Go Commentary: Fujisawa Rina vs Mukai Chiaki – 33rd Women’s Honinbo

This is game 3 from the 33rd Japanese Women’s Honinbo final. The game was played between Mukai Chiaki 5p and Fujisawa Rina 2p on November 7, 2014, in Tokyo, Japan.

Mukai Chiaki

Mukai Chiaki 5p (left) and Fujisawa Rina 2p at the 33rd Womens-Honinbo

Mukai Chiaki 5p (left) and Fujisawa Rina 2p at the 33rd Women’s Honinbo

Mukai Chiaki 5p was born in 1987, and became a pro in 2004.

She’s challenged Women’s Honinbo and Women’s Meijin five times altogether from 2010 to 2012. Her opponents in those finals were all Xie Yimin 6p, and Chiaki was defeated them all.

However, in 2013, Chiaki eventually defeated Xie Yimin by 3-2 to win the 32nd Women’s Honinbo which was her first career title.

Therefore, this final against Fujisawa Rina was her first defensive final match.

Fujisawa Rina

Fujisawa Rina 2 dan at the 33rd Women's Honinbo

Fujisawa Rina 2 dan at the 33rd Women’s Honinbo

On the other hand, Fujisawa Rina 2p was born in 1998 and became a pro in 2010 at the age of 11 years and 6 months. It was the youngest age to become a pro in Japan, and the previous record for the youngest age was Cho Chikun’s 11 years and 9 months.

In June 2014, Rina won the 1st Aizu Center Hospital Cup by defeating Okuda Aya 3p in the final, and it was her first career title.

Rina is the most prospect young women player in Japan, and this final was her first challenge for a major women’s title in her career.

She is also well known as a grand daughter of Fujisawa Shuko 9p (passed away in 2009).

Women’s Honinbo

Women’s Honinbo is the ranked #1 title for Women’s tournament in Japan. The winner’s prize is ¥5,800,000, which is around US$49,000. Let’s have a look at game 3 from the 33rd Japanese Women’s Honinbo final.

Commented game record

Fujisawa Rina vs Mukai Chiaki


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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About Younggil An

Younggil is an 8 dan professional Go player with the Korean Baduk Association. He qualified as a professional in 1997 and won an award for winning 18 consecutive professional matches the following year. After completing compulsory military service, Younggil left Korea in 2008, to teach and promote the game Go overseas. Younggil now lives in Sydney, Australia, and is one of the founders of Go Game Guru. On Friday evenings, Younggil is usually at the Sydney Go Club, where he gives weekly lessons and plays simultaneous games.

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


  1. Anonymous says:

    awesome game! Thank you for explaining it so well!

  2. Dear Mr.Younggil, I’d have a question about the variation of move 52, in the second variation of the invasion (the playable one). What if Black peeps anyway after the exchange of 3 and 4 (moves 54 and 55)? Should white close? In that case how is it better than the previous variation without the exchange 3, 4? Or rather such exchange allows White to ignore it and reach the center anyway?
    Thank you for the explanation!

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a good question Alex.

      If Black peeps anyway, White will play Q5, B P5, W P6. Then Black R6, W S5, B S6, W O5, B P4, W S7 to sacrifice the three stones in sente.

      Even though Black captures White’s three stones, the result will be satisfactory for White.

  3. Nice review, I enjoyed it a lot. The discussion of the opening and the choice of josekis was particularly insightful.

    • Younggil An says:

      I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the commentary.

      If you take your time and think more in the opening, you can have better choices of josekis and it might give you an early lead in your own games. 🙂

  4. Thank you for another insightful commentary of another great game. Fujisawa Rina has a promising career at Go.

    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, you’re right Golombia.

      Rina has a promising career and she’ll become one of the strongest women players in the near future for sure.

      I hope she has a specific character in Go like her grandpa had. 🙂

  5. Thank you for this review! 🙂

  6. I noticed that generally the commentaries to game of women competitors show more mistakes from the players, respect to men ones. there is much more often the sentence “this move is wrong”, in your comments to women’s games than in men’s ones.
    Do you think that the level of play is very different? how much? and will the gap decrease over time?

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a sensitive question to answer.

      Yes, I assume there’s a gap between men and women top players, and the gap seems to be a bit smaller than komi. Rui Naiwei 9p is an exception though.

      However, the gap is decreasing little by little because the women players are gradually catching up with a regular hard training. They’ll soon become stronger and more competitive against men players as Yu Zhiying 5p does.

  7. Hi Mr. Younggil,

    Thank-you for the review.

    I’m a mid-dan player and usually wind up in situations like those at the end of the mv. 31 variation, because I like to use my influence directly like in your variation. Can you recommend any professionals to study who often wind up in situations like that and play like that?


    • Younggil An says:

      Hi Clarice, thanks for sharing your experience with a question.

      It all depends on the situations, but if you want to study that sort of style, I’d like to recommend Kato Masao 9p. His liked thick and strong position, and he was very good at attacking. You can learn how to use your influence or thickness from his games with commentaries.

      These days, not many top pros play like Kato did, because territorial style is trend and more popular.

  8. Thank you very much, I’m glad this game was reviewed! The endgame situation was especially interesting.

    It may be an silly question, but after move 133, white lost five points due to two endgame slips, and it turns out that white lost by 5.5 points. Does this mean that the difference between 133 and P14 is around 10 points?

  9. Younggil An says:

    That’s an interesting question.

    Black 133 wasn’t that bad. If Black played P14, she would have won more easily though.

    Black was still winning after Black 133, so even if Black 133 was wrong, it’d be only 2~3 points different.

  10. Thanks for the fantastic review! I’ve been looking for new players to follow, especially young female players, and you’ve just brought these two to the top of my list!

    I’ve also been taking a closer look at Rui Naiwei and Kato Masao. Do you know of any other powerful attacking style players that you would recommend I take a look at?

    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, their other games from that final were full of fighting.

      There’re many of powerful attacking style players, and I recommend Gu Li and Choi Cheolhan’s games to you. Their games are very powerful and sharp and you’ll learn how to attack severely from their games for sure. 🙂