59th Osho Match Game 6

[Black "Habu Yoshiharu, Osho"]
[White "Kubo Toshiaki, Challenger"]
[Event "59th Osho-sen, Game 6"]
[Date "March 16th and 17th 2010"]
1.P7g-7f     00:00:00  00:00:00
2.P3c-3d     00:00:00  00:01:00
3.P2g-2f     00:03:00  00:01:00
4.P5c-5d     00:03:00  00:05:00
5.P2f-2e     00:09:00  00:05:00
6.R8b-5b     00:09:00  00:09:00
7.G4i-5h     00:16:00  00:09:00
8.P5d-5e     00:16:00  00:19:00
9.P2e-2d     00:27:00  00:19:00
10.P2cx2d    00:27:00  00:25:00
11.R2hx2d    00:27:00  00:25:00
12.P5e-5f    00:27:00  00:56:00
13.P5gx5f    00:48:00  00:56:00
14.B2bx8h+   00:48:00  01:12:00
15.S7ix8h    00:50:00  01:12:00
16.B*3c      00:50:00  01:16:00
17.R2dx2a+   00:57:00  01:16:00
18.B3cx8h+   00:57:00  01:25:00
19.N*5e      01:04:00  01:25:00
20.K5a-6b    01:04:00  01:32:00
21.+R2ax1a   01:16:00  01:32:00
22.+B8hx9i   01:16:00  01:44:00
23.B*3c      01:43:00  01:44:00
24.S*4d      01:43:00  02:06:00
25.B3cx4d+   01:47:00  02:06:00
26.P4cx4d    01:47:00  02:06:00
27.L*6f      01:48:00  02:06:00
28.S7a-7b    01:48:00  02:34:00
29.S*8b      01:56:00  02:34:00
30.B*2g      01:56:00  03:42:00
31.S8bx9a+   02:11:00  03:42:00
32.L*5c      02:11:00  04:32:00
33.+S9ax8a   02:21:00  04:32:00
34.L5cx5e    02:21:00  04:40:00
35.P5fx5e    03:00:00  04:40:00

Diagram 1

Within ten moves, the first hostilities started and the opening has been a slugfest 
ever since with major pieces entering the opponent camp for both sides. Despite the 
impression of playing with the breaks off, the position after 35.Px5e is not only 
known, but is also considered the main line of the opening theory. On top of that, 
Habu and Kubo have played this opening multiple times before in title matches, 
challenger finals and in the A class Junisen. One important statistic: Kubo hasn't 
won a single game against Habu with this opening. He is playing with the white pieces 
and has a game in hand, so it is easier for him to select this opening at this point, 
but it also shows that he is prepared to knock on the door until it opens.

36.S7bx8a?!  03:00:00  04:41:00

This is Kubo's new idea, played with a "take it where you can" attitude. However, it 
is based on a calculation error, so it will probably not be repeated. Here 36.Rx5e has 
been played before, but after 37.P*5f white got into trouble.

37.L*6e      03:05:00  04:41:00
38.K6b-7a    03:05:00  04:47:00
39.L6ex6c+   03:54:00  04:47:00
40.+B9ix6f   03:54:00  05:17:00
41.+L6cx5b   04:17:00  05:17:00
42.G6ax5b    04:17:00  05:52:00

A change of plan. Kubo initially thought that he could play 42.+B3i here, but here he 
realized that after 43.+Lx6a K8b +Rx3a is a mating threat and white loses.

43.P6gx6f    04:22:00  05:52:00
44.L*5f      04:22:00  05:52:00
45.L*5g      04:34:00  05:52:00

Diagram 2

46.N*4e?     04:34:00  06:31:00

This is a second mistake by Kubo. Correct was 46.Lx5g+ 47.Gx5g 48.P*5f and after 
49.Gx5f N*6d R*2c Nx5f Rx2g+ S*5g G5h it seems that the white attack can be stopped, 
but white can follow with L*4h here and the white attack is winning. Therefore, after 
48.P*5f black has to play 49.G6g, but after 50.N*4e (N*5g is also appealing, but 
N*4e seems better) Gx5f (L*6e is met by the perfect N5g+, because this opens the 
bishop diagonal) S*6g N*6c (or L*6e L*5g K4h Sx5f= and white's attack seems stronger) 
Gx6c R*4c G5b +Rx3a L*5a and white seems to have the advantage.

