks like a beginner's move, so Won missed it.

And black's thickness distracted Won's reading.

There was much discussion of Cho's excellent tesuji.

Considering his moves, Cho wouldn't have seen it at first either.

Many were curious about when he noticed that move.

He got lots of profit by exploiting Won's psychological state.

Before that, Cho would've found this move.

After noticing it, he'd have felt very nervous.

Concealing the move for awhile would be hard.

His plan was really bold.

There was some speculation over Cho's tesuji.

Some players said Cho knew about it for a long time beforehand.

Others said no one knew about it until Cho played it.

Won thought he'd completely captured black.

In his calculations, he was leading by about 20 points.

Won will never forget this game.

It was very unlucky for him to miss it.

Black couldn't resist at all.

It was a huge change in the situation.

Won faced a disaster here.

I assessed the position at this point.

Cho saved his group, and the loss in the corner was trivial.

It was even on the board, so Cho was far ahead.

Unless Won took profit in the center, he'd lose the game.

The center became Won's only hope.

After that exchange, Won invaded aggressively.

Cho answered very safely.

In response, black wedged here, aiming at some aji.

This move's tempting, but black will atari.

This push is a nice move.

If white comes out, breaking through isn't good.

Black's group will be in danger, because white's strong here.

So in this case, this attachment is a tesuji.

If white hanes, black can push through.

Thanks to that exchange, black can separate white.

After that, this cut will be very powerful.

Cho didn't need to complicate the game like that.

He connected here and black couldn't cut white.

White's wall is too thick to escape.

This exchange was profitable for Won.

Won's moves in this corner were sharp.

This cut showed excellent timing!

Due to this weakness, white can't cut.

So Won ataried here in sente.

Black gained a few points with this exchange.

It looks premature, but Won had to harass black.

However, Cho didn't protect the corner.

Instead, he played a tiger's mouth.

He chose thickness over points.

This move destroyed white's corner.

After the atari, Cho jumped here.

Even though he gave up the corner, he got a solid moyo.

In addition, white's weak stones were rescued.

Next Won pushed, in the hope of enlarging the center.

This point is quite good.

But Cho played here, aiming to enclose here.

He believed he could reduce black's moyo later.

If the reduction goes well,

White will win by komi.

Cho's aim was to neutralize the center.

Black has nowhere to play but the center.

After this kosumi, Cho tried to reduce black's moyo.

To prevent the enclosure, Won attached here.

The final outline of the territory was appearing.

Usually black would extend.

Then white would push and expand his moyo.

Even though it's a bad shape, this empty triangle was nice.

Because of this weakness, black can't connect.

This move looks good, but white gained points here.

These moves were sente.

If white tenukis, black will separate and attack him.

So Cho looked after his group.

And, after that, he played the last big endgame move.

Up to here, black's acquired 15 points in the center.

But white also gained eight points on the left.

Above all, cutting here was really big.

The hane is sente. All in all, white succeeded.

Unfortunately, Won failed to narrow the gap.

Let's see the rest of the game.

The game was nearing its end.

Sometimes, weak groups can affect a game.

Cho allowed black some more points in the center.

Because he wanted to play in the top left corner.

It was a skillful strategy.

Cho took many points first, then managed his group.

His style had changed when he played this game.

He used to prefer territory, but now he prefers thickness.

On the contrary, Won's style hasn't changed.

His punch and his reading are powerful.

It's ironic that he couldn't detect the bad aji on that day.

Very rarely, players like him can't read an easy move.

It would affect him a lot psychologically.

He'd have been shocked when he saw the move.

For him, the pain might feel irrecoverable.

But one day, he'll be able to laugh about this moment.

By playing here, white gained some more points.

Cho could've performed better on the international scene.

But in terms of thinking time,

There's a big difference between Japanese and international tournaments.

It would be hard for him to get used to that.

And he was already past his prime by that stage.

Today's guest is a huge fan of Cho's.

Even though he has another job now,

He used to study Go seriously.

He'd have been glad to see Cho's success back then.

I think that's what impressed him most about this game.

Black couldn't block here.

So Cho's endgame play was worth about 10 points.

Our guest's brother is a famous amateur player.

His name is Song Hongseok 7d.

Many people know his name, but not our guest's.

He said he sometimes felt a little bit sad about that.

If two brothers learn Go, one often goes far ahead.

In many cases, the other one is depressed about it.

192 moves, white (Cho Chikun 9p) wins by resignation

Q. How would you define an exquisite game?

No matter what others say, the players should be happy with the game.

Regardless of their level,

Both players should play their best moves.

Everyone regrets moves,

But if you can tell yourself you did your best,

That's an exquisite game.

Q. How do you feel about introducing this game to us?

I chose this game for my own reasons.

You may not agree with it.

I'd be grateful if you could guess why I chose it.

Brother! You've made it into a pro-amateur tournament.

I hope you'll perform well, without any regrets.

His big brother is cheering for him.

He suggested another definition of an exquisite game.

Sometimes I think such games are like a song.

In one's memories, any song can be exquisite.

I think this applies to Go too.

I think you will also have your own exquisite games.

We're looking forward to your participation!

Thank you!

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