Kim Jiseok 9p vs. Choi Cheolhan 9p
By Viktor Lin | Reviews | 10.10.2016 18:21| Views: 5198 | Comments: 1
On 20 August 2016, two of the best players of Korea, Kim Jiseok 9p (White) and Choi Cheolhan 9p (Black), faced each other in the Korean league. A phenomenon occured that the grand majority of go players will never see in a lifetime in their own games: the Two-Headed Dragon.
While fighting the ko in upper left, the attention shifted to White's huge group on the lower side. Black 105, half meant as a ko-threat, is destroying White's eyeshape. Now White only has one definite eye in the centre and none elsewhere, so what should White do?
Instead of playing in the marked area to seek a second eye, White 106 promptly attaches to Black's corner! This surely took a lot of courage of Kim 9p and thus incurred the wrath of the world's top attacker that is Choi 9p.
However, following Black's pushes 107/109 and hane 111, White finds the clamp 112, and it seems there is nothing Black can do about it.
If Black decides to cut off White's 110 stone, White can immediately capture Black's three stones.
And if Black plays the atari from the other side, White can create a ko that White can fight due to ko-threats surrounding White's group.
Therefore Black can only let White connect up the 106 stone. Note that when White plays hane 118, Black is forced to take two white stones as he cannot block below 118.
It looks like a snapback, should White connect two stones, but White can exchange the atari first and Black's group would be captured.
Thus, after Black has taken two stones, White could make life peacefully by making another eye on the right. However, Kim 9p's plan was far more ambitious.
White refuses to make the second eye and bravely dashes into Black's territory with 120! Black still cannot fight the ko at Q5...
...but why would he do that when he could just delete all the potential for White's second eye? Now White has no more room left to make two eyes.
There is no eye in the centre. Black protects his three stones in sente and makes simple life.
In the game, after a series of exchanges White plays the kosumi 132. Black just so happens to be able to make two eyes with 135 and removes all of White's threats against his own group. So what is White doing here?!
Finally, after 136 it becomes clear that White is alive, even though the gigantic group only has false eyes. And Black cannot prevent White from making two false eyes.
If Black throws in to destroy the eye, White can make another on the other side.

That means, starting from White's attachment 106, not only did Black fail to inflict any damage to White, his impressive framework spanning the lower right quadrant of the board has been reduced to the feeble points Black has left now, thus earning White an overwhelming success in this fight.This sort of life, bearing the poetic name „Two-Headed Dragon“ is extremely rare and it's safe to say that most of us will never see it in our own games.If you are still confused why White is alive, compare it with this shape:

White's group, surrounding Black's indisputably living group, seems to have no real eye, but there are two spaces where Black is unable to throw in. So by connecting up two false eyes around Black's group, they become real eyes.Even though Kim Jiseok 9p still lost in the end, what happened in this game is certainly impressive, and we should congratulate both Kim 9p and Choi 9p for having achieved a Two-Headed Dragon in this game.

Full kifu: GokifuSource: WeiqiTV
Kim Jiseok 9p vs. Choi Cheolhan 9p

This article was written by Viktor Lin

Profession: Student, manager of EGF Academy
Born: Vienna, 1992
Country: Austria
EGF rank: 6d
Started playing go: 2004

10.10.2016 23:43
Great game! Thank you for sharing this article and sgf!
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