# BQM 339

Keywords: Opening, Question

LukeNine45: This is a fuseki question. A player at the club has taken to playing on the sides first, instead of the corners. He's a good deal stronger than me, so I would lose no matter where he played his first moves, but I'm wondering if anyone has thoughts on how to think about answering these moves. As an example, here's a few moves of the game we played last night (I'm Black):

2-3 dan vs. 2-3 kyu

LukeNine45: In the review, White said that was OK where I played it or at a, but b would be wrong (because after an approach it would have no where to develop to).

Sojobo: I think that if your primary concern is being able to develop, the upper left corner is a better place for .

Playing in the lower right is confrontational already, and suggests that your aim is to inhibit your opponent, in which case I would actually prefer 'b'. (If white approaches, you can just extend along the bottom, after which pincering the approach-stone and pincering should be miai-ish.)

LukeNine45: You're right, it was confrontational and that was my aim-- but I also don't want to get stuck with a small corner that can't go anywhere, right?

Bill: The problem is not so much an approach, but if Black plays at b, then if Black later encloses the corner or makes a Chinese-style position on the right side, inhibits Black's natural extension.

LukeNine45: Ah, I see. That makes good sense. Originally I hadn't played a because it looked like to me that a white approach at would work with ideally. Any comments on that?

19x19 diagram

LukeNine45: , we decided in the postmortem, should have been at a. (In fact I *did* play it there at first in the review, so maybe I learned something from this painful sequence.)

Bill: I don't know about , but looks heavy to me. Why not at ?

LukeNine45: The main reason is that I was trying to make a wall to attack here (White pointed out after the game that this was a bad plan because is on the 4th line). The other reason is that I didn't know that joseki at all (I didn't even know if that move was possible, I will go look it up right now), and white has a history of severely punishing my joseki mistakes... So you think might not have been wrong?

Bill: I have never faced that situation, and do not know best play, but seems playable to me. :-)

As for the wall, there are basically two kind of walls, those with eye shape and those without. The walls without eye shape need an extension. You are making that kind of wall, and so is attacking it, not the other way around.

As for avoiding a play because you don't know the joseki, better to die a hero, IMO.

LukeNine45: I realized I needed an extension after I'd already made the wall, and then the game went downhill from there. Thanks for your comments, this is all very helpful. I'll try not to be intimidated next time. :)

Bill: Hmmm. Looking again, I think that Black should continue with b - d. Black's wall looks strong enough for that.

LukeNine45: Interesting. I didn't consider that during the game.

Bill: Your wall is long enough that if White approaches low you can play boshi, and if White approaches high you can play low. White's best response to d may be e. Then what for Black? f?

LukeNine45: I would never have thought of d in the game. Through f it looks a lot better than what happened...

19x19 diagram

19x19 diagram

LukeNine45: So why is it "wrong" to open in the sides? Or, in other words, what does one do to take advantage of this sort of opening? I was trying to play corner moves that made his side moves look funny. Is that a good way to approach this?

Sojobo: If there is any proverb that I trust will hold up even for KameNoItte, it's CornersThenSidesThenCenter. A stone in the corner has more implied territory, and, more importantly, more power, by virtue of an easier-to-construct base.

I think all you need to do to punish white playing on the side is to take three (or four) corners, and then play thick.

LukeNine45: I'll keep that in mind for next time, then.

continuation?

Andy Pierce: Let's look at ... that asks white to play . What's your plan now?

the plan

If white invaded, I wanted to build a wall to face the right side. That was what I was thinking, anyhow.

Poorly placed

Bill: - is a natural development, after which is poorly placed.

LukeNine45: Hmm, this is better than what I had in mind!

3-3

Bill: That's why on the 3-3 is White's usual corner play in this kind of situation. (OC, is better in the bottom left corner now.)

LukeNine45: How should black handle this? My instinct is to attach at a and try to build my wall.

Inefficient

Bill: Remember that contact plays tend to strengthen both sides. Black has no reason to strengthen White, so in this diagram is a typical play. If play continues as here, is a bit too close.

LukeNine45: Gotcha. And then Black is happy to play an extension around a?

Bill: That looks OK to me. :-)

Reflecting on White's play, maybe would be better at b.

Ancient approach

Bill: Back in the days before modern fuseki theory, when top players played on the sides more often than today, you used to see the approach at (with on the third line, OC). The more I think about it, the better it looks. ;-)

LukeNine45: Hmmm... That looks very strange but I can't think of a good way to respond. It looks too vulnerable to tenuki, but I guess even if White plays a then it's like a common pincer situation, so maybe it's ok to take another corner here?

Bill: Oh, I think that would be premature any time soon.

LukeNine45: Oh, right. haha.

Interesting response

Bill: An interesting response, I think, is . After Black can play , but it is not urgent. Black can answer Wa with Bb. ( is well placed for that.) If White omits Black can play at c, which is also an immediate response.

LukeNine45: That's cool. I never would have thought of .

Bill: There are a lot of interesting ideas in ancient games. Some people think that they are not worth studying, especially since the joseki are long outdated, and many situations do not arise these days. But I feel that trying to understand these unfamiliar situations has deepened, or at least broadened, my understanding of go.

In this corner, if Black is not going to respond at or c, the 3-3 looks silly and if you play at d you have to worry about the peep at Wa. What's next? ;-) Also, if you respond at or c, is a good point for either player. So maybe it is a good point now.

BQM 339 last edited by Dieter on July 5, 2008 - 12:49