Hikaru No Go Fan Fiction ❯ Convergence ❯ Convergence ( Chapter 1 )

[ A - All Readers ]
As you probably know, I don’t own Hikaru no Go and appreciate the owners letting me play in their universe.


Divergenc e

2 Years Old

     Little Hikaru-chan toddled around the park with tiny Akari-chan.  They were both dressed in little shorts and t-shirts.  Hikaru wore a bright yellow shirt and Akari wore a pink t-shirt.  Hikaru’s mother kept a close eye on both of them.  Akari’s mother was grocery shopping and so Shindou Mitsuko was watching both children.

      ‘Goodness,R 17; she thought.  ‘Two children do take twice as many eyes.  I can’t believe how far they can get in 10 seconds.  Still, it’s good practice for me.  I wonder if I’m pregnant.  It’s possible.   I hope so.  Wouldn’t Masao be pleased?  I really hope it’s happened this time.’  Mitsuko didn’t want Hikaru to be an only child.

      “Oh, no, she said, “That’s too big for you yet.”  She retrieved Hikaru from the area around the slide.  He was eyeing it with interest as he watched the older children climb up and slide down.  She felt he was just a bit small for that yet.

     “No!”  He protested as she carried him back to the vicinity of the sand box.

     “Why don’t you play in the sand with Akari-chan?”

     “No!”  Hikaru stuck out his tiny little chin and ran around the sand box, “No.”  He headed off to the fascinating slide again and was again picked up and carried back.  Hikaru wiggled out of his mother’s arms and then toddled up to Akari.

     “Whatcha doing?”

     “Digging.”  Akari explained with a grin and tossed sand all over. Now the sand tossing looked like it might be interesting so he got in the sand box and helped her toss sand around for about a minute before too much sitting had him fidgeting so he jumped up and toddled off again.

     Out of nowhere a football rolled up and smacked him right in the belly.  Hikaru went down on his butt.   He sat in surprise for a second and giggled.  Then he looked around to see if he was supposed to be hurt but his mother had taken her eyes off him for a few seconds while she brushed the sand off Akari and she hadn’t noticed the football.  Hikaru concluded he wasn’t supposed to be hurt so he didn’t cry.  He just got up.  Now this looked like fun.  The ball about much bigger than anything he’d seen before.  It was almost half as tall as he was.  Wow, he could roll over on it and it rolled around.  This WAS fun.  He lay flat on top of it and it rolled under him.  Hikaru giggled.

     “Hikaru, what are you doing?  Where did you find that?”

     He laughed up at his mother and rolled his new toy around.  “It’s mine.”

     “No, it isn’t, Hikaru.  It belongs to someone in the park.”

     The chin went out and Hikaru clutched the ball.  His arms wouldn’t even go all the way around it.  “It’s mine,” he insisted.
     Just then a boy of about 10 or 11 ran up and tried to take the ball.  Hikaru frowned and clutched it.  The boy turned to Hikaru’s mother and made a short bow.  “I’m sorry.  The ball got away from us.  I hope it didn’t cause any trouble.”

     “No trouble,” she said.  “It’s just my son seems to have taken a liking to it.  Hikaru, that is not your ball and we are giving it back.”

     “No!  Mine,” he insisted.   Mitsuko ignored him, picked up the ball and handed it the other boy.  Hikaru decided his toy was being stolen and now would be a good time to cry to point out this horrible fact.    

      “Hika ru, that’s enough,” his mother said.  Since Hikaru really wasn’t much of a crier, he stopped crying and tried to look pathetic.  That big kid was stealing his toy and mama was letting it happen.

     The other boy just laughed and patted him on the head.  “Aw, that’s o.k.  If you like it so much you can play when you’re a few years older.  Maybe you’ll be the next Beckham.”  He took off across the park with the ball tucked up under his arm.  Hikaru wiped his tears and watched the great toy vanish.

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     Akira was dressed in shorts, socks and a button down little shirt in navy blue.  He was currently sitting next to his father, watching his father make the pretty patterns.  He was very quiet because he knew you were always supposed to be quiet when the black and white pictures were being made.  He sat in seiza since that was how people sat.  It didn’t occur to him there was any other way to sit on a floor.

