Small Chinese Fuseki

    Keywords: Opening

Chinese 1: 变相中国流 (bin xing zhōng gu liǔ)
Chinese 2: 变形中国流 (bin xng zhōng gu liǔ)
Chinese 3: 迷你中国流 (m nǐ zhōng gu liǔ)
Japanese: ミニ中国流 (mini chūgokuryū)
Korean: 미니 중국식 포석; (mini junggukshik poseok)

The Small Chinese Fuseki (also called the mini-chinese Fuseki) is the pattern of B1, B5 and B7 in the diagram below. B5 may also be a play at a against a White komoku at b. The placement of B3 may vary ("d" is also common), and W6 is sometimes played one line higher.


The relationship between B1 and B7 is identical to that in the Chinese Fuseki and gives the fuseki its name. Black intends to use the same strategies as the regular Chinese against a white play around c.

Obviously White can prevent the formation of the Small Chinese by playing a pincer against B5. (See Preferring to pincer.) Equally White can play 6 at c. An important difference between the pincer and the play at c is who gets to take the initiative in the upper left corner (see BQM 31 / Modern Double Kakari). White should make her choice based on which type of game she prefers.

Charles Matthews looks at the Small Chinese in chapter 6, "Adding Asymmetry", of his series at Mindzine (now [ext] here). Josh Allen? explains the Small Chinese in a [ext] video

Popular continuation  

This is a possible continuation in very modern style - B2 is just a few years old Chinese invention. Note that W5 is necessary, pushing makes white shape collapse quickly. After W7, 'a' and 'b' are black's options (there are almost no traces of other followups in pro games). Note that white still has aji of the probe 'c' to look forward, followed by a crosscut and cap at 'd'.

This sequence is also plausible when black has large enclosure at the top instead of mini-chinese.

Another continuation  
Recent play (either shown variation or W3 at a, B4 at b)  

Tapir: This B2 is overall much more common (2/3 of all games) and much more successful (>60% compared to about 50%) in professional play. Idea: after W3 at a B4 at b is better than simply playing at b, because B2 helps (even if as sacrifice stone :) B4 now.

Historical Example

Honinbo Dochi (W) - Aihara Kaseki (2 stones)  

In this game from around 1710 Honinbo Dochi played a mini-Chinese on the top side against Aihara Kaseki.

See also:

Small Chinese Fuseki last edited by tapir on August 24, 2014 - 18:44
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