Clumsy double contact

  Difficulty: Advanced   Keywords: Strategy

In post-AI times, the validity of this caution has been brought into question. For instance, in 2023 the exact shape in the diagram below was played by a Korean female professional. Telegraph Go said the structure was fine and the criticism given in this article was not accurate.

Don't play contact twice  

Strong players almost never play this way. B1 and B3 are diagonal contact plays. One such play can be justified if you then attack the opponent's heavy group.

Don't play contact twice  

In this case Black is doing well, since B5 affects both White's group on the left, and white+circle[1].


Here, on the other hand, it seems that Black is only interested in immediate territory. Since both a and b are weak points of Black's formation, there isn't much real, secure territory so far. White's stones on the outside have gained greatly in influence, though.

This way of playing by Black contradicts the initial formation's basic nature: stones on the fourth line should be a source of power.

[1] Bildstein: Last night, I was lucky enough to play against a strong Korean player visiting Canberra from the Department of Baduk Studies in Mjung-ji University. I'm ~2 dan Australian, we played with 5 stones handicap, and he did not have much trouble beating me, so I respect his play, and what he said after the game.

Recently, I've been burned by this second approach move (white+circle), and I decided I had to learn how to handle it. I came here, and found that this pincer and diagonal splitting attack were the closest to advice that SL had to offer. In my game against my Korean friend last night, I played this way in response to his first to moves. He was quite happy with B3, but not B1 or B5.

This is how play continued, locally. Later, White played a to get himself out of trouble.

Don't play contact at all  

In future, if I play this way I will expect W6 and W8, and I will aim at Black b to put pressure on White. Yet even this line of play gives White something to attack in B3.

For reference (and from memory), my opponent suggested B1 at W4, which is light, B5 at c, and continuing with B9 at b.

Clumsy double contact last edited by bugcat on October 4, 2023 - 19:53
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