     “Akira-chan, would you like to make the black and white patterns?”  “Yes,” he nodded eagerly.  Akira was so happy his father was paying attention to him. His father spent almost all the time making the pretty patterns, so Akira knew this was something special adults did and he wanted to do it too.  It must be fun.  Other people came over and helped father make the pretty patterns.  He knew you could only talk around the patterns when there were more than two people watching.  Mothers made food and fathers made black and white patterns.  They looked pretty.  They didn’t taste good, though, like the food mother made.  Akira knew that.  He could remember trying to eat one of the white stones but it didn’t taste good.  His father got upset about it, too.  He didn’t like his father upset.  He now knew the black and white toys were to make pretty pictures.  They weren’t to eat.

     Touya Kouyo placed a cloth cover over his Kaya goban and put the wooden pawlonia cover on top of that.  Then he put an agathis table board on it.  It was turned so the 9 by 9 line board was showing and the 13 x 13 line board was on the other side.  He picked up two small lightweight but wooden goke which each held about 40 glass stones.   He would switch to slate and shell in a few years when Akira had grown a bit and could handle the weight of the slate.  Akira took the little bowl of black glass eagerly when his father handed it to him.  It was a bit heavy but he could hold it.  He was so happy.  He was going to make pretty pictures with his father.
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5 Years Old

     Hikaru and Akari were in the park as they frequently were this time of day.  Today Hikaru was wearing yellow shorts and a navy t-shirt.  Akari was in a skirt and navy blue top.  They stood by the green waiting anxiously.  At least Hikaru was waiting anxiously.  Akari was watching the pretty patterns the clouds in the sky made.  

      Suddenly Hikaru frowned.  “Where is everyone?  They said I could play when I turned 5 and I’m five now.”  The boys had promised Hikaru could come play football with them and he didn’t want to miss a day of it.  He still liked to kick and carry the ball around.

     “Akari, I don’t know what you’re doing here.  You’re a girl.  Girls can’t play football.”  He laughed at her while he fidgeted.  

      “Yes, I can.  I can do anything boys can do.  My Mama said so.

     “Bet you can’t pee standing up.”

     Akari just stared at him with an open mouth.  “Hikaru, that’s nasty.”   She glared and smacked him.  Hikaru just laughed and ran around her in circles with his arms outstretched like an airplane.

     “Bet you can’t pee standing up.  Bet you can’t pee standing up,” he sang.  Suddenly Hikaru realized some other kids had come over and there was an adult with a ball in his hand.

     “I want to play.  Let me play.  I’m five and the others said I could play when I was five.”

     “Of course you two can play.”

     “Girls can play?”  Hikaru was astounded.

     “Yes, they can.”  The coach said with a smile.

     “Ha, see?   I can TOO play.”

     “Yeah, but I bet you still can’t…”

     “You be quiet,” Akari demanded.

     They went off to the field with the other children.  Hikaru immediately started kicking the ball.  Then he ran after it and picked it up.

     “No, no,” the coach said.  “Let me explain how to play.  You aren’t allowed to pick up the ball.”

< br>      “No.  You can kick the ball, or hit it with any part of your body except your hands.  You can even bounce it off your head.  That is, unless you want to practice to be a goalie someday.  They get to use their hands.”

     “What’s a goalie?”  Akari asked.

     “Dummy,” Hikaru said.  “He’s the one in the little net who has to stay put and never gets to run anywhere.  That’s no fun at all.”  Hikaru told her.  “I’m gonna get to chase the ball all over the field.  That’s WAY more fun.”  It was a great day, Hikaru thought, and he was better than Akari because even if the man did say she could play football, she still couldn’t pee standing up.

     Shindou Mitsuko and Akari’s mother watched their offspring, but from a bit of a distance so the children could pretend they weren’t under close parental observation.

     “Akari is starting to learn her kanji, now.  She knows all her hiragana and is starting on kanji.”

     “That is so wonderful.  I’m a little worried about Hikaru.  He learns it easily enough when he tries but he just hasn’t tried hard enough.  He only knows some of his hiragana and none of his kanji.  He just can’t seem to sit still long enough.  He’s always popping up and running off to do something,” Mitsuko said.  “He needs to start concentrating on his learning.”

