Use Handicap Stones

Path: <= Handicap =>
  Difficulty: Beginner   Keywords: Opening

Advice on playing high handicap games as Black [1]

Handicap Stones permit severe moves

Use handicap stones when answering a corner approach

Common opening  

This is a common opening in 9 stone handicap games or in even games.
White plays a knight's approach move against a single corner stone.

Approach even game  

Either the low extension at a or the high extension at b are the most common answers to the approach at W1 in even games.
W3 at c is standard and shares the corner with Black.


Approach 9 stone handicap game

But in a 9 stone handicap game answering W1 with the diagonal attachment at B2 is better.


B2 is a severe move, it claims the corner preventing White to play at c and pushes White towards the marked stone.
White answers with W3.
B2 is a joseki move when the marked stone is in place.
B4 strenghtens the corner and links with the left side star stone.
White would like to extend to the marked stone or at it's vicinity, making an ideal extension from W1 and W3.
But White can only extend to W5 resulting in a overconcentrated shape.


This result is better for White. White has good shape and establishes a base. Black didn't use his handicap stones to pressure White.

[1] The Second Book of Go, by Richard Bozulich


See also:

Path: <= Handicap =>
Use Handicap Stones last edited by Buitenland on August 27, 2007 - 23:03
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