Go Seigen's Nearly Perfect Game?

Hello, I wonder if anyone here can answer this question please? In the film ’ The Surrounding Game’, during the visit with Go Seigen sequence, he talks / reminisces about a nearly ‘perfect’ game he played against ‘Master Segoe’ in Kyoto… which was spoilt by an atari…

I would very much like t pin-point that game so that I can play it back from waltheri.net or wherever… if it meant that much to him, I’d like too at least see it, even if I won’t understand much of it!

Thanks and thanks to everyone who has created and nurtured this site. A privilege to learn here.



The “Segoe” referred to is Segoe Kensaku, (https://senseis.xmp.net/?SegoeKensaku) Go Seigen’s teacher.

Using the advanced search function on Waltheri (http://ps.waltheri.net/database/advanced/), I was able to search for all games between Go Seigen and Segoe Kensaku. What I got was this list here: http://ps.waltheri.net/database/advanced/?player1=Go%20Seigen&player2=Segoe%20Kensaku

There are records of nine games between just Go Seigen and Segoe, as well as the famous Consultation Game which was played together with Kitani Minoru and Suzuki Tamejiro; and a team game with six players on each side. Let’s focus on the games with only Go and Segoe. The games were played in the following years:

First: 1928
Second: 1930
Third: 1931
Fourth, fifth: 1932
Sixth: 1936
Seventh: 1941
Eight: 1943
Ninth: 1945

If I remember rightly, the film shows him in the flashback sequence as a bit young and inexperienced. Based on that depiction, I’d suggest that it was one of the first five games.

Edit: Actually, there’s more that we can infer from the data. Out of the first five games, three have no information about the event; but 1931 was “Super Go” (a tournament) and 1932 was the Oteai (the promotion tournament). If the flashback sequence in the film looks like a tournament then it is likely to be one of those two, and if it doesn’t it is probably one of the other three.


Thank you very much for all of that. I am trying to find that ‘atari’ moment Go Seigen refers to. I haven’t yet found a comparable position to that presented in the film. So, I’m just trying to eliminate all options.

I’m really very grateful for your kind and helpful response. Thanks very much indeed.


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I am not sure it is recorded in waltheri (or at all for that matter)…
He says something about playing in a monastery for a group of monks, don’t think it was an “official” game.

And nine games against your teacher is probably far from all of them


Thanks Adam, that’s the kind of feeling I was getting but know far too little too have felt confident about. Here was the genius Go Seigen, remembering fondly perhaps, the occasion when he so nearly played perfectly against and with is Master… amazing all assembled…and then overlooked one move.

Unofficial? Unrecorded? But not in the great man’s mind.

I’d love to ‘see’ the moment.

Forgive the naivety of a new player.



well it’s just my feeling. I am not too confident eihter :smiley:

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I misread that as “I am in the film ’ The Surrounding Game’, during the visit with Go Seigen sequence”. I almost lost my - excuse my language - Shite.

That said, I am in agreement with @AdamR. That said, even if one of the monks kept a kifu, I don’t know if it would be possible to get it (from what I understand, monks are bound by a vow of silence and peace. I am ignorant on that topic. I’m a computer person).

All of THAT said…I, too, would actually like to see that game. I just learned of (read: over the past few months) many a great player through the lectures of Nick Sibicky. I have SOOO much more to learn, and that is why I love this game.

End meaningless words/

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