     “Well, there’s still plenty of time,” the other woman said consolingly.  Privately she was very pleased with Akari’s progress and wouldn’t have wanted to deal with Hikaru’s vagaries, but naturally she was polite and never said a word.


     Little Akira sat quietly in seiza, playing with a hiragana puzzle.  He was wearing his regular clothes - shorts, a button down shirt and tie, and a coat.  He finished the puzzle quickly and without errors but it was boring so he set it aside.  He picked up his new brush pen with the Pokémon on the side of it.  It was a self contained ink and brush pen so he could practice his letters.  At the age of 5, he already knew his hiragana and was starting on kanji. He really liked the pen because his father gave it to him.  ‘Perhaps I’ll practice with the kanji and my pen,’ he thought. Akira felt fidgety because he really wanted to get to the best part of his studying, but he made himself make careful brush strokes for about 20 minutes. He could hear his mother in the next room but he liked the peace and quiet in his own room.

     After Akira had made copies of some kanji for awhile, he set the pen and book down and sat in front of the goban – his brand new goban.  How exciting was that? It arrived for his 5th birthday just last week.  Now he had a goban of his very own and real slate and shell stones to practice with in his own room.  It was really great because he still wasn’t allowed to use his father’s board unless his father was with him.  Before this he’d had a thinner flat board but now he had a floor board just like fathers.  Could there have been a better birthday present?  Akira happily opened his goke and played out a game his father played.He sat quietly but then huffed a bit.  “Why can’t I remember? I have to work hard.”  Akira checked the kifu 50 hands into the game and then looked up when his mother came into his room carrying some clean laundry.

     “Mother, when will father be home?”

     “Not until tomorrow, Akira.  He has a two day title match in Kyoto.  Perhaps when he comes home he’ll be Touya Meijin,” Akiko said.  Akira nodded happily.  He understood now there were special names that really good players got to call themselves.

     “Let’s go to the park, Akira.  It’s a lovely day.”

     “No thank you, mother, I want to learn more of father’s game.”

     “Akira, sunshine and exercise are important too.We’re going to the park.”

     Akira looked up from the game and sighed a little.  He could tell when she was serious about something.  “Yes, mother,” he said and did not complain again.Akira remembered walking down a road lined with trees with his father.  He remembered asking him about go and holding his hand.He enjoyed that time with his father.Perhaps parks were ok places to visit.

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8 years old

     The house was shaking but Shindou Mitsuko didn’t panic.  She had experience and training in dealing with these events.  Instead she went to the kitchen door.  “Hikaru, don’t run down the stairs. You sound like a herd of elephants.”  All she got for a response was laughter.  “Hikaru, have you finished your homework?”

     “Don’t worry, I’ll get it done.  See you later Mom, I’m going out to play.”

     “Hikaru, wait.  Come eat your breakfast.”

     Hikaru sat down in the kitchen and ate his breakfast at top speed.  “Mom, I’ll be late for when they pick sides in the park.”

     “Slow down a little; you’ll get indigestion.”

     “It hasn’t happened yet.”  He jumped up, put his dishes in the sink and dashed back to the hall.

     “Wait a minute; I’ve wanted to ask you whatever happened to your book bag.  It was new only two months ago.”

     Hikaru just gave her a funny look.  “Nothing happened.  I just carry it, that’s all.”

     “But Hikaru, we still haven’t talked about your schoolwork.  You need to get in a good school and that takes study time.  The path to high school starts now, while you're still young.”

     “Yeah, yeah,” Hikaru waved her off.  “Later, mom.  I’ve gotta go.  The other boys are in the park and I want to go play ball.  Don’t worry about me, mom.  I’m going to play football when I grow up.”  He laughed and ran out the door before she could stop him.  

      Mitsuko sighed.  “That boy, I can’t keep him still long enough to make sure he’s eating properly and getting his school work done.  He won’t listen to me.  He’s very stubborn.”

       Akira was sitting in the go salon and playing a game with one of the customers.  They were playing an even game and Akira was winning.  Ichiwara came over to watch him.  She was a new employee his father had hired recently.

     Akira-kun, your mother called and said she’s stopping by in a few minutes.”

     “Why would she do that?”

