Classic Go Games: Nominate your favorite games for analysis

The international Go scene usually gets a bit quiet around this time of year, so we thought we’d try something a bit different this year.

The ear reddening game – Shusaku vs Gennan Inseki – is among the most famous games from the classical era.

From time to time people email us at Go Game Guru and say they’d be interested in seeing Younggil comment some classic Go games, from a modern perspective.

Younggil thinks it’s an interesting idea, but told me that he’s not really familiar with games from the classical era, because when he was training to become a pro (as well as afterwards) they didn’t really have the time or luxury of studying games from before the time of Go Seigen.

Recommend classic games for analysis

So he asked me to recommend some games, but after a bit more thought we decided it would be more fun to ask you to recommend your favorite games for analysis!

I have a list of games I like, but I’m asking you instead.

Leave a comment to nominate a game

To nominate a game that you’d like to see reviewed, simply leave a comment below.

It would be great if you could also provide a link to a site where everyone can have a look at the game record.

If you can’t find the game online, but have an SGF file on your computer, you can upload it to and you’ll be given a link that you can share here.

If you only have the game in a book, then please let us know who the players were and the date of the game (or at a minimum, the book’s name and the page number).

You can suggest a game from any era, but please don’t nominate your own games.

Or second someone else’s suggestion

Since we’ve rarely had a use for voting buttons on comments here, Go Game Guru doesn’t support that sort of functionality.

So for now, if you’d like to second a game that someone else has already nominated, just click the ‘reply’ link at the bottom of their comment and let us know. You can simply write ‘+1’ if you want to.

A fresh perspective?

Since Younggil won’t have studied most of the games before and he doesn’t refer to other commentaries when analyzing a game, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

Perhaps we’ll get a new perspective on some timeless games?

Or perhaps you’ll recommend a game that we haven’t seen commented before?

Leave a comment and tell your friends

So let’s get started.

Leave a comment below with your nomination and then tell your friends to come and vote!

(And if you want to make sure you don’t miss the commentaries, you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter too.)

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About David Ormerod

David is a Go enthusiast who’s played the game for more than a decade. He likes learning, teaching, playing and writing about the game Go. He's taught thousands of people to play Go, both online and in person at schools, public Go demonstrations and Go clubs. David is a 5 dan amateur Go player who competed in the World Amateur Go Championships prior to starting Go Game Guru. He's also the editor of Go Game Guru.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. francisco says:

    The ear reddening game! Great site btw! =D

    • +1

    • Andrew Fischhof says:


    • ATTIA Guillaume says:

      -1 for ear reddening game. The comment can be found in invicible the game of shusaku. Comments in this book are very good and even more precise than our GREAT commentator An Youngil 😀 . I know i don’t bring other suggestion but this would be great that we discover a bit more from another old game

  2. I cannot suggest a game, but it would be interesting to get a sense of how strong some of these players were by comparison with modern top pros, perhaps with some details about the different facets of the game, overall style, fighting, positional judgement, etc.I also think it would be good to select games that have not already been reviewed in detail before so as to add something distinctly new to overall Go knowledge.

  3. I have always wanted some comments on this game.

    Or any Huang Longshi game really. I’ve only ever seen two this one and the one that gocommentary reviewed. It would be nice to get some comments on the difference between such old games and modern games.

  4. The Triple Ko Game played by Honinbo Sansa vs Kashio Rigen in 1582. The game that was played before Nabunaga was attacked by an ally,and killed. The reason triple ko’s were considered bad luck in Japan.

  5. Lucian Corlan says:

    Any game between Honinbo Shuei and Tamura Hoju (known later as Honinbo Shusai) will be great.

  6. I would like to see this game: The blood-vomiting game (Japanese: 吐血の一局, doketsu no ikkyoku) is a famous game of go of the Edo period of Japan, played on June 27, 1835 between Honinbo Jowa (white) and Intetsu Akaboshi (black). It is noted for the three ghost moves that were allegedly given to Jowa during the game by ghosts, and for the premature death of the go prodigy Intetsu Akaboshi who died soon after coughing up blood onto the board after the game.

