The Master of Go is a novel by the Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in The novel was first published . El maestro de Go. Front Cover. Yasunari Kawabata. Emecé, Author Yasunari Kawabata was born in Osaka, Japan on June 14, He experienced. El Maestro de Go by Yasunari Kawabata, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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The Master of Go [Cover art: Kawabata, a Nobel prizewinner for Literature, published this novel in It describes the last game, inof a Go master actually Shusai Meijin and the younger challenger actually Kitani Minoru.

It was printed in book form in The version translated into English by Edward G. Seidensticker is a shorter form preferred by Kawabata, since it was the one included in the most recent edition of his complete works Vol. Some material was cut from between the end of the match and the master’s death. Kawabata’s name is ordered in the Western order Yasunari Kawabata in the English-language version of the book.

The diagrams have been inverted from the Japanese edition, and some stones lose their move numbers in some diagrams. The group of four captured White stones become four unnumbered Black stones in later diagrams. The translation itself has won good reviews. Other editions exist, as well as translations to other languages, listed here in the order of appearance language: SGF of game in book.

In addition to a detailed commentary on the moves the book discusses the historical context of the game and the various translations that have been published.

I’ve just read the book. I HolIgor was a little surprised to actually find the diagrams of the game there. As a piece of high literature it could just mention the author’s interpretation of the value of moves. But Kawabata takes a more technical approach, still keeping his excellent style and writing more about people than the game.

In the situations where his amateur judgement is not sufficient he cites Go Seigen. The moral issue of the book is the conflict between the old artistic values and the new pragmatic young approach.

Kawabata takes the conservative side and is definitely Meijin ‘s fan. For balance though he shows his sympathy to the challenger Kitani Minoru – the changed name won’t fool anybody. His school is mentioned as well. The highest point of the book is, of course, Black in the diagram below. That was a sealed move. The next session was in two days. The referee opened the envelope and could not find the move. I looked at the diagram to find it.

When I finally found the move I was disgusted. Kawabata did not see the Meijin’s reaction but that day the Meijin committed multiple errors and lost the game. During the dinner he said that the challenger spoiled the game and he wanted to resign immediately.

Interestingly, pros were on the challenger’s side seeing nothing wrong with sealing a forcing move or making a forcing move just to gain some time for the real problem on hands. Go Seigen, for example, was more critical of the Meijin’s automatic reply.


A different defensive move was better in his opinion. It seems that the Meijin’s fast reaction was just a sign of his anger.

Here is the crucial position from the book. White played an empty triangle 1. Perhaps Black was too afraid to kswabata his chance, but 2 was the sealed move. At the beginning of the next session, disgusted White replied 3 without thinking. Go Seigen thinks that White had to play a. My opinion is that all three of these moves were poor. Looking through the diagrams I had a strong impression that White had a considerable lead up to White after which the game maesro close.

The problem is in komiof course, to be more precise, in its absence. Even after all the Meijin’s mistakes Black won by 5 points only. However, this consideration is not applicable.

The Master of Go

Black played to win by the existing rules. The attitudes of the players softened over time. I don’t think that Kitani ever admitted publicly that he made the play so he could think about the game during the recess. Maesttro, in an article about the game for a Go magazine not long before his death, Kitani was asked about the move, and the controversy it caused. Kitani said, “Well, he answered it,” and chuckled.

Andrew Grant It’s unfair to criticise Kitani for playing a forcing move in this situation certainly anything as strong as “disgust” is inappropriate.

Shusai was notorious for playing tricks like this himself. In the old days the stronger player had the right to suspend play for the day as long as it was his turn; Shusai used to take full advantage of this, suspending play whenever he faced mqestro tough decision so that he could analyse the position during the recess with his pupils. Kitani’s friend Go Seigen was just one victim of this practice.

One game Shusai played against Karigane in ended up taking 20 playing sessions over a period of six months. This was the main reason why Kitani insisted on fixed adjournment times with sealed moves.

If he took the opportunity of the sealed move to give Shusai a dose of his own medicine, it’s hard to blame him. Certainly for Shusai to complain that the game had been spoilt reeked of hypocrisy. Don’t make Shusai out to be some kind of injured innocent. A dispute arose over scheduling the kawbata session. Otake rejected the modified rules the Master had proposed for reasons of health, and said that he would forfeit the game.

Another curious aspect of the game was the fact that Meijin played an empty maesrro in the center. Kawabata, who was about 5k level I HolIgor guess, understood that the shape was bad, so he explained the fact by the unwillingness of the Master to give in any point in a match that was so close.

The result turned out to be disastrous. Kitani used his opponent’s bad shape effectively. John Fairbairn That seems unnecessarily rude about Kawabata. The GoGoD collection has two games by him.

One marks his promotion to 2-dan inon 6 stones against Iwamoto. In he played a sponsored serious game for publication against the Meijin-Honinbo Sakata as 3-dan, also on 6 stones, and won by 6. I like to add, that in Master of Go, the Perigee reprint he is writing about himself giving a 13k western amateur six handicap stones. He was an American. I first tried to give him a six-stone handicap. He had taken lessons at the Go Association, he said, and challenged some famous players.


He had forms down well enough, but he had a way of playing thoughtlessly, without really putting himself into the game. I think some attention should be paid to Kawabata’s literary intent in writing “Meijin”.

It is not strictly a piece of journalism and hence it may not be appropriate to make too strong a connection between what the real Kitani and Shusai said about the real game and what the characters Otake and the Master say in the kawabataa. Many of Kawabata’s works are concerned with the decline of traditional Japanese cultural icons.

Kawabata is mourning the loss of traditional Japanese cultural values, with the Master representing tradition and the character Otake representing the new wave. One scene in “Meijin” that brings this out is the scene at the inn where the master kaabata to sit in a chair and drink Western style tea. The supposed flap over the sealed forcing move is also a contrast between the old way and the new. Does anyone have the full SGF of this game or know in which collection it could be found?

Would be nice to read through.

Il maestro di Go : Yasunari Kawabata :

Search for Shusais games. I think there might be a mistake with the translation. It maestto that white’s group would die if he played at “a” in the above diagram. I checked the book Knopf, What Wu Go Seigen said was that if Black waits until after White has played -White can answer atand Black does not have the ko threat or threats that are there in the actual game.

There was no diagram in the book, this is my rendition.

The Master of Go – Wikipedia

Also, Kitani pointed out elsewhere that masetrois not sente. This appears to be an infinitesimal difference in chilled goa very subtle point.

Bill, there are several baffling aspects to your comment. You say you checked the book, but do not say which one. But whether you are citing the Japanese or the English one, there are major discrepancies with my versions of the books. First, my edition of the Seidensticker translation Penguinpage says: After a diagonal and connection on White’s part at E amd F, he said, ‘White need not respond as the Master did with even to Black’sbut could defend himself at H Black would thus find the possible ko threats more limited.

My edition of the Japanese version Shincho Bunkopage has no inline diagrams the game record is given only in bulk at the end of the bookand there is accordingly no possibility of reference to the formatno hanetsugi. The portion that relates to this in the Japanese original is, instead, just as point-specific as Seidensticker’s version: Also there is no reference to not having a ko threat or threats.