Small Chinese Fuseki

    Keywords: Opening

Chinese 1: 变相中国流 (bin xing zhōng gu li)
Chinese 2: 变形中国流 (bin xng zhōng gu li)
Chinese 3: 迷你中国流 (m nǐ zhōng gu li)
Japanese: ミニ中国流 (mini chūgokuryū)
Korean: 미니 중국식 포석; (mini junggukshik poseok)

The mini-Chinese fuseki (or small-Chinese fuseki) is the pattern of B1, B5 and B7 in the diagram below. B5 may also be a play at a against a White komoku at b. The placement of B3 may vary ("d" is also common), and W6 is sometimes played one line higher.


The relationship between B1 and B7 is identical to that in the Chinese Fuseki and gives the fuseki its name. Black intends to use the same strategies as the regular Chinese against a white play around c.

White can prevent the formation of the mini-Chinese by playing a pincer against B5. (See Preferring to pincer.) Equally White can play 6 at c. An important difference between the pincer and the play at c is who gets to take the initiative in the upper left corner (see BQM 31 / Modern Double Kakari). White should make her choice based on which type of game she prefers.

Charles Matthews looked at the mini-Chinese in chapter six, "Adding Asymmetry", of his series at Mindzine [ext] here and Josh Allen? introduced the mini-Chinese in a video [ext] here.

One popular continuation from 2001-03  

This is one possible continuation played around 2001-2003 by Korean players and then Chinese players. W5 is necessary, as pushing makes white shape collapse quickly. After W7, 'a' and 'b' are black's options (there are almost no traces of other followups in pro games). White still has aji of the probe 'c', followed by a crosscut and cap at 'd'.

This sequence is also plausible when black has any large moyo at the top, not only the mini-Chinese.

Another popular continuation from 1996-2000  

As of 2016, approximately 1/3 of all games played after W1 contain B2, boasting a win rate of approximately 51%.

A 2009 continuation (W3 at a, B4 at b was popular in 1998)  

As of 2016, approximately 2/3 of all games played after W1 contain B2, boasting a win rate of approximately 60%. Compared to the previous diagram, if White responds to B2 @ a, then after Black plays b it's as though Black gained the free exchange of B2/a. Therefore, W3 became a popular reply.

Disrupting the mini-Chinese

Several counter-strategies exist for disrupting the mini-Chinese.

In Weiqi Tiandi Issue 7, 2010, the misnomer "Korean opening" or 'Korean mini-Chinese' was used to describe Black taking a 4-4 corner in conjunction with the mini-Chinese formation and playing W2 in the opposite corner (see below). However, these opening ideas were seen in Japanese and Chinese professional games long before Korean. Furthermore, placement differences of corners opposite the mini-Chinese formation are simply subvariations of the overall mini-Chinese, and W2 with the aim of approaching B3 to prevent the mini-Chinese were also standard counter-strategies. (See [ext] Discussion Forum for more information.)

White can approach B3 with 'a' or take the last corner  

Historical Example

Honinbo Dochi (W) - Aihara Kaseki (2 stones)  

In this game from around 1710 Honinbo Dochi played a mini-Chinese on the top side against Aihara Kaseki.

See also:

Small Chinese Fuseki last edited by on September 18, 2020 - 21:45
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