Ryojimari sides

    Keywords: Opening, Theory

Table of contents Table of diagrams
Two [small low enclosure]s, rotated position
Outer big points first
Two [small high enclosure]s, rotated position
[Small high|small high enclosure] and [small low enclosure], flat position

Rotated position

Two small low enclosures, rotated position  

This position is basic for understanding the enclosure opening. It was assumed before komi go that White should prevent Black from making this formation. Classically White assumed the need to intervene either at black+circle with W4 (Shusaku fuseki) or W6 at black+square (enclosure opening). Black assumed that black+circle was a bigger play than black+square.

If Black does get to play both black+circle and black+square, how will the game go in this half of the board?

Outer big points first  

What is seen in pro games is that both players will usually pay attention to big points at or near the marked points first.

Black's play to build up the framework is at a, for balance. But he doesn't necessarily rush to play there, which would be a rather one-sided strategy. White too is not likely to play on the upper side directly: there is a ten-line space, meaning that a wedge can easily be played there. But that doesn't mean that White's priority is in that direction, looking at the whole board.

Two small high enclosures, rotated position  

In contrast, when black+circle and black+square are played high in this fashion, the point a becomes very important; and both sides are keen to play there.

The difference in this case is that the small high enclosure is much better for building a really large-scale framework. When black+circle is on the third line there are good reduction techniques such as the cap or shoulderhit. But when black+circle is on the fourth line those techniques no longer apply. There are more chances of a corner invasion: but that may be premature in any game position where the main struggle takes place in the centre.

Flat position

Small high and small low enclosure, flat position  

Here we can call Black's position 'flat' because all stones are on the top four lines of the board.

The choice of black+circle and black+square is relatively common, when pros have the chance to make two enclosures in this way. It's a matter of balance to have black+circle high (fourth line) but black+square low (third line). They do play two high enclosures, but (apparently) not two low enclosures.

White universally plays to get a stone into the marked areas, before coming in on the upper side. Black too takes a big point rather than play immediately there.

Charles Matthews

Ryojimari sides last edited by Dieter on July 8, 2009 - 09:58
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