    I would also like to ask An what he think to be the most perfect go game and if he could review that (if he has not already)? By most perfect game I mean a game that he thinks has fewest and smallest mistakes.

  7. I would like to see a game by Honinbo Shuei or Sakata Eio commented.

  8. Meijin Shusai retirement game against Kitani Minoru would be great. I’m not sure if we have it commented anywhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is already several in depth commentaries of this game in english, look at the books of john fairbairn, or the one from Yuan Zhou about Kitani

  9. I would really like to see this game commented

  10. Or the game of the century against Go Seigen… it’s so famous but it would be exciting to see some variations “behind the scenes” that both players had to consider but left unplayed.
    And as someone mentioned – any game by Huang Longshi would be special (even games or 3-handi games), he is indeed a brilliant player!

  11. frédéric says:

    For my every games you comment are great , i would like more lee sedol’s games. but classical games aregreat too . I like so many old players and i can’t say my favorite but i like honibo shuwa .

  12. I would love to see a Nie Weiping vs Kato Masao game. They played each other on quite a few occasions, in the China-Japan matches, any of those would rock:)

  13. honinbo shuei +1

  14. I don’t really have a favourite game but I do have favourite players. Someone less obvious than Go Seigen is Ma Xiaochun. He had a rivalry going on with Nie Weiping and although that rivalry has no particular interest to me, it may provide a good angle to the doubtless genius of Ma.

  15. DanielTom says:

    It is not hard to find commentary in English for many of the famous games suggested above.
    I would like to see something new.
    In my opinion, any game by Shi Dingan (or Huang Longshi, as suggested above) would be a great choice.
    Thanks GGG.

  16. I have many dozen games I can provide if you need some more to look through in the future. For now I’ll just sit back and let everyone else suggest their interests. Also, since Mr. Younggil isn’t very familiar with classic games I’m not sure how much to expect (so much is context sensitive, such as player relationships, psychological moves, evolving joseki, trends etc.) . Nevertheless, I appreciate Mr. Younggil’s time and look forward to seeing some interesting results.

  17. Oh god so many games nominated that have already been commented by professionals and been translated to english. The ear reddening game? The Blood vomitting game? The Meijins retirement game?

    Please let us not sqander this great opportunity!

    I would suggest the games of blood and tears from Huang Longshi, supposedly the masterpeace games from a true go genius (he is practically the chinese Shusaku)!

    Thanks ggg!

  18. As it’s already been said, it’s quiet easy to find good commentaries of the blood vomiting game or the ear-reddening game already; while Huang Longshi is not well known despite his greatness. So this is Huang Longshi for me, any game will do.

    • Can you tell me where those “ghost moves” would be commented properly? I have found only versions that say something like “these moves gives W opportunity to get sente” or something like that. It’s not very helpful for me but if there are better commentaries I’d be intrested in those.

      Huang Longshi was an unknow player for me but looks like he’s worth studying.

      • Byung Soo Lee says:

        You can find a pretty good commentary on the Blood Vomiting Game in “Invincible: The Games of Shusaku” by John Power. It is an expensive book, so you may want to see if your local library carries it (or try inter-library loan).

  19. Game #8 from “Appreciating famous games”, also the first game between Hikaru and Toya Akira:
    Honinbo Shuwa – Honinbo Shusaku (1851)

  20. any of the games of Dosaku are very good too…

  21. Since a lot of the games considered “classic” have commentaries available in English…How about either game 2 or game 3 of the 1983 Kisei title, Cho Chikun vs. Fujisawa Shuko (or really any game in this series)? 1983 was when Cho finally brought an end to Fujisawa’s 6 year dominance of this title (though doing so took the full 7 games). Alternaively, if someone wants to point me to a commentary that exists on his series I’d love to see it.

    • Byung Soo Lee says:

      Every single one of Fujisawa Shuko’s Kisei games are included with detailed commentary in “The Games of Fujisawa Shuko” by John Power (Kiseido Publishing). The commentary is drawn from Japanese professionals. The book is also available in electronic form through SmartGo Books.

