The Only Move, Vol. 2 2
212 pages, paperback, Hinoki, 1. edition 2009, original edition 2008
In his long career, Fujisawa Shuko won a place among the elite of the go world lasting several decades. He is revered today as Honorary Kisei, the highest honor bestowed on a professional player. Few players have won as many prestigious go tournaments as he did.
But in addition, he is one of the most important mentors for younger generations of players who has ever lived. When he was in his prime, he would spend hours analyzing games with the top junior players, passing on precious knowledge that they made use of to carve a place for themselves on the go scene. Shuko Sonsei is now retired, but that mission of mentoring youngsters has continued. He even maintains a dormitory attached to his own residence where budding professional players live and study.
This series offers an intimate look at Shuko Sensei's mentoring process. They show how promising players who come from far and wide to study with the master are instructed. The format is one where problem positions are posed to the reader, then, on the following pages the games from which those positions are taken are shown, whereupon Shuko Sensei gives the Only Move. That is typically an off-beat response that the players missed themselves but is essential to take control of the situation.
This volume examines fighting moves in the middlegame. The positions that are investigated are from games played by the best of the younger generation in Japan, China and Korea against each other or against the best of the older generation. As always, Shuko Sensei sharply criticizes complacent moves, and points out how to take control of the games. The best of Shuko Sensei's students appear, such as Takao Shinji, Judan, Sakai Hideyuki, an amateur now playing in the Meijin league, and Cho Sonjin, a former Honinbo. As in Volume 1 of this series, Shuko Sensei insists that the essential factor in go is to think in creative ways.
80 Problem Positions in the book challenge the reader to match wits with Fujisawa Shuko's students. Then Shuko Sensei himself gives the Only Move as the solution. Few players would disagree that the analysis that follows is a triumph of the imagination.