# BQM 289

Keywords: Opening, Question

### Original Question

Chris Hayashida: Recently I played a game at the club. I took White. I felt like I started to fall behind in the opening. Up to the position below, I felt like the opening was even. Somehow, after I played, I felt like I was falling further and further behind.

This position is White to move, but I have no idea where to play. I think I need to break up the moyo on the right, but I don't have a good idea of where the right entry point is. I'd appreciate any comments you have:

White to play

### Ian Davis's response

I'm only 2 kyu, but I would be jumping in at a, which appeals to me marginally more than b in this situation. It seems like a reasonable asking move.

### Velobici's response

Three ideas:

1. a or b are both better than c as the right side is more valuable to Black than the corner.
2. m threatens the invasion at n, as well as defends the upper right more, so m is a dual purpose play. Dual purpose plays are very commonly better than single purpose moves like a and b.
3. w may allow White to expand up toward the center, get sente and then press Black low with x and y.

The upper right is White's weakest (least firmly held) area. Black has developed more quickly in the lower right, but is loose there. If Black can finish the lower right in one move, then it is time to invade. Black a looks to be a move that allows Black to finish the lower right. Perhaps m to induce Black to defend at n, followed by a or b. Perhaps its better to play the lower lower corner immediately.

Need to count possible points based upon the different courses of action.

Chris Hayashida: Oops, the diagram was wrong. I missed the marked black stone. I think that makes the comments about x and y invalid. I thought that d might be another option to break up the right.

Does Black a really secure the corner? I thought White could play f.

Velobici: Black a secures the corner. It won't protect against a White invasion at f. A White invasion at f, could be answered at g, yielding a super strong corner and options for Black to connect to the most isolated stone via h or i. i helps Black build on the right. It helps to think about the number of points gained and lost in each exchange. Even if White captures the black stone between the White position and f, its a small gain versus the loss Black will suffer from an invasion of the corner. Personally, I don't like d, seems to beg Black to play at e which makes the black extension toward the upper right the perfect distance.

### Dieter's response

Always look where you have most room to build new groups. Play far away from your strength and far away from his. Look for equivalent options after your move. With this in mind, for me the answer is clear.

White to play

### Bill's reponse

I confess that I do not know where to play. It seems likely that the game will hinge on what happens with Black's framework on the right. There are many possible invasions. By the same token, Black cannot make it near territory in a single play.

One concern that I have with an immediate invasion is a simultaneous attack against the invading stones and the group. My inclination is to shore up that group. One possibility is - . Then secures territory while threatening the upper portion of Black's framework, a dual purpose play. Now Black cannot prevent a White invasion at b or c. OTOH, if White invades at one of the a points right away, it may strengthen Black around one or both of b and c.

Yes, I am handing the ball back to Black, but if I don't know where to invade, maybe he won't know where to defend. ;-)

(Later.) There is a similar position [1001] in The Technique of Sabaki (Sabaki no Tekunikku) by Kataoka Satoshi, where Kataoka recommends the invasion at c.

### Other Responses

Charles Matthews I think both Bill and Ian have picked out key points. I'd like to evaluate this sequence, therefore.

Variation

These moves seem not unreasonable. White can now invade at the circle-marked point. White has played steadily so far; therefore must expect to fight now. Black, on the other hand, can claim that after he has very good shape on the lower side, and is light in the upper right.

This looks somewhat better for Black, to me. The main reason is a feeling that Black a will turn things in Black's favour.

zinger: Wouldn't at be more consistent with ? Although, this might leave black too weak on the bottom. In addition, if white can really play and in sente as in Bill's diagram above, then it seems that should be done first.

Charles I disagree with the comment. The bottom is where we know there can be some action. With a daidaigeima Black should be happy to play the inside hane, and get good shape. The only real issue, for me, is whether White can get anything by a cross-cut.

Variation

Perhaps, in this variation though I am not sure the marked stones are good for Black. I am too weak too judge it well though :) IanDavis

Dave: As noted above, there are many issues still to be resolved on the board. In particular, Black's framework on the right is full of holes while the lower left corner is also still subject to invasion by White. However, if you step back and look at the board as a whole, the three White stones at the bottom are floating in a sea of Black. Any immediate invasion by White will result in these stones becoming a future target of attack by Black. On the other hand, if White closes the upper right corner now, Black can lean on the bottom stones in order to patch his shapes in sente. I recommend that White jump to in order to strengthen these stones. Now White looks calmly to the right and the left and will be able to counter whatever Black chooses to do next.

