Regulation Fuseki

    Keywords: Opening

Chinese: -
Japanese: 本法の布石 (honpou no fuseki) (almost obsolete)
Korean: -

Regulation Fuseki  

Very common in the early 19th century in Japan. It was eclipsed by the Shusaku Fuseki from the 1850's on. It is highlighted in game 5 of Appreciating Famous Games.

Black most often has continued with a shimari at a or b. There are a few games with the players cycling all the way around the board again making shimari in all the corners. However, more typically one side or the other (especially White in no-komi Go and Black in komi Go) avoids continued symmetry by approaching one of the opponent's corners.


Jan: Why is this called 'regulation fuseki'? Was this some kind of prescribed opening??

Dave: Not prescribed the way that old Chinese games began with diagonal hoshi. Rather it was just so common for a while that it earned a nickname.

Bill: Ishida discusses this opening in a book I have lost. :-( It dates from the beginning of fuseki theory. IIRC, he said it was called the go shape. Below is what I recall from that book.

If you go back to the 1600s, a popular opening pattern was something like this:

Pre-theory fuseki  

B1 would stake out a corner, W2 would challenge for it, preventing an enclosure, and B3 would pincer, preventing an extension. Then White would tenuki and open up another corner.

Early theory (Direction of enclosure, I)  
Early theory (Direction of enclosure, II)  

Players began to realize that the first diagram was better for Black than the second, because Black's potential territory was deeper (See Build box shaped territories.) Also:

Early theory (Direction of enclosure, III)  

The corresponding enclosure for White was better for her, too, as this joseki illustrates.

So White, instead of mixing it up right away, prepared for the kakari by playing on the 3-4 point in the adjacent corner that threatened the good enclosure while preventing Black from making it.

Regulation Fuseki Beginning  

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Black did likewise in the lower left corner, and finally, White followed suit in the lower right corner, and the regulation fuseki was born.

P. S. Another thing behind this pattern was the realization that the other 3-4 point in the top left was problematic for White.

Wrong 3-4  

Up to W4 the position is even, but B5, combining extension and pincer, is too good for Black. See opposing 3-4 points.

Regulation Fuseki last edited by on June 1, 2018 - 08:41
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