Strange Openings

    Keywords: Opening


In Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go, Kageyama says that if you can't win playing an enclosure-and-extension fuseki, you should adapt your opening to your own playing style. Pros and strong amateurs often play openings which differ from the classical "enclosure and extension" pattern.

Many examples from the New Fuseki era exist, of course, but that seems to have settled down in the latter half of the Twentieth Century. Periodically, though, you run into exceptions.

Examples From Pro Games

Pros Noted for Unusual Openings


  • The Great Wall is an unorthodox fuseki advocated by Bruce Wilcox.
  • [ext] groep on KGS(6 dan) always plays a variation of the Great Wall where he spends his first 8 moves playing K3, K5, etc up to K17
  • [ext] High55 on KGS(6 dan) usually plays his first two moves on facing 6-4 points.
  • "Stanley," as mentioned above, plays a very unusual fuseki in conjunction with a greedy, overplaying style.
  • Davou played an unusual tengen fuseki in a rengo with a 7-dan player.
  • Ongoing Game 2, a Wiki rengo, featured an unusual enclosure based on an immediate approach and mokuhazushi.
  • [ext] hoshionly on KGS plays only star points in the opening, except to protect his star points from being captured. This is unusual because he will even contact 3-4 point stones to get the hoshi, and then tenuki. He then goes on to spectacularly kill most of the board.
  • [ext] rowurboat on KGS plays five in a row in the centre, then claims victory. Then there is a lot of fighting.
  • [ext] sevenseven on KGS plays the 7-7 point in the opening.
  • Robert Jasiek's play is often very center-orientated: [ext] sum
  • Ohashi Hirofumi 6p [ext] (大橋拓文) has a [ext] video introducing several openings, The Black Hole (ブラックホール) on all four 7-7 points, The Milky Way (天の川), and Orion's belt (オリオン座).
  • Another "Black Hole" opening, but forming a square using four 5-7 points, is demonstrated at [ext] Black hole in the universe of Go - Haylee's Live Go 63 - YouTube.
  • Sofia fuseki
  • Something called [ext] the Sideseki presented and tested on OGS. It is an idea based on the premise that most approach joseki employ some extension to the side. The player (ideally Black) first plays on the sides and then approaches the corners, having that extension in place or a stone already limiting the opponent's influence.

Some of these experiments are consistent with the idea that you should have no plan in the opening. Others just seem playful.

Strange Openings last edited by JethOrensin on November 17, 2023 - 14:15
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