      • Good to know! Though it looks like the book is only available via iOS, so I can’t get it…however apparently most of the material was taken from old Go World Magazines, so perhaps there’s a chance…

    • +1

  22. why not one of the greatest Go Seigen´s games? 🙂 or takemiya masaki, want to know more about large scale thinking, moyos. maybe Nie Wieping is a good example too?

  23. Can'tbe bothered to think of a name says:

    I would love to see comments on any game between Dosaku and Ogawa Doteki.

  24. Bill Spight says:
  25. The only game played by Shuho as Honinbo after Shuei did the right thing and generously ceded the Honinbo title to Shuho. The game was played between Shuei and Shuho and is a marvellous contrast in the styles of two great players. Weeks after the game Shuho died and the title reverted to Shuei. s1886-08-06na

  26. Honinbo Satsugen was the absolute master of Go around the 1770’s. He had a worthy opponent in Inseki Shunseki, but Satsugen was just stronger. Volume 6 of the Nihon Kiin series on great masters of the past shows some of his games with Japanese commentary, alas, I cannot read them. But I liked Satsugen’s games, and a fresh comment on one of this games would be appreciated. Satsugen’s masterpiece seems to be the game shown on pages 13 – 31, he wins this game with 2 points, playing white, no komi of course.

    Kind regards,

    • If interested: in the copies nr. 16 an 17 of the magazine Go World (Nov/Dec 1979 and Jan/Feb 1980) there is a very interesting article on Honinbo Satsugen, describing the way he became Meijin in 1767, and showing some of his games. He was a very ambitious man, maybe not too pleasant a person, but he also was a giant on the Go board. To me, the latter is the more important.

      Kind regards,

  27. the bloodvomiting game would be fins but it is well known and well commented ?!
    Perhaps one of Dosakus games? – I like his style and his true strengh is rather unknown, because noone seemed to be a real challange for him . (despite 2 of his own pupils imho)
    Thank you in advance Mr Younggil 🙂
    your commentarys are great and fun!

  28. Huang Longshi would be fine for me too!
    I dont know anything about his Go and im curious:-)

  29. Anonymous says:

    A great game by Honinbo Shuei ! Even Fujisawa Shuko 9-dan admit that he couldn’t match th strenght of Shuei. His games are pure masterpieces.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Of course Shuei, Longshi, Dosaku or Jowa.

  31. This is a pretty good starting place for Huang Longshi games. Comments on any of the games available here would be awesome

  32. Is there any good commentaries on this game: The Famous Killing Game Of 1926 was a game between Shusai and Karigane Junichi? If not, this would be an interesting game also to be reviewed.

  33. Any games of Honinbo Shusaku or Honinbo Shuei, for example:

    This game may be not so famous and pretty close result (white lost without komi, but in modern rules he would be the winner)

  34. Happy Birthday, Ahn Youngil!!! Wish you all the best

  35. If there’s a Shuei game, then I recommend aiming for no earlier than late 1895-1898 when his full strength started to come into effect. Also, most of Shuei’s later games are teaching games, so we very rarely get to see the mature Shuei fully exerting himself. Since there haven’t been any exact games posted in this period yet, then I will post a few examples:

  36. Anonymous says:

    Any game from Sakata Eio would be good.

  37. The ear reddening game – Shusaku vs Gennan Inseki that is the best game ever Please review this game or any Shusaku game.

  38. I would like to read comments about Shuusaku, as many guys already suggested.
    Or other of the “Honinbou-House”, like Dosaku, Sansa or Jowa.

    Thank you in advance.

  39. Go Seigen vs. Kosugi Tei, 10/10/1933, known as “Sixteen soldiers”.

  40. Efraim Queiroz says:

    Very instructive game played today at IGS.

  41. +1 for 1st game of 37th Japanese Kisei. Iyama Yuta v. Cho U.

