Professional game memorisation log

This is a thread for discussion of professional games that you’re currently trying to memorise.

(See also Which pro game to memorise first?!)

Following discussion in The Review Meta-topic: How to review?, I’ve decided to have another go at memorising the games of Shuei. Takagawa Kaku gave his opinion that

in particular [Shuei’s] games as White after he reached 7-dan hide a fathomless strength amidst a serene and well-balanced flow

so I’ll begin, as I did last time, with Shuei’s promotion to 7p in 1886. However, Waltheri only has one game from 1886-90, so it’s smoother to start in 1891, 16 years before Shuei’s death in 1907.

The strongest player since the death of Shuwa in 1873 had been Shuho, but he had died in 1886.

Shusai (then Tamura Yasuhisa) was, in 1891, a mere teenage student of Shuei; so, the top two players of the time were Shuei and Nakagawa Kamesaburo (I, 1837–1903), who was also 7p.

This period of Go history was discussed in detail by Claire at The history and evolution of kyu rank in Go game - #59 by claire_yang

Takahashi Kinesaburo (1836–1912) is a somewhat obscure player. He was a pupil of Shuwa, 6p in 1901.

Anyone memorising games is welcome to post them in this thread. I hope to be able to post one or two Shuei games each day.


Almost obviously I’ve still not managed to memorise a single game on all this time! Maybe I should have another try.

1 Like

I can try help you find games if you’re looking for particular ones. I still have access to some gogod games from SmartGo and I haven’t checked but could check go4go.

In terms of memorising games, I could probably memorise some of my own games, maybe a pro game if I really tried to remember meanings in the moves.

But… I’ll probably just forget it again several days later without practice. I do have to wonder if it’s something worth practicing. Like I learned some tricks to do a rubix cube before and that kind turns into muscle memory at some point, but it was also pretty much memorisation. I’m obviously not against it.

I’ve also heard Young Sun Yoon say she used to memorise professional games when studying (start of that video)

and it must’ve helped to some extent right?

1 Like

The first time we encounter Osawa Ginjiro (1844–1906).

Another game against Nakagawa.

1 Like

There were three “7 dan” (no professional or amateur rank difference yet) players in 1891 - Honinbo Shuei (本因坊秀榮 although not everyone recognized his “Honinbo title”, others might just use his original family name Tsuchiya 土屋 at the time), Nakagawa Kamesaburo (中川亀三郎 the first, and technically had a Hoensha “3 kyu” rank), and Inoue Matsumoto Inseki (井上松本因碩, the head of Inoue house). Also, the head of the Yasui house - Yasui Sanei (安井算英) was also a pretty strong player with a rank of 5 dan (and he was a good friend of Honinbo Shuei, constantly bridge the difference between each house and Hoensha).

Although Inoue Matsumoto Inseki was generally considered a much weaker player than other heads (probably just 5d or lower), since he “gave” himself the rank without others challenging him. Also, he died in 1891, so if it is late 1891, the head of Inoue house would pass on to Inoue Otsuka Iseki (originally named 大塚亀太郎 Otsuka Kametarou), and he was 6 dan at the time, but he mostly stayed in Kansai (near Osaka).

There are three other “6 dan” (4 kyu) Hoensha players at the time as well - Kobayashi Tetsujiro (小林鐵次郎, the executive of Hoensha), Iwasaki Kenzo (巌崎健造, the third president of Hoensha after Nakagawa Kamesaburo the first), and Umezu Chokou (梅主長江 a senior player originally from the house of Yasui, already 5 dan in 1880). Also, there are 7 players in Hoensha with the rank of “5 kyu” (5 dan), including Takahashi Kinesaburo (高橋杵三郎).

Personally from my transcribing all the 1880s game, I feel at 1891, Honinbo Shuei was probably the strongest. Where Nakagawa Kamesaburo, Kobayashi Tetsujiro, Iwasaki Kenzo, Yasui Sanei, and Otsuka Kametarou were on par with each other (the 2nd tier), and the rest 5 dan players slightly behind them (including Inoue Matsumoto Inseki and Umezu Chokou, they were both pretty old at the time and honestly not that strong, but gained their rank due to seniority)


So far I’ve had a decent go at memorising the first game, but that’s no great achievement since

  1. I’ve tried to memorise it once or even twice before
  2. it’s less than 200 moves

I’ll post another Shuei game on demand, and in the meantime I’ll link back to this 2016-17 thread Whose master games should I study? (in which, I’m pleased to add, Pempu recommended Shuei.)

1 Like

I’m thinking of studying the games of 1976.

This was the year in which

  • Takemiya (b. '51) won his first big title, the Honinbo
  • Cho Chikun (b. '56) won his first big title, the Oza
  • Kato Masao (b. '47) won his first big titles, the Judan and (1st) Gosei
  • Kobayashi Koichi (b. '52) won his first big title, the 2nd Tengen
  • Otake Hideo (b. '42) made his first successful title defence, of the Meijin

They displaced a professional scene dominated by Ishida (b. '48) and Rin (b. '42), and in fact Ishida was only able to win one big title again (the '78 Oza).

It sounds very interesting to see these great players walk out on stage for their first acts.

1 Like