9x9 Openings

    Keywords: Opening
#33 #44 #34 #55 #54 #53
First move choices  

Here are the plausible opening moves on a 9x9 board, in roughly descending order of popularity from a set of pro games (largely taken from Gobase). Note that these cover every point apart from the first and second lines (up to symmetry).

lightvector: As of late 2023, high playout AI analysis suggests that a, c, e, d are the best first moves (in both Japanese-like and Chinese-like rulesets) and that b and f are possibly losing under optimal play, browsable AI analysis at: [ext] https://katagobooks.org/

Click a move to jump to the diagram of White’s usual answers.


5-5 opening  

The 5-5 point seems to be the most popular opening.

Monteo This is the best opening move, particularly for the games with high komi (e.g., 7.5 points). Go Seigen, too, played this move and beat Miyamoto Naoki by 4 points.


3-4 Opening  

There are many choices after 3-4, but of these, h-k have appeared only once in the set.

bugcat: For what it's worth, a dan player once told me that they had never lost on 9x9 against an opponent who opened with 3-4.

lightvector: Yeah. Bot analysis suggests that c might be the refutation of the 3-4 point.


4-4 opening  

Choice a appears about twice as often as any other choice.


5-3 opening  

Choice a is about twice as popular as anything else, and f appears only once.


5-4 opening  

Choice a is more popular than the others.


3-3 opening  

No doubt other choices are possible as well.

See also

9x9 Openings last edited by on October 28, 2023 - 18:28
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