Kamakura jubango

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The Kamakura jubango (ten-game match) was a historically significant go match played in Japan in 1939, 1940 and 1941. It pitted Kitani Minoru and Go Seigen, close rivals for a decade and friends at a personal level, and both ranked 7 dan, against each other.

Go Seigen emerged victorious by a 6-4 margin. This match marked the beginning of the period of his dominance as the top player, which continued until the First Meijin Tournament in 1962.

Background

Nine months before the match started, Kitani had defeated Honinbo Shusai, the Meijin, in Shusai's retirement game. The Honinbo title was to be open to competition, and both Kitani and Go took part in that tournament. Each failed to get through to the final match, which was contested by Sekiyama Riichi and Kato Shin, with Sekiyama becoming the first Honinbo under the titleholder system in 1941. The preliminaries of this first Honinbo tournament were under way during the Kamakura match. With wartime conditions, the pace of all competitions slowed considerably. All these players also took part in the Oteai competition. The first 9 dan to emerge from the Oteai was Fujisawa Kuranosuke, some years later (at this time 6 dan). At the time, it was hard to receive promotion even to 8 dan. The pool of top players was rather small; Karigane Junichi was 8 dan but had stayed outside the system that had established itself around Shusai and the Nihon Ki-in.

The result of the match was the first step in the process by which Go Seigen would...
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