Women in go
One of the earliest references to women playing go in Japan can be found in «The Tale of Genji.
Not only was this novel written by a women, the only go players in it were women. No doubt go was a popular pastime in the medieval court of the time, and the game was clearly enjoyed by women as well as men.
Go playing was also one of the arts that many of the geisha of the Edo period mastered. Evidence for this is in the numerous woodblock prints of geisha featuring go as its main theme.
Only a few women who played go professionally during the Edo period. The most famous was Sano Hayashi
Kitas father was a famous doctor who compiled the first Japanese-German dictionary, but, when he died, her mother gave her up for adoption to the Hayashi go school and Sano Hayashi became her adoptive mother. She became
Kita is considered to be the mother of modern-day womens professional go. Virtually all female players who turned professional before World War II were taught by her. Before the war, only one or two women played go professionally, but now there are more than 50 female professional go players.
One of the most promising postwar players is Izumi Kobayashi
Although she holds no title, Kikuyo Aoki
In spite of Japans long history of women go players, Chinese female players seem to be much stronger than their Japanese counterparts. The most stellar is Rui Naiwei
The other Chinese woman
Problem 8. In this problem, Black moves first and must capture the marked white stones before White can capture his. The correct answer is for Black to play on one of Whites liberties. Black 1 will be answered by White 2, but Black 3 puts the four white stones in atari, i.e., Black threatens to capture these stones on the next move.
Next, White 4 in Diagram 1 puts the three black stones in atari, but Black captures the four white stones with 5. Black has won the race. Black could also start with 1 in Diagram 2. Again, Black wins the race by one move when he captures with 5.
From these two sequences, you might think that if you have more liberties than your opponent-all you have to do to win the capturing race is to fill the liberties of your opponents stones, and that any liberty will do. But this is not the case; caution is required. For example, Black must not play on the inside point that the two embattled groups have in common, namely at A in Diagram 3. If Black plays on this point first with 1 in Diagram 4, Black loses a liberty and Whites next move at 2 puts the four black stones in atari. Black plays 3, but White captures four stones with 4.
Sometimes in a capturing race, a situation occurs in which neither side can capture the other. Consider the position in Diagram 5. The marked black and white stones are opposing each other and, if Black plays 1, White will play 2. All the outside liberties are filled and only inside liberties remain. However, Black cannot atari at 1 in Diagram 6 because he puts himself into atari, and White will capture the black stones by playing at A.
On the other hand, White cannot play at 1 in Diagram 7 because Black will capture five white stones by playing at A. Therefore, the marked black and white stones in Diagram 5 are both alive and neither side can capture the other. This situation is called seki.
Problem 9. In this problem, it is Whites turn to move and he can capture five white stones in two moves using a capturing technique known as «snapback.»
Try to find this clever move.