Kisei Insanity & Review Request: Yamashita Keigo (9p) vs Iyama Yuta (9p)

Iyama Yuta has…

either won or lost the Kisei! Spoilers hidden!

defended his Kisei title for the 7th consecutive year!

His opponent was Yamashita Keigo, a man who has previously won the Kisei five times, with his first victory coming in 2003, ten years before Iyama’s current reign of dominance. While he’s recently celebrated his 40th birthday, Yamashita is playing stronger than ever. He’s currently the 3rd highest rated Japanese player, and has recently crossed the 3400 rating threshold for the first time. He still plays true to his “old school” roots, preferring to approach 4-4s instead of invading every 3-3 point, as some of the younger players have taken to doing.

This year’s Kisei, leading up to the final game, was not lacking for excitement. Iyama took an early 3-1 lead, before Yamashita pulled level with a pair of good, fighting wins. Game 5, in particular, was an exciting game with massive trades more or less leaving the board divided into two huge territories, each filled with dead stones.

Game 7, though, was perhaps the best of the bunch. Massive, full board-scale combat leading to huge exchanges, and only a single 3-3 invasion on the board. This is my game of the year, so far, for 2019, and I’d encourage everyone to take a look at it. Here’s the game:

And a kyu-level summary. Spoilers!

Yamashita took a similar approach to the opening as he did in game 5, but went for the modern 2-space high enclosure instead of the 1-space. Such enclosures are a bit more open, leading to complications if the opposing player goes for a severe attack. Iyama played just such an attack, and ended up with a huge weak group behind enemy lines, while leaving Yamashita with a few dragons surrounding it.

The weak group, though, was a sacrifice. A HUGE sacrifice! Iyama attacked the dragons on the outside, not to kill them, but to develop territory on the top and the side. Yamashita held on to the attack, and successfully killed a 29 stone group, but lost by 6.5 points!

My spoiler-y summary aside, I struggle to understand what’s going on in this game, other than at a very superficial level. Both I, and likely the OGS community at large, would enjoy seeing a strong player’s opinion as to what’s going on! Would any strong players be interested in doing a pro game review?


i think only pros/top amateurs are good enough to review pro games

on the other hand you can review it yourself
before a move is played next, try to visualize what you would do in their shoes
then compare your moves to their moves, then ask yourself why your move is inferior compared to theirs
understand their logic and reasoning behind their moves

but it seems GO has changed alot these 2-3 years(AIpha GO etc.), the logic behind them i find it harder and harder to understand pro games, a lot more fighting/calculating/sente involve that is more than usual
like the change from a clear natural response to all of a sudden tenuki after tenuki
the status of move values being calculated left and right…pros themselves are all learning from these AI

so imho it’s much more easier to study pro games before 2016

if you learn a few logic/reasoning behind their moves, maybe you can gain a few stones
learning moves/technique may not happen all the time, but their logic/reasoning and go theories can apply all the time
and then is the close combat fights, maybe studying life+death problems is better for to improve reading abilities for close combats…


I find fighty games, in general, to be tough to review. Early Kato Masao games, for example. I can understand that the logic is something like “generate weak groups and kill them,” but the reading required to play the way an aggressive pro does is beyond me.