Invincible: The Games of Shusaku

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Invincible is arguably the best Go book ever published in English. It's a collection of commented games for one of the greatest Go players of all time, Shusaku. The book provides clear and thorough commentaries for 80 of Shusaku's best games and contains 143 games in total. Another Go legend, Go Seigen, gained much of his strength by studying Shusaku's games and many other players have since followed his example. Now you can too.

Invincible: The Games of Shusaku

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THE SAINT OF GO: Shusaku was the leading player of the golden age of go in the mid-19th century. He has become known to later generations as the Saint of Go (Kisei or Gosei) and is recognized by modern players as one of the greatest geniuses in the history of the game. His victories over his contemporaries in a number of matches contributed to his reputation, but its main foundation is his perfect record, not even approached by any other player, of nineteen successive wins in the annual castle games played in the presence of the shogun.

INVINCIBLE: Shusaku's record in the castle games
1. (1849) Shusaku (black) defeated Yasui Sanchi 7-dan by 11 points.
2. (1849) Shusaku (black) defeated Sakaguchi Sentoku 7-dan (resigned after 131 moves).
3. (1850) Shusaku (black) defeated Sakaguchi Sentoku 7-dan by 8 points.
4. (1850) Shusaku (black) defeated Ito Showa 7-dan by 3 points.
5. (1851) Shusaku (black) defeated Hayashi Monnyu 7-dan by 7 points.
6. (1851) Shusaku (black) defeated Yasui Sanchi 7-dan (resigned after 151 moves).
7. (1852) Shusaku (white) defeated Inoue Matsumoto Inseki 5-dan by 2 points.
8. (1852) Shusaku (black) defeated Ito Showa 7-dan by 6 points.
9. (1853) Shusaku (black) defeated Sakaguchi Sentoku 7-dan (resigned after 121 moves).
10. (1853) Shusaku (white) defeated Yasui Shanchi 7-dan by 1 point.
11. (1854) Shusaku (white) defeated Inoue Matsumoto Inseki 5-dan (resigned after 130 moves).
12. (1856) Shusaku (white) defeated Ito Showa7-dan (resigned after 154 moves).
13. (1857) Shusaku (black) defeated Yasui Sanchi 7-dan (resigned after 141 moves).
14. (1858) Shusaku (white) defeated Sakaguchi Sentoku 7-dan by 3 points.
15. (1859) Shusaku (black) defeated Ito Showa 7-dan by 9 points.
16. (1859) Shusaku (black) defeated Hattoru Seitetsu 7-dan by 13 points.
17. (1860) Shusaku (white) defeated Hayashi Yubi 6-dan by 4 points.
18. (1861) Shusaku (white) defeated Hayashi Monnyu 7-dan by 14 points.
19. (1861) Shusaku (white) defeated Hayashi Yubi 6-dan (resigned after 142 moves).

SHUSAKU'S REPUTATION: Shusaku is considered the best model for aspiring professional players to study, especially his games with black. He was unexcelled in his complete mastery of the strategic principles and the practical techniques of go. His games are a treasure house of all the varied elements of the game, from the fuseki to the endgame, but in particular they provide amateur players with ideal material for studying the art of fighting in the middle game.

Here are some 20th century views of Shusaku:

"Shusaku simplified the complexity of go, concealing his great strength and profound analysis beneath the smooth surface of his game... It is not an exaggeration to say that all the principles and all the techniques of go are embodied in concentrated form in Shusaku's go."

— Segoe Kensaku 9-dan


"The speed and forcefulness of Shusaku's play with black are like lightning striking the go board; his skill at finishing off his opponent once he took the lead is unrivalled."

— Hayashi Yutaka, go historian


"Shusaku would read out all the possible variations, then play straightforwardly, making the simplest move, if he thought it ensured a win. This way of playing is only possible if one has a clear understanding of the principles of go and is blessed with superb positional judgement, and it also requires considerable self-confidence. On those rare occasions when he got into a bad position, he would display tremendous strength in fighting his way back into the lead. The castle game with Ito Showa in 1850 is a good example of a game in which he reveals his latent strength... Another feature of his go is his flexibility and willingness to experiment. Modern go is still far from surpassing Shusaku."

— Ishida Yoshio, former Meijin, Honinbo.

Additional Information

Skill Level3: Advanced
AuthorJohn Power
TranslatorNo
SeriesNo
PublisherKiseido
FormatPrinted book
Delivery MethodShips worldwide from closest available location
Ships FromEurope, Australia
Pages420
Dimensions (in)10.2 x 7.1
Dimensions (cm)26 x 18
ISBN-104906574017
ISBN-139784906574018
Made FromPaper
Weight (lbs)1.96
Weight (kg)0.89

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