      “I don’t know.”  Ichiwara hadn’t been an employee very long and she certainly wasn’t going to ask the owner’s wife why she was doing anything.  “Perhaps she wants to find out if you’ve started your homework yet.  Do you have any homework?”

     Akira gave her a perplexed look.  “Of course I’ve finished my homework.  I got that done immediately so I could start studying my go.”

     The customer he was playing spoke up.  “Of course Touya-kun has done his homework.  He’s very studious.  It’s the first thing he does after school so he can play games with us or read a go problems book.”

     “Ah, I see.”  Ichiwara was embarrassed to have asked so she retreated to the counter up front.  When the bell rang she looked up and saw Touya Akiko coming in the door.  They exchanged pleasantries before Akiko went over to Akira.

     “Akira, it’s a lovely day and I thought you might play hooky from the salon.  We could go for a walk in the park,” she said hopefully.  Then we could stop somewhere for dinner if you’d like.  Your father called and he’ll be home late tonight.”

     “No thank you, mother.”

     “Akira, when was the last time you didn’t come to the salon after school.  Growing boys need exercise.”

     “I walk most of the way to school and then to the salon, mother.We have regular healthful exercise through school.You have me take swim lessons.I am fine.”

     As she retreated in defeat, Akiko eyed her son’s pristine book bag at the counter and sighed.“That boy, I wish I could get him to run around and play a little more.”

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10 years old

     “Hikaru, I bought you some new clothes today.  Let me try them on you to make sure they fit.”

      “Mom, I don’t have time.  I have to meet the boys in the park.  I just wanted to drop off my books and change my shoes.  But I won’t wear them if they’re dorky.  I won’t wear stupid looking clothes.”
   &n bsp;  “I know.You’re very stubborn,” Mitsuko said with a sigh.She’d learned her lesson previously with buying clothes he wouldn’t wear.“I think you’ll like these.See, yellow and orange just as you like. Look at this mottled yellow and white long sleeve t-shirt with the 55 on it.”Hikaru nodded approvingly.

     “That looks o.k.”   He said without much approval in his voice even though he really liked the shirt.

      “Let me try this on you to make sure it fits.”

     “No, no, mom.  I don’t have time.”  Hikaru wiggled away from her but she grabbed him.  She managed to get him to stand mostly still while she tried two of the shirts and a jacket on him before he fidgeted too much.

     “Oh, I give up.  But Hikaru, you need to work on your homework.  You can’t just play ball all day.  You have to study. Your father and I are worried about your grades.  This is the time in your life to work hard on your schoolwork to ensure a bright future for yourself.”  Hikaru ignored this comment from his mother, grabbed his backpack and pulled on his shoes.  He just waved at her as he dashed out the door.

     “BYE, MOM.  I’ll do my homework when I get home from practice.”

     Shindou Mitsuko sighed.  Lately she was worried that was all she was doing when it came to her son. No homework. No good grades.  Just football.

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     “Akira, I bought you some new clothes yesterday.”

     “That’ s fine mother.”He viewed the button down shirts and new pressed slacks.It was fall and his mother had purchased a new sweater in maroon and purple shades.  He glanced at the clothing and then walked to the dining table for breakfast.  While they were eating, Mitsuko said,

     “Don’t forget we’ll be going to the kimono store this Saturday to fit you for your first traditional garments.”

     “I won’t forget, mother.”  Akira looked at his father who was calmly eating his own breakfast.  Akira was looking forward to the trip to the kimono store.  He had often seen his father in his garments and he always looked very dignified.Akira was pleased to finally get the hakama and haori for him to wear.

     “Akira, I saw another mother shopping in the store in the same size section,” Akiko said.  “I assume she has a son about your age, also.”  This didn’t sound like it required a response from him so Akira said nothing.  “She was buying a long sleeved mottled yellow t-shirt.She said it was in style right now and so I considered buying one for you.”   Akira looked horrified.

     “That sounds awful, mother.I’m very grateful you didn’t bring one home with you.It had yellow polka dots?”  The horror in his voice was evident.

     “Really it was more of a mottled yellow and white pattern, with freeform shapes,” Akiko explained.Akira just stared.

     “THANK YOU for not buying it.”  Could it be any worse, he thought?