  42. Honinbo Dosaku , one of the Castle games

  43. Philip Ruttley says:

    Any of the Games at Danghu in 1739 between Shi Ding’an and Fan Xiping would be amazing. IMO, the 10 games they played at Danghu are some of the greatest ever played. They deserve to be better known in the West.

  44. Bouncing on the Sakata Eio suggestion, there is a game i enjoyed and replayed very often : 16th Honinbo Title, 1st match, Takagawa vs Sakata.
    I love the 3 corner sequences, all of them are now considered as classic problems. Just as the H5 “ear-pincing” reduction move…

    Of course, Go Seigen masterpieces are immensely valuable to be commented, but, i am still very fond of this particular game.
    Cant explain why. 🙂

  45. wtasfias says:

    Go Seigen vs Honinbo Shusai!!

  46. Jeremiah Donley says:

    I would like to see some of Korea’s strongest Fighter Seo Pung-Su games commented (ones that were not in Master Plays). For example when he won his first major event, or when his fighting style got well known.

  47. Jeremiah Donley says:

    I also Suggest some of Honinbo Jowa’s games, beside the famous ones.

  48. Myanmar_igo says:

    I prefer nothing but Honinbo Dosaku & Huang Longshi. They are really great players all the time. And then as much as I know, Honinbo Dosaku & Go Seigen etc’s games are there in English, but for that two players.
    So. I hope for…

  49. Myanmar_igo says:

    Oh! I miss something important.
    That’s Danghu Matches.

  50. Mooncrest says:

    I know it has been a long time since this article was made, but i feel this is a series that should continue happening periodically! As when preparing for an international game commentary one must wait until the match has played and then do analysis, but classic go games and or games of the past have had analysis, now one can build upon it!

    I was wondering if it might be possible, if An could do a game review of either Honinbo Shuwa or Honinbo Shuei? Both are players i am greatly interested in, I leave the opponent of either two up to you, but perhaps one of their highlight matches would be best–such as around the time shuei began to dominate the go scene

    • Younggil An says:

      Hi Moon,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I’ll try to review one of those players’ best games one day, but I can’t guarantee when I can do. Anyway, thank you for your comment. 🙂

    • If you do decide to do a game involving Shuwa then may I suggest the jigo that occurred when he took black against Showa

  51. ProtectKadoban says:

    Please review the famous Fujisawa Shuko vs. Kato Masao game or any interesting Cho Hun Hyun vs. Lee Chang Ho game or a Sakata Eio vs. Honinbo Shukaku game. Please Mr. Younggil review this games. I truly appreciate your efforts in promoting the game of go.

    • That famous Kato Masao vs. Fujisawa Shuko is Game 5 of the Kisei Title final. I hope Master Younggil will also review the game between Kato Masao vs. Takagawa Shukaku where the game ended after 93 moves.

  52. Honinbo Jowa vs. Honinbo Shusaku Battle of Kiseis!!!!!!

  53. TheKiller says:

    Please Review the game between Sakata Eio vs. Hashimoto Utaro where Sensei Library says that they both recreated a modern Shusaku openning.

  54. Younggil An says:

    Thanks all for your comments and suggestions.

    I’ll try to make commentaries of those games requested one by one. 🙂

  55. Apart from Go Seigen and Honinbo Shusaku which their commented games can be easily found, I suggest two players which their stories are quite interesting.

    The first is Yasui Senchi Senkaku (1764-1837). He is regarded as the grandfather of modern GO because of his influential style. He was admired by Go Seigen and Kitani (Kitani usually visit his grave to pay respect)
    You can read his biography on the second page ( )
    His game:

    Lastly, Honinbo Shuei, His positional judgement and the flow of his moves are greatly admired by world class players such as Go Seigen, Kobayashi Koichi and Fujisawa Shuko.
    Here are the list of his famous games

    Thank you David and Younggil for your dedication to GO. I am a big fan of your Classic GO Game and your website lol…

    Here are the lists of famous GO games

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks Wai a lot for sharing many links.
      I’ll have a look at those famous games again. 🙂

  56. Thank you again 🙂
    Looking forward to see such a great games from you