Small Chinese Fuseki / Review With AI

Sub-page of SmallChineseFuseki
KataGo evaluation  

In the opening, AI have a preference for approaching 3-4 if possible (see Leela Zeros Opening Gospel. When B5 approaches to set up the small chinese fuseki, KataGo prefers a rather than answering at W6, by as much as 1 to 1.5 point. Likewise B7, completing the Small Chinese, would be better enclosing at b by KataGo's account, by as much as 2 points.

After B7, KataGo has White leading by 2 to 2.5 points, a 1 point improvement over the start of the game.

Follow-up 1a  

Waltheri has 749 games with the Small Chinese Fuseki and 14 next plays of which the vast majority (87%) wedges at a. The second choice by 9% is the approach at b.

KataGo's choices are W1 or c, still approaching the lower right. The cramped settlement at W7 has been dismissed by professionals. Waltheri features one such game, where B2 is high and B6 a hanging connection.

Follow-up 1b  

Another option is W3 tenuki and the light jump at W7 later on.

Follow-up 2  

This sacrifice tactic is KataGo's main line of its 2nd choice, the attachment.

Follow-up 2  

W5 takes the initiative. The idea here may be that black+circle is not ideally placed.

3-3 invasion  

KataGo's 3rd option is ... the 3-3 invasion.

The wedge  

The wedge of W1, Waltheri's widest path for the Small Chinese, is not in KataGo's policy and loses >1 point when evaluated. With B2 to W5 KataGo confirms the second widest path but B6 deviates (see below). Apart from B10 being a hanging connection here, 5 professional games in Waltheri follow this sequence.


In the widest path, B1 sacrifices. But KataGo thinks this is a mistake.


W2 and W4 push through and this is ~2 points better for White.

Actual widest path  

In the actual widest path, B1 forces, then after B3-W4 Black turns to the upper left. White's pincer W6 forks off the main branch into a well known joseki up to e. 8 such games are found.

KataGo estimates B+2 in this opening, which is a rare fact for a standard opening. Gaining about 3.5 points from the starting point, even from B3 in this diagram, means White has made a number of mistakes.

No bulge  

First, the bulge of W4 in the previous diagram is - surprisingly - considered a mistake. KataGo thinks it's better to push at W1 and sees this sequence. When W7 takes sente to approach the upper right, Black can answer in different ways. KataGo recommends putting pressure with the pincer at a, probably to keep sente for playing b.

Sente seems to be the key argument again: White's bulge (at B4 here, at W4 in the previous diagram) allows Black to play elsewhere. This fact alone makes for a 2.5 point shift, putting Black in the lead.

Pincer joseki - Black 11 at black+circle  

KataGo slightly prefers an approach from the other side for B1 (for reasons hard to explain for me). White's pincer at W2 is met with consent. Next, KataGo surprisingly doesn't recommend the 3-3 invasion but the jump at a. This needs more analysis.

B7 is considered standard but KataGo slightly prefers the keima at b.

The small gains White collected during this sequence are annihilated by what has become a correction of a long standing joseki move: W10. It has been discarded and most people (if not all pros) play W10 at c. In this position it's evaluated as a 1.5 to 2 point mistake.

Small Chinese Fuseki / Review With AI last edited by on April 7, 2021 - 21:33
RecentChanges · StartingPoints · About
Edit page ·Search · Related · Page info · Latest diff
[Welcome to Sensei's Library!]
Search position
Page history
Latest page diff
Partner sites:
Go Teaching Ladder
Login / Prefs
Sensei's Library