Plays against low Chinese - follow-ups

    Keywords: Opening, MiddleGame
Common outcome  

This formation is often seen in contemporary go[1], as a result of Black's adoption of the Chinese fuseki (see plays against low Chinese opening). We can assume a white 4-4 point in the lower left corner, meaning that White is pursuing an influence-oriented strategy consistent with the stones already played on the fourth line.

When it comes to further plays here in the middle game, what options does White have?

In pro games, White's cap at a is the most usual continuation. Black may well find it too passive to answer it directly. White also frequently uses the knight's move cap, which exerts control over a black framework in the upper right. Again Black may find it too slow to respond.

White c is an interesting example of shape.

Shirae's shape comment  

A book by Shirae Haruhiko remarks that it is overconcentrated with the two-space extension White has made on the side: better to have three-space extension on the side and a one-space jump into the centre.

White at d is therefore understandable - it tries harder. If Black ignores it White can easily invade.

Finally White at e and f are typical probes. They are not very often seen in pro games - they go against the idea of an influence contest around here.

White strengthened  

Whether White plays W3 as shown, or at B4 looking for territory, will depend very much on the fighting position on the rest of the board. As shown White has converted the corner aji into some extra stones that make the left-side group much stronger.


These days it will mostly be created when W1 is played, rather than White at a; because if White starts at a Black's pincer at W1 is playable. See 3-4 point distant high approach from the wrong direction.

Charles Matthews

Problem position  

Samiroopo (3-4k): Hiya people. I played W1 here, expecting a pincer at a, but was caught by surprise at B2. Immediately I thought about W3, but wasn't so sure about how to deal with a crosscut here. W5 seems most appropiate continuation...

Charles I think B2 is probably possible; but B4 looks like an overplay (at b is expected). Now White has four ways to extend, and at first sight they all look reasonable.

One idea  

Question goes: Who's better off after this? And secondly, what all kinds of mistakes do these two diagrams have? ;) B3 at B5 ? Will Black jump at a now, and when is b appropiate? If anyone has any time to answer these silly questions, thanks already beforehand. :)

Charles I think Black has a bad result, now. Black has taken a little territory, but given White good influence; and now Black no longer has a strategy for playing on a large scale. Black at b has little effect on White.

One idea  

unkx80: My intuition calls for B1 to B3. Then if White a, Black connects at b. This will lead to large scale fighting.

Charles I agree that this is more consistent for Black, than the way in the game.

It does feel to me, though, that here Black is driving White into his own framework; which is usually inferior to keeping White weak on the outer boundary of the framework. So I can't really agree with Black's plan for this game.

One idea  

Samiroopo: Hmm I didn't think of it like that yet... But if black plays like this, isn't it a clear bonus for White? Black a for White b for example, and then Black c... Black is expecting some 30 points in the lower right corner already, but White isn't doing too bad either. Actually I think white has a clear advantage from this exchange of a to b in this line, so maybe black will come in at d (which doesn't seem too interesting either after some pondering). If B1 is the natural move and B1 at W2 is overplay, does this mean black+circle just doesn't work? Duh, seems like I lost a game for nothing. =P

But the fighting variation seems thrilling.

White defends  

Charles Supposing we reach this position, W1 looks like the play on the lowee side.

Then I think B2 is normal. I don't see that Black has any particular problems in this game. Black at the circled point is a good attack in the near future.

White attacks  

HelcioAlexandre How about this attack? Black won't get his territory.

Andre Engels: No, but he will get tremendous influence. First making the opponent strong and then invading is rarely a good strategy. After this the two marked stones will be dead weight against a strong wall.

Hong Tae Seon (B) against Yoo Chang Hyuk, Taewang 1993  

Andre Engels: For what it's worth, the game shown here is the only professional game I can find where black attaches at B1.

Plays against low Chinese - follow-ups last edited by on May 29, 2021 - 15:47
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