For the strong the world is full of opportunity, for the weak it is full of threats...

Bill: exerts a degree of keshi on Black's framework. For instance, if White lives on the right side in exchange for thickness, already reduces the influence of that thickness.

Charles I agree with the reasoning. My concern would be that White has played a tight game so far. What would Otake Hideo play here? He might agree with Dave. But doesn't the exchange / appear to make the game more interesting for Black?

Dave: I think that is not an "exchange" for in the normal sense since they are too far apart to interact strongly. Rather I think will end up exchanged for . This means that Black gives up the normal move at c and allows White to solidify the upper right corner. Meanwhile the right side is still open.

Yamada Kimio - Liu Xiaoguang 1994-03-25

This type of play is what normally occurs when the marked Black stone constrains the White formation in the lower left here.

zinger: What if black played at b instead?

Charles: Another issue is that after , White at a is strategically smaller (because White there might stabilise the weak group twice over).

Dave: In studing the lower left, I did not think that the move at a (the usual idea - and my first) was that interesting. The variation shown above by Bill gives White very little I believe. After some further thought, I think that it is interesting for White to start with something like below to see how Black responds.

Lower left corner

### How the Position Arose

Chris, can you show the sequence of moves from the beginning ? The black four space extension from the lower right star point stone is rather unusual. The go databases do not seem to have support such a move. I am wondering if it was played as a checking extension.

Chris Hayashida: Yes, it was. I think it's sort of funny that you don't find our moves in a database of pro games. I mean c'mon, my friend and I are already of pro strength! ;) Seriously, though, I wanted to get away from an analysis of the game, since (at least up to this point) I felt like I had a handle on things. The next move was the first time where I really had no idea where to go.

Bill: For discussion on earlier play, see /Earlier Play. (Sorry, Chris. Part of White's current problem is, as Dieter alludes to below, slow development earlier.)

Moves 1-10
Moves 11-20
Moves 21

Dieter: in an attempt to lift my advice from kyu level to dan level ... #:-7 Here is what I meant:

1. there are no weak groups on the board (though I like Dave's idea that the lower White group can be reinforced)
2. hence we need a big moves, not an urgent one
3. so we look for the largest open area: the lower right is clearly the place to develop a new group
4. now where exactly do we start?
Dieter's ideas

The natural spot is . After , Black can look forward to a spltting attack. Neither of White's groups has a very strong base. Also, White's upper right is open, whereas Black's lower right is only reducable.

Dieter's ideas

Considering that White's lower group may be weaker than we thought, maybe must stay away further from it, with a combination like and . Yet, White's position becomes cramped, while Black has reinforced his two weaker positions.

Dieter's ideas

So, seeing that both the invasions lead to reinforcement of Black and no major improvement in White's position, we must consider reinforcing moves of the weakest White positions and a and b are the accomplishing moves. As Bill and Dave say, leave it for Black to decide which side to defend. a has more stability to it, b more development. I think b is more balanced, because the game has been slow until now.

Very interesting, and not at all trivial to me, contrary to my earlier dismissing statement.

You wrote as follows...

D's comment 1) there are no weak groups on the board (though I like Dave's idea that the lower White group can be reinforced)

-> I agree.

2) hence we need a big moves, not an urgent one.

-> still agree.

3) so we look for the largest open area: the lower right is clearly the place to develop a new group.

-> partly agree, but in some sense, (in my view) you made misjudgement. later, I will make it clear where I'm against your thought.

4) now where exactly do we start?

Dieter's ideas(1)

D's comment on this variation : The natural spot is . After , Black can look forward to a spltting attack. Neither of White's groups has a very strong base. Also, White's upper right is open, whereas Black's lower right is only reducable.

Btw..., black will try splitting attack. playing something like .

Dieter's ideas(2)

D's comment : Considering that White's lower group may be weaker than we thought, maybe must stay away further from it, with a combination like and . Yet, White's position becomes cramped, while Black has reinforced his two weaker positions.

-> Basically I agree with your jugdement. But for Black, there is a better (and more common standard) middle game attack sequence. See below diagram.

Alternative black's attack

White is more painful. In my guess, it would be quite clear for your present strength to see why this is more painful for White. So I skip comment.

