Go Commentary: Hans Pietsch vs Yoda Norimoto – 1st LG Cup

This is a game from 1997 between Hans Pietsch 1p (at the time) and Yoda Norimoto 9p, from the 1st LG Cup.

Hans Pietsch

Hans Pietsch.

Hans Pietsch was a German Go player who became a professional at the Nihon Kiin (the Japanese Go Association) in 1997.

That year, while still a 1 dan professional, Hans defeated Yoda Norimoto 9p in the 1st LG Cup in Korea.

Tragically, Hans was shot by robbers in a random act of violence, and died shortly afterwards, on January 16, 2003.

He was on a trip to promote Go in South America at the time.

The Nihon Kiin posthumously promoted Hans to 6p.

10th anniversary

January 16, 2013 was the 10th anniversary of Hans’ death.

One of his German friends asked for this game to be commented in memory of Hans. Many Go players remember Hans’ cheerful nature and warm heart.

You can read more about Hans Pietsch here:

Hans Pietsch on Sensei’s Library

The Nihon Kiin’s tribute page for Hans

Sorin Gherman’s page about Hans

Yoda Norimoto

Yoda Norimoto 9p was one of the best players in the world when this game was played.

He won the 1st Samsung Cup, defeating Yu Changhyeok 9p in the final 2-1, and lost the final of the 3rd Ing Cup 3-1, against Yu Changhyeok once again.

At the time when this game was played, he’d already won several domestic Japanese titles, and was regarded as the top player in Japan.

Yoda plays well balanced games and he likes solid and tidy positions. He was described as a ‘Samurai’ in Korea, because his style of play is well disciplined, and the motion with which he plays his stones is very Samurai like.

Yoda places stones on the board with a full snap, and it recalls the image of a Samurai.

Commented game record

Hans Pietsch vs Yoda Norimoto


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. Thank-you Mr. Younggil.

  2. This is a marvelous choice for a commented game and we are all grateful to you, as we are still mourning the loss of a great player.

  3. Thank you so much! A very good choice imho.
    Hans Pietsch was an idol in Germany and his death a big loss 🙁

  4. Thank you very much, I really appreciate it a lot!! 감사합니다.^^

  5. I have a question Mr Younggil (which surely will seem stupid for You) but could You illustrate me why, in the variation 2 on move 65, at the end A is more valuable than B? does not, for example, B c9 on move 73 balances the trade? Sorry in advance for asking if it’s a trivial question…

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      Good question! Oh, I forgot to explain about that. 🙂
      Normally, when there’re bonukies, (take a stone out) center one is more important than the other on the side. Because it can affect more on the rest of the board. In this game, black can play at C9 after the trade, but I can’t say this is better than in the actual game.

      • Thank you for explanation Mr.Younggil:) and thanks also for all the work through which You always enlighten us these Games, allowing us (or me at least!) to enjoy and appreciate them much more.

    • The value of the ponnuki at B is almost entirely local. It is restricted to the right edge of the board. It is undeniably worth quite a few points, and even helps to stabilize the group, but since the group will definitely live locally anyways, it will have no effect on anything that happens anywhere else on the board. The ponnuki at A is the “center facing ponnuki”, which is said to be worth 30 points. I think any esimation of value is pointless, but its presence will make a huge difference in fighting all over the board. For instance, when you suggest C9, imagine w playing at C11. Because of w strong center ponnuki, the b stone is suddenly under fairly severe attack.

      • Oh whups, it seems this question was already answered while I looked at the game.

        Thank you, by the way, for this wonderful review.

        • Thank you too Nicolas for your explanation! You have made the point very clear! You sure have to be a strong player 🙂 I hope to be one day too ahah 😀

  6. Great choice! Thanks a lot!

  7. a very nice way to remember Hans Pietsch, thanks so much!

  8. Thanks for commented this game, Mr Younggil.

  9. Peter Dijkema says:

    Thank you my friend. It was an excellent idea to analyse Hans lifetime masterpiece to commemorate his tragic death ten years ago.
    I shared the posting of your comments on tis game by Daniella Trinks at my page on Facebook.

  10. Frédéric-lichigo says:

    Thank you very much , it was very interesting game. For a 1 dan he played so well.

    For another gocommentary i purpose the last game of kato masao, if i remember well he played the chinese opening with black and killed his opponent very fast 🙂 .

  11. Thank you for showing the game with your very good commentary!

    I’m German, but I started playing 9 years after Hans became pro, so I’ve never really seen his games. I’m glad he could play such a nice game, it must have been fun.

  12. Valparaiso says:

    Another great analysis, thanks so much!

    I’ve a technical question by the way – how much time do you spend on commenting a single game? Sometimes commenting on top pros you point out mistakes which seem to require very deep reading and accurate positional judgement (matters of timing e.g.), that is truly impresive!

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      It takes quite a long time to comment a game. Recently I’ve been studying games with two other pros from Korea for a while, and that helps a lot, but they’ve gone back to Korea just a week ago. Occasionally, I get some ideas by watching others’ commentaries. Thanks.

  13. Mario Aguero says:

    Particularly, Hans died in Guatemala, Central America. He was promoting Go there and was taken by Mr. Edgardo Caceres (well know Go player in that country and several times present in the WAGC) for an archeological tour.

    There’s a report with the detailed things that happened in Sensei Library by Mr. Caceres himself.. who witnessed all. Very Sad


  14. Mario Aguero says:

    And, forget to mention, even Mr. Caceres and another japaneses who witnessed all were prosecuted as guilty of his death. From any perspective an horrible history.

  15. Thomas Rohde says:

    Thank you, An Younggil, and RIP Hans!

  16. Steven Chen says:

    Hi, you said that 217 ( 2 point reverse sente) was smaller than m11(4 points gote). However, since it’s 2.5 points reverse sente ( black has f1 in sente ) isnt it bigger than m11?