Amateur Fuseki 13

    Keywords: Opening

Andy Pierce: All comments are welcome. I have white here in this clash of IGS 5k's.

white goes wrong with his second move, black with his third  

I played W4 at SanSan in order to get sente back from black. This I think is a mistake. Black's NiRenSei means he wants influence, and white's 3-3 hands him even more. Black's approach move B5 seems wrong in this context; it should be at a if black wants to approach here, in line with black's influence-based strategy. SanRenSei looks pretty good for black here too.

Alex: I don't know what you mean by getting sente back from Black by playing san-san. The idea of san-san is that it disposes of the corner in one move, so neither player has much interest in playing near there early on. That would seem to leave the sente situation unchanged, no? When I think about getting sente in the early fuseki, my usual strategy is to play a komoku, takamoku or mokuhazushi in such a way that the opponent wants/needs to approach, but that I can defer answering the approach and start something in another corner.

Bill: B5 does seem misplaced, uncoordinated with his other stones. An approach at b is usual, I think.

white gives sente back to black  

Having given up influence for sente with the 3-3 play, I now, in greed for territory, give up sente with the above joseki (instead of playing W6 at b for example). This going-against-my-own-strategy is a problem I have over-the-board, where it is easy to focus on little things and lose sight of the big picture. I am happy, however, that so far black's direction seems wrong.

Alex: Choosing one hoshi and one san-san is rather strange, kind of a mixed message. Having played those two moves, though, I can't say that W6 is any worse than b. It seems to me that b would be too low. Black's approach was certainly from the wrong direction, and W10 should probably be one line further down.

Bob McGuigan: I don't think the opening four moves are particularly strange. A GoBase search shows many professional games starting this way, with white winning a fair share of the games. There is a rationale for white's approach. The hoshi move emphasizes influence while the san-san move emphasizes territory so it's a balanced approach.

Bill: Taking sente with Wb to play the wedge at c is a good plan.

white is sealed in  

Black seals white in the corner. I think W4 here should be at c instead (or another third line push-from-behind followed by a one-space jump) since the top is uninteresting due to black's strong, low black+square stones. B5 seems like AjiKeshi to me, and I played W8 for life in the corner, but I think this was a wasted move and something like W8 at d (is e possible, or too weak?) would be better. Unfortunately, even with W8 at d now white's direction is wrong, again approaching strong stones. Black takes advantage of W8 in the game to play B9, sealing white in on both sides. I then played W10 thinking to attack black on the top, but I don't think black is in any danger. I am so far behind in influence now that I think W10 should be at f. If the black stones B3,B7 are strong (as I think they are), then W10 is again incorrectly approaching strong stones.

Alex: W8 is by far the worst move of this fuseki. You were already pretty safe, and if you wanted to be certain of life, expanding your base with e.g. d is always going to be better than making two eyes locally. You say you were worried about d being the wrong direction, but is "minus one point in gote" ever the right direction?

B9 is of questionable value, even though it seals White in, and should probably be on the left side. W10 on the left side is probably the right direction, but I might have played it one line closer to the lower left since, as you say, you are playing too close to a strong group.

Bill: B1 is misplaced. The top is now non-urgent. Better sanrensei or approach White's 3-3 from the left side.

Develop on the left  

Bill: W2 is better. If now B3, W4 develops in the right direction.

white gets a free move  

B1 here seems poor shape and overconcentrated. Black should move elsewhere on the board and leave white to crawl on the top. W6 here seems to lack fighting spirit as this puts no pressure on black. Maybe white should try the double approach at g instead? After B7, white invades at W8 and lives with W10, at the expense of security and territory on the left side. A series of 5 kyu errors and lack of vision on both sides leads eventually to the game being decided by 0.5 point.

Alex: B1 and B3 are both very wrong. W2 and W4 are both okay. W6 is solid, but probably too slow here. I can't say for sure that it's wrong, but if you make moves like this in the fuseki, you have to use that strength to play more aggressively later and bully your opponent. W8 is too early, for sure. You probably want to deal with the lower right corner in some way, but it's hard to choose the right approach, with B7 on the lower side but a low, strong group of your own on the right side. You could consider something like the following diagram:

Building a moyo  

Alex: The problem with this idea is that, whether W7 is here or at a, B8 is still a good response, because it makes black+circle a double-purpose move. On the plus side, white+circle is shining. In any case, a move around W7 or a seems almost inevitable, unless White is planning on letting Black play in this corner first; it is unlikely that approaching from the closed side will ever be a good idea, with the lower left stones in such a precarious position. Also, is it just me or is W b really threatening for Black, giving him a small corner back in return for White getting lots of thickness outside?

Anyway, it seems like you correctly identified most of your own mistakes in the fuseki, as well as those of your opponent. I suppose the obvious question, then, is why don't you think of these things during the game? I suspect the answer is that you play too quickly, because that's when I usually make moves that I know to be wrong the moment I see them on the screen/board.

Bill: W6 in the previous game diagram is horrid. The approach at g, as suggested, is much better. And W8 is just silly. If Black replies at h, now what? White has strengthened Black for peanuts. B9 is ridiculous. What is Black going to attack?

Also, Alex, I find your diagram confusing. You seem to be giving White two moves in a row.

Alex: Oops, you're right. For some reason, I thought it was White's move. I think I should either stop checking Sensei's first thing in the morning (addicted much?) or at least refrain from responding to anything until I'm fully awake. Perhaps I'll just suggest the sequence from W1 to W7 instead of W6 in the previous diagram. Although perhaps g is better, as you suggest.

Amateur Fuseki 13 last edited by AlexWeldon on August 15, 2005 - 21:42
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