Dieter's ideas(3)

So, seeing that both the invasions lead to reinforcement of Black and no major improvement in White's position, we must consider reinforcing moves of the weakest White positions and a and b are the accomplishing moves. As Bill and Dave say, leave it for Black to decide which side to defend. a has more stability to it, b more development. I think b is more balanced, because the game has been slow until now.

Minue's idea

is the big move in this game. The 3-3 invasion is the main weakness of hoshi move, it carves out B's territory from inside (usually in sente). So with proper timing, that invasion is one of main issues in middle game for players.

is obvious move to defend its right side. move is also obvious. after , Black has 2 choices, 'a', and 'b'.

Following diagrams are to show some (common) expected variations after each black move, a and b.

Minue: Black's worst sequence

In this case, W broke B's territory "from inside in sente," making about 5pts in corner. After that, W playes , "reducing B's right side from outside", at the same time, stabilizing its bottom white stones.

Too good for White.

Impossible for White to imagine better sequence than this.

Black would be tempted to resign here; very very tough to play with 6.5 komi.

Charles Yes, interesting. But is not the only move here; Black can extend, or jump to .

Dieter: That's what Minue says above: extending is the other basic possibility ( being a special technique). I guess he will provide these variations later.

Minue: Black's resistance: double hane

Since previous result is obviously too bad for Black, at this moment, Black may try double hane move, instead of simple extension Black a. For Black's intention, see diagrams below.

Black's plan(or hope) by double hane(1)

This is what black intends to do by its double hane. In this sequence, Black can take sente.

Black's plan(or hope) by double hane(2)

By taking sente, Black gets time to expand its right side, putting pressure (attack) on bottom white. Obvious that this is so good flow of stones for Black: an almost ideal position for Black.

And white a is nothing, but just "thankyou move", helping Black to expand its right side bigger, playing black b.

btw....personally, I like to say "putting pressure on .." or "putting threat on.." rather than "attack", because many kyu players often misunderstand the meaning of "attack". In Go, "Attack" has very different meaning from "going for a kill". They are very different things..at least in Go.

And, instead of , Black may play more simple move, black c. even with that simple (probably a bit loose), still good for Black.

Minue: White's counter plan against Black's double hane(1)

But, White is not a fool. She knows all of things which Black knows. So, will try to see if there are better moves against Black's plan.

- is the sequence for White.

After cut, Black needs to defend a cutting weakness at a. To do it, Black has 2 options, black a, and black b.

For follow ups after black b, see below diagrams.

Minue: White's counter plan against black's double hane(1-1-1)

If Black plays , then to is necessarily followed, a straight-forward sequence. To kill the white corner, Black must crawl 5 times on 2th line... Poor b.

Minue: White's counter plan against black's double hane(1-1-2)

Black killed the white corner, but the price is too big:

1) Black's right side territory formation was broken competely,

2) Wwhite got a wall toward center,(this W's right side wall also means that Black cannot hope to attack White's bottom side group anymore...),

3) and, the 2 marked black stones got weaker significantly, and one of them hurted severely with just 2 liberties attached to W's wall, (became garbage stone).

So, Black's position is corrupted completely, good timing to resign.

Minue: White's counter plan against black's double hane(1-2)

connection is much better, the sequence from to follows necessarily. Although this is locally even for both, (considering just the corner area), from a global perspective, it is still bad or unsatisfactory for Black.

White broke Black's right side Successfully, getting thick and fine eye shape, (2nd line ponuki, it means this white group has strong stones). And, the 2 marked black stones also got weaker, became very thin stones.

Not as fatal as the previous result, but still very satisfactory for White.

In conclusion, If White plays correctly against Black's double hane, it doesn't work for Black.

For DDK - often I see that DDk play white a, instead of , in this kind of pos. In normal situations, it's a so bad, vulgar, DDKish move. Never do it. Not enough time to explain about it now. Anyway, never do it. That move is like playing diagonal approach (instead of knight approach) to 4th line hoshi black stone.

Reasonable black move
Minue's idea
Reasonable black move
Reasonable black move
Minue's idea

Kataoka's position

Bill: In this position Kataoka recommends . Some differences that may be significant are the fact that in the question diagram is at a, which yields another invasion point for White, and in this diagram makes a Black play at b less appealing than in the question diagram.

BQM 289 last edited by Dieter on July 5, 2008 - 12:48
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