Standard opening 1

  Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Opening, Joseki, Strategy
Standard opening  

The following is a standard opening. It has been thoroughly investigated by Cho Hun Hyun and Lee Chang Ho. As a result of their experiments, it was modified substantially and often occurs in Korean pro games of the '90s. We start with four corner star points.

This joseki can not be separated from whole-board opening strategy, just like many other contemporary josekis. This means, showing the sequences of this joseki with local diagrams doesn't make sense.

Standard opening  

B3 was Cho 9p's new move which was different from the traditional one. In the old version, instead of B3, defending Black's weakness with B5 right after W2 had been the common sequence.

B3 is a move which tries to make use of Black's ni-ren-sei formation on the right side. In this respect, it displays whole board thinking.

Now White faces the decision where to move next. W4 is considered whole board joseki[1] after which Black patches up the weakness at B5. W6 is considered mandatory, because a black move there would be sente for the threat at a[3]. Black continues utilizing his thickness to play on the left and apply pressure on White's corner. W8 is a standard diagonal haengma to prevent being enclosed by a double keima. Probably W10 forestalls a black keima at b.

Standard opening  

When black approaches White's upper left corner with B1, white can not ignore it and instead capture the black stone on the left side [2]. Thus, B1-W6 is a very natural flow of stones, nearly a necessary order of moves.

At W8, the standard opening comes to an end, that is to say, professional players believe that no further research is paying off and this has found its way into standard (Korean) textbooks.

Note: there are pro games where B3 and B5 are played before B1. Also, W8 does not seem so standard by 2007+ pro games, where White plays the more aggressive a.


Variation 1  

This W1 gives quite a bit of cash at the bottom left. However, after B6, Black takes a global lead, or rather, the position is considered active for Black. So, W1 is called a whole board joseki mistake.

The amount of cash is limited by the availability of the 3-3 invasion for black at a. This is not an invasion Black must do right away, but it represents bad aji for White.


Variation 2  

White would like to resist Black's speedy play by punishing him for leaving the marked stone unattended, but Black sacrifices the stone and takes sente to play B2 in the next diagram. This is again called active for Black. Hence W1 is a whole board joseki mistake.

Variation 2 continued  


Variation 3 (W2 = W6 in the second diagram)  

Suppose White answers the strong connection of B1 with a reinforcement of the left side. Then B3 is sente, that's to say, a white move elsewhere will be met with a kill at a. Surely White has got three extra: moves W2, W4 and sente for W6, but the capture is large and without any damage on the outside. Although such a tenuki strategy would be interesting on amateur level, on professional level this is unacceptable. On the same token, allowing B3 to be sente is not acceptable either, which is why W2 will be played at B3 instead.

Standard opening 1 last edited by Dieter on May 9, 2012 - 14:38
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