Quest of the lost systems

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Chapter One: Yagura
Section 1: suzume-zashi, or attack a la sparrow shish kebab

Moves from the Diagram 9: (from Black)

Px9f, Lx9f;      Lx9f, Rx9f;      P-6e, B-9g+;     L*9i, P*9h;
Sx9g, Rx9g+,     G-8h, +R-9b;     L*9h, +R-7b;     B-5g, P-6d;
Px6d, L*6a;

After those moves, White has something to look forward to, e.g., P-7e through S-6d, which would mark White's success.

The problem remains though: once both parties complete their formations, the suzume-zashi side has difficulty to time when to open fire. It might even have a possibility of sen-nichi-te (literally, a thousand-day move, meaning you keep on getting back to exactly the same phase after a thousand days; repetition of moves). In other words, that's exactly why White resorts to suzume-zashi, because even if the game ends up with sen-nichi-te, he/she is guaranteed to play Black in a re-match. What's there to lose?

Besides a danger of getting into repetition of moves, another factor that made suzume-zashi less popular was White's shagami-yagura, which still makes the Black indecisive how to go about it.

Suzume-zashi, however, is very active in other formations like S-4f or S-4g-yagura, and still a very powerful weapon in many games. The concept of suzume-zashi will no doubt be succeeded and give rise to many revised strategies in years to come. Every time I think about it, I'm overwhelmed by Kozo Masuda's ingenuity.

(End of Section 1)

Takako Noda

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