Page:Smith - The game of go.djvu/38

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
14
THE GAME OF GO

the coveted position by a contest, and therefore strove to obtain it by intrigue from the Shogun’s officer intrusted with the business of the Academy. When Jowa retired he was not unaware of the desires of Inseki, but it did not trouble him much, as he felt confident that the fourteenth Honinbo, whose name was Shuwa, could successfully defend his title. However, at last matters came to such a point that Jowa ordered Shuwa to present a petition to the Shogun requesting that the title be settled by contest, but the Shogun’s officer, who was in league with Inseki, returned the petition, whereupon all of the Honinbo house rose and insisted on their rights in accordance with custom and precedent, and at last their petition was granted. It was fixed that the title was to be decided by ten games, and the first game began at the residence of the Shogun’s officer, Inaba Tango no Kami, on the 29th of November, in the eleventh year of Tempo (about sixty-six years ago), and it ended the same year on the 13th of December. There was an adjournment of four days, and on one occasion the contest lasted all night. Therefore in all it took nine days and one night to finish the game.

It is unnecessary to say that both players put forth all their efforts in this life and death struggle, and it is said that Inseki’s excitement was so intense as to cause blood to gush from his mouth, but he finally lost by four stones, and the other nine games were not played. Inseki, however, mortified by his defeat, again challenged Shuwa. This game began on the 16th of May in the thirteenth year of Tempo, and lasted two days. Inseki again lost by six stones. On November 17th of the same year a third contest took place between Shuwa and Inseki in the presence