Quest of the lost systems

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Chapter One: Yagura
Section 2: Formation with black Rook on 2i

The suzume-zashi, having provoked a variety of countermeasures, found itself in need of revisions so that it could cope with them. First of all, suzume-zashi was characterized as a sure weapon, which enabled your force to penetrate the opponent's camp. An unfailing effect was expected, even if the opponent was prepared for it. Its power was thus overwhelming, it seemed at first. But the effective defenses to it was devised one after another, which called for reviewing of its structure. The suzume-zashi side could no longer depend solely on the hard-hit strategy, but had to play tactfully; e.g., pretend to hit from the front and hit the body, as in kendo (Japanese fencing). Hence, a new version based on suzume-zashi with a spirit of flexibility was devised: R-on-2i type.

As was mentioned in the first section, suzume-zashi's archenemy is bo- gin. So, you first assume a formation which can be developed into suzume-zashi, and if the opponent is about to resort to bo-gin, you place your R on 2i. This is the idea.

First, we will take a look at the Nakahara(b)-Yonenaga(w) game, which was played on April 26 & 27, 1979, as No.4 game in Mejin-sen.

  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
|wL wN  *  *  *  * wK wN wL |a      White in hand: nothing 
| * wR  *  *  * wB wG  *  * |b
| *  * wS wP  * wG wS wP wP |c
|wP  * wP  * wP wP wP  *  * |d
| * wP  *  *  *  *  *  * bP |e
|bP  * bP bP bP  * bP bP  * |f
| * bP bS bG  * bP bN  *  * |g      Black in hand: nothing
| *  * bG bB  * bS  *  *  * |h
|bL bN  * bK  *  *  * bR bL |i
Diagram 1. Nakahara(b) vs Yonenaga(w), up to R-2i. 

Nakahara(b)'s R-2i was not exactly the first in history, still this game is considered to mark the rudiments of the idea. The game began just like other suzume-zashi games, but placing R on 2i was clearly the beginning of a different thing. Back in the second game of the same Meijin-sen series, Black also took the suzume-zashi position, but White successfully guarded his camp by K-3a through S-2b, against Black's L-1g through R-1h. Taking a lesson from it, Nakahara came back with this new idea.

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