     “I don’t know.I was very tempted.It seemed bright and cheerful for a boy to wear and it did have a bright orange 5 on it,” Akiko said.  Akira just stared blankly at her.  “You know, since you play igo… go.’ She smiled at him.  He stared back dumbfounded.

     ‘Yes,’ Akira thought, ‘it could get worse.’ Instead of commenting he took the last bite of his breakfast and carried the dishes into the kitchen.
     “I have to leave for school mother.I will be studying at the go salon when school is finished.”

     Touya Akiko sighed.  Lately she was worried that was all she was doing when it came to her son.  No sports.  No friends.  Just go.  

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12 Years Old

     Hikaru carried his bento and the juice he had just purchased past a table full of several boys and girls. One of the boys held out his arm to stop him.   “Hey, Shindou-kun,” another said.  “What did you think about that pop test in History today?  That really was nasty, wasn’t it?”  Several of the other children nodded in agreement.

     “Yeah,” Hikaru said, “it was unexpected.  I’ve, uh, suddenly gotten some help in history, though, so I think I did alright on the test.”


      “Hey, are you o.k.?  I hear you went to the hospital in an ambulance, yesterday.”

     “How cool is that?”  A girl added.

     “Yeah, but then he barfed all over the water fountain,” another boy said with a grin.

     “Gross,” the girl said with a grimace.  “That’s disgusting.”  The boys just grinned.  They thought it was interesting.

     “Hey come on and sit down.We can squeeze up and make room.”  Everyone started shifting to make a space.

     “Sorry, I can’t today.I’m going to talk with Sasaki-kun and Yamamota-kun about defensive plans and strategies for our football games.”He waved his head in the direction of another table full of boys.”

     “O.k.,you later,” someone said.

     “Yup.” headed off to the other table.

 # # #

     Akira carried his bento and can of tea through the dining hall.He could always sense the stares.He heard the whispers.

     “That’s him?”

     “Yeah, he’s a bit of a freak.  You’re new here so I thought I’d point him out.”

     “Definitely a nerd.Who has a book bag in that perfect condition?”

     “I know what you mean. That’s just not natural.”

     “He plays go all day.He’s the son of some famous guy.”

     “I’ll bet his family’s filthy rich and he’s a spoiled little rich kid.

     “Have you ever talked to him?”

     “Not really.He doesn’t talk about anything but school and that game.”

     “What game?”


     “That old thing?Weird.”

     “Quick, spread out. don’t need him at our table.”

     Akira ignored the voices,his chin and proudly walked to an empty table.He pulled out his book of problems and read while he ate his lunch.

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12 Years Old

     Hikaru walked reluctantly into the go salon.  He’d been kicked out of the go class after spraying Mr. Akota with orange aid.  ‘But that wasn’t even my fault.  I didn’t mean to do it.  He just startled me with that freaky looking new rug he had on his head.’

     ‘Still, since we can’t play at that class this is good.   I want to play go.’

     ‘Yeah, yeah, and I want to keep my dinner in my stomach, so you can play some go here.’  He walked in and looked around.  ‘Ah, Sai, these are a bunch of old geezers.  Yuck.  I knew this was an old man’s game.’

     ‘It is not,’ Sai huffed.

     ‘Oh, there’s a kid my age.’  “Hey, lady, can I play him?  He’s about my age and that would be better than playing one of these old geezers.”  Hikaru didn’t lower his voice and got more than a glare or two from the ‘geezers.’

     “I don’t know if that would be a good idea,” she said.  Ichikawa had just heard him say he had never really played before.

     “I’d be happy to play you,” Akira told Hikaru.  Then he even asked Ichikawa to not charge the normal entrance fee.

     “Well, since Akira-kun says yes,” she melted with a smile.  She could never deny Akira anything and it really was not because his father owned the salon.

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12 ½ Years Old
      Something clenched inside of Hikaru when he heard Akira announce.  “I was wrong about you.  You are not a go player.  You will never have to see me again.”  The look on Akira’s face was a combination of grief and anger, but he resolutely turned away from Hikaru and started off down the street.  Suddenly Hikaru ran to catch up.

