A 600 million move

A 600 million move. This is what Fujii Souta did on the second game of the Kisei Tournament.

Let me explain first. Watanabe Akira and Fujii Souta were playing the second game of the Kisei title match. It was a quite equal position. The challenger, Fujii, is forming an attack but the king of Watanabe is still well protected. The analysis machine for the game shows Knight 46 as the best move, attacking the gold on 52 and blocking the column 4 to the rook. This was analyzed by the commentators during the game. Watanabe Akira though about Gold 32, that maybe would allow some counterattack but even with that move he didn’t had any confidence he could win the game.

The final move was Silver 31, defending the gold on 22 and his own king. It does not look like a strong move because is using the Silver that is in hand to defend instead of attack.

This move has been analyzed by he strongest computer shogi, 水匠, and it happens something quite interesting. When analyzing 400 million of moves this move is just the 5th best move but when increasing the analysis power to 600 millions moves the Silver 31 becomes the best move.

This means that Fujii Souta has read in his mind the 600 millions possible moves? No (at least, I think so). But for professional shogi and chess player there is something important like just read moves that is follow the instincts. It is not possible to read all the possible moves and to choose the next one it is necessary to “feel” which one is the best. This is improved by experience, after playing, hundreds, thousands of games.

This victory sets the match with a 0-2. Fujii Souta only needs on more victory to get his first title and beat (again) a new record. He is showing an overwhelming power and Watanabe is not able to stop him. The next game will be played on July 9 in Tokyo. Do you think that Watanabe can recover? Fujii will set a 0-3 victory and crown the Kisei title?