47.L5gx5f    05:35:00  06:31:00

Simple answer, but the white attack now seems too weak to succeed.

48.L*5g      05:35:00  06:31:00
49.S3i-4h    05:48:00  06:31:00
50.L5gx5h+   05:48:00  06:33:00
51.K5ix5h    05:51:00  06:33:00
52.P*5g      05:51:00  06:49:00

Diagram 3

53.S4hx5g?   06:38:00  06:49:00

Here Habu misses his first opportunity to finish this game. Correct was 53.K6h and 
after B4i+ L*6e G*6g K7i P5h+ G7h +P6i K8h black has a mate if he can get a gold 
in hand, which white cannot prevent. For example, Gx7h Kx7h +Bx7f to give the king 
support when escaping up the board is not good enough, because R*6a K8b Rx8a+ Kx8a 
S*7b Kx7b N*8d leads to mate. Although the variation above forces white to give black 
a gold, there seems to be no other attack, so the conclusion of the post-mortem 
analysis was that black would win after 53.K6h.

54.N4ex5g+   06:38:00  06:51:00
55.K5hx5g    06:38:00  06:51:00
56.B2g-4i+   06:38:00  06:52:00
57.N*5h?     06:54:00  06:52:00

A natural looking defense, because black wants to drop a lance on 6e, but this is 
the decisive mistake. After 57.L*5h instead, black is still winning. In that case, 
white also seems to have little else but 58.G*5i, but with two knight in hand black 
can play 59.N*6c Gx6c N*7e which is a mating threat and black is one move quicker. 
After the game, Kubo admitted that he also thought that 57.N*5h was the correct move 
and only later realized that he could survive the black attack.

58.G*5i      06:54:00  07:22:00

Diagram 4

59.L*6e      07:03:00  07:22:00

The point is that even though this is a very strong looking attack, it is not a mating 
threat! White can therefore just take the gold on 6i.

60.G5ix6i    07:03:00  07:28:00
61.R*6a      07:14:00  07:28:00
62.K7a-8b    07:14:00  07:28:00
63.N*7d      07:17:00  07:28:00
64.P7cx7d    07:17:00  07:29:00
65.B*6d      07:17:00  07:29:00

Diagram 5

66.S*7c      07:17:00  07:34:00
67.B6dx7c+   07:56:00  07:34:00

Habu spent 39 minutes on this move, which is very unusual for him at this stage of the 
endgame. A few moves earlier, he had realized that there was a hole in his calculations, 
but he there was no turning back. Here he desperately tried to find some Habu magic, but 
there is nothing in this position.

68.K8bx7c    07:56:00  07:34:00
69.+R1ax1c   07:56:00  07:34:00
70.S*5c      07:56:00  07:34:00
71.K5g-6g    07:57:00  07:34:00

The key variation is 71.+Rx5c Gx5c R6b+ K8d L*8f B*8e! Lx8e K9d and there is no mate. 
Having a defense hanging on three intermediate drops that must be exactly the right 
pieces at the right squares is quite rare to appear in an actual game, let alone in 
the deciding game of a title match.

72.B*6h      07:57:00  07:45:00
73.L6e-6c+   07:59:00  07:45:00
74.G5bx6c    07:59:00  07:49:00
75.R6ax6c+   07:59:00  07:49:00
76.K7cx6c    07:59:00  07:49:00
77.L*6e      07:59:00  07:49:00
78.K6c-7b    07:59:00  07:49:00
79.S*7c      07:59:00  07:49:00
80.K7bx7c    07:59:00  07:50:00
81.+R1cx5c   07:59:00  07:50:00
82.K7c-8b    07:59:00  07:50:00
Resigns      07:59:00  07:50:00

Final Diagram

After 83.S*7a K9a G*8b Sx8b Sx8b+ Kx8b +R6b G*7b S*7c K9a there is no mate. Also, the 
black king cannot be defended, so Habu resigned here. Kubo has been a little lucky in 
this game, but what goes around comes around. He has had some heart-breaking losses 
against Habu in the past, for example the 5th game of the 57th Osho match, where he 
let his king be mated in a won position. Still, Kubo has timed his luck well, because 
with this win he takes the Osho crown from Habu and becomes a multiple titleholder for 
the first time in his career. Habu still has three major titles left, but recently it 
seems like he is a little bit more vulnerable and may not be as dominating as before.