     “Wait!  If you keep chasing some illusion of me, you’ll find the real me catching up to you someday.”
      &# 8220;You, catch up to me?”  Akira scoffed.  “Why wait for ‘Someday’? Play a game with me now.”  He watched as Hikaru’s face fell into an anxious frown.  His eyes dropped to the sidewalk.

     “I thought so,” Akira said contemptuously.  He left without a backwards glance.


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13 Years Old

     “Touya isn’t going to hang around for me forever.  I know that.  Just you wait.  I’m going to catch up to Touya, just see if I don’t.”  Hikaru bit fiercely into his hamburger.

     “Sure you are, sure you are,” Waya laughed right back.  “Mr. Bottom of the B League, yeah, you’re really close to Touya, just a hairs breath away.”  He laughed uproariously at his own joke.  Isumi frowned.

     “Waya, that’s not nice.  We all need goals.  Although, Shindou, goals do need to be realistic.  Perhaps you should set more short term goals, such as getting into the A league, or…”

     “Or WINNING a game, even,” Waya interrupted.  “That would make a good ‘short term goal.’  Of course, in your case, it appears to be more of a long term goal.”

     “WAYA!  Stop that.”  Isumi glared at his friend.  Hikaru was upset but really he was mostly upset with himself.  He could tell Waya wasn’t saying it to be mean, but to be funny.  He didn’t know why he couldn’t win any games yet, either.  Ochi just watched them and ate his lunch in silence.  He didn’t think this new kid was worth a moment of his thoughts and didn’t understand why Waya and Isumi had seemed to take the loser under their wings.

# # #

Akira stared at the bleach blond bangs he hadn’t been able to totally get out of his mind.  ‘Are you free this Sunday?’  Ogata Sensei was a manipulative sly creep.  Akira watched as the bangs bent over a goban with the other insei.  Insei?  He’s an insei. ‘No, He’s nothing to me.  So what if he’s an insei?”  Akira turned to go just as Hikaru looked up and their eyes locked.  Akira raised his chin, kept going and ignored Hikaru just as though he was part of the furniture.  He headed back to the elevator.  Akira had always had good hearing.  Behind him he could hear Hikaru tell someone “no, he’s waiting for me to rise up to his level,” and then he heard a yell of “Touya.  Touya.”  He kept going and was lucky.  The elevator was still on the same floor.  He got in and it closed immediately.  Akira didn’t glance back at Hikaru at all.

Back on the main floor he frowned at Ogata 9-dan.  “So this is what you wanted to show me.  So what if he’s an insei?    I don’t need a catalyst like him.  He’s nothing to me.  He’ll never catch up.  I won’t let him.  I’ll rise up to a level he could never reach in five lifetimes of study.  I’ll be so far ahead he won’t even be able to see my back in a million years.”  There was strength and fervor in his voice before he got back on the elevator to go to the publishing department.
Behind him Ogata 9-dan laughed.  “Just what do you think a catalyst does, Akira-kun?  You seem quite motivated now.”

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15 Years Old

     At the first Hokuto cup during the Japan v. Korea series, two boys dressed in suits sat at their tables facing their respective opponents.Their eyes were fixed on the board in front of each of them. Both were still and focused, concentrating on the pattern and potentials of the stones on the goban.  One wore his black hair carefully tailored.It was so shiny it reflected green in the light.The other wore a more haphazard style. His hair was black with bleached bangs and though it was carefully combed, it looked in need of a trim.Identical thoughts went through their brains:

     “I have to close that point soon.If he plays there, then I would defend with a shoulder hit, but he could threaten those eyes with an ogeima and a two space jump. That would play out in 15 hands. Hmm, but if he did that, I could make life in the lower left and that is worth more points; but I should play the left middle hoshi before he does. That will give me aji on the 4-line to use in mid game to connect to my lower stones and then to his lower left and its worth more points.What is he going to do?  If my opponent plays here, then I’d play the pincher.  But he could… No, a keima is better to enclose then a pincher in this situation.  Play the urgent and then critical before the merely big.Hmm, if I play here, then he could try…no that wouldn’t work.  I MUST WIN THIS GAME.’

     Two Childhoods converge.The God of Go looked down at the two boys and smiled with satisfaction.There are many paths to a single destination, she thought.Next to her, as a special favor for all he had endured over the last 1000 years, Fujiwara no Sai watched the games with pride.

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